649. 1987 fleer ralph bryant/jose gonzalez
650. 2009 topps heritage jim thome
651. 1981 topps pedro guerrero
652. 2005 topps dodgers team
653. 2001 topps chrome jackie robinson
654. 1985 topps dave anderson
655. 2008 topps heritage angel berroa
656. 1992 donruss ramon martinez
657. 1991 donruss dennis cook
the "no brainer" of the day:
that would be the 1981 topps pedro guerrero card - his first solo card.
about the cards:
the dodgers had been shut out of fleer prospect/rookie cards in previous issues (1985 and 1986), so i was happy to see this ralph bryant/jose gonzalez card in fleer's 1987 set. both bryant and gonzalez debuted with the dodgers in 1985 and had relatively significant playing time with the team in 1986, so they weren't really prospects anymore. gonzalez played in the majors for a few more seasons, but bryant left for japan following the 1987 campaign.
jim thome joined the dodgers just about 7 years ago with 564 home runs to his name. he left the dodgers for minnesota after the season ended with 564 home runs to his name. all we dodger collectors got were a few jim thome dodger cards, including this 2009 topps heritage card. he kicked ass in minny in 2010, by the way, which was fun to watch.
after including pedro guerrero in the 1979 set as part of the future stars subset, topps ignored him in 1980. they were, however, the only folks to make a card of guerrero in 1981, and for that i was thankful. this remains my favorite topps pedro guerrero card (my second favorite is the one topps issued as part of their fan favorites set in 2005
the 2005 topps dodger team card was chosen for the next spot over the 2004 topps dodger team card (way to recycle the checklist, topps) simply because the back addresses the fact that the '04 team won the west for the first time since 1995. that 9 year drought is the longest for the team since divisional play began,
filling the number 653 spot is a jackie robinson golden moments card from 2001 topps chrome. the 2016 topps chrome set that was released last week has a scant 200 cards in the base set. the chrome set went from 660 as recent as 2002 to 440 in 2003 to 330 in 2006 to 220 in 2008. last year was the first to feature a 200 card checklist.
dave anderson's 1985 topps card features a photo that shows the olympic patch that the dodgers wore in 1984 to celebrate the games being hosted in los angeles. dodger stadium was used for baseball, which was an exhibition sport that year. i hear that baseball will return to the olympics in 2020 in tokyo, and i am left to wonder whether mlb and the mlbpa will decide to find a way to let major leaguers participate.
the thome card and this 2008 topps heritage angel berroa card give me some hope that a few of the spots being filled by 1990 target cards (or other weaker cards) might yet be filled by heritage high number cards. it would be great if this year's josh reddick heritage high number card turned out to be 718, for example.
it seems like there have been a few ramon martinez cards in the set lately, and there have been. this 1992 donruss card is the latest card of pedro's older brother to be featured. i'm not sure what stadium ramon is pitching in there, but the color of the outfield wall is clearly dodger blue.
the last card on this sheet is dennis cook's 1991 donruss card. clearly a night card, as opposed to darryl strawberry's 1991 donruss card
cards that didn't make the cut:
1972 topps pete richert
my favorite card on the page:
if only thome had been wearing a hat or helmet when the photo used on his heritage card was taken, it might have supplanted the pedro guerrero card as my favorite on the page.