here's sheet number 14 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 118-126:
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)
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),
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.
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.