It only took three trips to the World Series in four years but I now have my own family rooting posse for the Dodgers' attempt to win this year's Series.
Both my daughter and wife -- never interested much in baseball -- are fully on-board. As I worked through Game 1, I received texts from both, updating me on Dodgers excitement, and it feels good having my own crew, in this vast Yankee wasteland, celebrating what I am celebrating. It's so rare where I live.
With the added attention, the World Series, as you know, turns the players participating in it into almost immortal beings. They will be remembered forever because they were in the Series. It's the only reason I recall people like Brian Doyle, Tom Lawless and Mickey Morandini today.
Those players' cards will grow in stature. Every year, as I start to put away cards from that year -- we're coming up on that ritual right now -- I marvel at how much more I know some of the players than I did when I pulled those cards (Randy Arozarena's 2020 flagship card is example #1). And I also want more cards from those players, especially the Dodgers.
Back in July, when the season was starting up and we had no idea whether it would conclude, I discovered that the Los Angeles Times was issuing images of the current roster that contained a baseball card design. The paper would post the images on social media and as a certain Dodger player accomplished something during those opening games, the Times would post the baseball card image of the player.
I was entranced and immediately swooned over these "cards".
I have a thing for "newspaper" cards. Actually, as a fan of periodicals, I find any card that is either produced by or replicates a magazine, newspaper or yearbook, desirable. It is the best of both worlds to me: the combination of card and info publication.
Newspaper cards are a little difficult to come by. There aren't a ton of them and many were printed on newsprint -- some long ago -- which is flimsy and not the most pleasing image. But I love them and I'm always excited when a newspaper decides to print "cards" of their local team in the paper (my paper recently did this a couple years ago with the local pro hockey team).
But I assumed that the L.A. Times wasn't printed these images as physical cards in the newspaper. I live a long way from their headquarters anyway, so I have no idea whether they made physical cards available or not.
But I liked these images so much that I started to save some of them in case I wanted to print them out myself.
Nick, of njwv, noticed this and did something super-nice for me. He has a printing background and all kinds of printing knowledge that I don't have. You would think that me working in a building with a printing press for years and years some of that knowledge would seep into my head. But nope.
He put together a PDF of all of the LA Times card images and sent it to me a couple of months ago. It sat in my DMs for a long time before the World Series spurred me on to try to print them out. I just did that earlier today.
Nick very efficiently added marks (I don't know the printing terms) and said he tinkered to make trimming easier.
I printed these on thicker printing paper so the cards wouldn't be flimsy. Obviously the printed images aren't as sharp and bright as the online images but that's the beauty of newspaper cards.
Just about all of the key Dodgers players are here, it's a veritable Topps Total set (minus paying $9.99 per card). I guess the most glaring omission is tonight's Game 2 starter/opener/whatever the heck he is Tony Gonsolin. And there are a handful of guys who aren't with the team. Terrance Gore is long gone. Ross Stripling was traded. Caleb Ferguson is injured.
I also like the backs a lot, and the 60-game season comparison.
The cards printed on traditional 8 1/2-by-11 paper are smaller than your regulation baseball card.
Here is a look:
But I'm super happy to have these. The next problem is turning them into actual cards. I want to trim these mechanically as I don't trust my hand skills. I don't know the best way to do this. Suggestions?
Also, there is the matter of pasting the backs to the fronts in as careful a manner as possible. Lining them up and eliminating bubbling, etc., are the biggest issues that I know of. Suggestions there, custom card makers?
Worst comes to worst, as Nick said, I can just leave them on their 8 1/2-by-11 pages as they are. They do look very nice all together like that.
Nick also sent me a handful of Dodgers needs from the turn of the century, cards he discovered from collecting years ago.
He warned me about the paper loss on the one Private Stock card. I don't mind. That one is the base card in that set while the gold Sheffield is a parallel. I didn't know the golds existed until Nick offered the cards. But then I'm not up on turn-of-the-century cards.
I do wish there would be more cards that you could get out of periodicals. But, with all of print under siege and needing a license for every damn thing, I don't suppose that's realistic.
At least the World Series is still a big deal.
I'll be working tonight. But my fellow rooters will be keeping me posted!