Friday, December 29, 2006

Blake DeWitt Interview

Here is a interview with the Dodgers 2004 1st Round Draft Pick Blake DeWitt. This was done prior to a basketball game at his alma mater on December 19, 2006.

YouTube Link: RM23RM23:

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ah Crap! Another Barry to Wear Orange

Man-O-Live! Just when I thought the Giants would only be good for a laugh next season they go ahead and spend a boatload of money on the pitching jewel of the winter free agent class. Barry Zito is headed for downtown San Francisco. He gets $126 million for 7 years. That averages to $18 million a year.

On an annual cost basis it doesn't sound too bad. Afterall, the market is what it is. On the other hand, a seven year contract for a pitcher seems a bit foolhardy. Hasn't the National League West teams seen, first hand, the consequences of a long term contract for a starting pitcher, i.e. Hampton and Kevin Brown? Were they not paying attention?

Either way we may not have the Giants to kick around next season. They may actually be competitive- even if half the team is on the verge of senility.

The fun factor: The chants that reverberate during a Dodger-Giant games will now apply to more than one player. "Barry Sucks" and "Barrrrr- rrryyyy" is now a universal anti-Giant cheer. In fact, I firmly believe that they should be known as the Barry's (like how the Dodgers were once known as the Bridegrooms).

Friday, December 22, 2006

We're All Dodgers

Fun and creative, these commercials made me smile everytime.

YouTube Link: willsbitch:

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merkle's Boner

In honor of 6-4-2's daily birthday posting please see above my only Fred Merkle baseball card. It is a strip card from circa 1919 and is called W514. It's not the most attractive card or the best conditioned card. Nevertheless, it's a very unusual card.

These cards came in horizontal strips of typically 10 or more players side by side. Fans would cut the cards along dotted lines to make individual cards. Most of the artwork is much like the one above. They are a bit drab and not very good. They seem to never resemble the player at all. Strip cards in general were produced from the 1910's to the 1920's. Over the years these type of cards received very little respect, but has seen a small resurgence in interest over the past several years. From a cost perspective, they are very affordable compared to tobacco or candy issued cards.

Check out 6-4-2's post for historical background of the long forgotten "Merkle Boner."

An Early Christmas Present for my Family

This past week I've been MIA from this website primarily due to a brand new addition to my family. Check him out above. On Friday afternoon my sister gave birth to their 2nd son, Mr. Tyler Alexander Star. Aint he a beaut!

It was a ruckus and crazy week.

On Thursday afternoon, last week, I offered to help out my sister and brother-in-law by baby-sitting their oldest son, Trevor, while they headed out to a doctors' appointment. Trevor is 21 months old, and, as you can imagine, he is a hand-full. He will scamper around the house running from one toy to another- almost in a schizophrenic rage. He'll drag me along by grabbing my fingers. He is just so excited about playing with Uncle Ernest.

Anyway, Thursday baby-sitting went just fine. No hitches and no problems. Trevor and I had a great time.

Then, later that evening my brother-in-law calls and ask me to spend the night. Since most of our family is too far away I am the most logical person to spend the day with Trevor when the new child is born. Apparently, my sisters just knew that Friday would be the day and they feared having to call me at 3:00 AM to come over. So, I slept on a guest bed.

6:00 AM comes around and a knock on my door wakes me from my slumber. "Ernest, wake up! We are going to the hospital." I wipe the sleep from my eyes, focus my vision and jump out of bed. The day would start off with nervous parents heading out of the door and a waking child wondering, "why is Uncle Ernest here?"

We have a busy schedule. First breakfast, then playtime. My sister lets me know about a video that Trevor adores. Thankfully it's "The Polar Express" and not "The Wiggles." They drive me crazy. Lunch, playtime, then nap time fill up the rest of the morning. In the afternoon, Trevor is awake and snacks and play dominant our time.

During Trevor's nap I get word of Tyler's birth and rejoice with Trevor when he is awake from his afternoon nap. "WooHoo!" He is healthy and complications are minimal.

Anyway, my folks head into town later that evening, driving in from Las Vegas after hearing about the news, and my full day of baby-sitting is over.

If I may add, this was the first time I had the opportunity to baby-sit for a full day. And ya know what? It is hard work.

By the time I got home I was dirty and sweaty from running around. I had food all over me. I must have smelled like a horses behind. I was more tired that I could have ever imagined.

So, during this holiday season I would like to pay special kudos to all of those folks who stay at home with their young children. You should all be given medals.

UPDATE: OK. I'm getting a little crazy here. Check out the pic I made of Tyler at Times Square.
Generator: Billboard Maker:

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

New Blog: Sons of Steve Garvey

Welcome to the Giant Blue tent I like to call "Dodgertown On-Line." Check out a new group blog of rabid Dodger fans called Sons of Steve Garvey.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Gagne Becomes a Ranger

Gagne is going to the American League. He joins the Texas Rangers relief staff.

At least he isn't a Giant.

That would have been unforgivable.

Below is a video of Eric heading to the mound. Do remember those goose bumps when Gagne entered the game?

YouTube Link: BGRobocop:

Hat Tip: Dodger Thoughts:

OT: Don't Buy a Dell

I've been wanting to go on a little diatribe about Dell and their customer service. Dell sucks. Their computers suck and their customer service sucks.

Our head researcher at my day job has been struggling with Dell for well over a month now- almost 3 months, if I'm not mistaken. I've had my own problems with the Dell computers we got at work earlier this year.

It was finally determined that the computer we received had some internal hardware issues and requires a full replacement. A new computer was suppose to be shipped last week. We where even given a shipping number and told it would arrive in 7 days. Of course, it never arrived.

Upon checking on its whereabouts, we find that the shipping number we where given is a fake number. Also, customer service reports that their notes indicate we where having problems with a printer and not a computer. (We do not have a Dell printer in the office.) Furthermore, there is NO notation that anything was to be replaced at all. It is as if Dell representatives willfully lied.

They lied about sending a replacement computer- even going as far as providing a fake shipping number. They lied in their own internal notes.

Their lies have caused us to rethink our future purchases. We recently cancelled our order for a new server from Dell and plan an aggressive, yet light-hearted, campaign against Dell with all of our clients. We will make sure everyone we know understands how terrible that company is.

Dell willfully and purposfully lies to their own customers.


Okay, I feel better now.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Brief Respite: A Kings Hockey Fight

I have to admit, when a fight breaks out at a hockey game a smile appears on my face. I stand and cheer. My fists reach towards the sky as I bellow a mighty roar.

Can you tell I went to the Kings game last night. It was an exciting. Invigorating. An event worth watching on replay. There were 9 goals scored as the Kings pulled it out in the last period, 5 to 4. We also witnesses an anticipated match-up between Colorado's Ian Laperriere and LA's Sean Avery. There is some left over bad blood from when Lappy use to be on the Kings, so most fans were expecting this sooner than later. Avery got in his licks, but Lappy appeared to have more control. In the end, Laperriere dragged Sean down, and it was over.

Unfortunately, I don't have a video of that fight, but I did find the one below. It was from earlier this season and is a must see for the novice and enthusiast alike.

The video is a perfect example of why fighting is a part of the game. Listen as Jimmy Fox and Bob Miller explain the event, and watch as Georges Laraque and Raitis Ivanans perform on the ice. Also, be sure to watch the whole thing through. Laraque and Ivanans have a great conversation just before the gloves drop.

Laraque: "You want to?"
Ivanans: "Yhea"
Laraque: "Okay"
Laraque: You'll Square Off"
Ivanans: "Yhea"
Laraque: "Okay. Good Luck, Man"
Ivanans: "You, Too"

This is a great game. Is there any chance the Kings will come out with a Blue jersey?

UPDATE: Unfortunately, I am now unable to find this video. It has been taken down. Sorry.

XXL National Video: Schmidt House

She's a Schmidt... House. XXL National made a great video about our new pitcher. My favorite line is "grown ass men should never have to wear orange."

YouTube Link: XXL National:

Another Video about the Dodgers you should check out was made as a present for their Dad. It includes the timeless Terry Cashman song "Willy, Mickey, and 'the Duke' (Talkin' Baseball)." "Pops" was a Brooklyn Dodger fan through and through. Click this link to see.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Video of the Pierre/ Wolf Press Conference

Below is a video by LAobserved Jacob Soboroff at the press conference introducing Randy Wolf and Juan Pierre.

Randy talks about coming home and Juan picks the Clippers. In other news, Juan Pierre looks forward to LA traffic. My advice- leave for your destination as early as possible.

YouTube Link: JacobSoboroff:

Don't Get Drewed Again

This is great. They have the LA perspective on the matter exactly right. You are not worthy!

"Drewed" is the new slang for "Screwed."

YouTube Link: xxlnational:

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Mastro Auctions

Mastro is about to close up on their most recent auction over the next few days. There are some remarkable items available; including the below original photograph of the pitching hand of Hall of Famer Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown. It's amazing he could throw a baseball, let alone be as dominating as he was. The Auction description says it all.
"A terrible accident with a corn shredder left seven-year-old Mordecai Brown with a stump for an index finger and two other misshapen digits. For some people, such a handicap would be an insurmountable obstacle; for Brown, it was the source of his strength and the catalyst for his amazing curveball. He learned how to use the severed finger to his advantage as a pitcher, applying an unusually high amount of spin that made his pitches nearly unhitable. And, as the record books show, "Three-Finger" Brown not only made it to the majors, he was actually a dominant force there, winning 239 games over 14 seasons and restricting his career ERA to an infinitesimal 2.06."
Of course, It wouldn't be right to highlight a major auction house without pointing out some great Dodger items. Below is a 1948 spring training news service photograph featuring a very young Roy Campanella with Jackie Robinson. This is from Campy's rookie year.
I can't get enough of seeing the Babe in a Dodger uniform. He just looks out of place without pinstripes. Below is the Babe posing with his wife and daughter.

Gagne Stung by the Boras Ethic

If I'm not mistaken Eric Gagne was paid $18,000,000.00 over the past two season. In that time, due to injuries, he pitched in a total of 16 games and earned 9 saves. The total number of innings pitched was 15.1. Then, sometime during last season, Gagne mentioned that he would give the Dodgers a hometown discount.

Through the LA Times we find out that the Dodgers offered a competitive offer to Gagne. Certainly not the low-ball deal I had seen previously in the $1,000,000.00 range. No... He was apparently offered upwards of $4,000,000.00 with incentives that could reach as high as $10,000,000.00 a year. That's pretty lofty considering the risk involved and the player agent we have to deal with.

I agree with the Dodger Junkie. If he doesn't take that, then let him walk.

In other news, the Mike Lieberthal signing is official. Also, Gonzo will be joining the Blue Crew. I guess those whimsical dreams of Manny in Blue are all for naught. On the other hand, according to the LA Times, we could see a deal for Vernon Wells. He has one year left on his contract and their GM likes Penny. Could Vernon be a one year rental while we groom our rookies for stardom?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More Indianapolis Clowns

Last month, I wrote about an eBay auction featuring a rare marketing postcard featuring the Ethiopian Clowns. They were one of the best barnstorming teams in the country. Several years later the Florida team moved to Indianapolis.

I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to purchase these 3 advertising photos featuring the Indianapolis Clowns earlier this year. As you can see, the top photo features owner Syd Pollack with future Hall of Fame Hank Aaron. Many of you may know that Hank Aaron started his professional career with the Indianapolis Clowns. Also featured is the acrobatic workings of "The Flying Nesbitts."
Above is a photo of chief funmaker "Birmingham Sam Brison." Below are photos of other members including Billy "Midget" Vaughn, Fred Battle and Tiny Walke.See my other Negro League memorabilia here:

In a Fast and Furious Week Schmidt Joins the Dodgers

I was chatting with our Research czar at work this morning about some database issues. Fortunately, it was a minor problem that required a change in my process and not a reworking of the programming. As I headed back to my desk I sat on my chair and heard a scream from right outside my door. One of our interns, Danny, who sits near me, was clenching his cell phone repeating what a friend had just IM'd him. (I'm constantly amazed how these kids IM to each all the time. Personnally, I don't have the patience. Heck, I don't even know how to use IM on my phone.)

"Jason Schmidt is a Dodger!"

I turned to Danny, pumped my fist like Saito after a game ending strike out and said, "that's the best news I've heard all day."

The Dodgers are now in the position to trade for power with pitching depth. Suddenly, everything appears to be coming into place.

Jon Weisman has more.

Rob McMillin added earlier today that Brad Penny and some prospects might be enough for Manny. With this signing this possibility appear more likely then ever before.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Thank You Saito

The Saito "pump" stays in LA.

Takashi Saito signed a 1 year contract today. I can't tell how happy I am to know he is coming back. He was a breath of fresh air. His smile and constant enthusiasm was an inspiration for the fans, and his stellar performance inspired the whole team. Thank you for a great year.

Photo Link: eTopps:

John Wright: The Forgotten Dodger Prospect

I figured that sooner or later I would take some time to scan some of my other collectibles. Including the above wirephoto of Negro League pitcher John "Needle Nose" Wright. Pictured in a Homestead Grays uniform, Wright also pitched for the Crawfords, Newark Eagles and Black Crackers.

He has an important place in Dodger history. John Wright was the 2nd African-American player to be signed by the Dodgers. In fact, I believe Wright and Jackie Robinson where signed on the same day. He went along with Jackie to Montreal to play for their minor league affiliate, the Royals. John pitched in 2 games, but I could not find any statistics about those games. He then left the team and returned to the Negro Leagues.

From my understanding, John Wright was not expected to be brought up to the "Bigs," although he was very good, by all accounts. (Update: John Wright won 18 and lost 5 in 1943 for the Grays.) Branch Rickey and other Dodger executives where worried about the impact the game, and its fans, would have on Jackie Robinson. Afterall, Jackie would have to face some pretty crazy things, and they felt it might be too much of a burden for one man to carry. It was hoped that John Wright could help shield Jackie, or at least be able to carry some of the burden.

At the end of the day, John decided to go home and Jackie ended up being more than capable in handling the constant taunts and derisive comments.

UPDATE: Here is an excellent article about John Wright's time with the Dodgers, via Ryan Whirty at Baseball America.  He has far more information that what I was able to gather.  Go here to check out that article.
The above photo features 3 players from the New York Cubans Baseball team. It was taken in 1950 and features New York Central Park in the background. The back of the photo states that the players are Rene Gonzales, Carlos Blanco and Carlos Colas, but I am not so sure. Carlos Colas was much older and did not play for the Cubans in 1950. Carlos Blanco is a member of the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame and resembles the man in the center, but it's hard to say if it really is him. Rene Gonzales, though, appears to be the gentleman on the right. He was 6'2" and played in the Negro Leagues, and for the NY Cubans, in 1950.

Even without knowing exactly who is pictured it is still a rare and important Baseball item. Negro League cards, photos and memorabilia are scarce and highly sought after.

Please fell free to check out some of the other Negro League items I downloaded here:

Monday, December 04, 2006

Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game

Major League Baseball announced today that they will have a Baseball Civil Rights Game the day before the start of the season to celebrate the nation's civil rights movement. The St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians will play on March 31, 2007 in Memphis, TN. The National Civil Rights Museum, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Negro League Museum and other local Memphis charities will receive donations from Major League Baseball and proceeds from the game. 2007 is the 60th anniversary of the integration of Baseball- the year Jackie Robinson played his first game in Blue.

I wonder, after first reading the story, why the Dodgers where not asked to play in the game instead of St. Louis. Afterall, the Indians and Dodgers where the first teams to integrate in their respective leagues. So naturally, having them play each other in this historic game would be a perfect fit. On top of that, the Dodgers are on the road for opening day in Milwaukee so travel issues could not possibly be a reason.

I guess "winning it all" takes precedence over history.

Hunt Internet Auction

One of my favorite Auction Houses is Hunt Auctions out of Pennsylvania. They are one of the premier houses in the country for sports related memorabilia. In fact, they handled the Roy Campanella estate sale a few years ago, Joe DiMaggio Estate sale earlier this year and am currently in the midst of the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory Sale right now. Recently, Hunt Auctions completed a regular internet/phone only auction last week and I was fortunate enough to have won a couple of items.

Below is a original watercolor painting of Hall of Famer Hugh Jennings doing his famous hop while no doubt chanting "Ee-Yah." This painting was used to produce Helmar potato chips trading cards released in 2005. If you haven't seen these cards you should go check them out. They are the size of old tobacco cards and printed on thicker stock. The cards are colorful and reminds fans of the golden age of Baseball. I believe that they are the best looking cards made over the past 10 years.
Another item on my win list is this c. 1940 wire photo of Baseball great Honus Wagner. It was taken by former AP photographer Danny Jacino. (A bit of Dodger history: Jacino once accused Dodger infielder Tom Brown of punching him during a game in 1948. Apparently a melee erupted as Jacino jumped into the Dodger dugout after some choice words between the two.) It is stamped by the AP on the back and signed in the front by the photographer. The above wire photo reminds me about a reference guide/book I recently purchased from Mastro Auctions. It is called "A Portrait of Baseball Photography." It is a must have for anyone interested in collecting vintage photographs/ wire photos. This part of the hobby has slowly increased in popularity over the past several years and, sooner or later, the need to categorize the different type of photos available becomes paramount. The above wire photo is most likely a type 1 photo, the most desirable to collectors, since it appears to have been printed from the original negative within a couple of years of its creation. The photograph has yet to arrive to confirm this, but the description of the stamping on the reverse points in that direction. Either way it was an affordable buy, especially considering that a Baseball card by "The Flying Dutchman" in this condition and age would easily cost me double or triple (or more, much more) of what I paid for this picture. By the way, the final hammer price on the Wagner was $60.00. It was a great deal.

Anyway, later on, I will go into some detail about wire photos and the main categories that exist for classifying a photos vintage state.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Manny in Blue?

Lately, there has been alot of talk about bringing Manny Ramirez to Los Angeles. Afterall, the Dodgers are one of a few teams that have the prospects that can appease the Red Sox. On the otherhand, do we really want to trade our Blue chip players?

Anyway, Protrade ask its researchers about the possibility of Manny being moved. Check it out here.

My favorite comment is in haiku form from Ryan Wilkins:
Sands through hourglass
Like balls through Manny's feet, glove
Worth the effort, stress?

Hat Tip: Baseball Musings:

Thursday, November 30, 2006

2 Dodgers Named to the 48th Annual Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team

Topps recently announced their 48th Annual Rookie All Star Team members. Both outfielder Andre Ethier and catcher Russell Martin are included. Below is a complete list of the winners.

1B Prince Fielder, Milwaukee (157 games, 28 HR, 81 RBI, .271)
2B Dan Uggla, Florida (154, 27, 90, .282)
3B Ryan Zimmerman, Washington (157, 20, 110, .287)
SS Hanley Ramirez, Florida (158, 17, 59, .292)
OF Melky Cabrera, New York (A.L.) (130, 7, 50, .280)
OF Andre Ethier, Los Angeles (N.L) (126, 11, 55, .308)
OF Nick Markakis, Baltimore (147, 16, 62, .291)

C Russell Martin, Los Angeles (N.L.) (121, 10, 65, .282)
RHP Justin Verlander, Detroit (186 IP, 17-9, 3.63, 124 K, 60 BB)
LHP Francisco Liriano, Minnesota (121 IP, 12-3, 2.16, 144k, 32BB)
I'm hoping this is the start of something beautiful. Remember when the Dodgers had a rookie contending for Rookie of the Year honors every year? Hopefully, this time around, we can celebrate a championship along with our stellar rookies.

Topps 2007 Baseball Card Design

Topps just released the design for their 2007 flagship Baseball card product. It is a black bordered set that is reminiscent of the 1971 Topps Set (see below).
One of the nice things I like about black bordered sets is that they naturally frame the players photos in an attractive way. Kind of like how mating a photo with a darker shade can make a picture look a hundred times better. On the negative side, oftentimes any amount of handling will cause the border to fade or scrape off. Of course, most of today's' cards are laminated and significantly more rigid than cards of old. So, I doubt this is a real problem nowadays.

The new Topps cards hit the stores in February 2007. It comes just in time for spring training, but weeks too late for Christmas.

Photo & Story Link: Topps:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hey Birthday Boy

How could I have missed this. Happy Birthday Vin!

Busy Week

Wow. Just when I thought I should take a breather during the holiday week the Dodgers get busy and get down to business.

Juan Pierre- Welcome to the Blue. Randy Wolf- Welcome home!

I don't really have anything negative to say about Juan Pierre. Considering how tight the free agent market is and the lack of high-powered outfielders available I am quite happy with his addition to the team. I think this creates a formidable 1,2 punch at the top of the order. I hope that Furcal continues as the lead-off man with Pierre and his high contact/ball in play abilities batting second.

Randy Wolf is local player who has decided to take less to play in front of his home crowd. His one year contract will probably be considered the best bargain this winter.

I'm starting to love Colletti's approach. Sign players who want to play in Los Angeles.

We now have the following players on the team who have professed their childhood love of the Dodgers:

Jeff Kent
Nomar Garciaparra
Randy Wolf

Is Mike Lieberthal next?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Welcome Home Nomar!

Nomar will be roaming the field in Dodger Blue the next two years. Who knows where he will play. Who knows how many games he will participate in. All I know is that he bleeds Blue.

Furthermore, I can't help but compare Nomar with former Dodger JD Drew. Both players are offensive contributors. They hit for average. They can hit the long ball. They both get on base at healthy clips. On the other hand, they couldn't be more different players.

In this day and age of rising salaries and free agents it's easy to see why loyalty and honor become secondary considerations. JD Drew is no exception. He came out West for a change of scenery. His family apparently enjoys it out here and Pasadena has provided a good home. He made numerous statements indicating that he would opt to honor his contract and stay in Blue. Afterall, we probably didn't get our full moneys worth due to injuries that sidelined him early on in his Dodger career. Unfortunately, the thin market and dollars floating across his eyes became too enticing.

Then, we have an LA native whose family roots for the Dodgers. He is a player who has never been accused of being soft. Nomar plays through injuries. By all accounts, he negotiated in good faith and implied that he had only one choice for future employment. Nomar has been a man of his word. Not only that, his bond with the team goes further than just his salary. Like I wrote previously, his parents root for the Dodgers. His cousins root for the Dodgers. His entire family roots for the Dodgers.

Coletti made a statement recently about only signing players who want to be a Dodger. I think Nomar is the perfect embodiment of that message. Welcome Home Nomar! I'm glad you decided to stay.

As for JD. Well... I got some choice words for you.

Generator Link: Warholizer:

Update: We find out from the LA Times that Nomar and Mia are expecting twins. Congratulations! I can't wait to see them jumping around on the field.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

No More March Vacations to Florida?

The above street post is located at Dodgertown, Vero Beach.

Year after year rumors of the Dodgers leaving the Floridian paradise for the Southwestern desert pop up. Year after year the Dodgers make the final determination to stay. But, as time passes, the likelihood of the Blue leaving its current Spring Training home becomes more real.
One of the most unique aspects of the Vero Beach facility, Dodgertown, is its small town feel. It's not a grand field. It's not some multi-million dollar stadium. There are no bells and whistles. Local seniors work the concession line. The players sit on wooden benches that reminded me of elementary school. The fences along the lines were waist high and made of plain wire mesh. You could literally reach out and shake a players hand. It was a big league version of a little league field.

Dodgertown has a certain charm that just does exist in the Major Leagues anymore. It harkens back to a time when ball players lived in the same neighborhoods as their fans.

Unfortunately, it appears the Dodgers are negotiating with the city of Glendale, Arizona and a deal may be done. This March may very well be the last chance to see historic Dodgertown.Update: Well, I guess we all have 2 more Spring Trainings to enjoy Florida in March

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday Rocks: Nellie McKay "Ding Dong"

YouTube Link:

Aramis Stays in the Windy City

Save a trade, Betemit will be our thirdbaseman.

The Cubs recently announced their re-signing of slugger Aramis Ramirez. He was the most talented and one of the more coveted potential free agents on the market. Now, with his departure, the Dodgers will most likely be looking to fill their offense gap by looking at the outfield.

Unfortunately, this year is looking like a pretty weak free agent class. I can now see the financial logic in Drew testing the market.

Look at what outfielders are left:
  • Alphonso Soriano
  • Carlos Lee
  • JD Drew
  • Gary Mathews, Jr.
  • Nomar Garciaparra
  • Aubry Huff
  • Juan Pierre
  • Moises Alou
  • Luis Gonzalez
  • Dave Roberts
  • Frank Catalanotto
  • Shannon Stewart
  • Kenny Lofton
  • Barry Bonds
Yup... Pretty weak. There will be too many teams chasing after too few quality players. JD Drew aint dumb, he's just not loyal.

In other news, the Tigers trade for Sheffield who will be their DH. The rumors about Bonds rejoining Leyland is all for naught.

eBay: Negro League Find: ETHIOPIAN CLOWNS

This rare postcard recently closed on eBay. It's a postally used promotional postcard sent to the manager of the All-Star Baseball Club of Aurora, Illinois. It was probably sent by Syd Pollock, the promoter for the Ethiopian Clowns, in hopes of booking future barnstorming engagements.

The clowns were said to be one of the most entertaining groups to watch. They wore costumes and clown makeup. Players would perform comedy skits, play shadowball and even perform acrobatics. But don't let that fool you. They could play ball too. In 1941 they won the Denver Post Tournament-
which was the national championship for teams outside of "organized baseball."
Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, who joined the team in 1952, is the most famous alumni of the team. This postcard is from 1939, just a year after Syd Pollock purchased the team.As a testament to the increasing popularity of the Negro Leagues and its' history this postcard sold for a cool $665.55.

eBay Selling Tips

London Business School recently completed a research study about eBay and its auction sale format. They came up with some basic tips to help you get higher bids. Check out the story about it here.

A synopsis:
  • Starting with a low opening bid is the root of creating "Auction Fever."

"It encourages lots of buyers to bid on the item initially and that makes other people think that it must be worth bidding on," explains Professor Gillian Ku, part of the team which undertook the research alongside colleagues at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois.

"Once those people have also started bidding on the item, they put time and effort into following it and the more emotionally invested they become, the more likely they are to spend above the limit they originally set themselves," she said.

This is part of a syndrome the report describes as "auction fever."

  • Choose longer auction periods.
The length of an auction is a powerful factor in influencing the final price, according to Ku. "Research in America has shown that the longer potential buyers have been following an item, the more committed they feel towards it and so the more they want it. That's perhaps a reason for considering a seven-day auction for your product, rather than three or five days."
  • The above suggestions work well with hard to find/uncommon items.
"For common commodities like mobile phones, people won't have the patience to wait around for the end of a long auction because another one will come along quicker elsewhere. But if a woman is interested in a particular style of Jimmy Choo shoes and there is only pair available in her size on eBay, then obviously she will be prepared to invest much more time in waiting and bidding for them," he said.
  • Know your target market.
"Women tend to surf the Internet between 6pm and 8pm, whereas there are more men online between 9pm and 11pm."
  • Write a descriptive and detailed headline to the auction.
"Research shows that 97 percent of people search on eBay based on the headings, rather than the main item description itself."
  • Poor spelling may provide a competitive advantage.
"Remember, also, that people often make spelling mistakes when they are entering the search terms so it might be worth putting common misspellings in your heading, too, for example Bakerlite as well as Bakelite."
  • Always have good pictures with the auction.
"Research suggests that if people see a picture of something, they already start to feel ownership of it."

Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily:

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Birthday United States Marine Corps!

Photo Link:

Wikipedia Link:

eBay Wins: Vintage Boxing Cards

Here are 2 vintage boxing cards I recently won on eBay. It is from the Philadelphia Caramel e79 set made in 1910. The above card with the green background is "The Right Way" to throw a punch, and the card below is "The Wrong Way" to throw a punch.
This is by far my favorite boxing set and the 2 cards here are my 2 favorite cards in the set.

Check out the link below for other recent boxing card acquisitions. Link Here:

Drew Opts for a Bigger Salary

Like everyone else I'm shocked, surprised and elated at the recently announced departure of JD Drew. I thought we would surely have him in Blue for the next 3 years.

Does this mean Soriano is in our sights?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"That Was Close!!!"

This is awesome. Below is a short, very short, film made by a true Dodger fan at heart.

I swear there was a tear in my eye when it was done.

YouTube Link: cfranco1:

Nomar to Wear Blue Next Year?

Some interesting developments occurred last night. Ramon Martinez was signed to a contract for next season and Nomar just might be in Colletti's sights.

Nomar Garciaparra is willing to play multiple positions next season. He can play 3rd base, the outfield and 1st base. If he could successfully become, as Jon Weisman notes on Dodger Thoughts, a "super-utility man," then he might provide a big boost to the team next year.

This is an interesting situation and, I imagine, it will be given a significant amount of consideration.

Is it me, or does Nomar just want to play for his hometown? Personally, I would be happy to see Nomar in Blue as long as it doesn't impede the progress of James Loney. Besides, I can't fault a guy for wanting to play for the Dodgers.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Voted

"Put on your shoes, son... Hey, where is your jacket?

I lift up my arm and point to my red hooded sweater with a series of color stripes across the breast. It was an 80'’s version of a 70'’s flashback. No doubt it was fashion at it worst. The sweater was crammed between the seat cushions of our family couch in the TV room.

"Go and put that on. It'’s chilly out there and we are going on a short walk."”

I quickly put on the sweater- first the left arm then the right. I had my "“Toughskins" blue jeans on. They still looked brand new. No matter how rough I played in them they would never fade. Sears had made kid proof pants.

I tied my sneakers and rolled up my socks to cover my calves. I was ready to go and experience the world.

My elementary school mind was still in its most formative stages. I smiled a lot. I laughed all the time. I had wonder in my eyes.

These were the days when it was still o.k. to hold Daddy'’s hand. Heck, these were the days you could still call your Dad- Daddy.

We walk down the block and turned the corner. My hand was clinched tightly to my fathers'’ palm. We walk a few more steps and head down a back alley. A couple of houses down I notice an open garage door. People are mulling about. To one side is a single line, and in the back are cardboard boxes standing straight up with little curtains.

I looked around from left to right. I remember not understanding what this was all about. Why did my father purposely want me with him? Where are we?

My father leans down and says to me, "“it'’s election day."

My love and reverence for voting was created on that day. I remember the look of the garage, the faces of the people, the smell of the cardboard and the sound of the hand crank puncher used to complete the paper ballots. I remember the look of pride on my fathers face and his frank (adult) discussion with me about how important this day is.

This morning I continued a tradition that was passed down from my father. It is a tradition passed down from generation to generation, from American to American. It is a duty that the founding fathers envisioned as the peoples true equalizer. It is our voice.

So, this morning I drove down to the Costa Mesa Historical Society building and gave my name. I was handed a code pass and voted on one of those new-fangled machines. It was easy and efficient. My worries about the potential for lost votes was eased by the paper receipt produced by the computer.

This morning I voted. I voted for my community. I voted for my state. I voted for my country. But, most of all, I voted for my Father.

"How to Vote"

YouTube Link:

Hat Tip: Laist:

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tuesday is Election Day!

Tomorrow Will Be A Great Day!

Go out and make your mark.

If you a’re not sure where your polling place is, call: 1-866-MYVOTE-1

If you run into any voting problems or irregularities contact the National Campaign for Fair Elections. They will have live operators and lawyers available to assist. Election Protection: 1-866-OUR-VOTE

Hat Tip: The Agonist:

Photo Link: University of Tennessee:

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Birthday! Viva Fernando!

Happy Birthday Fernando! You don't look a year over 40. In fact, I suspect you can still pitch today and lead a resurgent team into the playoffs. We'll call it the Fernandomania Revival Tour.

Viva Fernando!

Viva Valenzuela!

Hat Tip: 6-4-2:

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

High Hopes For the Dodgers

Stan McNeal thinks the Dodgers are hopeful contenders next year and a number one starter may put us over the top.
"Their mix of talented kids and established veterans may be better than the Braves', but the Dodgers don't have John Smoltz."
I'm crossing my fingers hoping that a number one pitcher will emerge. I might even settle for a reliable middle relief corp. That was definitely one of our most visible weaknesses last year. Overall, improving our pitching should pay us big dividends in '07.

Yahoo Sports Link:

My Free Agency Wish List

The most recent list of free agency available players is pretty large and includes a handful of notable names. Check out the list here. If I were to chose which players I wouldn't mind seeing in Blue they would be:
  • David Riske- we need some relief help
  • Jamie Walker- more relief help
  • Octavio Dotel- a dark horse candidate for comeback player of the year and more relief help
  • Carlos Lee- but there may not be any room for him
  • Vicente Padilla- I think that he is more than a capable starter
  • Ted Lilly- Another middle of the road starter who could do wonders for us
  • Miguel Batista- I've always liked him as a starter
  • Kerry Wood- but only at a reasonable price since injury is always a possibility
  • Dave Weathers- an old pro reliever with a wealth of experience
  • Wade Miller- another potential injury in the making, but someone I would be willing to take a flyer on
  • Joe Borowski- are you seeing a trend. I think pitching, especially relief, will be key next year
  • Guillermo Mota- bring the tall man home
  • Orlando Hernandez- I love this Cuban hurler
  • Moises Alou- this guy can hit
  • Jason Schmidt- this guy can pitch
  • Alfonso Soriano- this guy can do it all, except defense. Is there room for him if Either and Kemp stay on?
Anyway, this is my list so far.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hu's on First

So... I'm checking out YouTube to see if I can find any new Dodger videos and come across this snippet from a game featuring one of the Dodgers more vaulted prospects, Chin-Lung Hu. Hu is on the basepaths and the announcer follows-up with a obvious, yet regrettable, comment.
Hu's on First!
What does he think he is- a comedian!

YouTube Link:

Also, Hu has been writing an on-line journal about his travails through the Arizona Fall League. Check out his latest installment. Link Here:

Hat Tip: 6-4-2:

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Baseball fan grabs a ball in 454 games in a row

In all of my years of going to ball games with my glove in hand I have never gotten a foul ball. I've come close. Very close!

Once, I had gotten seats in the field area when I was in junior high. We where at the game early to see batting practice. I was walking to our seats with the afternoons meal in hand. Two large cokes, a couple of hot dogs and nachos filled my arms. As I got to my seat a foul ball came whistling right towards me. I had a choice to make. Do I drop my food and grab the liner heading right for my head, or do I duck and chase the ball after it slams the seat to my left. Well, I chose to duck. The ball hit the seat bottom and bounced 30 to 40 feet in the direction towards some other fans at the railings. Dammit! My best chance ever just flew by me. An old man a couple of rows behind me turned and said, "that was yours kid" I lifted my shoulders and shrugged. I figured another chance would happen some day. Today, it's been almost 20 years.

Now I see that this guy has gotten one in over 400 straight games. No fair! Here's the Link:

Hat Tip: Vintage Baseball Card Forum: Trae r:

Cardinals Stand Tall. Win World Series

Photo Link: Flickr:trisheroverton's:

The Cardinals take the crown and the Baseball world is awash in red. Unbelievably, Jeff Weaver goes 8 fantastic innings. He gave up just 4 hits and a 2-run homerun to Sean Casey. This guy has had more ups and downs in his career than Gary Stewart on a pogo stick. Check out some of the fan photos below from flickr. Click on the link to see their photo album.

Pujols and Son on Flickr: Guano:
Jeff Weaver and Dave Duncan on Flickr: fishcool:

Cardinal faithful at the parade on Flickr: phillipkast:

Post game celebration on flickr: Fredbird:

Thursday, October 26, 2006

A PSA from REA: "Buy the Card, Not the Holder"

Every once in awhile Robert Edwards Auctions sends out helpful information to the vintage card collector. This afternoon I received an important note that all vintage card collectors need to be weary of. Since it came in a email I will reprint the most important points here in entirety.

Every once in while (OK, more than once in a while),
REA likes to communicate about issues that we think
deserve attention but for some reason are receiving
little or no attention. There are several topics
that we would like to bring to the attention of
buyers today, in the hopes of educating buyers
and maybe saving someone money.

1) Practically every day we are seeing fake items.
Fake printed items. Posters that are actually
reproductions of vintage posters. Stand-up
cardboard counter displays that are not real.
Babe Ruth Candy wrappers that are not
real. Fans that picture baseball player portraits
that are reproductions. Photographs that appear
to be old but are not vintage. There is no limit
to what can be made with computers, especially
with printing equipment available today that is
very economical and which years ago did not
even exist. These items are being intentionally
made to fool people into parting with their
money for worthless items. These items are
being made to cheat buyers. Many of these items
are somehow reproduced from books and
auction catalogs, often enlarged from small
quality illustrations to their correct original
size. With computers these days, it is possible
for some criminals to produce very real- looking
reproductions and also to produce “fantasy
pieces” (defined as those items that are not
actually reproductions, as there is no
original, but are made to look old to fool
buyers). This is a BIG problem. These items are
offered to us practically every day, and they
are being offered to us by collectors who
themselves are victims. Most of the
sophisticated fake items of this type that we
have seen appear to have one thing in common:
They were purchased by sellers in the state of
Ohio. It is obvious to us that the individual(s)
resp onsible for most or all of these
imaginative quality fakes is located in
the state of Ohio, though these items are now
circulating throughout the country. It is easy
for us to tell in almost all cases whether an
item is real or not, often just from a scan.
We understand from experience that not
everyone can, including the numerous victims who
have sent us these recently produced fake items
which at a glance appear to be vintage items.
If you think that you have purchased a fake
item of this type and would like our opinion,
we will be happy to be of assistance. Please
write and/or send scans.

2) In recent weeks we have received a number of
consignments of graded cards that has motivated us
to adopt a formal policy regarding altered
professionally graded cards that we have not
previously seen a need to articulate. The
altering of cards is so widespread, and “card
doctors” so brazen, that REA has actually been
receiving cards submitted for auction to us that
are the very same cards that have been sold by
REA previously – in some cases
just months earlier – and which, since purchase,
have been significantly altered, reholdered, and now
grade higher according to the grading label. In some
cases a given card has changed hands and the new
consignor was not even aware it was a seriously
altered card. It is our policy that when we are
aware of such a problem, and we ARE looking, we
will be happy to auction the card in question -
but insist on providing all information
describing the alterations which have occurred
to the card of which we are certain. So far,
the potential consignors of such cards have
elected to have these cards returned rather
than have a proper description provided by
REA. Last week we returned a $10,000
card. The consignor couldn’t believe it was the
same card that we had just sold (in a lower grade
and looking quite different) in a previous auction.
Only after being provided with images of the card
as it appeared when we previously sold it was
the consignor finally convinced.

We’re not guessing here. We are talking about
cards that we know for a fact are problems.
The fact that we have to address situations
such as this at all suggests
a greater underlying problem than is generally
recognized. And while it is bad enough that the
altering of cards is an epidemic, it is
particularly disturbing that some of the most
sophisticated “work” on cards (including the
previously mentioned $10,000 card) has actually
been executed by employees of auction
houses that also deal in cards. We have to ask
ourselves “What is going on here?” Turning a
blind eye to this issue, in our opinion, has
far greater and more significant negative
potential consequences than our calling
attention to it and promoting discussion. We
all know that there is a subjectivity to grading
and that sometimes there is an honest difference
of opinion regarding a grade, or sometimes even
an honest mistake. We’re not talking about
honest mistakes here. Active and sophisticated
collectors, dealers, and auction houses know
that this is a problem. They just don’t talk
about it, except among themselves. In the end,
the collector loses. We want to be clear that we
think the major grading services do a valiant
job and we can’t imagine what the landscape of
the marketplace would look like without them.
That doesn’t mean there are no problems. At
the end of the day, we have this advice: “Buy
the card, not the holder.”

Friday, October 20, 2006

Fall Classic: Tigers vs. Cardinals

Congratulations to the Tigers, Cardinals and their fans. I think this should be a great series.

The last time they met in 1968 the Tigers took home the crown in 7 games. Mickey Lolich, who won 3 games, and Denny McLain led the Tigers to victory. Al Kaline finally won his ring.

New Babe Ruth Rookie Discovered

Via Sports Collectors Daily we find out about a new Babe Ruth discovery. The above picture is of a 4.5 x 6.5 inch team card of the 1914 Baltimore Orioles of the International League- Ruth's minor league team and first year in profession Baseball. It was produced by Baltimore News and is probably one of a kind. (or, at least, other examples have not survived the test of time)
In the newly discovered team photo card, Ruth appears standing in the upper left of the back row. Also included among the players shown are Ernie Shore and Ben Egan, who along with Ruth, on July 10, 1914 were sold to the Boston Red Sox by Baltimore Orioles' owner Jack Dunn for a reported $25,000. When the Federal League established a major league team in Baltimore in 1914, directly across the street from the minor league Orioles, the competition hurt Orioles' attendance significantly. Some games drew as few as fifty fans in the stands. To avoid bankruptcy, Dunn was forced to sell his best players to Red Sox owner Joseph Lannin.

Also included in the find is the above 1914 Baltimore News Baseball card of Babe Ruth. This is one of only 10 cards known to exist and is very rare. In fact, if a mint example where ever found it might sell for more than the T206 Honus Wagner.

Hat Tip: James Feagin: Vintage Baseball Card Forum:

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My Only Regret is that I Don't Play Golf

So, this past Thursday a bunch of guys from my office took the afternoon off to play some golf. It was for a charitable event that the Director of the company I work for help start and put together. The charity is called New Directions for Women. It is a non-profit drug and alcohol treatment provider for women, pregnant women and women with children. It's a great cause that seeks to address an important need.

Anyway, I don't golf at all. In fact, my swing is so bad I should just take a Baseball bat with me to hit those little balls instead of a driver. So, I opted to not participate on that afternoon. I would soon regret that decision.

Mr. Jim Campanis, former Dodger farmhand and son of Al Campanis, the former Dodger GM was on hand that afternoon.

Just my luck, right?

He retold stories of his time in Baseball and the Dodgers. More importantly, he was wearing his 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers World Series ring. In fact, he let a bunch of folks wear his ring. Below is Jim, my boss, wearing the ring with Mr. Campanis by his side (on the right). The interns from my office also had a chance to put on the gold and diamond clad beauty.

At the same time I was in the office working. What kind of idiot am I!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Dodgers: 1940's-1950's Baseball Player Pendants

As I promised earlier, below are the 3 Dodger players I received in the lot of 1940's-1950's Baseball Player Pendants I received. These are very small, measuring approx. 1/2 inch by 3/4 inch. Below is Hall of Famer Pee Wee Reese.Below is Carl Furillo.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Please Help Me Identify These Players

I recently won an auction of a small collection of 1940-1950's Baseball Player Pendants at Hunt Auctions. There were 11 different pendants in the lot. I also got an extra Jackie Robinson pendant. I'll post the Dodger pendants I received at a later point. Right now, my focus is to determine who the other players are. Please help out if you can.
1: I think the above pic is Whitey Ford, but I'm not sure.
2: I think this is Whitey Lockman. Anyone know for sure?
3: I'm almost sure this is Phil Rizzuto.
4: I have no clue who this is!
5: Is this Richie Ashburn?

Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Update: Well, I posed the same question over at the Vintage Baseball Card Forum and received some good feedback. #5 is Ralph Kiner, #4 is Andy Pafko, #3 is Phil Rizzuto. #1 & #2 are still up in the air.

Who Do You Think is Going to Win?: Win Tickets from Inside the Dodgers Blog

One of the greatest new developments this year was the unveiling of the official Dodgers Blog: Inside the Dodgers. I can't tell you how informative their site is. The line-ups before the game and the clubhouse stories behind the scenes have been a joy to read. Thank you for your hard work.

Also, thank you for running this contest. You can now win 4 baseline seats to a Dodger game next season. All you have to do is pick the winners in the League Championship and World Series. You also have to determine how many games it will take.
So here's another chance to earn some more of those prime seats. Pick the winner of both League Championship Series and the World Series, as well as how many games it'll take each team to win. You've got until the end of the day on Thursday for your guesses, which gives people a little time to see how it starts, but the bold ones will put their predictions before they can see how it starts.
Check out the post here and enter in your picks. You have until the end of the day today.

This is my prediction:

League Championship Series:
Detroit in 4
Cardinals in 6

World Series:
Detroit in 5

Let's Go Tigers! Here We Go!

eBay Pick-Up: 1962 Topps Venezuelan Babe Ruth Coaching the Dodgers

Did you know that the "Sultan of Swat" once coached for the Dodgers? This past weekend I picked up a recent eBay win. It's a 1962 Topps Venezuelan card of "The Babe" coaching for the Dodgers during the 1938 Baseball season. These particular cards are very rare. Venezuelan issues are very difficult to come by in any condition, let alone a condition that does not include glue residue on the back. Venezuelan card collectors almost exclusively glued all of their cards into scrapbooks.

Wikipedia provides a brief synopsis of Ruth's Dodger career:
Retirement was often unsettling for Ruth. He had more than enough money, but he missed the game. He spent much time on the golf course, dabbled in a few other things, but his heart was set on managing a big league club. He would never be given the chance. The closest Ruth ever came to managing was when Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Larry MacPhail offered him a first base coaching job in June 1938. The Dodgers attendance was lagging, and MacPhail hired Ruth for the sole purpose of getting people to the ballpark. Ruth took the job, perhaps thinking he would have a chance to manage the Dodgers in the future, but MacPhail had clearly stated to Ruth that Leo Durocher was being groomed to take over the managerial reigns of the Dodgers for next season. Ruth never got along with Durocher, and he quit at the end of the season. The coaching position was the last time Ruth would have a job in major league baseball.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cory Lidle: RIP

March 22, 1972 - October 11, 2006

Cory started his career in 1997 and eventually played for 7 different teams. For his career he was 82-72 with 11 career complete games and 5 shutouts. He has a career ERA of 4.57 with 838 strike outs. He is survived by his wife Melanie Varela and son, Christopher.

Career Links: Wikipedia:
Fox Sports: