Friday, August 12, 2016

frankendodger sheet 75 (cards 667-675) - johnnie b. is good...

here's sheet number 75 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 667-675:
and the back:
these cards are:

667. 1989 upper deck orel hershiser
668. 1978 topps dusty baker
669. 1989 topps dodgers leaders
670. 2002 upper deck brian jordan
671. 1979 topps joe ferguson
672. 2003 topps james loney
673. 2006 upper deck olmedo saenz
674. 1982 topps dave goltz
675. 1990 upper deck ramon martinez

the "no brainer" of the day:

the 1978 topps dusty baker was always going to be in this set.

about the cards:

orel hershiser leads off with one of his 'extra' cards from the 1989 upper deck set. this one is all about orel winning the world series mvp.  he threw a 3-hit shutout in game 2, and then pitched another complete game, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, in the game 5 clincher.

dusty baker's 1978 topps card makes me smile. it's not that johnnie b's smile is that infectious, it's just that this card stood out to me as a young collector for not featuring a posed photo, but rather a picture of a guy looking into the stands and smiling. i was confused at first because the photo is not from dodger stadium, and why on earth would a dodger be smiling while looking into the stands at candlestick park (there's a guy wearing a giants cap behind dusty), but then i figured out that carmichael, california (baker's home according to the back of the card) was near sacramento and he probably saw someone he knew in the stands. either that or someone was holding a funny sign.

the 1989 topps dodgers leaders card was the last of its kind for a while.  the team focused card had evolved from the team photo in the early 1980's to the team's statistical leaders before going awol in 1985.  topps brought it back in 1986 honoring the team's longest tenured player in 1986, and then went  to random multi-player/coach photos from 1987-1989 before having it go away altogether after that. topps eventually brought the team photo card back in 2001.  on this '89 card, we get mike scioscia, orel hershiser, and steve sax together with (i assume) alfredo griffin listening to ron perranoski (again, i assume) wax poetic about things pathetic tell orel to "smoke 'em inside" as any good pitching coach would do.  i think topps could have done better with this card, as pretty much the whole dodger team was around home plate on october 15, 1988, and that scene would have made for a better card than this.  i am guessing production schedules got in the way, as the cards were starting to come out pretty early in the late '80's and early '90's as i recall.

brian jordan's 2002 upper deck card is aesthetically pleasing to me, not because of the forgettable card design, but because of the strata of dirt, grass, fence, and foliage. it's like a layer cake of colorful goodness.

the next card is joe ferguson's 1979 topps card.  joe ferguson was, to me, kind of the odd man out on the 1978 dodgers. he rejoined the team in july of 1978 which was too late for me to consider him a true member of the team of my youth, even though i knew from studying the back of my 1978 topps ferguson card (on which he was an astro) that he had  started his career with the dodgers, and had been on the team as recently as 1976.  steve yeager was the catcher, period, and even though ferguson caught a fair number of games in 1978 and again in 1979, yeager was still my guy.  and, when ferguson played the outfield (mostly right field for the injured reggie smith), it was not enough for me to insert him into 'my' lineup that always featured smith in right.  still, i was disappointed when the dodgers released ferguson late in the 1981 season, and glad that the angels picked him up.

james loney's 2003 topps card was one of those draft pick/prospect cards that you often see and forget about.  i, on the other hand, decided to keep track of loney's progress due to the fact that the dodgers had brought in fred mcgriff to play first and i was wondering when the inevitable turnstile would stop.  loney made the bigs in 2006 (after mcgriff, shawn green, hee seop choi, and nomar garciaparra had manned first base) and stuck in 2007.  my favorite loney moment was his grand slam against the cubs in the 2008 nlds, and he has gone on to have a pretty good career.  he's with the mets now, and i don't think he will get to the postseason this year, but if he were to make it, i'd bet on him and his .354 lifetime postseason average to make some noise.

remember olmedo saenz? the killer tomato?  he also played a fair amount of first base during the jim tracy years, along with jason phillips as i recall.  saenz was largely shut out of card sets during his time with the dodgers, but the almost too large 2006 upper deck set didn't leave him out, and for that, i am grateful.

dave goltz makes another appearance with his 1982 topps card. this set has long been referred to as the hockey stick set, and i saw someone on one of the blogs (it was a comment at baseballcardbreakdown) refer to the recently debuted 2017 topps card design as having a hockey or goalie stick feel as well.
i can see that. and there is even a team logo puck on the card, too.

last card on the sheet is a 1990 upper deck ramon martinez card, with pedro's big brother ready to do some hitting!  sometimes, that turns out ok, too!
i really want to believe that the photo on the 1993 upper deck martinez card comes from his 1991 home run (the only one of his career) off of tom glavine.  it seems to work - it was a day game in late september, and brett butler was on deck when ramon hit his solo shot.  plus, i don't think ramon would be that happy if he had only scored a run. if it is indeed from that game, the dodgers' win that day put them up by a game and a half over glavine and the braves with 11 games to play.  of course, that was yet another year when the giants killed the dodgers' playoff hopes, this time by winning two out of three of the season ending series, leaving the blue one game behind the eventual national league champion braves.

cards that didn't make the cut:

2006 upper deck dioner navarro
at number 667, 1979 topps bill north (like ferguson, another guy who played a lot for the dodgers in 1978 but didn't replace rick monday in 'my' dodger lineup)
at number 668, 1990 topps tommy lasorda at number 669, 2006 upper deck kenny lofton
at number 670, 1992 bowman eric davis at number 671, 2006 upper deck nomar garciaparra at number 672, 2003 topps total paul loduca at number 673, 1993 bowman mike james at number 674, and 2006 upper deck ramon martinez (the other ramon martinez) at number 675.

my favorite card on the page:

even with some guy in a giants hat behind him, dusty baker's 1978 topps card is my favorite card on this sheet.

final thoughts:

eagle-eyed readers might notice that this set has back-to-back cards from 1989 upper deck - kirk gibson's card at 666 that we saw yesterday and orel's card at 667 up above.  i went with this rather than put the navarro card on this sheet as that would mean two 2006 upper deck cards here.  not that two cards from the same set on the same sheet is a deal breaker, but going back-to-back with '89 upper deck was more appealing due to the fact that the cards land on different sheets.  besides, showing cards from 1989 that deal with the dodgers' 1988 world championship means never having to say you're sorry.

spoiler alert - there is a sheet coming up with back-to-back cards from the same set. unless 2016 topps heritage high numbers can come to the rescue!

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