Sunday, August 26, 2012

Crazy Summer Weekend

It has been a whirlwind type of Summer this year for Dodger fans.  The team has looked awful at times, key players and scrubs have been injured as well.  The team has looked dominant at times as well.  The Dodgers have played better on the road than at home recently.  The Dodgers had a 7-3 road trip and then only won 2  games this past week at home.

Oh yeah, this Summer has also seen the new Dodger ownership group throw big money all around and acquire some big name talent.  The team has committed themselves to hundreds of millions of dollars work of contracts since the new owners took over this season.

Seeing Adrian Gonzalez batting in the clean up spot for the Dodgers is going to be fun to watch for the next several seasons.  I am so pumped to see a hitter of his caliber batting for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers are only 2 games back of the Giants for the NL West division title.  Should be a fun finish to the season and I am thankful that I get to root on such a beast line-up.

Hey!  Look it is Zach Lee!  He is a Dodger pitching prospect that is still in the Dodger system.  So, he must be good because the Dodgers only trade away bad prospects like Carlos Santana and James Macdonald.

Oh, wait......I hope Rubby De La Rosa doesn't come back to haunt us.

The Dodgers have traded away some "top flight" prospects before that turned out to be bums like Andy LaRoche and Joel Guzman.

Maybe Rubby De La Rosa won't come back to haunt us.

Besides watching baseball, I have also been making some trades in the blog world.  These cards were sent to me by Josh at the blog Royals and Randoms.

Josh sent me a good amount of Hideo Nomo cards.  This is my favorite Nomo card of the lot that he sent my way.  One of the reasons that Nomo is a cardboard superstar is that most of his cards came out in the 90s.  Nomo was a big league star and a cultural icon during the era of a bunch of card companies making tons of cards.  The 90s has the best looking sets.  Nomo had a funky wind-up that photographed well combined with the artistic creativity of the 90s was the perfect storm for a cardboard superstar.

Josh also included several of these circular cards.  I didn't have many of these before this package arrived but, now I am better off due to this trade.

Cesar Izturis was a Dodger fielding whiz that played shortstop for the team in the early to mid 2000s.  I enjoyed watching him play because he fielded everything so smoothly and I never got worried if a ball was hit to his side of the diamond.

Kaz Ishii on the other hand made me worry every time he took to the mound.  He always had high pitch counts because he lacked control of the strike zone.  Kaz was my whipping boy on the team while he played in LA between 2002-2004.  Even though, he helped the Dodgers lose some games, I enjoy having at least one stiff on the team that gets the opportunity to screw up.  The crummy player on the team that sticks around for some years and plays poorly but, still plays in a lot of games.  That gives me more innings out of a season to crack Ishii jokes.

Thinking of Ishii reminds me of James Loney.  So frustrating to watch and just waiting for him to turn into something he is not.

So long James Loney.

Thank you for the trade, Josh.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Met Hideo Nomo!

I decided to go with a direct title that would let the reader know what I am going to type about and share with the blog world.  I wanted to name this epic post something more subtle in order to attempt to give mystery to this post.  Another idea was make the title a little more deceitful and then by paragraph five, spring the reader with a momentous shocker of getting to meet one of your heroes.

The title of this post deserved to be straightforward in order to catch the blog world's attention because this post is a must read for all the tens of Platter fans.  I wanted the title to pop out of your blog roll and make you check it out to share the joy of meeting Hideo Nomo.

My day started off pretty normal and dull.  I went to work early this morning thinking that I just have to make it through this day at work so I could take a nap.  Sleeping was my main priority when my first work break rolled around at 8:30 AM.

My day wasn't filled with excitement until around 10 AM when Dodgerbobble sent me a text about Hideo Nomo and former major league relief pitcher Shigetoshi Hasegawa coaching a youth league baseball game in Compton, CA.

I was kind of surprised that this event that was showcasing a quality 15 and under Japanese baseball team versus a team of top players from the youth RBI program that was being managed by one of my heroes wasn't known to me before the day of the game.  Dodgerbobble was on point with breaking this news to me.

Hideo Nomo is an elusive ballplayer.  Nomo is a star with adoring fans but, he always seemed uncomfortable with all of the accolades that his pitching skills gave him.  I haven't heard much about Nomo since he retired from baseball in 2008.  I never thought that I would actually have a chance to meet him and get his autograph.

I certainly didn't ever expect to meet Hideo Nomo in Compton.  Dodgerbobble mentioning this event to me had me a little puzzled until I remembered that the MLB Urban Youth Academy is in Compton.  This field is awesome and of at least a minor league quality.  Many guys that grew up playing baseball would have loved playing on a field this well kept.  The field had well manicured grass and even major league dimensions.  Center field was 401 feet from home plate!  These kids were 15 and under and playing on this gem of a diamond.  Good for major league baseball for hooking Compton up with this field.

The grass was no doubt better maintained than the joke of a field that they have going on in Miami.

As my day progressed at work, my mind was racing with possibilities.  I knew I wasn't missing this chance to meet Nomo even though I had agreed to pick Dodgerbobble up, and drive all the way to south LA in rush hour traffic which would take me about 40 minutes even during a decent traffic flow.  I had to try and take possibly the only chance I could have of ever getting a Hideo Nomo autograph.  He doesn't sign often or make appearances.

Nothing was going to stop me from trying to meet him.

My work day was flying by and some questions were swirling in my head.  I had a full dosage of nervous excitement all day.

What if Hideo Nomo big timed me?

What if I didn't get his autograph because this event was too crazy and hectic with a large crowd?

What if I did get to meet Hideo Nomo and take a photo with him and get his autograph?

Once work ended at 130 PM, I raced home and got my autograph gear ready.  I throw a brand new MLB baseball in my backpack as well as some Nomo and Hasegawa cards just in case we can get multiple signatures.

After getting Dodgerbobble at his home, we sat in traffic for a little over an hour.  The traffic and long drive didn't seem so bad because we just began to discuss the Dodgers and for the most part, all the possibilities that seeing Hideo Nomo could bring.  While driving, I was thinking about actually getting the holy grail to my collection which is a Nomo autographed baseball signed in person!

Sandy Koufax is my other elusive Dodger that I need a signature from but that is a little more easier to get.  Koufax signatures are a lot more available since his cards pop up in Topps products.  Nomo autos aren't in many card products ever.  The Nomo auto is more rare and I watched him pitch during his whole career.

Nomo is my guy and I type on a blog named after him.  A Nomo auto was my true holy grail.

We arrived about an hour before the game was about to begin.  Dodgerbobble and I did a lap around the field.  When we got to the Team USA dugout on the other side of the field I noticed Nomo just chilling in his dugout having a conversation with his coaching staff while sitting in his Team Japan dugout.

He was so close to me.  The holy grail will be mine!  We walked over to the Team Japan dugout and sat down and talked ourselves into actually getting up to ask Nomo for his signature.  Not too many people were in the seats yet.  We may have been the only graphers in the ball park at this time.  This event was under publicized.  We had to get up off our seats and ask for his auto.

We got our baseballs and pens ready.  I shot up and leaned over the railing of the dugout and waited for a pause in the conversation Nomo was having with his staff.  Once there was a pause I asked him for his signature.

Asking him actually worked.  Nomo said, "One minute" and finished up what he was saying and signed our baseballs as well as signing for some fans from Japan that shared the joy in getting to meet a cultural icon.

Nomo even took a photo with me!  Me looking awesome and Nomo somehow looking cooler than me.  I guess when you throw a no-hitter at Coors Field, you always look cool.

I felt a sense of relief moments after this photo was taken.  I met a hero.  He took a couple minutes of his time to make my day.

I reached the height of my collection.  I never thought this would ever happen.  It always seemed like a pipe dream.

I have to mention one thing about the actual game that was played by some really skilled teenagers. Remember when I mentioned that this field had major league dimensions.  I sat and watched this game with a group of other autograph hounds and we didn't think anyone could hit one out.  Sure enough, a kid from Japan who was maybe 5'6 and around 120 pounds, cranked a 330 foot bomb over the right field wall.  That shot amazed me and I wish I had a replay to show everyone how impressive it looked.

That kid crushed it.

Today was just one of those perfect days.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

High End Trade Partner

Sometimes when I make a trade with a fellow blogger, I get the feeling that the person actually reads my blog.  I know that may sound strange.  You probably just read that first statement and blurted out something like, "Hey Spiegel, if someone is trading baseball card with you, then they must know that by reading your blog.  How else would they know what to send you?"

But, there are some folks that really pay attention to my words and click on other parts of the Platter.  Some trade partners click on my haves lists or have read a post about me chasing the Topps sets of the 70s Dodgers.  That is what I mean.

One of the few readers that are known as Platter Super Fans.

I believe Nick from an awesome blog called Dime Boxes:The Low End Baseball Card Collector's Journey, is a fan of my blog.  I do think he reads my posts from time to time.  He also probably checks out what cards that I already have under my player collections.

I thank him for that effort and care in his trade packages.  Nick and I have made a few trades or so and they have all been a great return.

I totally dig this 2000 Fleer Ultra card of Eric Gagne.  His is slim, wearing a high number, and working on some sort of fielding drill.  He is almost unrecognizable to me.

The size and shape of the 2012 Topps '87 minis is preferred by me as opposed to the size of the Gypsy Queen or Ginter minis.  I just like a little more meat on my minis. You know what I'm saying?

This card features a great shot of Kemp celebrating a home run against the Giants.  Kemp is one of the best hitters in baseball and will probably hit several hundred more homers against the Giants in his career.

I should have a special section at the Platter for Hideo Nomo cards that are super shiny.  I bet Nick will read that and send me a bunch of flashy Nomo cards that he somehow finds in dime boxes.

The flair that this card has will add some class to one of my many binder pages of Nomo cards.  You can never have to much flair.

An aspect of my collection that I have been trying to build up this summer is my hall of fame collection.  Nick helped me out with that by sending me some cards with legends on them.

These Mound Dominance cards from 2012 Topps are cool looking and informational.  The card was made to honor Bob Gibson's 17 strikeout performance against the Detroit Tigers in the opening game of the 1968 World Series.  17 strikeouts in the World Series?!?!?

That dude invented beast mode back in the day.  I hope St.Louis has a statue of him outside their stadium.  I think they have a Stan Musial statue but, I am not sure about Bob Gibson.  Maybe someone in the blog world has an answer to that.

Dodger Stadium has no statues yet.  The only Dodger statue that I know of is a Johnny Podres statue that I made out of melted copper pipes.  It sits in my living room so I can pay homage to his Game 7 pitching victory in 1955.

Thanks for the trade, Nick!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hall of Fame Reminder

Several months ago, I started to purchase cards through an e-mail chain.  The seller lists a bunch of cards that he is selling every week.  The selection ranges from high-end vintage to junk game used cards.  I usually pick out a few cards each week to add to my collection.

I have been trying to add to my hall of fame collection.  I love the history of baseball and collecting the legends that have played this game seems like my duty as a fan.  I am 29 years old and recently have seen hall of famers getting enshrined in Cooperstown that I have a vivid memory of watching play baseball.  I also have watched enough baseball over the years that the next several years of hall of fame inductees will be from players that I saw play in the 90s-2000s.  Players like Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson will surely make it into Cooperstown.

I have seen those guys pitch a ton of innings.  I also know how they were perceived by other baseball fans and the media.

I am also curious to see which players that I am currently watching will end up a hall of fame guy.  Derek Jeter will probably be in so, at some point his cards will be in my American League Hall of Fame binder.  That is kind of a weird thought.

This is a 2001 Playoff Absolute Memorbilia Game Used Base card of Roberto Alomar.  I remember watching Alomar play throughout the 90s as one of the better middle infielders in baseball.  He was smooth with the glove, could steal a base and could draw a walk.  His power wasn't a joke neither, as he hit 210 home runs in his career.

Part of learning about baseball is getting to watch the great players play on live television or in the ballparks.  It gives you an appreciation for the skill that the greats bring to the park.  Alomar was a star on on some really good Toronto Blue Jays teams in the early 90s.  The 1993 World Series is one of the first that I have a solid memory of watching while growing up.  Alomar was a beast in that series against the Philadelphia Phillies.  He had an insane 1.159 slugging percentage in 27 plate appearances.

An awesome thing about this card is what is written on the back.  The card states the date that this base was used in a game and even mentions that Roberto Alomar went 0-3 with a SAC fly on April 2, 2001 while playing for the Cleveland Indians against the White Sox.

That is solid and much appreciated info from a card company.

One of Alomar's teammates on the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays was the steady hitting, Paul Molitor.  Molitor is another hall of fame dude that I remember watching hit a baseball.  He was a big part of that World Series winning Blue Jay team as he had a .402 OBP and collected 211 hits during the regular season.

This card features Molitor in a dress shirt and holding a bat.  I will bet one of my toes that this photo wasn't taken while he was about to step into the batters box and take some hacks.  The blue pinstripe is nice and the card has an interesting throwback kind of feel.

I am still trying to build up my hall of fame collection.  I collect all types of cards of players like Paul Molitor and Roberto Alomar.  I am not just looking for hits of past legends but, base cards and inserts as well.

Thanks and I hope this will expand some trades for me in the blog world.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Updated Andre Ethier Haves List

Updated on 12/29/2014

Andre Ethier

2005 Topps First Year #313
2005 Topps Heritage #16
2006 Bowman BDP49
2006 Topps 52 Dynamic Duos DD13
2006 Upper Deck #985
2006 Upper Deck Ovation #ed/999 #125
2006 Upper Deck Ovation Auto #'ed/99 #125
2007 Allen and Ginter #71
2007 Allen and Ginter Mini A&G Back #71
2007 Allen and Ginter Sketch Card #15
2007 Bowman #14
2007 Bowman Blue #14 #ed/500
2007 Bowman Chrome Refractor #14
2007 Fleer #171
2007 Fleer Ultra #93
2007 Topps #45
2007 Topps Chrome Generation Now GN218
2007 Topps Co-Signers #32
2007 Topps CO-Signers #32 #ed/225
2007 Topps Co-Signers #32 #ed/275
2007 Topps Co-Signers #32 Serial #'ed140/299
2007 Topps Generation Now GN198
2007 Topps Generation Now GN218
2007 Topps Heritage #471
2007 Upper Deck #350
2007 Upper Deck Documentary #1945
2007 Upper Deck Goudey Mini #129
2008 Allen and Ginter #318
2008 Allen and Ginter Auto AGA-AE
2008 Bowman #136
2008 Bowman Blue #136 #ed/500
2008 Bowman Chrome #130
2008 Bowman Chrome Refractor #130
2008 Bowman Gold #136
2008 Topps #605
2008 Topps All-Star Rookie AR57
2008 Topps Chrome #173
2008 Topps Co-Signers #41
2008 Topps Gold #ed/2008 #605
2008 Topps Heritage #9
2008 Upper Deck #543
2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes #131
2008 Upper Deck Documentary #1045
2008 Upper Deck Documentary #1345
2008 Upper Deck Documentary #145
2008 Upper Deck Documentary #2245
2008 Upper Deck Documentary #2845
2008 Upper Deck Documentary #4928
2008 Upper Deck Documentary #745
2008 Upper Deck First Edition #387
2008 Upper Deck X GU Jersey
2009 Allen and Ginter #37
2009 Allen and Ginter Regular Back Black Border Mini #37
2009 Allen and Ginter Regular Back Mini #37
2009 Bowman #150
2009 Bowman Chrome Refractor #150
2009 Bowman Orange #150 #ed/250
2009 O-Pee-Chee #315
2009 O-Pee-Chee Black #315
2009 Topps #492
2009 Topps 206 #34
2009 Topps 206 Old Mill Mini #34
2009 Topps Career Best GU Jersey CBR-AE
2009 Topps Finest #112
2009 Topps Heritage #5
2009 Topps Heritage Chrome C2
2009 Topps Heritage Power Plus #260
2009 Topps Turkey Red TR7
2009 Topps Unique #18
2009 Upper Deck #201
2009 Upper Deck #717
2009 Upper Deck Goudey #100
2009 Upper Deck GU Jersey GJ-AE
2010 Allen and Ginter #65
2010 Allen and Ginter A&G Back Mini #65
2010 Allen and Ginter GU AGR-AE
2010 Allen and Ginter Sketch Card AGHS11
2010 Allen and Ginter This Day in History TDH12
2010 Bowman #30
2010 Bowman Chrome #56
2010 Bowman Chrome Refractor #56
2010 Bowman Expectations BE34
2010 Bowman Platinum #29
2010 Bowman Platinum Gold Refractor #29
2010 Bowman Throwbacks BT90
2010 National Chicle #164
2010 National Chicle GU NCR-AE
2010 Topps #247
2010 Topps 2020 T3
2010 Topps 206 #92
2010 Topps 206 Bronze #92
2010 Topps 206 Polar Back Mini #92
2010 Topps Attax
2010 Topps Card Your Mom Threw Out CMT-112
2010 Topps Chrome #74
2010 Topps Chrome Orange Refractor #74
2010 Topps Chrome Refractor #74
2010 Topps Chrome Xfractor #74
2010 Topps Gold #247
2010 Topps GU All-Star Workout Jersey AS-AE
2010 Topps Heritage #210
2010 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collections Relics CCR-AE
2010 Topps Legendary Lineage LL-15
2010 Topps Opening Day #105
2010 Topps Peak Performance PP-68
2010 Topps Triple Threads #42 #ed/240
2010 Topps Turkey Red TR7
2010 Topps Update #260
2010 Upper Deck Season Biography SB78
2011 Allen and Ginter #226
2011 Allen and Ginter Ginter Back #226
2011 Allen and Ginter Regular Back Mini #226
2011 Bowman #66
2011 Bowman Chrome #53
2011 Bowman Gold #66
2011 Bowman Platinum #24
2011 Gypsy Queen #292
2011 Gypsy Queen Mini #292
2011 Leaf Limited #27 #ed/249
2011 Topps #240
2011 Topps #646
2011 Topps 60 T60-19
2011 Topps Champagne #240
2011 Topps Chrome #4
2011 Topps Chrome Refractor #4
2011 Topps Chrome X-Fractor #4
2011 Topps Diamond Aniversary #240
2011 Topps Diamond Duos DD-2
2011 Topps Finest #21
2011 Topps Gold #ed/2011 #240
2011 Topps Heritage #358
2011 Topps Heritage Chrome C182 #ed/562
2011 Topps Heritage Dodger Dandies #401
2011 Topps Lineage "75 Mini #123
2011 Topps Lineage #123
2011 Topps Lineage Diamond Anniversary #123
2011 Topps Lineage Mini '75 GU 75R-AE
2011 Topps Opening Day #112
2011 Topps Red Diamond Die Cut DDC15
2011 Topps Sticker #261
2011 Topps Target Vintage #240
2011 Topps Town TT-27
2011 Topps Update #258
2011 Topps Update #259
2011 Topps Update Diamond Anniversary #259
2011 Topps Update Gold #ed/2011 #258
2011 Topps Update Red #258
2011 Topps Wrapper Redemption #48
2012 Allen and Ginter #84
2012 Allen and Ginter Mini A&G Back #84
2012 Bowman Platinum #31
2012 Bowman Platinum Auto/GU Jersey #ed/199 AR-AE
2012 Bowman Platinum Ruby #31
2012 Topps #383
2012 Topps '87 Mini TM30
2012 Topps Chrome #209
2012 Topps Chrome Sepia #209 #ed/75
2012 Topps Golden Moments GM-U16
2012 Topps Heritage #412
2012 Topps Heritage #68
2012 Topps Heritage Chrome HP38 #ed/1963
2013 Allen and Ginter #222
2013 Allen and Ginter Across the Years ATYAE
2013 Allen and Ginter GU Jersey AGFR-GE
2013 Allen and Ginter Mini A&G Back #222
2013 Bowman #213
2013 Topps #16
2013 Topps '72 Mini TH-22
2013 Topps Archives #182
2013 Topps Chrome #48
2013 Topps Heritage Back Border #427
2013 Topps Heritage Chrome Refractor HC16
2013 Topps Red Border #16
2013 Topps Short Print #16
2014 Topps Green Border #415

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The New Guy

I was at the Dodger game a couple days ago for Kirk Gibson Bobble Head Night.  Zakwin from the blog called Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle was also attending the game.  I was a part of his epic card draft that he hosted.  The draft had a ton of cards to choose from and went on for weeks, possibly months.

It was fun to pick some cards that fit my collection or that can be used for trade bait.  The blog world offers many different ways to obtain cards.  Some dudes host group breaks and some folks like, Zakwin, host card drafts.  I recommend any blogger to help a fellow blogger out and join a break that they are hosting.

I met Zakwin outside the Left Field Pavillion at Dodger Stadium before the game.  He had my cards from his draft and some extras that were added as a trade we worked out.  I had forgotten some of the cards that I drafted.  I had also forgotten to bring some cards to give to Zakwin.  Luckily, I remembered to wear clothes that day.

One of the cards that I didn't remember picking until Zakwin mentioned it to me was this Bowman Sterling WBC Relic of Hanley Ramirez.  He had just been acquired by the Dodgers just days earlier.

The card is sweet because it shows him in a non-Marlin uniform.  I am not going to collect cards of Hanley in a Marlins uniform.  I am going to wait until Topps starts pumping out Hanley cards for the masses of Dodger collectors waiting for them.

However, I will try to track down some Hanley cards of him in a Dominican uniform.  Those cards will still fit into my collection.

This is the first Hanley Ramirez card that will enter my personal collection.  Welcome to LA, Hanley and welcome to my collection.