Monday, August 22, 2016

frankendodger sheet 81 (cards 721-726) - this is the end...

here's sheet number 81 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 721-726:
and the back:
[update! - i replaced card number 725 as the 1990 target dodgers were meant to be place holders. so, here's sheet number 81; front and back]
these cards are:

721. 1992 donruss jose offerman
722. 1984 topps bob welch
723. 1998 donruss collections preferred mike piazza
724. 2008 upper deck ramon troncoso
725. 1990 target john shelby 2022 topps heritage high numbers clayton kershaw
726. 1981 topps rick monday

the "no brainer" of the day:

i believe that the shelby card may be the only number 725 card ever produced to feature a dodger.  so, it is the no brainer of the day by default.

about the cards:

the much maligned 1992 donruss set opens up the final sheet with a card of much maligned jose offerman.  1992 was the year that offerman took over the shortstop position for the dodgers full-time. he held the position through the 1995 season, after which the dodgers and royals did the steve sax/willie randolph thing with offerman and greg gagne and "swapped" shortstops even though offerman was traded to the royals for a reliever and gagne left kc through free agency.

bob welch's 1984 topps card is up next.  the back of the card - in both the text below the stats and in the important sounding "dateline" section - mentions a couple of shutouts thrown by welch in 1983.  in addition to the one-hitter against the phillies and the 6-hitter in which welch homered for the only run, he also threw a 2-hit shutout that season against the mets, beating tom seaver in the process.

mike piazza makes an appearance on the final sheet with a card from the 1998 donruss collections preferred set. the card is number 173 in the regular preferred set, but in this shinier collections set, it's number 723 (the card number is in the lower right on the back).  strangely enough, the only other option for this spot besides the 1990 target set is piazza's 1992 fleer procards minor league card showing him as an albuquerque duke.

upper deck's last contribution to my dodger frankenset is ramon troncoso's 2008 ud flagship card.  it leaves me wondering if anyone ever entered those codes on the back of these cards into upper deck's website.  i did for some back in 2006, i think, but never enough to have it amount to anything. i don't even remember what the purpose was.

it figures that another 1990 target card would make the last sheet, and here is john shelby to fill a spot that otherwise would not be filled.  t-bone had a career year for the dodgers in 1987 following his trade from baltimore, and he won his second world series ring (he won with the orioles in 1983) as the dodger centerfielder in 1988. clayton kershaw was held back for the high numbers release in 2022, and i am glad that was the case! john shelby still exists in the set thanks to his 1989 topps card, so no harm no foul here!

that brings us to card number 726, the last card in the set, and it's rick monday's 1981 topps card.  wilbur wood was card number 726 in 1978 topps, the first set that i collected, but i later discovered that topps sets were not always 726 cards, and in fact the 1978 set was the first time they had been that exact size.  topps maintained the 726 set for three more seasons - the giants' prospect card held that place in 1979, and in 1980 and 1981, it was a dodger at the end of the set, with the centerfielder of my youth holding court in 1981. of course, this was also the year that the traded set was reinstated, and the numbering of that set began at 727, so one could argue that monday's card is not really the last in the set.

cards that didn't make the cut:

there weren't a lot of cards to choose from for this sheet, and so the biggest dilemma i faced was whether to go with the monday card at 726 or use steve yeager's 1980 topps card
there instead.  mo won out, thanks in part to his card featuring an action shot and being from their world championship season.  as for filling out the sheet, henry rodriguez's 1994 topps card
is numbered 727, and there are a couple of options at 728 (1985 topps bob bailor
and 1986 topps mike marshall
to be specific) had i chosen to extend the set.  however, the only 729 i could find (other than the target set) was a 1992 minor league card of eddie pye as an albuquerque duke from that same set as the piazza i mentioned above.  it's just as well to keep the set to 726 cards in my opinion.

my favorite card on the page:

that would be the rick monday card. it is fairly representative of the 1981 postseason to me.

final thoughts:

it wasn't too long after i ended my run at garveyceyrusselllopes about 13 months ago that i started working on this frankenset. it kept me busy with my collection, as did the trades that continued to happen even though i didn't have an active blog at the time.

speaking of trades, i offer a big thanks to those that continued to trade with me, and to those who are trading with me still.  i haven't posted any of the cards that i've received in trades over the last 13 months, so i'll give thanks here to the writer's journey, play at the plate, penny sleeve for your thoughts, arpsmith, tim wallach, tribe cards, dime boxes, 2x3 heroes, bob walk the plank, all trade bait all the time, off hiatus, brad's blog, infield fly rule, waiting 'til next year, baseball card breakdown, baseball every night, waxaholic, fuji, and night owl, who has even commented on all of these posts (assuming he comments on this one).  i've been tracking my trades on the sidebar over at garveyceyrusselllopes, updating it whenever i send or receive a package. it's mainly so i don't miss on sending a return package to someone, and completed trades get removed from the list after about a month. as a result, i may have forgotten to thank someone in the text above - if so, i apologize.  i hope to keep trading even after this blog is completed, and i'll keep that tracker going as long as folks are sending me cards. it is appreciated.

finally, thanks for indulging me with this endeavor.  it was fun to put together and share with you.

i'll be around...

Friday, August 19, 2016

frankendodger sheet 80 (cards 712-720) - black and white and even worse...

here's sheet number 80 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 712-720:
and the back:
[update! - i replaced card number 720 as the 1990 target dodgers were meant to be place holders. so, here's sheet number 80; front and back]
these cards are:

712. 1997 fleer mike piazza
713. 1992 topps stadium club rudy seanez
714. 1993 topps kevin gross
715. 2004 topps eric gagne
716. 2009 topps heritage orlando hudson
717. 1987 topps ed vande berg
718. 1992 fleer checklist
719. 1979 topps dodgers prospects (joe simpson/pedro guerrero/rudy law)
720. 1990 target mike sharperson 2016 topps heritage high numbers ross stripling

the "no brainer" of the day:

pedro guerrero's rookie card was a sure thing for the set, even if the photos are in black and white.

about the cards:

it feels like fleer was reaching for content when you come across a card like this mike piazza card from their 1997 flagship set at number 712, and, i suppose perhaps that is what they mean by 'encore' on the front of the card.  the back does include his minor league stats which did not appear on the back of his 'base' card, so there is that difference.  by the way, piazza has two other cards in the fleer set - both of him on the front of checklist cards.

rudy seanez means busi-nez (there i go with my headline writing again) on his 1992 topps stadium club card.  unfortunately, seanez did not suit up for the dodgers in 1992, spending the entire season in the minors before being traded to the rockies for jody reed.  he did come back to the dodgers (twice!) and was a big part of their bullpen in 2007, pitching in 73 games that year.

kevin gross' 1993 topps card features the dodger pitcher in dodger stadium. we know that's where he is because of the old field level scoreboard in the background.  unfortunately, you can't really see the 76 sign thanks to the umpire standing in the way. murph would be upset.  i don't think the dodgers give out union oil auto scrips anymore when a player hits a home run, but there was a time when 76 was as predominant of a sponsor as farmer john and his eastern corn fed pork.

before clayton kershaw came along, eric gagne was the most recent dodger to win the cy young award. gagne's win, marked by this 2004 topps card, broke the longest drought for a dodger to win that award as it had not been won by a dodger since orel hershiser in 1988.  gagne is also the last reliever for any team to have won the award.

from game over to the o-dog, here we have another dodger who is the last to have done something. hudson, shown on his 2009 topps heritage high numbers card, was the first dodger to hit for the cycle since wes parker in 1970 (making him the first dodger to hit for the cycle in my lifetime), and he is the most recent dodger to have done so.

ed vande berg's 1987 topps card was conveniently numbered 717, so it fits nicely into the set. vande berg, whom the dodgers acquired in the steve yeager trade with seattle, was with cleveland in 1987, and o-pee-chee thankfully included him
at number 34
in their truncated set.

this next card is hands down the worst one in the set.  even the 1990 target card was a bad option for number 718. this is, of course, the 1992 fleer checklist that lists all of the dodger cards in the set, along with those of the expos, astros, and reds.  and worse yet is that the dodgers are on the back. so, i have the back of a generic checklist filling a spot in this set.  i really hope that this year's heritage high numbers puts josh reddick or some other dodger at number 718.

from a bad card to a pretty good one, we have next the 1979 topps dodger future stars card featuring pedro guerrero, rudy law, and joe simpson.  guerrero and law went on to have some success with the dodgers in the big leagues, but simpson found his calling in the announcers' booth for the braves.  this is the rookie card for all three players, although it's known best for guerrero. the only knock i have against it is the black and white photos - i don't know what the driver was for topps to go black and white here.  was it to avoid showing the garish color of the albuquerque dukes hat law is sporting?
given the presence of other minor leaguers on other teams' cards and their equally minor league looking uniforms,
that might be the case.

last card on the sheet is mike sharperson's 1990 target card, which means it was the only thing available for number 720 ross stripling's 2016 topps heritage high numbers card. reddick didn't make it at card 718, but i was able to remove a placeholder card after all.

cards that didn't make the cut:

2005 topps steve finley at number 712, 1989 upper deck rick dempsey (look ma, no gear!)
at number 713, 1992 donruss mitch webster at number 714, 2008 upper deck blake dewitt at number 715, 2009 upper deck hiroki kuroda at number 716, and 2009 upper deck andre ethier at number 717.

my favorite card on the page:

that would be kevin gross' 1993 topps card. i'd like it even better if the umpire weren't blocking the 76 sign on the scoreboard.

final thoughts:

over on the sidebar at garveyceyrusselllopes there has been, for the past two-and-a-half years, a watch of a redemption card for a 2013 topps triple threads dave stewart auto/relic waiting to be fulfilled by topps.  when topps recently moved their redemption tracker into their main website, i was given the option of requesting a replacement card rather than having to call in a request. i had been hoping against hope (most likely) that the stewart card would show him as a dodger, but since he's too busy with his day job in arizona to sign the stickers for topps, i checked the box for a different card to be sent.  earlier this week, i received this thing
and this "bonus" card
neither fits in my collection, so they are available for trade.  and, the sidebar is updated accordingly. 1001 days later.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

frankendodger sheet 79 (cards 703-711) - an award winning sheet...

here's sheet number 79 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 703-711:
and the back:
these cards are:

703. 1991 score fernando valenzuela
704. 2002 upper deck 40 man jeff reboulet
705. 1996 upper deck collector's choice hideo nomo
706. 1986 topps pedro guerrero
707. 2009 upper deck eric stults
708. 2009 upper deck jason schmidt
709. 2005 topps cesar izturis
710. 1982 topps jerry reuss
711. 1991 donruss carlos hernandez

the "no brainer" of the day:

not a one of these qualify for no brainer status.

about the cards:

fernando valenzuela in 1990 was not the fernando of 1981, to be sure, but he threw a no-hitter against the cardinals in late june to earn this 1991 score card commemorating the feat.  johnny vandermeer was safe, however, as fernando allowed 10 hits in both his start before and after the no-no.

jeff reboulet looks serious about his mustache and baseball on his 2002 upper deck 40 man card. reboulet played for the dodgers in 2001 and 2002, and appeared in over half of the team's games in 2001, but aside from 40 man and topps total, he was ignored by the card companies during his dodger tenure.  even with that mustache.

upper deck let us know that hideo nomo was named the national league's rookie of the year in 1995 with this card from their 1996 set.  i've always wondered whether nomo himself considered it to be appropriate that he was eligible for the award. i had (and have) no problem with major league players coming from other countries and winning the roy as they are eligible per the definition of a major league rookie, but the braves fans in '95 were not to keen about the award going to someone who had been playing in a different country's major leagues prior to coming to america.

pedro guerrero was representing the dodgers in the 1986 topps all-star subset.  the back of the card lets us know that he led the league in on-base percentage (he also led in slugging percentage) as part of his fantastic 1985 season.  my only gripe about this card is that it doesn't match the 1986 topps design as closely as the all-star cards from 1985 matched that year's design.
i was looking for the all-star designation to replace the team name up top, with the rest of the card remaining the same. and, without the topps logo on the front, it looks like a pretty generic, broder-esque card.

now comes the time when i give thanks to 2009 upper deck. back-to-back with eric stults and jason schmidt means one or two less 1990 target cards in the set.  this is another spot where i am hoping that this year's heritage high numbers can make a difference.

cesar izturis won a gold glove in 2004, just as topps was making cards to honor the winners of that award.  we've not had cards for silver sluggers before (although the bats have shown up on a card or two), but there were a few years there in the 2000's that we got gold glover cards.  i'm not complaining - in fact, i would have liked this in the mid-1970's when steve garvey won four in a row.

it seems like we've been seeing a lot of jerry reuss lately, and here he is again with his 1982 topps card.  this card's photo is all about spring training with the grassy knoll in the background.

last card on the sheet is carlos hernandez's 1991 donruss card.  it's from the green border part of the set, which looks worse than the blue border part of the set.  i would like to have seen the designs that donruss passed on when they chose their 1991 design.

cards that didn't make the cut:

2002 upper deck 40 man darren dreifort at number 703, 2009 upper deck mark loretta at number 704, 2009 upper deck cory wade at number 705, 2009 upper deck casey blake at number 706, 1989 upper deck mickey hatcher
at number 709, 1992 donruss steve wilson at number 710, and 1981 topps joe ferguson

at number 711.

my favorite card on the page:

the jeff reboulet stare/mustache combo is tough to beat, but i like the pedro guerrero card the most even though it is really generic and not tied too closely to the 1986 topps set design.

final thoughts:

we are very near the end of these posts, and i haven't really acknowledged the fact that i am standing on the shoulders of other bloggers who popularized the frankenset concept long before i started the frankendodger project. the first frankenset i knew of was ben henry's topps flagship frankenset. dayf had both a allen & ginter and a topps heritage frankenset, and night owl has a night card and, i believe, an a&g mini frankenset as well.  $30 a week habit has the serial number insanity set, and nick at dimeboxes has his dimebox frankenset.  jeff at 2x3 heroes and jon at penny sleeve for your thoughts are both going for topps buyback frankensets, which is great. brian at hsca also has a team-centered frankenset (go twinkies), and i am sure there are others.  thanks to all for the inspiration.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

frankendodger sheet 78 (cards 694-702) - manny being a hero...

here's sheet number 78 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 694-702:
and the back:
these cards are:

694. 1978 topps elias sosa
695. 1980 topps reggie smith
696. 1986 topps bill russell
697. 1990 topps mike davis
698. 1988 topps brad havens
699. 2001 topps chad kreuter
700. 2009 upper deck manny ramirez
701. 1990 upper deck jim gott
702. 1992 fleer brett butler

the "no brainer" of the day:

reggie smith's 1980 topps card is one of the first cards i think of when i think of cards from that set.  i first saw this card when i pulled it from a pack in downtown los angeles after a trip to a convenience store following a day of accompanying my dad to some work related meetings.

about the cards:

elias sosa brings us the last card from the 1978 topps set to make the frankenset.  sosa was no longer a dodger in 1978, but his card from that year is a good one.

one more note about the 1980 topps reggie smith card - the facsimile autograph is pretty high up on the image, thanks to the dark background of the dugout behind him. this is another reason that i am not a fan of the autos on base cards.

i thought that topps' decision in 1986 to put the "dean" of the team on the front of the team leader cards was a good one.  of course, i was a dodger fan, and that meant that bill russell was on the front instead of pedro guerrero and orel hershiser, who would have been there had topps followed the model of their 1982, 1983, and 1984 sets.  seeing petey and orel would have been ok, too, don't get me wrong, but bill russell had never had a second card in a set before.  i would like to note that two other members of the team of my youth were featured on these cards - charlie hough
and rick rhoden
which is kind of crazy if you think about what kind of turnover there had to have been in texas and pittsburgh for these two guys to be considered the longest tenured players on the team.

i had mentioned in a post a few years ago that i had a number of duplicates of mike davis' 1990 topps card, so one of them made the frankenset.  i still don't care too much for 1990 topps, although i don't think it is my least favorite topps set ever as i had mentioned in that post, and the davis card with the blue border actually looks pretty good.  if only all the dodger cards had that border...
...dodgers shouldn't have orange borders.

brad havens and his 1988 topps card mark the first appearance in the set for the dodger reliever who had the misfortune of being released by the team during the 1988 season.  there's not a lot to say about his dodger tenure, so i will use havens' last name to ask if anyone else is sick of all of the pun related headlines at  it is ridiculous.  look at this recent one.
babe truth.  like i said, ridiculous. were havens pitching today (and doing something headline worthy) we would be bombarded with things like "havens a blast - dodger pitcher closese the door against the braves" or "safe havens - dodger pitcher beats out bunt attempt to prolong inning".  puns should be left for blog post titles.

next up is chad kreuter's 2001 topps card which features a photo of him on the back without a hat which makes sense after what happened that day in wrigley.

now we come to the final 'hero number' in the frankenset, 700, and manny ramirez with his 2009 upper deck card gets the call.  manny's numbers for the dodgers in 2008 certainly qualify for the hero treatment: .396/.489/.743 with 17 homers and 53 rbi in 53 games for the blue after the trade with the red sox (and pirates). he was even better in the postseason, going .500/.643/1.100 with 2 homers in the nlds against the cubs and .533/.682/1.067 with 2 more homers against the phillies in the nlcs.  i really thought after loney's grand slam in the nlds that the dodgers were going to win it all in 2008.  in fact, it was the excitement following the arrival of manny ramirez that made me want to start a blog, and the explosion of the card-centric blogs at the time sealed the deal for me.  so, blame manny for all of this if you so desire.

jim gott is back with his 1991 upper deck card this time.  gott seemed like a good guy from the photos used on his cards.  he was either pitching or smiling.
for the most part, anyway.
or doing hapkido.  so, just sometimes smiling. still seemed like a good dude.

the last card on the sheet is one of those fleer superstar special subset cards from the back end of their sets. this one is from 1992 and features the dodgers' brett butler and paul molitor of the brewers - aka 'the ignitors'.  molly was once my favorite non-dodger and i am ok with him being an honorary member of the frankenset.

cards that didn't make the cut:

1979 topps burt hooton
at number 694, 2015 topps heritage (high number) alex guerrero at number 695, 1991 donruss darryl strawberry at number 696, 1994 topps dave hansen
at number 697, 2002 upper deck 40 man terry mulholland at number 698, 1987 topps ken landreaux at number 699, 2002 upper deck 40 man steve colyer at number 700, 2009 upper deck danny ardoin
at number 701, and 2009 upper deck orlando hudson at number 702.

my favorite card on the page:

it's tough to choose between a 1978 topps dodger card, a reggie smith dodger card, and a bill russell card, but i'm a fan of the infield at heart, and a card recognizing russell for being a dodger for a long time wins out over the others.

final thoughts:

this set is into the home stretch now that we've hit the 700s.  only three more sheets to go until the end, and there are fewer and fewer sets to choose cards from.  we'll be seeing 2009 upper deck and the 1990 target set again, for sure.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

frankendodger sheet 77 (cards 685-693) - goodbye to vintage...

here's sheet number 77 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 685-693:
and the back:
these cards are:

685. 1970 topps tom haller
686. 1993 topps stadium club tim wallach
687. 2005 topps adam laroche
688. 1991 upper deck stan javier
689. 1992 upper deck chris gwynn
690. 1991 topps orel hershiser
691. 1998 upper deck bobby bonilla
692. 1993 upper deck todd worrell
693. 1981 topps steve howe

the "no brainer" of the day:

that would be the 1992 upper deck chris gwynn card, with the rare double play turn attempt at third base.

about the cards:

the best thing about the 1970 topps tom haller card is not fact that it actually features haller in a dodger uniform, nor that he has a look on his face that balances tolerance and annoyance for and with the photographer.  it's what is happening in the background with the two players over his left shoulder.
are they playing pepper? perhaps, but the fact that the guy with the bat is using his glove as home plate, just like we did as kids, is awesome.

i chose the 1993 topps stadium club tim wallach card for this spot over a steve garvey card from 1972 due to the fact that i didn't have a spare of the garvey card.  it's his high numbered second year card that is the most expensive to obtain.  garvey has had a good run in this frankenset, but i'm still a little bummed that he's not in this spot, too.

andy laroche's 2005 topps card is the next one up. laroche was a 39th round draft pick of the dodgers in 2003, so i suppose it's not a surprise that he had a short career.  i had hoped that he would bring stability to the hot corner for the dodgers, but he was traded to pittsburgh as part of the three-team manny ramirez/jason bay deal in 2008.

now we have stan javier's 1991 upper deck card right next to chris gwynn's 1992 upper deck card so we can see the design evolution. there's not much of a connection there, as upper deck finished their run around the bases in 1991 and went to something different in '92.  i was drawn in by the floating team logo within the picture on the 1992 cards, perhaps because i liked the 1991 topps set that had done something similar with the logo (although with a ribbon behind it) as evidenced by the 1991 topps orel hershiser card that finishes off this row.

i almost made it through the frankenset without a bobby bonilla card, but relented and put this 1998 upper deck card in at number 691.  bobby bo played for the dodgers in the last half of the 1998 season following the mike piazza trade, and i was pleased when they did not retain him for the 1999 season.

todd worrell's 1993 upper deck card features more foliage than we are used to seeing on a baseball card - both on front and back, but steve howe's 1981 topps card puts things back in a stadium where they belong.  i really liked the '81 topps design with the hats, and i have to believe that it influenced don and russ to go with the ball and glove designs for their product in the two years that followed.

cards that didn't make the cut:

1990 donruss ramon martinez at number 685, 1972 topps steve garvey
at number 686, 1992 upper deck tim crews at number 687, 1998 upper deck gary sheffield
at number 688, 1992 bowman pedro astacio at number 689, 1991 upper deck jim gott at number 690, 2002 upper deck 40 man andy ashby at number 691, 1992 donruss alfredo griffin at number 692, and 1971 topps jose pena
at number 693.

my favorite card on the page:

given the absence of the 1972 topps garvey on the page, it's a bit of a toss up.  still, i really do like the gwynn card, so it take the honors for today.

final thoughts:

it's a topic that has been thrown around the blogosphere for a long time - what is vintage? to me, vintage was always 1970 and prior, although i now see 1971 and 1972 as vintage, too.  the 1970 thing is based on when i was born. the 1970 topps set came out before i entered this world, so it's vintage. i am not. yet.  in 1984 i really began to take an interest in the 1971 set beyond the dodgers (i had a few cards, including a reggie jackson that i bought at the very first card show i attended), and an appreciation for the 1972 set followed soon thereafter. i was never really excited by the 1973 set until just a few years ago, so that's why i cut the vintage tag off with 1972.  at any rate, there was an opportunity to have the three 1970's vintage (to me) sets represented on this sheet, and only tom haller's 1970 topps card made it.  however, if a certain lawyer in new mexico wants to send me a fifth 1972 topps steve garvey card (i currently have one in the garvey collection, one in the dodger team collection, one signed in the garvey collection, and one in the 1972 topps set binder) for that 1993 stadium club tim wallach card, then the '72 garv would be the last vintage card in this set.

Monday, August 15, 2016

frankendodger sheet 76 (cards 676-684) - kiki with an i not an e...

here's sheet number 76 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 676-684:
and the back:
these cards are:

676. 1990 score kiki jones
677. 2002 upper deck 40 man paul loduca
678. 1994 bowman antonio osuna
679. 1980 topps dodgers future stars (joe beckwith/mickey hatcher/dave patterson)
680. 1985 topps jerry reuss
681. 1983 topps dodgers leaders (pedro guerrero/fernando valenzuela)
682. 1993 topps john candelaria
683. 1994 topps cory snyder
684. 1992 score jeff hamilton

the "no brainer" of the day:

i suppose the 1980 topps dodgers future stars card is the closest thing to a no brainer here, but not sure that it qualifies. i'll make as good a case as i can below.

about the cards:

keith "kiki" jones was 8-0 in the rookie league in 1989, prompting score to add him to their 1990 set.  he never did make it to the big leagues despite a good arm and curveball, according to scouts - another dodger first round pick that didn't pan out.

paul loduca may or may not have had some illegal help in getting to the big leagues (he was named in the mitchell report), but he made it, and found himself in the 2002 upper deck 40 man set.  this was the evolution of upper deck's victory set, which was similar to topps total.  as a team collector, i appreciate sets like these, although the 2003 40 man set is better, in my opinion.

1994 bowman is here with antonio osuna and so much foil!  everytime i see a card of antonio osuna, i find myself looking for that monstrous pendant he wore around his neck the first time i saw him pitch.

the first rookie cards i saw were the 4-in-1 cards in the 1978 topps set. those cards, in keeping tradition with what was produced from 1974 through '78, had multiple teams represented on each card (in 1973, the rookie cards had three players from different teams on them).  in 1979, topps gave me a card with just dodgers on it, but it was in black and white.  then, in 1980, they gave me this trio of dodgers in full color!  shades of 1972, i would eventually learn.  anyway, i knew who all three of these guys (joe beckwith, mickey hatcher, and dave patterson) were because they had played for the dodgers in 1979 - in fact, i still remember listening to the game in which hatcher made his major league debut because he came up with the bases loaded and vin scully noted that he had a chance to do something very rare in his first big league at bat.  well, hatcher didn't hit a grand slam, but he did walk.  i was pretty happy to have this card in 1980, even though patterson never made it back to the majors.

jerry reuss makes another appearance in the set with his 1985 topps card. he looks pretty happy to be in vero beach, and i can't really blame him given the circumstances.   he wound up sporting a 2.92 era in 1985, which didn't even crack the top ten in the national league.  he also lost 10 games with an era split of 1.21 in his wins, and 7.03 in his losses.  his era in the 1985 postseason was 10.80 - can you guess what the game outcome was?

pedro guerrero and fernando valenzuela were the dodgers' batting and pitching leaders in 1982, respectively.  i know this thanks to this 1983 topps card that marks the return of the dodger logo to topps cards for the first time since what, 1963?
in hindsight, i am left wondering why the logo is in a box rather than a circle, since all of the other 1983 topps cards have circles (portholes, if you will). 1984 is the one with squares (picture in picture, i call it).

john candelaria's 1993 topps card is right next to cory snyder's 1994 topps card, so you can try to find some back-to-back design evolutionary ties.  i can't find any, really, but i was happy that topps went back to the landscape oriented backs in '94.  snyder's card, with him camped out on second base, reminds me of my final little league (minors) game.  i was 9 and on third base. two of my friends were on second and first, respectively, and a kid that we only knew through baseball was at the plate.  two outs, full count, down by a run with the league championship on the line - all of the cliches you can think of. the kid at bat swung at ball 4 and the game was over. my friend sat on second base and looked pretty much the same way snyder does on his card.

last card on the sheet is jeff hamilton's 1992 score card.  that's pretty much all i have to say about that.  oh, all right - i'll mention that hamilton was the losing pitcher in the 22-inning game between the astros and dodgers in 1989. he struck out ken caminiti (and billy hatcher), but was beat by a rafael ramirez walk-off single. this was the same game that ended with eddie murray playing third base and fernando valenzuela at first.

cards that didn't make the cut:

2006 upper deck ricky ledee at number 676, 2006 upper deck sandy alomar jr
at number 677, 2002 upper deck 40 man mark grudzielanek at number 678, 1981 topps dodgers team
at number 679, 2002 upper deck 40 man paul quantrill at number 680, 1982 topps dodgers future stars (mike marshall/ron roenicke/steve sax) - my last double was sent out for some ttm action -
at number 681, 1987 topps jerry reuss at number 682, 2002 upper deck 40 man eric gagne at number 683, and 2002 upper deck 40 man giovanni carrara at number 684.

my favorite card on the page:

as much as i appreciate seeing disappointed cory snyder on second base, i like the 1980 topps future stars card more.

final thoughts:

the dodgers currently have a player on their roster named enrique hernandez.  his nickname, like that of keith jones, is pronounced by many as "key-key".  however, enrique spells it with an "e" on the end, rather than the second "i", and it is actually pronounced "key-kay".  it's all about the accent over the "e".  anyway, the first time i saw enrique's nickname in print (without the accent), i was a bit surprised, as it is commonly known to be a slur for jewish people.  i am pretty sure this is why topps cards show his name as enrique,
and not his nickname.

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!