Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The single most difficult baseball person to obtain on a baseball card
No, it's not Mariano Duncan. I just put that card there so the blog roll wouldn't give the title away. I'm sneaky like that.
With the number of cards issued for everyone in baseball these days, it's pretty easy to obtain a sizable collection of your favorites. Although I wouldn't call myself a player-collector, my favorites happen to be Kershaw, Hershiser, Cey, Nomo, etc., and I have hundreds of cards for all those guys.
I also have a decent collection of guys I don't care about at all.
I have 16 cards of Jeremy Hermida. How that happened, I have no idea. I can barely tell you anything about him. I even had trouble typing his name out correctly just now.
I have 36 cards of Todd Helton. He kills the Dodgers. What am I doing with that many cards of mountain man?
I have 35 cards of both Milton Bradley and Ryan Braun. Hell, that's ugly.
Even managers are relatively easy to obtain. I have nine cards for Whitey Herzog, 14 for Bobby Cox, 15 for Tony LaRussa.
But there is one person for which I had no card, even though I have placed him on want lists and made a modest attempt at acquiring his cards. His cards seem to be almost impossible to acquire.
That's why I smiled when this came out of a package a few days ago:
Good golly, it's tough getting your card, Vin.
Granted, they aren't making many cards of baseball broadcasters, but there are a few of Scully (and others) out there. The Topps Fan Favorites sets of a decade ago included some broadcasters.
I put Scully's "Voices of Summer" card from last year's Panini Cooperstown set on my Nebulous 9 quite awhile ago -- not the autographed version, mind you -- and there it sits. Meanwhile, Red Barber, Scully's mentor, was mine for the taking virtually weeks after the set was released.
This is the hold that Scully has not only over Dodger fans, but all of baseball.
Think about it for a second. The benevolent godfather of baseball right now is Vin Scully.
Everyone -- and I mean everyone -- loves him. You never hear a bad word. People love to rag on their sports broadcasters. And in this era of "if you can't say something snarky, don't say it all," it is staggering how reverently Scully is treated. He is universally praised and rightly so. He's not only terrific at what he does, but is a decent and kind man. Even people who hate the Dodgers love the broadcaster.
I think Scully is the most respected person in baseball. Easily.
I am immensely pleased that he is connected to the Dodgers and has been for decades. I was reading odes to Scully before many of the current tribute-writers were probably born.
But it doesn't make it easy when someone decides to issue a card of the voice of the Dodgers.
So I was thrilled when I received this card from Chris of View From the Skybox. Chris is a relatively new blogger who I met on Twitter before he started blogging. When I get out from underneath all of the backlogged trades I have, I can't wait to send him some cards. But I wanted to thank him for the Scully -- some sort of green "cracked ice" parallel -- and all the other cards first.
But let's look at the Scully back:
It's a little difficult to see, but that is a linescore for Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, the Kirk Gibson home run game. In the write-up, Panini mentions Scully's "She is GONE!" narration.
It's one of Scully's most famous calls, especially to those of a younger generation who grew up in the late 1980s. I first think of Scully calling Sandy Koufax's perfect game in 1965. I was barely born at the time, but I grew up reading about it.
So, after that glorious Scully card, how can the other cards match up?
Well, Chris certainly tried.
More Dodger legends on cardboard.
Walt Alston, giving the old "here boy" sign, is one more off the 1956 Dodgers team set list for me. All that's left is Reese and Robinson. I love getting '56 cards in the mail. It makes me want to kiss the mail person. But only the female one who shows up on weekends.
I must have my Kershaw parallel fix and even new bloggers know this. I think all that's left of this card now are all the parallels that are impossible to find/get snapped up by ebay professionals.
By the way, Dodger fans are flipping out because Kershaw is getting a few extra days of rest this week. That's what September is for, guys and gals, when you have a 9 1/2 game lead with 12 to play.
Has anyone explained why there are three different kinds of relic designs in this year's Allen & Ginter? Anybody? I am so puzzled by this. Please tell me it has something to do with the Ginter code. It's the only thing that would make sense.
Back to Panini.
The great thing about following 300 different card bloggers is everyone has different tastes. I can't get myself to buy anything Panini unless I'm in an exceedingly good mood. But others don't have that problem. So, lucky me, I get a Kershaw and Valenzuela that I would never obtain otherwise.
Plus, I get to see what they would look like as sanitation engineers. Bonus!
These are one of the inserts in this year's Cooperstown set. They're called Colgan's Chip Discs. And they're a good way to get around the "no logo" thing. They might be the best thing in this year's set (I don't know, I haven't even picked up a pack).
I received several night cards from Chris, including Chris Davis here. On FOX.
And probably the worst player to ever wear a Dodger uniform. I'm still reeling from that 0-for-37 stat line for Velez's entire 2011 season.
Another set that I don't see much. Pratt Maynard is now playing for Rancho Cucamonga, which is unfortunate because how great is it to play for the Loons?
"Good evening ma'am, I'm a Loon."
The fun one must have.
That's a whole mess of UK minis. I'm not a big fan of 1980s minis (remember the truth about minis?). And I think that Ryne Sandberg mustache is the sole reason for why I've never been a Sandberg fan.
But they're really not bad all together like that, and I might have to see how close I am to the set now.
Thanks, Chris for the wide variety of cards and thanks for giving me another blog to read.
And, of course, thanks for Vin:
It is truly a very pleasant good evening, wherever I may be.