Sunday, April 29, 2007
Below is a video of the birth of Franken-Friar.
YouTube Link: gaslampball:
Video Hat Tip: Deadspin:
Here is another video of the undead Friar attacking the batboy.
YouTube Link: gaslampball:
Hat Tip: Gaslamp Ball:
His lack of offense attributed to the lack of playing.
Furcal admitted that the ankle, which he sprained during spring training and landed him on the disabled list, still hurts. It doesn't bother him all of the time and when it does, the pain isn't overbearing. But it does serve as a constant reminder that it's something he's going to have to get used to playing with.
"It's not 100 percent," Furcal said. "As soon as I get into a game, I try to forget it. I think it's not going to be 100 percent until the season is over and I can rest it. If you rest it right now, it's going to be more bad. I can play like that. It's not a problem."
"I don't feel so comfortable yet at home plate," he said. "Sometimes I feel like I'm jumping a little bit. I think that's coming as soon as I get more at-bats and play in more games. I'm getting in there and I'm working hard with (coach) Manny (Mota). We're seeing all of the video stuff and I'm trying to do the best I can."
Furcal's stretch of inactivity during the spring was compounded by his decision to not play baseball during the winter. He worked out to stay in shape and was hoping to get his timing back when he arrived at Vero Beach.
"Since the end of last year I didn't do anything," he said. "I just rested in the Dominican Republic and practiced a little. It's not the same practicing over there that it is over here. Then you come to spring training and you're doing more stuff. April always is a little tough for me. I try to do the best I can and it happens sometimes. It's a long season and I came to the season with less at-bats."
Furcal is downplaying his ankle injury as a reason for his slow offensive start. This good news. Afterall, we could expect more of what we saw last year. On the flip-side, if he is wrong and his ankle is to blame, then this season could very well be a long year.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Forty-one years after he retired from baseball, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax was the final player chosen in the draft to stock the six teams for the inaugural season of the Israel Baseball League... “His selection is a tribute to the esteem with which he is held by everyone associated with this league,” said former big leaguer Aret Shamsky, who will manage the Miracle. “It’s been 41 years between starts for him. If he’s rested and ready to take the mound again, we want him on our team.”If he can still pitch then lets' sign him up. You can never have too many Hall of Fame arms.
Photo Link: HOF:
Story Link: MSNBC:
Hat Tip: Net 54 VBCF:
Thursday, April 26, 2007
The rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants has a long history, but I won't recount it here. All I know is that this is the best series Baseball has to offer on the West Coast. Unfortunately, the Dodgers have gotten off to slow starts against the Giants. Hopefully, they can close out tonight's game with a win before they head to San Diego.
By the way, alphadk, on flickr, has some great Dodger pics, so feel free to check them out by clicking the link below.Photo Link: Flickr: alphadk:
Story Link: LA Times:
Photo Link: Farther Off the Wall:
Funny thing, as I searched the internet for a picture of a Dodger radio I stumbled upon a old story from late last year that had the perfect picture of what I was looking for and was related to AM 980. Click the Photo link above for a story about the radio station and the likelihood it may not be broadcasting Dodger games next year- the 2008 season. Has there been any follow-up on this? Are negotiations still ongoing, or will the Dodgers be looking for a new home next season? Will the McCourts seek to expand their revenue flow by purchasing their own station? Could this be a step towards an expanded Dodger media empire?
First we see Dodgers On Demand, then a Dodger-centric radio station, then a Dodger-centric cable channel. The possibilities are endless.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
YouTube Video: CaliforniaFamous:
Below is a great fan video featuring their opening day adventure to Dodger Stadium this year.
YouTube Link: westcoveop:
Below is a video highlighting the Great Jackie Robinson.
YouTube Link: FaithFamily:
Below is a video of the guy who jumped onto the Dodger field on Opening Day. What's interesting about this video is it begins from when the guy walks down the aisle, jumps over the fence, runs into the outfield and gets tackled by security. From beginning to end.
YouTube Link: dgrfan0909:
Below is a video between the cross-town tee-ball rivals Pee Wee Dodgers versus the Pee Wee Diamondbacks. A future star was made.
YouTube Link: DodgersTeeBall:
Below the ballboy gets hit in the face with a batted foul ball at Dodger Stadium.
YouTube Link: TheMoodlenator:
"It didn't bother him throughout the game but the following day there was some stiffness that we didn't like," Little said. "We're going to wait a few days before we push him again."Matt Kemp re-aggravated his shoulder after a first inning throw from the outfield in last Wednesdays' game.
Story Link: OC Register:
Story Link: OC Register:
Friday, April 20, 2007
"What registers with me now is that it's a part of the past that I will cherish for the rest of my life," Tracy said. "I appreciate the fact that I was given the opportunity to manage in a major market like that. When you walk away from it and realize there were some very special things that you accomplished, you feel pretty good about it."Overall, given that this was during the Fox ownership, I thought he did a good job as the Dodger skipper. Sure, we didn't go as far as we would have hoped, but there are some great memories from his tenure.
Press Telegram Link: Tracy's Fond Thoughts:
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Below is a rarely seen Schaefer Beer stand-up advertising sign featuring a Brooklyn fan hoping for a big year. I think it helps that she has a beer in one hand, just in case the bums of yesteryear disappoint her. Nevertheless, she maintains a happy smile and a hopeful gaze. (Please note: Although real copies are rarely seen numerous fakes exist in the marketplace, especially on eBay. Be weary if you see one on eBay.) Mastro Auction Link: Schaefer Beer Sign:
The below item is something I know I will regret showing. It is a unused ticket to one of the games most memorable moments, or the games most despised moments. This ticket is from the game when Bobby Thompson hit the "Shot Heard 'round the World." Argh! I can't stand the audio clip from that game. "The Pumpkins win the pennant! The pumpkins win the pennant." Mastro Auction Link: Thompson Ticket:
Another item that Baseball history buffs should take note of is the 1838 Philadelphia Olympic Ball Club constitution. This was America's first Baseball team.
This is the earliest relic of organized baseball from the first organized baseball team in existence. It is arguably the single most historically significant item relating to the origins of the National Pastime in existence. This is the document that records the birth of organized baseball. The Philadelphia Olympics formally established and approved the rules for their club on December 7, 1837. The Olympic constitution detailing these rules was published in 1838 by John C. Clark of 60 Dock Street, Philadelphia. A copy was distributed to each of the twenty-nine team members, all of who were listed by name in the Constitution. This is one of those twenty-nine original Olympic constitutions, issued to one of the original members of the first organized baseball team in the universe. It is the only surviving example known to exist. It is fascinating to note that for many years research libraries have had only an early style photocopy of the 1838 Olympic Constitution. While the photocopies verified its existence and provided a complete record of its contents, the actual whereabouts of the original have long been unknown. Attempts to trace the origins of the photocopy back to the original have always, unfortunately, led to yet another earlier photocopy. The original was seemingly lost to the ages, a mystery ironically befitting a document so integral to the mysterious origins of the National Pastime. It was particularly fascinating for us to note, upon examination and comparison, that the offered Olympic Constitution is the very original from which all Olympic Constitution photocopies were long ago made, and which have been used for reference by scholars and researchers for decades.For a complete view of the contents of the constitution at SABR click here: PDF download here.
REA Link: Constitution:
One of the more important items in the auction is this one-of-a kind T206 printers proof strip featuring Honus Wagner. The auction provides more details.
legend has it was found folded in the pocket of a uniform Honus Wagner left behind with various personal effects in the attic of his former home. It is also believed to have been obtained by Wagner from the tobacco company when he protested his likeness being used without compensation. The fable that his objection was to tobacco use is an obvious falsehood as he willingly promoted other tobacco products, as long as he was paid to do so. He was effective (eventually) in having the card removed from production, creating the greatest rarity in the industry and a lusty tale to tell over the last century. This irreplaceable treasure has printer’s proof marks on the borders of each card, blank backs and overall numerous creases.
Lelands Auction Link: Wagner T206 strip:
Another remarkable item with a Dodger theme is this travel trunk used by Dodgers hurler Don Newcombe. This would be pretty cool to have. Unfortunately, I wouldn't know where to put it.Lelands Auction Link: Travel Trunk:
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Padre Blog GasLamp Ball provides some details.
I saw that on Friday night and it was one of the craziest things I have ever seen at a game. I was in the bleachers and that was in the upper deck. I looked up and saw a bunch of people standing up and running out of a section with drinks flying everywhere. This video only catches the tail end of it where the padre fans are leaving. The 3 or 4 padres fans for some reason just sat there for about 2 minutes while the section cleared out and that is when things got ugly. I saw at least 25 beers fly at them and hit them hard. security did absolutely nothing, it was amazing. the security was terrible all night there...i saw a few girls in my section get their padre hats knocked off their heads and thrown around and then tons of peanuts thrown at them.It does get a little crazy up there.
YouTube Video: captmouth:
Photo Link: flickr: Malingering:
Hat Tip: LAist:
"Anyway, one of my flaws is I don't always analyze too hard when the Dodgers are in first place. I'm too busy enjoying it."My thoughts exactly. Of course, I don't really do hard analysis anyway. So I'm gonna sit back on my couch with a drink in one hand and my controller in the other. After a week of having both an HD TV connection and a DVR for the first time I can truly say that everything is great. I've also been asking myself how in the world did I survive without a DVR HD connection? Television will never be the same.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
So that got me thinking. Maybe Carnegie, Pennsylvania should be my destination. Last night I was checking out the Lelands.com website for their latest auction and saw something I didn't expect. I saw the former home of Honus Wagner, "The Flying Dutchman." It is a 4 bedroom - 2 Bath abode with 3 fireplaces and it has an opening bid of only $130,000.00. You couldn't buy a one bedroom condo for that here. Imagine sitting in the den with a whiskey in one hand and a fine book in the other. The fireplace is blazing providing enough warmth to last through the night. You will glance around and wonder about the stories told in this room. Tales about Wagner diving for balls hit by some of Baseballs greatest players. He would entertain guest with stories about batting against Cy Young, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.
The auction states, "if the walls could talk they would tell some great stories, and if you buy this home you might just hear one." Is that a hint? Could this place be haunted? Imagine that. Your sitting in front of the fireplace and Honus comes walking out of the wall. I don't know if I'd scream or ask questions.
Unfortunately, I will never find out. I would have to move all the way across country and be without a job. I wouldn't have my friends around. My family would be impossible to visit with any regularity. Dodger games would impossible to watch due to the time difference. Oh well. I guess I'll be staying here. But I wonder? What kind of premium, if any, would the home of a famous sports star bring? How about a home haunted by that superstar?
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
YouTube Link: Imhuerta:
YouTube Link: turro26:
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
PhotoAlbum: Jackie Robinson Items:
YouTube Link: zuriko:
Hat Tip: Oliver Willis:
Monday, April 09, 2007
First, check out this YouTube Video Link. No embedded video available. It is a great version of Terry Cashman's song "Willy, Mickey, and 'the Duke' (Talkin' Baseball)."
Below is a tribute to the great Jackie Robinson.
YouTube Link: woodlarr:
YouTube Video Link: kckid2599:
And below is the National Anthem to get you prepared for the game.
YouTube Video Link: dblplat:
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Below are two advertising blotters, circa 1950's, put out my Major League Baseball. Below is a 1951 Baseball game made by Arrow Toy & Novelty Co. of Brooklyn, NY. My PhotoAlbum & Collection Link: Jackie Robinson Collection:
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Last night I heard Vin Scully mention that the entire Dodger team would be wearing the number 42 to commemorate Jackie Robinson and I was elated. What a nice gesture by the team to celebrate the great Mr. Robinson.
He played during a time when second class status was given to a large part of the American public. He carried the pain and bore the brunt of decades of discrimination. He was cursed at. His life was threatened. In spite of all this he became a trailblazer that made it possible for all people to be seen as equals. A persons skin color should be irrelevant in Baseball, as a persons skin color should be irrelevant in life. Jackie Robinson is one of America's greatest heroes.
The act of the team to honor this man in this manner is indicative of that message.
I read many stories online and in the paper about Ken Griffey, Jr. and other players requesting the opportunity to honor this man by wearing his number. All of them were African Americans. It was as if it would have been improper for anyone else to participate.
This would only have cheapened the accomplishment that Jackie had achieved. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." When Jackie stepped on that field that fateful afternoon he saved all of us. Not just African Americans, or minorities in general, but white America as well.
So on that Sunday afternoon I will put on my clothes making sure I wear my Jackie Robinson cap. I will put my various Robinson pins on my chest. I will encourage all of my friends, my African American friends, my Asian friends, my Hispanic friends and my Caucasian friends to honor this man. His sacrifice would not be complete unless we do.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
"By the way, the Dodgers have a special offer for fans who carpool to Monday's home opener: a free ticket to a future game for each passenger. But there are several catches: first, you have to arrive at the stadium between 9:30 and 10:15 a.m. (game time is 1:10 p.m.), you have to park in Lot 15 (a farflung lot that is used only for sellouts), and the offer is limited to the first 600 cars. Those fans looking to take advantage of this should enter through the Academy gate. They will also be given early entrance to the park (the leftfield pavilion, not necessarily their assigned seating area) to watch batting practice. Oh, and the lots on Stadium Way by the Los Angeles Fire Dept. training facility will cost just $5. Most importantly, ALL OF THIS IS FOR OPENING DAY ONLY"If you are going to the game and plan on arriving early be sure to take advantage of this offer. Free tickets, early entrance and batting practice... It doesn't get better than that. Anyone got a couple of extras?
Tony Jackson Link:
Update: More info is available at Inside the Dodgers blog. The free tickets deal is for lot 15 only.
Like Rob, I'm still not sure that Coletti has created a situation in which he has overseen a "near-historic squandering of young talent." After all, don't we still have alot of young talent left?
When I think about the team today I want to see Kemp, Loney, Russell, Ethier, Billingsley and Broxton out there. In the very near future I envision Abreu, LaRoche, Elbert and Meleon on the field. Further out the names Mattingly, Kershaw, DeWitt and Hu keep me hoping.
Unfortunately, realty is far from what I imagined. James Loney deserves to be a starter on the team, but he is in AAA. He has nothing else to prove in the minor leagues. Matt Kemp is on the bench potentially wasting his power. Billingsley is sitting in the bullpen when he should be starting. The shinning exceptions are Russell, Ethier and Broxton. I guess three out of six, batting .500, ain't too bad.
So far, Coletti is far from realizing my worse fears, but I will be watching.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
It sold for $40,703.00.
Precious few Campanella gamers have survived to the present, but this road jersey from his final season, 1957, is a marvel. The gray flannel is an attractive blend of cotton and wool with even surface sheen. It's accentuated by double royal blue arm piping, along with single button-path and collar piping. The “Dodgers” underscored script, in royal blue felt, is bold and intact. There is the slightest of edge fraying outside of the straight-stitch affixing in minor spots, but the nominal degradation does not detract from the identifier’s beauty. The tail beams with '50s fashion; a period Spalding label is sewn in tandem with a size 44 label. Beneath sits the royal blue chain-link name “Campanella” which, in turn, is positioned atop a "57" year identifier. Both match contemporary Dodgers and other Spalding exemplars to a tee, and serve as an outstanding identifier for impressive display. Beneath the tail flap is a washing instructions label with a “Set 1 1957” flag tag -- original and fully intact.As was the destiny of most flannels, this jersey was relegated to non-major league duty after the ’57 season (Vero Beach, in this case) where it underwent a routine number change. Ironically, #24 in period blue felt and proper font, was administered (which was the jersey number of another Dodger immortal, Walt Alston). After minimal use at that level of competition, the jersey was included in an equipment/uniform donation that the Dodgers provided to a local American Legion team. The jersey's long-time owner (the original recipient) had the luxury of choosing this one from those of Junior Gilliam, Jackie Robinson, Johnny Podres, Gil Hodges and a buffet of others. As should be expected, the young Legion catcher chose Campy’s jersey, wore it for two seasons, and then simply stored it away. There are a few minor moth holes but the jersey is eminently displayable. The overall condition is illustrates the respect shown the historic garment by the young central Florida baseballer, and AMI is proud to offer it as Campy’s final season gamer.
Auction Link: AmericanMemorabilia.com:
Monday, April 02, 2007
This movie is a hilarious story about the lawsuit and the characters surrounding it. I laughed, I jeered, and I laughed again. The irony, as I'm sure you know, is that the two parties, by court order, split the proceeds of the ball. (Which they should have done in the first place.) On top of that the verdict was read shortly after the Angels shocked the Giants by defeating them in game 7 of the 2002 World Series. WooHoo!
This is a great story that ends with an auction price that is less than spectacular and provides an inside look at how greed can often lead to bad results. I loved the film and would recommend it to anyone. Put it on your NetFlix list.
Movie Link: Up For Grabs:
Derek Lowe gets pounded for six earned runs in four innings of work. He was not impressive at all. On the other hand, Ben Sheets looked like a Cy Young candidate. In a complete game win he gave up just two hits. By the end of the eighth inning, Sheets had retired 21 batters in a row since Kent's homerun, and faced only 29 batters total in the game. It was as close to a perfect game as you'll ever see.
One bright spot was Mark Hendrickson. He gave up just one run, a homerun by Hall, in three innings.
Now to the important news, there are only 161 games left to go in the season.
Game BoxScore: Yahoo:
Sunday, April 01, 2007
"When Bill Balzhiser's wife recently forced him to quit smoking, she went to drastic measures. She threw out all of his cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays. She also tossed out his impressive collection of turn-of-the-century tobacco cards, a gift from his father.For a listing of the best April Fools jokes click here.
So when Balzhiser found his wife doubled over in the bathroom of their rural Oklahoma home complaining of stomach cramps and the taste of tobacco in her mouth, he asked her what was wrong.
She asked him how he could have smoked for nearly 60 years, "especially those tobacco cards?" Balzhiser, horrified, realized his wife was pointing to a half-smoked Honus Wagner T206 card in the ashtray, the most valuable sports card on earth. The tragic remnants of the card-turned-cigarette are pictured below."
From a cursory inspection, Beckett vintage card expert Rich Klein offered this disturbing analysis.
"Based on the appearance of the card's remnants and Mr. Balzhiser's description before he died from shock, his Wagner T206 card could have re-established the market price and far exceeded the recent sale of $2.35 million. I encourage Mr. Balzhiser's family to send us what is left for further evaluation and possible sale," said Klein, who was visibly shaken by the news.
Story Link: Beckett:
Below is a 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Team Photo CDV. This is considered one of the first cards ever produced of one of America's most dominant teams.
"In baseball’s pioneer days, no team was more successful or famous than the 1869 Red Stockings. Led by brothers Harry and George Wright, both who are in the Hall of Fame, the club ran out the season undefeated as the game’s only professional team. They toured extensively and played before packed houses on the way to a 57-0 season record. Other members included Cal McVey, Charlie Gould, Andy Leonard, Asa Brainard, Doug Allison, Charlie Sweasy, Fred Waterman, and Dick Hurley. This CdV pictures all ten members, with “Red-Stocking Base Ball Club, Cincinnati” printed on the right border of the mount. The photo is strong and clear, and there is a tiny repair to the edge of the left border; blank back is stamped “50c”. Overall excellent condition. The most important baseball card of the pre-league era."It sold at an incredible $9,929.00.
If you thought the the card above was pricey then check out the card below. It sold for $46,919.00.
"All N167 Old Judges are among the rarest 19th century cards, and those of Hall of Famers among the most expensive. This rookie card of Roger Connor, by far the highest ever graded, is in sharp Near Mint condition with square corners and perfect centering. PSA has only graded two N167 a “7”, and this one is the better of the two. Thus, it is the finest one in the hobby. A gem, and a legendary hobby rarity."How can a piece of cardboard this old remain in such perfect condition?
Auction Link: Sloate Auctions:
"I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!"
"ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?!"
"THAT'S THE ONLY WORD TO DESCRIBE IT"
"YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME !"
“Look at those eyes, holy cow! It’s like a baby going over to be breastfed!”
I was hooked. This guy was a laugh riot! Fortunately, I never picked up the phone, but I always sported a big smile when I saw him. Check out this website that praises the glory of Don West. DonWest.org.
Website Link: DonWest.org:
Photo Link: Gerweck.net:
What irony. James Loney convinces Matt Kemp to wear the wonder lenses and ends up winning the final spot on the team over Loney who has had a phenomenal Spring.
So, without much ado, I'd like to give a big Blue Heaven congratulatory cheer to Matt Kemp.
It appears the rise of the Dodger rookies on the field is in full bloom. How long will it be before Loney forces himself into the lineup? How about Abreu, LaRoche? And did you see Meleon yesterday? He has a major league curveball.