31 May 2013

do you sutton?

it's friday and that's a good thing.  meanwhile, don sutton assumes the position.  his position.  suttoning, i call it.

here's his 1983 brewers police issue
left knee down, right knee up, arms crossed over right knee with glove or ball or glove and ball, as the case may be.  let's see who else (other than terry adams) suttoned.

randy jones, 1981 fleer
cy youngs: randy jones 1, don sutton 0

and bill travers, also 1981 fleer
travers, unfortunately, would not get the pleasure of being sutton's teammate in milwaukee as he went to the angels after the 1980 season.  still, he honors sutton the best way he knows how.

here's von hayes on his 1982 topps traded card
hayes was 3 for 10 with a homer and a strikeout lifetime against sutton.

1984 fleer jim acker
and salome barojas
barojas is a little too upright - he needs to work on his casual lean.

wally joyner has it right on his 1986 fleer update card, with a bat as an accessory
joyner and sutton were teammates in cali for a couple of seasons, including that heartbreaking 1986 campaign.

neal heaton suttons on his 1987 fleer card
trevor wilson gets it done on his 1989 topps card
and robbie alomar adds a pensive twist to the pose on the back of his 1995 upper deck card
kenny lofton gives it a try on his 1992 topps traded card, but like barojas above, doesn't quite have the lean part mastered.
i'll have to see if in the following 16 years lofton was able to master the pose.

if you think of it today, maybe you'll have a chance to sutton!

30 May 2013

look what i got

a certified, on card auto of the left arm of god.  1998 donruss signature series sandy koufax auto.
i had been thinking that i wanted a sweet spot auto of sandy's, but never saw the right one at the right price during the year or so i was watching, so i submitted a best offer on this one, and it was accepted.

a while ago, i kind of whimsically noted that i have a goal of obtaining autographs (ttm or otherwise) of all the players for whom the dodgers have retired a uniform number.  while this gets me closer to that goal, there are still a couple of toughies (jackie and campy) before that's done.  which reminds me, i still have a couple of others that i have added to my collection but haven't yet shared.  stay tuned.

29 May 2013

final tributes for the hit king

i bought a couple of singles from the 2012 leaf 'the living legend' pete rose set.  i was hoping to find a card from hit 4192 with the garv in the background, but i was sol.  instead, i picked up this card that comes from that same moment, just before or after rose points to the crowd with garvey looking on.  it's a fitting photo for a tribute.
of course, that moment came in 1985, and pete rose had another season to play.  and, his 1986 topps or fleer cards didn't even use photos from his historic night anyway.  yes, i contend that even the record breaker card that topps issued doesn't use a photo from hit 4192.  donruss did issue a card with images from hit 4191 and 4192, which was nice of them.

still, rose's true final tributes didn't come until the 1987 sets were released as he played in his final game on august 17, 1986.  in that game he sent himself to the plate as a pinch hitter against the padres, and struck out against goose gossage.  rose was released from his contract as a player after the 1986 season, but he was retained as the team's manager.  here is his topps final tribute
with his complete career stats on the back
he is still the all-time leader in games, at bats, hits, singles, plate appearances and times on base.  of course, he also made more outs than anyone else whoever played the game.

rose had two other cards in the 1987 topps set - his manager card
which was also the team checklist
and the reds leaders card
which showed a managerial visit to the mound, with the manager also being the first baseman
rose only played in 72 games for the 1986 reds, so he wasn't an offensive leader by any stretch.

here's what donruss offered in the way of a final tribute
with truncated career stats
here's the leaf version
with the french
i think donruss/leaf jumped the gun a bit on the 'future hall of famer' thing...

how about fleer's version?  here's the front
and back
they are missing a few years of stats there.

i think the topps version is my favorite.  in case you are wondering (since i showed the leaf version) o-pee-chee made one, too, which i have somewhere.

i am not a rose apologist, but i am a fan, and i wish that he had never bet on baseball so that he could be enshrined in cooperstown and featured in current licensed sets.  back in 2008, rose popped up in a couple of donruss sets, like this sports legends issue
and this donruss threads issue
i was pleased.  maybe someday rose will be reinstated (not likely) and we will see a bunch of topps cards featuring the hit king in full uniform with logos.  until then, we get cards like this one
at least steve sax is recognizable, even without the dodgers script on his chest.

28 May 2013

manny mota moves on, plus more cards that should have been in 1983

continuing with the evolution of the 1978 topps dodgers...

i missed the news last month that manny mota, after 30-some odd years of coaching for the dodgers was no longer acting in that capacity.  looks like he'll do some scouting and some work on the spanish broadcasts instead.  that leaves davey lopes as the only dodger of my youth still wearing the dodger uniform - noting that mota usually changed out of the uni after bp.

manny made his final appearance as a player in 1982, signing a free agent deal on september 1st that year so that he could be activated from his coaching duties.  he got just one at bat that day - his only at bat of the season - and he grounded out to second.  it was a productive out, however, as steve garvey moved from second to third.

topps did not deem that lone appearance worthy of a card, so here is the 1983 topps manny mota card that should have been.
i actually made this card a long time ago, or at least an o-pee-chee version of it.  i've updated the inset photo this time around.  since 1982 turned out to be the final season in which mota wore the uniform as a player, the 1983 card would have been his final tribute.  here's the back with his complete major league stats.
that's what 20 years of stats over 21 seasons (mota didn't play in 1981) look like.  i took rusty staub's card and modified the teams (except for the 1969 expos) and numbers.  very small type...

it is worth noting that the 44-year old mota took his final cut against 43-year old jim kaat.  quite possibly the oldest confrontation in baseball history.  and, as a veteran of so many seasons, mota would have been given a 'super veteran' card had he been in the set.  here's what it might have looked like
with a back, too.
that got me thinking, what if the infield had qualified for 'super veteran' status in 1983?  steve garvey and bill russell, who both debuted in 1969, must have just missed the cut.  here are their cards that should have been.

first, garvey
i even did a 'traded' version
and a back
same for the penguin - an all dodger version
traded version
and back
here's bill russell - front
and back
and davey lopes - front
and back
finally, i took some liberties with the record breaker subset that led off the topps set in 1983.  while not a true record breaker, i had to feature garvey's milestone in his consecutive games streak
 here's the scoop.  my tony armas rb card is diamond cut, apparently
garvey would pass billy williams early in the 1983 season, setting a new national league record.  that means you'll see a similar card that should have been when the evolution of the 1978 topps dodgers hits 1984.  stay tuned.

27 May 2013

nick adenhart and preston gomez memorial patches

it's memorial day and we should be thinking of those servicemen and women who gave their lives while serving our country.  and i am.  i am also going to show a few cards that show the way that the angels recognized two of their own who passed away in 2009.

nick adenhart was the angels' starting pitcher on april 8, 2009. he pitched six shutout innings but did not figure in the decision.  a few hours later, he was killed by a drunk driver near angels stadium.

for the rest of the season, the angels wore an 'adenhart 34' patch on their chests, as seen on vladimir guerrero's 2010 topps card
here's the gold parallel version
and here's the walmart black version
the black one is pretty striking.

earlier that same year, longtime baseball man preston gomez was struck by a car at a gas station and died from his injuries.  gomez had been a manager of the padres and astros, and had two runs as the dodgers' third base coach - including the team of my youth.  at the time of his death, gomez was an assistant to the angels' general managers, and so the team also recognized his passing with a 'preston' patch worn on their right sleeves.  the patch is seen here on vladdy's 2010 toppstown card (as is the adenhart patch)
here's a better view of the preston patch on vladdy's gold 2010 toppstown card
the angels also had at least some of their farm clubs wear a patch, as evidenced by this 2009 tristar prospects plus tyler kehrer card
as far as i know, neither the astros, padres, dodgers or cardinals wore patches in gomez's memory.

and as for the memorial project, i'll keep the base vladdy (the others go in my vladdy pc) and the kehrer card, plus the gold toppstown card to represent the adenhart and gomez memorials.