Friday, June 29, 2007

Rumors, Nothing But Rumors

I've been reading all over the net, the past few days, about one trade possibility after another. The Dodgers should trade for Glaus. How about Texiera. The Rangers will probably be going through a fire sale. Heck, maybe they'll include Gagne or Padilla. Jermaine Dye anyone? Buehrle might be available.

Frankly, I'm tired of it all. That's all I wanted to say

The Great Pirate Walk-Out

It appears the Pirate faithful have had enough. They have had enough of the losing. They have had enough of the sub-par play. Maybe, they have had enough of Jim Tracy too. Who knows? I guess losing for so long has a way of making your fans a little crazy. Watch for a potential walk-out during Saturday's game.
"The message board on teems with protest talk, and local television stations will be allowed to film the crowd during the game – no one from the organization wants to acknowledge the walkout."
Story Link: Jeff Passan:
Photo Link: Free Dictionary:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

eBay Wins: 3 Vintage Photos

I recently won these photos from eBay. The top pic is a 1st generation press photo of 2 Brooklyn Dodger fans screeching in agony. The back has a type written explanation of the afternoons going-ons. It is titled as "It Wuz a Tragedy--Moider."
Her face mirroring anguish, a female Dodger fan prays fervently for the tide to turn in favor of her "beloved" Bums. At another point in the Dodgers- Boston Braves game at Ebbets Field, Sept. 29th, a fan registers horror as the Dodgers go down in defeat, 4-0. The expressions were typical of the 30,756 fans who witnessed the game and saw their teams hopes for the pennant dimmed.
Below are two 1st generation original photos made by famed Baseball photographer George Burke. Wayne LeMaster is featured below. Immediately below him is Harry Taylor.

Hunt Auctions: Branch Rickey

I was thumbing through the Hunt Auctions All-Star Game Auction catalog over the weekend in hopes of finding some great Dodger memorabilia. This premier auction house rarely disappoints. There were numerous items that any Dodger collector would love to have, but there was only one item I felt truly told an important historical story.
The above photo features the 1904 Ohio-Wesleyan University Integrated Baseball Team Imperial Cabinet photo. What makes this so striking and important are two people in the photo; a talented black ballplayer named Charles Thomas and a very young team manager (dressed in a suit on the top right) Branch Rickey.

I'll let the auction speak for itself.
As with many integrated teams of the era, the team endured bigotry and undue hardships due to the social climate of the period. The story of African American player Charles Thomas and his young manager Branch Rickey is one of incredible significance within the history of baseball. In one well-known incident, Branch Rickey's Ohio-Wesleyan team played in Kentucky to the overt protest of the Kentucky players. When Rickey's team began to take the field with Thomas headed for first base, the Kentucky squad uttered numerous unspeakable racial slurs. Rickey was so incensed that he charged the opposing bench, threatening to take his entire team and leave if Kentucky refused to play with Thomas on the field. Eventually, the Kentucky team restrained itself and played the game. While this incident was well remembered by Rickey, another such occurrence would shape his ideals and, eventually, inspire change of a previously unknown magnitude within the game itself.

During a trip to South Bend to play Notre Dame, Branch Rickey was told by the clerk at the Oliver Hotel that the team was welcome except for Charlie Thomas. Rickey would not hear of it and insisted that Thomas be allowed to stay in Rickey's room as an unregistered guest. After threatening to take the entire team elsewhere, Rickey convinced the manager and sent for a cot. Recalling the events that immediately followed, Rickey described how "Tommy stood in the corner, tense and brooding and in silence. I asked him to sit in a chair and relax. Instead, he sat on the end of the cot, his huge shoulders hunched and his large hands clasped between his knees. I tried to talk to the captain, but I couldn't take my gaze from Tommy. Tears welled, ...spilled down his black face and splashed to the floor. Then his shoulders heaved convulsively and he rubbed one great hand over the other with all the power of his body, muttering, 'Black skin, if I could only make 'em white'. He kept rubbing and rubbing as though he would remove the blackness by sheer friction...."

Rickey and Thomas remained good friends for life. In fact, some 15 years later, his friendship with Charles Thomas, who by then had become a successful dentist, was such that when Thomas was denied a grandstand seat in Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, where Rickey was currently President of the club, Rickey boycotted his own team. Refusing to attend the game, Rickey spent the afternoon with his longtime friend Charlie Thomas.

In Referring to the episode in South Bend, Rickey later explained, "...whatever mark that incident left on the black was no more indelible than the impressions made on me..." Rickey would hold on to that conviction, eventually bringing Jackie Robinson to the Major Leagues in 1947. The amazing cabinet photograph offered here captures an essential moment in both the story of baseball and American social history. Additionally, the image was prominently featured within Ken Burns' acclaimed documentary "Baseball". This player Charles Thomas, the team, the events at Notre Dame, and Rickey's friendship and devotion to Mr. Thomas led, some 43 years later, to the integration of Major League Baseball and the legacy of Jackie Robinson, which continues to this day

Auction Link: Hunt:

UPDATE: The final price at auction was $16,000.00 before the bidder premium of 15%.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

New Sports Museum in LA

One of the southland's best secrets is about to become public. The Cypres Sports Museum consist of a
"treasure trove of baseball, football, golf, tennis and other sports memorabilia that (was) amassed during a two-decade collecting binge."
Gary Cypres has been a very active buyer. Check out the story and pics on the LA Times website.

Those that have had the opportunity to view the collection sing its praise.
Peter O'Malley ranks the Dodgers' section of the Cypres collection as "the best that I know of," and is ecstatic that the museum will be open to the public. "It's too good to only be seen by appointment. Schoolchildren, adults, collectors and baseball fans, not just from the U.S., but from Japan and all over the world should be able to see it."
I can't wait to see that section.
"His museum has such great breadth and depth," said Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. "It goes far beyond the Dodgers and baseball to almost every sport. It's an amazing little place."
Other items in the collection include a T206 Honus Wagner, a game used uniform of Babe Ruth from the 1934 Tour of Japan series, Heisman Trophies, game used Laker jerseys and sports themed board games from the 1800's.

So, when does this place open and how do I get there?

Story Link: LA Times:
Hat Tip: VBCF:

Friday, June 15, 2007

YouTube: New Dodger Videos

Today I thought I'd post some new Dodger themed videos from YouTube. The video below has some very good special effects.

YouTube Video Link:mastabingus:

If you listen to Kevin & Bean of KROQ then check out their day at the ballpark. Lightning is challenged to eat a Dodger dog an inning.

Lightning is kinda lame, eh. On top of that, you would think KROQ would put together some better videos than this. In fact, I can't figure out why I'm posting them. I must be bored.

YouTube Video Link: 1067KROQ:

Ms. Double December from various years are present at Dodger Day. There are a bunch of other folks as well, but who cares about them.

YouTube Video Link: 1067KROQ:

And, of course, how can I forget our very own Russell Martin and his tribute video pointed out by Inside the Dodgers.

YouTube Video Link: imhuerta:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

You Know You Were A Baseball Fan in the 80's If?

John Renneke of Balls & Cranks puts together a fun list asking an age old question. You know you were a Baseball fan in the 80's if? This reminds me how great 80's Baseball use to be. Below are some of my favorites.
1. You watched "This Week in Baseball" every Saturday afternoon and still get fired up every time you hear the theme song. (I miss Mel Allen)

2. You wanted to be a member of "the Baseball Bunch" so you could show Johnny Bench and Tommy Lasorda how great you were at catching pop-ups. (Didn't Tommy play a Mr. Wizard in that show too?)

4. You can remember Wrigley Field before it had lights. (The Glory Years!)

7. You can remember when hitting 30 home runs qualified as a monster season. (Now we're not happy unless we have a couple of guys on the team who can do it.)

10. You can remember when the Kansas City Royals were actually competitive in the American League. (Man, that was a long time ago.)

17. You remember when having a player's Topps card was the only one that really mattered. (And that gum... remember that gum?)

18. You remember when Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds were built like normal human beings.

19. You remember having to wait until the next day's newspaper arrived to check out the day's box scores.
Story Link: Bugs & Cranks:
Photo Link: CoffeeSwirls:

Wow! Talk About Unexpected!

This was the last thing I thought I'd read today.
The Dodgers announced today that they have dismissed Hitting Coach Eddie Murray and have named Bill Mueller as Interim Hitting Coach, according to Dodger Manager Grady Little.

“Change is never easy but sometimes it is necessary and we feel that this is the best thing right now to help the team win,” said Little. “Our offense hasn’t lived up to our expectations and no one person is responsible for the results we’ve had this season. I have the utmost respect for Eddie Murray as a person and as a professional and I wish him nothing but the best.”

Maybe the recent improvements made by Betemit, Pierre and the whole team this past series against the Mets was in spite of Murray instead of because of him.

Story Link: Inside the Dodgers:

Update: Trolley Dodger may have found the reason for Murray's departure in a story written by Tim Brown.

The problem, he said, was Murray could be difficult to approach, particularly for a young player. And Murray, he said, didn’t do enough of approaching of his own.

“He’s trying, I think,” the veteran said. “He’s better this year than he was last year.”

Yup, that's probably it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mastro Auctions: Hands Up!

Mastro has put up a great collection of hands that once ruled the Baseball world in their most recent auction. If you've been a long time reader of this blog you'll remember the remarkable photo of Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown's hand Mastro sold last year. Well, Mastro has decided to step it up. They now have 19 auctions featuring Baseball grips and palms.
Above, Chief Bender shows of his pitch.
Christy Mathewson's right hand helped win a World Series for the Giants in 1905. (above)
Above is the hand of Eddie Plank gripping a Basball.
Slugger Frank "Home Run" Baker put fear into minds of Major League pitchers with his hands. (above)
The great Satchel Paige shows off his screwball above.

Mastro Auction Link:

eBay: Rare 1908-1909 Brooklyn Superbas Rose Company Postcard

This is one of my favorite vintage Baseball postcards. It is a 1908-1909 Rose Company Postcard of Baseball players. There are 196 total cards in the set, and I would be surprised if a complete set existed in any collection. Brooklyn Superbas/ Dodger pitcher Harry McIntire is featured in this auction. Unfortunately, I don't have one in my collection, and by the looks of it, I might not be adding one for a long time. It sold for $306.99 in poor condition. I can't imagine what a card in mint condition would sell for.

eBay Auction Link:

$1 Million Offer for Bonds Homerun Ball is Now Rescinded

Did you hear about the $1,000,000.00 offer from Heritage Galleries to purchase the record breaking ball? Well, it has been rescinded.
"There's a real concern that mania over the breaking of Hank Aaron's lifetime home run record coupled with a reward for the ball could lead to fans' injuries," said company President Greg Rohan... "After personally traveling to San Francisco and meeting with a senior Security Department official at AT&T Park about the potential for a melee in the stands, and discussing potential liability with our attorneys, we have reluctantly, but we feel prudently, withdrawn the $1 million bounty for the baseball. We didn't hear of any way to prevent possible public safety problems, and we don't want a fan or a child injured or killed," Rohan explained.
Hat Tip: SCD:
Photo Pic: Up For Grabs:

The Kuo Flip

Sports Unfiltered shows us the Hong-Chih Kuo flip.

YouTube Link: Stalinone:
Hat Tip: Sports Unfiltered:

Former Dodger Park signs deal with Astros

The Babes from the Babes Love Baseball site let us know that old Dodger phenom Chan Ho Park has just signed a AAA deal with the Houston Astros. At 33 years old I guess they figure he must still have something in the tank.
We're going to send him to the minor leagues and make a few starts and see where we are,'' Garner said. ``You're taking a chance on him. You see where it stands and see if there's a possibly of helping out our ballclub."
Good luck Park, I still remember how great you were when you wore Blue.

Hat Tip: Babes Love Baseball:
Houston Chronicle Story Link:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Kuo Was Pimp'n It

Tonight was a great all around game for the Dodgers tonight. It was especially a great night for Hong-Chih Kuo. Not only did he pitch an outstanding seven innings, but he hit a long home run to rightfield that capped off three straight dingers by the Dodgers 7, 8 & 9 hitters. Kuo knew he got it all as he flung the bat high in the air.

On the radio after the game Matt Kemp said that he had seen Kuo hit many a ball that hard in the minors, but added that he certainly was not pimp'n it today. No, Matt. He sure was pimp'n it to the delight of 42,438 Dodgers fans in attendance.

Below are some photos I took at tonight's game.

My Photoalbum:

UPDATE: BTW, Kuo is the first Taiwanese to hit a homerun in the major leagues. Contrats!

UPDATE II: Diamond Leung reminds me that the crowd did briefly start a Hong-Chih Kuo chant shortly after his homerun. A friend turned to me and said where's Hee-Seop Choi now? I said, "Who cares?"

YouTube: Baseball and Lightsabers

Below is a short little video that fuses Baseball with Star Wars. I'd love to see a longer version played out on the Baseball diamond.

YouTube Link: anonymousdonut:
HatTip: Home Run Derby:

Doc Marshall's Pitching Revolution

Former Cy Young winner Dr. Mike Marshall is the focus of an LA Times sports front page cover story today. As some of you may know he has set out to revolutionize the way pitchers pitch. As you read further you understand that Baseball is less than receptive.
"They just didn't want my ideas to get in," Marshall says. "That's ridiculous. But that's the small-mindedness of Major League Baseball. They don't know what the hell they're doing. And if I get in, everybody will know that they don't know what the hell they're doing."
To tell you the truth I don't know anything about pitching at this level. Are the arm injuries that seem so common today the result of habits that have long been the staple of Major League Baseball? Has Doc Marshall discovered the optimal way to pitch? Is organized Baseball fearful of his teachings? Or are they just fed up with him overall? Who knows, but i figure if he can help a ballclub win games then he must be worth listening to. If his players experience less injuries, then there must be someone in Baseball willing to take an objective look.

Of course, I'm reminded of a phrase I once read many moons ago that may very well explain Baseball's reluctance. I'll do my best to rephrase it since I can't find the original quote now.

"The ability to understand an issue is dependent on how it effects your livelihood."

For example, it would be impossible for an oil executive or those who benefit from oil to truly understand and accept the impact of oil consumption and global warming since doing so would negatively effect that persons livelihood. If global warming truly exist and oil consumption is a major reason for its existence, then oil company executives will have to accept a reduction in their corporate revenue since the world would seek to reduce the overall consumption of oil. This would directly cause paychecks to dwindle in that industry. Jobs would diminish. Entire local and national economies could be decimated around the world. Hubert's Peak is another good example of this within this industry.

Likewise, Baseball could not possibly understand or accept Dr. Marshall's ideas since doing so could not only revolutionize what they know or don't know about pitching, but could also mean the potential loss of jobs for countless number of coaches around the league.

Change is difficult. Just my two cents.

LA Time Story Link:
Photo Link: Baseball-Almanac:
2002 Interview with Dr. Marshall on BP: Part 1: Part II:

Loney Paying Dividends

Thank you SOSG for spearheading the campaign to bring Loney back to the bigs. Now all we need is a permanent home for the man.

So far, he is 2 for 8 with an RBI in each game he has played in so far this year. His run scoring double in last night's game was the winning run.

For now he will be subbing for Nomar.
"Little said he would use him to rest Garciaparra in the hope of keeping him healthy and productive."

Story Link: LA Times:

Monday, June 11, 2007

From Good to Bad to Worse

What a miserable past week we've experienced. It starts with a battle against our division rival, the Padres, that ends in a embarrassing shellacking. Chris Young, who must have looked like Cy Young to Dodger hitters, out-duels returning pitcher Jason Schmidt on Tuesday. Trevor Hoffman, the man who has recorded a majority of his saves against us, records his 500th Wednesday night. Then, the usually dependable bullpen falters in the last game of the series on Thursday. We get swept and move from 1st place to 3rd place in a blink of an eye.

Next comes the Toronto Blue Jays who are playing less that .500 ball. They have been the subject of rumors indicating that they may be dismantled after a disappointing start to the season. They should have been a team ripe for the picking. Instead, the Dodgers look like a minor league squad. Our offense has disappeared. Our saving grace was a walk-off homerun from Olmedo the Killer Tomato on Friday. A great individual performance from Derek Lowe was wasted in Saturday's game. Sunday's game was difficult to watch as we give up a collective 11 runs.

Jon writes,
"It is interesting that the lowest point of the Dodger season - five losses in six games - comes in transition to some new blood. I'm sure the Dodgers are feeling down, but I'm eager to see what comes. And it's not even that I expect problems to be solved overnight - the kids need all of our patience. It's just that the guys with potential are here, and I'm not one who believes that potential is a dirty word."
Jon is right, I welcome the opportunity to see all of our young farmhands on the field. These kids deserve a chance to play. Colletti's plan to field a team of aging veterans is on the verge of ruin and the only remedy is the farm system that has already paid some dividends. Let them play!

Image Link: Crescent Blues:

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Photos From Petco

My friend Mike was down in San Diego on Tuesday to catch the Dodger game with the Padres. Below are some pics he sent me this afternoon.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

This One Hurts

Incredible. Unbelievable. Unfathomable. A slow roller, a couple flubbed plays and just plain bad luck did us in tonight. I fell in love with Baseball because of games like this. Unfortunately, the Blue Crew was on the losing end. Oh Well.

It's hard to place any blame on any singular player. Broxton got some ground balls that, if not for the misalignment of the planets, would have resulted in a couple of outs. Kent would have had to make an great play on that first groundball. Nomar is probably the largest contributor to tonight's ninth inning loss, but his desire to turn two and a high chopper can hardly be blamed on him.

I guess at the end of the day we should try to forget this game. Of course, that's easier said than done.

Drunk Dodger Revelers

A couple of Dodger yahoos decide to try to steal Hoffman's thunder in last night's game. They run onto the field while he is warming up and get tackled by security.

YouTube Link:
HatTip: Gaslamp Ball:

Dodgers Pick Chris Withrow in the First Round of the Draft

Logan White has been a magician. He is one of the great soothsayers of the amateur Baseball draft. Hopefully he has done it again with the Dodgers first selection in this summers amateur Baseball draft. High school right-hander Chris Withrow is now in the Dodgers sights.

Withrow went 8-1 with a 1.32 ERA, 90 strikeouts and eight walks his senior year. He was ranked as the 44th-best player available by Baseball America.

"The year we took Chad Billingsley [in 2003], some people said we were reaching," said Logan White, vice president of scouting. "I'm excited. We got a tall, rangy, athletic kid with outstanding mechanics and his arm action is as good as I've seen. He's a player with a very high ceiling, a frontline starter that we just need to develop the right way."

Withrow is 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, and White compared him to a young John Smoltz in delivery and body type. Withrow's father, Mike, pitched in the White Sox Minor League system.

He's like John Smoltz. I like the sound of that.

Story Link:

UPDATE: See a complete listing of all Dodger draft picks here:

Congratulations Ducks!

The Ducks are the champions of the hockey world. As a long time Kings fan it pains me to mention those words, but the Ducks deserve it. They were clearly the best team in the NHL. They played a high intensity grinding style of hockey that reminded me of my youth. When toughness was the name of the game and perseverance was key. The Ducks did that and more.

For long suffering Kings fans my words may not assuage the anguish felt by die-hard fans. Nevertheless, it will pass. I would like to point to a post recently put on the Lets Go Kings fan website as necessary reading for the despondent members of the Kings nation.

...And countless LGKers follow him over the edge in some sort of pied piper moment of mass ritual self-pity, I'm not following and I hope LGKers don't also.

First: Congratulations to the Ducks. The won the Cup fair and square, with the best team the league has seen in quite some time, and I still think they never played up to their full potential. Nice job. They earned it.

Second: Yes, this stings. It hurts. It is quite painful to watch this. It's frustrating, painful, hurtful, last night was definitely "Black Wednesday" to the honest, loyal King fans that have hung around through it all. Me, for 25-odd years now.

Third, and perhaps most importantly: This is an excellent thing for SoCal hockey. You can take the lumps and embrace the future or you can whine and complain that that Kings weren't "first." Yeah, maybe it sucks the Kings weren't first, but how is that really going to affect the way you feel when the Kings do win their first? Something tells me you won't be crying about not being first on that day.

Hockey is a business. When there are multiple business in the same place and one attains great success, the other must follow suit to remain in business. Ducks CFO Tim Ryan (I think that's his name) demonstrated tremendous class and respect last night when he was asked about the importance of this Cup win for SoCal hockey. He said: "This is great for the Ducks, it's great for the Los Angeles Kings, and great for hockey in Southern California."

He's right. Period.

The Kings (hopefully) have the right leadership in place, a stable of excellent young talent, and quite possibly the greatest motivation of all 35 miles down the street. The Kings are at the bottom, beginning an up-swing, and will be in this happy place in a few seasons. I still have hope. I have never been more proud to be a Kings fan than today...oddly enough.

I guess I'm proud because I never left them for the new team in town. I'm proud because I recieved a call last night from a buddy who was a Ducks season ticket holder, "quit" the Ducks when Kariya & Selanne left, hasn't been a Ducks fan since...but yet somehow was as excited a little school girl last night. He was hardly legible on the phone. He sounded like ...hell, I don't even know how to explain it. I'm proud because I'm not him and never will be. Why? Because I've never quit the Kings!!!

So, go jump off the cliff if you choose to. Go into a hole of self pity and whine about everything you can come up with from last nights Cup win for the Ducks. Or man up, take your lumps, and be thankful and optimistic for the very bright future the Kings have in front of them. Look at it this way, the Ducks are returning the favor. If not for Gretzky & the Kings in the first place, the Ducks wouldn't exist. We made them, now they are forcing our hand. Win or become forgotten. Win or become the Clippers.

I am not a Ducks fan. Never have been, never will be. This hurts me as much as the next Kings die hard fan. Believe me. But I recognize what it means. I recognize the enormous motivation for success this means for the Kings. This will be a good thing.

It hurts now. It won't later. And if you're so wrapped up in the fact that the Kings weren't "first", then that's your shortcoming. That is an insignificant piece of worthless barroom trivia. The kind you win a bottle of scotch on.

Congratulations Ducks. Nice win. That's the last time I say it.


I've been waiting nearly 25 years myself. So, all I can add is that patience is a virtue.

Photo Link: Ticket News:

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

In Remembrance of D-Day

FDR's D-Day Prayer

YouTube Link:
HatTip: Thanks Aaron!:

Below are photos from of Normandy Beach taken this past New Years by John Aravosis at AmericaBlog.
Photo Links: AmericaBlog:

BP Sings Little's Praise

In the relatively short amount of time we have gotten to know Grady Little as manager of the Dodgers I must say that I am glad he is here. He has been a calming force in an organization that has seen nothing but strife since the FOX ownership and subsequent sale to the McCourt's. For the first time in years the Dodgers feel like the team I remember as a kid. Sure, I can barely understand him when he is being interviewed, but I think his deep southern accent and home-spun nature has rubbed off on the players and the fans.

You don't believe me. Well, let's see what Nomar has to say.
“He’s a great manager,” said Garciaparra, who joined his hometown Dodgers prior to the start of last season and made the transition from shortstop to first baseman. “What makes him great is how he handles people. He has a lot of respect for all the players. He understands how difficult this game is to play, and he also understands the strengths and weaknesses of his players. He sets a very good tone in the clubhouse. He keeps things nice and relaxed, and that’s the attitude you need to be successful. Teams that are uptight usually don’t perform well.”
It is about RESPECT.

Jason Schmidt knows Grady pretty well also.
Schmidt had played for Little while coming up through the Atlanta Braves’ farm system. “He tells it like it is, and I think every player, deep down, appreciates that,” Schmidt said. “He’ll tell you when you’ve done good things, but he’ll also lay it on the line when things are bad. Maybe you don’t want to hear the bad, and you’ll go in the corner and cry about it for a day, but you also realize and appreciate that you’re being dealt with honestly. And the record shows he’s a winner.”
It is about HONESTY.

What does Grady Little have to say about all of the accolades.
“The thing is that we have a good team,” Little said. “We’re really solid in every area and have a bunch of guys who fit well together. Ned Colletti has done a good job of building a winning team, and we have a good farm system backing it up.”
It is about MODESTY.


Check out the rest of the article from Baseball Prospectus here.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hit Sign... Win Suit

From today's Baseball Hall of Fame "Inside Pitch" email.

When Abe Stark came up with the idea of giving away a new suit of clothes to a ballplayer to garner attention for his men's store, he thought he had an ingenious plan. He asked the Dodgers to place his sign at the bottom of the right field scoreboard, starting at the ground, with the words "Hit Sign, Win Suit." The catch? The batted ball had to hit the sign, which was approximately four feet tall, on the fly. As he hoped, Stark's sign created a buzz, and also (as he hoped), he gave away few suits.

For six seasons, no one hit the sign. Then, on June 6, 1937, a light-hitting Brooklyn shortstop got a free set of threads from Mr. Stark. That afternoon, Woody English hit a line drive off Cincinnati left-hander Johnny Vander Meer that banged off the right field wall and Stark's sign. English trotted into second base with a double and Stark had to give away his first free suit.

English was an unlikely candidate for breaking the drought. The scrawny infielder hadn't hit a homer the previous season and would hit just one in 1937. He would hit just .238 for Brooklyn that season. In addition, English was a right-handed hitter, so hit suit-winning hit went to his opposite field.

Ironically for Stark, a dedicated Dodger fan, it was Mel Ott of the rival New York Giants who was the only opposing player to hit the sign and win a suit. "Master Melvin," who was a famous pull hitter, accomplished it twice. Dodgers' outfielder Carl Furillo, a stellar defensive player, was so adept at roaming right field, that Stark reportedly gave Furillo a suit to reward him for all of the free suits he saved with his glove.

Stark's sign remained on the Dodger scoreboard until the team moved to Los Angeles and abandoned Ebbets Field. The Museum's Sacred Ground exhibit, which contains hundreds of artifacts from ballparks, contains the cornerstone from Ebbets Field.

YouTube: Dodger Videos

For your viewing and listening pleasure.

YouTube Link: Ramsas:

How can you go wrong with Nancy Bea playing "High Hopes"

YouTube Link:

And part 2.

YouTube Link: SootikinCharlie:

Keep them come'n Charlie!

So Far So Good

Saito passes the first test.
Injured Dodgers closer Takashi Saito tested his strained left hamstring before Tuesday night's game, playing catch and doing some light jogging and cross-over drills.

Saito threw softly and landed on his left leg gently, but didn't back off the workout and seemed to be satisfied with his progress in the two days since suffering the injury. Before the workout, he said he does not feel discomfort while doing normal everyday motions.

"The final checkpoint will be when I can throw off a mound," Saito said. "It's throwing off the incline and the twisting, that's where the discomfort was. If I can do that, I can pitch in a game."

Story Link:

Long Beach Armada Changes Their Name

I just received an email from the Long Beach Armada. Apparently they have changed their name to follow in Anaheim's footsteps.
The Long Beach Armada professional baseball team announced today that it has changed its official name. The new name will be the Long Beach Armada of Los Angeles of California of the United States of North America Including Barrow, Alaska. The name will be the longest of any professional sports team in the world. The Armada have partnered with Barrow, Alaska to form the northernmost sister city franchise in professional baseball.

“In order to better reach the larger Armada Nation, we felt compelled to lengthen the name to incorporate all our fans stretching from the warm beaches of Los Angeles to the frigid beaches of the artic circle,” Golden Baseball League CEO Dave Kaval stated. “Our inspiration was Arte Moreno’s brilliant marketing gambit of positioning the Anaheim Angeles as an LA team. Being a real Los Angeles county team, we too wanted to extend our reach as far north as possible.”
The team will carry an abbreviation of LBALACUSNAIBA. To honor the last two letters of their abbreviation, The Armada will host “Barrow Alaska Day at Blair Field” on Saturday July 30th. The game will be dedicated to the Armada fans in Barrow, Alaska. Armada fans in Barrow, Alaska can tune in to KBRW am/fm for more information on Armada baseball.

Wow. I think I'll go to a
Long Beach Armada of Los Angeles of California of the United States of North America Including Barrow, Alaska game.

Press Release Link: