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MrMopar's New Dodgers Autograph Thread

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
The moment you all have been waiting for. Well, at least the moment I have been waiting for...My "white whale" was harpooned after many years of searching. More on that at the end.

First up, a cool 8x10 photo that may be a promotional appearance item. It's got his name and Union 76 printed on it. It is newer, I believe. Definitely not vintage, for sure. Never seen one before, but that is not uncommon with those event only photos that so many signings seem to have. Seriously, where the hell do all these photos go? Nobody sells any???

Garv 76.jpg

I grabbed a pair of Grant Dayton minor league cards. I wouldn't mind his Heritage card, but really don't want to spend $`10 for one. I have seen multiple sellers offering that card over the last year+, always at $10. Dayton's time with the Dodgers was brief. The Dodgers traded Chris Reed to the Marlins for Dayton in 2015. He made his MLB debut in 2016 and got into 25 games for the team that year. He was 0-1 in 26 IP, but had a nice 2.05 ERA. The next year was not quite as good. In 29 games and 23 IP, he was 1-1 with a 4.94 ERA. The Braves claimed him off waivers in 2017 and he spent the 2018 season in the minors. Since 2019, he has had similar exposure for the Braves, going 2-2 in 32 games played (39 IP), although his ERA was around 2.54. Dayton.jpg

Last, but not least is my most exciting pick up in quite a while, although it will appear fairly pedestrian for most who will see this. A little background. In 1974, TCMA issued a 40 card set commemorating the 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers. The cards are a little larger than a standard trading card, which might hurt the collectibility a bit, but then again, it's the Dodgers! The team (and set) was loaded with future stars and a few Hall of Famers, including Robinson, Campy , Reese and Snider. Here is what they look like if you are not familiar:


It was a 40 card set that was done in black and white. There are a few print variations, including a blue tint, I have seen some with red ink, etc. It was TCMA after all. There is a "team" or header card that features the infield and then 39 individual player/coach cards. A couple of the subjects died before the set was released, therefore signed cards of those individuals are impossible.

Chuck Dressen died at age 71 during the 1966 baseball season, while actively managing the Detroit Tigers. Long time coach and later scout Jake Pitler died in 1968 at the age of 73. Both Jackie Robinson and Gil Hodges died of heart attacks in 1972, Hodges also was actively managing at the time, like Dressen. Hodges was in Spring Training for the Mets and died after finishing up a round of golf with some of the Mets coaching staff. He was 47. Jackie died a few months later, at age 53.

Besides those 4 individuals, the header card features multiple players, several of which could not have signed. One could obtain a header card signed by either or both Pee Wee Reese and Billy Cox, or another person associated with the team, but otherwise the header card does not count. The 6th "impossible" card would be Roy Campanella. Sure, someone might have been able to get his post-accident scribble at one of his signings and before his death in 1993 at the age of 71, but realistically, this card is not possible.

That left 34 cards that could have been signed and I began a quest to complete the set some years back, after owning a copy of this set since I was a kid (and then many more copies later). i don't recall who was first, but most of the players lived for quite some time after the set was issued and many were prolific signers. I was convinced the toughest card would be Billy Cox, who was a well loved, but mostly obscure third baseman, who died at age 58 in 1978, just 4 years after this set was made. Oddly enough, I was able to locate Cox, although he was probably the most expensive card to buy, he was not the last. The other toughie i struggled with and felt I might not find was Clarence "Bud" Podbielan, a journeyman pitcher who only pitched 3 games for the 1952 team before being traded away in June to the Reds. Podbielan died in 1982, also age 58. However, I was able to secure a Podbielan as well. Eventually, I found myself down to the last card and I figured I had the set in the bag. I only needed Billy Loes, who was still alive at the time I started this set. Loes died in 2010 at the age of 80. I don't think he was my last piece of the puzzle at the time of his death, but any time a player dies and you are looking for a specific card, it makes it next level tough. Loes autographs are out there and I don't believe he was ever considered a tough signature, but i could not find this TCMA card signed by him. I do not recall how long this card has eluded me, but I suspect it has been at least 5 years. maybe more.

I have had a Loes TCMA search set on ebay for a while and every once in a while, it pops up something. Usually, the Stars of the 50s set or this card, but until recently, it was never the elusive signed copy of the right card. That is until last week! I checked my searches and there was a new Loes hit. I opened it and saw that it was THE card, a signed TCMA Loes. My first thought was great, but what if I lose it? Well, after seeing it, I discovered it was a buy it now!!! I can't really tell you how much I would have been willing to pay for this. I am reasonable, even though it was the final piece and I had been looking for a long time. Thankfully, this seller has listed this card at what I felt was a very reasonable price of $13.99


As anyone in my shoes can attest to, I could not hit that BIN button fast enough and get this item paid for. Waiting for specific packages in the Covid era had added a new twist to things, but this gem arrived today safe and sound and will mow reside with the rest of his brothers where he belongs. I finally have what i consider to be a complete signed 1974 TCMA 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers set!

May I present the elusive Mr. Loes!

Loes.jpg
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
Here is a card I can write about now, because I did not win it. I was really hoping I'd somehow be able to steal this one and share the big news with everyone, but my wallet would not open wide enough it seems. This little nugget ended at $676 this afternoon. I am both jealous of the winner but a little disturbed at this ending price. Rickey did die in 1965, but his signature was on plenty of documents. I think his high price is a combo of his early death (from a collecting standpoint, 1960s and earlier deaths are where the wheat starts to separate from the chaff) and his HOF status, but mostly I feel it is driven much higher by his affiliation with Jackie Robinson. That is a reasonable answer, but frustrating because he was also a huge part of the Dodgers history in the 40s-50s, even outside of Robinson) and one of the few "attainable" signatures I still need. Most of what is left is either super obscure, super expensive or both. $700 is not cheap, but if I am paying that, I'd probably rather have a full document, and one with the Dodgers. That St. Louis line on the card was a huge eye sore, but this is a legit Brooklyn Card so it would have been HUGE to win,

Because I prefer cards though, finding an affordable Rickey, let alone another Dodger card, is probably a pipe dream.

Here is the piece I would have liked to have added today, which would have been pick up of the year. Oh well, can't win them all.

Rickey AU.jpg
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
After recovering from the Rickey that was not to be, I lost out on a photo that I had never seen before. It went for what I thought was a lot of money. I did one of those way out there to be safe snipes and was still outbid, forcing the winner to pay. Next under bidder was almost $200 less than me! Tough week, especially since I buy a lot, but most of it doesn't excite me a great deal anymore. These two were tough back to back loses.

I did get something cool in the mail today though. After dicking around with a seller who was trying to sell the regular Heritage dual autograph version /25 for weeks and weeks, I was able to land a better/lower print run from the same set for less. A lesson to those who get too greedy, and I find myself in this group sometimes as well...step back and reanalyze the situation every now and again. There may be a buyer that eventually comes along some day that is willing to pay your price (we'll call this the Burbank Principal), but if you are in the business to turn cards, don't draw the line and never look back. I just sold an item last night that I was asking $175 for. The offer was $100. I actually had to think about it overnight, but I was previously prepared to sell the same item for $50 not less than a year ago and now I am debating whether or not to accept $100. WTF?

I am not entirely convinced otherwise that the dual auto seller is actually a member here or maybe just a lurker., who was trying to exploit a want list item I guess I am just a little paranoid about sharing what I want with the online community. After discussing wanting the card on this site, it showed up almost immediately at a ridiculous price. After trying several times with what i felt was a very reasonable and generous offer (although less than half of the asking price, if I recall), each time it was declined. No counter offers that I recall, just a straight up rejection. The seller then proceeded to list it for a little less money every week or two. I was nervous that someone may want it more than me as it got lower and lower. It finally got down to my offer price and i decided if we were going to play games, i was going to let it drop further. It failed to sell at my offer price a couple times. It sure felt like the seller was now just going to leave it at my offer price, since maybe he figured after all, that was a good price. I think they then dropped it another $5 and tried a couple more times and it did not sell at that price either. Since then it has not been relisted again. I still feel as thought my offer was very strong, an overpayment in an attempt to get the card now rather than wait.

As it turns out, I got the /10 version with relics to boot for less than the dual's last asking price. I would still like to have the dual, but I think my new price top end will now be about 30% less than my initial offer, if it ever shows back up. Funny how games will affect us and our actions!

Andre Ethier/Irv Noren Heritage /10. Ethier Noren.jpg
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
I good sized mail day, something I am not getting as much of these days and that is a good thing. Try # one billion to cut back on my spending...

Anyone, just one card. I kind of like this design, despite the lack of logos. It reminds me a little of 1965 Topps. Diego Cartaya. Cartaya.jpg

Next up was a trio of 3x5s.

Erv Palica. This guy might have been on their 55 Championship team, but he was traded to the orioles early in 1955 for Frank Kellert. Some 55 Dodger collectors may still be cursing Palica, as Kellert is a pretty tough (and expensive auto) for those team collector completists. Kellert died in 76, but Palica only lived until 1982. He is not nearly are hard to find, or as expensive, but he is not what I would consider a common signature for 50s Dodgers either. Palica was 32-33 with the Dodgers over 7 seasons from 1947-1954, his best was 13-8 in 1950. however, the orioles ruined his win percentage, as he proceeded to go 9-22 in his final 2 seasons in Baltimore. Palica.jpg

Lou Rochelli. His MLB career spanned 5 games for the 1944 Dodgers. He hit .176 in 17 AB, but did knock in 2 runs. When he was not playing those 5 games for Brooklyn, his minor league career spanned 1939-57, nearly all with Brooklyn farm clubs. He died in 1992. Rochelli.jpg

Oscar Roettger also only played 5 games with the Brooklyn Robins, but he was hitless in 4 AB for the 1927 team. His MLB career spanned 37 games between 1923-1932, across 3 teams. He hit .212. Roettger died on the 4th of July in 1986. Roettger.jpg

The last batch was cheap, but well worth the price paid. I got the lot of 20 signatures for $20 delivered. Aside from the sales tax, I paid roughly $1 per signature. I'd say that was a steal. They are not all Dodgers, but most of them are. The autographs are on the reverse side of the Pittsburgh Hilton Hotel postcards. Based on the players, my guess is these were all from 1982. It seems to make sense that an autograph collector set up in the hotel lobby to catch teams who stayed there. Using the hotel';s postcards provided something to sigh and were probably free (or stolen). A little lame, but I still can't complain. I'm sure 3x5s or cards/photos of the same group would have set me back considerably more than $20. Included in the lot are non Dodgers Ruppert Jones, Gary Lucas, Luis Salazar (all Padres) and Tony Pena. The rest were Dodgers including Dusty Baker, Mark Belanger (D), Terry Forster, Steve Garvey, Pedro Guerrero, Steve Howe (D), Tom Lasorda (HOF), Mike Marshall, Ken Landreaux, Jerry Reuss, Bill Russell, Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia, Bob Welch (D), Ricky Wright, Steve Yeager.

I won't go into detail about everyone and will point out that several players are now deceased (Belanger, Howe, Welch), but the "score" of the batch might be the Ricky Wright signature. He is not a common signature and I know his legend is epic for the 1987 Topps set. Apparently he flat out refuses to sign that card for anyone and for any reason. Most people treat any of his autographs like they were gold, but he did sign a bit, at least during his playing career it seems (1982-86) I have several team related items signed by Wright (team sheet, ball, etc). He does not have too many cards though. However, finding his 83 Fleer card signed for example, is not too terribly hard, but anyone that has one treats it like it was Dr. Mike Marshall. Now maybe Wright stopped signing after his playing days and signatures are somewhat scarce, but unless you are looking for that 1987 T card, it seems they can be found. Even if they are still around, I can't complain to find one for a buck!

1.jpg2.jpg3.jpg4.jpg5.jpg6.jpg
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
I almost forgot this guy. It's large (about 1' tall) and better than I expected. Some sort of wood cutout, about 1" thick mounted on a stand. It has a professional look to it, not something cheesy, but I suspect it was a one off, hand made item. The surface is either signed after the fact or maybe they used a signed pghoto to make it. Neat item. I paid way more for shipping than the cost of the item.

s-l1600.jpg
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
Pair of Bowman prospects today. Brandon Lewis and Ryan Pepiot. Neither have broken into the Big Leagues yet. Lewis.jpgPepiot.jpg
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
Congratulations to the Dodgers.........probably means a lot more for you to collect!!!!!!!!!
I am somewhat selective on what Dodger items to buy, so I don't think I will have any issues. I wouldn't mind an affordable Mookie Betts Dodgers autograph card and maybe a certified Jansen finally. Still need a couple newbies too...

Today only brings another Archive Al Oliver, this one /38 from 1984 Topps Glossy AS set.Oliver.jpg

I do have a few items coming soon that I am somewhat excited about...
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
I inch closer to a nice mail day...in the meantime...

Keibert Ruiz Heritage. I think this was a pose variation, as I have one close up and also a black parallel of the close pose too. It would be nice to see him break out, as I do have 6-7 of his autos by now. Ruiz.jpg

Miguel Vargas Heritage. I can almost guarantee this guys autograph is going to change dramatically. Right now it is a very basic, almost printed rather than cursive last name only. Only a matter of time before it likely turns into an illegible scribble. Vargas.jpg

Last one is Todd Worrell Archives silver /99. This former ROY spent nearly half his career in LA, but it doesn't seem like it. I would have guessed his best years were with the Cardinals. After missing all of 1990 and all but 3 minor league games (3 IP) in 1991 due to serious arm issues, he returned to St Louis and posted a 5-3 record and a 2.11 ERA in 67 games, although he only earned 3 saves. This lapse in service was following a nice 4 year stretch beginning with ROY in 1986, an almost automatic 30 saves each year, and an AS appearance in 1988. Testing the free agency water in 1993, the Dodgers signed him and almost immediately, began butting up numbers like he was back in his prime. He was an All Star in 1995-96 and regained his closer role, leading the league in both games (67) and saves (44) in 96. His last year would be 1997, where the 37 year old appeared in 65 games and saving 35! He was granted free agency after that solid season and never pitched again. I don't know why his career ended so seemingly abruptly, but it appears he left on top of his game. Worrell.jpg
 

WizardofOz1982

Active member
Sep 30, 2017
892
Oklahoma
Last one is Todd Worrell Archives silver /99. This former ROY spent nearly half his career in LA, but it doesn't seem like it. I would have guessed his best years were with the Cardinals. After missing all of 1990 and all but 3 minor league games (3 IP) in 1991 due to serious arm issues, he returned to St Louis and posted a 5-3 record and a 2.11 ERA in 67 games, although he only earned 3 saves. This lapse in service was following a nice 4 year stretch beginning with ROY in 1986, an almost automatic 30 saves each year, and an AS appearance in 1988. Testing the free agency water in 1993, the Dodgers signed him and almost immediately, began butting up numbers like he was back in his prime. He was an All Star in 1995-96 and regained his closer role, leading the league in both games (67) and saves (44) in 96. His last year would be 1997, where the 37 year old appeared in 65 games and saving 35! He was granted free agency after that solid season and never pitched again. I don't know why his career ended so seemingly abruptly, but it appears he left on top of his game. View attachment 117746
Worrell said at the time that he retired to spend time with his family and work on the charities he was involved with.
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
Some 80s goodness today to start us off.

Pedro Guerrero, one of the bigger Dodger names throughout the 80s. 4X AS and a silver slugger once with the team, he was originally in the Cleveland system. The Indians traded him to LA in early 1974, for Bruce Ellingsen. He played in LA 1978-1988, until the Dodgers traded him in August to the Cardinals for John Tudor. This made it so he missed the magical 1988 World Championship season. He had enough left in the tank for 1 more AS season the following year and then ended his career in St. Louis in 1992. It was not that long ago that rumors were flying that he was near death. Thankfully either those were false/exaggerated or he recovered nicely.Guerrero.jpg

This next one was a surprise to me. The UD Timeless Teams series is such a great set because of so many fan favorite autograph appearances. I had missed that Jerry Reuss had a card, someone who might not otherwise have ever been selected for such a certified offering. Quite happy to land this for a little more than $5, after finding one for sale at close to $30 for the first time. It pays to be patient sometimes. Reuss traveled a bit, but had a nice stint with LA from 1979-1987, including 1 of his 2 ASG appearances in 1980 when he went 18-6, with a 2.51 ERA and 6 shutouts! he would log in 22 years in MLB, finally calling it quits in 1990 while with Pittsburgh. He was 41 years old and had no decisions in 4 games pitched. He quietly racked up 220 Wins in that long career too, never winning 20 games, but 3 seasons of a career high 18 wins.Reuss.jpg

Rounding out the mail day are 2 former/futures...

Milton Bradley. Bradley.jpg

Devon White. White.jpg
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
My exciting mail day has arrived. Not one of the greatest of all-time, but a solid one that adds some nice items.

Ned Colletti Topps. I already had this card, but it is such a cool concept and the price was right, so I added another. Andrew Friedman is in the same set (I have that as well), too bad he was not a Dodger for it though.

These were a great idea and I wish that Topps or others would continue this sort of thing. I probably would have hated them as a kid, but they would have been base cards at that time anyway. The team cards were cool, but I would not see a regular manager card until 1981. It would have been great for Topps to add in a few announcers, management staff, league officials, etc. The cards have been somewhat popular in issues like Archives and Fan Favorites. I mean, how many different cards of Mike Trout does anyone need in a year? Colletti was the GM of the Dodgers from 2006-2014 and brought back some stability to the position that had once been one of the steadiest in baseball. between 1951-1998, the Dodgers had 4 (3 primarily) GMs. Buzzie Bavasi, Al Campanis and Fred Claire. Fresco Thompson replaced Bavasi in 1968 when he left to become President and part owner of the Padres in their inaugural season, but died shortly thereafter, leading to Al Campanis assuming the position that he would hold for 2 decades. Campanis was fired over some racially insensitive remarks in 1988, which lead to Claire taking charge and holding that position 11 years until he and Manager Bill Russell were ousted by new owner group lead by Ruppert Murdoch. From there it was a revolving chair for nearly a decade (5 GMs from 98-04) until Colletti was hired. Colletti.jpg

Next up is a less than exciting Karin Garcia Stadium Co-Signers card, UNTIL you flip it over! Garcia began his career with LA and after 3 seasons with a combined 29 games, he was drafted away from the Dodgers by Arizona in their expansion draft. He never really played a full season, but his career lasted 10 years across 7 different teams, a couple teams were 2 different times as well. A well travelled journeyman. Of course, I collect Dodgers, but I don't stop there. I collect many other autographs and always like grabbing stars. I paid a steep price for this Garcia, only because the opposite side features now deceased HOFer Tony Gwynn! Garcia.jpgGwynn.jpg

The next one is former ROY Todd Hollandsworth. I bought this because it was one of the early buyback cards and those early foil SP cards were pretty cool. This is numbered to 167 copies, but you don't seem to see them all that often. Like Garcia, he played for many teams across his 12 year career and the ROY season was probably his best season. Hollandsworth 167.jpg

The final item in todays mail is the one I was most excited about. I have a Dodger autograph already, but why not a 2nd one. They are not all that common, given his tenure with the team. One of several future HOFers who would pass through LA briefly, this man ended his career in LA in 2003, appearing in 30 games. The one time speedster swiped 3 bags in his final season and hit a lowly .208 at the advanced baseball age of 44. Rickey Henderson. Not the best looking card, but I'll take it.Henderson.jpg

Not a bad haul for the day!
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
Quantity follows quality, with a fairly large Monday mail day.

John "Fats" Dantonio. Not sure if 165 at 5'8" is fat, but that was the guys nickname. He was a catcher and spent 2 years in Brooklyn during WWII, 1944-45. In 50 games total, he hit .244. As I learned from BBRef today, the 1945 Dodgers had 7 catchers on their roster at some point throughout the year, maybe not all at once, maybe they were all there together. This was pre Campanella and Mike Sandlock was considered the starter. Fats died at the age of 74 in 1993. Dantonio.jpg

Jim Golden spent 2 years in LA, 1960-61. He was 2-1 in 29 games pitched. The Colt 45s drafted him away from the Dodgers in the expansion draft and he spent 2 more partial years in MLB before being traded to the White Sox in December 1963, along with Danny Murphy and some cash, for aging star Nellie Fox. Golden never appeared for the White Sox. Golden.jpg

Billy G. G.jpg

Mark Loretta. Loretta.jpg

Jamie McAndrew never actually played for the Dodgers at the MLB level, but has several MLB cards. He was drafted by the Marlins in their expansion draft, but also did not play for them either. His career consisted of 15 games pitched for the Brewers in 1995 & 1997. He was 3-4 career with a 5.98 ERA. McAndrew.jpg

Roberto Mejia, like McAndrew also never played for the Dodgers and was drafted away from the Dodgers in the 1992 expansion draft, but by the Rockies. His career was good for 4 seasons (1993-95 & 97) and 133 games, where he hit .219. UD once felt these two were up and coming Dodger prospects, as did the expansion teams who drafted them. Swing and a miss x2.Mejia.jpg

Orlando Mercado played 7 games for the 18987 Dodgers, hitting .600 (3-5)! The Tigers traded him in May for Balvino Galvez and by by November he had been released. I guess .600 was not good enough!! Mostly a back-up catcher, he never really got to show his skills in a full MLB season, but stuck around for 8 years and played for 8 different teams! MerCado.jpg

A couple of 52 Topps reprints. Bobby Morgan. Morgan.jpg & Johnny Schmitz. Schmitz.jpg

More to follow...
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
Frank Skaff, PC & 3X5. He appeared in 6 games for the 1935 Dodgers and died in 1988 at the age of 77. Skaff 1.jpgSkaff.jpg

Eddie Stanky. He played 2B for Brooklyn from 1944-47 and was pretty good. With Jackie Robinson coming up that year, Stanky must have either been a problem or they figured jackie was the future. They traded him after the 1947 season with a player to be named later to the Braves for a player to be named later, Bama Rowell, Ray Sanders and $40K. The Braves then sent another $60K to complete the trade on their end. The Dodgers turned around and sent Ray Sanders back to Boston to complete the trade on their end! The Dodger sold Rowell to Philly a week or so later. Basically the Dodgers got a bunch of cash for the AS. Stanky would make the AS roster in 1948 as well, and again in 1950, this time with the Giants. Stanky.jpg

Ross Stripling. Stripling.jpg

Terry Wells. Wells.jpg

Dick Whitman was with Brooklyn from 1946-48. The Phillies purchased Whitman from the Dodgers in 1949 and then turned around and traded him back with cash in 1951 for Tommy Brown. He would never suit up for the team in 1951 though. He died in 2003 at age 82. Whitman.jpg

Finally a few more 3x5s.

Rip Repulski. Repuski.jpg

Bill Sayles. No decisions in 5 games for the 1943 Dodgers to end his career. He joined the Dodgers via trade in 1943: Traded by the New York Giants with Bill Lohrman and Joe Orengo to the Brooklyn Dodgers for Johnny Allen and Dolph Camilli. Sayles.jpg

Gene Schott. I featured this guy before when I got him on a photo. His only appearance for the Dodgers in 1939 was as a pinch running in a single game. His career ended that year as well. Schott.jpg

Fred Sington. probably more well known for his College FB career at Alabama, he is in the College FB HOF. His career with the Dodgers spanned 2 seasons, 1938-39 and 49 games total. he hit .307 for them in those 2 seasons. He died in 1998 at the age of 88. Sington.jpg
 

mrmopar

Member
Jan 19, 2010
3,791
I think I may have heard that. If I were him, I would probably tire of writing out that gargantuan name myself! I do have a few full name items, but most are Billy G.
 
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