Monday, January 13, 2014

My Picks for the 2013 Dodger Cards of the Year

With the 2013 Baseball card season now behind us, I figured it was time to share my picks for the best Dodger cards of the 2013 collecting season.  This is the second year I've put together this list.  Go here to see my picks for 2012

Take a gander at my choices below, and let me know if you agree.  Better yet, what would be your picks? 


The reemergence of the Leaf Baseball brand in 2012 wowed the collecting public.  The vintage 1990 design they used is one of the hobby's best, so its popularity was no surprise.  The following year, they decided to reissue it, but didn't bother changing the design - probably a big mistake.  Nevertheless, old collectors like myself remained smitten. 

One of the cards in the 2013 set features a future Dodger who may, or may not, be our answer at 2nd base.  Panini created the very first Alexander Guerrero Baseball card, and for a Dodger fan it is a must have.  Of course, if he doesn't pan out, then it'll find itself in a stack of commons. 

2013 Panini Leaf Baseball 
#AG1 Alexander Guerrero


I call this card "Crazy Eyes" for obvious reason.  As such, Zack Greinke's 2013 Topps Heritage base card earned my distinction as the #9 best Dodger card of 2013.

2013 Topps Heritage 
#149 Zack Greinke


This 2013 Topps Chrome base card variation of Matt Kemp is just outstanding.  You've got the burgeoning young star fielding his position and the Jackie Robinson Day logo in the background.  It's an great example of photographic framing.

2013 Topps Chrome, Base Card Variation 
#20 Matt Kemp


I couldn't make this list and not include a 2013 Topps Five Star relic card of Yasiel Puig.  As I noted in a post when the set first came out in last month, every Puig relic card in the set uses a green game-used jersey.  Obviously, this is not typical.  The Dodgers wear Blue, so what gives?

Well, there is one day each year that the team wears green, and it's a tradition that goes all the way back to O'Malley.  During Spring Training on St. Patrick's Day the Dodgers wear green in celebration.  The jersey Topps used for his relic cards come from this day.  Awesome!

2013 Topps Five Star Jumbo Relic 
#FSJJR-YP Yasiel Puig


"I See You!" 

How could I not include this card?  Hanley Ramirez showed the league that he hadn't lost a step, and Dodger fans worldwide rejoiced.  Now, the entire league sees you. 

Ballpark Fun Insert card - 2013 Topps Opening Day
#BF-24 Hanley Ramirez


I just love this 2013 Topps Archives insert card of Matt Kemp.  It uses a vintage basketball card design, and it looks wonderful.  I'd love to see Topps do more of this.

2013 Topps Archives - 1972 Basketball Designs
#72B-MK Matt Kemp


Tommy Lasorda isn't just an ambassador for the game, he's an ambassador for the country.  So, this card of the American flag draped over Tommy is perfect.

Highlists Insert Set - 2013 Panini USA Baseball
#4 Tommy Lasorda


The Korean Monster proved to be a beast on the mound, so I definitely had to find a way to include him here.  Hyun-Jin Ryu's 2013 Bowman card is his very first American card, and it earned my vote for the years 3rd best.  Furthermore, the card has a hidden uncorrected error on its reverse.  As I noted in a post in May, the back of the card inaccurately states "Japanese League Pitching Record".  What a screw up!  (A Big Hat Tip to Dan at MyKBO for originally pointing out this error.)

2013 Bowman Baseball
#218 Hyun-Jin Ryu


The rise of Yasiel Puig was a sight to behold.  On the field he was incredible, but the performance of his Baseball cards was other worldly.  What the heck is going on?  Can his card values maintain their current levels?  Is it a fluke?

I have no idea what the future holds for his cards.  But, I do know that his very first licensed MLB card was the second best card of 2013. 

Chrome Mini Card 'Cream of the Crop' - 2013 Bowman Baseball
#CC-LAD3 Yasiel Puig


Was there really any contest?  Did you actually think that any player could have a Baseball card created this past season that could be better then Panini's base card of Vin Scully?

No Way!

My vote for the best Dodgers card of the 2013 Baseball hobby season is the 2013 Panini Cooperstown base card of Vin Scully (#65).  In fact, I've included all the different variations available; save the 1 of 1 Black Crystal Shard card.  See them all below.

#65 Vin Scully Base Card                    #65 Green Crystal Shard /499

#65 Blue Crystal Shard /499                     #65 Red Crystal Shard /399

#65 Matrix (Orange) /325                    #65 Gold Crystal Shard /299

Don't think for a second this list is completely done yet.  I wanted to make note of several cards that just barely missed the cut.  Check out the Honorable Mentions below.

Honorable Mentions

These next two cards are from 2013 Topps Pro Debut card set.  They are Minor League Mascot Patch Cards from the Dodger farm system.

#MAS-L Looie                                        #MAS-LEL Lou E. Loon

This just might be the most expensive Yasiel Puig card in the hobby.  Below is the 2013 Bowman Chrome Autographed '1 of 1" Superfractor card of Yasiel Puig.  This is the exact same card that was purchased by Southern California card company South Bay Baseball Cards for inclusion into their Super Box product line.  It was subsequently found in one of their boxes and recently put on eBay at a 'Buy It Now' price of $34,999.99.  Amazingly, that card has just recently sold at a yet to be disclosed price.  See that auction here.

Prospect Autograph Superfractor - 2013 Bowman Chrome
#BCA-YP Yasiel Puig

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