22 September 2011

for the last home game of the season, it's the dodger stadium card of the day

here is the 1977-79 (printed in 1979) sportscaster card for dodger stadium, including all of the appropriate heiroglyphs used to identify it as a sporting venue, perhaps outdoors that seats multiple people.
speaking of people, did you know that the capacity of dodger stadium (56,000 - thanks card back)
makes it the largest capacity baseball stadium in the majors?  only because the marlins don't open up half of joe robbie to ticket sales, i suppose.  furthermore, did you know that dodger stadium was designed so that the second level could be constructed at a later date to connect all the way around the outfield?  both statements are true, but i didn't learn that from this card which is pretty much worthless when it comes to providing information.  we do get to see the nice yet character-less symmetry of the playing field and the pitcher-friendly ridiculousness of the foul territory that existed before frank mccourt built a bunch of high-priced seats.

the photo is not too great either, as the san gabriel mountains are totally washed out by the haze.  didn't they have lens filters back in the late '70's?  it is nice to see, however, the lower center field sections of each pavilion before they were 'blacked out' for the batter's eye.  that's how i remember the stadium.

after today's game, chavez ravine will be empty now until next spring and that's too bad.  except for the fact that mccourt won't be making any money.  that could be a good thing.

wait 'til next year!

21 September 2011


you might argue that rudy seanez is really a dodger 'triple dipper'.  you might be right.  but, i am making the rules about these posts, and i am only considering players who have appeared in a big league game as a dodger before leaving the organization and then returning.  that's why guys like denny lewallyn and joe moeller qualify (even though they didn't appear in a game for the other team they were acquired by in between terms with the dodgers) and guys like ted lilly and ron coomer don't count.

seanez, who was acquired from the indians by the dodgers in 1991 in exchange for mike christopher and dennis cook, didn't appear in the bigs for la until 1994.  by then, he had spent time in the rockies' and padres' systems including some time in the majors with the pads.  in fact, seanez was the guy the dodgers sent to the rockies in 1992 for jody reed.

seanez spent 2 seasons in the majors with the dodgers, going 2-4 with 3 saves in 54 innings of work over the 1994 and 1995 seasons.  here's his 1995 topps traded card
seanez spent 1996 in albuquerque with the dodgers' aaa team, and then became a free agent at the end of the season.  he signed with the mets, who traded him to the royals in may of 1997 before he appeared in a game for them.  he didn't pitch for kansas city in the bigs, either.  he finally landed with the braves for the 1998 season, and put together his best years there.  he went 12-6 with 7 saves and a 3.30 era in 125 games for bobby cox from 1998 through 2000 (plus a month of 2001 when he became a braves' double dipper).
fast forward to 2006 and seanez is in boston as evidenced by his 2006 upper deck card
seanez had also pitched for boston in 2003.  in between, he spent time in the cubs organization, and then pitched in the majors for the royals, marlins and padres (for the second time).  the red sox released seanez in august of 2006 and the padres brought him in for a third time (a padres' triple dip!).  as a result, seanez was on the mound in the bottom of the 10th in the 4+1 game and walked kenny lofton before giving up the walk-off homer to nomar.  thanks rudy!

in gratitude, the dodgers brought seanez back to chavez ravine after the '06 season.  he spent 2007 in dodger blue, and was one of their most reliable relievers.  he posted a 6-3 record with one save and a 3.79 era in 73 games.  he was rewarded with a card in upper deck's 2008 set
he re-signed as a free agent in early 2008, but was cut by the dodgers in spring training.  seanez quickly signed with the phillies, and pitched for them during their run to the nl east title.  unfortunately, he was not on the postseason roster.  i am guessing he still got a ring, though.

seasnez finished his big league career with the angels in 2009, although he didn't appear in a game for them.  let's recap - that's a 17 season career in which he appeared in a game for 9 teams and was part of 13 organizations, including multiple stints with the dodgers, royals, braves, padres, and red sox.  and he wasn't even a lefty!

here's to you rudy seanez!

20 September 2011

the kevin pasley 1978 topps burger king dodger/update card that should have been

when the 1977 season ended, kevin pasley had been a mariner for just a couple of weeks.  during that time, however, he played in twice as many games (4) than he had for the dodgers during the previous 5 months of the season.  of course, he wasn't called up to the big club in la until august.  anyway, with the mariners purchasing his contract, that meant that just like john hale, pasley (who got his first card in 1977 sharing space with dale murphy)
was destined to be featured in the 1978 set wearing the trident, if at all.  he did get a card in the 1978 set, once again sharing space with three other guys hoping to make a mark in the big leagues
there's the trident.  at least pasley made it to the top row on his second card.

as you know by now, that's not good enough for me.  every member of the 1977 and/or 1978 dodger team deserves to be recognized as a dodger, in my opinion, so here is the latest installment in the 1978 topps burger king dodgers/update project.  the kevin pasley card that should have been
with a back
due to the dearth of kevin pasley color images, i was reduced to using a 1980 tcma minor league card
i also used a mike scioscia card to get the jersey on pasley, and i am just now realizing that i forgot to change the number.  pasley wore duke snider's number 4 while with the dodgers, as it was not retired until the duke made the hall of fame in 1980.  i did eventually find a black and white photo of pasley wearing a dodger uniform, and took a shot at colorizing it.
at least the number is right.  as a dodger, pasley had mixed success.  his path to the big leagues was blocked by steve yeager and joe ferguson, and then by other veteran backups like ellie rodriguez, johnny oates, and jerry grote.  he did get to play in 23 games during the 1976 season when steve yeager was injured, and wound up hitting .231 with 2 rbi.  behind the dish, he threw out about one-third of the runners attempting to steal against him. he was 1 for 3 in the two games he played as a dodger in 1977, and then went 5 for 13 in seattle to post a .375 average for the season.

in 1978, pasley appeared in 25 games but hit just .241.  he did have 5 doubles and also hit his lone career home run - a two-run blast off of hall of famer fergie jenkins.  that long ball put pasley in the company of ted williams, ken mcmullen, and joe rudi as well as a few others i am sure.  that's because pasley hit his home run in his final big league at bat.

after the season, pasley joined the pirates' organization and then spent 1980 and '81 in the blue jays' system.  his last season in the minors was 1982, which he spent with the tigers' aa and aaa affiliates.

i mentioned john hale earlier in the post.  although i like the 'card that should have been' that i created - or more accurately restored - i did find a color photo of hale that worked well for an alternate 1978 card
here's to you kevin pasley, and your card that should have been!

19 September 2011

the 4+1 card that should have been

yesterday was the 5th anniversary of the 4+1 game.  it's hard to believe that it has been 5 years since nomar had his great comeback season, and jd drew was a dodger, and andre ethier and matt kemp weren't starters.  the game i refer to is the game in which the dodgers were trailing the first place padres by a half game in the standings and by 4 runs heading into the bottom of the 9th.  jeff kent led off the inning with a home run off of jon adkins.  jd drew followed with a dinger of his own.  the padres replaced adkins with trevor hoffman, and russell martin took him deep on his first pitch.  on the very next pitch, marlon anderson, who had homered earlier in the game off of jake peavy, tied the game with the dodgers' fourth consecutive solo blast.

the next batter was julio lugo who had a chance to be a hero.  instead he flied out to center.  the next two batters made outs, and aaron sele allowed the pads to retake the lead with a run in the top of the 10th.  in the bottom of the inning, kenny lofton walked and nomar victimized padres reliever and dodger double dipper rudy seanez (post coming soon) with a walk-off home run.  joyous mayhem ensued.

that is worthy of a card, no?  here goes - the 2007 topps card that should have been
complete with a back
i had to get nomar on the card somewhere, so i used him for the inset photo instead of a smaller version of the front image.  maybe i should have used that photo for the 2007 topps card i created for nomar a while back.  as for the almost hero julio lugo, he was long gone to the red sox by the time 2007 topps came out.  here's his card from that set
i felt the need to include lugo in the remembrance of the 4+1 game since he was front and center when the dodgers greeted nomar at home plate.  so, here's the 2007 topps julio lugo card that should have been
i love this photo.  it, or a wider version of it, was my desktop wallpaper for a couple of years.  that's lugo in the middle of the card as nomar makes his way home.  we've also got some lurkers - furcal pointing to the plate, joe beimel, russell martin, jd drew, derek lowe and others, too.  what a great memory.  too bad it didn't matter much, as the dodgers wound up in second place despite the outcome of this game, and then were swept in the nlds by the mets. 

what's my wallpaper now, you ask?  for about the past year, i've used this photo. a different kind of memory.

18 September 2011

in which i make the case that one is better than two

i was surprised to see not one but two danny valencia cards in topps' series 2 release.  one has him in the home whites
and the other in the away grays.
each card has a different number in the set, so i knew it wasn't a variation. they are numbered only a couple cards apart which is weird. the first one has the rookie cup, so i figured maybe one of the cards was a checklist or something.  nope.  here's the back of the first one 
now here's the second valencia card back
they both have the full stat display.  aside from the number, the inset photo and the text writeup, the backs are the same.  it seems silly for topps to have produced two cards for the twins' third baseman when just one would do.  in the 2011 topps twins team set, there was only one valencia card
and even though they used the photo from what would be valencia's second card in series 2, they managed to get the rookie cup on it.  makes sense to me.  are there any other players that got two cards thanks to a rookie cup?
speaking of series 2, topps updated the tsuyoshi nishioka card, and although i like seeing ron gardenhire on a card, i can't complain about a double play turn
with alexi casilla lurking and jose bautista sliding in.

another nice update from the team set is joe mauer's card
same photo; it just looks better in landscape.  topps got that one right.

17 September 2011

9 scores and 15 years ago

it's been 15 years since hideo nomo doomed the presidential candidacy of bob dole by no-hitting the colorado rockies at coors field.  the dodgers won 9-0 as nomo struck out 8 and walked 4. 
it may not have been a "million dollar moment" as fleer suggests on the card above, but it was a big deal, not just because it was a no-hitter, but because it came in denver against a team at the peak of the 'blake street bomber' days.  in fact, nomo's previous start in denver that season had lasted 5 innings and resulted in 9 runs (5 earned) allowed.

dole, of course, figures in because he was on the campaign trail in los angeles at the time with just a couple of months before the presidential election.  he tried to impress the crowd with his knowledge of the local sports scene, except that he stated that nomo had pitched his no-no for the brooklyn dodgers.  a couple of weeks later, dole fell off of a stage during an appearance in northern california and that was pretty much all she wrote for the senator from kansas. 

just for kicks, here's nomo on a card from his second go-around with the dodgers
after he spun a second career no-hitter with the red sox.

i can only imagine if francisco liriano had thrown his no-hitter now instead of earlier in the season, perhaps michelle bachmann would have congratulated the fine 'washington senator' lefty before doing a pratfall off of a stage in iowa. ah, the stuff dreams are made of...

15 September 2011

franklin stubbs through the mail successes!

it's franklin stubbs day over at oh my o-pee-chee!, but he's unfortunately shown as an astro headed to the brewers on his 1991 text variation. so, i figured i would show off the dodger cards he has signed for me over the last couple of years through the mail.

i know this blog has lately become a ttm blog and that's not really the intent.  hang around and i'll get back to doing other stuff that may be as equally boring. like the several trade posts i've not gotten around too or the last few 1978 topps bk dodgers cards that should have been.  but today, it's all stubbs.

here's a 1985 topps
that's a crazy signature.  how about a 1986 donruss?
i used to keep some batting gloves in my pocket, too.  just in case.  here's his 1987 donruss
and 1987 topps
1988 topps
stubbs was the dodger first baseman in the 1988 world series.  he hit .294 with a couple of doubles against the a's.  here's his 1989 topps card
and 1989 upper deck
nice to see dodger stadium.  finally, a 1990 upper deck card from somewhere on the road.
by the time this card had been issued, stubbs was in houston and the dodgers had a lefty reliever named terry wells to show for it.

after spending a few years in the braves organization managing and coaching in the minors, stubbs was the hitting coach for the dodgers' minor league team in the inland empire in 2010 and then this year took a similar job with their chattanooga team.

thanks franklin for signing my cards!  thanks to you guys for reading yet another ttm post!

12 September 2011

ed vande berg through the mail successes!

in honor of ed vande berg's fantastic 1986 o-pee-chee team and text variation which is on display today over at oh my o-pee-chee!, i bring you the cards that the lefty reliever has signed for me through the mail.  there wasn't much to vande berg's time with the dodgers, and i remember him most as the guy who was acquired for steve yeager as the team of my youth continued to be dismantled.  still, he had a few dodger cards and was kind enough to sign them for a dodger collector.

here's his 1987 donruss card
and 1987 fleer card
both of which pale in comparison to his 1987 topps card
the topps card has an o-pee-chee variation as does his 1986 card as vande berg spent just one year in la.  still, that was enough time to make a mark on my collection - both then and now.

thanks ed!

11 September 2011

another dodger lurker

i was recently looking through my 1991 o-pee-chee set when i came across this card of yankee backstop and recent a's manager bob geren
which features a photo from a spring training game with dodger juan samuel sliding in to home.  it's always nice to see dodgers lurking on other people's cards, especially when they can turn a yankees card into a keeper for me.

i have a soft spot for samuel because i followed his early years as a second baseman with the phillies pretty closely.  by the time he came into the league for good in 1984, i was playing pretty much nothing but second base.  so, i paid a lot of attention to samuel, ryne sandberg, and of course steve sax.  by the time the dodgers acquired samuel in a december 1989 trade for alejandro pena and mike marshall, he was playing center field.

the dodgers moved him back to second base and he even made the all-star team there in 1991.  after that season, the dodgers re-signed him to a big free agent deal but wound up releasing him halfway into the 1992 campaign.

samuel has recently been a coach with the orioles (and was their interim manager for a while before buck showalter was hired late last season), and that's where i sent him some cards to sign through the mail.  he came through a couple of times.  here's his 1990 topps traded card
and a 1991 donruss
here's samuel's 1991 topps card (his o-pee-chee card looks the same)
i'm glad there are no yankees on it.

his 1991 upper deck card may well be my favorite card of samuel's from his tenure as a dodger
it shows samuel breaking for second in dodger stadium.  samuel did steal 38 bases in 1990, but was caught 20 times.
i also like his 1992 pinnacle card
which again features a dodger stadium photo along with a double play turn

his 1992 card is pretty generic when compared to the pinnacle
i assume samuel wore number 10 instead of 8 (which he wore for most of his time in philadelphia) because joey amalfitano was wearing 8 for the dodgers and didn't feel like giving it up.  whatever the reason, samuel took over the penguin's number from dave anderson who left for san francisco.  when anderson returned to the dodgers in 1992, either he didn't ask for 10 back, or samuel refused to give it up so he wore 12.  it must not have meant too much to andy, since he kept number 12 even after samuel was released.

finally, i sent a 1988 topps all star card
because i couldn't find a 1984 fleer and i wanted something from his days as a phillie when he was one of the most exciting players in the league. just like back then, samuel didn't disappoint.

thanks juan!

06 September 2011

who needs a twins autograph party?

this year, for the first time in at least several years, the twins did not host an autograph party.  in years past, it was held in mid-june with current players signing from 11-130 or so and former players going from 2-330.  something like that, anyway.  i had attended the last 3 years and had a good time each year, even if orlando hudson didn't sign dodger stuff.

apparently, after last year's rain dampened and somewhat crowded affair at target field, and the continuing complaints of the players, the twins decided to not have the party.  instead, they did some other community outreach events although i am not sure what replaced the fundraising aspect of the autograph party tickets.  anyway, i have had some recent twin ttm successes that helped soften the blow of not standing in line for hours on the crowded target field plaza.

1984 fleer kent hrbek
with chain link fence and an automobile in the background.

tom kelly lives nearby and signs quickly.  here's his 1993 topps managers card
with former dodger jeff torborg, as well as his 2001 topps card
kelly continues to associate with the twins. he has filled in on broadcasts this season, and is also often featured in their better 'twins territory' commercials.  tk with a mullet was almost as good as the jim thome as paul bunyan commercial as far as this year's crop goes.

here's carl pavano's 2009 topps heritage high number
i had also sent a 2000 topps from pavano's time with montreal but that one didn't come back.

speaking of coming back, here's the twins' closer joe nathan on his 2011 topps card
featuring a photo from 2009 since nathan missed the entire 2010 season.  he recently passed rick aguilera on the team's all-time save list.  nathan will someday be inducted into the twins' hall-of-fame like this year's honoree, jim perry

perry signed both of his 2004 upper deck legends timeless teams cards - one with him as a twinkie in 1965
and one with him as an athletic in 1975
perry spent just two and a half months with the a's during the 1975 campaign.  it was the final stop of his career.

here's former dodger jason repko who signed his 2007 upper deck card
repko has been getting a fair amount of playing time this year as so many twins regulars have been injured.  although repko is not immune to the dl himself.  he is signed only through this season and i have a feeling there will be a clearing out of the fringe roster players during the offseason.

finally, there is jon rauch.  this 2009 topps card
isn't a ttm success, rather i had it signed at an appearance rauch made during his time with the twinkies.

thanks guys for signing, as always.