Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rediscovered Vintage Dodger Goodness

Hey everybody,

I was recently sorting through my collection - for reasons that I think you will appreciate soon enough - when I came upon a shoebox that I hadn't opened in quite a while.  While it wasn't chock full of big money cards that I forgot I had, it did contain a fistful of almost forgotten cardboard, priceless to me.

I bought all of these back in the early 90's, the days that I first got seriously into collecting.  I picked them up from various dealers at various shows, although most were probably had from the famous Frank & Son's shows out here.  In those days my collecting goals were "always pay the lowest price for the best condition possible". 

Let's open with the oldest cards, from 1955 Topps, the year the Dodgers won their first, and Brooklyn's only, World Championship...

When people write about Dee Gordon, they never refer back to Jim Gilliam, the brilliant second bagsman for the Brooklyn squad.   

Gilliam also batted leadoff and led the league in triples once, and won the N.L. Rookie of the Year award. Gotta love the fashionable Dodger blue turtleneck - Dodger gear the team dropped after moving to sunny LA.

Podres, my favorite pitcher from Brooklyn.  He was the MVP of the 1955 World Series and shut out the Yankees in Game 7.  

If you've seen the Ken Burns documentary, BASEBALL, then you've seen one of my all time favorite sports clips.  It's in the "7th Inning - The Capital Of Baseball", which is a great stand alone segment from the series.  

The Brooklyn Dodgers had been to the Fall Classic numerous times, only to lose and crush the dreams of their devoted fans time and time again.  Podres and the Dodgers finally won in '55, and in a post game clip a reporter asks Podres if he was nervous during that final 7th game.  

Podres immediately responded, with his ever-present grin which we see on the card above, "Nervous? Nah. I was a real pro out there today." I just love Dodger southpaws.

Finally, from '55 is Joe Black. Joe was the first African-American pitcher to win a World Series game, back in '52.

Next up is my lone 1956 Topps Dodger. I only have the one, but it's not too shabby...

Furillo got a great PATP card.  

When we think about Dodger right fielders with rifle arms, we usually think of Puig or Raul Mondesi.  
Move over boys - Mr. Furillo's nickname was "The Reading Rifle".  

He led the league with assists from RF twice, and had double digit assists for nine straight seasons. 

Now the "newer" cards from 1957...

Erskine pitched a Dodgers no-hitter and struck out 14 in the '53 World Series. 

I wonder who's lurking on the mound back there? 

Finally today, a classic card from a classic Dodger.  Topps has used this shot countless times over the years, but at least, this is the first time it was put on cardboard. 

Not only was Hodges one of Brooklyn's big boppers, he was a heckuva first baseman.  When they invented the Golden Glove awards, Hodges won the first three.  

Next up: The Rediscovered LA Dodgers


  1. Very cool! That Furillo is an absolute beauty.

    1. Thanks,Nick. Those old cards are works of art.

  2. My eyes get bigger whenever I see a '50s Dodger card I don't have. They did that for '55 Black and '57 Hodges. One day ...

    1. Glad I could be of service to those oft-jaded collector's eyes. :)