Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Pressure

The hectic, mind-spinning school year began last week.  I have just survived my second week of classes without falling behind with my workload.  I knew this Spring semester was going to be a tough grind.  I was mentally prepared to handle whatever five page essay chaos was thrown my way.

The thought of posting frequency at the Platter didn't cross my mind.  The entire winter break I was training my mind to be like Rocky 4 except I wasn't training to fight some big Russian meat head, I was toughening up for college.

No such training exercises were used for Platter upkeep this winter though.  The Platter will get less attention over the next couple months.  I was even thinking about writing some simple, quick witted posts rather than the usual post length.

When responsibility comes your way, you must push your hobbies aside.  I will at least still trade actively.  I can't see trading completely exit my life for any schooling reason.  Blogging and purchasing cards will be placed on the back burner for the time being.

This has been my first post in a week.  It has been awhile since that has happened.  The super Platter fans are in for a treat tonight.  Follow me down the zigzagging cardboard path on a journey of cardboard randomness.

This A.J. Ellis card may be my favorite Dodger base card of 2013 so far.  Ellis looks like he is scheming with Clayton Kershaw to strike some chump hitter out.  The scheming worked in 2012 as Kershaw went on to strike our 229 and maybe some of the plans laid out by Ellis helped out on some of those.

This card was sent to me by Mark from the blog called This Way to the Clubhouse.  The last post he wrote up is about 1997 Topps Stadium Club.  Whenever a blogger features some cards from Stadium Club sets, it is worth checking out.  The Darryl Strawberry card that Mark features on that post makes me miss watching Strawberry play baseball and also misses when the old Yankee Stadium had a loud and enthusiastic crowd showing up to roar.

The Daily Dimwit and I have made several trades during our shared time in the blog world.  He sent me this auto sometime ago.  Ike Davis is a solid young power hitter for the New York Mets.  Sadly, Ike Davis is unable to fit 8 letters on a baseball card and his signature veers off into no chromesville.

The entire Mets organization needs to get their act together.  They are a mess from the top all the way down to the way Ike Davis signs his name.

This Wade Boggs auto was obtained for a few bucks at my local card shop.  It was just dangling on the bid board with the ink of blue sharpie calling my attention.  The shop owner says that the seller is trustworthy and reliable.  I also know that Boggs signs a lot through the mail.  That is most likely the way the seller acquired this card.

This is my first Boggs auto towards my Hall of Fame collection if this signature is legit.  Does anyone else have a Wade Boggs signed card to compare this to?

I hope it is real because three dollars for a hall of fame player is a bargain.

I will try to post again soon.  No promises so, try to reread this post to savor in my words once again.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Remember What Hooton Did

I feel some past contributors to the Dodgers get forgotten by some fans.  Some former Dodgers that were key cogs on winning teams such as Don Sutton or Zack Wheat.  Wheat had an astounding .944 OPS in his age 37 season while playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  A season like that should still be talked about by Dodger fans as we mill around in parking lots waiting for a signature from Hyun-Jin Ryu.

The Dodgers of the past need to get discussed more by Dodger fans of today.  We live in the present or recent past too often.  Jonathon Broxton still gets discussed and spoken of with venomous intent.  I hope Broxton still gets crapped on by Dodger fans for his misdoings in the 2008 and 2009 playoffs 50 years from now.

I sadly doubt it.  Tom Niedenfuer was a similar type of playoff stiff in the 1980s.  Current Dodger fans rarely mention his name in praise or disdain.  Some may not even know that he blew some games while pitching in LA during crucial moments.

The good players from the Dodgers past deserves more respect and homage paid to them by current Dodger fans.  The garbage players also need to be remembered for their follies.

Burt Hooton is a player fondly remembered and well liked by Dodger fans that were watching games in the 1970s and early 1980s.  Dodger fans that weren't born or were too young back then don't realize that Hooton was a pretty good pitcher while in LA.

He pitched ten seasons for the boys in blue with a nice 3.14 ERA for the club.  The masterful way that he pitched in the 1981 postseason should still get wide praise from us fans today.  Hooton dominated while starting five games while only allowing three earned runs.

In the 1981 World Series against the Yankees, Hooton was the winning pitcher in the decisive Game 6.  Hooton wasn't at his best but, gutted his way through 5 1/3 innings while allowing two runs.  He also issued five walks.  Hooton somehow even drew a walk at the plate and scored a run as well.  Steve Howe got an old fashioned save by pitching 3 2/3 innings in relief of Hooton.

The 1981 World Series saw the Dodgers fall behind 2-0 to the Yankees.  The Dodgers would eventually win in six games.  If I was 29 years old in 1981, I may have jumped from a skyscraper after Game 2 of that series being the cynic that I am.

I take a lot more joy and added stock in beating the Yankees in the World Series.  They seem to mean more to the Dodger franchise and count for something slightly extra.  Hooton was a key piece to that 1981 playoff run.

I sent these two cards out to Hooton about a month ago.  His signature is definitely worthy of my collection.  I am also glad that he owns a blue sharpie because that always makes a Dodger auto stand out more and feel just right.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Brief Dodgers

When I scope through some cards that are sent my way in a trade, I try to examine the lot and determine if the trade package has a theme.  I try to view what stands out the most in the cards sent to me by a kind blogger.

Sometimes a theme of a cardboard filled bubble mailer is easy to spot.  At times the first thought that I have is, "this trade package has five great Nomo cards."

Other trade package, I view a few times before writing about.  The cards just sit in the bubble mailer waiting for me to have a decent thought and churn out a trade post.  After skimming through the cards a few times, a theme then pops out at me.

I completed my first trade with the Underdog Card Collector and his trade package had my mind boggled when it came to finding overriding characteristic to the cards he sent.  I flipped through them multiple times waiting for a solid idea to show up in my head.

The cards he sent me was a mix of vintage from 1969 and some 2009 Upper Deck Signature Stars.  The two sets are completely different and share no similarities.  The players are all Dodgers from two distant eras.

After looking through the loot sent from the Underdog, I noticed something unique about the cards he mailed me.  Some of the players featured on the cards are of Dodgers that spent just a short amount of time with the team.

Ken Boyer spent most of his career as a St.Louis Cardinal.  Boyer hit two home runs against the Yankees in the 1964 World Series, helping the Cardinals to the title.  Boyer won the MVP award in 1964 while driving in a league leading 119 RBIs.  Boyer hit a total of 282 home runs in his career.  255 of the long balls were while he was in St.Louis.

Boyer played two seasons as a Dodger in 1968-69.  He hit a total of six homers for the Dodgers.

Hank Aguirre was another player that had some success in another uniform before a brief stint as a Dodger.  Aguirre played most of his career for the Detroit Tigers.  He played ten seasons in all as a Detroit Tiger and his best year was in 1962.

That season, Aguirre made the all-star team and that would be his only time making it to the mid-summer classic in his 16 year career.  He led the league in ERA, ERA+ and WHIP in 1962.  That was a beast year for him.

Aguirre's only year with the Dodgers was in 1968.  He pitched out of the bullpen for 39 innings and was very successful in his limited duty.  His ERA that year was 0.69 without giving up any home runs.

I am not sure how Boyer and Aguirre are remembered by baseball fans that watched them play.  For those fans, is it weird seeing Ken Boyer not wearing Cardinal red?  Is Hank Aguirre looking odd with out the Detroit "D" on his cap?

I have seen this guy play dozens of times.  Some of my first baseball watching memories occurred when I was in Jr. High School.  I remember Jim Thome rising into stardom as a young slugger in the mid-90s.  The Cleveland Indians teams that he was on were really good and had some exciting talent on the team like Manny Ramirez and Kenny Lofton.

Thome only played very briefly for the Dodgers in 2009 and had 17 at-bats towards the end of the year.  Some people may have already forgotten that Thome was on the Dodgers in 2009.  That wasn't even that long ago and I only remember because the card companies printed out a decent amount of cards of the future hall of famer.

I know Thome is probably most remembered as a Cleveland Indian.  He played most of his career in Cleveland and had some monster seasons there.

Thanks for the trade, Underdog!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

It May Be Real

Remember back some months, when some dude was selling the card companies fake jerseys that the card companies were putting into "game used" cards?  Do you also remember that some of the card companies knew that these jerseys were fake but, were in such a rush to move product, they bought the phony jerseys anyways?

A lot of the blog world was up in arms over this scandal.  It was a tragic case of greed and criminals entering our beloved hobby.  This incident along with the vague wording on the backs of relic cards have forever tarnished the market value for these so called game used cards.

On occasion, I still buy a relic card.  The prices have plummeted and spending more than a few bucks for one is out of the question.  I also only purchase cheap ones of players that I really like and am building a massive collection in their honor.

Johnny Podres is my favorite Brooklyn Dodger.  He delivered in the 1955 World Series by dominating in a Game 7 victory over the Yankees.  This card even mentions his 1955 World Series MVP glory just below a piece of off white colored jersey.

As far as potential fake jersey cards go, this is a pretty good one.  I may believe that this one is real.  The cloth looks aged and at least stained in tea.  The fraudulent jersey salesman may have even rubbed some dirt on this jersey before selling it to Upper Deck for a good profit.

I like how the scammer put forth the extra effort to try and make this swatch look 1950s old.  Upper Deck probably paid a premium for this one.  Some relic cards of older players, look too modern.  The jerseys may look like the same material that current players are wearing.  This Podres card looks well worn and may be real.

If it is not real, it is a card from one of the better cheats to do business with Upper Deck.  It is better than some of the lazier criminals Upper Deck have made purchases from.