Monday, July 28, 2014

The Joy of a Completed Set: 1970 Topps Comic Booklets

Do you know that feeling when you spend some time looking through your collection only to realize that you are missing something?  Yhea... I felt that a week or so ago.

I was looking through my oddball insert set binder and came across the 1970 Topps Comic Booklet set.  For those who do not know, a booklet was inserted into every pack of 1970 Topps Baseball.  There are a total of 24 booklets to the set, and they are fairly common and inexpensive.  A complete set can be purchased for less than $50 - sometimes much less if you're patient.

I've had this set for a number of years, but never spent any time looking through them.  So, I decided to checkout the comic artwork and quickly realized I was missing a booklet for a complete set.  Booklet #14, the Ernie Banks, was nowhere to be found.  So, I quickly went on eBay and found an affordable copy to complete my set.  WooHoo!

Check out a scan of the entire set below:

There is only one booklet for each team, and Dodger starter Bill Singer was our representative.  I decided to scan this entire booklet to share with you.  Check it out below.

#17 Bill Singer

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Welcome to the Blue, Darwin Barney!

Imagine that, a trade that actually gets completed isn't one that was bandied about all over the rumor mill.  Instead, there were only brief mentions, and it elicited hardly a whisper.

The Dodgers made a trade with the Cubs for Darwin Barney, via Chris Cotillo on twitter:

According to a Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired infielder Darwin Barney and cash considerations from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Barney, 28, won a Rawlings Gold Glove Award at second base in 2012 and has a .990 combined fielding percentage at second base, third base and shortstop in five Major League seasons with Chicago-NL from 2010-14. He has paced NL second basemen in fielding percentage in each of the last two seasons, posting a .997 mark in 2012 and a .993 mark in 2013. In 542 career games at the plate, he has a .244 career batting average with 18 home runs and 146 RBI, but has been at his best against NL West opponents during the course of his career with a .273 average (99-for-363) in 107 games.
Barney is no-hit great-glove infielder who will likely be a defensive option off the bench.  He won a gold glove as a 2nd baseman in 2012, but is just a .244 lifetime hitter.  On July 22nd he was DFA'd by the Cubs, so you had to figure other teams might want to add him just because of his glove.  Heck, with the Dan Uggla experiment failing spectacularly in San Francisco this weekend I would think the Giants might have been interested.  Now, the Dodgers scuttle any chance a competitor grabs Barney's glove for the stretch run.  At this time it is unknown who on the Dodger roster will be sent down to the minors to make room for him.

Also, I wonder if the recent Erisbel Arruebarrena scuttlebutt over the weekend was the real motivation for this trade.  You would think that Erisbel would be our natural defensive replacement off the bench down the stretch, but his recent fight in AAA has likely put a squash to that notion. 

In celebration of Darwin Barney officially becoming a Dodger, I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photo grabbed from of Barney and the 1987 Topps Baseball card design.  I also couldn't help but make the fantasy card on the right.  Sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

Below are his career statistics, via Baseball Reference:

Also, Beto Duran on twitter pointed to a great video featuring Darwin Barney with the Batting Stance Guy at Dodger Stadium.  Check that out below.

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Blog Kiosk: 7/28/2014 - Dodger Links - A Sweep of the Giants and Should the FCC Get Involved?

Woo Hoo!  Dodgers swept the Giants this weekend.  They now find themselves with a 1.5 game lead over the gnats.  The top play of the afternoon was Dee Gordon scoring on the wild-pitch strike out to Adrian Gonzalez in the top of the 5th inning.  Watch it here.  The photo above of Dee scoring via @MLB on twitter.  The Dodgers would then quickly score two more runs to take a 4 to 2 lead.  They would eventually win the game 4 to 3.

BTW, the Dodger got key offensive contributions from the #4 to #7 batters in their lineup.  They recorded 6 hits; including a run-scoring triple by Crawford, a run-scoring single by Uribe and a pair of hits by both Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp.  It appears the "Boys in Blue" are taking it to another level for the second half of the season.

Of special note, Matt Kemp is looking very good at the plate.  He looks comfortable and is starting to lay off pitches out of the zone.  As a result, he is starting to hit the ball square and being rewarded for his patience with some timely hits.  Unfortunately, we have yet to see any real power, but that is to be expected.  Considering the kind of shoulder injury he was dealing with you shouldn't expect him to hit like the old Matt just yet.  It's likely we won't see anything like that until this time next season.  In the meantime, he's accepted the reality that he can't drive the ball like he used to and is happy to just "hit 'em where they ain't."

Check out a bunch of photos from yesterdays game via Jon SooHoo here.  Below are some more Dodger links:
“We have a chance to possibly achieve something here. That’s above everything else,” he said. “It makes everything worth going through.”
"We may not do anything. We still have a club with upside to it," said Colletti. "There's still more from this club as it's constituted. But historically, we've been active in July and August, too. We'll see what we can do.

"I think we have the players here that can win."

  • Via Larry Brown Sports, "Reno Aces and Albuquerque Isotopes in major brawl (Video)."  This was no shoving match - It was a rumble!  Larry Brown has a couple of videos of the melee. Per Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, 10 players were ejected (4 Isotopes and 6 Aces); including Cuban Erisbel Arruebarrena. He will definately get a huge suspension, so you shouldn't expect him in LA for quite some time.  Another video of the incident can be seen here.  BTW, the day after this fight Arruebarrena was reassigned to Single-A ball, via JP Hoornstra at Inside the Dodgers.
  • Via Joe Flint of the LA Times, "FCC should help reach deal to end Dodgers TV standoff, lawmakers say"
Seven members of Congress led by Rep. Tony Cardenas are calling on the FCC to mediate an agreement between Time Warner Cable and distributors.

"Consumers deserve the opportunity to watch their program of choice," Cardenas wrote to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. "The ongoing stalemate between Time Warner Cable and other pay-TV providers has reached a point where mediation by the FCC is necessary."

Co-signing the letter with Cardenas were Democratic House members Lucille Roybal-Allard, Judy Chu, Alan Lowenthal, Linda Sanchez, Janice Hahn and Julia Brownley.
I'm not sure if this is a great idea, but I guess anything is worth a try.
  • In an obvious move to reduce the chances that PED ballplayers make the Hall of Fame, they decide to cut short the eligibility period from 15-years to 10-years, via an Associated Press report on ESPN.
  • Oh, boy!  This is a major Fan Foul!

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