31 May 2015

sunday morning target dodgers - uncle robbie pays a visit

it must be sunday because here's another 15 cards from a sheet in the 1990 target dodgers 100th anniverary giveaway set. let's get right to it.

doyle alexander
alexander was part of the dodgers' hugely successful 1968 draft class.  he was taken in the 9th round and was pitching in the major leagues three years later.  after going 6-6 with four complete games for the 1971 dodgers, alexander was traded to the orioles in the frank robinson deal.  he may be best remembered for being traded by the braves to the tigers in 1987 for john smoltz.

lloyd brown
brown began his career with the robins in 1925, but found better success with the senators later on. in his lone year with brooklyn, brown was 0-3 in 17 appearances (five starts). from 1928-1932, brown was 58-49 for the senators, and he also pitched for the browns, red sox, indians, and phillies during his big league career.

hal gregg
gregg pitched for the dodgers from 1943-1947.  he won 18 games for the club in 1945 after losing 16 the previous season.  overall, gregg was 37-41 as a dodger during the regular season, and 0-1 in postseason play (he pitched in three games during the 1947 world series) before he was traded to the pirates in the trade that  also sent dixie walker to pittsburgh.

roy henshaw
the dodgers traded for henshaw in 1937 after he had gone 21-11 with a 3.68 era for the cubs over the previous three seasons. with the dodgers, however, henshaw was just 5-12 with a 5.07 era in 42 appearances.  as a result, he was dealt to the cardinals after the season ended in the deal that brought leo durocher to brooklyn.

george kelly
'high pockets' kelly belongs to that list of hall of famers (greg maddux and rickey henderson are recent examples) who are not typically remembered for their time with the club, but ended their career playing for the dodger organization.  for kelly, that was 1932, and he joined the dodgers after spending the 1931 season in the minors.  kelly hit .243 in 64 games for brooklyn, and netted his 1000th career rbi while doing so.  he was elected to the hall of fame in 1973 by the veteran's committee, although he is often cited as the least worthy hall of famer.

ken lehman
lehman was a september call-up in 1952, and struck out the first batter he ever faced in the big leagues (sam jethroe).  he was 1-2 in his four appearances that month, and impressed folks enough that he was added to the dodgers' postseason roster.  he appeared in one world series game against the yankees, and pitched two scoreless innings.  lehman returned to the majors in 1956, pitching in 25 games for brooklyn, but he appeared in just 3 games for them in 1957 before the orioles purchased his contract.

eddie miksis
speaking of the orioles, i think of miksis as one because his 1958 topps card (which featured him as an oriole) was one of the first '58 cards i ever owned.  anyway, miksis started his big league career as a dodger in 1944 when he was just 17.  he hit .220 in 26 games that year, and then returned to the majors in 1946 after a stint in the navy, but hit only .146 in 23 contests.  miksis improved in 1947, hitting .267 and appearing in the world series. he remained with the dodgers into the 1951 season until he was traded to the cubs in the andy pafko deal.

earl naylor
naylor, who had spent a couple of years with the phillies earlier in the decade, appeared in three games for the 1946 dodgers, although he did not play in the field. he pinch-ran and scored a run in his dodger debut, and then was used as a pinch-hitter twice - he grounded into a double play and struck out.

wilbert robinson
uncle robbie, who had a 17-year playing career as a catcher, was the manager of the brooklyn baseball club from 1914 through 1931.  as the team had no official nickname, it took on the name 'robins' during robinson's tenure in reference to the manager.  his robins teams won more than 90 games three times, twice claiming the national league pennant.  for his career, robinson won 1399 games as a manager (1375 with brooklyn and 24 with baltimore when he was a player-manager in 1902) and lost 1398 (1341 with brooklyn and 57 with baltimore).  he was elected to the hall of fame in 1945, and is one of seven brooklyn/los angeles managers so honored for their managerial careers.

dave sax
the older brother of steve sax, dave sax made his big league debut in september of 1982 - the year after his younger brother first played in the majors.  he appeared in just two games that year, going 0 for 2 and seeing action in left field in his second game (most likely due to the fact that it was the 16th inning and tommy lasorda was running out of players - luckily steve garvey hit a walk-off homer to win the game in the bottom of the 16th).  sax was back with the dodgers in 1983 and finally saw some action behind the plate at his regular position, and at the same time that his brother was playing second base.  unfortunately, he was 0 for 8 with an rbi during his stints with the dodgers that year, and didn't make it back to the majors until 1985 with the red sox.

joe simpson
simpson was a september call-up for the dodgers in each season from 1975 through 1978, although he did get a couple of midseason call-ups during that time as well.  he hit .188 in 71 games for the dodgers during that time, and had his contract purchased by the mariners prior to the 1979 season.  simpson is best known these days as one of the braves' broadcasters, as he's been performing that function since 1992.

milt stock
stock joined the robins in 1924 following 11 years with the giants, phillies, and cardinals.  he hit .242 as the team's third baseman his first year, and then moved to second base in 1925 and hit .328.  at one point that year, stock had four consecutive 4-hit games, which is considered to be a record.  stock finished his playing career with just three games in 1926 for the robins, and he went on to manage in the minors and eventually coach in the majors, including for the dodgers in 1949 and 1950.

bill sudakis
sudakis was a third baseman who was drafted by the dodgers in 1964 and made his debut for them in 1968. he was their primary third baseman in 1969, and his 14 home runs were second best on the team that year. in 1970, billy grabarkewitz got most of the playing time at third, and so the dodgers had sudakis play other positions, including catcher - a position that sudakis had not previously played at the big league level, and had only played for a handful of games in the arizona instructional league. it was also curious because he had bad knees.  the mets picked sudakis off of waivers prior to the 1973 season, and he went on to spend time with them, the yankees, the rangers, the indians, and the angels before retiring after the 1975 season.

elmer valo
the owner of one of my favorite non-dodger baseball cards was himself a dodger in 1957 and 1958.  acquired in a trade with the phillies, valo played in 81 games for the brooklyn dodgers in their final season.  in fact, he was the second to last dodger batter at ebbetts field, grounding out before gil hodges struck out to end the 8th inning on september 24, 1957.  the following year, valo played in 65 games for the los angeles dodgers in their first season. it was the second time that valo had played for a team that relocated while he was on the roster (he had previously played for the philadelphia/kansas city a's), and wouldn't be the last (he would later play for the washington senators/minnesota twins).

sandy vance
another member of the dodgers' 1968 draft class, vance pitched in 30 games as a major leaguer - all with the dodgers in 1970 and 1971. he was 7-7 as a rookie in 1970 with two complete games and a 3.13 era.  in 1971, however, he was just 2-1 with a 6.92 era. vance continued to pitch in the minors through 1973, but was unable to return to the majors.

there are only two sheets left in the 1990 target set to show, so we are definitely close to the end.  i'll have one of those sheets next week.  stay tuned….

30 May 2015

play at the pwe

like some others, i have recently been the recipient of a plain white envelope containing several baseball cards for my collection from brian at play at the plate.  included in that envelope were some 2015 bowman cards which are a first for me

zack greinke
pitching like an ace in what is essentially a contract year, since he has an opt-out clause after this season

yimi garcia
currently striking out batters at a 15 per 9-inning pace

alex verdugo
the dodgers' 2nd round pick in 2014 is currently playing for the great lakes loons of the midwest league, hoping to add to the outfield glut in a few years.

the other cards in the envelope were from 2015 topps heritage, including a jimmy rollins card
j-roll is in a contract year, and at his current pace, i am not sure he stays with the dodgers past this season.  other shortstop options might include kike hernandez, justin turner, darwin barney (both turner and barney are arbitration eligible after this season), but the real deal is corey seager, currently hitting .324 since his promotion to triple-a oklahoma city.

there were also a now ex-dodger juan uribe card
and a carlos frias rookie card
the dodgers obviously have a need for frias to step up and fill one of the rotation spots, but he was shellacked by the padres the other night.

thanks for the cards brian!

29 May 2015

when a dodger card isn't fully a dodger card

sometimes, team collectors can miss out on cards that they may otherwise choose to add to their collection.  for example, this 1992 topps kids eddie murray card
shows him as a dodger, but then again - he is 'now with the mets!'.  is it a dodger card or a met card?  i consider it to be a non-dodger dodger card. so there.

here are some others that fit that bill (and fit into my collection as a result):

1993 donruss rudy seanez
a dodger up until the expansion draft

2000 pacific crown collection raul mondesi
pacific almost fooled me, using a photo of rauuuuuuul in the blue dodger alt jersey

2000 skybox dominion raul mondesi
obviously a dodger in all but team name on the card

2004 upper deck first pitch brian jordan
a while back i took a good look at the flagship version of this card. then i came across the first pitch version

and then there is this 2014 topps stickers joe mauer sticker
mauer is wearing the saint paul saints throwback in a game against the brewers in 2013 (i was at that game, by the way).  the saints uniform he is wearing comes from the time when they were a dodger affiliate.  in fact, there are some pictures hanging in one of the target field restaurants recognizing both the saints and the minneapolis millers (a giants' affiliate) as part of the twin cities' baseball fabric.  the photo for the saints features roy campanella rounding third being congratulated by walt alston.  pretty cool.  the millers photo features some guy named willie mays.  anyway, the mauer sticker is not a dodger card, but a cool item that i pulled from a pack and sent off to 2x3 heroes - i think.

if i haven't, i will - i've got quite a few packages ready to be sent out to folks, including baseball cards come to life, night owl, off hiatus, too many verlanders, bob walk the plank, and probably a couple of others.  you can always check my trade tracker on the right to see if i am aware that i owe you cards - let me know if i do and you don't see your name!

28 May 2015

a quick trip to tatooine

with the trade of juan uribe to the braves, i would expect alex guerrero to eventually settle in at third base. at least until hector olivera is ready.  however, most of guerrero's playing time of late has been in the outfield, since both yasiel puig and carl crawford are injured.

last year, topps included guerrero in many of its sets, and listed him as a second baseman.  that made sense then, but he has yet to play at second in the major leagues.  here are three of those cards, with guerrero turning two to boot.

2014 topps walmart blue
2014 topps chrome purple refractor
and 2014 topps mini pink parallel
notice that the cards show guerrero throwing to first without a lick of grass in sight.  that's what makes a tatooine card a tatooine card.

here are some others from my mini collection

1994 donruss bobby bonilla
1995 upper deck luis lopez electric diamond parallel
1996 upper deck brady anderson vj lovero showcase insert
2000 topps stadium club bobby abreu
2001 fleer tradition corey koskie
2011 topps carlos beltran
and 2012 topps emilio bonifacio
i am guessing that there is all kinds of mischief one can get into at mos eisley spaceport, so the vegas code probably stands - what happens on tatooine stays on tatooine.  unless you're luke skywalker bragging about taking out womprats to a group of rebel pilots.

27 May 2015

they came from 2004...

today i'm showing some cards that were released in 2004.  the first few don't look like cards from 2004, however.  like this 2004 fleer platinum edwin jackson card
that was modeled after 1984 fleer cards.

and then there is this 2004 fleer tradition card
that brings to mind the 1990 fleer design although the banner here has more flow to it.

this 2004 topps all-time fan favorites brett butler card
uses the 1991 topps design.  unfortunately, topps kept the orange frame design of the giants cards. 1991 was butler's first year with the dodgers, and he led the league in runs scored and walks.  he was featured in the flagship set as a giant, receiving a dodger card (with the proper blue frame) in the traded set.

finally, there is this 2004 topps cracker jack card of adrian beltre
that is a play on the 1915 cracker jack design

don't worry - there were some original designs used in 2004 - like the design of the 2004 upper deck flagship set.  here's juan encarnacion's card from that set
i like the 2004 upper deck set because of the inset photo behind the players' names.  that's a dodger stadium scene, in case you can't tell (the same scene - differently cropped - that's on the back of dodger cards in the 2004 upper deck legends timeless teams set).  unfortunately, upper deck did not apply the photo consistently to cards in the set

it may just be that the horizontal cards in the set didn't get the inset photo, i don't know.  here are some landscape oriented cards for you to ponder - shawn green
is in pittsburgh, i believe

hideo nomo
is in the dodger stadium dugout

and robin ventura
is on the road somewhere - maybe san francisco - as that's where jeff weaver is on his card
which is vertical and features the stadium inset photo.

there's not much of a discernible background photo at all on this 2004 topps clubhouse collection eric gagne relic card
but i guess we are supposed to be focusing on the fabric and not the photo.

it would be interesting to know what sort of designs fleer and upper deck would have these days.  i am sure, like topps (heritage, archives, gypsy queen, allen & ginter), they would issue sets that incorporate some older set designs, but there would be some unique designs, too.

at least i hope there would be.

26 May 2015

the big blue wrecking crew takes on the big red machine in the steve garvey binders

before we get to sheet 35 in my steve garvey binder (the sheet alluded to in the title of this post and in the last sentence of the previous garvey binder post), we have to get through sheet 34.  and it's no slouch.  take a look:
those cards are:

1. 2001 upper deck vintage timeless teams bat relic
2. 2001 upper deck vintage timeless teams 1981 dodgers bat relic (with ron cey, dusty baker, and bill russell)
3. 2002 donruss recollection collection 1984 donruss autograph
4. 2002 donruss recollection collection 1987 donruss autograph
5. 2002 fleer classic cuts bat relic
6. 2002 fleer fall classic
7. 2002 fleer fall classic short print padres variation
8. 2002 fleer fall classic gold parallel
9. 2002 fleer fall classic short print padres variation gold parallel

the first card on the sheet is the very first garvey relic card i owned.  i was very happy to get the other relic from the 2001 upper deck vintage set as it has four of the players from the team of my youth (and it's numbered to 100), but i do wish that davey lopes was on the card instead of dusty baker.  not much else to say here, other than it is curious that fleer made the nameplate gold on the fall classic parallel of the regular card, but not on the gold parallel of the variation.

here are the backs:
i wish i could find a recollection collection card from the three years that donruss produced cards of garvey in a dodger uniform, but there are only 10 copies of one of his 1982 donruss cards in this particular set.  so, i'm happy to have the 1984 donruss card, which is numbered to 14.  the two gold parallels from the 2002 fleer fall classic set are both numbered to 50.

here's sheet 35, which features nothing but garvey and the reds' tony perez:
those cards are:

1. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (retail version)
2. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez 
3. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (perez jersey relic - gray)
4. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (perez jersey relic - red)
5. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (perez jersey relic - white)
6. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (garvey jersey relic)
7. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (dual jersey relic)
8. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (dual patch relic - red)
9. 2002 fleer fall classic rival factions with tony perez (dual patch relic - red/blue)

yes, i am a sucker for variations, including the color of jersey relics.  it's worth noting that the retail version of the rival factions insert was pretty tough to find, even though it is unnumbered - i don't know how many people bought this stuff at the local big box store.  there are a thousand of the hobby version, so i would guess that there are many more of the retail version, but i don't know that i've ever seen one other than the one i have.  otherwise, only the patch cards are numbered (to 50).  here are the backs:
the official beckett checklist says that there is a red foil version of the rival factions card out there, but i have definitely not seen one of those.