Monday, June 25, 2012

We're all just living in his world

How many times have I written about Ron Cey on this blog?

Well, I did some haphazard research. I count 62 separate mentions of Cey on Night Owl Cards, although there are probably more. I also counted at least 80 separate images of Cey on the blog. Some have appeared multiple times.

I have more than 100 different cards of Cey. A handful, three or four, are from when he was with inferior teams. But the vast majority are during his 12 years with the Dodgers. I only care about his cards with the Dodgers, and I am closing in on 100 different cards of him as a Dodger. Even though Cey cards aren't replicated like cards of other past players -- thank goodness -- I should have no problem reaching that total this year.

Although I'm strictly a card collector, I have managed to accumulate other items of Cey, simply because he was my favorite player as a kid, is my favorite player of all-time, and I tend to make exceptions for people like that.

So, on this blog, I have shown:

Cey scratch-offs.

Cey postcards.

Cey sportscaster cards

Cey stickers

Cey stamps

Cey buttons

Cey police cards

Cey cloth stickers

Cey discs with ice cream on them

Cey artist's renderings

And Cey yearbook pages.

On the traditional card front, I've shown all of his major releases.

From his rookie card ...

... to his final card with the Dodgers

From Hostess ...

... to Kellogg's ...

... To O-Pee-Chee.

From cards early in his career ...

... to cards later in his career ...

... to cards from after his career.

As for the "hits," I've shown ...

Bats ...

... and BATS!

Jerseys ...

... and JERSEYS!

And autographs?

I've displayed ...

certified autos ...

... cut autos ...

... and autos received through the mail.

I've shown parallels ...

... oddballs ...

... quad bat cards ...

... expensive cards ...

... and homemade cards.

Shiny cards ...

... sad cards ...

...  and ugly cards.

So ...

When Fuji asked who my favorite player was growing up and whether I collected his cards and whether I had any memorabilia of that person, too, I thought ...

"Lord, I think I've said it all already. What am I going to write about?"

I still don't know.

But I did manage to dig up a scant few Cey items that I haven't shown yet.

A Cey Kellogg's card from 1978. I can't believe I haven't shown this before. This was the year after his big slugging season in which he set the April RBI record. I was never more proud of Cey than in 1977 (well, until 1981 came along). So, his '78 cards were big deals for me.

A team issue photo when you could order these through the mail direct from the Dodgers. They're flimsy and lousy quality, but it was very cool back then to have a photo of everyone on the team.

Topps stickers!!!!!! From 1981 and 1982. The '82 sticker is one of the rare instances of Cey appearing without a cap. The 1976 Topps card of Cey is the most famous example of that.

But those are about the only Dodger items of Cey that I could find that I haven't featured somewhere on the blog so far. I'll just have to get some more so I'm not repeating myself.

Many of the items that I have shown came from generous bloggers who know that Cey is my all-time favorite player. They understand what kind of player he was.

Cey was not a spectacular human specimen. He didn't inspire awe. He wasn't Mark McGwire or Albert Pujols. His talent wasn't immediately apparent like Rickey Henderson or Ichiro Suzuki.

He was relatively short (5-10), compact, and practically waddled when he walked. But, damn, could he mash. And he could field, too.

He was a great talent inside a regular guy. He had great moments -- his diving catch in the 1981 World Series, his grand slam in the 1977 NLCS, his back-to-back All-Star appearances in 1974 and 1975. And he had down moments -- losing World Series in '74, '77 and '78, getting beaned by Rich Gossage in the Series, being injured and not being able to play in the 1980 special playoff against the Astros.

He had ebbs and flows like everyone. Yet, he was (and is) as personable as can be, accommodating to fans, which is something you can't say with a lot of modern ballplayers. He's a family guy, and has raised some talented kids. And he still loves the Dodgers.

What more can you ask for? Even though he's been retired for almost 20 years, we're all just living in his world, hoping to be like him -- a regular guy who figured out a way to achieve greatness anyway. OK, maybe it's just me living in his world.

But anyway, this is why Cey continues to be my favorite player, long after I first saw his 1975 Topps card and rooted for him as a 10-year-old.

Oh, I'm supposed to fill you in on my favorite item of his.

Does everyone who has ever collected a card and logged onto a website know this by now?

Say it with me: "The 1975 Topps Ron Cey card is Night Owl's all-time favorite card."

Got it?

I don't want to be asked again.

OK, maybe I do -- but give me some time to get a few more Cey cards first.


  1. When he came over to the Cubs, I was about 5-6 years old. I thought he was the actor that played Cliff Claven on Cheers.

  2. Awesome post on good 'ol #11 ;)

    I did a quick count--I've got 22 cards of Cey from his four seasons with my north side inferiors.

  3. Don't have a favorite Cey but that '75 IS really pretty cool.

  4. Well that answered a lot of questions about who the Owl has a bromance for.

  5. That's a lot of penguins. Nice collection.

  6. Damn... how can I not offer you some extra credit? Great post! I promise I'll keep you in mind from this point on when creating my contest questions ;-)

  7. Like you, Cey was and always will be my favorite player of all time. Like you said, not fancy, but always clutch. I decided he was going to be my favorite player when I pulled his '75 card as an 11 year old budding baseball freak. My instincts were true. Thanks for a great post with some fantastic items I hadn't seen before!