Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Via 6-4-2, I was awaken from my early morning slumber at work to find out that Tommy Lasorda, among others, will be named as a former client in an upcoming tell-all book by Hollywood Madam Jody "Babydoll" Gibson.

"Wow. You Don't Say!"

The great Dodger preacher is as fallible as you and I. So, I don't have any misconception that he is perfect. Fortunately, my mistakes do not become public fodder. Unfortunately, Tommy's alleged mistakes end up on the front page of the checkout counter tabloids.

All I can say is good luck on your lawsuit, but I think you should heed Rob's advice. Suing is a cumbersome process that can ultimately cause more harm than good.

Story Link: LA Times:

Hat Tip: 6-4-2:

Monday, February 26, 2007

Record Price for Honus Wagner Card

The T206 Honus Wagner, once owned by Wayne Gretzky, sells for $2,350,000.00.

Story Link: ESPN:

Hat Tip: VBCF:

UPDATE: I thought I would add that this particular card happens to be surrounded by controversy. It is, in fact, a machine (hand) cut/ trimmed card and many vintage collectors would never touch it. On the other hand, not only is the card itself scarce, but the lineage of ownership and its historical popularity in the card market will probably trump any notion that it did not come directly from a tobacco pack. Check out this forum for background.

If I'm not mistaken, a uncut sheet was found in a Florida flea market and purchased by a collector. It was subsequently sold to a major dealer who decided to cut up the sheet into individual cards. That dealer sold it to another dealer who trimmed it even more. (Keep in mind it is still within the acceptable size for T206 cards.) From there I believe it was sold to Wayne Gretzky/ Bruce McNall (former owner of the Los Angeles Kings). The card was then sold as a result of McNall's legal problems. Sometime after that it ended up in a Walmart promotion. It was sold by the Walmart winner at auction and has changed hands a couple of times since.

2007 HOF Veterans Committee Candidates

Tomorrow the Veterans Committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame will announce their inductees into the Hall. Check out this link for background information.

Five former Dodger players and executives were represented on this ballot. The players include Gil Hodges, Don Newcombe and Maury Wills. Executives Buzzie Bavasi and Walter O'Malley are the other potential inductees. (Click the players name for their biographies at the HOF website.)

Gil Hodges may finally get his due. He just missed getting in by 8 votes during the last election in 2005. Don Newcombe has always fallen a well short in voting, but is certainly worthy of consideration. When I think of Maury Wills I always ask, "could the Dodgers have won any championships in the 60's without him? Even with Koufax and Drysdale."

My prediction: Gil Hodges, Ron Santo, Walter O'Malley and Bill White get elected. Maury Wills inches closer and closer to eventual induction.

HOF Link:

Update: Veterans Committee throws a goose egg. No one receives enough votes for induction. Ron Santo misses by five votes, improving on his 2005 vote totals by 5 votes. Gil Hodges goes down by 2 votes, receiving 50 votes. Maury Wills receives 33 votes - a 7 vote improvement. Walter O'Malley and Buzzie Bavasi receive 36 and 30 votes, respectively.

HOF VC Results Link:

Commercial Flashback: Tommy and his Sega Genesis

This past weekend I picked up a Nintendo Wii. So I spent the weekend glued to the tv enjoying the various sports games. In doing so I started to reminisce about the video games consoles of old. My favorite all time game was Sega's Tommy Lasorda's Baseball. So please enjoy Tommy and his Genesis.

YouTube Link: Grooveraider:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Edd Roush Archive

The Granddaughter of Hall of Famer Edd Roush is currently on a mission to digitally archive her Grandfathers letters, documents, cards and other memorabilia. As some of you may know, Edd Roush was on the 1919 Cincinnati Reds who defeated the Black Sox of Chicago. This is still considered the most contentious series ever played. Hopefully there is some information related to that series and to some of the players involved. Of course, the scanned documents are available for viewing on one of the better Black Sox collector/ memorabilia websites called BlackSoxFan.com. Go ahead and check it out.

Only 4 documents related to the family archive are available right now; including a letter from Ty Cobb and WH Watkins and 2 versions of his 1915 Federal League player contract. As noted by the website owner,
"what is so fascinating about the contracts is the inclusion of "The reserve clause". It has been "over struck" in both examples."
For the ultimate Black Sox fan check out the other documents you can download. There are articles from the time period, ticket stubs, etc. to go through. My favorite item is the list of barnstorming games played by banned members of the White Sox from 1921 to the 1930's.

Hat Tip: Vintage Baseball Card Forum:

Website Link:BlackSoxFan.com:

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Video: XXL National Ushers in the New Season

Here is another episode from XXL National.

YouTube Link:

XXL National Blog Link:

Show and Tell: Dodger Fan Shows Us His Rare Scorecard

Here is an item you don't see everyday. It's a scorecard from the Dodgers minor league affiliate Montreal Royals. All of the great Dodgers of the 50's came through there. In fact, this scorecard is from a day Tommy Lasorda pitched. Anyway, Dodger fan and blogger Jason Wilder shares this item from his collection. (Please check out the link here for more info on this scorecard.) I'd love to see more of this from the blogosphere. I know there has got to be more incredible stuff out there in Dodgerland.

If you find something while cruising the online highway or post something yourself on your own site please let me know. This is the kind of stuff I like to see.

Story Link: Jason Wilder:

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Video: Dodger fan goes to Dodger Adult Baseball Camp

A dream come true.

YouTube Link: hiramofwestfield:

Olbermann Opens First 2007 Topps Baseball Pack

Keith Olbermann opens the first pack of the 2007 season and pulls a Yankee.

Damn you Keith and your east coast bias! Video link here:

Hat Tip: SCD:

"Pitchers and Catchers!"

With the advent of Spring comes Baseball. The smell of the grass and the sounds of the game are still fresh. I cannot wait for it to start again.

In anticipation, lets enjoy the "Things We Love About Baseball." Roger Mooney, of the Bradenton Herald, provides a helpful list of 100 reasons why we are all fanatics.
1 Pitchers and catchers. The phrase is actually "pitchers and catchers report to spring training," but the first three words do the trick. It means another baseball season is beginning.
5 The Baseball Encyclopedia. It's hard to put down this 3,026-page tome. You look up Mickey Mantle's lifetime batting average, and the next thing you know, you're scanning the career numbers of Debs Garms.
6 Nicknames. Piano Legs Hickman. Pinky Higgins. The Fordham Flash. The Splendid Splinter. Stan the Man. Phenomenal Smith. The Reading Rifle. The Big Train. Joltin' Joe. The Iron Horse. The Say Hey Kid.
35 "If you build it . . ." Terence Mann summed it up in the movie "Field of Dreams" with this memorable speech: "Ray, people will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game, and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come, Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: It's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Oh . . . people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come."
Yhea! It's Baseball Season!

Story Link: Bradenton Herald:

Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily:

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Quick Mastro Post: Dodger Pranks

I just came across Mastro's upcoming auction and took a quick look at some of the items that will be available. Once again, it's as impressive as ever.

One item really sticks out for me. They are auctioning a collection of 20 photographs highlighting the Dodgers Tour of Japan after their 1955 World Series win over the Yankees. It looks like it comes from someones personal collection. As you can imagine, this lot consist of the usual fare- players getting off the plane, players in the plane, some hula dancing while in Hawaii, O'Malley bonding with employees and players, etc. What I didn't expect to see was a photograph of a prank played on a unsuspecting person.
I remember while in college going to parties where this was a favorite pastime. Whoever passed out first would be sure to wake up with permanent ink markings all over their face. Heck, I admit to participating in this from time to time- and frankly, I don't feel bad at all. Afterall, my lack of regret has to do with the fact that I have been the unwitting victim of this kind of prank.

One Saturday afternoon, I woke up after a long evening of drunken debauchery. I slowly strolled to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. I almost screamed. Little cartoons and phrases I had never heard before graced my face. It was the most horrifying event I had ever faced in my young life. Man-O-Live, was I embarrassed. On top of that it took forever to get that ink off. The funniest thing, though is I still have friends who will bring up that evening with much glee.

Anyway, I started staring at the picture above and wondered, "who is that guy in the photo?" Mastro's description only states, "and one unfortunate player who, in his peaceful sleep, fell victim to the face-painting abilities of his Dodger teammates."

Which player does that guy look like? Let me know if you have any answers.

A part of me thinks he looks just like Vin Scully. Am I wrong here?

UPDATE: The photos is actually from the 1956 Dodgers Tour of Japan. Also, since there is a resurgence of hits for this post due to my tweet today, I thought I would find and link up to the original auction - which I have just found.  Check it out here.  There's pics of hula-hoop ladies and more Dodgers sleeping.

I remember bidding on this, but now that I'm reminded what it sold for I'm kicking myself in the arse.  The $145 price tag seems cheap now.  What was I thinking?

Season of the Samurai

In 2005 I had a chance to see several Golden Baseball League games. If you don't already know, the GBL is an upstart independent minor league based in the West Coast. There are teams in Long Beach, Fullerton, Chico, San Diego and Yuma- just to name a few. Former major leaguers included Rickey Henderson, Darrell Evans, Terry Kennedy and Garry Templeton. 2005 was its inaugural season.

Anyway, the first game I saw was between the Long Beach Armada vs. the Samurai Bears’. Now, my first thought was, "who are the Samurai Bears?" I would soon find out that they where a traveling group of all Japanese Baseball players. How cool is that? Furthermore, they were coached by former major leaguer Warren Cromartie.

So, this morning I got an email from the GBL highlighting a documentary that was filmed about the Samurai Bears. They played in 90 games over a 96 day period and went through the trials and tribulations you would expect a team to go through during a season that busy.

From the email:
The film, starring Samurai Bears’ team manager and ex-major leaguer Warren Cromartie, chronicles the on and off field exploits of the Samurai Bears as they compete in the 2005 Golden Baseball League season as the first ever all-Japanese team to participate as a regular member of a U.S. professional sports league. The Samurai Bears competed as a traveling team playing 90 games on the road in 96 days across California and Arizona. Cromartie, a legend in his playing days for Japan’s Yomiuri Giants, now is in a reversed role as he skippers 25 Japanese players competing in a professional baseball league in a foreign land.

Narrated by Cromartie and GBL President Amit Patel, the film chronicles early difficulties by the team on the field, language and cultural miscommunications, a prima donna slugger, and a translator struggling with the pressure – all set against a classic minor league baseball backdrop of small towns, long bus rides, and hero-worshipping groupies. The Samurai Bears eventually find a groove on the field and end up chasing the record for the most single-season wins by a minor league traveling team. Along the way, the team also learns about America, masters new and colorful baseball vernacular in several languages, and shows a depth of dedication, passion and joy for the game that makes it very obvious that this is not just America’s national pastime.
The film will have its premier this weekend during the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Saturday, February 3rd at 7:30PM.

If you have a chance go and check it out- and let me know how it is. I won't have a opportunity to go out there so I'll probably have to wait for NetFlix. Santa Barbara is a long drive for me.

SB Film Festival Link:

GBL Link:

More Photos From Leland's Auctions

Leland's just seems to have an incredible stockpile of press photos just waiting to be unearthed.

Below is an incredible photographic reenactment of the capture and shooting of John Dillinger.
"Superimposed on the photo image of the notorious Chicago street corner are the hand drawn images of the participants in this real-life crime drama."
Dillinger Wire Photo Link:

Of course, no auction is complete without a healthy dose of Dodger history. Emmett Kelly, hired by O'Malley to entertain the Brooklyn faithful, is shown below performing his "clean up man at bat" routine at Dodgertown in Vero Beach in 1957. Roy Campanella is behind the plate.
Dodger Clown Link:

Here is a great photo of one of the most famous brawls to ever explode on a Baseball field. Juan Marichal, taking exception to being buzzed by a throw from John Roseboro, let's his bat do the talking- and I don't mean he knocked a homer to show up the Dodgers. Instead, he takes his bat and proceeds to pummel Roseboro. Johnny is stunned and seen sprawled on the ground ready to tackle his assailant, Juan is being held back by the umpire with bat in hand and Sandy looks shocked as he heads towards home plate. What a game this must have been.
Marichal/ Roseboro Fight Link:

Since yesterday was Jackie's birthday it wouldn't be right to not highlight some great Jackie photos. Below is Jackie receiving his Silver Slugger award in 1949 from Ford Frick. My favorite part about this picture is the guy with the funny hat. Where'd he get that? And how about that bloke with the glasses and the giant grin. He thinks he's a star.
Jackie and his Silver Slugger Link:

Below is a 1947 photo during Spring Training in Cuba showing Jackie, wearing a Montreal Royals jersey, meeting his future manager Leo Durocher.
Durocher & Jackie Link:

A reflective and dejected Robinson sits in the clubhouse after a 4-2 loss to the Yankees in the 1952 World Series. This was the third time Jackie and the Dodgers failed to win the crown against the hated Yanks. All Jackie could say was, "they didn't miss Joe DiMaggio, it was that Mantle, that Mickey Mantle killed us."
Jackie Robinson having a Coke Link:

Leland's Auction House Link: