15 August 2014

russell martin shines

man, this 2008 bowman sterling russell martin bat relic card shines like nobody's business.
you remember russell martin, right?  he was the dodgers' catcher from 2006 through 2010, and had a couple of really good seasons for them even though his batting average dropped each season following his .293 clip in 2007.  that categorical decline continued even after he joined the yankees via free agency prior to 2011, and it wasn't until last season, his first with the pirates, that his average saw an uptick.

this year, martin is hitting .288 (through yesterday) with a career-best .409 obp.  good for him, i say.  he also is sitting on exactly 1000 career hits - tied with (as vin scully might say) old friend jamey carroll.

it has been well documented that martin has many fantastic baseball cards to his name, but not all of his appearances on cardboard are credited.  he at least shares the credit on a couple of cards from 2007 topps update & highlights - this card with his future teammate alex rodriguez
and this one with cole hamels
hamels is sporting the john vukovich memorial patch, while arod is wearing a black armband in memory of cory lidle.  martin, meanwhile, is just wearing the tools of ignorance.  as it turns out, being a catcher is a good way to show up on other people's cards.  just ask jerry grote.

that's martin crouching on kevin youkilis' 2008 topps update card
and there he is again on this justin morneau card from 2008 upper deck documentary
that's two canadians on one card!  both of those cards above were made possible by martin's presence at the all-star game in new york that year (morneau did some lurking of his own at that game as he wound up on brian mccann's 2008 topps update & highlights card)
sometimes a regular season game is enough to earn your way onto another player's card, as is the case with this 2009 topps andy laroche card featuring martin
and sometimes it is a horrific event in a postseason game that gets you some bonus cardboard time.  martin was there behind the plate when matt stairs of the phillies hit a go-ahead two-run home run in game 4 of the 2008 nlcs.  the scene was captured on this 2009 topps card
two canadians, again.  that card brings to mind the 1994 upper deck all-time heroes card of reggie jackson's third home run in game 6 of the 1977 world series (also shown on an upper deck masterpieces card) that features dodger catcher steve yeager (and charlie hough), as well as the 1994 topps card that recalled hank aaron's 715th career home run that features dodger catcher joe ferguson behind the plate.  and, somewhere, i have a card showing mickey owen giving chase to his dropped third strike in the 1941 series.  and they aren't the only dodger backstops to suffer this losing while lurking fate - take a look at this 2005 topps card that presents highlights from the 2004 nlds between the dodgers and cardinals.
there on the bottom half behind albert pujols (who has just hit a series-clinching home run) is dodger catcher brent mayne.  mayne, as far as i know, appears on only one other card as a dodger, so this is half of my brent mayne dodger collection.  i have quite a few more cards of russell martin as a dodger than that, thankfully, and if aj ellis doesn't get some offense going, maybe ned will see to it that i get some more martin as a dodger cards in 2015.

1 comment:

JediJeff said...

Your scanner turned Dodger blue to Kelly green.