Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Day the Astrodome Remembered Chavez Ravine

Aloha, everybody, 

Although I spent some time in Taiwan, I can't really call myself a world traveler. I haven't even been to our east coast. Visiting New York and Washington D.C. are still on my "to do" list. 

That said, I've traveled our west coast states and extensively through the American southwest. Many of those places have left indelible images in my memory. One of those is the past home of the Houston Astros, the Astrodome. 

Every time I see the title of Marc's blog, "Remember the Astrodome", my memory of that impressive sports temple flashes through my mind's eye. The stadium is long gone, but Astros baseball carries on in a new place, much like card collecting and trading has moved from front stoops and back porches to world-wide internet communities. 

That expansion of trading possibilities brought a fistful of cardboard to little ol' me - straight from Houston, Texas. 

Davey Lopes played in the Astrodome, just as the Dodgers below did. 

They say Texas does everything bigger, and Marc knocked a big chunk of needs off my Dodgers team set wantlists...

Trayce Thompson is mired in a horrible slump in the minor leagues right now. Maybe this appearance on ATBATT will bring him some luck at the plate. 

Here are a couple of great tribute cards of former Dodgers that will sit very well in the binder. Shawn Green is remembered for his four home run game (plus a double) back in '92, which broke Joe Adcock's record for most bases (18) in one game. 

The card below commemorates Shawn's teammate, HOFer Mike Piazza's ML debut. 

Here's another debut from another Dodger HOFer...

How about some current Dodgers...

 Usually I'm not a fan of logoless cards, but these Diamond Kings are very attractive. Much digged. 

Below are a few pitchers - two in the Dodgers' starting rotation, and Luis Avilan from the bullpen corps. So far, so good for these guys...

I saw this Adrian Gonzalez card floating around the blogs and bought too much Topps chasing it. Now it's mine! 

Dodger Stadium has carried sushi for a few seasons. Although I love sushi, I have yet to try it there. Does anyone chasing this stadium food subset need this one? 

 While Marc's site remembers the Astrodome, I'm happy my blue temple of baseball still exists. That said, Dodger fans do have a bygone stadium to remember...

THANKS for the great cards, Marc. I'm looking forward to our next card exchange.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Notching Two Penguins With One Post

Aloha, everybody, 

If Twitter is good for nothing else, it is my source for what each day is recognizing nationally. How else would I know when National Pepperoni Day or National Catfish Day is? 

So I awoke to the Twitter announcement that today is National Penguin Day. There is only one penguin that means anything in my universe - sorry, Tony B, it's not Chicago Cubs Ron Cey - I'm talking about LA Dodger Ron Cey. 

Sure, Sir Night Owl has written thousands of words in praise of Cey, his favorite player. He's even got a wonderful penguin lamp. I don't have one of those, but as I've discovered over the years through my friendship with N.O., we've got many shared favorites and interests. One of those is, we both consider Cey our favorite player. 

Which brings up the second reason behind today's post. Peter from Baseball Every Night is running a contest, and the requirement to enter is a blog post about your favorite card from your favorite player. Which brings us to this...

There are so many good things about this card, I hardly know where to begin, and no matter how much I write, believe me, there are more reasons I love it that I left out in the name of brevity. 

I've got plenty of Dodger heroes and favorites, but Ron Cey is at the top because I grew up watching him play, on TV and at the stadium. When most Dodger fans (and the media) of the time loved Steve Garvey, I chose the Penguin. He did not disappoint. 

However, I had one collecting disappointment concerning Cey; I didn't have an autograph. I even bumped into the Penguin a couple of times at the stadium over the years, and I didn't have a ball or card ready for him to sign. I secretly envied N.O. whenever he would show his latest Cey autograph.

And then came Gavin, the brilliant custom card artist from Baseball Card Breakdown. Gavin began a BCB Signature Series in which he created custom cards and sent them off to the players for their signatures, and Cey was one of his chosen players. 

Gavin showed off his completed Cey creations, and after sending one off to N.O. and keeping one for himself, he had one left for trade. I was lucky enough to snag it for myself. 

The imagery Gavin chose is unconventional by Topps standards, and it rocks by my standards. A triumphant Penguin, celebrating toward his teammates in the dugout, with a background of the iconic Dodger Stadium pavilions and the old DiamondVision screen, topped off with Cey's perfectly placed autograph is cardboard perfection. 

And that's just the front. The backside is just as awesome. 

Where Topps would use some generic photo, Gavin chose a fantastic shot of Cey making a big play in the World Series. The write up also concentrates on Cey's World Series heroics which led to his WS MVP award. 

Showing off a beautiful custom card, made by my trading/blogging buddy, which is my only autograpgh of my favorite Dodger, is the clear choice of how I will celebrate National Penguin Day. 

Now pardon me, while I rush off to tweet about this.