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The greatest card package ever: letters A-L

Even after I divulged all of the "hits" in the previous GCPE post, I hope you'll stay with me for the remaining two posts on the cards that Joe L. sent.

I mean, you're not just about the hits, right? Base cards rule, right? Don't be a card snob.

Like I said before, I received so many cards that I have to break the package up into three posts. This is Part 1 of the base cards. Players A through L. Players M through Z will show up tomorrow.

Almost all of these cards come from the period in which I did not collect -- the mid 1990s to the early 2000s. So there were a bunch of cards I had never seen before.

I'm not featuring all of the players, just most of them. I'm going to list the number of cards that I received of that player -- I mean all the ones that I didn't have previously. Then, I'll show my favorite card of that player that I received. But I don't know why I just mentioned all that. It's not like anyone is keeping score. Or maybe they are. Which is depressing and creepy at the same time.

OK. On with the cards.

Adrian Beltre (a whopping 16 cards I did not have). Yes, I'm starting with the "B"s. I received several players with names ending in "A," but none of them amounted to much. I'll try to stick with the stars, for the most part.

My favorite: 2002 Sweet Spot. Sweet Spot looked very nice in 2002. I'm a sucker for anything sky blue.

Chad Billingsley (1 card). Just a single card of next year's Comeback Player of the Year. But I hadn't owned any 2009 Legendary Cuts cards until this package, so it's much appreciated. I have grown to really like these cards.

Kevin Brown (17 cards). It is annoying that there are so many cards of Brown in a Dodger uniform.

My favorite: 2001 Topps Stars "Progression." I think this should be re-labeled "Regression." Jim Palmer to Kevin Brown to Kurt Ainsworth? Why don't we extend the pattern one pitcher farther and put up a photo of me throwing a ball in the backyard?

Roy Campanella (1 card). A single card of Campy, but it is a gold-plated, purty, numbered item from 2004 Sweet Spot Classic.

Blake DeWitt (2 cards): I'm showing both because they might as well be the same thing. Why do we collect both Topps and Bowman again?

J.D. Drew (3 cards): Including a Cracker Jack mini. Wee!

Favorite card: A 2005 Topps Chrome black refractor. It's indisputably awesome. Black refractors are crazy good fun. Pair it up with the Dodger blue and you have a fantastic card, even if it is of the guy who seems to want to make baseball as joyless of an experience as possible.

Carl Erskine (1 card). 2008 Donruss Threads foil numbered thing. OK, I lied. Not all of these are base cards. Some are super shiny with pretty gold numbers on the back. I can see the magpies congregating in the tree outside my house.

Andre Ethier (2 cards): Including the long-awaited 2007 Topps Chrome card.

My favorite: I'll go with the 2009 Topps T206. It's one of the better cards I've seen from the set. No strange faces.

I'll take a break from the festivities to show four very similar cards of future Blue Jays pitcher Jason Frasor. The card at bottom right is slightly different. It also has some sort of cracked-mirror effect. I don't know what that's all about.

Eric Gagne (8 cards). The Gagne cards weren't very exciting. For someone so demonstrative, they could have found something a little more interesting.

My favorite: I'll go with shiny 2004 Donruss Elite Extra Edition. Its cold, metallic exterior warms my heart.

Steve Garvey (2 cards): Happy 61st birthday to Mr. Garvey! People I rooted for as a kid shouldn't be in their 60s. I can handle the 50s. But, 60s? Mercy.

My favorite: 2002 Fleer Fall Classics. I love all the retro Fleer sets of a few years ago. They need to come back. I demand it!

Kirk Gibson (3 cards): This is probably a fair representation of a Dennis Eckersley nightmare late in 1988.

My favorite: Die-cuts sure are wacky. I like the rectangular card better.

Jim Gilliam (1 card): The Pacific Legends sets were great. I believe Gilliam is the only former Dodger who is not in the Hall of Fame who had his number retired.
Shawn Green (20 cards): Unlike Kevin Brown, I do not mind that there are scores of Green cards.

My favorite: This 2000 Topps Gold Label card is very thick and glossy, like a young woman's hair on a 1970s shampoo commercial. It's also an early card of Green in a Dodger uniform, so it's got that going for it.

Rickey Henderson (2 cards): I'm finding out there are a fair number of cards of Henderson in a Dodger uniform. That is too cool.

My favorite: I'll go with 2003 Update Fleer Tradition. Because I like tradition.

Orel Hershiser (1 card). Just a single Hershiser card. Can you believe that? But it's the die-cut version of the 1995 SP October Legends card. Always nice to pick up the variation.

Kaz Ishii (4 cards): There was a crazy amount of Ishii cards beginning in 2002.

My favorite: Can't go wrong with 2005 Cracker Jack, although I had Heritage and Gallery to choose from, too.

Brian Jordan (3 cards): It looks like Jordan carved his bat directly from a tree.

My favorite: It's actually not my favorite. I just thought I'd show Topps' first tribute to T206. I think it's time to put away the tributes to T206 and 1952 Topps. Pick another set.

Eric Karros (17 cards): Hey, there's 1952 Topps ... er, 2001 Heritage now!

My favorite: I just like this card because of the green background. It looks like you're viewing the card through night-vision glasses.

Matt Kemp (2 cards): It is so nice knowing that this guy will be in Dodger blue next year, and hopefully for eons to come.

My favorite: I have to go with the '09 Legendary Cuts again.

Jeff Kent (6 cards): I do think this guy is going into the Hall of Fame some day. I'd be interested in hearing his Hall of Fame speech.

My favorite: Another numbered card from 2006 Upper Deck. It's shiny green instead of the usual blue. I don't know what these cards are. Are these Starquest cards?

Clayton Kershaw (2 cards): The 2007 Bowman card has eluded me for too long, so it was nice to see that.

My favorite: Kind of a drab color for a scintillating pitcher. But I'm loving the Legendary Cuts right now.

Paul Konerko (13 cards): The Dodger Konerko cards are pouring in!

My favorite: Tough choice. I went with one of the super early ones from 1994 Stadium Club. The back features a list of the Dodgers' top draft choices of the late '80s/early '90s. Kiki Jones, Ron Walden, Ryan Luzinski. It's an ugly sight.

Andrew Lambo (1 card): A 2008 Bowman blue-bordered card. Awesome. Everyone keeps trying to get this guy traded. I hope the Dodgers hold on to him. Manny may or may not be on a downward slide.

Tom Lasorda (1 card): That does not look like Lasorda.

Ted Lilly (1 card): I hate it when players who turn out to be good pitchers are traded by the Dodgers. They sure could use him now.

Paul Lo Duca (12 cards): So is Lo Duca's career over? That 2008 season must have scared everyone off. Either that or the, ahem, drugs.

My favorite: More Fleer Tradition greatness, from the 2002 Update set.

James Loney (3 cards): Silly me, I didn't realize I didn't have the 2008 A&G mini of Loney until it appeared in this package.

My favorite: A rookie card (sort of). A Dodger card. A chrome card. Can't go wrong there.

Derek Lowe (3 cards). I'll show Lowe positioned in front of a brick wall and you can make up your own joke.

That's it for now. You may think that was a lot of cards, but I left a bunch of guys out: Andy Ashby, Marquis Grissom, Cesar Izturis, Wilton Guerrero, Hong Chih Kuo, Rafael Furcal, Darren Dreifort, Alex Cora, Jonathan Broxton and a slew more.

Comments

Matt Runyon said…
I need to finish that Pacific set. I really like it.
Mark Aubrey said…
So much goodness, I don't know where to start. I saw Adrian Beltre in Las Vegas, playing for the LV 51s. He was on injury rehab. Smacked a dinger.

Oh, the Hershiser is a card I'd be interested in. It is actually a part of the SP Championship Die Cut set.

The Jeff Kent? 2006 Upper Deck Future Stars. There were many variations...
Gold (#ed to 25)
Black (50)
Blue (99)
Red (299)
Green (499)
Purple (1,799)

The Erskine is also nice. But I do have some issue with shiny things on vintage players.

Dang. Those are just some youza cards all around.
Two things...
First, I'm glad there is someone to share in my Kevin Brown misery..there are too many Rangers cards of him too.
Second, that comment about the 2001 Topps Regression Brown card is why your blog is one of the best around. Too funny.
Kevin said…
My mind was blown by the 2001 Topps "Regression" card. As you may or may not know, all three of those guys pitched for the Orioles. Their stats for the club:

Jim Palmer (1965-1984): 268-152, 2.86 ERA, HOF 1990. Postseason: 8-3, 2.61, only pitcher to win a WS game in each of three decades.

Kevin Brown (1995): 10-9, 3.60 ERA. Had much better numbers everywhere he went...except for 2004-2005 with the Yankees. There's your silver lining.

Kurt Ainsworth (2003-2004): 0-2, 9.82 ERA. Acquired in the lose-lose Sidney Ponson deal, in which the Giants sent three crummy pitchers to Baltimore for the portly Aruban, who returned to the O's in 2004 for big money and immediately went into the tank (literally and figuratively). Ainsworth blew out his arm in short order.

So as ridiculous as you thought this card was, it's even worse for an O's fan.

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