Wednesday, June 28, 2017

autographic for the collection

just about five months ago, i attended twins fest.  actually, attended is not quite accurate - i drove to target field and stood in line for a few autographs and then left.  buoyed by a recent spate of 1978 topps team card and checklist ttm returns in late 2016, i set my sights on one of my favorite non-dodger players who just happens to be the current manager of the twins.
paul molitor signed his rookie card very nicely, thanks perhaps to my being second in line.  there were a lot of people lined up, and i'm guessing he got a little sloppier as the morning went along.  for me, this was a key card in my early collecting days, and i think because i began collecting with this set, i have always had an affinity for molitor.  

the other twin that i sought out at twinsfest was tony oliva, who signed the twins' team card
oliva is seated to gene mauch's left, with his retired number 6 clearly showing.  i asked him to sign the card with as big of a signature as he wanted, and he maximized the use of the lower part of the card.  he didn't want to sign over any people - he said that would be disrespectful.  i'm not disappointed - i think this looks great.  dave goltz had previously signed a different copy (is that the right word?) of this card through the mail for me, but i won't be adding any other autos to this particular card.

that's it for the in-person auto portion of this post - the rest are ttm requests that were fulfilled in the first six months of 2017.

first up are a number of other team cards, including the atlanta braves card signed by first base coach eddie haas
haas is the fourth uniformed person from the right in the second row.

here's the texas rangers' card signed by pat corrales
corrales was the team's bullpen coach, but ascended to the managerial position during the 1978 season.  he's to the right of the guy in the red shirt.

the seattle mariners' team card was signed by pitching coach wes stock
stock is number 32, fourth from the right in the front row.

i sent a copy of the 1978 topps boston red sox card to rick miller (his is one of the floating heads in the photo), but it was the card that i sent to coach walt hriniak that made its way back to me
hriniak is seated to the left of jim rice in the front row.

i also sent out two phillies' team cards, and both came back. one was signed by coach bobby wine
and the other by pitching coach ray rippelmeyer
rippelmeyer is directly to danny ozark's left in the front row, while wine is to rippelmeyer's left.

i had also asked rippelmeyer if he had any recollection of the zaniness that is the phillies team card, and this was his response:
i've always been fascinated by that card - someone's glove on the statue, greg luzinski (i used to think it was tug mcgraw) chatting with dave johnson, the thinking bat boy, and bake mcbride's farmer blow.  the card is all the more interesting when you realize that there were better photos taken during the shoot, 
but that is the one that the phillies supplied to topps.

i did not identify any reds coaches that could sign their team card, but luckily the 1978 topps card features a photo from 1976, and so i had options with pat zachry (who has not yet returned the card) and joel youngblood (who did return the card)
zachry and youngblood are both featured as a met in the 1978 topps set.  zachry signed a copy of his 1978 topps card for a while ago, but this was the first time i had sent cards to youngblood, so i sent one of his solo cards along, too.
your first thought might be that zachry and youngblood were both included in the tom seaver trade between the mets and the reds, but i learned from my 1978 baseball handbook that, while zachry was part of the tom terrific deal, youngblood was traded from the reds to the cardinals, and then from the cardinals to the mets.

the pirates were another team for whom i went with a player to get the team card signed, and grant jackson signed next to his spot on the card
i thought about sending this card off to goose gossage with his signing fee, as it is one of the few cards to feature him as a pirate (he's in the middle of the middle row).  even better would have been getting terry forster to sign, as he is on this card (in the back row), but he has only signed one or two times through a private dealer since i've been chasing ttm autos.

ed ott was an option, too, as he is seated at the right end of the front row, but i sent him the first checklist in the set instead
his cards #28 puts him in a good spot to sign, and he didn't disappoint, although he didn't check himself off like ron cey did.  neither did charlie hough, who also signed checklist number 1
i would have sent this card to burt hooton, too, but happy seems to have stopped signing through the mail.

rick monday is on the front of checklist 2, but he doesn't sign through the mail, so i sent the card to manny mota instead.  mota signed the front
but his card #228 is on the back.

coming in at card #285 is steve yeager, and he signed checklist 3 which is awesome.
i spend a lot of time dwelling on the infield, but i was also a big steve yeager fan.  the guy was tough.

the 'other' dodger steve is also featured on checklist 3, although card #350 puts garvey on the back.  still, the garv came through for me and signed two checklists (one for the ttm binder and one for my garvey binder, of course)

it is always a thrill to get mail from guys like hough, mota, yeager, and garvey.  my 9-year old self would be so proud.

in addition to team cards and checklists, i sent out a few more regular cards.  a lot of good successes here, like tommy helms
lamar johnson
don kirkwood
kevin bell
steve foucault
omar moreno
jim rooker
glenn abbott
jeff newman
jerry tabb
mike tyson
and hall of famer joe morgan!
there were some non-index card successes showing for "little joe" through the hall of fame, so i sent in a card and received it back pretty quickly.  despite his heroics against the dodgers, i did admire morgan as a young fan of the game, and i am hoping that he really signed the card.

i also sent out a couple of rookie cards - one to phillies broadcaster larry andersen who obliged
you'll notice that i didn't send the card that already features jack morris's autograph, but i would like to send this to tim jones and ask him about his golden locks.

the other rookie card i mailed out went to dave oliver, 

a player i knew of back then because he went to cal poly (as did ozzie smith) which was pretty close to where i grew up. 

i had previously had this card signed by sam perlozzo a few years ago, and then i sent it out to garth iorg who has had it ever since.  this time, i sent the version signed by oliver to perlozzo
and that will be as far as it goes.

perlozzo's twins teammate bob randall also signed his card for me
and included a signed, personalized postcard, too
it was nice of randall to anoint me "a great twins fan". it's easier to be a fan of the team when they are playing well, as they have been this year (for the most part).

aside from 1978 topps cards, i've sent very few ttm requests.  one success from the few that i've sent was this 2006 topps update & highlights aaron sele card
i also wanted glenn hoffman's auto on a managerial card, so i sent a 1997 mother's dodgers card his way
he returned it signed, which means that, while i have many signed cards from bill russell and dave roberts from their playing days, i only need managerial signed cards from those two to complete my set of dodger managers dating back to walter alston.

lucky for me, topps included a dave roberts card in series one thanks to his being named the national league manager of the year.  i sent that card to roberts during spring training, and here is the return envelope as it looked when i pulled it out of my mailbox.
that doesn't look like machinery malfeasance to me, but then again, i am fairly cynical about the general public these days.

i think i had the same look on my face that roberts has on his
when i saw the torn and empty envelope.  i sent another card to roberts, and we'll see if it arrives this time.

Monday, June 26, 2017

the marlins' memorial patch for jose fernandez

the marlins have been wearing a patch for the late jose fernandez this season.  this 2017 topps now 'road to opening day' giancarlo stanton card shows the patch of fernandez's number 16 worn on the left chest
following fernandez's death near the end of the 2016 season, the marlins wore the patch on their right sleeve, as seen in the photo of stanton below
they also wore number 16 jerseys as a team for the first game following the boat accident that took the lives of fernandez and his two friends, emilio macias and eduardo rivero.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

another sterling steve

i recently acquired my third 2008 topps sterling steve garvey 1/1 patch card
yes, topps issued a number of 1/1 patch cards in the same release. in addition to the patches being unique, the card color was different, too.  this is the green one, i guess.  anyway, i like this card very much, even though it is from an away jersey and doesn't feature the red number.  even before it arrived in the mail, i spent a fair amount of time looking at it and trying to figure out in my head the location on the jersey from which the material was culled.  obviously, it is from the 'dodgers' script across the chest, but my first inclination of it being a part of the underline was quickly dismissed.  

i wound up finding an image of one of garvey's 1978 world series jerseys online (would love to have a card with the jim gilliam memorial patch included),
and it quickly became obvious that the patch on my card was from the capital 'd'
the first sterling patch card i picked up featured part of the number '6' on the back of the jersey, but the second
is from the underline, i'm pretty sure.
looks like there is plenty of jersey left to collect!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

i found some series 2 cards this morning

i had not seen 2017 topps archives in stores until this morning when i found myself in a suburban target store.  there was archives, right next to the series 2 cards.  i ignored the archives and bought a couple of packs of series 2 (kershaw on the wrapper!) and came away with only two dodgers.  

one of the boys in blue is this all-time all-star insert of clayton kershaw
and the other was this photoshopped logan forsythe rainbow foil parallel
after seeing the pirates' team card
in the first pack i opened, i was hoping to find the dodgers' team card to see if it uses as great of a photo.  i did not get that card, but i did find an image online, and i was very pleased to see that topps used a photo of the 2016 nl west champions saluting vin scully after the division-clinching win in the home finale.

i also see that finest dropped today, and there is something called topps inception that has also appeared.  nothing like flooding the market.  still, it looks like series 2 has some decent base and insert cards (even if steve garvey was left out of the all-star game mvp insert set), and if other coaches are showing up on cards like gene lamont on the pirates card above, i want more.

Monday, June 12, 2017

that's all for now

i know that topps now has received mixed reviews since it was introduced at the beginning of the 2016 season. i thought it was a good idea, and went all in on the dodgers (minus the relics and autos) after finding lower cost (but still same day) options on the secondary market.  in 2017, i decided to take a more cautious approach and only go for cards that represented something significant or appealed to me in a more focused way.

so far, i've purchased a couple of singles from two of the 'road to spring training' sets for my memorial patch collection, as well as three dodger cards.  i was once again holding out hope that vin scully would get a card when the dodgers added him to their ring of honor, but topps either chose not to or was legally unable to produce that card.  after seeing scully in a couple of late 2016 topps sets, i thought there was a good chance, but it was not to be.

topps did put out a card for the unveiling of jackie robinson's statue outside the top of the park at dodger stadium
which fits into my dodger stadium collection. the photo choice is odd - it is neither of the actual unveiling nor composed in a way that would isolate the statue.  it looks like a photo that a hurried fan took on their way to the stadium entrance with people milling about.  weird.

the other two cards i've purchased were the cody bellinger mlb debut card and the back-to-back-to-back home run card featuring yasiel puig, bellinger, and justin turner.  the latter arrived just fine, but the seller from whom i purchased the bellinger debut card has yet to come through or respond to my inquiries.  that is the potential danger in not buying directly from topps, i recognize, but even if i wind up with my $5.88 back i am not sure i will bother to spend a little more to get the card from another source.  and, while i considered buying the clayton kershaw 2000th strikeout card, i think i will let topps now pass me by for the time being.

speaking of topps, i was looking at the recently released series 2 schedule, and got excited when i saw the all-star game mvp insert set!  sadly, topps did not include two-time all-star game mvp steve garvey.  they did include other two-time winners gary carter, cal ripken, and mike trout (with trout getting cards for each of his wins).  willie mays and the garv were left on the cutting room floor which is very disappointing.