Sunday, October 29, 2017

World Series Hero - Joc Pederson WHAT???

Aloha, everybody, 

I know it's tough to watch a World Series when your team isn't involved, but if you haven't been watching, you've been missing a doozy. This one is a real dogfight - both on and off the field. 

There's plenty of drama. Almost too much drama for me, as the series has been a real emotional roller coaster, and after all of that, the series is right back to even at two games apiece. It's now a best two out of three series. Whew! 

Most of you know I love cards of World Series Heroes, and last night, in Game 4 of the Series, there arose a couple of new ones. Alex Wood, who pitched brilliantly (a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings) and Joc Pederson, who sealed the deal for the Dodgers by clubbing a 3-run home run in the ninth inning. 

Joc was always known for his power bat. He earned Minor League Player of the Year when he played for the Quakes. 

Rookie Diamond King...

Joc hit a grand slam on Opening Day this year. Hopes were high for him to have a break out season, but as the summer opened up, Joc's season took several turns for the worse. 

Since coming up from the minors two years ago, Joc was the Dodgers' center fielder. He flashed speed and a great glove in the OF, but his power numbers and BA steadily dropped. Despite that Opening Day grand slam, Joc looked lost at the plate. His playing time started to shrink. 

Eventually, the Dodgers sent Joc back down to the minors and traded for Curtis Granderson. The season turned dark. 

To Joc's credit, he never complained or sulked. He just put in the work and finally got called back up in September when rosters expanded. He still didn't play much. Granderson stayed in the lineup despite sucking, and Pederson stayed upbeat. If you watch Dodger games, you'll see he's a big cheerleader for the team, even as he rides the bench. 

Joc was left off the NLDS roster, but Granderson's suckage increased to monumental levels, so Joc got his chance in the NLCS against the Cubs. 

He got playing time and a few hits, but nothing earth-shattering. Still, it was enough for him to be included on the World Series roster. 

Dave Roberts chose Pederson to be the DH over veteran Andre Ethier because he figured Joc could catch up to fastballs that Andre would miss. 

How's Joc doing in his first World Series? As DH he went 3 for 9 with a double, two homers, four RBIs, and one huge deathblow that he laid on the Astros last night. 

Not bad, kid. Not bad at all. 


Sunday, October 22, 2017

World Series Dodgers Cardboard: Bums No More

Aloha, everybody, 

Here comes Part Two of the Dodgers on World Series cardboard. When we last saw our blue heroes, the hard luck Brooklyn team had earned the nickname of "Dem Bums" by breaking the hearts of their faithful time and again. They made it into plenty of  World Series, but just couldn't close the deal. 

That all changed in 1955. 

Once again, it was the damn Yankees vs the Dodgers. This time the boys from Brooklyn weren't bums, they were the Boys of Summer. 

 Lots of Dodgers fans will tell you that Sandy Koufax was the greatest Dodgers pitcher in the Fall Classic. Others will tell you it was Orel Bulldog Hershiser. 

My choice is the man who had to carry the weight of years of  Dodgers frustration to the mound. The hopes of everyone in the Brooklyn borough rode on his shoulders. Johnny Podres was the man who broke through the Yankees fortress and ended their postseason dominance over his team. It took all seven games to bring the first ever Worlds Championship to the Dodgers. 

Here's another card, same shot of the World Series hero...

One of the iconic images of that series, captured by Upper Deck Masterpieces...

1955 was the last WS played in Brooklyn. The team moved out to LA, and they won the pennant in 1959. It was LA's first Fall Classic, and the boys won it all in six games. 

 I'm chasing this subset. Still have a ways to go. 

The Dodgers' home field was the LA Coliseum. Game 5 drew 92,706, which still stands as the WS attendance record. It was also the first WS in which no pitcher for either side threw a complete game. 

The next crop of cards come from the 1963 series. It was the first time the Dodgers played the Yankees since 1955, and this time Sandy Koufax led the boys in blue to a four game sweep. 

The year is 1965, but the World Series hero is the same. Once again, Sandy Koufax led the team to the promised land. They beat the Minnesota Twins in seven games. 

Next time: Dodgers World Series that I remember! 


Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Dodgers are World Series Bound, so Let's See World Series Cardboard

Aloha, everybody, 

I'm sure you've all heard by now: The Dodgers are in the Fall Classic! The 29-year drought is over. The red, white and blue bunting will once again adorn Chavez Ravine, and the best team I've ever seen don the Dodgers uniform, is going to do battle with whomever wins that ALCS Game 7 tonight. 

The Dodgers have a long history of battling the Yankees in the WS, so I wouldn't mind one more chance to beat them. But I'm getting ahead of myself. The Dodgers' opponents might well be the Astros. 

While we're waiting for that outcome, let's check out some Dodgers World Series cards from my humble collection. Most of these are tribute cards from modern issues, but I've got some cool original vintage cards coming up as well. 

(Some of you may have seen some of these before, please indulge me. I'm quite excited to show these off one more time.) Here we go, in more or less chronological order...

In 1920, the Dodgers (also known as the Robins at the time) won the pennant, but they were defeated in the WS by the Cleveland Indians.

1941- Leo the Lip Durocher leads the Dodgers to win the pennant for the first time since 1920. The Yankees spoiled the Dodgers happiness and beat Brooklyn in five games. 

One more card from the '41 series. This is the first of my vintage cards. These Nu-Card Baseball Scoops come from 1961...

Here's the first of two beautiful die-cuts I received in trade. This first one harks back to the 1947 WS. The Dodgers lost to the Yanks again. This time it took seven games. 

BTW - 1947 was Jackie Robinson's first World Series. 

Two years later, it was Dodgers v Yanks yet again. Different year, same results. Yanks in five. (more vintage cardboard, from 1968)

Fast forward to 1952. This time the Yanks were defending three straight championships. The Dodgers lost the series in five. 

Here's the second of those pennant die-cuts. In the 1953 WS, the Yankees were now four-time champs, and the Dodgers were trying once again to take that world's championship for themselves. No dice. 

 Here's a great action shot from the '53 series. It features Campy tagging out Billy Martin to end Game 4. Alas, the Bums lost to NY again. This time, in six games. 

Stay tuned, because next time: The Dodgers finally get over the hump and win their first World Series. 


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Bo Knows how to Knock Down a Perfect Game Checklist!

Aloha, everybody, 

Back in the dogdays of August, the most generous Bo, from Sportscards Brought to Life, sent a humongous box of cards to me.

I showed a bunch of them off in a couple of posts, and it's now time to feature another batch of cards that Bo included. These chipped off a big chunk from my want list of The Perfect Games Project

In a nutshell, I'm chasing the cards from each perfect game pitched. The spin I'm putting on my chase, is I'm collecting the battery mates, both pitcher and catcher, and the ultimate cards from each would be the cards from the year of their perfectos. 

Bo went to work, sorted through his cards, and pulled a whole lotta cards to help whittle down my checklist. 

We'll start off with the Angels (9/30/84)...

Bob Boone's is the ultimate card...

This 2002 Posada will fill in with my David Wells ultimate card 5/17/98...

(8/15/12)I already had Felix Hernandez's card, and this John Jaso completes the ultimate pair...

Ron Hasse's ultimate card pairs up with my El Presidente to complete the ultimate pair (7/28/91) This was Hasse's second perfecto! 

I really love the variety in the cards for the backstops. I've got them working with the leather and the wood. 

These next ones are ultimate pairs that Bo knocked out of the park for me...

7/18/1999 David Cone and Joe Girardi...

5/29/10 Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz...

5/29/10 Dallas Braden and Landon Powell...

Finally, 4/21/12  Phillip Humber and A.J. Pierzinski...

Thanks for the help with my project, Bo! Much appreciated, and rest assured, I'm working on your return package. 


Saturday, October 7, 2017

What Was Lost, Is Now Found

Aloha, everybody, 

In my last post, I mentioned a surprise package that I received from mi hermano, Wes - which I had misplaced. 

It turns out the cards had been placed in a cabinet where I store my card shipping supplies. Perhaps by me, and then forgotten? This is very likely. 

The important thing is, they were found, and now I can give them their proper thanks in a post, before they are filtered into my binders. 

Leading off is Jackie in a mini variation. Sweet. 

Just like a surprise fistful of cards is sweet. You see, good ol' Wes doesn't blog as often as he used to, but the man hasn't left behind his generous ways of dropping cards on old friends (and hermanos). Wes just rolls like that, which is why blogging or not, he will always be one of my trading mentors and inspirations. 

Here's a blast from the past, from the days card companies were flailing about, trying to merge computer tech and the net with collecting. 

I checked the web address, which is now a dead end. *Sigh*

How about a great photo of Kenley Jansen on a  numbered card? 

With a card back that the stat-heads will love...

Here's a fantastic addition to my Pedro as a Dodger collection...

New Bowmans are always welcome...

New, shiny Bowmans even more so...

Here are some tribute cards...

This here's a copy of the '52 WS program cover...

Finally, a couple of very well preserved '87 Don Russ Opening Day Dodgers. Those '87s are always chipped around the edges, so I'm very happy to receive these upgrades. 

THANKS very much for the surprise cards, Wes! The pile I have for you is growing, but I want to make one more trip to the card show before mail day.