Sunday, March 31, 2013


The Dodgers hosted the Angels on Friday night in an exhibition game and this was the first time that Dodger Stadium was open after some renovations.  I was lucky enough to be able to attend this game and check out some of the updates that was completed during the off season.  Getting a chance to see the improvements made to beloved Dodger Stadium was what excited me most about attending this game.

The game itself actually turned out to be exciting and both teams had line ups full of stars.  Both squads played, pretty much their opening day rosters and this led to an exciting slug fest.  The Dodgers ended up winning 8-7 with the aid of an A.J. Ellis first inning grand slam.

Since this game didn't count in the standings, the real joy for me was being able to see these new video screens that I have been reading about.  I have been clamoring for more modern scoreboards and jumbo trons at Dodger Stadium for a while.  The screens add some much needed vibrancy to the ballpark and the images are crystal clear.  More game footage and replays were also shown throughout the game.

This is a shot of the jumbo tron in left field.  The screen is bigger than the one that they have had in the previous seasons and the images are full of more life and color.

I caught myself staring at the screens and checking out the stats that were displayed as well as some of the close-up shots that were shown of the players.  Watching the game felt more like the comfort of viewing at home on a nice HD flat screen television.

The team added new ledges and some tables along the back rows and edges of the concourses.  This is the view from a ledge that is perfectly made to place one's food or drink.  Dodger Stadium used to not have many places to post up for a drink other than your own seat.  Now, the stadium is littered with places for people to perch and still be able to watch the action on the field.  This gives fans the chance to stretch their legs a little and maybe see the game from a different vantage point than where they were sitting, all the while comfortably eating a Dodger dog and having a beer.

It is good seeing Carl Crawford healthy, hitting the ball hard and patrolling left field for the Dodgers.  The Dodgers were awful last season with batters in the lead off spot.  If Crawford, is at least an average hitter, then that will provide a huge upgrade from the number one hitter as opposed to the bums that tried that slot last season.

The stadium has a whole, has a higher level of cleanliness and positive vibes as in years past.  The stadium upgrades certainly help a lot and the new screens keep you more informed with the game action due to more replays and a clearer image.  I am pretty sure that everyone is able to view the screens from their seats now. Before there was some blind spots and you may miss some action without the aid of a replay.

Things are much better now with a solid ownership group that is keeping their promises so far.  I look forward to being able to see what changes have been made to the Left Field Pavilion as I will be cheering on the Doyers tomorrow afternoon.

Sleeping will be difficult tonight as I am overwhelmed with excitement due to the start of the 2013 baseball season.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Live Archives Blaster Break Packs 7 and 8

Live blogging as been a fun exercise for me.  It has been an exciting writing experience that I have really enjoyed.  I dig the rapid fire pace of writing as the thoughts creep into my head.  Posting multiple posts in short period of time seems like it was a good idea.  This is the type of idea that I should do more often.  Maybe I will start live blogging while opening packs in the future or if I have some random thoughts while sorting through some stacks of cardboard.

Whatever my next live blogging idea is, I will be sure to try it.  The Platter needs a jolt of newness now and again.  This is the type of endeavor that not only keeps things fresh for my tens of readers but, also keeps me interested as a blogger.

Without further ado, let me start the grand finale.....

Pack 7:

I always love it when I pull a reprint of a card that I own the original of.  It makes me feel special as a collector.  Even pulling a reprint of a '85 Topps Tony Gwynn makes me happy that I have the genuine '85 Topps Tony Gwynn.

The Padres need to bring back this color scheme and uniform.  Once they bring back these hats and jerseys, they then need to stick with it.  The Padres change their uniform design so often that sometimes I forget what their jersey looks like and they play the Dodgers a million times a year.

Pack 8:

Smaller sized card in 3-D featuring a legend named Al Kaline.  These cards aren't quite minis and slightly smaller than the average base card.  It fits somewhere in between mini and normal sized.  The 3-D version of a crowd shot is cool to look at as they sway with every shift the card makes.

I know that some of you are probably thinking that I rigged this break to make sure I showed an auto coming out of the last pack.  The folks that are thinking that are completely wrong.  This John Kruk signature actually did pop out of the last pack.  I will swear to that on the Platter Bible.

I am tempted to keep this autograph.  I am not saying that as some sort of negotiating ploy.  I will also swear to that on the Platter Bible.  Kruk was a fun player to watch and I wish he was still playing as he made me stop watching Baseball Tonight on ESPN.  He is also one of the many reasons I keep the volume low when I am watching a baseball game being broadcast on ESPN.  He is not the only reason I keep the volume low, ESPN has some awful announcers.

Kruk as a player was solid and it always seems more fun to watch fat guys with mullets play baseball as opposed to roided dudes with mullets playing baseball.  The fat guys just seem more like real human beings and somewhat sadly appear to look like the common man.

Like I said, this live break has been a lot of fun.  I will try something like this again real soon.  Please let me know if you need any of the base cards or some of the inserts.  There was only a handful of the cards that I am going to keep.

Thank you for following along.

Live Archives Blaster Break Packs 5 and 6

The base cards of this set get a big shrug from me.  I just can't get over the lousy card stock and I also can't stop complaining about it.  The inserts and short prints make this set interesting.  I thought those were the only things that made this set interesting.

Pack 5:

That was until I pulled a parallel from this set.  This is a golden, refractor type of card and the blast from the reflection has blinded me for a few minutes.  This card is so awesome looking that I thought about keeping this one.  Then I realized that it is just a shiny looking card of Trevor Cahill.

The short prints come in set designs that aren't featured in the regular Archives base set.  This makes them standout as you are sifting through the pack of cards.  I wasn't collecting cards back in the year 2000 so, this design looks refreshing and new to me.

This card also has a hard swinging action shot of current White Sox manager, Robin Ventura.  I wish Ventura the best of luck this season in Chicago.  I enjoyed watching him play baseball and his time with the Dodgers was pleasant to watch.

Pack 6:

Look!  A sticker card of a floating head!  Neat, old school font as well.  This kind of looks like the type of font that you may see plastered on the LA River.

Topps has been releasing some sticker cards in their sets over the years.  Have any of you guys actually stuck these anywhere?  Where is the funniest place that you have stuck a sticker card?

Live Archives Blaster Break Packs 3 and 4

Dodger Stadium has been undergoing some renovations this off season.  The Dodgers host the Angels later tonight which will be the first game played at Dodger Stadium since the remodel.  I am lucky enough to get a chance to go to the ballgame tonight and check out the new updates at the stadium.

I will be sure to take a lot of photos of some of the amenities that catch my eye.  I am really curious to see what this ownership group can pull off next.

Anyways, back to the pack ripping.....

Pack 3:

This Larry Doby card is a Reprint insert which you are able to pull one of these out of every four packs.  Topps placed a gold foil stamp on the top of this card.

The Indians logo appears to be gazing at Larry Doby with great affection and admiration.  I guess that is kind of a cool take on Chief Wahoo.  I guess....

I thought that I had all the Dodgers from this set.  Maybe I am completely wrong and have no idea what I am talking about?  I probably have no idea what I am talking about.  I don't remember seeing this Dee Gordon card before.  It is easy to forget Gordon though.

Pack 4:

Hey, another sweet looking insert from this set.  This Deckle Edge insert features slugger Jose R. Bautista and is slightly smaller than the base cards and of course has a deckle edged border.  The photo is also black and white.  Are all the cards from this insert set in black and white?  Is this a throwback set that was once featured by Topps previously?

Live Archives Blaster Break Packs 1 and 2

I just ripped open the first couple of packs.  The thin card stock of 2012 Topps Archives still irks me and I feel Topps missed an opportunity to make this set one of last's years best.

If you are looking to build this set and need any base cards for trade, just let me know.  I have most of the Dodgers and assorted other players that I collect already from this set.  Leave a comment below of any numbers that you are searching for.

Pack 1:

This card of Ed Kranepool and his hairy arms was the best card of the first pack.  This is the Topps 1970 design.  The Kranepool is also one of the short printed "All Time Fan Favorites" cards.  I am not too familiar with Kranepool's career though.

Through the '69 season, he was batting .247 with 62 home runs.  That is all I got right now.  Maybe a Mets fan can chime in and give some insight on fan favorite Ed Kranepool?

Pack 2:

The 2012 Topps Archives set features older set designs with mostly modern players.  The '71 set design might be my favorite so far from this blaster.  It seems rare to see good conditioned with black borders.  I think most of the real '71 Topps cards in my collection look a little shabby.

The cloth sticker insert sets are top notch.  I remember some bloggers mentioning that this set had some cool inserts.  The cloth sticker set must be one of the best that Archives has to offer.  These are seeded 1 out of every 6 packs, so maybe today will be lucky for me and one more of these beauts are waiting for me.

Stealing An Idea From The Plate

Recently, a couple fine bloggers in our community have broken some packs while posting about it live on their blogs.  Oscar from,  All Trade Bait, All The Time, and Brian from Play at the Plate seemed to have a good time opening up some packs and having some real time interaction with some other collectors.

I have just finished work and spotted a nice discounted blaster of 2012 Topps Archives on the shelf.  Working at a major retail store as a few perks, such as being the first to spot some discounted baseball cards and have the ability to pounce on it just before the doors open.  I haven't open too much of this set due to its thin card stock.  At the discounted price plus my employee discount, should make this break worth it to see some cards that are completely new to me.

I am going to pick out some of the best cards from all eight packs that were included.  That could be one card or if by some rare chance that all eight cards included in a pack are worth showing.  You never know what goods can pop out of a pack.

The posts to this live blaster break are set to follow.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hellish Weekend Coming

When you are relaxing on a Thursday afternoon, watching the beginning stage of the NCAA tourney unfold, and you know that this weekend is going to be hectic, it gives your mind a wide range of emotions.  I am currently completely relaxed, for the most part, just watching some exciting college basketball with the thought of the amount of school work that I have to accomplish creeping into my head every now and then.  That thought gives me an occasional twitch of nervousness.

I need to do something that will keep my mind distracted for a few moments.  Arriving at the Platter seems like a good idea!  I can free my mind here and hopefully entertain a handful of people.

Today seems like a good day for a trade post as the sounds of college basketball being played provide my background noise.  I still have a stack of trade packages to go through.  I should try to whittle those down as the school work piles up.

I recently completed a trade with Matt from the Cardboard Conundrum blog.  I at least believe it was a recent trade.  I have so many bubble mailers stacked and this one didn't have as much dust collected so, it must be fairly new.

This Takashi Saito was the centerpiece of the trade.  I probably sent Matt something good for this because I cherish cards of Saito.

The Saito may have been the centerpiece of our trade but, this was the favorite card that popped out of the team bag.  I may have to start adding Yu Darvish into Microsoft Excel.  Topps has been churning out plenty of his cards and people are kind enough to send some my way.

Darvish will probably get many more cards produced throughout his career after he had a solid rookie campaign last season.  Darvish also has some star qualities that will keep his popularity up among baseball fans.  Those star qualities are his ability to be a high strikeout pitcher on a good team, he is a star in America and a superstar in Japan and he also has flowing hair.  You can see a good glimpse of his mane on the card above and flowing hair always makes you more popular among everyone.

Now it is time to see if Gonzaga can close out their opening game against Southern.  Getting the day off during the college basketball tourney is golden.  So much sports on during one day and so much school work this weekend.  I guess it is kind of a fair trade off.

Thanks for the trade, Matt!

Monday, March 18, 2013

That Is How It Is Done

Being able to write a solid trade post is a basic element of being a baseball card blogger.  A trade post may be the most common type of post written by members of the blog world.  It is a good way to show appreciation to the person that sent a bundle of cardboard your way.  Sometimes I feel extra pressure in writing one of these trade posts.  I want to show proper respect, not only because of the cards that I have received, but also to show respect to the blogger who's writing that I enjoy.

Nick, from the blog famous Dime Boxes blog, is one of the better writers that the card collecting community has.  His posts are frequent, well worded and just plain interesting.  I have read almost all of his posts and sometimes if I miss a few, I will go back and read them to catch up.  Nick may mention a little collecting endeavor that he is working on such as players signing autographs or players dressed in clothes that aren't their baseball uniforms.  I don't want to miss out on what type of new category that Nick is going to collect next.

Take the time to check out his blog and you will come away impressed.  When it comes time to type a trade post about a blogger with superior writing skills to me, that adds some pressure not to disappoint the one reader that will greatly appreciate the words that I am typing.

If you are a new blogger or are looking to get into the blog world, please take a gander at a trade post that Nick wrote.  That is the blue print for how to write one up, that your fellow blogger will appreciate.

Now let me show you some of the top cards that Nick sent my way.  Not only can he write well, but Nick knows how to bundle up some quality cards that make it to my mailbox.

The first card that I would like to show off is a card featuring me.  This picture of my likeness was.....wait one second.  This card has Ichiro's name written on the bottom.

This must be some sort of super rare error card.  No wonder Major League Baseball gave Topps an exclusive license instead of Panini.  Topps never makes errors this egregious.

Now here is an actual baseball card of Ichiro.  This a great action shot of Ichiro slapping a double down the line at Wrigley Field.  If you look really close, you can see Cubs fan Nick in the background.  Those are some nice seats which may be hard to come by in Chicago due to a smallish stadium and a large fan base.

I still don't have an actual, genuine Dodger Frank Robinson card.  This is as close as it gets for me.  I have a reprint of a Dodger Frank Robinson card but, I don't count that.  This was a sadly airbrushed 1973 Topps card of Robinson.

This card is so close to being a Dodger card.  Robinson is in a Dodger uniform, this photo was taken at Dodger Stadium and the game was played against the Phillies.  The team name of the California Angels sticks out and it feels like it is being rubbed in my face.

I also find it arrogant that at one point in the Angels history, they claimed to be the team of California.  I am sure fans of the other teams in California have something unkind to say about that.  The name California Angels is almost as bad as their current name which I won't even mention.

Are sunglasses one of the fashion accessories that are timeless?  Style of sunglasses worn decades ago, still look grand today.  People still wear the style that Steve Yeager is sporting on this 1981 Fleer card and they look good while wearing them even if they are ugly.

Nick once again impressed me with the wide variety of cards that he sent me.  He sent me all types of cards that are going to look good in binders.  I can't wait until our next trade because he is a collector with enough collecting categories that it makes for a fun search.

Thank you for the cards, Nick!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I Shook the Hand of God

Some of my personality traits include being negative and cynical.  I not only have described myself this way, but others have brought this to my attention.  The thought of good things happening to me just seem so rare sometimes that it is hard for me to actually believe that something positive may come my way.

I just returned from my annual family trip to spring training to watch some Dodger baseball, get a tan, and drink a beer or two while getting back into the baseball experience.  I was expecting a nice weekend of fun with the family while getting to check out some new Dodgers like Yasiel Puig and Hyun Jin Ryu.  I have never seen these dudes play baseball before getting to watch them over the weekend.  Both players were a joy to watch especially Puig, who seems to be able to do everything well such as hit bombs, steal bases and run with the speed and power of a running back.

Getting to watch the Dodgers play some exhibition games is usually the highlight of my spring training trips.  This year the highlight was something more holy.  Baseball doesn't have too many living Gods that walk around with us mere mortals.  There are maybe a handful of these types of baseball figures around.  The type of people that all baseball fans respect no matter their team allegiance.

Some of the living Gods are Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and a legendary fellow named Vin Scully.

Vin Scully seemed to be following me around this weekend or you can say that I have been walking on his footprints.  I had several Scully sightings over the weekend and I am not just talking about seeing him at the ballpark, which would be expected.

The first Scully sighting I had was at the LAX airport after my sister and I passed through security.  We were walking passed a security line after we made it through the gauntlet and my Doyer sense kicked in.  I grabbed my sister's arm and exclaimed, "There is Scully"!  We looked on in amazement as a God was standing ten feet away from us collecting his belongings after they had been scanned by the airport security.  My sister was snapping photos of Scully, TMZ style, and we waited for him to walk past us.

I had an odd sense of calm when seeing him.  Scully feels like a relative to many Dodger fans including myself.  I have been hearing his voice even before I was born and have probably heard him speak to me more often than I have heard my own mother speak to me and she is quite a talker.

Anyways, Scully eventually passed by my sister and I.  I told him that I was a big fan and extended my hand for a shake.  Scully also extended his hand and shook mine and told me thank you.  Scully not only shook my hand but he responded to my typical, "I'm a big fan" line with a "Thank you".  I was in shock that a God touched my hand and said two words to me.

He walked away probably to do something Godlike and we went to our gate.  While we waited for our plane to arrive so, we can get to Phoenix, we spotted Scully again.  Scully was boarding our same plane!  I was able to fly on the same plane as someone so holy.  I felt honored to be on the same plane, breathing the same air as someone that means so much to baseball and specifically Dodger baseball.

That was also not the last time that I would have the chance to see Scully throughout this weekend.  My family and I happened to be staying at the same hotel as the legend.  We spotted him several times at our hotel.  Scully was doing the same things that a mere mortal like myself was doing.  He was dining at the same hotel restaurant, he rode on the same elevators that I used and even walked through the same doors.  It was unbelievable.

On one of these numerous sightings, my father spotted Scully eating breakfast at the hotel one morning and called me to see if I wanted to try for an autograph.  I was across the street from the hotel at some outlet stores and didn't have anything for him to sign.  I didn't have a pen or a ball or even a tissue for him to sign.  The baseball Gods directed my sights to a sports wear store.  I ran in with the hopes of purchasing a baseball.  I needed something.  I found a baseball and the cashier was kind enough to give me a pen.  I sprinted across the street in the hopes of seeing Scully as he exited the dining room.  I peered into the restaurant and didn't see him.  I thought that I had missed a good chance at getting a white whale signature.

Then, I heard the voice.  The voice of God himself was coming from down a hallway.  I spotted the God speaking to his wife or travel partner.  No fans were around him.  I asked politely for his autograph and he obliged.

This was bigger than when I met Hideo Nomo or the time I pulled an autograph of a former president out of a hobby pack of Ginter.  I never thought that I would get a Scully auto unless I shelled out a few hundred bucks.  Scully is such a large figure that if my first encounter with him at the airport would have been a pleasurable experience.  Then adding up all the other sightings plus a signed baseball, made this one of the most memorable weekends ever.

Hideo Nomo signed baseball.  Check.  Vin Scully signed baseball.  Check.  One more white whale signature is left as part of my baseball trifecta that will be buried with me when I die and that is meeting Sandy Koufax.  With the luck that I have been having with meeting my heroes, maybe a Koufax run-in is in the cards.

Getting to shake the hand of Scully and getting his signature has made me a slightly less cynical person than I was just a few days ago.  Maybe just a smidgen of Scully's positive vibes have seeped into my bloodstream and has made me a better overall person.  This was a baseball religious experience for me.  This must be what some people feel like when they attend church and mention how they are blessed.

A friend of mine does refer to Scully as the Dodger Pope by the way.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Your My Dogg, Dog

When card collectors get together, we often talk about the different aspects of the  hobby.  We have conversations about what cards we have just picked up or maybe a sweet, victorious Ebay win.  The collecting world is so diverse and many cardboard hounds spend their days in various realms tracking down cards for their collection.

Some collectors go to sports card shops or card shows to purchase cards.  Other collectors order cards online and swing a deal with collectors hundreds of miles away.  We all may spend times in these different venues to acquire cards but, we also have our preferences, our little niche and comfort zone in our expansive hobby.

One of my friends is a high-end guy.  He busts expensive, classy hobby boxes of the major sports and sells the cards that he doesn't need online for some extra cash.  Selling on Ebay and opening high-end product is completely foreign to me, even though we both are involved in collecting the same Dodger cards.

We often exchange questions about our different corners of the hobby.  He asks me about the blog world and one of the questions that he asked was, "Who do you trade with the most?"  My answer was that I usually swap cards with fans of the big city teams with large fan bases.  Fans of the big clubs are the ones that collect their teams the most.

One team that doesn't really fall into the category of "big market team" is the San Diego Padres.  Over the past year, some Padres blogs have been popping up.  The NL West wasn't as well represented when I first started the Platter.  There was always a fair amount of Dodger blogs but, the other teams in the division weren't as prevalent in the blog world as they are today.

Padre cards used to just build up in my trade box until guys like the Underdog Card Collector started popping up.

The Under Dog must be able to appreciate a good under dog team like the Brooklyn Dodgers even though he is a Padres fan.  The Brooklyn Dodgers were the scrappy, lovable loser team of the first half of the 20th century.  While the Dodgers were in Brooklyn, the team endured much heartbreak and crushing World Series defeats.  The Dodgers only won the World Series once while in Brooklyn and that year was the classic victory over the New York Yankees in 1955.

The Under Dog sent me a nice stack of Brooklyn Cards like this Preacher Roe.  Many of the Brooklyn cards that he sent my way were from sets that are lacking in my collection.

An old school looking Topps card with some 2001 gold-ness splashed on the borders.  Campy is also painted to look dolled up and with enough make-up to be on his way to a stage on Broadway.

I also got some cards of macho looking ballplayers that aren't painted with a rosy hue.  Kirk Gibson looks like a bad ass with a blank blue cap while playing in a weekend beer league softball game.  Gibson was just chugging beers and eating Cap'N Crunch before his four homer game during his '88 beer league season.  You can never go wrong with a mustache and Cap'N Crunch.

This trade package was sent to me sometime ago and I am glad that I finally had the time to post about it.  The Gibson card alone makes this trade superb in my mind.

Thanks for the trade!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rain and Organize

Every baseball card collector has a day that they spend several hours sorting, viewing and cleaning up their card collection.  Actually, every collector of anything, from stamps to bottle caps, probably has a day where they spend sifting through their collection.  A collection needs some order and is best not left to being stored as a chaotic mess.

Today is my sorting day of my collection.  It is a day of grey skies and rainfall.  It is also a day where I have no work and am caught up on my schooling.  What a perfect day to put a dent in some of the stacks of cards and packages by my bedside.

I consider some other blogs to be friends of the Platter.  These are bloggers that I have been trading with over the years, they may occasionally leave a comment on one of my posts and they have earned my respect as a writer.  "O" No!!! Another Orioles Blog is one such blog that I consider to be a friend of the Platter.  That blog is run by an Orioles fan named Ryan.

His computer was down for a bit and he has gotten back to posting after a hiatus.  Ryan probably missed posting on his blog.  During his hiatus, he may have even pulled or purchased an award winning piece of cardboard and was unable to show it to the masses due to technical difficulties.  That is a painful situation for an card collecting blogger.  It is good to have him back in the mix.

Ryan sent me these cards a while back.  I just haven't been able to show off a card like this Tadahito Iguchi autograph because of school and probably a little laziness.

Some collectors may open up a trade package and consider the autographed card to be the best of the lot.  I am not one of those collectors.  The Iguchi signature may have the most value or worth but, it certainly wasn't the best looking card that Ryan sent me.

This Hideo Nomo card was the favorite one that Ryan included in the bubble mailer.  Don't let the ugliness of the New York Met uniform distort your view of this great action shot.  The only thing that would have made this card better was if this card came out a year earlier when Nomo was a Dodger.  This still rates highly and is my favorite Nomo Mets card that I own.

This Mike Piazza weightlifting card probably would have been my favorite card from this trade if it weren't for some of Piazza's comments towards Vin Scully.  Piazza mentions in his book that Scully was critical of Piazza during his contract negotiations with the Dodgers in the late 90s and this soured the LA fans on him.  Scully doesn't turn any fans against anybody, he isn't critical of any player's contract and he never threw Piazza under the bus.  This was such an odd person for Piazza to try and go up against.  Scully is God and you never tempt your fate by creating a false rumor about God in your biography.

Therefore this card is just a notch below the above Nomo card.  Piazza will always be viewed differently in my mind after what he was saying about Scully.

Piazza even made me enjoy a card that features him with a greasy mullet and him pumping iron a little less than I would have before.

Welcome back to blogging, Ryan and thanks for the trade.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Player Writes Back

February and March are not only the time when baseball players descend on the spring training complexes of Arizona and Florida but, it is also a popular time for autograph collectors to send out letters and cards to players in hopes of a signature.  I try to send out through the mail(TTM) autograph requests year round with current players and coaches getting letters during spring training and retired players getting sent letters during the baseball season and off season.

Yesterday marks a highlight of the 2013 collecting season for me, I have received a return from an ex-Dodger.  This is my first Dodger related return of the season.  I am hoping for at least a few more signed cards to comeback my way, but you never know.

I know that getting former Dodger Randy Choate to autograph a card for me, may only be considered a highlight in my mind.  Maybe a few other Dodger collectors would be happy with getting a card like this in the mail from a dude that pitched a whopping 13 1/3 innings for the Dodgers in 2012.

Choate was the "other guy" in the deal with the Miami Marlins that sent Hanley Ramirez to Los Angeles.  The Dodgers needed a new shortstop and a new lefty in the pen last season due to Dee Gordon's injuries and ineffectiveness and Scott Elbert having his arm troubles persist like they have throughout his whole pro career.

I am surprised that Topps included a card of Choate in a Dodger uniform for their 2013 set.  In last year's Topps Update set, he was still shown as a Marlin even though he was sent to the Dodgers before the trade deadline.  Topps must have been making up for this mistake and I am happy to get a card of a random Dodger relief pitcher whose accomplishments as a Dodger may slip my mind a decade from now.

Choate is now a member of the St.Louis Cardinal's bullpen.  He somehow tricked the Cardinals into giving him a three year deal worth 7.5 million dollars.  That seems like a lot of scratch for a lefty specialist in the bullpen.

I will hire Choate's agent next time I have to haggle a job for some extra pay.  His agent could probably get me a sweet deal that would make all my co-workers jealous and bewildered.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I Still Type

It feels like it has been an awful, long time since my last blog post.  In my head, it feels like months have passed since the last time words have been typed at the Platter.  Only a couple week have elapsed since my last write-up.  It really feels a lot more time as passed since then, maybe I am just aging at a more rapid pace than the rest of the world.

One of my fears of taking some days off from the Platter, is that I will forget how to type a blog style post.  The fear being that I would get so wrapped up in the way college teaches you to write, that the randomness and seemingly carefree style of writing that the Platter fans are used to would be gone forever.

On a blog post, I don't have to worry about format, or "rules for writers," and themes or even grammar may take a backseat.  The Platter gives me an opportunity to have my own style and set of writing parameters without the overlooking eye of an intellectual English teacher.

I missed this little blog posting thing while I took a little break.  I am sure that some of the Platter super fans have missed seeing Nomo's Sushi Platter appear on their blogroll.

I have had a stack of Dodger cards that were rubber banded together for me and handed to me at Dodgers Fan Fest while standing in the longest line ever.  Oscar from the blog, All Trade Bait, All the Time, gave me a bunch of excellent Dodger cards while I was waiting for an autograph in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.  Since, he handed these over to me, I have been waiting to have a chance to post about some of the gems that he included in this trade stack.

One of the few things that I miss about Juan Pierre being on the Dodgers, is some of the quality baseball cards that he popped up on.  This Pierre is new to me and the black border and darkened background, highlight the spectacular catch Pierre is making.

I am also pretty sure that Pierre makes this catch, hops up on his feet and fires the ball to second base to double up an overaggressive base runner.  That happened, right?

Don Newcombe was a really solid hitter as well as a pitcher.  In 1955, Newcombe hit 9 doubles, mashed 7 home runs and even stole a base, all in only 117 at-bats.  Newcome slugged an astounding .632 during the Dodgers '55 championship season.

Pitchers should never take at-bats off.  Some pitchers just stand there, waiting for the opposition to throw 3 straight strikes.  Starting pitchers make a lot of money, even the bad or mediocre ones sign big deals, they should at least attempt to get a base hit.  Clayton Kershaw gives great at-bats and gets some hits and know how to lay down a sacrifice bunt.

I am looking forward to watching Hyun Jin Ryu getting some swings in this year.  Ryu is the Dodgers latest pitching import from Korea and the dude is a mammoth.  He has the waistline of Babe Ruth and could hopefully pitch like David Wells.

The Platter doesn't have many requirements or standards.  One of the rules that I try to self impose is showing a variety of card sets.  I try not to have a post with only cards from one particular set because that may bore a person that is just scanning through the photos of a post.

I do try to show off a piece of cardboard from the Ted Williams sets of the 90s.  The cards from the Ted Williams sets stand the test of time and look as glorious now as they did back in '93.  The double photo idea, with what appears to be Maury Wills peering at himself in amazement at how fast he could glide on the base paths, was a genius concept.

This is photography gold right here.  Mike Marshall sliding safely onto a base during the famed 1988 World Series.  Did the photographer dart onto the field for this picture?  How did they get such a close-up?

The Dodgers need to make another World Series soon.  Seeing a card like this one makes me both happy and sad.  So, they balance each other out and I am just left feeling numb.  I dream of 2014 Topps including a Dodger World Series card with Nick Punto diving safely into first base.

Yes, I do dream about the World Series, baseball cards and Nick Punto.  All the doctors that I have spoken with said that there is no cure for such dreams, I am just stuck with these thoughts as some sort of a curse.

Sorry for the delay on writing up this trade post, Oscar.  Since, you have already typed up about a hundred posts since the Dodgers Fan Fest.