Friday, April 13, 2018

Alternate reality

In the quest to own every Dodgers card ever made, you make a lot of compromises with what you know as "a baseball card."

In general, a baseball card for me is a photograph of a major league player, background included, arranged inside a colorful design.

But there are all kinds of definitions to baseball cards these days. Bowman Draft, for an example, is a weird spin-off of what I know as a "baseball card." It does not contain major league players, for the most part, and in most cases it's filled with cards of players I don't know at all. It's also rife with Topps' version of alternate reality. Players often are photoshopped into uniforms they haven't worn and shown in front of generic backgrounds.

Take a look at this Connor Wong card, for example (and no, I didn't know who Connor Wong was until this moment. But thanks to 30 seconds of research I now know that Austin Barnes is the nephew of  Mike Gallego). There doesn't seem to be much reality on this card. I don't know the stadium background but chances are Wong wasn't there, or the blurred background makes it look like there's more fans than there was. And Wong, currently in Class A, is definitely not wearing a Dodgers uniform.

I received several of these "alternate reality" Bowman Draft Dodgers from last year from Jonathan, the winner of my 2 million views contest.

Some of the names are familiar, some are not. Some of the uniforms are suspect, some are not.

But they all go in the Dodgers collection. And I'm happy to check them off the list -- although I'm not very good at keeping track of Bowman Draft wants.

Jonathan also sent a bunch of 2018 Panini Donruss Dodgers, just to make sure that I don't buy any more of these packs (there's that dopey Leaders in L.A. card again). I suppose now I really need to add a want list for this team set -- the trials of being a collector sometimes.

How about some random Dodgers needs? I'm pretty confident that those players did those things in that uniform in front of that background.

This one? Well, there's quite a bit of funny stuff going on around Green.

Jonathan also sent a couple of minis for the A&G frankenset binder. DeShields doesn't make the binder. Zambrano does, only because he kicks out one of those unfortunate A&G horizontal cards.

I also got a bunch of Bills (desperately need to figure out what I have with the Bills cards I've been getting).

Plus a couple of Sabres from the glory days.

And Evel Knievel!!!!!!!!!!!!

There was no fiddling with reality with him. He really did all that bizarre stuff. You never saw so many kids so fascinated.

And with that card, I'm jumping out of here.

Stay tuned for the next post. It's a big one.


  1. It's funny. For my Stanford project I like these Bowman Draft cards more than Minor League cards (whether Heritage Minors, Pro Debut or the various team sets) and have a decent search list for them. But as a Giants collector I'm right there with you in finding them weird as hell and putting them in the "well I'll certainly put them in the binder them but I won't ever search for them" bucket.

  2. I think my biggest issue with recent Topps flagship cards is that they're barely different than these Bowman Draft cards. The blurry backgrounds may as well be generic stock photos. It's depressing. I want to see something that looks like an actual ballgame.

  3. I loved my Evil Knievel "action figure" and motorcycle. Wish I still had it today, it would be sitting on a book shelf or something though.

  4. I'm never sure what to do with those Bowman cards of kids who never make it to the Majors. They go in the team binder but it feels slightly wrong. A bit like putting in a player wearing the wrong uniform.

  5. Evel Knievel!!!!!!!!!!!! Immediately took me back to my childhood and the action figure/stunt cycle I'd play with in my backyard.