16 November 2012

adding some heart and soul to my collection

paul loduca ranks pretty high on my list of least favorite dodgers.  part of it stems from the reaction that jim tracy had after loduca was traded to the marlins in 2004 for brad penny and hee seop choi.  tracy broke down, saying that loduca was the heart and soul of the team, and even wound up switching his uniform number to 16 to honor the departed catcher.  i think tracy wound up taking his frustration out on poor hee seop.  anyway, i don't dislike loduca enough to keep him out of my collection, and this 2003 playoff piece of the game auto/relic card will attest to that.
it was one of many cards in a dodger lot i recently purchased on the cheap.  the lot also included this 2004 playoff absolute memorabilia auto of jason frasor
frasor was acquired by the dodgers from the tigers in 2002 but never appeared in a big league game wearing dodger blue. he was dealt to the blue jays for jayson werth prior to the 2004 season.  jim tracy didn't mind that trade as much, since he was stockpiling ja(y)sons (werth, phillips, repko, and grabowski) and the net ja(y)son loss in that deal was zero.

there were a couple of eric gagne relics in the lot - this one from 2004 bowman sterling
and this one from 2006 upper deck
darren dreifort was the highest draft pick the dodgers have ever had.  he was taken second overall in the 1993 june draft right after alex rodriguez.  this is a 1993 classic four sport autographed card
i wonder if dreifort would have had more success and fewer injuries had the dodgers kept him in the bullpen, although you don't use the number 2 pick on a reliever.

the previous year, one of the dodgers' first round picks had been ryan luzinski, seen here on something i believe to be a 1995 signature rookies autographed card
luzinski was a sandwich pick as the dodgers' compensation pick for the loss of eddie murray who signed a free agent deal with the mets (luzinski was selected a few spots ahead of johnny damon, for what it's worth).  it's worth noting that the dodgers' regular first round pick was lost to the blue jays thanks to the tom candiotti signing.  the jays took shannon stewart with that pick.

fast forward ten years, and the dodgers selected greg miller with their 2002 sandwich pick as compensation for the loss of chan ho park (james loney was the team's regular first round pick that year).  like luzinski, miller never made it to the bigs, but he did get a relic card in upper deck's 2002 prospect premieres issue
miller was looking like the real deal in 2003, but he ran in to shoulder problems and missed all of 2004. he returned to the dodgers' minor league system in 2005, but was never able to regain his control or finesse.

finally, here's a 2006 bowman heritage bat card of rafael furcal
furcal replaced cesar izturis as the dodgers' shortstop just as grady little was replacing jim tracy as manager.  and, as far as i can remember, little didn't freak out when izturis was traded to the cubs for greg maddux.  he must not have been the team's heart and soul.

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