27 January 2014

requiem for a teammate - a black armband for danny frisella

danny frisella was only 30 years old when he died in january of 1977 from injuries sustained in a dune buggy crash.  he had split the 1976 season between the cardinals and brewers, and had established himself as the brew crew's closer with 9 saves and a 2.74 era in 32 appearances.

the team subsequently wore black armbands during the 1977 season as a memorial for their teammate.  cecil cooper's 1978 o-pee-chee card is a good example. 
cooper's 1978 card(s - topps and o-pee-chee) will always make me think of my swimming lessons in the summer of 1978.  it's a great card, but i like it all the more because the first one i ever saw was lying near the pool at which i had those swimming lessons.  this was pre-ymca or swim school, so the lessons i had were at a motel pool across the street from the 7-11 where my friends and i would buy our 15 cent packs.  the card was creased and had some water damage (not as much as you might think), but i took it home.  eventually, it was replaced in my set and collection by a pack fresh version.  still, it was the first card i ever found just lying around somewhere.

even though i really like cooper's card, the one that makes the memorial binder is charlie moore's 1978 topps card
it's number 51 in the set, which means that it immediately follows rick reuschel's card with the black armband for philip k wrigley (the subject of today's earlier post).  that's a strong back-to-back memorial one-two punch.

requiem for an owner - a black armband for philip k wrigley

philip k. wrigley, the son of the founder of the wrigley gum enterprise, inherited both the family business and the chicago cubs when his father died in 1932.  for 45 years, wrigley served as owner of the team, overseeing their most recent world series appearance in 1945 and their annual misfortunes otherwise.

after wrigley died in april of 1977, the team wore black armbands on their left sleeves as a memorial.  here's rick reuschel's card, number 50 in the 1978 topps set.
a few years later, the cubs were sold to the tribune company, but the stadium still bears the name of the wrigley family, obviously.  i've been to wrigley field in chicago twice, but the first wrigley field i visited was on catalina island off the coast of southern california.  the cubs used to hold spring training there in the 1920's.  there was a third wrigley field in la that hosted the angels as both a pcl team and an expansion team before they moved to dodger stadium in 1962.

anyway, this memorial is one of three in the 1978 set, and the first that i noticed as a young card collector.  i didn't know for whom the armband was being worn, though, because there was a lack of readily available information.  my, how times have changed.

26 January 2014

the return of sunday morning target dodgers

i don't know how many of the 1000 or so cards from the 1990 target dodger sga set i will get around to posting, but i recently scanned a few more sheets, so here goes.  this set was given away at dodger stadium in five separate 'series'.  the cards number 15 to a page and are a bitch to store due to their unusual size unless you separate the cards.  i haven't done that yet so my sheets are loose.  the set includes a card for every player and manager who appeared in a game for the dodger franchise through 1989.  that's 100 years of bridegroom/superba/robin/dodger goodness!  on with the post.

carlos diaz
diaz came to the dodgers prior to the 1984 season in the trade that sent sid fernandez to the mets.  as far as i know, it is the only trade to involve two hawaiians.  diaz attended junior college in my hometown, for what it's worth, so his dodger arrival was kind of a big deal.  he pitched for the dodgers through the 1986 season, compiling a 7-3 record with a save.

tex erwin
erwin played for brooklyn from 1910-1914, during which time they were the superbas, dodgers, and then robins.  he was a backup catcher for the team.

art fowler
fowler, shown in los angeles angel gear, was one of the players that the dodgers received from the reds in the don newcombe deal.  his dodger experience lasted just one season - 1959.  fowler appeared in 36 games (all in relief) and had a record of 3-4.  unfortunately, he didn't appear in the dodgers' world series win over the white sox, and he eventually had his contract purchased by the angels before he could return to the big leagues.

al glossop
glossop arrived in brooklyn with lloyd waner prior to the 1943 season.  he was picked up by the reds at the end of the season, so glossop's dodger tenure included just 87 appearances and a .171 batting average.

tommy griffith
griffith was an outfielder for the robins from 1919 after he was acquired from the reds, until early in the 1925 season when he was traded to the cubs.  that means that he was part of the robins team that lost the 1920 world series to the indians.

lenny harris
harris was an active dodger when this set was released.  he joined the team during the 1989 season as a result of the trade with the reds that also included kal daniels, mariano duncan, and tim leary.  harris stayed with the dodgers through the 1993 season before returning to the reds.  he finished his career as a pinch hitter, setting the major league record with 212 career pinch hits.

joe hatten
hatten was 59-39 for the dodgers over the course of 5-plus seasons, beginning in 1946.  his best season (record wise) came in 1947 when he was 17-8 and helped the dodgers reach the world series.  he helped them return to the fall classic in 1949, but both times they lost to the yankees.  hatten was traded to the cubs in 1951 in the andy pafko deal.

brian holton
holton, who was a first round pick of the dodgers in 1978 and made his debut in 1985, was a member of the dodgers' 1988 world championship team, but he was traded to the orioles in the eddie murray deal shortly after the postseason ended.  that 1988 season was his best - he had a 1.70 era in 45 appearances, plus a 1.50 era over 4 appearances in the postseason.

len koenecke
koenecke was the dodger who was killed in an airplane after being sent home by the team.

irish meusel
meusel obviously also played for the giants, but he finished his career in 1927 with a lone season as a brooklyn robin.  he hit .243 in 42 games that year.

joe moeller
moeller's big league career spanned from 1962 through 1971.  he did not appear in a major league game for anyone other than the dodgers, although he spent a short time after the 1967 season as a member of the houston astros.  yes, he was a dodger double dipper.  overall, moeller was 26-36 in 166 appearances for the dodgers.

johnny oates
oates was the backup catcher to steve yeager and joe ferguson from 1977 through 1979.  he was part of two pennant winning teams (the teams of my youth) but is probably best remembered as the manager of the orioles and rangers.

nick polly
polly was a third baseman who appeared in all of 10 games for the dodgers in 1937.  he hit .222 in 18 plate appearances.  the only other big league experience polly had came in 1945 when he played in 4 games for the boston red sox.

johnny roseboro
perhaps the star of this post, roseboro took over the dodger catching duties following roy campanella's auto accident.  roseboro remained the dodgers' catcher for a decade, helping the team get to four world series during that span.  he was traded to the twins after the 1967 season with ron perranoski for mudcat grant and zoilo versalles.

bill shindle
was a member of the brooklyn bridegrooms from 1894-1898.  he was acquired in the trade that sent wee willie keeler to the baltimore orioles.  in his five seasons in brooklyn, the third baseman hit .274 with 13 homers and 373 rbi.  brooklyn would later reacquire keeler, but that's a post for another day.

25 January 2014

the only card that would reach me was this card of the preacher man

it helps if you channel your inner dusty springfield when you read that title.

i was too late to claim the fantastic 1954 bowman don newcombe card that joe at the sandlot used as trade bait, but i was able to claim this 1953 topps preacher roe card.
i was able to obtain that slice of cardboard goodness for some ny metropolitans that joe needed.  he added a few other cards to the package, including this 1998 topps gallery eric young card
that does a better job of correlating the subject and the text (in this case, 'expressionists') than fleer did with their emotion releases.  not quite the same concept, i know, but still.  night owl sent me an emotions card (trade post coming soon) of raul mondesi that said 'pounding' on it.

this 2008 bowman chrome prospects jaime pedroza card was also part of the trade fodder
pedroza made it to aa for the dodgers in 2010 and 2011, and spent the last two seasons in the braves organization.  2014 will be his age 27 season, so the clock is ticking on this prospect.

here's a james mcdonald 2009 topps card
mcdonald was traded to the pirates at the trade deadline in 2011 for short-timer octavio dotel.  he is currently a free agent after a disappointing second half in 2012 and a shortened season in 2013.  he's only 28, and it would seem that he is worth a flyer.  i'm hoping he lands somewhere and returns to his early 2011 form.

here's a true 'prospects' card from 2001 topps opening day
back then, these were three of the hottest prospects around.  i was super excited about chin-feng chen, and i know cub fans were drooling over the corey patterson hype.  and then there was the number 1 pick josh hamilton.  unfortunately for the dodgers, chen was a bust.  patterson has managed to have a career in the big leagues, and of course josh hamilton pulled things together and has had the greatest success of this prospect triumvirate.

last but not least, joe included a 2013 topps chipz clayton kershaw chip.  it had the dodger logo sticker on it
kershaw was underneath
 here's the back, just to be complete about things.
i bought a pack or two of these things but got rid of the ones i pulled - either by trade or sale - since they weren't dodgers.  i'll hang on to kershaw.

thanks for the trade joe!

24 January 2014

better late than never with some 2013 dodger topps update cards

i am scheduling this post well in advance, so i don't know if 2014 topps is on the shelves yet.  i do know that i had some 2013 topps update cards scanned and unpublished on this site, and it's probably better to post them before the blogs get all filled up with 2014 stuff.

i am not really pursuing a full rainbow, but i did pick up a few parallels of nick punto's nice looking update card - black
target red
and walmart blue
and, oh by the way, here's the plain old base
easily my favorite base card from update.

jose dominguez appeared in a handful of games during the summer
he made his debut in june (he struck out the first batter he ever faced) and stuck with the team into july. the dodgers were 8-1 in games in which he appeared.

clayton kershaw was the lone dodger representative at the 2013 all-star game
he could be a centaur, and we wouldn't know it thanks to the odd layout of that card.

here's a better one - his 1971 topps style mini parallel
and, better yet, a chasing history insert
sandy koufax was on the postseason heroes checklist
i think that's from the 1963 world series - koufax coming off the mound after a game 4 complete game to finish the sweep of the yankees.

here's another dodger postseason hero, but on a chasing history insert
johnny podres shut out the yankees in game 7 of the 1955 fall classic

jackie robinson's chasing history card
doesn't deal with the 1955 team.  instead, it marks his franchise record set in 1949 for most hits by a second baseman in a season.  and can i just say that i dislike insert sets that span multiple releases?

scott van slyke gets a non-bowman card
i am guessing his 2014 card (if there is one) will feature him standing for the national anthem in the nlcs.

topps didn't include managerial cards in the 2013 set, but dodger skipper don mattingly did get a card in the 1971 style mini insert set
i am disappointed that the manager cards seem to have migrated to heritage the last few years.  yes, that is in line with the topps sets from yesteryear (will there be a cubs' head coach variation in this year's heritage?) but i wouldn't mind having a flagship mattingly dodger card.

speaking of flagship, here's one more card from either series 1 or 2, i don't recall - a hanley ramirez chasing history foil insert
and with that, i'm almost ready for 2014 product.  almost.

23 January 2014

my pared down 1954 topps sampler

earlier today i (hopefully) posted my 1954 topps sampler.  since scanning and writing that post, i have extricated the non-dodgers and reassembled the remaining cards.  so, my 1954 topps sampler is now a 1954 topps dodger partial team set.  here's how it looks:
as with my 1953 topps sampler to team set, i have added a card in between.  this time, it's duke snider's card
i picked this one up at the last card show i went to.  my vintage bargain bin guy was there and gave me a good deal on duke.

i think all of these players have been featured on the blog before, except charlie thompson.
thompson was better known as tim thompson, and his big league career as a dodger began and ended with a 10 game stint in 1954.  he was later traded to the kansas city a's and also spent some time with the tigers.  welcome to the blog charlie.  i mean tim.

i only need three dodgers to complete the 1953 topps team set, but one of them is jackie robinson.  if anyone has an extra jackie, or a ben wade or jim hughes card to spare, please let me know!

my 1954 topps sampler set

for the 1952 and 1953 sampler sets, there really weren't any variations to worry about.  16 teams to represent, and that was it.  in 1954, topps introduced a variety of backgrounds that were not team specific.  there were red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and white backgrounds, plus a combo card of sorts.  here's how i completed my 1954 topps sampler
a lot of nice cards there, including the o'brien brother 'combo' card, but the tommy lasorda rookie is probably my favorite.  i also discovered during my pursuit of these samplers that yankee cards from the 1950's are tough to find on the cheap.  that's why the lone yankee here is also in the roughest shape.

here's a scan of the backs of the first 8 cards above.
topps was not consistent with the orientation of the backs.  many people find that frustrating.  i certainly understand, but i was more frustrated when donruss and fleer came on the scene in 1981 and didn't match topps' orientation.