Sunday, January 31, 2016

Once More Around The Sun For Us!

Aloha, everybody, 

It's raining here in LA, but today is my Yahoooooo!!! 

There's no deep message or carefully constructed theme behind today's words and cards. Let's just have a simple party showing a few cardboard heroes in celebration mode. 

Of course, the Dodgers shall lead off. Here come a couple of big time World Series MVP pitchers, Mr. Podres and Mr. Koufax...

That's Sandy celebrating a 1963 World Series win. BTW - Koufax (2-0) and Podres (1-0) pitched back to back wins as the Dodgers swept the Yankees. 

I first thought about showing Kirk Gibson celebrating as he rounded the bases after his big home run in the 1988 World Series, but I found this card of the guy who hit twice as many as Gibby, and just as many as the Bash Brothers hit in that series...

 Gibson's 9th inning heroics would have come up short if not for this Game One home run from Mickey Hatcher in the bottom of the first inning. 

How about a little bit more Dodgers happiness...

Next up is a happy gallop from another one of my all-time favorite World Series homers...

I chose this Winfield card because he looks like he's rocking a home run celebration smile on his 1984 Topps card.

Of course somebody who was not shy about on-field celebrations was this man...

The pitcher usually bats last, so we'll close today with another of my favorite pitchers, whom I am happy to share my birthday with...
Happy Birthday to the man they called The Express.

I coulda went with that birthday song from the Beatles where they say it's your birthday, but I don't like the Beatles, sooo...let's run with a funky little tune from my old new wave days...



Friday, January 22, 2016

Not All Giants For Dodgers Trades Are Bad

Aloha, everybody,

Current Dodgers front office suit and previous GM, Ned Colletti, came over to the Dodgers from the San Francisco Giants. 

As Dodgers GM, Colletti had a bad habit of acquiring former Giants. Those deals often stank. They stank enough to make a lot of Dodger fans wonder whether Colletti was in reality a spy from SF sent here to undermine the team from the inside. 

On the other hand, I often cite Jeff Kent as a good Giant to travel down the coast to join LA. Juan Uribe, once beloved in SF, even carved out a niche of his own here in LA. Thus, transactions between Nor Cal and So Cal can certainly work out well. Such was the case after I recently showed off a set of metal Willie Mays cards as trade bait. Of course, a Giants fan came a callin'. 

Arpsmith from Arpsmith's Sportscard Obsession put in a claim, and soon enough, another Dodgers-Giants trade was on. The Say Hey Kid was on his way to the bay and some good ol' Dodgers were headed down to LA. 

Leading off the loot that came from Arpsmith are a couple of 2013 schedules featuring the former 1-2 punch of the Dodgers pitching rotation...

"Hay un nuevo blue" translates to "There's a new blue". Prophetic, as the new blue rotation for 2016 will be all Kershaw and no Grienke.

Here come some new blue additions for my collection, from Pinnacle...

Arpsmith knows I like me some vintage, so these Dodgers were the meat of the deal...

I already had a 1958 Demeter, but this one is a considerable upgrade. 

Notable: Demeter's photo always looked to me like one of those creepy ventriloquist mannequins. 

The Harris card below is primo vintage - and it chips one off of my 1960 Dodgers team wanted list...

 It's a very clean card, with sharp corners and a good amount of surface gloss. Nope, nothing chewy about these cards. 

Finally, the trade capper. A triple-autographed Heritage Dodger Stadium tribute card featuring Claude Osteen, Manny Mota, and the guy who's auto sealed the deal for me...Mr. Maury Wills...

 I recognize Mota's auto as I have a couple of other IP autos from him, and these are my first Osteen and Wills sigs. I love that Wills added his number "30". 

I was initially disappointed that Wills signed low, in the shadow of the light standards, but it turns out I was looking at things all wrong. I was looking at the card as three separate autographs.   

I think Wills may have signed low in order to not cover up the action on the baseball diamond. Now I see and appreciate the entirety of the card as one whole piece. This new perspective makes the it look even better to me.

THANKS for this great batch of cards, Arpsmith. It's another trade between west coast rivals that benefited all.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Night Stacks Part Two

Aloha, everybody,

Welcome to Part Two of the tall stack of cards that I received from Night Owl (Part 1 is here). Picking up right where we left off...

Once again I must ask you to forgive the un-smart crop job done by my supposedly smart printer. This 1962 Topps is a complete card, but my printer lopped off the right edge. Grrr!

Perranoski, originally from the land of Springsteen, was the pitching coach in what I used to refer to as Lasorda's mafia, which was made up of Tommy Lasorda's long-time coaching staff. That group of coaches worked together 15 years or more. 

How about a Cy Young winner on something too big to be a real stamp, but too small to be a real card? Unfortunately, my brilliant scanner decided to lop off three of the deckle edged sides...

Here's a soccer player advancing the ball with his hand...

N.O. is almost single-handedly keeping my O-Pee-Chee supply chain up and running. Who's down wid o-pee-cheeeeee?

 Gimme some more 70's mustache...or, in o-pee-chee parlance, le moustache.

 How do you say lousy manager in French?

One can fit a whole lotta goodness in a big stack of cards. Such as food issues...

 Full-bleed, double exposure bulldogs...

 Full-bleed bulldogs turning into Indians...

Glorious, golden-framed, gold medal wearing managers...


 You can even hide some boring, ugly cards in a big ol' stack...

Even Gibby looks bored by the design

Good thing he can't see the urine yellow back
Speaking of ugly, here's a card that personifies the trade of Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields...

Look above Delino's bat. See that baseball being fouled straight up? That's exactly what that ridiculous trade amounted to. A lousy pop up. 

Every stack worth its height needs some tribute cards...

 Capping off this mad stack from New York, is a fistful of cardboard devoted to one player, whom I'm pretty sure was obscure even to the teams he played on. 

To quote the great Vin Scully, "And now, something for the Roger Cedeno Marching and Chowder Society"...

Yup, it's a whole lotta Roger Cedeno cardboard - and that's how you cap off a stack. 

We started this recap with a story about someone asking for a stack of money. We'll close out with John Lee Hooker doing the same...

A whole stack of THANKS to Night Owl for the supercool cards. 



Who Got Cards? We Got Cards!

Aloha, everybody,

Before we go any further...drink this in...

Do you all remember that scene from the movie Goodfellas? I'm referring to the scene where Ray Liotta (playing gangster Henry Hill) pulls out a stack of money because the wife asked for some shopping funds. 

He asks her, "How much do you need?" She responds by making a rather large letter "C" shape with her thumb and forefinger. It's not about a specific amount, it's a measurement of how high a stack of money she wants. 

THAT'S how thick the stack of cardboard was that I received from the King of all Card Bloggers, the venerable Night Owl.  

N.O. doesn't do PWE's like many of us who send a few cards in a measley envelope and call it a bombing. No sir, when N.O. sends you cards, he is sending serious numbers, team bags and stacks. 

Best of all, if you're lucky enough to be a fellow Dodger fan, just about all of that cardboard is of the wondrous Dodger Blue variety.

 Since N.O. is so beloved and respected in the blogosphere, people from all around the country are constantly sending him cards galore. That means his overflow and extras are passed on to his fellow Dodger collectors in huge stacks full of cardboard gems. Aint life grand?

Here's a great example. This shiny Flair Showcase features a great photo of Nomo at bat. The kid could hit, and he even displayed occasional home run power. 

Here's something else I love about this Nomo card - it's the outstanding backside, featuring a washed in blood, obvious tribute to the master of mayhem, Japanese film director, Takashi Miike,

Another blogger named Greg, from Plashke, Thy Sweater is Argyle is the biggest Russel Martin collector I know.  He probably had this card long ago, but it's my first time to come across this awesome PATP with a crashing Yankee? White Sox? Anyway, the guy looks out to me.

What would a package from Night Owl be without some vintage Dodgers?

Sometimes I think Tommy Davis is the only Dodger on this checklist, or they double-printed Tommy's cards, because his is the only Dodger card that I ever seem to come across from this set. 

 Good ol' Bobby Castillo was a local boy from LA, and seemed to have settled somewhere close to my neck of the woods, because almost every year at my sons' PONY baseball opening day, he would show up in his Dodgers jersey (which still fit well) and toss out the honorary first ball of the season. 

Here's World Series hero Charlie Neal. The Dodgers appeared in 1959 Topps in photos that were shot at the Los Angeles Rams' new home for the 2016 football season, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. 

Many LA Ram fans probably thought the Rams always played in Anaheim Stadium, sharing the confines with the Angels, but us old-timers remember they played in the Coliseum before moving out to Orange County.

Welcome home, Rams. 

Apparently someone along the way decided to scratch out the word "outfield" under Ron Fairly's name. Perhaps Fairly dropped a can of corn and lost a critical game, causing some irate ten year-old to angrily scribble out the word with a hearty, "Yeah, right."

It's getting late now, and I'll have to stop here if I want to hit the Publish button before I sleep. We'll have to break this post up into a two-parter. Most recaps of cards received from N.O. take up two posts anyway. It's par for the course. 

I've probably already lost the west coast red eye readers, so perhaps only Night Owl will see this late night post. That's just fine with me, because it'll simply be two Dodger goodfellas, talking about tall stacks of cardboard. 

Up next: Part 2


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Pitching, Pitching, Pitching

Aloha, everybody,

There's an old adage in baseball: Good pitching beats good hitting. Well, that's almost true, as in "almost always '. The second half of the equation is your team must do some hitting if it's going to win the day.

If your team's offense doesn't hit, then my personal adage kicks in, "Good pitching is not enough." 

I know that from which I speak, because the no (timely) hitting bug has always been the bane of the Dodgers. While they've had some masters on the mound over the years, even those guys had to walk tightropes to hold 1-0 or 2-1 leads far too often. 

Here are a few of those masters, on some of my favorite cardboard...

Of course, every discussion of Dodger mound-masters should begin with Koufax. While this Topps Upper Class card isn't vintage, it honors Sandy's rookie season, the same year the Brooklyn Dodgers won their only championship. Note how the background noise has been wiped away, allowing us to focus with Koufax, right before the pitch.

The trivia on the back says Koufax's first strike out victim was Bobby Thompson. Take that, sign stealer. 

 Speaking of Brooklyn, here's the man who led the '55 squad to the championship, Johnny Podres. 

This beauty came to me courtesy of Matt from Bob Walk the Plank fame. Lots of folks don't like sticker autos, but I say, when they are done right, they are right on. 

This card is a perfect example of "done right". The auto is clean and legible, and the silver backing matches the silver of the card perfectly. It's a clean design and the silver and white make the Dodger blue colors pop right out at you. 

 While there's not a lot special about 1977 Topps, I love this Sutton because of his perfectly relaxed, fake pose. The setting seems to be Spring Training in Vero Beach. 

This card is also a favorite of mine because of it's pristine condition. I often find myself checking the back to make sure this isn't a modern reprint.

 Everybody's goin' gaga over Kershaw, but he wasn't the first Dodgers mound master for me. Here's Orel Hershiser in 1986 Sportsflix glory.

 I got to watch Bulldog's legendary L.A. career unfold; what a joy. Whenever he took the mound, Nancy Bea Hefley, the Dodger Stadium organist, would play "Master of the House", from Les Miserables.

Bulldog dominated the late 80's, while the early part of the decade belonged to El Toro. Here's Fernando with bonus Dodger, Mike Scioscia. 

And now, one of the most underrated and under-appreciated Dodger pitchers - if not ever, certainly from my lifetime. Regular ATBATT readers know how I've often written about the Ace of the Dodgers, Ramon Martinez, Pedro's older brother. 

This great slice of cardboard is Ramon's RC. I love the lurking, brightly-painted Dodger pavilions in the background. 

 Big Don Drysdale was featured in my Bowie tribute, and he makes another appearance here on Legendary SP. This set would look great in a binder, but individual cards are always overpriced when I run into them at card shows. 

Good ol' Newk takes us back to the early days of the L.A. Dodgers. Newk is still employed by the club and he often makes appearances at Dodger celebrations and other occasions. 

Finally, the Tornado. Nomo earned the nickname due to his corkscrew windup.

I've got plenty of 90's shiny, busy, and laser-cut Nomo cards, but this simple example from Pacific Collection is one of my faves. Here we get a simple design, an odd brown diamond for the team logo to sit on, and a fantastic afternoon shot of Nomo's trademark windup. 

This all brings me to start off a new adage: Great pitching deserves great cardboard. Always.