When I first started blogging, it was a truism in the blogosphere that there were more Dodger bloggers than those from any other baseball team.
That of course brought with it various plus and minuses. An example of a "negative" is all of the other bloggers out there had to somehow divvy up their Dodger giveaways if they traded with more than one of us. On the flip side, the Dodgers are somewhat plentiful on cardboard, which means there are lots of cards to go around.
I haven't checked lately on how the high number of Dodger bloggers is holding up, but I do know that number dropped by one when Jim, from the now defunct, but forever cool, Garvey, Cey, Russel, Lopes, hung up his keyboard.
Jim didn't disappear, though. He's remained in the background dropping comments on our blogs, and dropping packages off at the post office. A couple of days ago I received a fat one of those myself.
Jim's GCRL blog focused on "the Dodger infield of his youth". I've thought about focusing ATBATT in a similar way, but my collecting brain just doesn't compartmentalize like that. While I do love collecting the Dodgers, I'm more of a "shotgun collector", with interests that scatter around a variety of themes and teams.
Jim's note was the first time I've seen cards referred to as "sludge", but I immediately knew what he meant. While every jam-packed package is going to have a few pass-along cards, there were far more than just "one or two" that filled player/set needs and satisfied my cool cards wants.
Believe it or not, it's only recently that I've begun to focus on completing team sets from past Topps issues. I've got a pretty good start on them, and Jim helped me to fill in a lot of blanks.
I'll be updating my team set want lists shortly after this, so you all can see if you've got any extra past Dodgers that can help me complete those sets.
To a scattershot collector like me, it's even better when cards hit on more than one level, like the Conlon Collection, players with cool nicknames, and old-time Brooklyn Dodgers...
The back of this card says Rattlesnake got his nick from his oft-told stories of growing up in Texas with snakes galore. According to the story on this card, a rattler once bit into one of his car's tires, and the rush of escaping air filled the unlucky snake like a balloon, until he actually exploded. Yikes!
Often the best parts of these cards are the backgrounds featuring long gone stadiums, rudimentary wood dugouts, and fans in suits.
Below is a great card from a great set. Once upon a time I had a lot of cards from this Upper Deck set; I think I sold most of them back in my old card show days.
What a photo! A play at the plate, Billy Martin flying, World Series action, and best of all, Campy giving it his all on two good legs.
Above is an aging Duke, no longer in Flatbush, but always a Dodger.
When I first saw this card, I figured it to be a pretty good action shot (despite the bad crop job) of Carter about to throw down to second.
Thinking more about that half-unseen batter and Carter's eyes, I imagine that would be something like the look on Johnny Roseboro's face when Juan Marichal was coming at him with a bat and the intent to rearrange his hairstyle.
More scattershot cardboard appreciation...
Brett Butler was another one of those ex-Giants whom I came to appreciate as a Dodger. This is a a very cool action shot capturing Butler just at the end of his crow's hop - which is such a simple, yet graceful, baseball maneuver. Extra bonuses in the photo are Wrigley's ivy and the Tim Crews death patch on Butler's sleeve.
Finally, a card from a set that I've always loved more for the photos on the rear, rather than the fronts...
1993 Leaf shopped the players onto their team's cities in such a way that presented them as gargantuan athletes. I've always dug the Godzilla feeling of these players stomping around and throwing baseballs between skyscrapers. Awesome.
That's it for Part one of the GCRL package. Tune in next time for Part Two.
Until then, let's dig some 60's go-go action...