Thursday, February 25, 2010

My First 2010 Topps Cards

I've been so preoccupied with watching and enjoying the competition of Olympic hockey lately I've found myself neglecting this blog. Fortunately, the tournament ends this weekend, so I'll be able to focus my attention over here, come Monday. In the meantime, I did a little bit of shopping at my local Target recently, and found myself staring at the aisle filled with new 2010 Baseball card product. So, I grabbed a couple of rack packs of 2010 Topps. See what I found below.

First, I am going to start with a non-Dodger, Omar Vizquel. Not because he's a great player- he is. Not because he's a future Hall of Famer- he is. I am starting with his card because it uses such a great photo. Omar is doing what he does best- leaping into the sky to complete a double play. This card, of all the ones I picked up, makes me yearn more deeply for Baseball to begin anew.
A Jackie card! Below is a Tales of the Game insert card of Jackie Robinson stealing home during the 1955 World Series. This is a play Yogi Berra still claims was called wrong. Of course, we all know that Jackie was safe- even some retired umpires I saw on the MLB network recently said so!
Here is the back of the card with a helpful explanation of the event.The first Dodger I pulled in my rack pack was Andre Ethier. I thought the photo above was a little bland, but the back of the card is great. It brings back some great memories about Andre's clutch hitting last season.
Here are some more Dodgers I pulled, including the Dodger franchise card of a colorized Ebbets Field facade. Below is the back of that card.
Here are some Peak Performance insert cards of a couple of Hall of Famers. Walter Johnson was a local boy who once pitched for Fullerton High School in his youth.
This Nolan Ryan insert below brings back some memories. It is a "The Cards Your Mom Threw Out" subset, and I can honestly say that my Mom did throw out this card. How funny is that?
I was also fortunate enough to pull one of those Topps Million Card Give-Away inserts to unlock the below card online. Unfortunately, it's a damn Yankee. Anyone want to trade for a Dodger?

Be A Honarary Bat Girl

This sounds like a great opportunity to share your story about supporting the fight against breast cancer. Submit your story (or submit on behalf of another) of someone who has or had breast cancer, or is an advocate/supporter of the cause. One person per ballclub is chosen to be honored with that person receiving two free tickets and some Mothers Day Pink memorabilia. Check out some more about it below.
Major League Baseball® (MLB) and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, today launched the 2010 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, a campaign developed to recognize MLB fans who are Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer in their daily lives. Men and women 18 and older can go online at to vote and enter to win a chance at becoming an Honorary Bat Girl during scheduled Mother’s Day celebrations. Each Honorary Bat Girl will have an opportunity to take part in pre-game activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony and receive two tickets to the game and pink MLB merchandise., the official web site of MLB, has begun accepting fan submissions for the online contest that ends April 13.

During the six-week online submission period, baseball fans can share their stories of inspiration and hope of how they are supporting the fight against breast cancer and why they want to be an Honorary Bat Girl for their favorite MLB Club. Testimonials can be submitted by breast cancer survivors, advocates and supporters of the cause. A celebrity panel of judges will select the winning submissions, based on the following criteria: originality, quality of writing, demonstration of commitment to breast cancer awareness and public appeal as determined by online fan votes.

Major League Baseball is very proud of the partnership we have forged with Susan G. Komen for the Cure,” said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball. “The launch of the Honorary Bat Girl campaign last year was a successful complement to our Mother’s Day Celebration, and helped put a face on the millions of fans affected by breast cancer and further helped raise awareness for the cause.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gagne Galore

This past Thursday I wrote about Eric Gagne and his recent signing with the Dodgers. As I said previously, those handful of years when he came out of the bullpen to raukous applause and a flashing "Game OVer" sign will forever resonate in my mind. I know his past accomplishments have been sullied by the HGH revelations, but I cannot help but reminisce about how great those days were.

As promised (a few days late, though), below are some scans of Gagne cards in my collection. As you'll notice, all of the cards below are certified autographed cards. The bulk of my modern era Dodger collection consist of cards like these.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Blog Kiosk: 2/21/2010

Go USA! Team USA just beat Team Canada in Olympic Hockey!

Video Link:
Hat Tip: Huffington Post:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Welcome Back, Eric!

Per Dylan Hernandez's twitter, Eric Gagne is back.

He won't be quite "Game Over," but I will admit to having a soft spot for the guy. Those years when he blew out the competition was magical. Welcome home Eric!!!

In celebration I'm gonna go home tonight, pull out some of my favorite Gagne cards, scan them and post them tomorrow, yhea!
Hat Tip: Memories of Kevin Malone:


I'm sure you all remember this classic shirt. I think I'm going to have to search my closet and wear it under my work clothes tomorrow.

A Great Dodger Quilt

One of the great American folk art crafts is the creation of quilts. Often made by women and children, they were emblems of a family's past, a communities history or an interest that was loved by the maker. Other times, they would consist of ornate artistic patterns worthy of display in any museum. Quilts would be passed down through the generations and they are always one-of-a-kind. I have seen many quilts on shows like the Antique Roadshow that were dated to as far back as the revolution. Over the years they have become very collectible.

Thanks to The Sport Collectors Daily we find out about a collection of quilts made by an avid Baseball fan named Clara Schmitt Rothmeier that will be auctioned later this month. Go to the auction information page for more information.
Clara was an accomplished baseball player as well as a quiltmaker. Her father played minor league ball in the Pittsburgh organization, and her five brothers and four sisters had all played on traveling baseball and softball teams from Springfield, Illinois. While on the road, she started sewing to keep busy. Her "My Favorite Baseball Stars" quilt took more than 10 years to complete, has 340 actual autographs, and was exhibited in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 1959-1960.
Last year on June 16, 2009 she passed away at the age of 78. You can know check out her work and possibly take one home in their upcoming estate auction on February 20, 2010. Below is her 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers quilt she made after they beat the Yankees in the World Series. There are 32 hand drawn portraits. It measures 79" x 90" and was once on tour with the "Grand Slam: A Century of Baseball Quilts" traveling museum. You may have seen this in 1998 when it came through Southern California.
A Close up.
Below is a great photo from the 1960's of Clara in front of some of her quilts.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Download SABR's Emerald Guide Now for Free

Society for American Baseball Research, better known as SABR, has just released their 2010 Emerald Guide to Baseball, and its free for download. Go here.

Hunt Auctions: More Dodger Goodies

Hunt's Auction always find a way to please the Dodger collector. Below are a few items that can be found in their most current auction.

Here is a advertising placard featuring Brooklyn Dodger catcher Roy Campanella holding a bottle of Coca Cola. It sure beats the tobacco adds commonly found during this time period. It is a large 12" x 15" and is very beat up. Nevertheless, I think this would look great framed.

Again, another photo of Babe Ruth in a Dodger uniform. The photo on the right shows the Babe wiping his face during a balmy afternoon game.

Yes, they did it again. In 1956 they repeated as NL Champions. Hopefully, we can put on pins like this come September.

This item has me the most intrigued. Below is a very scarce Bruce Edwards Day pin from September 21, 1947 and a modern issue print from that day. What I have not been able to figure out is why he was he given his own special day. He was only in his 2nd Major League season with the Dodgers by this time. Anyone know?

Blog Kiosk: 2/14/2010

I did some very light reading this past week.

YouTube Link:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Danny Kaye on eBay

Danny Kaye should be familiar to every Dodger fan. He is famous in Dodger lore for creating the musical masterpiece called the D-O-D-G-E-R-S Song (Oh Really!, No, O'Malley).

On eBay an original 45 RPM record of this song was sold for the incredibly low price of $1.04.

I know you've all seen this video below, but I can't help but show it again. Especially since it is so timely with post.

YouTube Link:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Goodwin Auction: A Silk Masterpiece

Goodwin & Co. always seems to have some incredible vintage Baseball collectibles and their current auction is no exception. Just check out the couple of items I've highlighted below.

This is a very rare 1911 S81 Silk premium of Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Nap Rucker. These pieces measure 7" x 9" and were produced by Helmar Cigarettes. With a redemption of 25 gift slips packaged within Helmar's Turkish Trophies tobacco products you receive your choice of a silk premium. With regards to the Nap Rucker item, I'll let the auctions own description to speak.
You can feel the energy as Rucker stands poised to rocket into his windup. Upward arcing lines sweep along his back, as twisting flannel twirls beneath his outstretched left arm. Darkness hides the pitcher’s eyes from both the batter and the viewer, to provide mystery as to the upcoming pitch. Shadows cascade down the Dodger blue of Rucker’s socks, as his legs begin their push toward a homeward kick. We believe there are few better examples of the art of the pitch than what was created for this silk showpiece.
I don't think I could have said it any better.

This postcard is just incredible. Below is 1907 postcard featuring a very young Walter Johnson. As you may know, Johnson played in Southern California as a young boy in the city of Fullerton at the turn of the century. Even then he was a great pitcher. One afternoon, for Fullerton High School, he struck out an astounding 27 batters in a 15 inning performance. Later on, his family moved to Weiser, Idaho were he continued to impress fans in the Idaho State League. Soon, they started calling him the "Weiser Wonder"- as can be attributed in the below postcard. This card is the true rookie card of this Baseball legend and is one of only two known to exist. What's even better is that the postcard below was once owned by Walter Johnson. It was mailed to him by a fan and he happily kept it in his own collection.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Breakfast of Champions

Here is something unusual I came across on eBay recently. Below is a store advertising placard featuring Wheaties brand cereal. The prominent spokesman is Pee Wee Reese. He proudly exclaims, "I eat Wheaties- how about YOU?" It measures 17" x 9" and was in pretty rough shape.

I've never seen such a specimen before so I am uncertain about it's legitimacy. Considering it sold for only $43.01 causes me to think it may be a fantasy piece and not a true vintage item. There are more than enough vintage Dodger collectors out there who would have gladly bidded this up significantly if it was well known. (Remember, it's important to do research first before placing a big bid on a memorabilia item like this placard. Now that I look closer, I see that it is coming from Indiana which causes me to pause. As many vintage memorabilia collectors know plenty of fake/fantasy memorabilia items have been known to come out of Ohio and Indiana- for some reason.) Nevertheless, it's a pretty cool looking.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Dodger Hat Logo Cards

2010 Topps boxes also include hat logo cards and there are plenty of Dodgers to chase. It includes some current Dodgers; like Manny, Kemp and Kershaw. See them below.
It also includes some past Dodgers who you wouldn't expect like Eddie Murray and Ricky Henderson.
Of course, no Dodger set would be complete with some old-time stars. Below are hat logo cards for Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Johnny Podres and Duke Snider.
Topps even went the extra mile by releasing a LA and Brooklyn patch cards for some players. Notice that the Duke Snider card above is a LA Dodger patch while the card below has a Brooklyn logo.
Podres also has two different patches. Here is his LA logo patch.
Here are the Carl Erskine Brooklyn and LA Dodgers hat logo card side-by-side.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Blog Kiosk: 2/1/2009

  • He is a true Dodger fan! Via Tommy's Twitpic.
    I met this guy at a disabled vets event. He lost his eye and replaced it with a Dodger eye!
  • My First Cards interviews Jerry Reuss.
  • T. S. O'Connell does a great job of writing about the implications of the upcoming legal fight between Upper Deck and MLB. This really does go much further than just Baseball cards.
  • Beckett has some early pics from Topps 2010 National Chicle set that includes a Manny card and a sweet looking Roy Campanella.
  • Dodgers Blue Blog visits Hollman Park in Nahua, NH- former home of the Dodgers Class A farm team that hosted Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe.
  • Sunshine had a great time at the Dodger Caravan.
  • Former All American Girls Professional Baseball League Catcher Norma Metrolis passed away recently, vis Cooperstown Chatter.
  • Are you a fan of Lost? Then checkout Trader Crack's gallery of Lost: Season 1 to 5 Rittenhouse autographed insert set here.
  • Those crazies from the Westboro Baptist Church decide to protest a hockey game?
  • Former eBay employees blogging about eBay in a story by AuctionBytes.
  • If filmmakers directed the Super Bowl.

Video Link:
Hat Tip:The Big Picture:

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Ethier Puck Drop

I had been looking for this photo all day yesterday. Below is a pic from Ethier's visit to the Staples center for the ceremonial puck drop. A bunch of photos showed up today on the Dodger Website featuring this event and other events during the Dodger caravan. Go here to check them out.
(Jon SooHoo/ Los Angeles Dodgers)

Huggins and Scott: Modern Dodger Cards

Huggins and Scott's March auction is up for viewing and it includes some nice modern day Dodger cards. Check them out below.

Regardless of your politics, you have to admit that the below card is pretty sweet. After all, the 2009 Topps American Heritage booklet card featuring autographs of Barack Obama and Jackie Robinson is historically appropriate. Both men broke barriers.

Here is a lot of 6 different 2008 Topps Sterling booklet cards featuring some old-time Dodgers. Click on the photo for a larger view. Duke Snider is featured on 3 of the booklets; including a couple with autos. Roy Campanella and Jackie Robinson have their own booklets as well. Finally, both Campy and Jackie share a booklet.

(click photo to enlarge)