11 September 2011

another dodger lurker

i was recently looking through my 1991 o-pee-chee set when i came across this card of yankee backstop and recent a's manager bob geren
which features a photo from a spring training game with dodger juan samuel sliding in to home.  it's always nice to see dodgers lurking on other people's cards, especially when they can turn a yankees card into a keeper for me.

i have a soft spot for samuel because i followed his early years as a second baseman with the phillies pretty closely.  by the time he came into the league for good in 1984, i was playing pretty much nothing but second base.  so, i paid a lot of attention to samuel, ryne sandberg, and of course steve sax.  by the time the dodgers acquired samuel in a december 1989 trade for alejandro pena and mike marshall, he was playing center field.

the dodgers moved him back to second base and he even made the all-star team there in 1991.  after that season, the dodgers re-signed him to a big free agent deal but wound up releasing him halfway into the 1992 campaign.

samuel has recently been a coach with the orioles (and was their interim manager for a while before buck showalter was hired late last season), and that's where i sent him some cards to sign through the mail.  he came through a couple of times.  here's his 1990 topps traded card
and a 1991 donruss
here's samuel's 1991 topps card (his o-pee-chee card looks the same)
i'm glad there are no yankees on it.

his 1991 upper deck card may well be my favorite card of samuel's from his tenure as a dodger
it shows samuel breaking for second in dodger stadium.  samuel did steal 38 bases in 1990, but was caught 20 times.
i also like his 1992 pinnacle card
which again features a dodger stadium photo along with a double play turn

his 1992 card is pretty generic when compared to the pinnacle
i assume samuel wore number 10 instead of 8 (which he wore for most of his time in philadelphia) because joey amalfitano was wearing 8 for the dodgers and didn't feel like giving it up.  whatever the reason, samuel took over the penguin's number from dave anderson who left for san francisco.  when anderson returned to the dodgers in 1992, either he didn't ask for 10 back, or samuel refused to give it up so he wore 12.  it must not have meant too much to andy, since he kept number 12 even after samuel was released.

finally, i sent a 1988 topps all star card
because i couldn't find a 1984 fleer and i wanted something from his days as a phillie when he was one of the most exciting players in the league. just like back then, samuel didn't disappoint.

thanks juan!

1 comment:

Play at the Plate said...

Nice play at the plate. Nice collection of Samuel autos too!