Thursday, January 7, 2010

A dude named Jake

It's not hard to find a famous Jake these days. There's Jake Peavy, Jake Plummer, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jake Delhomme, Jake Locker.

But for a long time, the only Jake I knew was on this show.

Jake was a name for old people. Really old people.

Fortunately, I always dug really old people. (And by "dig" I mean "respect." Don't dirty it up). History always has been an interest of mine, and although I'm too lazy to really get into the past like others have, I do enjoy a good research project.

Jake Daubert is one of those old-time Dodgers that I wanted on a card. It seems that even though Topps and Upper Deck have been issuing new cards of old legends, they tend to recycle the same ones over and over. I would like to see some current cards of great Dodgers from the 1910s, '20s, and '30s, like Daubert and Dazzy Vance, Burleigh Grimes and Zach Wheat, Babe Herman and Hy Myers, Freddie Fitzsimmons and Van Lingle Mungo.

Fortunately there is Fleer's 1975 Pioneers of Baseball set. And fortunately, there are bloggers like steelehere, who have cards like this to send.

I tried to research this set a little bit, but got confused between the '75 set and the '76 set, and the cloth stickers, and whether the '75 set was all cloth stickers or just a regular set, and why does the copyright on the back of my card say 1974, and DAMMIT I DO ENOUGH RESEARCH IN MY REAL JOB. So I stopped.

If you want some solid info on it, check out the Fleer Sticker Project's fine review. I know he'd have an answer for me, too.

Anyway, Jake Daubert is one of those guys that you could make a case for regarding the Hall of Fame. He hit .303 lifetime over 15 seasons, including batting over .300 10 times. He was one of the finest fielding first basemen of his era, and he was the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1913 (the MVP was called "the Chalmers Award" back then). He also had 251 career stolen bases, because in the Dead Ball Era, you had to be fast, even as a first baseman.

Daubert was a member of the Players' Fraternity, which was an early union movement, and his activism may have cost him votes in the Hall of Fame ballotting. When you look at his voting totals on baseball-reference, they're freakishly low. Not even 1 percent of the vote.

Daubert had a hard life, working in the coal mines as an 11-year-old and dying at age 40 from a blood disorder and complications from surgery.

The card is oversized -- 2 1/2-by-4 inches. But I'm going to find a way to feature it, because it's my only Jake Daubert card. Also, the guy was a lefty, so that automatically makes the card worthy of preserving.

You may have read yesterday that steelehere also sent me the fine cards of Lee Walls, including the First Recorded Evidence Of A Batting Glove On A Card. But he also sent a bunch of cards of 1990s Dodgers prospects, many of whom didn't pan out.

Here are just three of the many Roger Cedeno cards that I received. It is a crime against humanity that I have over 40 cards of Cedeno and only one of Daubert. That's horrible.

Rob also sent me a bunch of cards of Todd Hollandsworth, who had a better career with the Dodgers, although not as good as they had hoped.

And I received a bunch more cards of Paul Konerko. My collection of Dodger Konerko cards is getting very large. This card is my favorite of the bunch.

Just to show off a little more of the package's generosity and variety, here's a Bowman card of Park's enormous leg kick.

And this is a card for the completion of my 1976 set, which is sitting patiently waiting for me to turn my attention to it again.

Here is a 1984 Donruss Diamond King card that frustratingly eluded me for too long. It's Pedro Guerrero, as illustrated by Dick Perez, continuing his tradition of painting images of players that don't really look like the player.

Lastly, a card of one of those old-time players that always appear in today's retro-type sets. I'm not complaining about a Pee Wee card. But one day I hope to see Daubert in one of these sets.

Rob, I've got a small amount of card for you, but I've misplaced your address. I get flighty like that. Drop me a line with it again, if you could. And thanks for the great stuff.


  1. Night Owl,
    Considering that I write a blog about someone who had a sizable consecutive game streak, I'm honored to be mentioned in two consecutive blogs of yours.

  2. Night Owl,

    Regarding 'modern' sets that include Jake Daubert...

    * 1983 Galasso Cracker Jack reprint - #143
    * 1988 Eight Men Out - #95
    * 1990 Dodgers Target - #166
    * 1991 Conlon TSN - #307
    * 1993 Conlon TSN - #805
    * 1994 Conlon TSN - #1019

    I think that you were hoping that a current set would include him.

    There was also a Jake Daubert that played in the minors from 2000-2008, but I don't suppose you were thinking of him.

    Thanks for introducing Jake to us.

  3. Yes, Mark, I was thinking more in the 2000-08 vein, when old players on current sets became the rage. But thanks. And thanks.

  4. Jake Daubert was a fantastic player. If you hadn't checked it out already, here's a bio of his. Not sure if his bio differed in SABR's book Deadball Stars of the National League.

    Great era for Shamokin, PA. Produced Daubert and the Coveleski boys.