Upper Deck sure did make some attractive Baseball cards, as evidenced by the 2006 SP cards featured here. Chad Billingsley, Andre Ethier and Russell Martin were rising stars at the time. They were coming up Dodger Blue, and represented a new class of Dodger players signed and fostered through the farm system, save of course Andre Ethier who was attained through a trade with Oakland.
With these new players in our stable, they would surely lead the team to a championship. We were stockpiling an impressive group of young studs that made many older Dodger fans thinking back to the Dodgers of the 70's. Unfortunately, this young group couldn't get us over the hump. Our post season failures were many, and it seemed to me that the young guys just didn't get it. I recall reading stories about veterans like Kent and Garciaparra lamenting the lack of seriousness of many of the Dodgers youthful players. The message was that they didn't realize just how tough it really is to get in the playoffs, so when you do make it you've got to go all out.-- risk life and limb, as it were.
Today, with a few trades here and a couple of free agent signings there, maybe the experience of those failures will lead to a different attitude the next time the post season comes calling. We've had a drought of late, and watching the team from up north win the World Series a couple of times should make us hungrier than we've ever been.
One can only hope.
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