Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dime Box Heroes: All in the family

1991 Mother's Cookies Griffeys #3 Ken Griffey Sr./Ken Griffey Jr.

It's a historic day here on my blog.

After all, this afternoon's post is the 50th installment of the "Dime Box Heroes" theme. As far as I'm concerned, these write-ups fit perfectly within the grand scheme of this blog.

I've had a blast telling stories about my various dime box digs through these posts. And you can bet on them continuing for the foreseeable future around here.

To celebrate, I thought I'd throw a little family party. You'll have to forgive me, though. I don't have any cold beverages, cake, or ice cream on hand.

All I have are a few of my favorite family-themed pieces of cardboard.

Quite a few families have featured multiple generations of ballplayers during the game's history. Fathers and sons especially.

As perhaps the most famous baseball "bloodline" ever, the Griffeys are still the only father/son combo to hit back-to-back homers in a big league game, doing so in a 1990 contest against the Angels. (Another Griffey, Craig, never made it past the minors.)

I still rank finding Ken Sr./Jr.'s four-card 1991 Mother's Cookies set in a dime box as one of my all-time greatest scores in the department. If my math is right, I paid two-and-a-half cents per.

Not bad for such a famous father/son tandem.

Of course, the Ripkens are a vital part of this conversation as well.

Cal Sr. was a longtime Orioles coach under the late Earl Weaver. Although he did manage the club for a short time in the '80s, he's much more known for his sons than anything.

Billy Ripken enjoyed a respectable 12-year major league career. And, of course, I probably don't have to tell you how good Cal Ripken Jr. was, do I?

The Ripkens have made joint appearances on cardboard quite a few times. My personal favorite piece is currently leading in its "Gems of Junk Wax" bracket battle as we speak.

But, dare I say, '89 Bowman, quite possibly my least-favorite set in history, produced a fairly nice tribute to the Ripkens with this spiffy TV-themed card.

Yes, even 1989 Bowman had its high points.

Bobby Bonds was a top-notch big leaguer in his day.

But, much like Ken Griffey Sr., his accomplishments paled in comparison to his son's. Barry Bonds, of course, had a historic yet wildly controversial career.

And while I've gone out of my way to not show Barry Bonds cards on the blog so far, this has always been one of my favorite father/son pieces.

It needed its day in the blogging sun.

The topic of siblings has always been fairly foreign to me.

After all, I'm an only child.

Still, fathers and sons are far from the only "bloodlines" the game of baseball has seen. Quite a few pairings of brothers have achieved success on the ballfield.

While I'm sure one exists, I have yet to find a card that features the three Alou brothers. It's always been one of those my most sought-after pieces.

Even so, though, I've managed to save a few brother-themed cards from the dime box depths over the years. The above 1982 Donruss piece features the famous Niekro brothers.

With 539 wins between them, Phil and Joe are still the all-time winningest brother combo in baseball history.

Upper Deck featured an entire "Bloodlines" subset within their 1992 checklist.

While I have yet to track them all down, a few are resting in my binders at the moment. The sons of former big-leaguer Sandy Alomar Sr., both Roberto and Sandy Jr. had remarkable careers.

Roberto was recently elected to Cooperstown, while Sandy Jr. enjoyed a prestigious 20-year big league tenure. Plus, I still think Sandy Jr. has a future career in the managerial department.

The Alomars might well be the best position player brother combo in history.

Finally, we have one of my all-time favorite brother-themed cards.

While I currently have Jose and Bengie Molina's 2005 Topps Opening Day, Chrome, and Chrome refractor variations in my Angels binder, I have yet to track down the good ol' Topps base version. Go figure.

The Molinas are most likely the most famous family in the game today. All three are catchers. And, remarkably, all three have World Series rings.

After a solid career, Bengie is currently out of baseball. Jose is a currently catching for the Rays. Yadier, of course, is one of the best backstops in the game with the Cardinals. (If not the best.)

While I have yet to find a card that features all three of the brothers, this is the closest specimen I've seen. Jose and Bengie Molina were Angel teammates from 2001 to '05.

As far as family-themed cards go, though, I have yet to spear my so-called "white whale". It's always been a pipe dream of mine to track down Ed and John O'Brien's famous 1954 Topps issue.

Twins Ed and John were actually teammates on the Pirates during the 1950's. I've always longed to find a well-loved copy in a discount bin.

Until then, though, I'll just have to keep digging. As it stands, I'm pretty happy with my family-themed collection.

Of course, I probably wouldn't have found most of them without help from all those glorious dime boxes.

They'll always be a reason to celebrate on this blog.

1 comment:

petethan said...

There's just something special about multi-generation big league families. And as a Dodger fan I've had a lot to like lately. Current Dodgers with big-league dads include Jerry Hairston, Jr., Scott Van Slyke, Dee Gordon and Justin Sellers.

Love your blog, BTW. Wish I lived in a place where I could find a decent dime box, myself! Nice you provide a vicarious thrill for us. Thanks.