Wednesday, June 8, 2016

frankendodger sheet 28 (cards 244-252) - what might have been...

here's sheet number 28 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 244-252:
and the back:
these cards are:

244. 1991 topps stadium club orel hershiser
245. 1991 topps kal daniels
246. 2013 topps allen & ginter's hyun-jin ryu
247. 1988 score ken landreaux
248. 2004 fleer ultra hee-seop choi
249. 1964 topps doug camilli
250. 1990 donruss willie randolph
251. 1994 topps archives the ultimate 1954 set roberto clemente
252. 1991 score mike hartley

the "no brainer" of the day:

roberto clemente has two cards featuring him as a member of the dodger organization, and at least one of them was going to be in this set. it turns out that i had doubles of the card that should have been from the 1994 topps archives set (but not the 1995 topps archives brooklyn dodgers set), and so here you are.

about the cards:

street clothes, especially bad sweaters, really don't belong on baseball cards. still, there is some strange allure that these types of cards, including this orel hershiser stadium club card, have on us.  1991 topps was (and still is) a great set with some great photos and a design that rebounded well from a few years (in my opinion) of poor design.  i've since warmed up to the 1988, 1989, and 1990 designs, but still prefer '91 to any of them. as for kal daniels, it's too bad his knees sucked.

i hope hyun-jin ryu's shoulder is not going to deliver the same disappointment that daniels' knees gave dodger fans.  ryu had another setback during his rehab recently, which is not good. not that the dodger rotation necessarily needs another lefty, but they sure need something at this point. his 2013 a&g card is one of my favorites from that set, thanks to the composition of the photo and the blue-ness (but not too much blue-ness) of his glove.

ken landreaux caught the last out of the 1981 world series, and for that, he will always be appreciated.  his 1988 score card is not his best dodger card, but it works.  hee-seop choi's 2004 fleer ultra card, however, is pretty nice.  i used this card in a post about the evolution of the dodger stadium outfield wall, and i am happy that it fits into this set.

doug camilli's card may be the worst conditioned card in the set.  those are some greatly rounded corners, but the doubles bin doesn't discriminate when it comes to dodger cards.  willie randolph's 1990 donruss card gives us the second red-bordered card of the page, but it's got a lot of blue on it, so there is some balance.

and now we get to what might have been.  roberto clemente was famously left unprotected by the dodgers in the 1954 rule v draft, and was taken by the pirates.  had he stayed with the dodgers, it is hard to say whether he would have had the same success or been given the same opportunities given the players the dodgers already had.  and, as a dodger fan, it would be wrong of me to not be pleased with the four world championships and six pennants that the dodgers won over the course of clemente's career.  still, roberto clemente as a dodger would have been something.

mike hartley, seen on the 1991 score black-bordered subset, was a decent pitcher for the dodgers, making all 6 of his career starts with the blue (including one that resulted in a shutout of the braves) in 1990. hartley was ultimately dealt to the phillies in 1991 for roger mcdowell.

cards that didn't make the cut:

also-rans for this sheet include 1958 topps don demeter
(don't worry, his 1959 topps card with the same photo is in the set) at number 244, 1991 upper deck darryl strawberry at number 245, 1996 topps mike piazza at number 246, 1965 topps wally moon at number 247, 2005 donruss champions tommy lasorda at number 248, 1968 topps bill singer (with his torn sleeve) at number 249, 1993 upper deck roger mcdowell
at number 250, 1981 o-pee-chee steve garvey at number 251, and 1993 pinnacle mike piazza at number 252.

my favorite card on the page:

hee-seop choi again benefits from a day game at dodger stadium.  actually, ultra had some great sets with great photos in the early 2000's, at least as far as dodger cards go.

final thoughts:

although i didn't use it on this sheet the 1991 upper deck darryl strawberry card (as well as his 1991 donruss card)
are the first 'press conference' type photos i recall seeing on baseball cards. since then, we've seen them on cards for alex rodriguez, ken griffey jr, zack greinke, and jon lester, just to name a few.  the first one i ever saw was wayne gretzky's 1988-89 topps card, which sits somewhere in my hockey card collection.


  1. Between the Nerdy Hershiser and the zero-year Clemente, this might be my favorite Frankendodger page so far.

    1. i'm glad you can find some joy in a page where 5 of the 9 cards are junk wax era!

  2. Does the '95 Archives Clemente feature the same photo/format? I'm unclear whether I have that one (although I do have the one you showed).

    I remember being horrified by the Hershiser card the first time I saw it. So horrified you could feel it in the blog post I wrote as soon as I saw it. Will never say I wish it was never made, but still I'm ... horrified.

    1. the two clementes are pretty much the same, except for the bottom of the back. topps kept the 251 number in the baseball on the back upper left, and put the actual card number down at the bottom where the "ultimate 1954" text is. the card number for the 1995 version is very tiny. get out your magnifying glass!

  3. love seeing the '90 Donruss and '91 Score sets featured... two personal faves.

    although I don't think you always need to mention when someone beats the braves.

    1. you're right - it's low hanging fruit this year...