23 December 2014

manupatches, man. manupatches.

when i started posting about memorials (armbands and patches) worn by teams to honor players and other people, i also considered starting a series on patches worn by the dodgers.  the first special patch i recall seeing on the dodger jerseys was the jim gilliam memorial patch, but i also remember noticing the 1980 all-star game patch the dodgers wore, as well as the 1981 city of los angeles bicentennial patch.  anyway, if i were to do a sort of dodger patch series, this one might be my favorite. 
that's the patch (a replica of it, actually) that the dodgers wore in 2012 for the 50th anniversary of dodger stadium.  it's featured on a 2013 topps manufactured patch card of adrian gonzalez, who wore the patch for about a month after he was acquired by the dodgers.

before i get started on the idea of manufactured patches, here's a manupatch card from 2010 topps that doesn't feature a dodger, but rather a memorial patch worn by the marlins in their inaugural season

in honor of their team president carl barger.  i don't know of any other memorial patches reproduced as manupatches by the card companies, but i'd be interested to find out if any others exist.

the idea of manufactured or commemorative patches first came to my attention in the early 2000's with upper deck. i was on the lookout for patch cards featuring dodger blue or red, and began to see cards that were touted as patch cards, but not of the game used variety.  although these were not the first i encountered, here are a couple of good examples from 2004 upper deck sweet spot classic - leo durocher
and jackie robinson
the logo on the jackie patch is obviously the dodgers' brooklyn logo, but the durocher patch features a design created by upper deck.  the 1936 all-star game was played in boston at the braves' home stadium, and durocher was the starting shortstop for the national league.  of course, he was on the cardinals at the time.  anyway, at least the 'b' in the logo matches the braves' boston 'b', and not the dodgers' brooklyn 'b'.

i briefly considered collecting the 2012 topps commemorative patch set that focused on retired numbers, but settled for the three dodgers in the set - jackie robinson (42), sandy koufax (32), and tommy lasorda (2)
that set was, to me, an improvement on the 2011 topps commemorative patch effort that included putting modern players, such as matt kemp, on cards with old logos
i don't believe the dodgers ever wore a 'brooklyn' sleeve patch

before all that, however, there were these sorts of patches that were part of upper deck's 2003 sweet spot classic release, in addition to the game used variety.  steve garvey was featured as both a dodger
and a padre
on the logo manupatches, with the san diego version being hand numbered.  these were made to look like they were taken from the team hats, but they were not.  the garvey dodger card, by the way, features the 1981 la bicentennial patch i mentioned earlier.

in addition to the hat logos, garvey had two more manupatches in the set - this 1977 themed patch
and this 1981 patch
neither one is close to the official mlb world series logo from either year, although anything would be an improvement on the 1977 logo.

the 1981 world series patch upper deck created was first seen in the 2002 upper deck world series heroes set as part of the patch collection inserts - some of which were signed, like this one featuring the autograph of steven patrick garvey, who happened to turn 66 years old yesterday.  
here, you can see that the 2003 garvey manupatch card above actually has a condensed version of the patch.  the back of this card confirmed that the patch was 'specially created for the upper deck company'
i know manupatches are loathed by some, but obviously, i've got a few in my collection, and i am ok with that.  maybe someday topps will make a series featuring the dodger hero patches from 1999. i'd be all-in for that.


defgav said...

Merry Christmas, GCRL!

defgav said...

Merry Christmas, GCRL!