Thursday, July 22, 2010
The original minis ... and much, much more
No, it's not Jackie here, or even the actual semi-maligned 1951 Topps set.
And it's not 1887 Allen & Ginter or whatever you ancient history freaks will tell me are the original minis.
The original minis to me are and always will be '75 minis.
It is the king of all sets for me. The first minis I ever saw. And even though I have not even 140 of the cards in the set, I cherish them more than possibly almost anything in my collection.
About a week ago I mentioned a card package received from Greg L. at Lake Effect Baseball Cards. He sent the Davey Lopes '75 mini that gave me a brief existential crisis.
Fortunately, you good readers established that the border surrounding the Lopes photo was "brown-orange," not the mutant 'brown-tan" copy that I have, and I am no longer questioning my existence in life. Well, not today anyway.
But Greg did not stop at just one '75 Dodger mini.
He also sent a mini of the Dodgers' "closer" of the early '70s, Jim Brewer (I'm throwing the mini card up against the regular card so you can verify that "yes, nobody is pulling a fast one, that is indeed A Mini.").
And he sent a '75 mini of a guy who also served as a Dodgers "closer" of the late 1970s.
He sent a mini of a guy who sat out all of 1975 so he could have a surgical procedure named after him.
And a mini of a guy who is known as a pretty good signer. I even forgave him for playing for the Giants after getting his autograph.
Then there was the mini of Lee Lacy, father of a WNBA player.
And a mini of a guy who looks like he wandered in from a construction site with his custom-made hard hat.
And a mini of a guy who had two brothers play in the majors. Tom was the most successful.
And a mini of a guy probably known most for his argument on the mound with Tommy Lasorda during the 1977 World Series. I still have no idea how that conversation was recorded, but there are more curse words in that 3-minute "discussion" than I have heard anywhere. If you haven't heard it, warn your ears.
I'm still not done. A mini of one of the greatest Dodger pitchers ever.
A mini of the first Dodger card I ever pulled from a pack that I bought.
A mini of the second Dodger I ever pulled from a pack that I bought.
And, finally, a mini of Smokey and your 1974 National League champions.
With these cards, I am down to needing just the Rick Auerbach and Manny Mota cards, as well as the Rick Rhoden and Eddie Solomon rookie cards, to complete the '75 minis Dodger team set.
That is phenomenal. I never thought I'd get to this point.
But if you thought Greg stopped at minis, you don't know that wonderful card shop he has out there in the Midwest.
He found a Nebulous 9 need in the 2003 Topps James Loney draft pick card.
And another in the '81 Topps Bill Russell, reflecting one of five starting Dodger all-stars in the 1980 All-Star Game.
And one of the last 1977 Topps Dodger upgrade needs that I had in Mr. Wall, a guy I know nothing about after all these years.
And the last three cards needed to finish off the 1974 Topps Dodger team set.
Then there was one of the final '76 Topps cards that I needed. Another former Dodger.
And, finally -- are you kidding me? -- the last BIG card that I need to finish off the 1976 set.
Just three cards to go, baby.
This is one of the most thoughtful card packages that I have received.
Nothing mini about that.