30 September 2008

blue heaven

now that yankee stadium is history, dodger stadium is the third oldest stadium in the majors, behind only fenway park and wrigley field. i grew up in socal, and went to my first game in 1974. after that, we would go to a few games each year, always arriving in time for batting practice. i will never forget watching willie stargell, willie mccovey, and others taking bp. when i became a working stiff, i would sometimes have meetings up in glendale, and i would stop at the stadium on the way home in the off season. i would sit in the seats and stare at the field. of course, i also went to several games a year, but these times were different. the field and the stadium were the focus.

this card is from the 2008 topps dodgers premium 55 card set.

i have been on the field a couple of times - camera day as a kid, and for an elton john/eric clapton concert in the early 90's. that time, i walked over to the right side of the infield and scooped up some clay from behind first. sure, it was eric karros' territory and not garvey's, but it was in the ballpark, so to speak. since i moved to the midwest 11 years ago, i have only been back two or three times, but i have taken time each trip to just appreciate dodger stadium. believe me, when your adopted home town team plays in a dome with a hefty bag for an outfield fence, you appreciate a jewel like dodger stadium.
i mentioned before that i collect cards that feature photos taken in dodger stadium. usually it's the bright yellow field level seats that give it away, or sometimes a dodger in his home whites sneaks into the picture of the opposing player featured on the card.

another giveaway is the outfield wall when they featured murals of past teams and players. for example, there's marvin benard of the giants on his 2002 upper deck card playing the outfield as walter alston smiles behind him with the knowledge that the angels are going to beat the giants in the world series and that marvin will be named in the mitchell report.
i don't know if it will be as easy to find these types of cards now that the seats at field level are not quite as bright, but i do know that i won't stop looking.

28 September 2008

Perfection on cardboard

1978 topps steve garvey. in this case, it's an o-pee-chee. i think this card is perfect. not in a gem mint 10 kind of way, but in what it represents to me. as i mentioned in the initial post, i collect steve garvey cards, and this one is my favorite.

the balance of this card amazes me. the red, white and blue of the dodger uniform and the all star shield. the white borders, the team name in script and the red inner border. the spring training greenery. just fantastic.

i started collecting in 1978 so this was the set that pulled me in. living in southern california, i was a dodger fan and steve garvey was the all american boy, so to speak. he could be counted on to play everyday, get 200 hits, a .300 average, scoop some of bill russell's throws in the dirt, and create some clubhouse controversy along the way.

i will admit that i traded a double of this card 30 years ago for a mickey rivers card that i needed for my set. that was the first time that i realized book value was meaningless...

27 September 2008

batter up!

i've been thinking about my baseball card collection a lot lately. i have been reading many of the card blogs, and have traded with a few, participated in a group break, and have thought about why i collect. i appreciate the work and thought that everyone puts into their posts and their collections. it has helped me understand what i like and what i enjoy about my collection.

so, it comes down to this. i have spent the last 30 years building a collection, and realize now that it is time to refine it.

too late to turn back, here i go - this is what i will hold on to:

steve garvey - i collect all garvey cards, all variations, all manufacturers. he was my baseball hero growing up, and that still counts for something.

dodgers - i collect dodger topps team sets from 1970 on. i also collect dodgers cards from other years, sets and manufacturers, i just don't necessarily complete the team sets. i have a special affinity for cards of short time dodgers, e.g. david wells, rickey henderson, jimmy wynn, dick allen, etc.

twins - i collect twins cards from all manufacturers from 2000 on. no real focus, although if pressed, i would say joe mauer is the key twins player i collect.

dodger stadium - i collect cards whose pictures are taken in dodger stadium. the bright yellow field level seats were usually a giveaway in cards from before 2005. now it's a bit tougher.

the turn at second base - i collect cards that show the double play turn at second. these cards usually show a hard slide or the shortstop or second baseman in the air.

1970 topps set - i am working on this set and still need some cards. check my want list at right.
topps sets 1978 to present - i started collecting in 1978 as a set builder. i still buy the topps factory set each year, or hand collate one myself. i am still working on the 2007 set, so check my want list at right.

i have a lot to trade! i am going through my cards now and sorting into team lots. i already have sizable lots for each team (except the twins) and would welcome any trades for items that i collect. even if you don't have much, let me know because i am willing to send a lot for a few.

i look forward to sharing my collection here, and hope to help others with their collections at the same time!