Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Dodgers Yanks Rain Delay - So Here's the Last '97 UD Jewels

Aloha, everybody, 

The Dodgers and Yankees game went into a rain delay during today's game, and that gave me a chance to get this post started. 

So let's take a look at the last of the cool cards from my forgotten 97 UD set. 

Global Impact is a cool subset featuring foreign-born players making good in the big leagues. This is a young (and dreadless) Manny Ramirez. 

The card back for Raul Mondesi's card...

This next subset is a fun one, called Strike Force. Of course, it features the top pitchers...

These cards have a cool, emerald green shiny finish. 

Here's a very young-looking Hideo Nomo...

I mentioned abominations in my first '97 UD post - here's another. The Hawk as a Marlin in the Final Tribute subset. 

 Gimme those full-career stats! 

And now, another fun set of inserts, Ticket to Stardom...

These are die-cut to look like ticket stubs - remember those?  They have a high gloss, gold finish. Handsome cards. These were seeded 1:34 packs. 

Here's the rear...

Last, but not least, my favorite subset from '97 Upper Deck. Series One that year kicked off with cards 1-9 devoted to ATBATT's patron saint. 

 These are a very nice little set, with sepia toned photos and a slightly mirrored finish. 

There are nine cards, so we get nine different shots of Jackie, posed and in action. 

Here's a card back...

Discovering this Jackie set was a nice surprise as these cards have now come out of that forgotten box from inside the end table, and now they have their very own binder page. 

There is one drag, though. The set has nine cards - like a binder page. I have eight. Argh! I'm missing card #3. 

That's the rub, aint it? No matter how many cards we add to our collections, there's always one more card to chase. 


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

1997 UD Jewels Part 2

Aloha, everybody, 

In the last post I said we would be taking a look at the inserts from this set, but I over-spoke, because I don't really have many inserts from the set. Certainly not the big-time inserts. 

Back then - just as now - it was hard as heck for me to pull the huge names and the big money inserts out of packs. 

What I do have to show are some of the base subsets and a few inserts. So those will have to do for our purposes. Let's get started with some of the tribute cards from the base set.

Subsets from this era, like Defensive Gems, rock because the checklists are full of HOFers.  

The drawback for our blogpost is the mirrored finishes that were popular back in the day don't reproduce very well on our scanners. 

On the other hand, those reflective and shiny cards still look beautiful in my hands 20 years later. 

For fans of the Wizard of Oz, here's one more. This one is from the Final Tribute subset...

The caption says this is 6/19/96, when Ozzie announced his retirement. 

Here comes more shiny in real life, but dark on the blog. This is from the Star Rookies inserts. Back then foil was used by almost every set. The foil shield here reads Major League Debut. 

Here's the back. How about Nomah with a single line of stats? They're his rookie year totals. 

Another Major League Debut card. I like Erstad, and dig this photo contrasted against the mirror finish, so he makes it into the post. 

Highlights was another subset filled with HOFers...

It's dark, but the caption reads " Paul Molitor joins the 3,000 hit club on 9/16/96". 

Here's the back of the Highlights cards. Kenny Lofton was very popular back then. The card honors the day he stole his 300th base... 

We'll close this out quick today because the Dodgers are playing the Yankees now. Time to focus on that. 

Speaking of Dodgers vs Yankees, today's final card will go to one of the biggest figures from the old LAD-NYY rivalry...

 Tommy's sayin', "I'll bet my '35 Seasons of Dodger Stadium' sleeve patch that damn Reggie threw his damn hip into the path of the damned ball!" 

Next time: More subsets


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Pulling Jewels From Forgotten Cardboard

Aloha, everybody,

I've had the same set of living room end tables forever. They're the kind with doors that open to storage inside. I recently opened one of them and discovered a forgotten stash of card sets that have been in there who-know-how-long? 

Some of the sets are complete, others aren't. They hail back to the 90's; back when I first got into collecting. The sets aren't worth much monetarily, as they are mostly overproduced product from the junk wax era. 

Since today was a lazy Sunday, I decided to dig into the boxes while watching football, and take a look at these cards, some of which haven't seen sunlight in - believe it or not - two decades! 

I was pleasantly surprised at the beauty of this old cardboard, and I'd like to share some of my favorites with you. 

First up is 1997 Upper Deck. 

Upper Deck was considered one of the high end sets in those days, with its full bleed photos and shiny, glossy finish splashed across absolutely everything. 

The base cards used photography that varied from studio poses to Spring Training and game action shots...

The Kid was perhaps the most popular face on cardboard back then. I think The Big Hurt was a close second. 

One of the amazing little details in this set is found on the front of each base card, a caption explaining the photo, and the date it was taken. 

Take a look at this great play at the plate shot...

Dig the catcher's mask flying amid the dust and the blood. 
Thanks, Buster Posey, for making this essential part of baseball virtually disappear. 

Oh, there were abominations as well...

Here's what the card backs look like. I love UD gave us career stats...

I hate to see Fernando as anything but a Dodger, but the rear photo shows him batting...I'll take it. 

There are plenty more jewels to come from 1997, so join us next time for the inserts. 


Saturday, September 10, 2016

When The Dodgers Roster Comes From Wrigley, It's Jenga!

Aloha, everybody,

Yup, it's been a while. I hope you don't think I've deserted you all and the blogosphere; that won't happen. I've just been on other adventures, but I'm happy to say one nice development has brought me back here to ATBATT. 

About a month ago, Tony from Wrigley Roster Jenga put out a call for anyone who might have Target 100th Anniversary Dodgers. As luck would have it, I had just come upon some, and I was able to help him chip a bit off of his wishlist. 

I didn't think of sending those Target Dodgers to Tony as a trade, it was just one collector helping out another. But Tony being Tony, went ahead and stuffed a fistful of cards into a return package for me. 

That was FANTASTIC! As you all know, any new additions to my collection are heartily welcomed. Which bring us to the cards that my friend Tony sent to me. 

Let's begin with Topps Bunt and the man who surprised quite a few Dodgers fans by his return from the disabled list...

One reason Kershaw returned to the big club so soon is the minor leagues have completed their seasons, and there really isn't anyplace else for him to make rehab starts. 

This also explains the return of Andre Ethier to the club. 

Who else was in those Bunt cards? 

The upcoming ROY! With a RC shield. Nice!

One more...

You want more, you say? How about more of the same guys-this time on a different product...

I love that above shot of the professional hitter, focused, and in his element. 

Colorized Jackie! 

Tony knows I like the ol' Brooklyn club, so he tossed in my first Bill Bergen card. 

Maybe there's a reason I don't have many Bergen cards? This is from his Wikipedia page: 
No one played in the major leagues as long as Bill Bergen and hit so poorly. In 1909, Bergen set a record for futility with a span of 46 consecutive at-bats without a base hit. 

No surprise he was a Dodger for eight years. In Bergen's defense, he was a very good backstop during the Deadball Era. He's ranked among the all-time top catchers in more than a few books and publications. 

Come to think of it, maybe I should get my hands on more Bergen cardboard. 

Tony took me from a hero of the Deadball Era to one of tomorrow's standouts...

Another first for me, my first Willie Calhoun card. Calhoun is a fourth-round draft pick who is making lots of noise in the AA leagues. Dodgers fans are eagerly looking forward to Calhoun's development. 

Here's someone who just finished taking some "development" time in the minors...

Just as it is on the field, it is for my collection: more Puig is good. 

Long before Puig was throwing guys out from the deepest corners of RF in Chavez Ravine, and hammering monster home runs, this guy was doing the same...

I loved Fleer's inserts back in the 90's, and I still do. Speaking of  Dodger Stadium and Fleer in the 90's, here a couple more of Mondesi's teammates...

Because I gots to have lotsa Piazza...

A San Antonio Missions Piazza card...Wow!

The next one's not so much of a wow, as it is a hmmm...

Here we go, more young Dodgers blood...

And we'll close out with more Dodgers history...

From that 1990 Swell set, I now have King, Newk, Koufax and Drysdale. I just need five more to complete that checklist. Tony has just given my collection a new goal. 

What a great package that was, Tony. THANKS very much for the cool cards.