here's sheet number 21 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 181-189:
181. 2014 bowman chrome dan haren
182. 1991 donruss studio gary carter
183. 2012 bowman james loney
184. 2001 bowman's best joe thurston
185. 1994 upper deck all-time heroes steve garvey
186. 1986 leaf tom niedenfuer
187. 2002 fleer platinum jeff shaw
188. 1971 topps bob valentine/mike strahler
189. 2004 upper deck dave roberts
the "no brainer" of the day:
of all of these cards, the 1971 topps valentine/strahler card was the one that slotted in on this page first. maybe not a true no brainer, but everything else here fit in around it. still, it was enough of a no brainer to block a different jeff shaw card from the set - more on that below.
about the cards:
three bowman cards and a studio card start the sheet off. i wonder what drives the decision for card manufacturers to use either the interlocking 'la' logo versus the flying ball logo. anyway, i don't care for the logo placement on haren's card, and if you were to remove the logo from carter's studio card, you would see that it is a card that panini could (and does) make today.
loney and thurston strike similar poses, while upper deck gave me a new steve garvey card in 1994 using a photo from the 1974 world series. i was pretty happy when i found out about this set, which happened later in the decade. i am glad that the inset photo they used was also a dodger photo instead of a padre photo - upper deck pulled that kind of swap on a few cards, such as manny mota's and charlie neal's.
being a leaf card rather than a donruss card doesn't make tom niedenfuer's card any more interesting. i will once again take a moment to tell the tale of perhaps my favorite letter to the editor ever. it must have been in 1985 when some fine person wrote a poem to the la times' sports editor that went something like this: "i am a true blue dodger fan, so i won't be naming names. but there is a certain pitcher, we niedenfuer games." genius.
jeff shaw's 2002 fleer platinum card is obviously from a 'heritage' type set that honors the 1987 fleer design. not sure why fleer put the orange bar on the bottom (dodger cards in 1987 had a darker blue bar). the orange makes it look like a padre card. next up is the first multi-player rookie card in the set. both strahler and valentine would be sent to the angels with frank robinson a couple years after this card came out.
last, but not least, is a card of the current dodger manager, dave roberts. i am not a fan of the blue jerseys as game jerseys (even though i own one), but i do like roberts' card. also, from 2002-2005, i was only buying topps stuff, so upper deck cards from that timeframe are relatively new and interesting to me.
cards that didn't make the cut:
some of the cards considered but not chosen for this sheet include 2009 upper deck o-pee-chee cory wade at number 181, 1971 o-pee-chee al downing
my favorite card on the page:
just to be a bit unpredictable, i won't choose the garvey card (it's nice, but fairly dark). the thurston is a cool looking card, but my favorite here is the dave roberts card. i chose his 2004 card over his 2003 card for this spot because of its blue-ness despite my aversion to the blue jerseys as mentioned above.
chances were pretty good that i was going to have to repeat a set or player at 185, so i figured it might as well be my baseball hero, steve garvey, who had the honors. i could have gone with a 2015 bowman chrome mini erisbel arruebarrena card there, but i didn't have a double, and limiting the card selection for the first 20 pages seemed like a nice number to stop on.