Sunday, November 10, 2013

When the Dodgers could mash

Today is Shawn Green's 41st birthday. I recently received a bunch of Dodgers from reader and Dodger fan Stewart that included a smattering of Green cards.

Green will always be my Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa. I don't mean that in a negative, steroid-driven way, although there have been a number of PED accusations lodged at Green.

I mean that in a "my team has a player who can MASH" way.

The Dodgers don't possess as significant a history of sluggers as others teams do. I've mentioned that several times. Their slugging period was back in the 1950s. That was a long time ago.

So when Gary Sheffield hit 43 in 2000 and Green hit 49 and 42 in 2001 and 2002, it was a feeling I've never felt before. "The Dodgers actually hit home runs! A lot!!!"

While everyone was drooling over McGwire, Sosa and Griffey, I was picking up the paper to see if Green hit another home run or two. I still think it's an injustice that he finished sixth in the MVP voting in 2001, but given the insane numbers at the time, what are you going to do?

Green was my favorite Dodger from 2000-04 and I'm pretty sure if I was collecting at the time, I'd be a Green player collector. It's hard not to feel like one now, with the abundant number of cards that he has. My records show that I have 291 different cards of Green, and I know that I have more relics of the guy than of any other player (wish I could get an autographed card of him some day).

Some of his early Dodger cards are these weird things:

Show him as a Blue Jay but list him as a Dodger.

At least he's still wearing blue. I feel a lot more comfortable about adding the card to the binder because of that.

I don't really have any other Green cards to show from Stewart, but he sent a number of other goodies that I must feature:

There's a couple of Mondesi cards. I've been trying to obtain that V.J. Lovero card of Mondesi for literally years.

Two examples of how weird the '90s were. I have no idea what variation of  Beltre Topps Tek card this is, and I can't wait peel and remove that blasted coating.

I love these flimsy "cards" you can punch out of a magazine. And the back says that Piazza grew a mustache during the baseball season for good luck. You don't find this kind of info on fangraphs.

A couple of reminders of early 2000s futility for the Dodgers. But they have accomplished their true calling -- both knocked off a team set for me.

Stewart sent a slew of 1995 Archives cards. These were all needs.

This is a bittersweet scan as I need the originals for all of these cards except the Dodgers team card. And not one of the other five cards will be cheap.

This is happier. A Nebulous 9 need has come home. This 2013 Archives SP is pretty nifty, although putting Lopes in a 1976 Topps design is just asking for trouble:

It's like remaking "Stairway To Heaven." It's never going to work.

Finally, Stewart sent me another very cool, yet bittersweet item:

That is the last time the Dodgers could put "World Champions" on their pocket schedule.

I'm starting to assemble a very modest selection of Dodgers pocket schedules. If I ever kick this card habit maybe I'll get serious about it.

I also received this one, too, which came out after the first time I experienced my team winning the World Series.

Thanks for the cards and schedules, Stewart (I'll be shipping out some cards to you in the next week). And thanks for helping me relive the days of Dodger championships and sluggers.

In November, memories are about all we baseball fans have.


  1. I'm happy I could help with some needed cards!

  2. And I had the same thoughts about the Dodgers finally having true home run hitters - I was so bummed that Green did not get to 50 that year. I mean that's George Foster territory.... How great was 5/23/2002 with his 4HR day??