Friday, July 1, 2016

frankendodger sheet 45 (cards 397-405) - nine cards chosen for this page; number 400 will shock you...

here's sheet number 45 of my dodger frankenset - cards numbered 397-405:
 and the back:
these cards are:

397. 1991 topps eddie murray
398. 1972 topps larry hisle
399. 1992 o-pee-chee gary carter
400. 1969 topps don drysdale
401. 1958 topps don bessent
402. 1994 score jim gott
403. 2010 topps heritage jackie robinson
404. 1993 score select henry rodriguez
405. 2012 topps nathan eovaldi

the "no brainer" of the day:

there are really two no brainers on this sheet - the 1972 larry hisle card and the 1992 o-pee-chee gary carter card. both were shoo-ins for the set.

about the cards:

i started collecting when topps was not making separate cards for all-stars.  so, i was used to seeing an all-star designation on a player's base card (this was from 1975 through 1981 - a run that matched steve garvey's reign as the national league starting first baseman (1974 through 1980) and i was actually relieved when topps returned to the habit of making separate cards for all-stars in 1982 since that would have been the first year that garvey wouldn't get an all-star designation on his base card.  i couldn't deal with the shame - seriously, i was bummed about not seeing whatever star or shield topps was going to use in 1982, and then i was happy to find out that there were separate cards for all-stars.  anyway, the 1991 set is probably my favorite set for the separate all-star cards in the post-1981 world, and this steady eddie card is one of two (mike scioscia being the other) that the dodgers have in the subset.

because i started collecting in 1978, i knew larry hisle as the reigning american league rbi leader (as a twin) and also as a new brewer thanks to that year's topps set.  i later learned to appreciate the fact that topps kept hisle as a twin on the league leader card even as they airbrushed him into a brewer hat and jersey on his base card, but at the time i was just confused.  so, i studied the back of hisle's card and saw that he had been signed by the brew crew as a free agent in november of 1977.  nowhere on the back of his card, however, was there any mention of being a dodger (although i did notice that the 1972 season was missing from his stats), so imagine my surprise when i came across his 1972 topps card a couple of years later.  it turns out that the dodgers traded for hisle, sending tom hutton to the phillies in october of 1971.  unfortunately for hisle, the dodgers also dealt for frank robinson in december of 1971 which resulted in hisle spending the 1972 season in the minors. in november of 1972, the dodgers sent hisle to the cardinals who quickly flipped him to the twins.  so, hisle never played for the dodgers but we dodger fans have this 1972 topps card to remember him by and it is probably my favorite 'zero year' card (right up there with the 1974 topps traded tommie agee card).

at number 399 we have another favorite card of mine. this 1992 o-pee-chee card uses the same photo of gary carter as his topps counterpart, but it is just one of several 'tribute' cards that the canadian card maker produced for their retiring baseball hero.  there was one card for each team for which carter played - expos,
- and then a fifth tribute card
recognizing his return to les expos for the 1992 season. the first four cards, including the one above, focused solely on his experience with that particular team. it was just a great subset from o-pee-chee - if only the expos had brought fan favorite rusty staub in for a third go-around in 1986 and given o-pee-chee the idea for a similar set...

next we have the fourth big hero number of the set - card number 400.  at 100, i have replaced matt kemp with hubie brooks to eliminate any player or set duplication in the first 20 pages.  the numbering of the 1990 bowman brooks card is just happenstance, but at number 200 we had sandy koufax. at 300, clayton kershaw.  and now at 400 we have don drysdale's (unfortunately) final topps card.  i passed over a more obvious choice to put big d's card here, but drysdale deserves it. this card recounts his 6 straight shutouts and 58-2/3 scoreless innings streak during the previous season, as well as his 1962 cy young award.  drysdale was only 14-12 in 1968 despite his streak, and his era of 2.15 was over a full run higher than the unanimous cy young award winner that year - bob gibson.

another don, don bessent, takes spot 401 with his 1958 topps card.  bessent was a solid reliever for the brooklyn dodgers in both 1955 and 1956, pitching well in the world series in each of those years. he made the move to los angeles with the club, but injuries cut his career short with 1958 being the last year he appeared in the majors.

jim gott's horizontal score card is nice - especially with the dodger stadium background, but it is not the most interesting horizontal gott card in my collection. that distinction belongs to his 1992 pinnacle sidelines subset card (this one is a ttm auto)
with the yeonis cespedes variation card in 2016 topps series 2 (showing cespedes on a ranch with a horse) i wonder if there will be a return to these types of cards.  i hope not. it's interesting, but ultimately not what i am looking for in a baseball card set.

i do not know why topps did not include a jackie robinson card in the original baseball thrills subset of their 1961 set, but it was nice to see this card in the 2010 heritage set.

one thing that comes to mind when i look at henry rodriguez's 1993 score select card is that score continued the design of the card on to the back.  that doesn't happen too often, but it works here.  i am also reminded that the dodgers essentially chose billy ashley, karim garcia, and/or todd hollandsworth over rodriguez, and he went on to make many fans question that decision.

last up is nathan eovaldi and his 2012 topps card. this card makes me a little sad, and it's not because i thought that eovaldi was a future ace or anything.  i'll explain.  eovaldi was traded to the marlins during the 2012 season in the hanley ramirez trade.  i was at dodger stadium for the august 24th game  later in the season between the dodgers and marlins that marked his return to chavez ravine (it was also the game in which chad billingsley was injured and ultimately lost for the season).  eovaldi allowed a home run to hanley, along with andre ethier and juan rivera in that game.  but what i really recall about that game is that it marked the end of the dodgers as i knew them.  earlier in the year, i wrote that i was afraid that the dodgers would become just another big market team trying to buy its way to a championship like the red sox and yankees.  that night i spent at dodger stadium was also the night that the dodgers and red sox came to terms on the adrian gonzalez/carl crawford/josh beckett deal that saw the dodgers take on a ridiculous amount of salary for the primary purpose of adding gonzalez whom they had claimed on waivers earlier in the day.  i had seen the waiver claim news earlier in the day but figured the red sox would just pull gonzalez back, but then people at the stadium were talking, including one guy who claimed to know ben cherington and said that a deal was going to happen.  the next day, when i saw the details of the trade, i was a bit sad.  i'm still a fan, but it's not the same these days as the gamesmanship has changed, and i addressed my feelings in a post not too long after the trade went down.  anway, seeing eovaldi's 2012 topps card makes me sad.

cards that didn't make the cut:

for quite a while, the first spot on this page was manned by a 1995 fleer ultra garey ingram card
at number 397, but i decided to replace it with a different dodger who wore 33 primarily because there is a 1995 ultra card on sheet 44.  other cards not making the grade for one reason or another include 1968 topps jim grant at number 398, 1998 upper deck wilton guerrero at number 399, 1957 topps dodgers sluggers (carl furillo, gil hodges, roy campanella, and duke snider)
and 1977 topps steve garvey
at number 400 (can you believe it?!?!?!), 1998 upper deck eddie murray at number 401, 1971 topps dodger team at number 402, 1992 topps stadium club mitch webster at number 403, 1962 topps tim harkness at number 404, and 1994 topps finest ramon martinez at number 405.

my favorite card on the page:

because i love me some o-pee-chee (especially when it's different than topps), the 1992 gary carter card is my favorite on this page - and not just because it's canada day!

final thoughts:

this was a longer post with some great cards that mean something to me.  i am still a bit torn about not putting garvey in the 400 spot as that means he won't be in a hero spot in the set (topps did give him number 100 in the 1987 set, but he was a padre then), but i'm not going to make a change.  i have made some other changes, however, including making the hubie brooks card number 100 and adding corey seager to the set at number 150 (replacing another garvey card!).  so now there are no player or set duplications in the first 20 pages of the set.  some other updates i've made will be revealed later, so stay tuned. also, thanks to tony at off hiatus for the click-bait title idea. i thought it made sense for this post!


  1. Tough call taking Drysdale over Garvey. The Sidelines Gott card is pretty cool!

  2. oh man... so many cool cards to choose from. i love the garvey, the gott, all of the carters (i've never seen them before), the drysdale, and of course the dodgers sluggers card. if i ever started a similar project, this is not one of the dilemmas i'd want to face.

  3. It was very exciting in the late '70s turning over Larry Hisle's card and seeing "Dodgers" listed in the stats.

    1. Did you mean "not" seeing?

    2. Yeah, I must have seen Dodgers listed on the back of a card somewhere. Maybe transactions or something?

    3. Yeah, I must have seen Dodgers listed on the back of a card somewhere. Maybe transactions or something?