31 December 2010

one of these dodgers is not like the others

2004 donruss throwback threads card takes us back in time to 1955, when dem bums ruled the baseball world.  there was the little admiral, pee wee reese at short, the silver fox, duke snider in center, and an older gray haired fellow named tommy lasorda who pitched them to victory.
right?  i am guessing that johnny podres was supposed to have been used but didn't sign off on the idea.  or maybe sandy koufax, although he wasn't that big of a part of the championship team.  that's why donruss had to scramble to find a photo - any photo - of lasorda.  after all, he only pitched a total of 4 innings over 4 games for the dodgers in 1955 before, as he claims it to be, he was replaced on the roster by the bonus baby koufax.  yes, i am sure that's what happened over at donruss in 2004.

so, as we look ahead to 2011, let's take one last look - and let's look correctly - back at 1955.  or, at least how donruss would have had us see it.
as they said in 1954 (and every year before), wait 'til next year!


doesn't it look like johnny podres was confronted by the paparazzi one day as he was exiting his modest duplex on this 1967 topps card?
'johnny - over here!'
'johnny - how does it feel to be traded to the tigers?'
'johnny - why are you still wearing a dodger hat?'
'mr. podres - is it true you were abducted by aliens and replaced by an extraterrestrial clone prior to game 7 of the 1955 world series because even alien societies hate to see the yankees win?'

'ummm, am i on candid camera?'

30 December 2010

the stan wall final tribute card that should have been - a ttm success story

stan wall pitched in the dodgers' minor league system for 7+ years before making his big league debut in 1975.  he spent all of 1976 with the dodgers, and then split his 1977 season between the big club and aaa.  topps saw fit to include wall in both the 1976 and 1977 sets, but denied him an entry in their 1978 masterpiece.  but, thanks to my 1978 topps burger king/update dodger project, he is now given that final tribute with the card that should have been.
which, of course, comes with a back.
wall started the 1977 season with the dodgers, but he had a few bad outings, including his second to last appearance which was against the braves on the road towards the end of june.  in 1.1 innings, wall allowed 5 hits and 5 earned runs.  although the dodgers won the game, wall appeared just once more - a 'scoreless' 0.2 inning outing (he allowed two inherited runners to score) against the giants a few days later - before he was demoted to albuquerque for good.

it was tough to find a color photo of wall, so i used his 1977 topps card, more closely cropped.
then, my hard drive crapped out in september before i could post my creation.  as a result, i had to go back to the drawing board, as i could not recover the image or the psd file.  it was easy enough to recreate, but i used the time to locate a better image to use.  i found a corbis photo of wall and johnny podres behind the batting cage and decided to use that image instead.
half of it, anyway.  then i stumbled across an ebay auction for an autographed photo of wall taken at wrigley field (i think).
i just photoshopped out the auto.  so now, there are three versions to choose from.  while i prefer the second one (the podres one), i felt i should show the original version first.  that's because, before my hard drive crashed, i printed one out and sent it to mr. wall to sign, which he did.
he also signed and returned a 1976 and
1977 card for me.
i wonder if he'll sign another version of his 1978 topps burger king dodger/update card that should have been!  thanks mr. wall!

29 December 2010

before there was topps total, there was pacific online

in 1998, pacific tried to connect baseball cards to the interwebs, without the crappy mini-cd that upper deck was putting out with their powerdeck release.  pacific online cards included a link that you could type in and then visit a page for that player.  no need for the stats on the back when you could type in a ridiculously long web address, wait for your dial-up, and get to the stats 10 minutes later.
what i did (and still do) like about the set, however, is how inclusive it was.  800 cards meant that everyone but joe shlabotnik was featured.  and, since 1998 was around the time when the dodgers were employing a bunch of short term out of place guys, the pacific online set is obscure dodger gold.  look at the back of the team checklist:
wait, let me enlarge it.
jim bruske?!? mike devereaux in a return to dodger blue!  thomas howard was a dodger?  darren hall?  tom prince - love the backup catcher love!  even the loogys - scott radinsky and mark guthrie (featured at the top of the post) are included.  that is just fan-freaking awesome.  it sucks not to have a card of brent leach or russell mitchell these days.

here's the front of the checklist just so sheff can't complain.
here's to you 1998 pacific online. even if your player sites are no longer active.

28 December 2010

colletti trades a hu

hu will be on first (at some point in 2011) for the mets as ned traded him for a middling lefty prospect.  i am left with these three 2007 bowman draft picks and prospects cards - base, chrome, and thick gold parallel.
hu will likely back up jose reyes at short while ruben tejada bides his time in aaa.  i know it's a small sample size, but hu performs better in odd seasons, so maybe the mets will reap some benefits from the deal.

this means that we will either see juan castro or perhaps ivan dejesus jr next year on the bench with jamey carroll.  yeah, i'm yawning, too.

dave anderson, double dipper

[this is the seventh installment in the double dippers posts.  here are the previous posts - brett butler, omar daaleric young, nick willhitechris gwynn, and mickey hatcher.]

dave anderson made his big league debut in 1983 for the dodgers, at a time when the long running infield had largely been replaced.  as a shortstop, he was the first apparant successor to bill russell to emerge from the farm system. here's anderson's 1986 topps card.
in 1984, anderson did, in fact, become the dodgers' primary shortstop.  he played in a career high 121 games, and set personal bests pretty much across the board.  the following year, anderson was part of a 'third base by committee' platoon while mariano duncan took over primary shortstop duties.  in all, anderson spent the first 7 seasons of his career with the dodgers, hitting .232 over 662 games.  he may be best remembered for being the on deck decoy for kirk gibson in game 1 of the 1988 world series.

anderson became a free agent after the 1989 season, and he wound up signing with the giants.  he played in san francisco for two seasons, primarily as a super utility guy as he spent time at each infield position.  here's his 1991 leaf studio card
anderson hit .350 in 1990 with an ops of .819 in the 60 games he appeared.  as a result, he was used more often in 1991, but his average slipped to .248 over 100 games.  in total, anderson hit .279 as a giant.  he became a free agent once again after the 1991 season, and decided to return to los angeles.

here he is on one of his last cards, his 1992 score rookies and traded card:
1992 was anderson's final year in the majors, and he spent it making spot starts and late inning substitutions at short and third for the dodgers, along with occasional pinch running or hitting duties.  on the season, he hit .286 in 51 games, and managed to hit 3 home runs, all of which came in a one week stretch on the road.

here's to you dave anderson, double dipper!

27 December 2010

more gcrl cards that should have been - starting with 1969

if you recall from the earliest of the 'evolution of the infield' posts, both steve garvey and bill russell made their big league debuts for the dodgers in 1969.  however, neither player was featured by topps in the 1969 set. well, it didn't seem fair to me that ted sizemore (who also debuted in 1969 for the dodgers) was on a card and these two weren't.  so what if sizemore was the rookie of the year?  anyway, here is the 1969 topps steve garvey/bill russell card that should have been:
complete with a back.
i used an image of garvey from a photo taken when he was a member of the ogden dodgers, along with bill buckner, bobby valentine and their manager, tom lasorda.  that's why there's no logo on the hat - i blotted out the big 'o' - and i think the logo-less cap fits in with the 1969 set just fine.

the russell image is a bit out of date.  it's from his sports illustrated cover in 1971 (or is it 1972?) where he shared the space with claude osteen. 

i decided to also take it a step further, and create individual cards that should have been.  here's the garvey.
notice he's wearing number 5 in the photo.  that's jim lefebvre's number on the big club.  here's a back, which i am borrowing from bob lemke of 'bob lemke's blog'
bob makes some fantastic customs, including a 1969 garvey of his own.  here's the front:
very nice.  but let's not forget about ropes.  here's his solo 1969 card that should have been:
and the back
i was worried that i would have a hard time finding a cartoon that i could manipulate, but i think this one works out pretty well as it's fairly generic and i was able to easily change the text on the newspaper.

there you have it - the 1969 steve garvey and bill russell cards that should have been!  coming soon, steve garvey's missing 1970 card...

26 December 2010

you're a nice one, mr grich

i went to a few angels games growing up and watched some on tv.  after frank tanana and don baylor, the guy i liked the most on those teams was bobby grich.  he was an infielder and a pretty decent player - not flashy but got the job done.

he was kind enough to sign and return a couple of cards for me over the course of the last few months.  here's his 1978 topps card
with a photo taken somewhere on the great plains, apparently.  note that he's listed as a shortstop.  that's because he switched from second base when he went to the angels (they had jerry remy at second), even though he had been an all-star second baseman for the orioles.  speaking of which, here's his 1976 topps card
grich eventually moved back to second base for the angels as they got rid of remy and moved dave chalk to short in 1978 before acquiring bert campaneris, freddie patek and even rick burleson to man the 6 in the following years.

here's to you bobby grich!

25 December 2010

deck(le edge) the hall(er)!

as in 1969 topps deckle edge.
never mind the fact that he's in a giants' uniform with an airbrushed 'la' on his hat.

merry christmas!

24 December 2010

christmas cards

thanks to emerald city diamond gems for sending me a christmas card with cards inside!

the mick!  no, not mantle.  hatcher. 
on a 1981 donruss card with a photo taken in wrigley field. how original.

1986 topps tom niedenfuer
i recently read and article about niedenfuer that included such key information as the fact that he has two daughters with his wife, former playboy covergirl judy landers.  tom, all is forgiven.
1986 topps steve sax
even though he was my favorite dodger post-garvey, sax doesn't get much play on my blog.  i'll see if i can't rectify that in 2011.

1987 baseball's all-time greats duke snider
i haven't heard anything about the duke for a while.  he has apparently stopped signing ttm so i hope everything is ok.

2010 upper deck biography clayton kershaw
it's pretty badass to walk off the field and look back in the direction of the visiting dugout.  i am hoping that he's staring down some random giant who just had his knees lock courtesy of kershaw's uncle charlie.

2010 upper deck dodgers checklist featuring kershaw and matt kemp
here's to better days ahead.

thanks larry!  merry christmas!

23 December 2010

you want a night card? i got a night card.

check out the shiznit that is this 2003 topps stadium club 'stadium shots' insert featuring shawn green and dodger stadium in its nocturnal glory.
awesome, isn't it?  i think it would pull in some votes in one of night owl's night card polls, don't you?  well, before anyone worries that i am taunting mr. owl, be assured that i am including this card in a box of dodger goodies that will be on its way to new york very soon.  in fact, there are some cards that the night owl sent me a while back that i have been meaning to show off, so here goes.

1966 topps bob miller
miller was a big part of the dodgers' bullpen in the mid-1960's, posting a sub-3.00 era from 1963-1966.  he had an off year in 1967 and was sent to the twinkies in the perranoski/roseboro for versailles/mudcat deal.

2009 topps chrome kenley jansen
i believe jansen was still a catcher when this card was issued.  now he's giving baby brox a run for his money at the back end of the bullpen.  27 innings, 41 strikeouts and an era of 0.67.  plus, he has a lifetime obp of 1.000 (a walk and a single in his only two at bats).

1998 bowman onan masaoka
i scanned this card because hawaii is seen in the background.  i guess you'll have to trust me.  what's with the dodgers and leftys from hawaii? masaoka, sid fernandez, carlos diaz.  ok, charlie hough wasn't left-handed, but still.  after pitching for the dodgers in 1999 and 2000, masaoka was traded to the white sox and was never heard from again.

2000 bowman jason repko
repko used to be a shortstop?  i suppose he switched to the outfield so that he would have more chances to collide into walls or other players.

1985 donruss highlights keith hernandez
hello, chavez ravine.  unlike the night owl, i am not a keith hernandez fan.  dodger stadium in the background makes it ok to show this card, though.

2001 upper deck legends of new york jackie robinson
fuzzy cards are nice.  i'm still waiting for upper deck to put out a legends of la set.  i'll be waiting quite a bit longer, even if upper deck were still in the baseball card business.

2010 topps allen & ginter tdih manny ramirez
2010 was a train wreck for manny, so noting a car accident on this card is a reasonable tie-in.

2010 topps 1951 topps jackie robinson inserts
more jackie.  a triple and a stolen base (home, of course) and the dodgers lead 1-0.

thanks greg.  be on the lookout for some stuff very shortly.

22 December 2010

happy birthday nl iron man!

it's hard for me to believe that the anchor of the infield of my youth, steve garvey, is 62 years old today.  or that i am now older (just barely) than he was when he took his final major league swing in 1987.  still, time does march on, and today i celebrate the garv and his p-e-r-f-e-c-t 1974 topps card. 
this beat up old version of it is the one i carried in my wallet for a few years after reading about bob costas and his mickey mantle card he carried around.  i have no originality.  whether it is abstract expressionism or post modernism, it is indeed art.  i love love love that card.

i recently received a couple of fulfilled ttm requests from the birthday boy (including one that was over a year old).  these were the third and fourth successes i have had which also blows my mind.  here's his 1980 topps card
and a 1981 fleer card celebrating the fact that he led the league in hits in 1980.
next up we have a couple of cards from the 2004 upper deck legends 'timeless teams' set - 1974
and 1980.
gotta love the dual-eared helmet on the 1974 card.  on the 1980 card, popeye added a line after the '6'.  i have a lot of garvey autos with a lot of notation variations, but i am not sure what this is all about.  maury wills does the same thing sometimes.

the garv also included a note - it's a copy, not an original handwritten note - thanking me and asking if i would like to make a donation to his foundation.
you know what?  i think i will, and i'll ask him to sign my tattered 1974 topps card too. 

happy birthday number 6!