Next week will be filled with commentary about this year's Hall of Fame class announcement. Who got in, who didn't get in, what idiots everyone is, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It's the bitching season.
The Hall of Fame arguments are tired. I'm sick of them and have been for longer than I've been blogging. I'm not thrilled with everything the Hall did and does, but I can't possibly work myself into a froth about it.
What I can critique and still find interesting, however, are card sets! Weeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!
I recently received some free cards from Crackin' Wax through his excellent "Take My Cards" feature. He busted open some Panini Cooperstown and then let readers claim some cards. I, of course, claimed any Dodger that moved, and ended up with quite a few.
I've already weighed in on my thoughts about Panini's set. It has nice content. Hall of Famers, all. The design is OK. The inserts, for the most part, are nice. The photography would be good if not for the whole "no license" thing.
But because of that, you get a set that, to a noncollector, would appear as if Panini really has an issue with caps. I mean, it really hates caps.
Either that or grandma wanted a turn with the camera and is cutting off the tops of people's heads again.
Normally, this would be a terrific photo, a Robinson shot that hasn't been repeated relentlessly. But I need to see the tops of heads. I'm sorry. That's just me. I've got a thing about that.
Here is another issue with having no license. Forget about the cap for a moment. I can't be sure for whom Al Lopez is playing in this photo.
Lopez started his career with the Dodgers and played his first seven years for them. But he later went on to play for the Braves and Pirates and, most famously managed for the Indians and White Sox.
In fact, Lopez is in the Hall of Fame for his managing, not his playing. But if I can prove that the front photo of him is from his Dodger days (I don't have time right now to do a search), then it will stay in my collection. If not, then off he goes to one of the Cooperstown collectors that I know.
Panini lucked out with some of the photos as the team logo is naturally obscured, like in this photo. It's a much-seen picture of Campanella, which automatically makes the card less interesting. But that's probably Topps' fault with all of its retro Campy cards.
About as close as you can come to showing a logo without really showing it. This card is automatically more pleasing to me than the others because I can see the top of the cap.
Sutton is one of those players who critics complain doesn't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. Whatever. He's there. I thought he was good. Others thought he was good. No use crying over spilt milk, and all that.
Ugh, I feel myself sinking into the abyss of Hall of Fame arguments.
Let me pull myself out with this ...
One of sports broadcasting's pioneers, Red Barber.
Barber was the man who tutored Vin Scully. Besides being one of the Brooklyn Dodgers' many institutions, he fits into my collection as the man who called major league baseball's first night game.
He's also known for introducing several broadcasting phrases to the game, such as "oh doctor!," "can of corn" and "rhubarb."
Which is what will probably break out after the Hall of Fame announcement next week.
I'll be ignoring my Twitter account for a couple of days.