Thursday, July 14, 2016

frankendodger sheet 54 (cards 478-486) - check(list) out these cards...

here's sheet number 54 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 478-486:
and the back:
these cards are:

478. 1996 upper deck tom lasorda
479. 1998 donruss collections elite wilton guerrero
480. 1961 topps roy campanella
481. 1993 topps ryan luzinski
482. 2012 topps chris capuano
483. 1989 topps mickey hatcher
484. 2009 upper deck manny ramirez
485. 2005 upper deck eric gagne
486. 1989 donruss tim crews

the "no brainer" of the day:

well, i suppose when you rescue a 1961 topps roy campanella card from the vintage bargain bin even though you have one for your team set, it is going to go into the frankenset.

about the cards:

i was pretty happy to see tom lasorda get a card from upper deck in 1996.  it was the first card that they made of the dodger manager, although he had appeared on a few cards such as the 1992 bob ojeda,
1993 sp eric karros,
and 1994 tim wallach.
this card is actually a checklist, and lasorda is featured because he was entering his 20th season as the dodger manager.  what upper deck didn't know was that it would also be his last.

the wilton guerrero card is another one of those from donruss in 1998 where they took their regular cards from their flagship, elite, preferred, and other releases and made them into a new set called 'collections'.  they didn't change the number on the back of the card (guerrero's regular elite card is number 79 in the set), but they did add a new card number further down the back.

it was pretty cool of topps to make cards for mvp winners as part of their 1961 set.  campy only got one card even though he won three mvp awards. it's also too bad that topps only went back to 1950, denying us a jackie robinson card (and ted williams, too) as the 1949 mvp.  topps did the mvp's again (from 1952 through 1974) in 1975, and then again (from 1962 through 1981) in their 1982 k-mart set, but we haven't seen anything like this since.

ryan luzinski, son of greg, was the dodgers' first round pick in 1992, and topps gave us this card in 1993 as a result. a catcher by trade, he progressed to triple-a with the dodgers and later the reds, but never received the call to the big leagues.  the dodger farm system actually did well with catchers in the '90's - piazza, carlos hernandez, henry blanco, ken huckaby, and angel pena were all home grown talents, with pena being signed the same year the dodgers drafted luzinski.

there's not much going on with the 2012 topps chris capuano card, so let's move on to the 1989 topps mickey hatcher card. actually, there's not much going on there either, so let's move on to the 2009 upper deck manny ramirez card.  it, too is a checklist - a team checklist at that, as is the card after it - a 2005 upper deck card featuring eric gagne.  i like team checklists.  of course, because i began collecting in 1978, i prefer my team checklists to have a team photo on the front, with perhaps a nod to the manager.  still, having another card of manny ramirez in a dodger uniform in 2009 was not a bad thing, nor was seeing eric gagne get some recognition in 2005, as he was the longest tenured dodger at that time.

last card is the 1989 donruss tim crews card.  i think this is my favorite card from the vastly overproduced '89 donruss set.  it features crews pitching in dodger stadium, but the angle is slightly different from most photos of pitchers used on cards.  we still see a bit of the visitor's bullpen behind crews, but we also get a healthy dose of the right field pavilion providing a nice pop of color. this is the card i referred to in a previous post when writing about the 1993 score jim gott card that features a similar angle, but with a lesser result.  i think this is just a fantastic looking card.

cards that didn't make the cut:

among the "almost made its" are 1989 score dave anderson
at number 478, 1998 topps chrome mike piazza (with ken griffey jr) at number 479, 2002 topps shawn green at number 480, 1988 topps mariano duncan at number 481, 1992 upper deck john candelaria at number 482, 1961 topps don newcombe (sans ttm autograph)
at number 483, 1977 topps burt hooton at number 484, 2004 fleer tradition dodgers trio prospects (koyie hill, alfredo gonzalez, andrew brown) at number 485, and 2012 topps jerry sands
at number 486.

my favorite card on the page:

the campy is great, and seeing lasorda in upper deck sets was nice, but i actually like the tim crews card best. 1989 donruss - imagine that.

final thoughts:

is there anyone in baseball you would rather sit down and listen to them tell stories than tom lasorda?  i guess i would rather sit down with vin scully now that i think about it, and i am sure every fan of a specific team has someone relative to that team that they would choose, but i bet lasorda would be in many people's top 5 or 10.  he was out in minny a few weeks ago with michael milken (yes, that michael milken) to talk about baseball's support for prostate cancer prevention, and he joined bert blyleven and dick bremer in the twins broadcast booth.  milken did most of the talking, but tommy made a reference to blyleven and managing him on a trip to japan and i was hoping for a good story to follow. no dice as the inning ended and their time was up.  i had asked doug mientkiewicz a few years ago for some tommy stories, and he said that at one point, tommy's antics got the 2000 usa baseball team into a fight at a casino, but there wasn't time for much detail.  i'd like to hear more.


  1. That is one well loved Campanella! Your '61 autographed Don Newcombe is absolutely fantastic (very jealous). It's funny that you mentioned wanting to hear stories from Tommy Lasorda, as I just finished his book "The Artful Dodger" a few weeks ago. Very enjoyable, and very much recommended to anyone who hasn't read it.

    1. i'll have to find that book and read it!

  2. I'm sure if I lived in the Midwest, the land of vintage bargain bins, I'd own the '61 Campy by now.

    1. my main vintage bargain bin guy moved to the carolinas last year, so you would likely have better luck there now.