Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Collection: 1980 Albuquerque Dukes

Here is another installment of vintage Dodger minor league team sets. This time I focus on the 1980 Albuquerque Dukes who finished 2nd in South Division league standings that year and 2nd overall in the PCL standings. Even better, they completed an impressive run in the playoffs where they sweeped the Tucson Turos in a three game series in the first round, and beat the Hawaiian Islanders in the championship finals. For the first time in 8 years the Albuquerque Dukes became the Pacific Coast League Champions. Furthermore, it was the beginning of a three year championship streak for the team. Surely, this was an omen of things to come.

Like the 1979 Albuquerque Dukes set I highlighted recently, this team featured many of the same soon-to-be Dodgers. Mike Scioscia backstopped the team (see the reverse of his card below) before heading to Los Angeles midway through the season. Mickey Hatcher hit an impressive .359, Ron Roenicke batted .296 and Dave Stewart won 15 games while striking out 125 batters.

Guilty

Barry Bonds has been found guilty of one count of obstruction, via ESPN. I can't say that this excites me much. Frankly, I just don't care. That's pretty much all I can say about the matter. I have long since turned the page.

(Hat Tip: 6-4-2)

Auto Collection: Adrian Beltre Diamond Kings

Another brand I really enjoy that features autographs is Donruss's Diamond King series. As many older collectors will remember, Donruss Diamond Kings had been a staple Baseball card subset throughout the 80's, but faded as the hobby dipped in the late 90's. They originally featured the drawings of Dick Perez. Fortunately, a new century meant a return to that old set as new artist were commissioned. Also, the cards became more limited and often featured game-used material or autographs.

Above and below is one of a handful of cards from this subset within my collection. It is from 2005 and features Adrian Beltre. It was drawn by Mark Chickinelli (See his website here). Unfortunately, some fool had written the number 28 on the top right of the card. What's up with that?

eBay: Tommy John's Stare

Oh, boy! I kinda disappeared there for a couple of days. With work, news about a new nephew/niece on the way, the hockey playoffs and the Baseball season in full swing, I just needed some time to take a deep breath. With that in mind, I figured I'd restart with a great portrait press photo that originally came from Sporting News Archives. It was taken by Ron Mrowiec and features a fairly intense Tommy John. He looks like he is zeroed in and ready to go- much like how I feel right now as I refocus and get going.

(eBay Auction Link)
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