30 April 2011

a bfd from the real dfg

a while back, i received a healthy 'box full of dodgers' (bfd) from the real dfg.  the dude knocked out one of my 'nefarious 9' - the 1986 donruss rookies reggie williams card - and added a boatload of other dodger goodies in return for a mess of pittsburgh pirates and maybe a few steelers and penguins.

one of the favorite items i received was the 1966 topps ruboff i featured in this post, but there were plenty of other cards to enjoy.

like this 1979 topps bobby welch card

here's another rookie card that i was happy to own in 1984, it's sid fernandez on his 1984 donruss rated rookie
we all thought el sid was the second coming of fernando, even though he was from hawaii, not mexico.  i would say that this card was on par with the ron darling rookie in the set in terms of my coveting and hoarding. it would have been equal to the the mattingly and strawberry rookies except for the fact that fernandez was a met by the time i acquired any 1984 donruss.  yes, i was disappointed when campanis traded him to the mets for bob bailor and fellow hawaiian carlos diaz.  still, he was a dodger and the card features the left field bullpen at chavez ravine, so it's still a nice piece of cardboard.

there was something strange afoot at the circle k in 1985, as they entered the trading card fray, and the dfg included a couple of specimens for me - gil hodges
and his brooklyn dodger counterpart, duke snider.
not exactly bill and ted, although they did have an excellent adventure together as long time dodger teammates.

here's a card that doesn't scan too well.  it's a 1995 topps embosesed tim wallach.
not as bad is this 1996 fleer metal universe mike blowers
blowers is still shown in his seattle mariners' uniform, but the team affiliation on the card is the dodgers.  perhaps he could have used some uniform stickers from the 1988 panini set that were also included in the box.
it's strange and cool at the same time that the sanitary socks were included.

here's a 1981 fleer terry forster
which i chose to show because i am left to wonder if that thing he's picking his teeth with is the same thing sticking out of his mouth on his 1983 fleer card.

forster wore number 51 for the dodgers, as did terry wells as we can see on his 1991 score card.
wells, acquired from the astros for franklin stubbs, started 5 games for the dodgers in july of 1990, and they were the only games he ever pitched in during his major league career.  meaning, when this card came out, wells was not a 'rookie prospect' but a 'former major leaguer'.  on a completely unrelated note, terry looks like the principal from east dillon high.

here's another lefty 'rookie prospect' from 1991 score, jim poole.
poole appeared in 16 games for the dodgers in 1990 and was traded to the rangers in december of that same year.  so, like sid fernandez 7 years before him, poole was no longer a dodger when his rookie card came out.  still, he was at one point, and that's good enough for me.

thanks dfg!  too bad your penguins got bounced, but at least it seems that there might be some hope with the pirates.

29 April 2011

more team collector pandering as topps serves up more variations - a side by side comparison of the 2007 dodgers

after a couple of decent variations and especially a nomar! in the 2006 topps dodger blister team set, i quickly sought out and purchased a 2007 set.  it was not quite the same.  you'll see what i mean.  once again, the regular topps cards are on the left, and the topps dodgers team set cards are on the right.

first up, lad1 for 2007 - rafael furcal
no difference.  at least it's not photoshopped like his 2006 card.  i have to admit, i was hoping for nomar to be on top of the pack back in 2007.  turns out, of course, that he was nowhere to be found.

jonathan broxton
again, no difference.  broxton had been given one of those factory set 'bonus cards' in 2006 which was nice. chad billingsley had one of those in 2003, and then in 2007, topps issued a dodgers version of the complete factory set which had 5 additional dodger cards in it.  i previously showcased those cards here, so no need to discuss again.

derek lowe
it's the same.

brad penny

takashi saito
double ditto.

andre ethier
six cards in and only the number on the back is different.  then we get to lad7.

juan pierre

look!  the filmstrip square things changed color on the bottom!  forget about how topps photoshopped a jersey onto pierre that hadn't been worn in games since the davey johnson era, they changed the color of some little tiny squares!  in fact, all of the dodger team set cards are blue squares on top, white squares on the bottom.

jeff kent is next.
and his card is unchanged.

randy wolf
gets all of his squares changed!  red and blue switched to blue and white! huzzah!

chad billingsley is the 10th card in the set

jason schmidt
now we're talking!  not only do the bottom squares get the color sapped right out, schmidt's topps card was issued in series 2, so they had some time to get him to pose in a real dodger jersey and without his arm in a cast.  the photoshopped version in the team set is similar to the 2006 brett tomko as it features a giant at pac bell/at&t/the phone booth transformed into a dodger.  it's certainly the most drastic variation of the bunch.

russell martin
no rookie cup for russell!  the dreaded award variation!  ethier got to keep his in the team set, but tough nuts for martin.  otherwise, it's the same.

wilson betemit
this is back to boring.

finally, the last card in the set, lad14 is luis gonzalez
and the out of place guy gets a tighter cropping in the team set!  i actually like this card because there is no baseball field anywhere in sight.  gonzo could be walking through a city park or just strolling down the street.

so, in 2007, we had 3 color square variations, 1 photoshop variation, 1 cropping variation, and 1 disappearing rookie cup variation.  will 2008 be any more diverse?  stay tuned...

28 April 2011

the 1978 topps gerry hannahs card that should have been

gerry hannahs pitched in exactly one game for the dodgers in 1978.  still, that's enough to warrant a card that should have been in my 1978 topps burger king dodgers/update set, so here it is - it was a black and white of hannahs in an expos hat, so it turned out to be a sort of homage to the mike paxton/greg minton cards, although it's more like the jose cardenal card when you consider the hair and the coloring of the cap.
as you can see on the back, hannahs was indeed an expo for two seasons before he joined the dodgers.
he was acquired in a trade in may of 1978 in exchange for mike garman.  his lone game with the dodgers in 1978 came on september 22 against the padres.  we recall that game because it saw the major league debuts of pedro guerrero, dave stewart, and brad gulden.  in fact, hannahs replaced guerrero in the lineup, was later relieved by stewart, and was the first pitcher gulden ever caught in the majors. by that game, the dodgers were pretty well set - they had 92 wins and were half a dozen games up on second place cincinnati with 9 to play.  in the game, however, the padres blew the dodgers, and starter doug rau was relieved by lance rautzhan (which was alphabetically appropriate), who was followed by rick sutcliffe, for whom pedro guerrero pinch hit and who was replaced by hannahs.

hannahs struck out the first batter he faced (broderick perkins) and chalked up another k in the inning, but gave up a couple of runs before getting three outs.  in his second and final inning, hannahs struck out the side, including dave winfield.  5 strikeouts in two innings of work, and his big league season was done. 

hannahs returned to the dodgers the following september, and appeared in 4 games.  his first game of the season is one i remember well - september 7, 1979 in cincinnati.  the dodgers were out of the race as they were a dozen games back with 20 to play and they were facing the reds who were neck-and-neck with the astros.  the game was tied heading into the 9th when gary thomasson hit a sacrifice fly to score steve garvey.  hannahs was called upon to get the save.  he did better than that.  he struck joe morgan out.  he struck davey concepcion out.  then, with johnny bench on deck, he struck george foster out.  game, set, match.  hannahs was the guest on the postgame show that day, and i recall his interview with jerry doggett (or maybe it was ross porter) and the big deal that was made about his return to the big leagues and striking out if not the heart, then at least some major organs of the big red machine.  he pitched in 3 more games, two of them starts, and his big league career came to an end.

during his time with the big club, however, hannahs was assigned to an autograph station at dodger stadium prior to a game at which i happened to be in attendance.  i kept that autograph for a long time and can't believe that i couldn't find it to show off in this post.  dagnabit.

anyway, i also created a card using his 1979 tcma minor league issue since there are no cards (and i couldn't find any color photos) of hannahs in a big league uni
 it turned out ok, although it might be a little purple-ish.
i was pleased with the jacket, though.

here's to you, gerry hannahs, your day in the sun against the reds that i haven't forgotten, and your cards that should have been!

27 April 2011

jackie calling

i couldn't resist while strolling through target the other day.  one of those '2011 topps baseball value box' thingys was calling my name.  well, it was actually the jackie robinson diamond giveaway card that caught my eye.
i did what any self respecting dodger fan would do, and bought the box.  the second diamond giveaway card featured roy halladay
 between the two, i unlocked some fairly worthless stuff.  a 2006 topps billy wagner and this 1992 topps paul molitor.
bring the trades!

the heritage packs didn't yield a whole lot.  no high numbers and just one chrome card (josh thole).  i did get a manny ramirez rays card which makes me laugh and feel kinda sad at the same time.  the lone dodger was james loney
who also makes me kinda sad these days.  i sure hope he gets on track soon before donnie baseball does something drastic.

it's a strange thing for me to open a pack and see a steve garvey card in front of me, but that's what happened with the regular topps packs.
i was disappointed to see that the 1985 card featured in the topps booklet was dwight gooden's, not the garv's.

i also was intrigued by this trevor hoffman card
since it should be his final tribute card.  alas, it is a checklist, so no career stats on the back.  kind of like brooks robinson's 1978 topps card which was a record breaker instead of a regular card.  that irritated me (and still irritates me) to no end.

even if topps can't get final tributes right, at least they are doing something about cards that should have been.  here's one of the 'lost years' cards, a 1953 topps stan musial. 
i really hope topps expands this insert set, or even issues a separate set as i asked for in a blog bat around a long time ago.

while i was also limited to a lone dodger in the regular topps packs (clayton kershaw), i managed to pull three torii hunter cards.  yes, tor-ii hunter (clap clap clap-clap-clap).  here's the first one
 then, here's torii again, this time front and center on the 'team' card
 and the torii trifecta is this cristian guzman double play card, featuring two former twinkies
i will finish with the bonus 'exclusive chrome refractor card' that topps promised   i knew i had a 33% chance of landing the jackie, but figured i would wind up with the ty cobb since that's been my luck in the past.  nope.  good ol' jackie robinson came through for me this time. 
now if only he could do something about the cards i unlock...

26 April 2011

the 1978 topps dodgers in 1971 - the veterans

i posted the newcomers earlier today.  these are the grizzled vets that are slowly working their way to becoming part of the 1978 topps dodgers.

vic davalillo
was featured as a cardinal on his 1971 card, but he spent the entire season with the pirates. he served as a 4th outfielder, backing up roberto clemente, al oliver, and willie stargell.  davlillo wound up appearing in 99 games for the national league east champs, hitting .285 on the year and .333 (9 for 27) as a pinch hitter with 4 doubles and 8 rbi in that role.  in the postseason, davalillo had just 2 hitless at bats in the nlcs against the giants, but was 1 for 3 with a run scored in the world series against the orioles, earning his first world series championship. 

jerry grote
grote led the league in putouts by a catcher for the second season in a row.  he caught 125 games and hit .270 for the mets in 1971 and had just 2 home runs.  one of those home runs, however, was a walk-off job hit in the bottom of the 11th inning of a scoreless game against the reds.  we know that grote didn't catch any no-hitters in 1971 because the mets haven't thrown one yet.  grote did catch gary gentry's one-hitter on april 17 (a 6th-inning triple by roberto clemente being the only hit) but not tom seaver's seemingly annual one-hitter on september 26, 1971, which was broken up by a 7th-inning single courtesy of none other than vic davalillo.

tommy john
john suffered through his third consecutive losing season in 1971, as he was 13-16 in 38 games (35 starts).  he had, for the second year in a row, 10 complete games and 3 shutouts.  he had two 5-hitters and two 6-hitters and had as many as 9 strikeouts in a game.  against his future teammates, john wasn't overly dominant as rick monday was 1 for 5 with a home run but struck out 3 times, and reggie smith was 3 for 5 with one strikeout.

rick monday
monday spent his final year in the american league once again patrolling centerfield for the a's.  in 116 games, monday hit 18 home runs and drove in 56 runs, although his average was a middling .245.  in addition to the home run he hit at the expense of tommy john, monday hit the 50th long ball of his career, and later hit two in one game against the indians.

manny mota
after being the dodgers' primary left fielder in 1970, mota gave way to willie crawford in 1971 (as we learned in the recent evolution of the dodgers' left fielder post).  still, mota appeared in 91 games and hit .312.  he was 6 for 16 as a pinch hitter with 10 rbi.

bill russell

listed as an outfielder on his 1971 topps card, russell would actually spend about half of his 1971 season in the infield, but at second rather than short.  he hit .227 in 91 games with a couple of home runs hit 11 days apart.  the first of his two home runs was a lead off shot, and both dingers came off of the phillies' ken reynolds.

reggie smith
the 'other' reggie had a monster year for the red sox in 1971.  he played in 159 games and hit 30 home runs for the first time in his career while slugging career home run number 100.  his average fell a bit, from over .300 to .283, but he led the league with 33 doubles and 302 total bases.  for his efforts, smith finished 17th in the league mvp voting. 

don sutton

sutton won 17 games for the second time in his career, but still lost 12 despite a sparkling 2.54 era and 1.07 whip.  he had 12 complete games, 4 shutouts, and even 1 save on the year.  he reached double-digits in strikeouts 5 times, and threw a one-hitter against the astros in june, with a 6th inning double by future teammate jimmy wynn being the lone astros hit.  speaking of future teammates, sutton had mixed results when he faced members of the 1978 topps dodgers in 1971.  dusty baker was 0 for 1, but vic davalillo was 2 for 3 with a double while jerry grote was 1 for 7 with a double, rbi and two strikeouts.

so, those were the 1978 topps dodgers, well, the veterans anyway, in 1971.

here's the tally so far:

12/27 players featured by topps in 1971

total appearances:

baker 1 (1971)
davalillo 9 (1963-1971)
garman 1 (1971)
garvey 1 (1971)
grote 8 (1964-1971)
john 8 (1964-1971)
lasorda 1 (1954)
martinez 1 (1971)
monday 5 (1967-1971)
mota 9 (1963-1971)
russell  2 (1970-1971)
smith 5 (1967-1971)
sutton 6 (1966-1971)

teams represented so far:

13 (dodgers, indians, colt .45's, pirates, white sox, astros, mets, a's, red sox, angels, expos, cardinals, braves)

the 1978 topps dodgers in 1971 - the newcomers

because of blogger's 20-label limit on posts, and my obsessive need to label the heck out of my posts, the evolution of the 1978 topps dodgers posts will now be presented in two parts.

the future roster that would become the 1978 topps dodgers is coming into shape with a few new faces adorning cards in 1971.  first up is johnnie b. 'dusty' baker, who happens to share his rookie card with dodger tom paciorek and the orioles' don baylor.
baker and paciorek would be traded for each other in 1975 in the deal that brought dusty to la.  baker debuted in 1968 at the age of 19 as a pinch-hitter for phil niekro in a september game against the astros.  on the year, he went 2 for 5 (his first hit coming in his third career at bat - a single off of mike cuellar) and was sent to the minors for more 'seasoning'.  in 1969, he earned a midseason call up, but was hitless in 7 at bats.  1970 was a bit better - he was a late season callup and hit .292 in 13 games and drove in the first 4 runs of his career.  by the time 1971 rolled around, baker broke camp with the big club and eventually made his first big league start and got his first extra base hit.  baker was sent back down in may with a .167 average, but returned to the braves for september and went 9 for 32 to finish out the season.

the second future dodger to appear within the black borders, also on a multi-player rookie card, is mike garman
like baker, garman debuted at the age of 19.  he pitched in (and started) two september games for the red sox in 1969, winning the first one which just happened to come against the yankees at fenway.  in the first inning of his debut, garman gave up 3 walks and threw a wild pitch, but he also struck out roy white and allowed only one run.  he settled down and allowed just 2 more runs in 7 total innings of work.  he spent all of 1970 in the minors, but returned in 1971 for three more september starts.  the first was forgettable - a 3+ inning, 5 run performance against the indians - even though the red sox son the game.  his second resulted in his second big league win, and the third was a heartbreaker, as garman suffered the loss despite giving up just one run (a brooks robinson home run) and 4 hits in 7 innings of work.

steve garvey got a card of his very own in the 1971 set
garvey had made 3 pinch hitting appearances in 1969 (striking out in his first big league at bat), but didn't appear in the field until 1970, where he played in 34 games, mostly at 3rd base (he spent 1 inning at second base). he did hit his first big league home run that year, a solo shot against the expos' carl morton. in 1971 garvey hit .227 in 81 games with 7 home runs.  he was used exclusively at third base where he made 14 errors.  1972 would be worse.

finally, we have shortstop ted martinez, along with fellow metropolitans rich folkers and jon matlack
not as good a trio as the baker/paciorek/baylor card, but some serviceable big leaguers nonetheless.  martinez had debuted in 1970 (against the dodgers) and was 1 for 16 in his 4 game trial.  his lone hit, a single, came in his second big league start against the giants' skip pitlock.  in 1971, the mets brought martinez up in july and he played well, hitting .288 in 38 games while fielding four different positions (second, third, short and a one-time appearance in left).  martinez also hit the first home run of his career - a true leadoff home run against nelson briles and the pirates.
that's it for the newcomers in 1971.  i'll do the player tally on the veterans post - coming later today.