Sunday, April 30, 2006

Emotionally Drained

Oh My.

I feel like my bike that held up great for most of my ride through the mountains. That was before a fateful event occurred. Right when the sun was going down and my car in sight, I crashed with a thud. I had hit a bump on the road and landed on my backside. Ouch! That hurt.

This afternoons game was just like that ride. All day I enjoyed the tempo of the game as Derek Lowe went 6 innings, and allowed only 2 hits. He has been good all season, we'll forget about opening day. That was an anomaly. Osoria pitched a masterful 2 innings. Everything was good in the world.

Then, lightening strikes. The ninth inning. An unlikely event comes at you out of nowhere, and you are soon groaning in pain on the ground. You wonder what happened. An perfect storm consisting of a road hazard, a bike chain dislodged from its crank and my own misfortune leads to a harrowing event. Man, my bum hurts! Carter comes in and continues to throw poorly. A landslide turns into a avalanche. Soon, Baez proves he's human giving up the tying run in the ninth after 2 walks. One to pitcher Trevor Hoffman. Ouch! We lose in the tenth and stumble back home a little embarrassed and as worn out as that bike after the crash.

After my ride I knew I had two choices. I could lie in pain rubbing my knees as blood and dirt cover my legs. Or, I can get up, wipe my legs, pick up my bike, re-hook the chain and ride the remaining way to the car. I choose the latter. Afterall, as the saying goes, its how you land that's important. Its always best to land with two feet firmly on the ground with a ready hop, skip and a jump in your heals. Chalk it up to a painful memory and trudge along standing straight up.

The Dodgers go to Arizona to close out this roadtrip with two games. They then go home for a homestand with the Padres and Brewers. Its still early and we have plenty of time to fix whatever kinks remain. Lets hope that the Dodgers choose the latter option and stand straight up.

1st Great Dodger Moment of 2006: Nomar's Grand Slam!

He muscles it!

Robert Edward Auctions

Well I didn't win the exact item I wanted, but I'm happy with my win. I got the 28 item lot of Nineteenth-Century Generic Baseball Items. There are some great scorecards and other rare vintage items. Including a

1884 first edition of Our Base Ball Club and How It Won the Championship by Noah Brooks. This book, published by E. P. Dutton and Company, New York, is believed to be the first novel ever published in which the plot revolves entirely around the sport of baseball.

I can't wait to read this. Lately, I've been very interested in the history of baseball, and a early work of fiction would be a fun read.

I cannot believe the 19th Century Baseball Trade Cards sold for $9,500.00. Lot #717. That averages to $40.25 a card! Many of those cards are very rare; especially the Tobins and Sporting Life cards, but many of the cards are also considered commons. Of course, they are almost impossible to find these days so I may be the loser on this one. Even at this moment I'm regretting my decision not to go for it. The smaller lot of 148 cards, #718, ended up at $3,500.00. It was hampered by trimming issues and lesser cards, but still ended up over $23.00 a card. Amazing!

Other notables include $16,000.00 for the Toleteros "Black Wagner" Josh Gibson. $70,000.00 for the Josh Gibson autographed RPPC. $85,000.00 for the Ruth/Gehrig signed baseball. $130,000.00 for the Ruth Baltimore News card. $100,000.00 for the Joe Jackson T210 Old Mill. $220,000.00 for the T206 complete set. High graded T206 commons sold for astronomical values. This market is on fire.

Let's Sweep!!!

Derek Lowe vs. Chan Ho Park. New vs. Old Dodgers. LA vs. San Diego. Time to show the Pads who rules in the region. No matter how much the Padres try to look like the Dodgers it will not work. The mighty Dodger Blue in the sky knows the difference. You can't fool him by signing Dave Roberts, Mike Piazza, Eric Young and Chan Ho Park. They don't wear Blue anymore. Sure, we still love them, and I bless their future careers, but they can't beat the Blue!!!!

The Efficient Tomko

Brett Tomko is proving to be a very wise signing. Who knew he would easily replace Mr Grumpy on the mound. So far, he has outpitched Jeff Weaver, having gone 3-1, with a 4.20 ERA. Weaver is 1-3 with a horrible 7.48 ERA. Tomko has been sharp and reliable. Weaver has been wild and terrible. Tomko went seven innings yesterday while giving up 2 runs, on 5 hits and no walks. One run was as a result of a freak play- a bloop single between short and left field. It should have been caught.

Overall, Tomko, a highly respected artist (Really! This guy shows his paintings in galleries), seems to have founds his grove this season. He has gone at least 6 innings his past 3 games, and has a walk to strike out ratio of 6-16. I think we have a solid middle of the rotation starter. He makes $3.6 million this year, and is starting to look like a bargain.

Jeff Weaver at $8.5 million is looking like a major bust. He has been utterly terrible. In has last game, against Chicago, he got ripped for 8 runs in 2.1 innings. He has given up at least 4 runs in each of his past 5 starts. The league is batting .316 against him.

What strikes me as even more remarkable, though, is that throughout their careers, Tomko has been better than Jeff Weaver- if not just as good. Look at the stats.

Tomko came into the league with the Cincinnati Reds in 1997 as a starter. He has gone 84-74 with a overall ERA of 4.51. His WHIP average is 1.36, and he strikes out 2 batters for every walk he gives up. Additionally, he has given his team nearly 200 innings a season the past 4 years.

Weaver joined the Tigers in 1999 and has gone 79-90 in that time. Sure Detroit was pretty bad then, but he has no excuses for his bad play in New York. As we all know he was booed out of there louder than Barry Bonds at Dodger Stadium. His lifetime ERA is 4.49, with a WHIP average of 1.32. He does get more strike outs as he gets 2.5 strike outs for every walk. Additionally, he has given up less walks in his career, only 388 to Tomko's 470, despite having pitched almost the same amount of innings.

Incredibly, though, Tomko appears like the better pitcher. Albeit, slightly better. Heck, they are almost identical. They seem to be the exact same pitcher. And for $4.9 million less, Tomko appears to be a diamond in the rough. Coletti is starting to look like a genius.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Steve Howe RIP

Today, we all woke up either knowing or hearing that the enigmatic Steve Howe died in a car crash yesterday. He was a player both loved and respected, but he also was ripped and scorned throughout his career. His life and baseball career was cut short and destroyed by the ravages of addiction. Numerous times he was suspended for cocaine use. Substance abuse became the curve ball he could neither pitch or control throughout his life. I wish to extend my condolences to his family and friends. And I am hopeful that in light of this tragedy, we can all take a step back and remember how great he was on the mound, while at the same time encourage our own friends and family to seek help when they need it. RIP

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

2004 In Review-Reliving the Past

This is really good. The 2004 Dodgers season in review. Check it out!!

Get this video and more at

Gone Scan Crazy

So I went a little crazy this afternoon and started scanning some cards during my lunch break. Check out one of my favorite photos/ autograph. It's a picture of Hinky Haines and Babe Ruth, with Hinky signing it at the bottom. What makes this remarkable is Hinky Haines. Who was he? He is the only athlete to have played for both the World Series Champions New York Yankees in 1923 and the NFL Champion New York Giants in 1927.

I've also scanned cards from the 1947 Tip top Bread set, 1966 Topps Venezuelan set, Mayo Comic Cards and Mayo Game Cards. All 4 are difficult to complete and will probably take me years to finish.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

1887 N28 World Champions Billiards Cards

I just came back from the post office after receiving a notice that I had a special delivery waiting for me at their lock-up. The postman came back from the rear of the building clutching a white box. Inside there was 8 cards from the Allen & Ginter tabacco card set produced in 1887 called N28 World Champions. There are 50 cards in the set with 8 of them being billiards players. Other sports include baseball, boxing, wrestlers, gun shooters and oarsmen. These 8 cards complete my non-baseball N28 set. Now its time to find a great deal on the ball players to complete the full set. Only 7 cards to go!

Check out my photo album to see my set. Only the billiards cards are up, but I will add to that list over the next several weeks.

Blue Heaven on Earth

Saint Tommy preaching to his flock.
Referring to God as the "big Dodger in the sky" and Dodgers Stadium as "blue heaven on earth," Lasorda, whose talk closed out the 1998-99 edition of the Distinguished Speakers Series, said his epitaph will read "Dodgers stadium was his address but every ballpark was his home."

... "Loyalty is an amazing thing," he added. "I love the Dodgers and I want to die a Dodger."
Back in my youth, when days where filled with fun and irresponsibility, I had an opportunity to hear Tommy Lasorda give an inspirational speech to employees at my Fathers work. My Dad was an engineer with Flour Daniel. Pops jumped an the chance to let his young son listen to the patriarch of the Dodgers. The Dean of the Blue Diamond. And I welcomed the opportunity to listen to his kind words. I remember being so excited about being there.

It was some time ago, the exact time period or date escapes me, so its hard to remember exactly the body of his speech. But rest assured, it was probably much like the speech described at the Distinguished Speaker Series detailed above. I left the evening with a smile on my face, a signature in my hand and a strange sense that Tommy was talking right to me. I'm sure he said, "we must believe we can achieve whatever we want, but we can only achieve our dreams through the avenue of hard work."

Monday, April 24, 2006


Wooo Hooo!!!! Nooo Maaaahhhhhh!!!

Turning on that fastball like a rabbit being chased by a dog. Nomar killed a Lidge offering to left centerfield. Grand Slam! It landed with a thud after a fan, at least 50 feet above the ground on a walkway overlooking the field from the outfield, couldn't catch the ball that was waist high and just over the railing. What a schmuck! It was right to him!

His lady friend screeched in both horror and delight, as she flailed her arms in the air in some kind of frenzied manic dance. I'm sure she said some thing like, "Oh my God. It was right to ya!" Or she screamed. "AAAAHHHHH!!!!!!"

Either way, the guy's still a schmuck.

New Photos Added

I just added a photo album to the site and included photographs from my vacations to Spring Training in Florida. I had spent parts of March 2004 and 2005 near Vero Beach. I'll add more pics as time goes by.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Dodgers Win!!

Dodgers hold on for the win. 6-4. Tomko had a shaky start, but ended up righting the ship in time to preserve the win. I can't say enough about JD Drew. He's having a great year so far. His swing and timing are perfectly in tune. We are on that march up the mountain.

On to other good news. I opened my mail today and found some eBay goodies. Mostly some of those autographed baseball cards, but there was one gem. Hidden within two pieces of stiff cardboard was a 6x9 inch large postcard of Gil Hodges Lanes in Brooklyn, New York. A luxurious palace with 48 Brunswick Gold Crown Lanes. On the back it's called the "Night Club of Bowling Alleys."

Wow! That reminds of my childhood. Hanging out with Pops at the weekly bowling tournament. I'd gleefully watch as middle aged men, many with tires around their bellies larger than today's Hummers, would gracefully float that round rock down the lanes. In all that ugliness there was plenty of beauty. Its funny when you think about it.

It also reminds me of that fateful night on Ocober 16, 1985. I was with my dad at a bowling alley watching the game as my Dad rolled his frames. It was one of my saddest Dodger moments. Tom Niedenfuer against Jack Clark at Dodger Stadium. Two on- 2nd and 3rd. Dodgers up by one over the Cards. 5-4. Its the top of he ninth and a Dodger win would even the NLCS to three games a piece. As fate would have it, the man, I would continue to hate even as he became batting coach for the Dodgers later on in his career, hit a impactful 3-run homer. And you know what made it worse? Jack Clark hit the first pitch into the stands. Like he knew it was coming. My heart sank and the Dodgers ride was over. Cardinal win the series four game to two. I still tear up when I think about it.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Rally!!! Rally!!!

Here we are again. Bottom of the 6th with Ledee on 2nd after a RBI blop double to centerfield. Three different bodies went after it, but they crashed into a might heap! 5-4. Dodgers are on the verge of coming back. New pitcher up to face Furcal.

Man... I love Baseball. No better time of year!!

T5 Pinkerton

I thought I would share a recent purchase. This is a T5 Pinkerton Cabinet card of Hall of Famer Chief Bender. This was made in the 1900's. Its in pretty rough shape, but is one of my fvorite cards.

Charles Albert Bender was born in 1884 in Crow Wing County, Minnesota. He was 18 years old when he played his first game on April 20, 1903 for the Philadelphia Athletics. A team he would spend most of his career with. We just passed his 103rd anniversary in the big leagues.

Bender appeared in 5 World Series Championships. Three of those teams brought home the title. Chas Bender was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1953.

Jay- Dee-Drew Jay-Dee-Drew

Dodgers win 6-3 on the back of "please stay healthy" JD Drew. A leadoff homer and bloop two run single spark a strong showing by the Dodgers. Odalis said, "You know, if he's healthy, he's going to hit." You betcha big man. Perez is now 3-0 and Saito has shown himself to be a experienced relief pitcher capable of completing any job handed to him. Saito may end up being the difference this year for the backup staff. All I can say is lets see it again tonight.

Nomar will get the start tonight as Loney heads to AAA Las Vegas. This is probably the most important time in Loney's career. He can use this recent opportunity to start at firstbase as a learning tool. He ends up hitting a respectable .225 with excellent defense. Now, I know. "Respectable?" Yes. Although he didn't wow us with 350 ft homeruns, he did show us he is capable of doing much better. I think he has the smarts and skills to use this learning experience as a tool to success. I look forward to him plugging up firstbase in the future.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Robert Edwards Auction

I'm really excited about this one. Some incredible stuff here. From the Toleteros Joshua Gibson "Black Wagner" to the large collections of 19th century Baseball trade cards. I forgot to mention that I love those old 19th century Victorian baseball themed trade cards. They have great old images that express the early innocence of the game and the perceived rough-house nature of the game. Let me share a couple from my photo archives.

While Tak'n a Break

Its the 3rd inning, DBacks are at bat with one man on 1st...
So I figured i'd take this break to mention my Baseball Collecting Passion. As you'll soon find out I am a rabid Dodger memorabilia and Baseball card collector. I stroll throughout the web looking for little diamonds to add to my collection. I even go outside from time to time to visit card shows. I usually look for items featuring Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella. I'll also search for any pre-80's Dodgers oddball baseball card. Like Bell Brand Sets or individual cards from the Red Man or Stahl Meyer. Press photos, pins and mini penants also find room in all the madness. I also am working on completing numerous different vintage card sets. From the 1952 Topps set to the 1947 Tip Top Bread Baseball set. Lately, I've fallen in love with modern certified autographed insert cards. I know. These modern cards, all shiny and glowing, are worthless. But, Damn! They do look cool autographed. Not only that. There are plenty to chose from. So.. I don't care what anyone thinks. Anyway, I consider myself to be a vintage card collector and will buy almost anything at the right price. Every since eBay, it has become easier finding a way to fulfill my passion.

Karma Baby!!! Karma Baby!!!

The Start of Something New!!!

OK.. so i'm sitting here at the office think'n... ya know, I should make a blog... but about what? I ask myself... Well... I love the Dodgers ... and Baseball... and i'm a fanatical collector of everything Dodgers.. so... why not mix the two... I should express my insane thoughts about the Dodgers and their chances for greatness this year with my passion for buying anything Dodgers... am I sick or twisted or what?????