Friday, July 8, 2011
Maybe I need only one Giants fan in my life
A couple of months ago, I wrote about the fortunate circumstances that arise when Dodgers and Giants collectors trade. Each trader ends up with exactly what they want. I receive my precious Dodgers and the Giants fan ends up with, well, Halloween-colored refuse.
This kind of exchange works so well that I should be seeking out other Giants card collectors. If I tried really hard, I might be able to completely rid myself of every Giants card in my collection. Now that's a goal worth setting!
Unfortunately, it's well-established that Giants collectors are practically extinct, if they existed at all. I don't understand it. They apparently won something big last year. That should produce some collectors, right? And everyone always gushes about the "electric atmosphere" at "the beautiful park" (I won't mention its name because I still have no idea what it is). But yet no one who goes to the games collects cards of the team. I just don't get it.
Anyway, it doesn't matter, because apparently all I need is just the one Giants fan. I struck another deal with Adam not long ago, shipped another box of unholy cardboard his way and ended up with beautiful blue Dodgers in exchange.
As usual, I can't show them all, but I can show the best. So, let's see the best:
It's taken Rafael Ynoa six years to get to High A Rancho Cucamonga, which is where he's playing this year. But I've got 3 or 4 parallels of this card already, so he needs to ACCELERATE already. I've got a kid who is going to college some day.
Here are two Opening Day parallels of the .220-hitting All-Star catcher for the Yankees. Yeah, yeah, I know all about his WAR when compared to other A.L. catchers. I still think he's an All-Star because he's a Yankee, and that he won't be playing major league baseball in two years.
I had the following exchange with my wife about Orel Hershiser the other day:
Her (looking at the TV): Is that ... is that, Orel Hershiser?
Her (staring at his longish hair filled with product): He looks ... different.
Me: He's a TV guy now. And plays poker.
Her (in a knowing way): Oh.
You can argue all you want, but you can't convince me that this wasn't a reason that contributed to why Upper Deck doesn't have an MLB license anymore. The Chase for 755? For Shawn Green? At the point of this card, Green had 192 career home runs and was 30 years old. If he played to age 45, he would've had to hit more than 37 home runs every year to reach 755. Nice try, UD.
Sometimes I think Chad Billingsley has contracted an inferiority complex pitching behind Clayton Kershaw. He just doesn't handle adversity as well. And neither do I. I find myself repeating "he's only 26" over and over.
Big D on an '89 Upper Deck design from 2007. No idea what this is. My modern baseball card awakening came in the latter half of 2008. Cards like this still confuse me.
At a certain point, the Dodgers are going to have to admit that there is no pennant race and that Eugenio Velez/Tony Gwynn Jr./Trent Oeltjen is pointless in left field. Put purple parallel Jerry Sands out there and let him hit .225 and wow some people with a few bombs over the left field fence. What's the harm?
Topps came up with an appropriate Kemp photo for 2011. The man is ballistic on the bases.
Wooo! More Gagne jersey greatness. I'm pretty sure I have more Gagne relics than any other Dodger. It doesn't mean as much as it did in 2005. But that's OK. Me and Gagne have an understanding. He holds a record that may never be matched. That's good enough for me.
Kershaw was pretty stunning tonight. People forget he's only 23 years old, which is why I have no problem comparing him to Sandy Koufax. What was Koufax doing at age 23? OK, so it's lot to put on a guy. But meanwhile, Kershaw is striking out batters at a rate of more than one an inning. Only two other Dodgers have done that in their careers. One is Gagne. The other is Koufax.
Upper Deck did better with this concept. Was there really a relic card for every player in the lineup? I tend to doubt it (I don't see a lot of Mark Grudzielanek relic cards). But a great-looking card.
Hey! There's Sandy now! Koufax is appearing at an alarming rate on Topps cards this year. I'm starting to worry that Topps will beat the Koufax legacy into submission. Wait, what am I talking about? Of course, they will!
I guess I better enjoy the Koufax cards before everyone but me gets sick of them.
I'll stop there even though there are plenty of other key cards from Adam.
I'm sure I still have a few more Giants to kick out of the house. But first some people have to admit that they collect Giants cards.