Tuesday, August 19, 2014

From the Binder- Cesar Izturis

Yes, you saw right- I collect Cesar Izturis cards.  Izturis, the one-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner at shortstop for the Dodgers.  Watching Izturis and Alex Cora team up in the middle of the infield for the mid-2000 Dodgers was a thing of beauty.  

I took a trip out west with my parents and sister to visit some family in 2003, and on that trip my dad and I saw the Dodgers and Cardinals at Dodger Stadium.  It is one of my favorite baseball memories.  Ricky Henderson hit a home run for the Dodgers in his last major league season and a young Albert Pujols homered for the Cardinals.  Here is the boxscore if you are interested.  It is my favorite MLB game I've been to short of the Red Sox game I attended on my honeymoon, with great players on both sides.  I followed that group of Dodgers pretty closely for a few years and still follow them to a lesser extent now that all the players from that team are elsewhere or retired.  Izturis batted 8th for the Dodgers that night but I enjoyed rooting for him and watching his glovework.  In the following years I acquired a little more than a page worth of Izturis cards (and cards of others from that team, Shawn Green, Paul Lo Duca, etc...).  Below are some of my favorites.

The first is the only rookie card I have of Izturis, his 2000 Topps card.  In the center is his Rookie Crusade insert from 2002 Donruss, the only serial #'d card I have of Izturis.  10 years ago getting a serial #'d card of anyone was a pretty big deal.  On the right you can see Cesar avoiding a sliding Marcus Giles, maybe after having thrown to first.

I would count several Fleer Ultra sets among my favorites over the years.   The 2005 iteration would rank high among them, with their great action shots.  Speaking of, I miss Fleer.  Cesar's 2004 Topps Chrome Gold Refractor isn't serial #'d but it is one of the few gold refractors I have of any player.  And finally, I enjoy any year of Topps Heritage.  I could do without the white border but it's an attractive card. The back of this one describes Cesar using his speed and quickness at shortstop to shore up the infield that had been plagued with errors in seasons prior.

I'll always appreciate the role Izturis played on those Dodger teams in the early-mid 2000s.  I'd like to add an autograph of Izturis to my (small) collection soon.

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