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:
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