31 October 2011

once again, avert your eyes

although it might not be as scary (or maybe creepy is more like it) as the card i posted last year on halloween, this one is more disturbing.  it's the second tristar signa cut card that i own, and it's a butchered copy of burt hooton's 1978 topps card.
the horror!  luckily for me, i have a couple of these unmolested in my collection.  happy also signed a 1979 o-pee-chee card
a 1981 topps card
and a 1985 topps card
for me.

i like how the tristar card mentions that hooton was the 1981 nlcs mvp. he was 11-6 in the regular season with a 2.28 era (third best in the league), but he really shone in the three rounds of playoffs that postseason.  in the nlds against the astros, hooton started game 3 and got the win, giving up three hits and one earned run in 7 innings of work.  his next appearance came in game 1 of the nlds against the expos.  hooton again got the win, working 7.1 innings without allowing a run at all.  he started game 4 of the series, too, and again went 7.1 innings for the win while giving up just one unearned run.  14.2 innings with a 0.00 era and two wins?  good enough for the mvp award.

he was 1-1 in the world series against the yankees, but gave up only 2 earned runs in 11.1 innings pitched.

'happy' halloween everybody!

30 October 2011

like father like son. almost.

the dodgers have had a few sets of brothers wear dodger blue such as ramon and pedro martinez and steve and dave sax.  this year, the dodgers took nepotism to a new level with a nephew (tony gwynn jr) of a former dodger (chris gwynn), and a son of a former infielder on the roster.

of course i am talking about the dejesus clan - ivan and ivan jr.  but they weren't the first father and son combo that suited up for the dodgers. back in 1966, the yankees sent 'ducky' to the dodgers in a late season trade.  as a result, we got this 1967 topps schofield card:
by looking at the back of the card, we see that schofield last played in pittsburgh in early 1965 before he was traded to the giants.
so, topps used a potentially recent photo of schofield, even though it was from three teams prior.  the yankees purchased schofield from the giants in may of '66 so i'm surprised topps never got over to the bronx to photograph him in pinstripes. 

the dodgers released schofield after the 1966 season and he was quickly picked up by the cardinals.  that means that, while he may well be shown in a dodger uniform on his 1968 topps card, he is counted as a member of the cardinals.  i figured i could do better, so here is the 1967 topps dick schofield card that should have been:
i purposely left a facsimilie autograph off of the card, since i was planning to try to get the real deal instead.  luckily, mr. schofield obliged
it doesn't scan too well.  he also signed one of his regular topps cards, too.
but enough about the senior schofield who hit .225 for the dodgers in 104 games.  let's talk about his son, dick schofield jr.  the younger schofield started his career in southern california, although it was with the angels and not the dodgers, in 1983.  ten years later, he found himself in toronto, as shown by his 1993 upper deck card
he became a free agent after the 1994 season, and once the strike ended, the dodgers signed him for the 1995 season.  because he only played in 9 games for the dodgers, he didn't get a card to commemorate his time in la - not even of him in a different uniform like his dad.  i gave it a shot with this 1995 topps card that should have been:
when the dodgers traded for jayson werth in 2004, they brought on a third generational dodger, since werth is the grandson and nephew of ducky sr.
the latest son of a dodger to play for la is ivan dejesus jr.  unfortunately for him, he has seemingly been passed on the depth chart by dee gordon.  anyway, dejesus jr signed a couple cards for me earlier in the season, including his 2007 bowman heritage card
and a 2010 bowman topps 100 card
i had previously had his dad sign a 1978 and 1979 card for me, and i sent him a couple more in the hopes he would sign again.  one of the cards i sent was his 1975 sspc which is one of the only cards that shows him in a dodger uniform.  unfortunately for me, he kept that card.  he did sign his 1989 upper deck card, however.
so far, the younger dejesus is besting his dad as far as dodger stats go.  he's hitting .188 in 17 games while pops hit .183 in 88 games.  hopefully, ivan jr. gets some more opportunities in 2012.

29 October 2011

oh my omar! a double play career retrospective

omar vizquel has played more games defensively as a shortstop than anyone else in the history of the game.  and, as a result, he has been involved in 1778 career double plays, although not all of those have come while oh my omar was playing short.

the last couple of seasons, vizquel has been playing mostly third base which means we don't get to see any cool double play turns on baseball cards like we used to when he was playing up the middle.  here's his 1994 topps stadium club card
omar was in full 'operation double play' with derek bell sliding in.  this card should get a pretty high seed in the upcoming greatest double play card of all-time tournament.

and then there is his 2010 topps card
it's better than a run of the mill dp card, and makes me thirsty for some snapple at the same time.

here's to you oh my omar and your double play turns!

27 October 2011

ismael valdes, double dipper

ismael valdes and his blisters had a pretty decent run with the dodgers from 1994 through 1999.
he was 61-54 overall with an era of 3.38, but was considered expendable after two straight seasons with an era around 4.00.  so, after his 9-14 1999 season, the dodgers traded valdes and eric young (another dodger double dipper) to the cubs for terry adams and a couple of minor leaguers.
for the cubbies, valdes made 12 starts and had a record of 2-4.  his era was 5.37 after going 1-3 in four july starts, and the cubs cried uncle.  they sent him back to the dodgers for jamie arnold, jorge piedra and cash.  this meant that the dodgers had traded eric young, arnold, piedra and cash for terry adams and two minor leaguers.

valdes finished out the 2000 season as a dodger.
about the only highlight from valdes' return to the dodgers was his lone career home run which he hit in an august game against the expos. otherwise, valdes' second time around in la was a failure.  he was 0-3 in 9 games (8 starts) with an era just over 6.00.  after the season ended he signed a free agent deal with the angels and started the 'journeyman' portion of his career.

here's to you ismael valdes, dodger double dipper!

26 October 2011

al west trades

so, i was curious how many times the dodgers have traded with their american league counterparts in the al west.  it was no surprise that the team the dodgers have dealt with the most is the a's - the team that has been around the longest.

the dodgers and angels have made 7 deals, most recently reggie williams (the second one) to the halos for mike james in october of 1993.  there was the big frank robinson trade in 1972, the jim brewer deal in 1975, and a couple of other deals in the 60's, but the last one prior to the 1993 trade was in 1976 when ellie rodriguez came to the dodgers in exchange for orlando alvarez.  you remember ellie, right?  he got a dodger card in the 1977 topps set, and was nice enough to sign a copy for me
but i almost prefer his "fantastically 1973 topps" 1973 topps card
three brewers and an umpire's ass.  nice work, topps.
as i mentioned, the dodgers and a's have made a bunch of trades, 13 to be exact.  the most recent one was when andre ethier was obtained for milton bradley and antonio perez.  you probably remember the big 1987 deal that involved the mets, where bob welch went to oakland and jay howell, jesse orosco and alfredo griffin joined the dodgers.  well, a couple months before that, the dodgers sent rick honeycutt to oakland for tim belcher.  another one i remember quite clearly is bill north to the blue for glenn burke in may of 1978.

the mariners came into existence in 1977.  since then, they have made 7 trades with the dodgers. the most recent, of course, is the three team deal that sent trayvon robinson to the mariners at this year's trade deadline.  although the dodgers lost 3 players (jose baez, kevin pasley, and john hale) to the mariners by way of waivers or purchased contracts in 1977, the first trade between the two teams came in 1985 when steve yeager was dealt to the m's for ed vande berg. 

and then there are the rangers.  they began as the senators in 1961, and in total there have been 7 trades between the franchises. dave stewart for rick honeycutt in 1983 is pretty memorable, but the biggest trade between the two franchises was the 1964 deal that brought claude osteen and john kennedy to la at the expense of frank howard, ken mcmullen, pete richert, phil ortega and dick nen.  however, it's been 21 years since the dodgers last dealt with texas.  in 1990, they sent jim poole to the rangers for a couple of minor leaguers. 

poole appeared in just 16 games for the dodgers, all in 1990.  as such, he had a ridiculous number of cards made in 1991.  lucky for me, he signed a bunch of 'em.  here's a 1991 classic
with dodger stadium as a background

same goes for 1991 donruss
1991 fleer
and 1991 score
not sure where he was for the photo on his 1991 topps debut '90 card
poole was already through texas on his way to baltimore by the time some of these cards were released, i am pretty sure. 

25 October 2011

are you hough (huff?) enough?

it's no secret that i am a big fan of the dodgers' teams of the late 1970's.  even so, i am bored by charlie hough's cards from that time frame.  still, i asked him to sign a few for me.  he obliged.  here's his 1976 topps card:
not too different from his 1978 topps card
or his 1979 card
which just happens to use a photo from 1976.  thanks sleeve patch.
thankfully, his 1980 topps card gives us a different angle on the knuckleballer.  1980 was the year that the dodgers allowed the rangers to purchase hough's contract and away he went.

he had better luck with his cards in texas.  take his 1984 fleer card, for example
and his 1987 topps card
around this time, the dodgers picked up a hough of a different sort.  a huff, to be exact.  mike huff.  huff played in only 12 games with the dodgers, all in 1989.  he had 5 hits in 30 at bats, including his first major league home run.  he also had a bevy of cards made.  here's his 1990 score card
his 1990 topps debut '89 card
and his 1991 fleer card.
the fleer card is especially interesting to me since he did not appear in the majors in 1990.  after the 1990 season, he was claimed by the indians in the rule v draft.  fleer was either behind or too far ahead with their set in 1991.  blinded by the yellow, i imagine.
meanwhile, hough was on his way to florida to become the first starter ever for the marlins.  here are a couple of teal cards he signed for me - a 1993 pinnacle card
david neid is on the other side.  who? exactly.  hough also signed his 1993 upper deck card
that's a lot of teal

and his 1993 topps card
and........we've come full circle back to boring.

thanks hough and huff!

24 October 2011

coaches, man. coaches.

well, the players who appeared for the dodgers in 1977 and/or 1978 that were left out of the 1978 topps set have all been accounted for.  what's left?  how about the coaches.  i used a picture from the 1978 photo album, and although it includes tom lasorda (whose eyes are closed i am pretty certain), it will have to do.  here is the 1978 topps burger king dodgers/update card that should have been for the 1977/78 dodger coaching staff:
to lasorda's right we have preston gomez and to his left is jim gilliam - the longest tenured coach and second african-american coach in the majors.  kneeling in front are red adams, monty basgall, and mark cresse.  i did a back, too
i modeled the back after the rookie cards from the 1978 set
i prefer this type of coaches card to the floating head cards from the 60's and 70's, and it is along the same lines as the coaches cards from the dodgers police sets.  for example, here's the 1983 dodgers police coaches card, with basgall and cresse still on staff
the photo was recycled for the 1984 set, too.
let's give these guys their due.  preston gomez was lasorda's third base coach, replacing lasorda at that position for the dodgers.  gomez had previously been a coach for the dodgers in the late 60's before he left to manage the padres and then the astros.  he left the dodgers one more time to manage the cubs in 1980 before settling down in the angels organization, where he stayed until he passed away in 2009.

jim gilliam was the first base coach, and also filled the role of hitting coach.  a career dodger, gilliam's coaching career began in 1965, but he was added to the active roster in may of that year.  in 1966, he again filled the role of player-coach before becoming a full-time coach the following season.  gilliam suffered a stroke in mid-september 1978, and passed away in early october as the dodgers clinched the nl championship.  jim lefebvre was brought in to replace gilliam while the team wore '19' patches on their uniforms during the fall classic.

red adams was the pitching coach, and was revered by tommy john, don sutton and even the reclusive dr. mike marshall.  he filled that role from 1969 through 1980, serving both walt alston and lasorda.  adams is the one lasorda asks to 'give me a sign when i get out there' as he heads out to remove doug rau from the mound in his famous world series tirade.

monty basgall was another holdover from alston's staff.  he was originally signed as a player by the dodgers, but they traded him to the pirates before he reached the majors.  he re-joined the dodgers' organization as a scout in 1959 and was promoted to coach in 1973.  he is perhaps best known (and appreciated) for his work with the dodgers' long-running infield of garvey cey russell and lopes which included two converted outfielders and a third baseman who was moved to first base.  basgall remained on the coaching staff through the 1986 season, and was replaced by russell in 1987.

mark cresse is the only coach on the staff to not have any major league experience.  he spent 3 seasons in the cardinals' minor league system before joining the dodgers as their bullpen coach.  he stayed with the dodgers through 1998 and is currently running a baseball school in southern california.
here's to you, 1977/78 dodger coaches, and your card that should have been!

23 October 2011

back for more - revisiting some ttm successes

i recognize that i have become a hoarder of sorts.  acceptance is the first step, right?  here are some guys who i have asked to sign some more baseball cards for me.  first up, roger craig and his 1960 topps card:
i previously had craig sign a 2001 fleer greats of the game card.

here's another 1960 card, this one belongs to bob lillis

here's my earlier success with lillis.  had i been thinking (and willing to spend another $5 on craig) i could have had two former dodgers sign this 1974 topps card
as both lillis and craig served on preston gomez's staff in houston.  both lillis and craig later became major league managers themselves, too.  we'll see more of gomez tomorrow.

here's another former dodger who became a coach, ron perranoski
the last time perranoski signed cards for me, he signed both his 1962 and 1987 topps cards.  each of those cards were far more interesting than his 1967 issue.

elias sosa is fantastically consistent with his signature.
the vertical one he added to his 1977 topps card is just as nice as the horizontal facsimilie.  he also signed one of his 1978 topps cards for me
unfortunately, he didn't sign the back as he had done the first time i bothered him.

next up is lerrin lagrow.  i previously had success with lagrow when he signed a 1978 topps and a 1980 topps card for me.  this time, i sent him a 1979 topps
and another 1980 topps card
with the intent of including it with others in a trade with cory, the grapher who helped me out with the 1978 topps rick monday as well as a bunch of other dodger autos that i haven't posted yet.

lagrow's teammate, derrel thomas signed his 1980 topps card, too
along with a 1984 topps card
thomas had previously signed some cards for me before taking a hiatus from signing.  he has started responding again to ttm requests so i took another shot.  as always, i am appreciative and thankful for all of the through the mail successes.