Sunday, January 28, 2018

All the Way from P-Town to D-Town

Aloha, everybody, 

It's warm out here in Dodger town today. I sure hope the rest of you all are thawing into enjoyable levels of snow ("enjoyable" being a relative term, I'm sure). 

I received a happy little PWE the other day from P-Town Tom, who runs the blog, Waiting till Next Year. Let's check out what he sent way out west.

Leading off is my favorite slug - not slugging - just slug shortstop, Jose Offerman...

On good days, we referred to him as Jose Awfulman. 

That said, no matter Jose 0-for-man's shortcomings, he was no match for the utter uselessness of this guy. 

Hamilton was a classic smoke and mirrors player who would suck for a few weeks and then have a good few games, fooling everyone into thinking he was a legit major leaguer. Then he would repeat the cycle. 

Aha, here we go. A real player. Fernando, sporting a rarely seen on cardboard, mustache and five-o-clock shadow...

Speaking of rarely-seen mustaches, I present Jim Neidlinger, who was up for less than a cup of coffee. It was more like a shot of espresso. 

Neidlinger appeared in only 12 games, but he left the majors with a decent record of 5-3, and 3.23 ERA. They must have snapped this pic on the day he realized his career was over...way too soon. 

Next up, Tom's eagle eye spotted a current Dodger in his college days. O'Brien was picked up from the Rangers and he's currently in AA ball. We'll see what 2017 holds in store...

Finally, an autograph. Most times I get an autos just like the kind you get, I'm sure. You know, a star or prospect, or the kid who never made it. That would have been easy. This time good ol' P-Town sent me the first auto of this type for my collection. 

This is an autograph from one of the most infamous Dodgers ever, who threw one of the most infamous pitches ever, as the result of one of Tommy Lasorda's most infamous decisions ever...

Oh brother, that was a doozy. I still get the heebie-jeebies from that one. And now I've got this...

All-Time Fan Favorites? All-time favorite of who's fans - Jack Clark's? Ha! That said, it's kind of a cool auto to add to the collection. 

Not every player is a hero. Not every game ends in victory for the good guys. Like it or not, Niedenfuer is part of Dodgers postseason lore. Even if it was a painful loss that resonates to this day. Tom, I'm actually glad you included this card. It's history. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to drop this into a binder and not think about it again for a very long time. 


Friday, January 26, 2018

It Only Took a Decade and a Friendly Enemy to Land my First One

Aloha, everybody, 

As far as rivalries go, sports rivalries are among the bitterest. Often for no other reason than being born into a family of fans from one team, we're raised to hate a different team, it's stadium, colors, and fans. 

If the rivalry is held deeply, just the sight of another person wearing a cap or jersey can set off a Pavlov-like reaction. We've seen it with the Yankees and Red Sox, Dodgers and Giants, the Orioles and...heck if I know who...but you get the idea. 

Some rivalries, like the Dodgers and Giants, go waaaaaay back, all the way to the days the teams shared bandbox stadiums in the boroughs of New York. Well, this isn't one of those. The timeline isn't as long - stretching back to 1988, but when it runs hot - baby, it runs red hot. 

Bulldog was the 1988 NLCS MVP vs the Mets

I'm talking about the Dodgers and the Mets. These two teams are far apart geographically, and sometimes in the standings, but when they meet, the fire from their playoff battles in 1988 and again, in 2016, burns bright. I remember heated Dodgers/Mets blogger battles after the Chase Utley slide controversy

I lay all of this groundwork because that's what makes the friendship between myself and Kaz all the more special. Kaz used to blog back in the day, but he's since moved on to other things. Luckily, Twitter is one of those things, so we've been able to keep channels open that way, and we continue to send each other cards from time to time. 

Topps Turkey Red 

Kaz recently sent a PWE to me, and that's why we're gathered here today. I showed off a couple of cards already, let's check out what I else found in that envelope...

Returning to the Hershiser card, we have the rear shot. I loved opening packs of 1993 Leaf because I couldn't get enough of these crazy shots of gigantic baseball players dwarfing their cities. 

Love this card tribute to Julio Urias' major league debut, when he was just 17 years old...

Kaz tossed in some minis from the 2011 MLB sticker album...

 This Jackie Robinson is high gloss and shiny (nice!)...

Finally, this baby. My first printing plate. By all weights and measures, rivals would never share with each other. But this is the card collecting community. We operate on a different level...

It seemed as though everyone in my collecting circles had at least one printing plate, but not me. Not until now. 

Sweet, right? My collection is continuously expanding, thanks to the usual suspects - and even from the occasional enemy (but an enemy only inside the chalk lines). THANKS, Kaz! 


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Legends Never Breakdown

Aloha, everybody, 

I received a sweet little PWE full of legends from one of our community's legends, Gavin, over at Baseball Card Breakdown. 

The Big G is known for rocking an always interesting blog, his chase of number cards that match his birthday and the celebration of Beermas. Add to all of that, his spot-on, custom creations that he gets autographed by the stars on the cardfaces, and yeh, you've got a legend. 

But this post isn't about Gavin, it's about the Dodger legends on cardboard that he sent out to little ol' me. From the Legends of New York set...

Jim Gilliam led off for Brooklyn back in these days, but his card wasn't in this PWE, so we'll go with second in the batting order...

The Duke of Flatbush batted third...

Batting cleanup, Gil Hodges...

Batting fifth was World Series Hero, Sandy Amaros, who was followed by ATBATT's patron saint...

That closes out the boys of summer. Also in this legends envelope were a couple from The Perfessor. The first harked back to his playing days with the Brooklyn Robins...

How about those shades - they still rock over a hundred years later. 

The second card highlights Casey's managing days with Brooklyn...

Let's keep the WS Heroes rolling. From a different set, AND sporting a different photo than I've seen before (looks like he's in front of an apartment house), my favorite Brooklyn pitcher...

We'll close out with (still) the biggest World Series Hero that LA has ever seen. The Legend...

A nice set of cards. THANKS, Gavin! 


Saturday, January 20, 2018

When HBP is a Good Thing, Thanks to ACB

Aloha, everybody, 

Those of us who follow baseball usually think of "Hit by pitch" when we see the initials, HBP. Here's a new one, HBP also stands for Honus Bonus Partners, which put out a card set in 2017 that combined collecting with playing fantasy baseball. 

I had never heard of these cards until I received a batch of them from Julie, the proprietor over at A Cracked Bat. Some of you may recall late last year I was gifting copies of the new book about some of the prime players in the 1947 World Series, Electric October. Julie got one of the copies, and although I didn't ask for anything in return, she dropped these cards in the mail to me as a "thank you". Let's check em out...

 As stand alone cards, they boast a simple but attractive design with in-action, well-chosen player photographs. The players are featured in black and white, with colored backgrounds, and not being Topps brand, they don't get to use team logos or names.  

One more Julio Urias card is always a good thing. 

I'm not sure why some players have different color design stripes...

The backs of the cards have little codes that you would use to play the fantasy game and win prizes, but when you try to visit the HBP website, it's gone. I suppose it could be dark because of the off season, but I'm thinking the company dissolved and we've seen the last of HBP. 

Julie tossed in a couple of attractive inserts. Here's a 2015 Puig with an MLB pin. That might sound boring to some, but the card and pin are quite attractive in-hand. The scan dulls out the shiny chrome batter silhouette. 

I was kind of hoping the pin would come off so I could put it on a cap or something, but it looks like it's permanently attached, so there it will stay. 

Finally, the gem of the package...

How cool is a Tommy Lasorda swatch? If I have to tell you, you're neither baseball fan nor collector. Am I right? 

THANKS for the cool cards, Julie. I hope you enjoyed Electric October, and I look forward to the next time I can gift more cool baseball stuff to all of you. 


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Finally Getting my Trade Posts In Order

Aloha, everybody, 

This post will finally get me all caught up on cards that came to me way back in 2017. I've received some new 2018 goodies in the mail, and I'll be getting those up soon. Although, tonight is poker night, so there's a good chance I won't be posting anything tomorrow, as I'll be sleeping in. 

That said, let's get to checking out this nice little batch of cards that came to me from Tom and The Angels in Order

Tom sent some mini stamps/stickers that I've never seen before. I really dig this one with Fernando and ?? The back is completely blank, so I can't identify it. 

I'm familiar with Fernando's cardmate here; I know the face, but the name is escaping me. It'll take about 30 seconds for you all to ID the man, so I would appreciate the help. 

Another from the same set - of course, I'm definitely able to identify Tommy. 

Shelby was an unsung Dodger, and a former favorite of mine...
 Andy Messersmith paired up with Don Sutton to form a lethal one-two pitching punch back when I was a kid. 

Here's Davey Lopes slapping out a single on a sunny day, before a shirt sleeve crowd. 

Bill Buckner in the happier times - before the words "little nubber" would haunt him in the middle of the night...

These Dodgers happily chipped away at my team set needs. 

Finally, a much-needed Penguin to round out the package. 

THANKS for the great additions, Tom. Much appreciated! 


Sunday, January 7, 2018

His Name has Two Zs because his Packages are Twice as Good

Aloha, everybody, 

The blogosphere is filled with generous collectors and traders, some more known than others. My friend, Zippy Zappy, is one of those generous guys that trades under the radar. If you've ever been Zippy Zapped before, you know what I'm talking about. If not, dig this.

Let's lead off with a World Series Hero (Rookie Cup Edition)...

A hopeful future southpaw hero...

Speaking of southpaws, look out for these three next season...

When Kershaw was out with an injury, Alex Wood was mowing down NL batters. He earned a no-doubt-about-it spot on the All-Star team...

A Saxy throwback (that didn't end up in the first base seats)

How about this cool surprise? I thought these only featured football players. More of the big man later. 

While ZZ knows I'm not a Yanks fan, he tossed this into the mix. Who wouldn't appreciate this exceptional beauty? 

ZZ and I have recently became LA Kings/NY Rangers traders. Unfortunately, I've been committing rookie mistakes - sending Islanders instead of Rangers, but there are no errors in this hockey cardboard.

There's nothing like starting off your hockey collection with cool Oh-Pee-Chee cardboard...

Hat trick card! 
 Stanley Cup goalie! This is a good choice for a future auto. 

Gretzky with the Art Ross trophy (his ninth). This goes to the league's leading scorer. 

My first hockey relic. As a fan of the old time Kings, I'm glad he's wearing the original Kings' purple and gold. 

A zippy zapping isn't complete unless there are a few Japanese cutie cards. Good ol' ZZ came through once again...

I'm not sure why these gals are on trading cards, but they sure make my day happier.  

And now, something completely different. I'll bet you never got one of these in a trade package...

Yup, it's a program from the Met. Not a Mets game - The New York Metropolitan. I think ZZ tossed this in because I show my art side in my twitter life. Thanks, ZZ. I appreciate this little something extra. If I ever get to NYC, a visit to the Met would definitely be on the agenda. 

Finally, the big zapping from the package. Big Frank Howard makes his second appearance in a beautiful 8x10 photo, with a well-placed and great auto. 

Big Frank was a Dodgers Rookie of the Year and won a World Series with LA in 1963. He later played in Japan for the Taiheiyo Lions (Maybe that's the Zippy Zappy connection?). 

THANKS ZZ. What a zapping - the best yet. It's going to take some doing for me to even things out, but I'm working on it.