Tuesday, May 31, 2016

frankendodger sheet 22 (cards 190-198) - again with the garvey...

here's sheet number 22 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 190-198:
and the back:
these cards are:

190. 1978 o-pee-chee steve garvey
191. 1981 topps rick sutcliffe
192. 2015 topps joc pederson
193. 1991 fleer don aase
194. 1992 topps eric karros
195. 1959 topps rip repulski
196. 1994 upper deck collector's choice roger mcdowell
197. 2002 upper deck mvp shawn green
198. 2009 upper deck nomar garciaparra

the "no brainer" of the day:

considering that the 1978 o-pee-chee card is and always has been in the header image over at garveyceyrusselllopes, it's a safe bet that it was the no brainer on this sheet.

about the cards:

i am actually writing this post in the friendly city of toronto.  being here makes me want to seek out some old o-pee-chee cards. i was 7 and on a family vacation to the prairie provinces when i first bought packs of o-pee-chee cards and found that garvey card that leads off the sheet.  good times.

rick sutcliffe brought the rookie of the year award back to los angeles in 1979.  he actually made his big league debut in 1976, but didn't stick with the dodgers until he went 17-10 in '79. of course, he struggled in 1980 and became firmly entrenched in tommy lasorda's doghouse pretty quickly.  he was left off of the 1981 postseason roster, and if i recall correctly, he trashed lasorda's office as a result.  the dodgers traded sutcliffe to the indians prior to the 1982 season, and he promptly led the american league in era.  he wound up with the cubs in 1984, and won the cy young award.

joc pederson was an early favorite to bring the rookie of the year award back to los angeles in 2015, but his second half was terrible.  i was starting to put this set together in august of 2015, and that is why he has two cards in the first 200 spots. had i waited until october, he may only have had one.

don aase is repping the bold 1991 fleer set. aase is, alphabetically the first dodger.  and the first oriole, and the first angel, but not the first met or red sox, as david aardsma also played for those two teams.

eric karros did (!) bring the rookie of the year award back to los angeles after a nine year drought.  his 1992 topps card is the second card in this set from his rookie year (1992 donruss was the other).  it's not my favorite card from the 1992 topps set - we will see that one later.

rip repulski's card is great for a couple of reasons. first, it's blue and not yellow like so many of the dodgers' 1959 topps cards. second, the look on his face makes it seem that he is pretty pleased to see karros' card next to him.  seeing repulski here makes me realize i should have gone for a brady bunch page with all of the cards featuring players looking around at each other.  again, shame on me for not doing so.

the bottom row features roger mcdowell doing what roger mcdowell does on his baseball cards, a typical mvp style card of shawn green (mvp and spx sets in the late 90's/early 00's were pretty much a waste of space in my opinion), and nomar's 2009 upper deck card.  i passed on the first edition version of this card a few sheets back, but his double play turning goodness was not to be denied a second time.

cards that didn't make the cut:

as usual, there were some pretty good cards that didn't make the sheet. they include 1962 topps wally moon (both versions)
and 1979 topps ron cey at number 190, 2003 upper deck, 2003 upper deck first pitch,
and 2004 upper deck kasuhisa ishii
(basically the same card) at number 191, 2002 donruss originals pee wee reese at number 192, 2001 upper deck mark grudzielanek at number 193, 1997 bowman adrian beltre at number 194, 1992 upper deck juan samuel (well lookie there!), at number 195, 1984 o-pee-chee steve howe at number 196, 1986 topps enos cabell at number 197, and 1972 topps charlie hough/bob o'brien/mike strahler
at number 198.

my favorite card on the page:

this is another case where the no brainer is also my favorite card. duh.

final thoughts:

with the end of the restriction on set and player use, i will pretty much always go with a garvey, cey, russell, or lopes card when given the chance.  same goes for 1978 topps/o-pee-chee.  just so you know.

Monday, May 30, 2016

frankendodger sheet 21 (cards 181-189) - a hero for all-time...

here's sheet number 21 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 181-189:
and the back:
these cards are:

181. 2014 bowman chrome dan haren
182. 1991 donruss studio gary carter
183. 2012 bowman james loney
184. 2001 bowman's best joe thurston
185. 1994 upper deck all-time heroes steve garvey
186. 1986 leaf tom niedenfuer
187. 2002 fleer platinum jeff shaw
188. 1971 topps bob valentine/mike strahler
189. 2004 upper deck dave roberts

the "no brainer" of the day:

of all of these cards, the 1971 topps valentine/strahler card was the one that slotted in on this page first.  maybe not a true no brainer, but everything else here fit in around it. still, it was enough of a no brainer to block a different jeff shaw card from the set - more on that below.

about the cards:

three bowman cards and a studio card start the sheet off.  i wonder what drives the decision for card manufacturers to use either the interlocking 'la' logo versus the flying ball logo.  anyway, i don't care for the logo placement on haren's card, and if you were to remove the logo from carter's studio card, you would see that it is a card that panini could (and does) make today.

loney and thurston strike similar poses, while upper deck gave me a new steve garvey card in 1994 using a photo from the 1974 world series.  i was pretty happy when i found out about this set, which happened later in the decade. i am glad that the inset photo they used was also a dodger photo instead of a padre photo - upper deck pulled that kind of swap on a few cards, such as manny mota's and charlie neal's.

being a leaf card rather than a donruss card doesn't make tom niedenfuer's card any more interesting.  i will once again take a moment to tell the tale of perhaps my favorite letter to the editor ever.  it must have been in 1985 when some fine person wrote a poem to the la times' sports editor that went something like this:  "i am a true blue dodger fan, so i won't be naming names. but there is a certain pitcher, we niedenfuer games." genius.

jeff shaw's 2002 fleer platinum card is obviously from a 'heritage' type set that honors the 1987 fleer design.  not sure why fleer put the orange bar on the bottom (dodger cards in 1987 had a darker blue bar).  the orange makes it look like a padre card.  next up is the first multi-player rookie card in the set. both strahler and valentine would be sent to the angels with frank robinson a couple years after this card came out.

last, but not least, is a card of the current dodger manager, dave roberts. i am not a fan of the blue jerseys as game jerseys (even though i own one), but i do like roberts' card.  also, from 2002-2005, i was only buying topps stuff, so upper deck cards from that timeframe are relatively new and interesting to me.

cards that didn't make the cut:

some of the cards considered but not chosen for this sheet include 2009 upper deck o-pee-chee cory wade at number 181, 1971 o-pee-chee al downing
at number 182, 1998 bowman ted lilly at number 183, 2003 (or 2004) upper deck shawn green
at number 184, 1996 upper deck collector's choice mike piazza at number 185, 1996 sp hideo nomo at number 186, 2003 (or 2004) upper deck andy ashby at number 187, 1999 fleer ultra jeff shaw
at number 188 (that is a great card, but the valentine/strahler card held its own), 2003 upper deck dave roberts at number 189 (yes, roberts, green, and ashby all held the same numbers in two consecutive upper deck flagship sets).

my favorite card on the page:

just to be a bit unpredictable, i won't choose the garvey card (it's nice, but fairly dark). the thurston is a cool looking card, but my favorite here is the dave roberts card.  i chose his 2004 card over his 2003 card for this spot because of its blue-ness despite my aversion to the blue jerseys as mentioned above.

final thoughts:

chances were pretty good that i was going to have to repeat a set or player at 185, so i figured it might as well be my baseball hero, steve garvey, who had the honors.  i could have gone with a 2015 bowman chrome mini erisbel arruebarrena card there, but i didn't have a double, and limiting the card selection for the first 20 pages seemed like a nice number to stop on.

Friday, May 27, 2016

frankendodger sheet 20 (cards 172-180) - enough with the variety...

here's sheet number 20 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 172-180:
 and the back:
these cards are:

172. 1971 o-pee-chee duke sims
173. 2005 topps heritage jeff weaver
174. 1988 topps phil garner
175. 1989 topps john shelby
176. 2014 panini donruss carl crawford
177. 1991 topps stadium club eddie murray
178. 1980-87 sspc baseball immortals frank robinson
179. 1995 fleer update todd williams
180. 2012 topps allen & ginter's tim federowicz

the "no brainer" of the day:

the frobby card was the no brainer here.  there just aren't too many cards of him in a dodger uniform, and at number 754, his 1972 topps high-number card falls outside of the numbering for this set.

about the cards:

i've written about the sims card before over at oh my o-pee-chee, and there's not much more to say about it other than i am a big fan.  i am only a so-so fan of topps heritage and jeff weaver. i had high hopes for weaver when he came to the dodgers from the american league where he had been somewhat successful, but my hopes were dashed over the next couple of years.  the best/weirdest thing about garner's 1988 topps card is that he doesn't have his mustache.  he could have given lanny mcdonald a run for his money.

with shelby's 1989 topps card, we have successive years of the flagship back-to-back on the sheet.  that's happened a few times before.  carl crawford's 2014 donruss card (i had to double check to make sure it was from 2014 as the design is so non-descript) is a fine example of the worst an unlicensed card can be.

eddie murray had to wait a long time to make the set, but i really wanted this stadium club card in the set.  it reminds me of lucy and ethel in the chocolate factory as he has his hands full with baseballs. i can picture joey amalfitano hitting fungoes to him rapid fire off camera.  the next card is the second hall of famer on the sheet, frank robinson.  his 1973 topps card
would have made the set (on this sheet at 175) if topps hadn't airbrushed out the 'dodgers' on his uniform and labeled frank as a california angel.  that card might be my favorite near-miss dodger card ever.

i bet you were wondering when the 1995 fleer abomination would show up. well, here it is (update, actually) with todd williams representing.  williams pitched in 16 games for the dodgers in '95 but was traded to the a's towards the end of the season and so wasn't around for the team's nlds sweep at the hands of the reds.  last up is tim federowicz's 2012 a&g card.  federowicz is currently getting a shot with the cubs following kyle schwarber's injury. i thought it presumptuous that he, as a catcher, took mike piazza's number when he first came up to the bigs.

cards that didn't make the cut:

a few examples of cards that were considered but not chosen include 2015 topps update adrian gonzalez at #172 (i have a bunch of these cards, but no way the sims was losing out), 1990 leaf kirk gibson at #173, 1970 topps ted sizemore and 1992 upper deck darryl strawberry
at #174, 2013 panini hometown heroes bill buckner
at #175, 1972 topps tom haller in action (it is a dodger card, you know) and 1981 donruss steve garvey at #176, 2009 topps 206 pee wee reese at #177, 2010 bowman manny ramirez at #178, 2003 bowman heritage duke snider at #179, and 1996 upper deck collector's choice hideo nomo
at #180.

my favorite card on the page:

the duke sims team and text o-pee-chee variation is my favorite card on this page.  i wish there were more o-pee-chee variations!

final thoughts:

from here on out, there are no rules - any number can be filled by any player from any set.  however, the next sheet does feature eight new sets, along with eight new players.  i wonder who the repeat player will be?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

frankendodger sheet 19 (cards 163-171) - one of these is not like the others...

here's sheet number 19 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 163-171:
 and the back:
these cards are:

163. 2013 topps archives hyn-jin ryu
164. 1990 score tim crews
165. 2011 bowman chrome prospects nathan eovaldi
166. 2001 upper deck legends of new york burleigh grimes
167. 1987 o-pee-chee rick honeycutt
168. 2005 playoff prestige yhency brazoban
169. 1961 post johnny podres
170. 1991 fleer ultra mike sharperson
171. 2013 bowman paco rodriguez

the "no brainer" of the day:

hungover johnny podres was the fist card on this sheet.  i don't have too many post doubles from the 1960's, so this card was a sure thing for the set.

about the cards:

there are two reasons to wear a belt.  one is to hold up your pants. the other is to break up all of the white in the dodger uniform. hyun-jin ryu may well be wearing a belt, but his archives card is a good example of the need for some relief from all that white - especially when the blue name script and red numbers are obscured.  tim crews is wearing his belt with his away grays on his 1990 score card.

nathan eovaldi was traded to the marlins in the hanley ramirez deal.  now he's pitching for the yankees.  i think the dodgers could use his arm these days.  back in the day, burleigh grimes pitched for, and later managed, the brooklyn ball club.  this 2001 legends of new york card notes that grimes was the dodgers' ace, although he pitched for the team when they were known as the robins.

seeing rick honeycutt's 1987 opc card right below the crews '90 score card makes me notice the similarities between the two designs. former closer yhency brazoban's 2005 playoff prestige card reminds me of jon weisman's dodger thoughts blog.  there were a few "ghame over" (or "guame over" if duaner sanchez closed) comments after dodger victories in jon's game posts that season.

johnny podres looks rough on his 1961 post card, and the card itself isn't in the best shape.  plus, look at the writing on the back! i have no idea what message was being conveyed in crayon there.  the back of mike sharperson's 1991 ultra card features three photos!  such innovation by fleer.  and, getting back to the title of the post, there are eight pitchers on this sheet, and mike sharperson.  despite sharperson's super-utility status, he never did pitch in a big league game.  the last pitcher on the page is paco rodriguez.  like i said about eovaldi, i think the dodgers could use paco in the bullpen right now.  too bad he's out for the season following tommy john surgery.

cards that didn't make the cut:

i don't have doubles of sandy koufax's 1959 topps card, so it was never in contention at number 163, but there were other cards considered for this page that fell short.  they include jim brewer's 1975 topps card at number 163, zack wheat's 1991 conlon collection card
at number 164, willie davis' 1974 topps card at number 165, duke snider's 2010 topps national chicle card at number 166, eric gagne's 2006 bazooka card at number 167, reggie smith's 1978 topps card at number 168, alex trevino's 1986 o-pee-chee card
at number 169, paul konerko's 1995 pinnacle card at number 170, and nick punto's 2013 topps update card
at number 171.

my favorite card on the page:

there's not a real standout on this sheet, but i certainly like the idea of burleigh grimes cards in modern day sets.  i'll choose it as my favorite, even if the team name is wrong and even though there is an almost identical card just a couple of slots away in that legends of new york set.

final thoughts:

it was a coincidence to feature both crews and sharperson on this sheet.  both guys died in accidents during their playing days - crews on a boat during spring training (in an accident that claimed the life of indians' teammate steve olin and injured bobby ojeda) and sharperson in a car accident on his way to join the padres from triple-a las vegas.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

frankendodger sheet 18 (cards 154-162) - pinch hitting for tom goodwin...

here's sheet number 18 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 154-162:
 and the back:
these cards are:

154. 2004 bowman chin-feng chen
155. 1960 topps charlie neal
156. 2002 fleer tradition terry adams
157. 1970 topps manny mota
158. 2011 topps casey blake
159. 2010 topps update octavio dotel
160. 2005 donruss team heroes edwin jackson
161. 2000 upper deck spx tom goodwin
162. 1991 topps debut '90 dave walsh

the "no brainer" of the day:

there are a few strange or unusual cards (mostly errors) that received strong consideration for the set.  while the 1989 upper deck brian holton/shawn hillegas card did not make the set, i knew i wanted either the 2000 sp authentic or the spx tom goodwin/adrian beltre card in the set from the get go.  yes, that's adrian beltre batting on goodwin's card, with goodwin in the inset photo.

about the cards:

there was a time when chin-feng chen was my baseball salvation. then it was joel guzman and then matt kemp.  one of those guys lived up to the hype.  chen was out of the organization after the 2005 season with only 25 plate appearances under his belt.  charlie neal had more success with the dodgers.  his 1960 topps card was almost bumped to get wally moon's card from that set in at number 5, but i went with the '57 topps maglie there instead.

the 2002 fleer tradition adams card features a nice photo of the dodger pitcher suttoning. the dodgers had converted adams to a starter the previous season, and he was actually with the phillies when this card was released. fan favorite manny mota gets to represent the 1970 topps set, which is nice.  i started collecting in 1978 and soon thereafter went after dodger team sets starting in 1970, so this set is near and dear.  of the dodgers in the 1970 set, only mota, don sutton, and bill russell were still with the dodgers in 1978, so i was especially fond of their cards from that set.

the 2011 topps blake card features a pretty good photo, and i actually prefer the 2011 topps design on the horizontal cards.  the dotel card from the previous year's update set is the only card of him as a dodger that i am aware of.  it was not quite as much of a no brainer as the spx card, but i did want to get the well traveled dotel into the set.

i was at one of edwin jackson's early career starts.  it was in san francisco, and he held the giants scoreless in his six innings of work.  he gave up just two hits, but walked 8.  he struck out barry bonds twice, and hit him another time as the dodgers beat the giants 5-0.  it was a good day at the park, and i will give giant fans kudos for not hassling the many dodger fans like me who were in attendance. anyway, jackson's card here comes from the tail end of his dodger tenure, and i was surprised to find that he is still pitching (in miami) today. the marlins are jackson's 10th team, so he has a bit to go to catch up to mike morgan and dotel.

i wrote about the goodwin card before, so let's just go to dave walsh.  i liked the idea of these debut sets from the early 1990's as they were a vehicle to get me cards of new dodgers sooner, and they used as their basis the current topps flagship design.  not quite a traded set, but similar. it turns out that this set was a good thing, because walsh didn't get too many other cards. he was 1-0 for the dodgers in 1990 and that was it for his big league career.

cards that didn't make the cut:

there were a few other cards considered for these spots, including nomar garciaparra's 2009 upper deck first edition card
at number 154, carl furillo's 1995 topps archives brooklyn dodgers card at number 155, 1985 leaf rick honeycutt at number 156, 1993 action packed tommy john at number 157, 1994 upper deck collector's choice eric karros
at number 158, 1978 o-pee-chee rick rhoden at number 159, 1992 upper deck minors todd hollandsworth
at number 160, 2009 upper deck o-pee-chee eric stults at number 161, and 1958 topps gil hodges at number 162.

my favorite card on the page:

manny mota's 1970 topps card is my favorite here, for reasons mentioned above. the first "vintage" set i put together was the 1970 set, and it remains one of my favorites, due mostly to sentimental reasons.

final thoughts:

seeing the neal and blake cards on this sheet make me think that i didn't try hard enough to get an all horizontal card sheet in the set.  shame on me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

frankendodger sheet 17 (cards 145-153) - now with more southpaws...

i've updated this page since the original post ran.

here's sheet number 17 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 145-153:
and the back:
here's how the page originally looked:
these cards are:

145. 1993 pacific kevin gross
146. 2007 topps heritage delwyn young
147. 2009 bowman blake dewitt
148. 2003 bowman heritage fred mcgriff
149. 2006 topps opening day hong-chih kuo
150. 1976 topps steve garvey 2016 bowman corey seager
151. 1972 topps jim brewer
152. 1991 topps mickey hatcher
153. 1981 o-pee-chee jerry reuss

the "no brainer" of the day:

the card that probably comes closest is the jim brewer card.  i have several 1972 topps jim brewer cards for some reason, so he was an early pick to represent that set as i was piecing this project together.

about the cards:

the pacific card comes from their first foray into the bilingual card market, and is nowhere near as crazy as their designs would get later in the decade.  delwyn (not delmon) young came up to the dodgers around the same time as matt kemp and andre ethier.  his cause wasn't helped by ned picking up the likes of juan pierre, luis gonzalez, and andruw jones to patrol the outfield, and he was always the odd man out. he was dealt to the pirates in 2009.

blake dewitt was another guy who had some time with the dodgers, including a decent rookie season in 2008, but again, ned went out and picked up casey blake. dewitt was dealt to the cubs in 2010.  it wasn't ned, but dan evans who was the gm that brought in fred mcgriff for the 2003 season to replace eric karros who was going to chicago to replace (along with future dodger hee seop choi) mcgriff.  the crime dog had hit 30 homers the year before, but managed only 13 as a dodger.  i was looking forward to some cards of mcgriff in dodger blue, and this bowman heritage card was one of the first that i saw.

three of the last five cards on the sheet belong to lefty pitchers. hong-chih kuo's 2006 opening day card is interesting because he was a non-closer reliever even at that point in his career, and i was surprised that he made the opening day checklist, as that set is smaller than flagship.  the other two leftys are former dodger closer jim brewer on a 1972 topps card, and friend of the blogosphere jerry reuss on his 1981 o-pee-chee card.  brewer was done pitching by the time i started to follow the game, but reuss has provided me with some great memories including his no-hitter against the giants and his great pitching performances in the 1981 postseason against the astros and yankees.  it felt right to use a 1981 card for him.

the other two cards on the sheet are corey seager's 2016 bowman card steve garvey's 1976 topps card (which gets the hero number exemption from my lack of set/player duplication rule) and mickey hatcher's 1991 topps card.  i was pretty happy to see seager's bowman card come out as number 150.  this way, the diversity of the set is maintained, and i get seager in the set.  he looks like he will be the real deal, and i hope that he and joc pederson and julio urias and clayton kershaw and jose deleon have many successful years together with the dodgers.

cards that didn't make the cut:

there were lots of good options at number 145, including 1968 topps don drysdale, 1971 topps bill singer, and 1978 topps rick monday (the card where he's wiping the mustard away from his mouth).
other cards that wound up not making the sheet include 1980 topps and 1986 fleer bob welch cards at number 146, one of roy campanella's cards from 1994 upper deck all-time heroes at number 147, 1985 topps steve yeager or 1993 upper deck carlos hernandez at number 148, 1997 bowman joe lagarde
at number 149, 1963 topps johnny podres at number 150, 1973 topps wes parker and 2014 topps stadium club sandy koufax
at number 151, 1959 topps johnny klippstein at number 152, and 1996 topps tom candiotti at number 153.

my favorite card on the page:

i'll exclude garvey from contention and pick the kevin gross card.  it features an often used photo angle, but i never tire of seeing the visitor's bullpen fence in the background of a card.

final thoughts:

just like with the hero exemption at 100, i have rethought the exemption at 150.  with corey seager's 2016 bowman card at number 150, he has replaced the 1976 garvey there just as the 1990 bowman hubie brooks card has replaced the matt kemp card at 100.  after making those swaps, the frankenset is truly diverse through the first 20 pages.

Monday, May 23, 2016

frankendodger sheet 16 (cards 136-144) - managing to fit in the managers...

here's sheet number 16 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 136-144:
and the back:
these cards are:

136. 2010 topps heritage joe torre
137. 2007 topps turkey red jason schmidt
138. 2003 donruss studio odalis perez
139. 2000 pacific crown collection craig counsell
140. 1964 topps world series
141. 2006 fleer hee seop choi
142. 1996 topps gallery roger cedeno
143. 1995 skybox emotion raul mondesi
144. 1974 topps walt alston and coaches

the "no brainer" of the day:

as obvious as it may seem, i did not always have the 1964 topps dodgers celebrate card at number 140.  no, the no brainer of this sheet is the counsell card, simply because it is the only card i know of that features him in a dodger uniform.

about the cards:

this sheet features a couple more dodger managers - torre in the first spot, and alston in the last.  as is customary with topps heritage, the torre card is the same number as alston's card in the 1961 topps set.  it's difficult to believe that turkey red was a stand-alone set from 2005-2007 before becoming an insert set in 2008.  it's even more difficult to believe that the dodgers signed jason schmidt.

the 2003 studio set was a nice set for team collectors like me who appreciate their team's stadium as all of the cards featured backgrounds of each team's respective home.  i'm glad they went with a interior shot of dodger stadium of the top deck, as some cards featured the exterior of the stadiums.

thank goodness for pacific.  they made the counsell card when other companies did not.  counsell was a dodger who appeared in 50 games during the 1999 season and didn't do so well. they released him and he went on to arizona where he was the mvp of the 2001 nlcs.

the 1964 topps card shows the relative mayhem following the dodgers' sweep of the yankees in the 1963 world series.  alston makes a second appearance on the page (he's number 24), and he is celebrating with marv breeding (23), lee walls (7), and pitching coach joe becker (33), with sandy koufax in the middle of the group.

the hee seop choi card is nice with the pirates' scoreboard behind him, and the cedeno card is fairly forgettable as many of his cards are.  and was raul mondesi attentive? i don't know, but skybox thinks so.  i didn't say it earlier when referencing alston's 1974 topps card so i'll say it know - i love seeing coaches on cards.

cards that didn't make the cut:

aside from the 1961 topps alston, other options at number 136 include the 1964 topps world series card featuring sandy koufax
and steve howe's 1981 fleer fashion show card.
at 137, i chose not to use another 1981 fleer card (this one of bobby castillo with his jacket in his pocket) or the willie davis world series card from 1964 topps.  number 138 could have been a reprint of mike piazza's 1994 topps rookie card from 2001 topps traded or yasiel puig's 2013 topps chrome card among others, and a couple of also rans at number 139 include andy kosco's 1969 topps card of him not wearing a dodger uniform
and frank howard sealing the yanks' doom on a 1964 topps card.  i passed on both steve garvey's 1975 topps card and fernand(o)'s 1981 fleer rookie card at 140, and at 141 kirk gibson's 2003 topps tribute world series edition card took a back seat to hee seop.  babe ruth's coaching for the dodgers card was a contender at 142, as were steve sax's 1986 fleer and 1984 o-pee-chee cards at 143 and 144, respectively.

my favorite card on the page:

there are some nice cards here, and i really do like the perez card, even if i am pretty sure he wasn't standing in the top deck when the photo was taken.  i'll go with another card featuring dodger stadium - the 1964 topps world series card as my favorite.

final thoughts:

i'm not listing the coaches as official appearances, so that's why the alston card is here.  both tommy lasorda and jim gilliam have been featured in the set already, but i think this is the only time we'll see red adams and monty basgall.  a tip of my cap to red and monty!

Friday, May 20, 2016

frankendodger sheet 15 (cards 127-135) - in black and white...

here's sheet number 15 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 127-135:
and the back:
these cards are:

127. 1980 topps gary thomasson
128. 1977 o-pee-chee doug rau
129. 1993 topps stadium club jose offerman
130. 1985 o-pee-chee al oliver
131. 1987 fleer update matt young
132. 2007 topps opening day juan pierre
133. 1959 topps bob lillis
134. 1997 pinnacle inside karim garcia
135. 2001 bowman heritage marquis grissom

the "no brainer" of the day:

the 1985 o-pee-chee al oliver card was not going to be denied entry into this set. i specifically passed up his 1985 fleer update and 1985 topps traded cards so that this card could make it here on this page.

about the cards:

the 1980 topps card is thomasson's first card with him in a dodger uniform.  he received a nice o-pee-chee variation in 1979, which served as a nice counterbalance to tommy john's variation in the same set.  thomasson would get cards from all 3 manufacturers in 1981, although he was already playing in japan at that point.

speaking of o-pee-chee, we have a couple of the canadian cards on this sheet.  first up is doug rau, whose card is one of those ever so slight photo-cropping and facsimile autograph placement variations.  rau may be best known for trying to convince tommy lasorda to leave him in game 4 of the 1977 world series to pitch to graig nettles after he gave up 3 consecutive hits to start the yankees' half of the second inning.  it's pretty good conversation.  the second o-pee-chee card on the sheet is a much more noticeable variation - it's the good ol' team and text variation for al oliver, who was one of my favorite dodger acquisitions of the mid 80's.  it's too bad he didn't stick around very long.

in between those two canadian cards we have jose offerman.  i am guessing that tommy laid into offerman once or twice, too, as his 1993 stadium club card has him looking like he's been in tommy's doghouse for a while.  matt young was a lefty reliever who was acquired by the dodgers prior to the 1987 season for another lefty reliever (dennis powell). i think the shine was off the traded and update sets by the time 1987 rolled around, but i was still happy to see young and ralph bryant and the others in the sets.

juan pierre's 2007 topps opening day card is just an awful example of photoshopping.  topps did a decent job with nomar's od card a year earlier, but leaving the blue jersey on pierre (he was a cub in 2006) just doesn't work.  bob lillis and the rest of the rookies in the 1959 topps set may be part of the greatest rookie subset design ever. i prefer these to the 1960 version with the big rookie cup, as well as the rookie parade and all the other multi-player rookie cards that came after.

karim garcia's rookie card from 1997 pinnacle inside looks just like the other cards from the set, with the word 'rookie' added to it. which is ok, it's just not 1959 topps. and, bringing up the rear of the sheet, is the black and white marquis grissom card from 2001 bowman heritage.  i am not a fan of the 1953 bowman black & white set, so i am not a fan of this set, either. part of the problem is the plain front.  black and white photos work on cards sometimes, but not with such a plain design. and not on 1979 topps rookie cards, either.  and what did kids think back in 1953 when they say the beauty of the bowman color set and then opened some black and white stuff.  spoke filler for sure.

cards that didn't make the cut:

rudy law's 1981 topps card almost made the cut at number 127, while bill russell's 1978 topps card was denied at #128.  i almost made an exception for 1978 topps cards, but in the end decided to stick to my effort at diversity in the first 20 pages (with only the hero number exceptions).  at #129 (which is the number of tommy john's aforementioned 1979 o-pee-chee card), i thought about using a different jose offerman card (1993 score) or a 2014 topps stadium club hanley ramirez card.  ron cey's 1978 o-pee-chee card was at one point under serious consideration at number 130, and at number 131, we very nearly saw the ray lamb/bob stinson 1970 topps card
instead of matt young. i don't have a 1994 topps archives the ultimate 1954 set tom lasorda reprint, but if i were to have doubles, that card would probably have been at number 132, with a different card in lasorda's earlier spot.  i also thought about using juan pierre's 2009 topps card there,
but the photoshopping on his 2007 opening day card is just so bad that it needed to be a part of the set.  number 133 almost had a 1993 upper deck ramon martinez beat out the lillis card, and alex cora's 2004 topps card
almost beat out karim garcia at number 134.  finally, number 135 could have been a 1980 topps dusty baker or a 1994 upper deck collector's choice orel hershiser card instead of the grissom had i not tried to adhere to my guidelines.

my favorite card on the page:

it's al oliver, of course, but bob lillis comes in a close second.  tough to beat the o-pee-chee variation, especially from as colorful a set as 1985 topps.

final thoughts:

in 1979, the dodgers had on their roster doug rau and lance rautzhan, as well as gary thomasson and derrel thomas.  i know there was at least one time that rautzhan relieved rau (in 1978), but i don't know if thomasson ever pinch hit for thomas.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

frankendodger sheet 14 (cards 118-126) - not the best...

here's sheet number 14 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 118-126:
and the back:
these cards are:

118. 1986 topps traded ed vande berg
119. 2006 bowman j.d. drew
120. 1987 leaf bill madlock
121. 2007 ud sp rookie edition andy laroche
122. 1989 donruss baseball's best mike morgan
123. 1996 select greg gagne
124. 1987 fleer star stickers reggie williams
125. 1997 donruss todd hollandsworth
126. 1997 leaf antonio osuna

the "no brainer" of the day:

at this point, i was thinking about relatively obscure sets and/or obscure players that would likely not have already been used in the set.  the result of this approach is sometimes a "meh" page, and i think this is definitely one of those.  however, one of the cards that first came to mind that fit this rather obscure profile was the andy laroche card.  i knew i had doubles of it, and i knew i hadn't used a laroche card or a card from that set.  so, it was a no brainer to include here.

about the cards:

i always liked seeing dodger cards in the traded sets because they meant that i didn't have to wait until the next season to see certain players on cardboard as a dodger.  ed vande berg's 1986 topps traded card was bittersweet for me because it came about as a result of the dodgers trading steve yeager to seattle.  i was thinking about this last week because max scherzer struck out 20 batters in a game, matching the feats of randy johnson, kerry wood, and roger clemens.  clemens was, of course, the first to do so, and he did it against yeager and the mariners in 1986.  i recall that i was pleased that yeager fanned only once in his two at-bats that day.

jd drew's bowman card is from that era of bowman cards that came after 1997 and made it hard for me to figure out which year was which.  i do know that there is a tight window in time to which this card belongs due to drew exercising his 'out' clause after just a couple years in los angeles.

madlock's 1987 leaf card is not his best card as a dodger (although i don't really recall any outstanding madlock cards from his tenure), but i am glad to have the four-time batting champ in the set.  the andy laroche card features a low-angle spring training shot which makes me think of a player avoiding eye contact with fans that have lined up along the walkways to try to get autographs.

donruss used the term "baseball's best" fairly loosely with their sets of the late 80's/early 90's. as proof, here's mike morgan who did have a nice 2.53 era in 1989, but wasn't the ace of the staff or anything like that.  i was happy to see morgan win a ring with arizona in 2001, as i felt he was rushed to the big leagues by charlie finley which probably hurt/stunted his development as a pitcher for his entire career.

prior to joining the dodgers for the 1996 season, greg gagne had been to the postseason twice, and had won two rings.  in 1996, he reached the postseason for the third time in his career, but tasted postseason defeat for the first and only time as the dodgers were swept out of the nlds.  reggie williams, who has a number of cards (and this sticker) from 1986, was traded by the dodgers to the indians prior to the 1988 season.  i bet he was not happy about that.

todd hollandsworth has many better cards than this forgettable 1997 donruss card.  1997 donruss as a set seems too dark to me.  the card next to it was made by the same company, and is much nicer.  two leaf cards on one sheet, 10 years apart. i think leaf did well to create a completely separate set from the donruss design, unlike their mid and late 80's sets.

cards that didn't make the cut:

bob welch's 1988 topps card (with his super long arm)
is numbered 118, as is one of hollandsworth's better cards (his 1997 upper deck card) and the fantastic 2015 topps stadium club yasiel puig card.
sometimes i think i should have violated my frankenset guidelines...

other cards to be disqualified or just not quite be up to snuff include 1981 fleer terry forster (#119), 1999 upper deck jim eisenreich (#120), 1994 topps stadium club brett butler featuring his sweet mustache (#121),
2009 upper deck o-pee-chee orlando hudson (#122), 1983 o-pee-chee bill russell (#123), 1984 topps traded mike vail (#124), 1959 topps ron fairly (#125), and 1965 topps dodger team (#126).

my favorite card on the page:

i would like it better if the osuna card had the license plate (ok, it was not really a license plate, but osuna did wear a really large pendant on a chain when he first joined the dodgers) that he wore on one of his chains showing, but the chain is large and heavy enough in and of itself that i still like the '97 leaf card the best.

final thoughts:

there have been two different reggie williams that played for the dodgers.  just like there have been two mike marshalls, two ramon martinezes, and two mike ramseys.  i think only the marshalls are both represented in the frankenset, but i could be wrong.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

frankendodger sheet 13 (cards 109-117) - reggie!...

here's sheet number 13 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 109-117:
and the back:
these cards are:

109. 1997 bowman wilton guerrero
110. 1992 score kal daniels
111. 1981 fleer reggie smith
112. 1965 topps darrell griffith
113. 2010 topps chrome hiroki kuroda
114. 2009 upper deck a piece of history scott elbert
115. 1994 pinnacle tom candiotti
116. 2005 bowman heritage cesar izturis
117. 1991 upper deck juan samuel

the "no brainer" of the day:

i don't have too many doubles from 1965 as i am working on the set (at least, i have a want list), so this sheet was built around darrell griffith.

about the cards:

this sheet starts with a bang with that wilton guerrero card.  1997 bowman is probably my favorite bowman set - i had the nomo card from the set in my garvey cey russell lopes header.  to go from there to 1992 score is a bit of a letdown, but reggie smith picks things back up with his 1981 fleer card, and it is difficult to not like the 1965 topps design.  even if the card i chose features a guy who kind of looks like robin williams in his photo.

i have a few cards from 2010 topps chrome that look like the final layer of shellack wasn't applied, and the kuroda here is one of them.  the surface of the card is a bit rough.  maybe it's a super short print parallel version. scott elbert was the dodgers' first round pick in 2004, and he was pretty good out of the bullpen in 2011 and 2012.  then he got hurt, returned and did well again in a few games in 2014, but was signed and released by the padres in 2015.

the bottom row of cards is pretty nice.  i reaaaaaaally like the candiotti card with the tight shot from behind the plate, but i also think that 2005 bowman heritage is a underappreciated set.  which is to say, i've never seen it appreciated, and the izturis card deserves some appreciation.  even the photo choice for juan samuel's card makes me like 1991 upper deck more.

cards that didn't make the cut:

some of the best cards that were not chosen for this sheet include tommy john's 2003 topps all-time fan favorites card and a 1979 tcma the 1950's card of carmen mauro at #109, rick monday's 2005 topps all-time fan favorites card
and juan pierre's 2008 upper deck card at #110, don drysdale's 2005 upper deck baseball heroes card at #111, a 1999 topps stadium club card of chan ho park at #112,
lee walls' 1963 post card at #113, a 1972 topps bill buckner card at #114, robin ventura's 2003 topps traded card at #115, rafael bournigal's 1995 topps stadium club card at #116,
and a 2015 topps update enrique hernandez card at #117.

my favorite card on the page:

there are a few cards here that i really like for one reason or another, but candiott's 1994 pinnacle card is my favorite of the bunch.

final thoughts:

the darrell griffith card brings some orange to the page, along with the baby blue banner. it's interesting to me to see cards from 1965, 1981, and 1997 all use baby blue as an accent for dodger cards (in the case of the 1997 bowman set, they used baby blue for all of the rookies and red for veterans).  it's better than pink, though.