Thursday, August 31, 2006

5 Baby 5!

We got 5 in a row. Just another winning streak on the road to October. We hit homeruns, got great pitching and with September 1st around the corner we will get more help as the major league rosters expand.

Matt Kemp will be coming back. Hamulack, sent down last night for Kuo, was probably just in the clubhouse last night and will make an appearance in the bullpen tomorrow. James Loney will be here soon. I expect to see Adam LaRoche in Blue in September. Delwyn Young may make an appearance. There are so many players to look forward to. Pay close attention- you will be staring at our future.

Photo Link:

eBay Find: Lincoln and his Generals

Above is a great historical item recently auctioned on eBay. It is a photo card of President Abraham Lincoln and his Generals from the Civil War. This is a rare item from a very trusted and reliable sports collectibles dealer from San Diego.

Now, you might be asking, what does this card have to do with Baseball? My answer would be not very much. I just like the piece.

Although... I could rightly argue that Baseball owes its popularity in this country as America's pastime to the Civil War. Afterall, Baseball spread from state to state as soldiers marched from town to town. During their "down times" soldiers would get together and play ball. Baseball soon spread across the country like a wildfire in the Angeles Forest during a hot summer season.

If I May: A Brief Political Speech

Last night Keith Olbermann gave a speech in retort to Don Rumsfeld's speech demonizing political opponents of their war. It was riveting and on the ball. This is a must see.


YouTube Link:

Hat Tip to Crooks & Liars:

Transcript, courtesy of DailyKos is below:

The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Mr. Rumsfeld's remarkable speech to the American Legion yesterday demands the deep analysis--and the sober contemplation--of every American.

For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence -- indeed, the loyalty -- of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land. Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants -- our employees -- with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration's track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life's blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as "his" troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

In a small irony, however, Mr. Rumsfeld's speechwriter was adroit in invoking the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis. For in their time, there was another government faced with true peril--with a growing evil--powerful and remorseless.

That government, like Mr. Rumsfeld's, had a monopoly on all the facts. It, too, had the "secret information." It alone had the true picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in terms like Mr. Rumsfeld's -- questioning their intellect and their morality.

That government was England's, in the 1930's.

It knew Hitler posed no true threat to Europe, let alone England.

It knew Germany was not re-arming, in violation of all treaties and accords.

It knew that the hard evidence it received, which contradicted its own policies, its own conclusions -- its own omniscience -- needed to be dismissed.

The English government of Neville Chamberlain already knew the truth.

Most relevant of all -- it "knew" that its staunchest critics needed to be marginalized and isolated. In fact, it portrayed the foremost of them as a blood-thirsty war-monger who was, if not truly senile, at best morally or intellectually confused.

That critic's name was Winston Churchill.

Sadly, we have no Winston Churchills evident among us this evening. We have only Donald Rumsfelds, demonizing disagreement, the way Neville Chamberlain demonized Winston Churchill.

History -- and 163 million pounds of Luftwaffe bombs over England -- have taught us that all Mr. Chamberlain had was his certainty -- and his own confusion. A confusion that suggested that the office can not only make the man, but that the office can also make the facts.

Thus, did Mr. Rumsfeld make an apt historical analogy.

Excepting the fact, that he has the battery plugged in backwards.

His government, absolute -- and exclusive -- in its knowledge, is not the modern version of the one which stood up to the Nazis.

It is the modern version of the government of Neville Chamberlain.

But back to today's Omniscient ones.

That, about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused is simply this: This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely.

And, as such, all voices count -- not just his.

Had he or his president perhaps proven any of their prior claims of omniscience -- about Osama Bin Laden's plans five years ago, about Saddam Hussein's weapons four years ago, about Hurricane Katrina's impact one year ago -- we all might be able to swallow hard, and accept their "omniscience" as a bearable, even useful recipe, of fact, plus ego.

But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own arrogance, and its own hubris.

Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to Katrina, to the entire "Fog of Fear" which continues to envelop this nation, he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies have -- inadvertently or intentionally -- profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.

And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the Emporer's New Clothes?

In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised? As a child, of whose heroism did he read? On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day to fight? With what country has he confused the United States of America?

The confusion we -- as its citizens-- must now address, is stark and forbidding.

But variations of it have faced our forefathers, when men like Nixon and McCarthy and Curtis LeMay have darkened our skies and obscured our flag. Note -- with hope in your heart -- that those earlier Americans always found their way to the light, and we can, too.

The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City, so valiantly fought.

And about Mr. Rumsfeld's other main assertion, that this country faces a "new type of fascism."

As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he said that -- though probably not in the way he thought he meant it.

This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.

Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble tribute, I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist Edward R. Murrow.

But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could I come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew everything, and branded those who disagreed: "confused" or "immoral."

Thus, forgive me, for reading Murrow, in full:

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty," he said, in 1954. "We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular."

And so good night, and good luck.

Update: As you can imagine MSNBC and Keith Olbermann has been receiving countless number of emails about his show last night. If you are so inclined please email him as well. From the Agonist:

Email MSNBC & support Keith - now!

You think MSNBC is getting barraged by Rightwingers? Bet on it...please write them and support Keith's courage!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

eBay Find: Early 20th Century Business Card with Honus Wagner Connection

Here is another unusual Baseball related item I found on eBay recently. It is so unique and unusual I decided to make some aggressive bids to win it. Unfortunately, I was outbid.

Above is a larger sized business card from the early part of the 20th Century. It's a calling card for a establishment called "the Mecca Bar." It is the Baseball headquarters for Owensboro, Kentucky. No doubt it is the "swellest place on earth." Also, on the back is a poem that mentions the great Honus Wagner.

As the seller notes, Wagner's mention is not a coincidence. He was one of the most popular players in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Furthermore, before Honus Wagner starred in Pittsburgh he played ball for the National League Louisville, Kentucky club. Therefore, it makes sense that this bar would hold Honus is such high esteem.

For your enjoyment I will include the poem below:

The Courtship of a Son of Swat

They were seated in the parlor and the lights were burning dim.
He was a diamond hero, she a fan quite fair and trim.
But they knew not as they opened up the game by murmuring love.
That father was the umpire on the stairway just above.

"I like your form" he led off first "with me you've made a hit.
You've got the speed, you've got the curves and you are looking fit;
Now if with you my turtle dove, I make a hit likewise,
Won't you improve my single state and make a sacrifice?"

"I'll never play too far off base," he whispered in her ear.
"The salary whip has got the dope to put them over dear."
Just give me a signal for a steal and I'll no longer roam
And when I slide into the plate, please call me safe at home."

"I'll have the dope complete" the maiden softly sighed,
"Show me your batting average in Mr. Bradstreet's guide.
It takes a lot of speed these days with cunning and intrigue
to win a battle now and then with the grocer's league."

"But give me errorless support- His heart here took a bound.
And let me live in big league style and I may come around.
Unwrap the tangles from the dope you can cop the bet;
We'll play a double header pal, on any day you set."

He started warming up at once, and with a happy sigh.
He whipped a fast one round her neck, the other was waist high;
But here the umpire butted in, says she "Oh Father please
Don't call him out, he's showing me how to work the squeeze."

The old man gave an irate snort and said "I'll help the fun.
By showing him another play, that's called the hit and run."
He swung like Wagner at his best- a soul inspiring clout.
The son of Swat slid down the steps, the umpire yelled, "You're out."

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Kent Wins Game

Before the start of the yesterdays game, the Dodger pre-game telecast asked its audience a question. Who was more vital for the team during this last month of the season- Brad Penny, Jeff Kent or J. D. Drew? After some initial seesawing, the ultimate winner of this poll was 2nd baseman Jeff Kent. For the season, Jeff has been hitting .267 and has a slugging percentage of .460. He has 12 homeruns and only 58 RBI’s. It’s a far cry from the .289 average, .512 SLG, 29 homeruns and 105 RBI’s from last season.

In the game Jeff Kent had just one hit, but it was a hit that provided an exclamation point to that afternoons’ pre-game show. In the top of the ninth inning with the score tied 3 to 3, Jeff Kent hit the eventual game winning homerun. The Dodgers win the game 4 to 3, and the Dodger most believed to be vital for an end-of-the-year playoff run comes through.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Vintage Video

Below are short vintage video clips of some fairly significant events.

First, Babe Ruth puts on a Dodger uniform. Video Link:

Second, the Dodgers celebrate after their 1963 World Series Win. Video Link:

The videos are short, lasting no more than 8 seconds, but when was the last time, if ever, you've seen Babe Ruth in Blue?

Update: Below is a video of the TAIKOPROJECT at Dodger Stadium, August 24, 2005.


YouTube Video Link:


And now for the hit we all remember! Below is Alex Cora's 18 pitch at bat that ended in a homerun. Unbelievable!


YouTube Video Link:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Friar Stomp

Oh where has our offense gone. The Padres have gone on and done the most unthinkable thing of all. They have taken the first two in this series. They have out-pitched us, out-played us and they now find themselves just 2 games behind us.

I don't know if I can complain too much about the last two games. Our pitching did just fine. Unfortunately, San Diego's pitching did better. Our offense couldn't muster many rallies against the Padres, but the Friars didn't do that much better. Our relief did very well, but San Diegos' relief corps did not given up a run in the last two games. I think we just ran into a team who put their head down and played ball. Good for them.

If I may add, I agree with Jon at Dodger Thoughts.
The Dodgers are a package that reaches base at an above-average rate, sometimes gets good pitching, but struggles with the home run and occasionally gets hammered. This is a package that is going to win some and lose some. With six miles to go in the race, I don't know how one could know how it will turn out. All I know is that the performance against one team doesn't matter all that much.
Image Link:

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Shawn Green Traded to Mets

Shawn Green has been traded from the Diamondbacks to the Mets. Details about who Arizona gets in returns has not been released yet. Nevertheless, this greatly improves the Dodgers chances later this week against Arizona. We won't have to contend with Green as a division rival for the remainder of the year. Yhea! He has absolutely killed the Dodgers this year. In 41 at bats he has 18 hits including 4 doubles, 2 homeruns and 7 RBI's. Green is batting .439 and has a OPS of 1.242 against us.

Introducing the Dallas Dodgers

I was checking out YouTube and came across a tribute video for a team called the Dallas Dodgers. You gotta love any team in Blue! They are a semi-pro Baseball team currently in a 3 game divisional playoff series match-up against the undefeated Dallas Barons. Oh!!! I hate those Barons!

They lost game 1 to the Barons on Sunday, but plan on a strong showing for game 2 on Friday. Go Blue, even if your not in Los Angeles.


YouTube Link:

Monday, August 21, 2006

I've recently begun a new gig writing some commentary about the Dodgers and their season on the website: Please check out my first story here. I hope it provides some good experience. Furthermore, I plan on continuing my regular blogging here and promise to not skip a beat.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

And the Sun Shined Through

The game started with puffy thick clouds in the sky that caused an overwhelming darkness over the crowd. All you could hear were the screams and chants from the Dodger faithful in blue. The orange and black clad home fans were made sullen by the start of today's festivities. For the second day in a row the Dodgers would fire the first shot. JD Drew slammed his 12th homerun of the year in the first inning and the Blue Crew was up by two.

But the clouds would not stick around forever. Darkness would turn into light. As the sun shined through a Dodger pitcher who has a 3.97 ERA and is batting less than .100 would welcome it with a bang. The sun has some special resonance here. It brings a warmth that satisfies the soul. It's an assurance that everything is going in the right direction. Light allows us to see what we are doing well. Right now the Dodgers are playing good Baseball. They are hitting and they are pitching with all of the focus expected of a professional team.

During the top of the 2nd inning the Dodgers again had another rally. Ethier was on third base and Martin was on first. Derek Lowe came up to the plate with one out. This would be a typical sacrifice situation with a non-hitting pitcher up to bat. Unfortunately for the Giants, the sun made its first appearance. It peeked out during Lowe's at bat and seemed to provide this Dodgers team with a big boost. Vin Scully made the call on the telecast as Lowe decided to take a swing. He hit a single to left. The Dodgers fortunes continue to be good. The surging Dodgers now had a 3 run lead as a result of Lowe's RBI.

To not be undone, Derek Lowe proceeded to pitch a masterful game. He went 8 innings and only stuttered in the ninth. A unfortunate error by Kent on a potential double play ball forced Grady Little to pull him after he loaded the bases with no outs. The score was 5-1 and the tying run would be up to bat. Rock solid Saito was put in and effortlessly struck out 3 Giants. Only one additional run scored on a walk to Bonds. The Dodgers take the series two games to one.

The mark of a team ready for the big show is the ability to climb out of a hole when fortunes turn. The Dodgers had lost two straight for the first time in weeks. The stretch drive was visible for all of the players to see. Oftentimes that strain can kill a team. The Dodgers don't want the momentum created over this past winning streaks to stop. Fridays' game was just dreadful and the prospects for a bummer roadtrip was at hand. Game two of the series came around and the Dodgers proved they are still in command. They slammed the Giants with authority. Now the Dodgers have a new two game winning streak to maintain as the final few laps of the race approach. May the checkered flag wave with shades of Blue.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


So my buddy walks into the TV room and says, "This is embarrassing."

I reply back with a snap. "No it's not! ... I'll tell you what's embarrassing. Losing to the Giants- that's embarrassing." Then I add, "now scoring 10 runs in the first two innings... that's gratifying!"

eBay Find: Honus Wagner Vintage Photos

eBay is such a great place. If you look hard enough you can find some great vintage one of a kind items. Recently concluded were two auctions of rare photographs of Honus Wagner that match that description. You can check out the listing here: #1, #2.

Wagner isn't on the field getting ready for a ground ball or sitting in the dugout with his managers uniform on. Instead, he's hanging out with the boys. They go driving into the country ready for an afternoon of fishing by a trusted river. Unfortunately, it looks like they had a pretty slow day with only 2 trouts in tow. Honus has a fishing pole in hand in the middle. He doesn't look disappointed in the days catch. In fact, he looks like he's ready for more as he holds his pole straight up ready for bait and another try. I guess that man never quits. I had asked the seller if they originally came from the Honus Wagner estate sale through SportscardsPlus in 2003. Unfortunately, he did not know. They were consigned to him from a private collector and that information was not provided. Nevertheless, they are 2 very rare items and excellent additions for any vintage collector. They are postcards sized.

Below are Honus and friends posing for the camera in a model T type of car. Wagner is sitting in the front passenger seat.

Friday, August 18, 2006

It's good to be in 1st

Tonight we get to enjoy a game that can only be made in a Blue Heaven. The Dodgers are in 1st place. The Giants are in last place. Our ace, Brad Penny, is 13-5 for the year with a 3.48 ERA. Their ace, Jason Schmidt is 9-7 with a 3.00 ERA. Schmidt has been slightly better according to some numbers, but that doesn't mean a thing because nothing can stop the Blue now. We are like a steaming freight train full of fuel and ready to run forever. The tracks are aligned, our convoy is prepared and we are unstoppable. I am full of bravado as the match between bitter rivals takes place this weekend. I look forward to single after single, double after double and triple after triple. Heck, we might even see a few homeruns from the men in Blue. Everything is right in the world.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

eBay Find: Billy Sunday Real Photo Postcard

This is one of the most unusual eBay items available right now. It is a Real Photo Postcard, circa 1920's- 1930's, of former 19th Century ballplayer and famed preacher Billy Sunday. What is unusual about this auction is that it's an actual postcard of Billy Sunday in a Baseball uniform. Other than the handful of vintage items available, like the one Old Judge card below, cards or photos of him in a uniform are difficult to find. This postcard is a rarity.

As some of you may know he played ball during Baseball's infancy. Billy was originally signed by Hall of Famer Cap Anson and was known as Baseballs fastest runner. In his first game he struck out four times- a record in Baseball at that point.
"It is said that the expression, "You can't steal first," originally referred to Sunday. "
In 1891, Billy Sunday, after becoming an devote Christian, left Baseball to become a street minister. The rest is history.

Controversial Wagner to be on HBO Tonight

As you may already know, the controversial Wagner I wrote about the other day will be a topic of discussion tonight on HBO's "Real Sports" with Bryant Gumbel. The T206 Wagner did not sell at the recent auction, as most vintage collectors expected. The auctioneer has indicated that
"he'll now commit to more scientific examination of the card including an ink test, in an effort to validate the claim of authenticity. He says once more document experts verify the card's age, he'll then submit the card to a professional card grading service and ask them to authenticate it."
It's about time!

Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily

Update: Vintage Baseball Card Forum has a great rundown of the episode; including a short transcript.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Summer Leland's Auction

At the recent National Convention several auction houses displayed items from their upcoming on-line auctions. Leland's was on hand to display some rare wire photos. Below are some great pics from their Summer Auction closing later this month.

Update: I wanted to add more notes about the provenance of the photos. The first 3 photos come directly from archives of the San Francisco Examiner. Lelands was able to pick out thousands of photos that included all sports, world events, politics and culture. There are some incredible photos in this collection. Check out Joe Jackson at the Black Sox trail, Babe Ruth as a Red Sox, Jackie Robinson and son, Jackie Robinson in a KC Monarchs uniform, The Mighty Fist of John L. Sullivan, Gordie Howe with stitches, Seabiscuit, Laurel & Hardy, John Coltrane, JoJo the Dog Face Boy, The Blonde Bombers and Lee Harvey Oswald Original Mug Shot. The remainder of the Examiners archives has been donated to UC Berkeley. The 4th photo comes from a private collection. * Auction #204: Above is a photo of Brooklyn's Big Guns. This was taken the day before the 1949 World Series
* Auction 211: Above is a 1957 photo of the despondent Dodger "Bum." The Dodgers are moving to California.
* Auction 207: Above is a portrait of former Dodger skipper Wilbert Robinson.

*Auction 1536: Below is one of the most unusual wire photos of one of the most significant events featuring the Dodgers and the Giants. It is the aftermath of Juan Marichal's bat swinging incident against John Roseboro in 1965. Check out the blood on Roseboro's catchers vest.


All day I've been sitting in my office wondering... 68... 68 pitches in 8 innings... How is that possible?

My only answer is that it's not. Last night did not happen. I'm convinced that I'm still asleep. It's Saturday night and the Sunday morning rising sun is about to wake me up. I'm in bed dreaming of Blue skies, Koufax like pitching and walk off homeruns. At any moment my dog will jump onto my bed and start licking my face.

I can hear my dog screaming at me now. "Wake up you lazy SOB! Get me some food! It better be that stuff in the can... that stuff is good!" I'll have to mumble back, "no... you're on a diet."

Fortunately, that has not happened yet. I still lay motionless in bed with dreams of beautiful Blue wonders. A visible smile, across my face, can be seen by all.

Kenny Lofton's College Rap Video

Over the weekend the LA Times had a great story about Kenny Lofton. In the article it mentioned that Kenny was a member of the 1988 Arizona Wildcats with other notables Sean Elliott, Steve Kerr and Tom Tolbert. More importantly, the team did what every championship caliber team did in the 80's, they made a rap video. Check it out below.


YouTube Link:

Friday, August 11, 2006

Vintage Card Talk: Is This a Real Wagner?

Over the past week the talk of the hobby has been the emergence of a T206 Honus Wagner card. This is the most desirable and famous of all vintage cards. Less than 100 are known to exist. BTW, its not the rarest card in the hobby by any stretch of the imagination. There are many vintage one of a kind rarities in the hobby. It is just that the Wagner card has mystique. As the story goes, Honus Wagner refused to allow his likeness to be placed on any tobacco products. Popular lore states that he did not want children to buy packs of cigarettes to get his card and Honus Wagner was against children smoking. Whether that is true is unknown, but we do know that production of the card was stopped. Since Honus Wagner is one of Baseball's enshrined members and the T206 set happens to be the most popular vintage Baseball set in existence values have steadily risen to unprecedented levels. The most famous Wagner card was formerly owned by Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall (former owner of the Los Angeles Kings) and sold in 2000 for $1,265,000.00 in NrMint PSA8 condition. It is unquestionably the best condition of any Wagner known to exist.

This new Wagner has a bit of mystique as well. The owners claim it originally came from an estate sale over 20 years ago. Also, they have received a paper analysis of the card that claims it is of vintage quality. An auction house, Bob Connelly, now has this card on auction on their website and on eBay with a starting price of $300,000.00. (The eBay listing has since been pulled.) The wrinkle, that has caused so much talk, has been the owners unwillingness to allow the card to be graded professionally. Apparently, they do not want the card out of their sight. Obviously, this is a big red flag for collectors. A card like this will rarely sell unless it has been professionally graded. It's an industry standard. Furthermore, the owners claim that racism is a problem. They believe that grading firms will not give them a fair shake since they are African American. Of course, this claim causes more uneasiness for the collector.

Now, I have not personally seen this card, but the photos made available do not look good. I will also add that I am not an expert, so take my opinions with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, if your so inclined, check out the controversy. I've provided links below:

Auction House Link:

Other article stories: Sports Collectors Daily:
PR Web:
Vintage Card Forum: 4 different threads 1, 2, 3, 4
Thread #3 has the owner responding to vintage collectors.
A photo collection of 19 different real Wagners:

Is it real, or is it fake? Who knows?

I will add this: There is no way I would purchase a Wagner, if I had the money, that was not graded by a respected firm. No Way!

Update: The card did not sell in this past weekends auction.

You're On Notice!

With apologies to Stephen Colbert. I bring you "You're On Notice!" This is a helpful guide to assist in pointing out those who aggravate me so much.
  • The Giants- No explanation needed here. The evil pumpkins are a constant aggravation. Someone needs to bomb those people. What self respecting American wears orange on a daily basis? Tell me! Who?
  • Cute Little Kids at Games- OK. If you're gonna show cute little children posing for the camera's while on Daddy's lap then you have to show a a cute young co-ed giving a lap dance to a dirty old man. It's only fair!
  • St. Louis Cardinals- Let me get this straight. The Card's sweep the season series from the Dodgers, but then suck when they play anyone else? Where's the love? Now get this straight little Pujols and aging Edmonds, you owe us. We make you look good. So, the next time we play you better suck!
  • Dodgers on Demand- I nearly had a heart attack when I heard about this channel. Did the Dodgers actually do something right? If they keep this up I will have a heart attack! So, you're on notice! Stop coming up with good ideas! My doctor would appreciate it.
  • The McCourts- I just need to complain about El Presidente! This is a family monarchy that is not above the law. Dictatorship will not stand! It is my right, no my duty, to complain even if there is nothing to complain about.
  • Jeff Weaver- Am I glad your not wearing Blue anymore. But, you're on notice! Don't even think about coming back! You too Odalis!
  • Bill Plaschke- You're on notice Ding Bat! I can't read you anymore. I cross out your editorials with black ink and place pictures of clownish Katherine Harris, that I've downloaded off the internet, all over your writings. I figure that will stop me from glancing at your words. Of course, that's after I've already read your column while on the can. You make me so angry!
  • Global Warming- Damn you earth! Summer is turning into a boiling inferno. How do you expect me to watch a game on a weekend afternoon when it's 200 degrees outside. Stop it now, or I'll go to war against you!
Generator Link:

Thursday, August 10, 2006

It Was Bound to End

Photo Link:

All good things must end. Or so says the phrase I've heard countless number of times throughout my life. Last night the Dodgers winning streak was stopped at 11, and what a great 11 games they where. Everyone contributed in their own way. No one was left out. Suddenly, like a tornado falling from the sky, we are back in the race for the National League West. Nothing to be sad about here. Last night loss only means that we can start a new winning streak today. Going for Number 1!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Surviving Grady?

I found a funny Boston Red Sox fan blog called Surviving Grady courtesy of the Baseball Card Blog.

Did you know that Hideki Matsui is one of the pre-eminent collectors of Japanese pornography? I didn't either! See how Randal and Dante from Clerks plan to use this information to their advantage.
"You know how the mind of a porno fiend works. That stuff plays in your head 24/7. It doesn't stop when you shut off the tape or DVD."

"So... even when Matsui's in the outfield, watching David Ortiz about to launch a moonshot sixteen miles over his head... he's really thinking about Japanese schoolgirl porn?"

Man-O-Live. They'll do anything to win.

On another note, I recently added a new section of links called "Collectible Blogs." There are still plenty of memorabilia and card collectors out there and, like myself, they are sharing their thoughts about the hobby, their collection and Baseball in general. If you happen to run into others please let me know.
There appears to be a recent common theme among some of these blogs. How to save the hobby. Being a former Baseball card dealer during the late 80's and early 90's has me thinking about this subject quite a bit. I'll collect my thoughts and post my recipe for expanding the fan base by expanding the collector base in future writings.

Monday, August 07, 2006

10 Baby!

Photo link:

Gotta love how this team is playing right now. The offense, defense and pitching are playing as one unit like a well run military army. Every player is doing their part. The stars are aligned in our favor. The Mighty Blue Dodger in the sky is smiling down on us right now. Someone pinch me I can't believe what I'm witnessing.

And then I find this out. Can it be. I read on Dodger Thoughts that there is going to be a new cable channel devoted to the mighty Blue. Dodgers On Demand! Now I know I'm dreaming! When does this start?


I had missed the game when Hendrickson fell over while pitching. So, after much searching I finally found the video. It's a riot. In light of Mark's first win as a Dodger yesterday I bring you this edition of Dodger funnies. Do you hear a sound when a redwood falls in the forest?


YouTube Link:

Life aint worth liv'in if it aint fun(ny).

Also, I love the number 9, but I would love 10 better. Go Go Penny. Below are some notable 9's.
  • The ancient Egyptians believed that a person had to earn the right to enter the afterlife. Before an individual could pass into the next realm, nine great gods known collectively as the Ennead had to judge his worthiness.
    Are the Dodgers Worthy?
  • In Greek mythology, nine goddesses called the Muses were responsible for inspiring the art of musicians, artists, and writers.
    We are being driven by the great Dodger in the Sky!
  • Nine (n-EYE-n), (9) is believed by some, mostly chaggitts, to increase one's affinity to the number itself, its phonetic pronunciation, its spelling, or anything associated with it. Nine has a large following, primarily based in Santa Monica, California, USA, which dates back to the year 1999 of the common era.
    Only in LA!
  • Nine (九 pinyin jiǔ) is considered a good number in Chinese culture because it sounds the same as the word "longlasting" (久 pinyin jiǔ).
    Let's hope this is a good omen.
  • Nine is strongly associated with the Chinese dragon, a symbol of magic and power.
    We do have the best offense in the National League.
  • Ted Williams, Roger Maris & Reggie Jackson (as an Athletic) wore the number 9. Notable Dodgers include Todd Hundley, Marquis Grissom, Mickey Hatcher, Greg Brock, Jerry Grote, Wally Moon, Gino Cimoli, Rocky Bridges, Arky Vaughan, Erv Palica and Hall of Famer Lloyd Waner.
Update: Here is another video of the Mark "Timber" Hendrickson


YouTube Link:

Friday, August 04, 2006

More National Pick-Ups

I thought I would add more pics of items I purchased at the recent National Convention in Anaheim. Above are 2 advertising photos from Spalding of Maury Wills and Don Drysdale.
These are press wire photos. The top photo features Dusty Baker from 5/10/1976. The middle photo is Franklin Stubbs sliding into 2nd base from 5/5/1987. The bottom photo is of Cesar Cedeno sliding into home from 5/7/1986. The above photo is of Mr. & Mrs. Don and Ginger Drysdale. It is a NBC promotion photo from when they appeared as special guest on "You Bet Your Life." 2/6/1959

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Maddux Was No-No Bound

What a masterful performance by the old professor they call "Mad Dog." I am certain that if they started the game on time we would be celebrating a no hitter this evening. No doubt in my mind. Nevertheless, he still has what it takes to win and this team will benefit from his efforts. Welcome Greg!

On a side note, I firmly believe that Saito, by anchoring our relief staff, is our MVP so far. Where would we be if he was not here?

Rain Delay Musical Break

For your listening pleasure during this evenings rain delay I bring you a live concert brought to you by the Grateful Dead, Friday, June 2, 1995. This was the last show I had the pleasure and honor to see with Jerry Garcia at lead guitar. Frankly, this was the best show I had ever seen. I remember dancing in the grass section as they played "Standing on the Moon." Jerry was singing this tune with such passion I nearly had tears flowing down my face. What had me locked in was the phrase "I'd rather be here with you." I had this sudden sense that he was thanking us- all of us- for being there for him. I was thankful for that evening and I had a sense that the band was thankful to all of us. As you may know Jerry died several months later.

Flash Link:

BTW, the best online archive of live concerts can be found at Check it out. There are hundreds of Grateful Dead concerts, as well as, many other bands.

Update: I was checking out some of the comments from fans about this show and this one really stuck out and reflects my feelings at the time.
"There was a weird energy...and it was contemplative to say the least. This show wasn't as much of a rocker as a soul-searcher. You gotta hear it as a story instead of a party.... and during this amazing standing on the moon....Jerry closed his eyes through the entire song, never opening them from my point of view. He seemed to almost wince in pain singing this song and i know i saw an occasional tear from the corner of Jerry's eyes. He really felt this was plain in his face, for all to read. He was carrying his ol' burden at this show...u could tell, and it was a deep trip. He let us out alive...but it wasn't long for him afterward. When hearing it now, i detect the if Jerry was saying "Yeah, you may hate this, but I know u rider....gonna miss me when i'm gone............." This show was a slice of what made the dead experience, and so often, that was not a smoking or perfect set-- It was life....full of the ups and downs that make us human. This show was equal to the 'real' Dead experience....a mountain of emotion....and not all can be pretty. Indeed, at this show, some got raw."

Let's Go Maddux!

This is the game to see. Where's my ticket... oh, it's in Cincinnati. I guess Prime Ticket will have to do. The future Hall of Famer, Greg Maddux, goes to mound tonight in his Dodger debut. For years I've wondered what he would look like in Blue and now we get to know. Enjoy his mastery. I am hopeful this spearheads the continuation of this winning streak. If there is one game you should see this year it should be this one. Go Blue!

UPDATE: NO NO NO... Not Rain!!!!!

Five and Counting

The magic of the number 5:
  • A Perfect Fifth is the most consonant harmony, and is the basis for most western tuning systems.
  • In chess, the number of first titled grandmasters.
  • The five senses are sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste.
  • Retired number of former baseball players Joe Dimaggio, Hank Greenberg, Brooks Robinson, Johnny Bench, and George Brett.
  • Reggie Bush, the recent Heisman Trophy Winner, wore number 5.
And who could forget the memorable line from the movie Short circuit.

"Johnny Five- Is Alive!"

I know this is a bit much, but, ya know, the couple of weeks before this winning streak had me on the verge of exploding. I just couldn't watch the last few games in that losing streak.

Now we get to see the Old Master Greg Maddux at work. Hopefully he still has some juice left in him.

Number 6 here we come.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

"Faith Day" in Atlanta

If politics and Baseball are ingredients you would rather not have mixed please skip this post.

Bigotry of any sort pisses me off to no end. When are people gonna learn. Below is a story from Think Progress that caught my attention. I've placed it here in entirety. The Atlanta Braves did the right thing.

Focus on the Family Disinvited From Atlanta Braves’ ‘Faith Day’ Events

Last week, the Atlanta Braves became the first team in major league baseball to sponsor a post-game Christian evangelizing event called “Faith Day.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provided details:

The blend of big-tent evangelism and the national pastime is expected to draw thousands of new eyes. … [The event is] designed to reach out to people looking for a spiritual purpose in life. Faith Day is the first promotion of “intentional Christian ministry” in Major League Baseball.

Except the Faith Day festivities didn’t offer a “big tent.” The event was cosponsored by right-wing group Focus on the Family, which, according to their press release, used the event to distribute promotional materials about a website they run called, which features virulently anti-gay content:

Male homosexuality is a developmental problem that is almost always the result of problems in family relations, particularly between father and son. [Link]

The following factors can also contribute to the homosexual orientation: pornography; spousal abuse in the home; molestation and pedophilia… [Link]

‘Mom…I’m Gay’: The story of one woman who heard these devastating words. [Link]

Contacted yesterday by ThinkProgress, Braves spokesperson Beth Marshall said that the Braves have asked that Focus on the Family not be affiliated with the two upcoming Braves “Faith Day” events on August 13 and August 26. Marshall declined to explain what brought about the decision to exclude Focus on the Family from the future events.

Unfortunately, Focus on the Family remains a cosponsor of several other Faith Day events at baseball games this summer, which are organized by a group called Third Coast Sports. Email the CEO of Third Coast — — and urge him to completely sever their ties with the anti-gay group.

There’s no crying in baseball, and there shouldn’t be bigotry either.

Happy Belated Birthday

I can't believe I missed this. Happy belated Birthday Jerry!


YouTube Link:

Hat Tip: C&L

Los Angeles Dodgers Vintage World Series Film DVD Set

Earlier this week I had a chance to review a copy of the Los Angeles Dodgers Vintage World Series Film DVD Set. It has highlights of all the previous LA Dodger championships. It includes the win over the cursed White Sox in 1959 when the Dodger use to play at the LA Coliseum. An unbelievable sweep of the invincible New York Yankees in 1963. BTW, this was the first time the powerful Yankees had been swept in the Fall classic. The supremacy of Sandy Koufax as Baseballs best left hander was showcased in the 1965 World Series. 1981 brought a championship to Baseballs longest serving infield cast. Man-o-Live... I forgot how great Pedro Guerrero was. Of course, who could forget the 1988 season. Kirk Gibson was like some aging warrior king willing his flock to win this last battle. "How Sweet it is! The Fruits of Victory! What a Team!"

What a Team! My only complaint comes from the 1988 series. They should have included Vin's famous line after Gibby's walk off homerun. "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!"

That first game of the '88 series will forever be branded in my brain. I was 16 years old and a fanatic Dodger fan- some things never change. On this evening, I was forced to go with my parents to a family function event. We where always going to family function events. If my uncle got a tooth pulled the whole family would get together later that weekend. If we woke up on Saturday morning there was a good chance the family would get together that evening to celebrate. We where a tight knit group. Of course, I was 16 and had other priorities. I could not miss this game. So, after some cajoling, I convince my uncle and aunts to turn the TV to the game.

That whole evening I had my eyes glued to the television. The Dodgers scored 2 early, but then Canseco hit a convincing Grand Slam to put Oakland on top by the 2nd inning. All the while, 2 mahjong tables had been set up and dinner was being served. I reached for a plate of chicken, pansit (Filipino style chow mien), rice (Asians can't go without rice) and egg rolls. The Dodgers score another run to make it 4-3. Then the ninth inning comes around and the taunts from my uncles started. "The Dodgers are gonna lose!" "Change the channel- it's over!" "Dodgers suck!" They knew that they could have some fun sticking a knife in me. But I would have the last laugh. Gibson comes up to bat and Mike Davis steals 2nd base. The rest is history. As Gibby's ball sailed over the right field wall I simultaneously jumped to my feet, pointed to my uncles and screamed a defiant "Screw You!" Obviously the taunts had gotten to me. Who cares though. The Dodgers had won, and I knew the series was theirs.

This is a brand new DVD set put together by A&E Home Video. Please check out their website for ordering. A&E Home Video Link to DVD.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

What a Difference a Few Days Make

Four in a row, Baby! After going 1-13 the prospects for a successful season was looking bleak. Kent and Nomar went down with injuries. Then we just couldn't hit. Our starting pitching was faltering as tempers flared in the clubhouse. We had players on the roster who, seemingly, did not want to be there. But Baseball is a funny game.

Like life, Baseball takes you on a rocky road filled with many highs and lows. Sometimes everything falls into place, but sometimes nothing can go right. Success can be sweet, but failure is just as sour. Nevertheless, we all chose to continue to play and given enough effort we all know that good things can happen.

Well, the Dodgers are making the effort. They get rid of clubhouse whiner Odalis Perez. The reliable old horse we know as Giovanna Carrera joins the club after failing to catch on with another team and pitches well. Toby Hall comes in to provide some excellent back up work even though he believes he is a starter. Elmer Dessens rejoins the Dodger team after a trade to provide some stability. Jason Repko comes back from the DL after a long rehabilitation. The young and hot hitting Wilson Betemit, a former Atlanta top prospect, arrives from Atlanta, and Banny Baez takes a seat in the Braves bullpen. Caesar exits in exchange for future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux. The best available infielder, Julio Lugo, comes in for a late season rush. Finally, James Loney is called up to replace Nomar on the roster.

Then, like my dog, Miko, with a plate of hot food under her nose the Dodgers turn on a dime. Change is good.

The I Ching, "The Book of Changes", is an apt way to see how this team has evolved this season. Its
philosophy centers on the ideas of the dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change.
We may have been down but that cannot last forever. Furthermore, once you accept change as a reality and move forward with that in mind it become inevitable that something will happen- something dramatic. We have seen first hand the ups and downs of the season. From long losing streaks to long winning streaks. We have seen how the team has grown- both good and bad. We have seen that when you accept inevitability of change good things can happen. Right now good things are happening.

The Dodgers score 10 runs on 17 hits to trample the Reds. Furcal goes 3 for 6, while driving in 4 (Including a clutch 3 run double in the 7th inning). Lofton gets 2 hits. Drew gets 3 hits of his own. Ethier gets a hit, a run and a RBI. Betemit hits his first homer- a 2 run shot. Martin scores twice on one hit and an RBI. Loney has 3 big hits. Even starting pitcher Sele contributed with the bat- getting a single.

Our pitching was just as solid. Sele continue to impress. Tomko, Beimel and Broxton finish off the game as the bullpen starts to coalesce into a solid relief staff. Everything is starting to look bright.

I hope that this is a start of a upswing that leads to something better than good.

National Pick-Ups

Here are some of the items I picked up at the National this past weekend.Above is a late 19th Century Baseball themed Victorian Trade Card I found on the last day. It's a bit beat up on the top, but is very rare. In fact, since I started my own collection of Trade Cards 6 years ago I had never seen this example.
Here are 4 more T206 cards of the Brooklyn Dodgers (Superbas or is it Bridegrooms).
e75 Jack Johnson American Caramel card. This is in rough condition, but was inexpensive and fills a hole in my collection.
Above are 2 Dodgers mini pennants I picked up. They measure approximately 1 inch by 2 inches and were made in the 40's or 50's. I love this oddball stuff.

I also picked up 7 cards for my 1880's Terrors of America set, a bunch of 1964 Topps Giant cards for my set (i need 2 more), a bunch of Callahans for my set and the final 3 cards for my 1972 Topps Set. Also, I picked up some oddball team issues photos and advertising promos of various Dodger players from the 60's to 70's. I'll post some of these shortly.

Update:Above is a scan of the 7 Terrors of America cards I picked up last weekend. This is a late 19th Century tabacco card insert featuring playful images of kids causing trouble. This set cracks me up.

For more pics of cards purchased at the National last weekend from other vintage collectors please check out the Vintage Baseball Card Forum: