Wednesday, March 22, 2017

they called him mr. clean

the last time panini did a nicknames based set, they went with 'senator' for steve garvey.  that was in 2012, and in 2016, they decided to go with another of his nicknames, 'mr. clean'.
i'm not sure if proctor & gamble is aware of this, but i do know that garvey bears no resemblance to their mr. clean.   their guy has more of a mike holmes from 'holmes on holmes' look,
and he's got his magic eraser ready.

garvey has signed cards as 'popeye' - a nickname he received due to his forearms, the aforementioned 'senator', and now 'mr. clean', although he did not inscribe the card with that last one as he did with the first two.  i'm guessing it is not his favorite nickname due to the fact that it is often cited in order to juxtapose his image with the reality of his post-career relationships. despite all that, it's another 2016 panini product that i am happy to have in my collection.

Monday, March 20, 2017

check your 6

i was pretty excited back in 2001 when i first read about topps tribute.  knowing that the set would focus on retired numbers, and knowing that the padres had only two numbers that qualified, i thought it was a pretty good bet that steve garvey would be included in the set.  spoiler alert: he was not. dave winfield (whose number 31 had just been retired in april of 2001) beat out garvey and randy jones to represent the padres, while most of the dodgers with retired numbers were included (no jim gilliam or sandy koufax, unfortunately).

still, there were some number 6 cards in the set, including stan the man musial

it's been a fifteen year journey for me, but i am down to needing only two cards from the set - ernie banks and willie mays.  i would appreciate any help in finishing off this set.

for a long time (21 years to be exact), garvey's number 6 was unofficially retired by the dodgers, waiting for his enshrinement in cooperstown so that it could be officially retired as is the team's tradition.  a funny thing happened on the way to immortality, and when it became apparent that garvey would not be elected by the writers to cooperstown, number 6 fell back into rotation.  jolbert cabrera, in 2003, was the first to wear it post-garvey, and many have followed - brent mayne, jason grabowski, kenny lofton, tony abreu, aaron miles, joe torre, jerry hairston, darwin barney, and now, charlie culberson.
there's culberson on a 2016 topps now card celebrating his division-clinching, walk-off home run last september, with his 6 fully visible.

fernando's number 34 still sits in mothballs, and i wish the franchise would pull the trigger on retiring it officially even though fernando isn't a hall of famer.  other than that, and barring some revelation (that should occur, in my opinion) about manny mota's number 11, i would guess that the next number to be retired by the dodgers will be 22.  clayton kershaw should pass 2000 strikeouts this season (and then some), and he is certainly on track to get at least a thousand more.  while it doesn't show his number very well, here is the 'bonus' topps now card
i received last fall after buying the postseason team set. as a bonus, i thought at the time that it would likely be the only card to feature carlos ruiz as a dodger, but he's in flaghsip as a dodger,
even though he was traded to the mariners last november leaving what i consider to be terry forster's number up for grabs.

Friday, March 17, 2017

23 is a magic number

matt at bob walk the plank sent his half of our most recent trade a few weeks back, and the cards he sent reduced my want list for the 2016 topps allen & ginter numbers game insert set to just 23 cards.  (i was trying to fold in some modified schoolhouse rock lyrics here, but am giving up).  coincidentally, one of the cards he sent me was don mattingly's, which celebrates his number which happened to be 23.
so, how many cards did matt eliminate from my quest?  eric hosmer knows the number.
yes, 35 cards put quite a dent in my want list, but there are still opportunities to help me out!

thanks to matt, i also own 2 2016 topps framed cards, and they have both come from him.  first was a yasiel puig card, and now this j.p. howell card
these are thick and heavy and ultimately have no reason to exist, but such is our lot as team collectors.

matt has also sent a few panini cards my way recently, and the two that were part of this package were pretty nice.  first, a ross stripling auto from 2016 panini national treasure
and a mike piazza bat relic from the same set.
the absence of logos is obvious on stripling's card, but panini could and should put out a set of catchers in their gear and the lamentations about no logos would be minimal.

thanks matt! i'll kick off our next round of trading very shortly...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

so disappointed in topps, and it's not even opening day. well, it is, actually.

i was reminded today that topps is living in the past, and on the east coast.

yes, clayton kershaw and corey seager and mike trout are topps darlings, but how do you explain the 2017 opening day incredible eats insert set that includes three foods from fenway park, but does not include the world famous farmer john eastern corn fed pork dodger dog?!?!?!

the rockies "foot long hot dog" is featured (covered in a bunch of crap), but no dodger dog.  no cool-a-coo either.  no roger owens throwing peanut bags around. no food west of denver, as far as i can tell, and i know from experience that the mariners serve some tasty fare.  the braves' new stadium that has not yet served any food is represented by a box of popcorn that i could buy at the grocery store.  what group of uneducated hacks decides on these insert checklists?

i dutifully have been using my topps coupons that were in my series 1 blaster, and so i picked up two packs of opening day today.  i saw this card
in the first pack, and was super excited to find the dodger dog insert.  a quick trip to cardboard connection told me that i was sol.  i was already disappointed that the dodgers weren't featured in one of the other opening day insert sets (opening day at the ballpark) since they opened last season on the road in san diego.  i was hoping for a nice dodger stadium shot on one of those cards, but no dice.  the only redeeming thing i've seen so far is that the oakland a's were featured with their memorials to tony phillips and dave henderson showing, so i'll be tracking down one of those cards.

anyway, is that even food that is celebrated on that card up there? i am not sure.

one of the other inserts i pulled was this russell martin superstar celebration card
i thought this was pretty cool, actually, as i recalled a martin walk-off winner last year.  i was not at the game (i went the next day), but i was in toronto that day. or so i thought.  i turned the card over to confirm my recollection of that weekend in the yyz, and i was off by a millenia.
yes, that game was played, according to topps, in the year 1016.

i suppose that this could be a super short print date error variation, but even if that's the case it's ridiculous.  i've never been more embarrassed to be buying this stuff than i am today.  anybody want a series 2 coupon?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

a penny sleeve is a card earned

ben franklin was a wise man, but even he could not foretell the simple joy of trading baseball cards with a fellow collector.  jon at a penny sleeve for your thoughts and i have traded a few times now, and the latest package he sent was something special. however, before i get too deep into this post, head over to jon's blog and enter his (premature) 200th post contest!

on to the cards!  jon was kind enough to find three 1957 topps cards for my slow-going set build
the color on these is fantastic - especially the stone card.  and, is it just me or do others feel like the kansas city a's cards in this set are the most readily available? kind of like rays cards today, i suppose.

jon also sent over some yasiel puig inserts, like this 2014 topps gypsy queen n174 card
this 2015 panini prizm fireworks card
and this 2015 topps heritage chrome card
jon also found and sent this 2016 topps stadium club zach lee gold parallel auto card
which is awesome (au-some?).  unfortunately, topps has had a penchant in recent years for choosing the prospect(s) that the dodgers trade away for inclusion in their sets. lee is now with the padres after the dodgers traded him to the mariners last season, and based on that correlation between cards and trades, i don't expect ross stripling to be a dodger for much longer.

thanks jon, and congrats on approaching 200 posts!

Monday, March 13, 2017

a local card show with european flair

i am guessing that there are no baseball card shows in slovakia, but there are monthly (and it looks like there are now, once again, two and sometimes three) card shows in the twin cities.  i went to the more established show in early february for two reasons.  one, i wanted to look for some cards for a couple of folks out there, and two, i wanted former twin tom johnson to sign a 1978 topps card for me.  and he did!
i had been aware that johnson was going to be signing at the show for a while, but i had thought that he had already signed for me through the mail.  after talking with another collector at twins fest in late january, however, i realized that it was likely not the case.  so, when i got home from twins fest, i checked my binder and sure enough, there was no tom johnson.

so, what was the reason that had me doubting a ttm success? well, the other collector told me that johnson travels a lot doing ministry type work.  so, after he signed my card, i asked johnson about his work.  he said that he has established a boys and girls club type facility in slovakia, giving youngsters there a chance to hang out and play sports.  he handed me a business card, too.
bratislava is the country's capital, near the austrian border. i didn't think to ask what his connection to slovakia was, but it's a pretty cool thing regardless.

i picked up a number of other cards at the show, including a big stack of 2017 rediscover topps buybacks for a great price and some other stuff to send to some frequent trading partners, but the only other cards i've scanned are for me.  like this 2010 bowman erick aybar orange parallel card,
and these 2017 topps cards - addison russell,
ben zobrist,
and dustin pedroia (1987 30th anniversary insert),
all for the double play binder.

i was disappointed to not find the 2017 topps salute sandy koufax card which had been added to my nefarious nine, but it was otherwise a good show with a lot of dealers.

Friday, March 10, 2017

supporting north american free trade

jim gilliam spent two years playing for the dodger triple-a affiliate in montreal.  that's in canada, or quebec, at least (those crazy separatists!).  i recently received a fantastically conditioned 1960 topps jim gilliam card
from captain canuck, defender of  baseball card collecting in the prairie provinces.  there were four cards in the pwe that i received from the self-proclaimed waxaholic, but they were four glorious cards that tell a story of our fine continent.

in addition to the gilliam card, there were two 1977 o-pee-chee cards.  now, everyone knows all about o-pee-chee cards (thanks in some part to my blog, i hope), and the brighter backs associated with our northern neighbors' cards are an increasingly welcome sight for my aging eyes.  here's ron cey's 1977 o-pee-chee card back:
with a native american on it!

the other o-pee-chee card was the dave lopes/bill north league leaders card, and here is its back:
it's slightly miscut, with some of the grass that should be on the bottom of the card leaking onto the top of the card, but otherwise very clean.  and yes, don baylor once stole 52 bases.

the last card of the trade was this 2014 topps 75th anniversary buyback of vic davalillo
davalillo was famously (at least to us dodger fans) plucked from the mexican league during the 1977 season, and wound up getting one of most memorable pinch-hits in dodger history (but not the most, obviously). davalillo came up to bat for lance rautzhan with two outs and nobody on base in game 3 of the 1977 nlcs. the dodgers were trailing 5-3, and were on the verge of falling behind in the series two games to one.  davalillo bunted for a hit, and the game winning rally was on. and then reggie jackson destroyed my dreams.

so there you have it - a great trade between canada and the us, featuring cards with ties to both countries plus mexico.  as long as there are adam laroche cards to be uncovered (along with various other braves and hockey folks), i will support free trades like this one.  thanks captain!