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.

Aloha! 

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. 

Aloha! 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Small Youtube Video Starring Little ol' Me, and a Small Trade

Aloha, everybody, 

Many of you may already know, I've been honing my chops as a blogger not only in our little community, but also in the Dodgers blogger worlds as well. 

I write for LA Dodger Report, and I'm now beginning to dabble in making Youtube video reports for the blog. Why not, right? 

I just posted a short series wrap up video commenting on the weekend series the Dodgers and Diamondbacks just completed. I thought a couple of you might be interested, so here's the video: 


I completed a one-card trade recently with Peter K. Steinberg, who is as gracious a person as he is a trader. We put together a small trade, and here's the cardboard gem that Peter sent over to me...


I semi-collect RickeyHenderson, and when I saw this one, I hadda have it. Upon its arrival, I became double glad because of the story on the rear...


This is a tribute card for Rickey's 1,000th steal. Cool. And he swiped it one year to the day after he broke Lou Brock's record. Even better. A very nice addition to my collection. 

Thanks, Peter! Thanks to all of you who take a peek at the video as well. 

Aloha! 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

How Did it Take so Long for Me to Trade With a Trading Spot?

Aloha, everybody, 

The name of my blog doesn't pull any punches. It's all trade bait...all the bloody time. Sure, I like showing off cards and writing about stuff, but ATBATT is really all about the trading. THAT'S what I love about our community. 

There's another guy out there who runs a blog that's all about the trades, it's called Johnny's Trading Spot. It took a while, but our two trading blogs finally knocked out our first swap. 

Spoiler Alert: Good ol' Johnny did not disappoint. He went right for my Dodgers team checklists and batted .1000



Wes Parker was my first favorite Dodger. He was southpaw and played first base. What's not to love? 


 That looks like a lurking skipper back there. It's Walter Alston performing the magic floating ball trick. 

More needed Dodgers. This time '71 Topps...


Here's a good one. Bobby Valentine's RC...




Raul Mondesi gets the Disneyland Haunted House spooky face treatment on this 1996 SP Special FX card. Now I need to find the die-cut version...



One more for my 2017 Topps team...




 Who knew Jeff Kent had so many Dodgers cards? I'll take em all! 


Finally, the one who got away, Jose De Leon. He was traded away for the Dodgers new second baseman, Logan Forsythe. He's now playing for the Durham Bulls. 

Grant Dayton got his call up to the Dodgers. He's had a decent start, so stay tuned. 



Decent start, stay tuned. The same holds true for the new trading relationship between JTS and ATBATT. THANKS for the great trade, John! 

Aloha! 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

When Dodger Collectors Collide

Aloha, everyone, 

Not too long ago I wrote about Spiegel, my old collecting friend who was getting back into the trading game after retiring his own Dodgers blog a couple of years ago. 

Just as you might suspect, Spiegel isn't the only ex-Dodger blogger who was away for a while and is now back in. GCRL Jim is another. Jim and I recently turned the U.S. mails blue when we swapped fistfuls of Dodgers cardboard. 

We Dodgers collectors are blessed, as our team has historically had plenty of representation in card companies' checklists. That means no matter how large our collections are, and however much we swap among each other, the chances of receiving plenty of new (for us) product in our mailboxes are pretty good. 

Take for example, these 2007 SP Legendary Cuts cards of Roy Campanella and Maury Wills. 




 I've loved these black n' red beauties ever since I saw a dealer selling a large stack of them a couple of years ago. He wanted fifty cents a piece for them, and I wasn't convinced they were worth that, so I walked away and never had a chance to pick through that set again. 

Speaking of beautiful cardboard...



Just lookit that. I don't need a card to be selling for $100 on ebay for me to appreciate it. A grand design and good photography goes a long way with me. 

Sure I've got 2009 Dodgers, but I didn't have O-Pee-Chee versions until GCRL hit me with them. 





Sir Night Owl wrote about receiving a team set Dodger card tonight, and just like the team bag says, these are a bunch of 2012 team set Dodgers...



Just enough to make me need to complete the set. Ha! 






Here's an interesting pair, both from 2005. Playoff Prestige and Throwback Threads both used the same photo of the Penguin. The Prestige card was even lazier in its use of the same photo on the back. 

GCRL set me up with a whole lotta cards that were brothers in sets that I've never seen. Like these...






And the hits just kept on coming. Here's a string of Dodgers batsmen...



 Except Manny's bat is nowhere to be seen. 






And here's some pitching. 



Another set with amazing photography and design....



Finally, one more photographic work of art on a little slice of cardboard...



Dig that sly smile on Jackie. It's the same look Dodgers collectors have when we open packages from each other. 

THANKS for all the great cards, Jim! 

Aloha! 




Saturday, April 15, 2017

Breaking Down Trades of Substance

Aloha, everybody, 

A couple of weeks ago the great custom card artist, Gavin from Baseball Card Breakdown, ran a ruthless March Madness PWE tournament  in which my PWE of Padres was absolutely CRUSHED when it was put up against a Mark Hoyle PWE chock full o' vintage. It was a massacre. 

The PWE match up was all in fun, but it got me to thinking about the cards that I send out to folks. From time to time a trade will be very specific. For example, I just put together a swap of a Jim Thome Batting helmet card for a Pee Wee Reese swatch card. No surprises. Everything prearranged and set. 

Other times I'll drop a fistful of Mets or Angels or Cubs into a package and ship them off to someone who collects those teams; what we often refer to as a "blind trade". 

Both types of trades are fun, but I realized I'll have to take a bit more care in checking collectors want lists before I ship base cards out. Some collectors don't want every card from every player on the team. As I mentioned to Gavin in our conversation about this topic, "The next Jose Offerman card I get is going to be the thousandth one I don't want." 

Which leads me to the PWE that ol' Gav sent out to me, in which he led off with this gem...



The note is on the penny sleeve, so my new "O-for-man" card remained pristine. Nevertheless, I won't be submitting it for grading. It might have remained a joke between friends if that was all there was in the envelope, but Gav doesn't roll like that. In fact, there really were some cardboard gems awaiting in that PWE. 

Exhibit A. A card featuring one of my favorite all-time Dodger pitchers. The GREAT and underrated Ramon Martinez, known to most of you as Pedro's brother...



If only the Dodgers had listened to Ramon when he told them his younger brother was going to be even better than himself. *sigh*

How about this never-before-seen cardboard beauty...


 That one boasts baby-faced and moustachioed versions of the Penguin. 

Speaking of the captain...



You want more Brooklyn? I got yer Brooklyn right here...



Gavin's artfully crafted PWE spanned the Dodgers from the New York boroughs to tomorrow's heroes of Chavez Ravine...



Young Trayce just got the call up and his first ML hit when slug Franklin Gutierrez recently went on the 10-day DL. 

I'll close out the post with cards that feature the man being honored by MLB today, the patron saint of ATBATT....



The Dodgers will honor the great Jackie Robinson with the unveiling of their first stadium statue tonight, and yours truly will be there. 



I'm always happy to attend a ballgame, and extra juiced when it's Jackie Day, but I'm super thrilled to see the statue tonight, because it's featuring (as you read my prediction here first) the pose of  Jackie ....Stealing Home. 


Thanks for the great PWE Gavin! 

Aloha!