29 January 2010

jim campanis through the mail success!

former dodger catcher jim campanis was kind enough to sign and return my 1968 topps card in just under 2 weeks a few months ago.

he actually signed two of them, and i included one in the trade i made for the 1978 topps rick monday card for my modest 1978 topps dodgers autograph project.

anyway, jim is the son of former dodger gm al campanis.  in fact, the father traded the son to the kansas city royals after the 1968 season.  another cool jim campanis factoid is that all 4 of his big league home runs were solo shots.  i remember jim as the player who was really trying in the only old-timers game i ever attended, circa 1979 or so.

thanks jim!

28 January 2010

jim poole and another team collector dilemma

i was never a fan of the team usa subsets - either in 1985 topps or in the topps traded sets of 1988 or 1991 or 1992 and beyond - even though there were some good players included such as mark mcgwire, jason giambi and nomar!  to make matters worse, jim poole was included in the 1988 topps traded set.

i'm sure jim's a nice guy, but he wreaked havoc on my team collector psyche.  why?  look at the back:

he is a dodger farmhand.  actually, the dodgers drafted him in 1987, too, but he didn't sign.  jim would debut for the dodgers in 1990 before heading to the american league where he found some success with the mid 90's powerhouse indians team.  but, he was a dodger first.  so, does the 1988 topps traded jim poole card make the dodger binder?  what's a team collector to do?

27 January 2010

the joy of a completed page, 1977 style

just in case anyone has any doubles laying around, i figured i would hype my 1977 topps want list.

help a blogger out, won't you?

26 January 2010

mark cresse through the mail success!

mark cresse signed and returned these 1978 topps cards to me in about two months!

if you recall, that's cresse in the top row, far right.  sadly, he did not answer my question regarding the identity of the two men in streetclothes standing in front of him.  oh well, at least i have another card to add to my modest 1978 topps dodger autograph project, even though i don't count it in the percent complete.

cresse was the dodgers' bullpen coach from 1974 to 1998.  he currently runs the 'mark cresse school of baseball' in southern california which is where i sent the cards.

here's the tally:

team card (red adams) - through the mail success!
team card (mark cresse) - through the mail success!
dusty baker - through the mail success!
glenn burke
ron cey - through the mail success!
vic davalillo - ebay success!
terry forster
mike garman - through the mail success!
steve garvey - through the mail success!
ed goodson
jerry grote - through the mail success!
burt hooton
charlie hough - through the mail success!
tommy john - in person/through the mail success!
lee lacy - through the mail success!
tom lasorda
dave lopes - through the mail success!
ted martinez - ebay success!
rick monday - in person/through the mail success!
manny mota - through the mail success!
johnny oates - ebay success!
doug rau - through the mail success!
lance rautzhan - through the mail success!
rick rhoden
bill russell - through the mail success!
reggie smith - through the mail success!
elias sosa - through the mail success!
don sutton
steve yeager
nlcs (davey lopes) - through the mail success!

21/29 = 74%

thanks mark!

25 January 2010

1976 topps jim wynn - the card that should have been

maybe topps felt badly for jim wynn.  he was featured in the 1974 traded set, so maybe they didn't want him to have to go through that again in 1976.  what am i talking about? i am referring to the fact that the toy cannon was featured as a brave on his 1976 topps card.

this is despite the fact that he earned that all star star as a member of the dodgers.  also, dusty baker was left as a brave and given a traded card even though he was the main player the dodgers got in return for wynn. 

there are too few cards of wynn as a dodger, so i created the 1976 topps jim wynn card that should have been:
much better.

22 January 2010

file this one under bad ideas...

in what must have been one of the least popular decisions made at chavez ravine in the last decade (at least in tommy lasorda's office), the dodgers hired jack clark to be their hitting coach for the 2001 season.  he lasted until august of 2003, when he was replaced by george hendrick who in turn was replaced by tim wallach for the 2004 season.  the hilarity is captured on this 2002 keebler dodgers card, issued at dodger stadium.

clark even gets top billing!  now, what really chaps my hide - perhaps even more than the whole 1985 nlcs thing (first base was open, for crying out loud) - is this.  once a giant, always a giant.

i am sure that the dodgers' current hitting coach, don mattingly, is still a yankee at heart, but at least donnie baseball isn't ashamed of the dodger uniform.

what sort of tribute is this?

let's get something straight topps (and upper deck and panini and anyone else who is planning to manufacture baseball cards):  steve garvey is first and foremost a dodger.

topps got it right with their 2009 garvey ring of honor insert, but completely blew it by releasing this card in their 2009 topps tribute set:

enough with the padres cards.  i doubt that the set includes harmon killebrew as a royal. or ron santo as a white sock.  just put garvey in his dodger whites with the bright red number on the front and call it a day.


[of course, i still bought the card - it's steve garvey!]

21 January 2010

i have been bipped, in a manner of speaking

i would have guessed it would have been beardy to do the trick, but instead, it was rod from padrographs.  fitting, i suppose, since bip roberts spent the bulk of his career with the pads.  fortunately for me, my bipping wasn't, by rule, a true bipping - i got at the most only 2 of any card - but there were about a dozen bip cards altogether.  here's a sampling:

double play bip - on 1992 score (featuring alfredo griffin as 'the sliding into second lurker')

and on 1992 donruss

and on 1994 upper deck (in his second stint with the friars)

under the watchful eye of the umpire bip - on 1991 fleer

and 1990 upper deck

 bip at the plate - on his 1990 score card

and bip on the basepaths - on his 1995 upper deck card

i am going to accuse upper deck of using an old photo of bip on this card because i believe he gave up number 10/couldn't get it back after rejoining the club in 1994 to/from gary sheffield.

bip even showed up on one of the other cards rod sent - a 1994 upper deck felix fermin double play turn

that's bip sliding in with his number 3 jersey.

i will point out that rod included a few other cards that i collect (plays at the plate) as well as a steve garvey card - as a dodger, no less!

thanks rod!

redemption song!

whereas my last encounter with a topps redemption was great (think the johnny cash/joe strummer version), upper deck has come through like bob marley.  only 9 days after i entered my redemption code online, this showed up in my mailbox.


thanks upper deck.

20 January 2010

talkin' 'bout my variations

sometimes i wonder what went on in the topps factory or cantina or wherever sy and his guys decided on what cards to print. i say this because i don't understand photo variations.  in 1991, there were several 'error' cards featuring the wrong player photo (jose gonzalez/billy bean for example) that were corrected in later print runs.  i guess i always figured that they print the cards, pack 'em up, ship 'em out and that's it.  no more printing (unless you're upper deck, right?).  sure, you can print another series, as topps did early on and as they do now, and i know sometimes base cards of players are included in more than one series (eg 2009 stephen drew), but why would you print new versions of cards from the earlier series? 

anyway, i am thinking of 1962 in particular.  here's wally moon's base card

pretty exciting stuff.  hatless, but at least he's in a dodgers uniform.  we can't say the same for ol' lee walls on his card.

i think we've decided that's a cubs jersey, for whom walls last played for in 1959.

ok, those two cards are typical 1962 topps cards.  neither moon nor walls changed teams that year, so why did topps do this:

same number on the back, but a different photo (obviously).  i like it though, since it features more of the uniform.  maybe topps would update lee walls' uniform, too, right? please? well, yes and no.

again, it's the same number on the checklist, and he's still hatless, but now he's in what i believe to be a phillies jersey (his 1961 team).  baby steps.  this card also shows off the fantastic green tint that some of the cards in the second series were printed with.

now don't get me wrong - i love variations.  i just wonder, why these cards in this set?

19 January 2010

jeff torborg through the mail success!

former dodger and big league manager jeff torborg signed and returned his 1966 topps card,

as well as his 1978 topps card

to me in just under three months this past summer.

torborg played 7 years for the dodgers as a backup catcher, first to john roseboro, and later to tom haller. while with the dodgers, he caught sandy koufax's perfect game as well as bill singer's 1970 no-hitter. he finished his career with a three year stint across town with the angels, where he was lucky enough to catch another no-hitter - this one by nolan ryan.

i knew of torborg best as a manager, though. after his playing days were done, torborg managed the indians (1977-1979), the white sox (1989-1991), the mets (1992-1993), the expos (2001) and the marlins (2002-2003). his 1978 topps card always intrigued me because, while clearly an indians card (no team collector dilemma here) it also featured a picture of him in his dodger uniform.

torborg's best season was with the white sox in 1990 when he guided them to a 94 win campaign, and was rewarded with the al manager of the year award. in 2003, he was replaced as the marlins manager after 38 games by jack mckeon who would lead the fish to their second world championship. do you think torborg got a playoff share?

i'm not sure if torborg is still broadcasting these days or not, but if joe and chip can keep a gig, torborg should have no problem.

thanks jeff!

18 January 2010

the 1999 upper deck century legends cards that should have been

one of my favorite sets of all time is the 1999 upper deck century legends set. tied to the sporting news' list of the top players of all time, this set has it all - hall of famers, (then) active greats, (then) top prospects, inserts highlighting famous moments and milestones, etc. the only thing it didn't have were cards for the number 11, 25 and 26 players of all time. pete rose's ineligibility, along with licensing issues surrounding joe dimaggio and sandy koufax, meant that upper deck couldn't produce cards for these players. i have had empty pockets in my set binder for 10 years - placeholders for these cards that i knew i would eventually get around to creating.

so, without further ado, here are the 1999 upper deck century cards that should have been:

number 11 joe dimaggio

number 25 pete rose

number 26 sandy koufax
i wish that upper deck would have made at least make the dimaggio and koufax cards sometime over the past few years, since they had the players' licensing rights. now, with their signing of pete rose, maybe they can at least do his card.  doubtful, but...

there were some really great subsets in the release as well, including 'century memories' commemorating various highlights and achievements of the 1900's.  there was one card that was never issued - #126 - which i assume was meant to recognize one of dimaggio/rose/koufax's many achievements [update - according to baseballcardpedia, card 126 was meant to be a dimaggio card. his death in early 1999 triggered a clause that put a halt to the use of his likeness for a year, so that's why his cards were pulled].  naturally, i took a shot at that as well:

number 126 joe dimaggio century memories:
the end of the streak.

number 126 pete rose century memories:
i love this photo.  it is, of course, taken after rose singled for career hit number 4192, breaking ty cobb's record.  with steve garvey lurking no less!

number 126 sandy koufax century memories:
celebrating sandy's perfect game.

any one of those 3 would have been a great addition to the set, and until upper deck produces all 4 missing cards, i will fill the empty spots with these cards that should have been!

17 January 2010

2009 ho ho holiday winnings

beardy hosted, i submitted, you voted, he decided, i chose, he sent, i received, i posted.

for the record, the cards are: 2008 topps a&g jj hardy jersey, 2007 ud sweet spot jered weaver jersey, 2008 topps a&g garret anderson jersey, 2009 topps finest jon lester blue refractor, 2007 topps turkey red hideki okajima refractor, 2009 topps finest carlos quentin blue refractor, 2009 ud sweet spot kerry wood jersey, and 2008 ud masterpieces eric chavez jersey.

thanks beardy!

15 January 2010

1986 o-pee-chee cesar cedeno - the card(s) that should have been

i've been on an o-pee-chee kick lately, with the kicking off of my side project 'oh my o-pee-chee (oh mon o-pee-chee)'.  check it out, won't you?  the intent there is to document each and every variation issued by the canadian card maker between 1971 and 1987, with a few stops in other years as well.

anyway, there have been some variations that were never made that i have taken the liberty of creating myself.  the first was the 1978 willie crawford card, and i suppose my 1983 manny mota card would qualify as a checklist variation had it been made (hey - he was an origianl expo, so it could have happened!).

the next in this short line of history rewritten is the 1986 cesar cedeno card.  here is his official o-pee-chee card, showing him as a member of the cardinalscedeno had finished the 1985 season in saint louis after being traded from the reds in august.  the cardinals released him after the season, and he signed with toronto in march of 1986, so, here's the 1986 o-pee-chee card that should have been:right?  well, cedeno never played for the blue jays.  they released him right before the season started.  luckily for cedeno, the dodgers picked him up a week later and actually added him to the roster.  this, then, is the o-pee-chee card that should have been: it turns out that o-pee-chee had it right all along, because, after 37 games with the dodgers, cedeno was released and then signed as a free agent by, you guessed it, the cardinals.

voici à vous, 1986 cesar cedeno, whichever one should have been!

14 January 2010

dusty baker through the mail success!

i sent a 1978 topps card to johnnie b. baker back in june - c/o the cincinnati reds.  after four months of waiting, i sent a similar request to his home address.  since then, i have noticed that the successes that were recorded on a couple of ttm forums were usually received in january, so i have been hopeful over the last couple of weeks.  then, i saw a posting on one of the forums that they had received their cards.  the next day, i had two envelopes postmarked from sacramento in my mail box.  awesome.

not only do i now have two autographed copies of his 1978 topps card,

but he also signed his 1976 card as well.

i was a big dusty baker fan back in the day.  he was probably 3rd or 4th on my list of favorite dodgers in 1977, mainly because he was part of the 30 home run club that year.  i remember going to a game at dodger stadium where dusty came up in the bottom of the 9th with two outs and a chance to tie or win the game.  we were all standing and chanting 'dus-ty, dus-ty'.  it was awesome.  sadly, he made an out and the game was over.  i also recall discovering (and being impressed) that he had been a teammate of hank aaron's and, when i learned about jackie robinson and the integration of the major leagues, it was dusty that i thought of as far as how there was a time when he would not have been allowed to be a dodger.  it was hard for me to comprehend, and still is as a matter of fact.

i talked to dusty briefly at a spring training game a couple of years ago, and he seemed like a decent guy.  he promised to sign my card when he got back to the dugout, but by then i was up in my seat.  i didn't think it would take two years to finally get it done.
this is the 21st piece of my modest 1978 topps dodgers autograph project.

here's the tally:

team card (red adams) - through the mail success!
dusty baker - through the mail success!
glenn burke
ron cey - through the mail success!
vic davalillo - ebay success!
terry forster
mike garman - through the mail success!
steve garvey - through the mail success!
ed goodson
jerry grote - through the mail success!
burt hooton
charlie hough - through the mail success!
tommy john - in person/through the mail success!
lee lacy - through the mail success!
tom lasorda
dave lopes - through the mail success!
ted martinez - ebay success!
rick monday - in person/through the mail success!
manny mota - through the mail success!
johnny oates - ebay success!
doug rau - through the mail success!
lance rautzhan - through the mail success!
rick rhoden
bill russell - through the mail success!
reggie smith - through the mail success!
elias sosa - through the mail success!
don sutton
steve yeager
nlcs (davey lopes) - through the mail success!

21/29 = 72%

thanks dusty!

13 January 2010

the 1970 topps jim bunning card that should have been!

here's jim bunning's 1970 topps card:
yes, it's one of the cards from my set that could use some upgrading.  anyway, there's nothing unusual, right?  bunning as a phillie.  that's what he was.  yes, but not in 1969.  after starting his career with detroit, and having some pretty good seasons for the tigers, bunning was dealt to the phillies.  he pitched for philadelphia from 1964 through 1967, leading the league in strikeouts and finishing second in the cy young voting in his last year there. 

after the 1967 season, the phils traded bunning to the pirates (right on time it turned out) as the future senator had a horrible 1968 season with his era and whip skyrocketing.  he pitched about the same for the pirates in 1969, but the dodgers acquired bunning anyway, since they needed pitching (don drysdale retired 10 days before bunning was obtained).  the dodgers released him after the 1969 season, and the phillies signed him right away.

topps pulled an archive photo of bunning in his phillie pinstripes and ran with it, depriving us of a card of bunning in a pirates uniform but a dodgers card header.  i should note that his 1969 card features him, hatless of course, in a phillies jersey but listed as a pirate.  the only jim bunning dodger card i know of is his 1990 target card, which i featured in this post.  anyway, i went ahead and used the only photo i could find of bunning in a dodger uniform (from the always fantastic steve's baseball photography page) and created a 1970 topps card that should have been:

featuring the people behind the bullpen fence.  i know, 1970 topps didn't have any real game photos, but scourers of the internet can't be choosers.

so, there you have it.  the jim bunning card that should have been.  almost 40 years in the making.

12 January 2010

i am joe collector monthly box break bonanza!

i am a happy man, now that i am joe collector has two monthly box breaks.  in the first, the team i have had for the past few months has been the twins.  that's ok, although the one month i traded them to motherscratcher for the dodgers was the only month with any twins hits.  anyway, in the second break, i have the big blue wrecking crew, and boy did it pay off last month.  2008 playoff prime cuts and 2009 sweet spot were the products, and here is what i received:

from the prime cuts break, i got a duke snider card.

it's numbered to 249, i think, if that sort of thing matters to you.

i did better with the sweet spot break.  i'm not sure if i have all of the base dodgers now, but it's got to be close.

here's manny:

he's not pleased with the way i scanned his card.  too far to the right.  sorry manny.

russell martin

i hope topps goes back to calling him russell.  russ doesn't seem to work as well.

hiroki kuroda

the only one of these guys in the home whites, although i am guessing it's a spring training shot and not a dodger stadium one.

clayton kershaw

sometimes i wish the dodgers had a facial hair rule like some other teams.  monty burns would never stand for this sort of thing.

matt kemp

the bison doesn't need to look the ball into his glove.  no sir.

chad billingsley

a year ago, i was wondering whether the broken leg he suffered at the beginning of the postseason would prevent him from starting the season on time.  now i wonder if it wouldn't have been better if he missed some time up front so that he could, in theory, finish strong.

hey - it's billingsley again!

with a silver auto on a black ball.  one of charlie finley's failed experiments.

and mark loretta!

with an auto on a piece of wood.  now, don't get me wrong - loretta had a big hit for the dodgers in the nlds - but he should not have a hit in this product.  he doesn't even have a base card as far as i can tell.  this is just wrong.  but i'm a dodger fan so i'll be ok.  looking forward to the jamey carroll relics in 2010!

finally, the piece de resistance as some might say

a redemption thingy good for a matt kemp 'skin-red stitch black ink'.  that sounds like a tattoo.  hm. anyway, i redeemed it yesterday and it says it's in stock so you know what that means...yes, the official redemption watch is on!  check it on the right.

thanks jeff.  can't wait to see what january brings!

11 January 2010

happy binary day!

from al, pee wee, manny,  and the penguin


i know yesterday was a binary day, too, but - don sutton! what is he doing here?

well, technically, it's '01/11/2010' not just '01/11/10', so i guess he figured he would show up and do his part, even at the expense of the bit.

see you in october, binary day!  and we'll try to keep sutton away...

and don't forget to check out my side project - oh my o-pee-chee! - which officially gets started today!