Monday, November 26, 2007

Rodney McCray Joins The Dodgers

The Dodgers have a new roving baserunning and outfield coach and its Rodney McCray. You may recall his famous catch while crashing through the outfield wall at Portland's Civic Stadium in 1991. His catch was even immortalized 15 years later with a bobblehead (above).

Story Link:
YouTube Link: schwisow1093:
Pic Link:

Sounds Like Music To My Ears

What is that old saying? Sometimes, the best trades are the ones you don't make. Colletti is singing a new tune.
"There's potential for change, but as we look at the young players that we played a lot this past year, we're less likely to fill in [positions with veterans] as much as we have in the past and more likely we'll give the younger players greater opportunity," Colletti said. "I'm curious to see how our young players, who really had a chance this past year to play full-time, I'm curious to see what another year does."
Maybe the youngsters are here to stay.

Pic Link: NASA:

Loney's An All-Star

James Loney has been named to the 49th Annual 2007 Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team. Baseball-Reference is saying that he was a unanimous selection. Andre Ethier and Russell Martin were honored last year in 2006. Below are the rest of the group.
1B-James Loney, Los Angeles (NL)
2B-Dustin Pedroia, Boston
SS-Troy Tulowitski, Colorado
3B-Ryan Braun, Milwaukee
OF-Delmon Young, Tampa Bay
OF-Chris Young, Arizona
OF-Hunter Pence, Houston
C-Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia
RHP-Brian Bannister, Kansas City
LHP-Hideki Okajima, Boston
Story Link:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Class Act: "The Value of Loyalty"

Unfortunately, Chan Ho Park's best years are probably well behind him. Fortunately, he still has the pride and values to know what is important to him. Sure, he wanted to finish off his MLB career by rejoining the Dodgers in some capacity, but patriotism and loyalty to his teammates on the Korean National Baseball Team came first. After all, he is the captain of the team.
"After giving long and deep thought to the matter, I concluded that I should respect loyalty," Park wrote. "Both are important to me -- to sign a contract with the Dodgers to pursue my dreams and goals, and to participate in the Olympics for my country. But the thought of leaving the national team bothered me most."
Pic Link:
Hat Tip: 6-4-2:
Story Link: Chosun:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Local Paper Sounds Off Against Dodger Plan

With the Dodgers last year at Dodgertown seemingly less spectacular than desired a local Palm Beach paper expresses its anger and disdain at the club.

It's bad enough the Dodgers are divorcing us, walking out on a commitment that was supposed to keep them here through at least 2020, but what they're doing on the way out is disgraceful.

They're lying when they say they can take all their front-line players to China and leave behind a split squad worth watching. They're cheating the people of Vero Beach out of one last, feel-good spring at Dodgertown and the chance to give what was a unique, 60-year relationship a proper sendoff. They're stealing the final two weeks of the team's spring-training finale on the Treasure Coast.

For that, they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

But they're not.

They don't care enough about you or Vero Beach to do what's right. They have no respect for history or the special bond that was forged between the team and the town. As far as they're concerned, they owe you nothing.

It gets juicer.

The Dodgers are going to China because they WANT TO. And they're not coming back to Dodgertown because they DON'T WANT TO, because it's cheaper and more convenient to finish in Arizona.

If the Dodgers had any class, they wouldn't leave Vero Beach early. They'd say no to China and Taiwan and wherever else they might stop along the way. They wouldn't schedule a three-game exhibition series against the Boston Red Sox at Dodger Stadium the last weekend in March.

At the very least, they would've made sure local officials were aware of their plan — before it appeared in the newspaper.

It sounds like the Dodgers may be burning this bridge.

Story Link:

Team USA Are World Cup Champions

Team USA did the incredible. They beat the powerful Cuban team 6 to 3. Cuba had previously won 9 straight titles. Rockies prospect Jason Nix belted a homerun and finished the day with 2 RBI's. He was named the tournaments Most Outstanding Player. Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young had 2 hits each in 5 at-bats. Overall, Andy LaRoche went 11 for 33, batting .333, hit 3 homeuns, 3 doubles, scored 8 runs, 10 RBI's, 5 walks and a stolen base. Delwyn Young, unfortunately, struggled. He went 6 for 31, batting .194, 1 homerun, 4 doubles, 5 runs scored, 4 RBI's and 7 walks.

Watch the game online here.

Box Score: Team USA 6, Cuba 3.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Trying To Put My Mind At Ease

At least I can sleep a little better at night.
One of the first things Ned said on the call is that one of the difficult things is that our "prospects" aren't really prospects anymore. They're legitimate Major Leaguers and everyone seems to understand that. Any trade that would be made would be made with that in mind.

Pic Link: Classically Liberal:
Story Link: Inside The Dodgers:

USA vs. Cuba

This is the game I was hoping for. It's a battle between the team that represent the country that invented the game versus a team who has won the nine past World Cups. USA vs. Cuba is a Baseball matchup that never gets old.

Cuba has always been a Baseball breeding ground. They have produced stars such as Orestes Minnie Minoso, Jose Mendez, Martin Dihigo, Tony Perez, Louis Tiant and Cristobal Torrienti. They have won 25 of 37 World Cups, including the last nine. It's like they're the Yankees of international play. A force to be reckoned with no doubt.

Team USA, on the otherhand, has only won 2 World Cups. Of course, they have never fielded an All-Star caliber team, instead focusing on youngsters. Nevertheless, today's team consist of some of America's best and brightest Major League prospects. These are kids are hungry and full of promise.

The gold medal game starts at 12:30AM PST or 3:30 AM EST. That's tonight in about 2 hours. If your still up check out the game live a this link.

Current Team USA stats:

Spring Training Update: Split Squad To Stay In Florida

A split squad will be staying in Florida during the games in Asia.
The Los Angeles Dodgers confirmed Friday they would field a team in Vero Beach for the entire 2008 spring training, but it likely will be a split squad for the final half.
Unfortunately, half of the team will not be going back to Dodgertown after the exhibition games in China.
"People shouldn't think that we did not want to return to Vero Beach. The players association decided they did not want them flying all the way back to Florida. Split-squad games are played in spring training all the time, so that's what this will be."

Pic Link: Photoalbum:
Story Link:

Friday, November 16, 2007

LaRoche Helps Team USA Advance in Win Over Korea, 3-1

LaRoche did all the offensive damage Team USA would need in defeating Korea to advance into the semifinals.

USA jumped out to a 2-0 lead after Jayson Nix singled and Andy LaRoche crushed a 3-2 pitch into the left field seats for his third homerun of the tournament.
He finished up the day going 1 for 3 with a homerun, 2 RBI's and a walk. Delwyn Young went 0 for 3 with 2 strike outs and one walk.

Box Score: USA 3, Korea 1:
Game Notes:

Dodgers Eyeing Rowand, But His Agents Comment Has Me Worried

Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise has the scoop. Aaron Rowand is talking to the Dodgers. This in itself is an interesting development that deserved discussion since it appears to confirm that the Dodgers are looking to add a veteran outfielder. On the other hand, Diamond quotes Rowand's agent at the end of his article that brought chills to my spine.
"The interest appears to depend on a lot of things," Landis (Rowand's agent) said. "The Dodgers are apparently focusing on a veteran club and various ways to spend money. Aaron is a candidate, and so are other people via trade and free agency. It's still in the early process."
A veteran club? Could this spell doom for the Dodger youth movement? Is Colletti's penchant for a veteran presence fostered within the chilly confines of the San Francisco bay finally rearing it's ugly head within Dodgerland? Have we given up on some of our more promising potential stars?

Story Link: Diamond Leung:

REA: Extremly Rare 1865 Silver Trophy Ball

This is one of the rarest of all Baseball relics. Not even the Baseball Hall of Fame has an example in their collection. REA has unearthed a 1865 silver trophy ball for their upcoming auction. It's a
"presentation silver trophy ball awarded by the Ulster County Agricultural Society to the Mutual B. B. C. in honor of their victory over the Active B. B. C. on September 21, 1865. In the 1860s, the ultimate prize that could be won by a team for being victorious in an organized baseball tournament was a “silver ball.” The coveted “silver ball” was the earliest formal baseball trophy, presented to honor the tournament champions. This is the first important silver trophy ball that has ever come to auction."
Also, the Mutual Base Ball Club was owned by the Tammany Hall politician “Boss” Tweed, and the team was involved in Baseballs first gambling scandal. In fact, the gambling scandal happened one week after the tournament for this ball .
The Mutuals were one of the best clubs of the era, but they had a history of “suspicious” losses, and it was openly known within the gambling community that many of their players could be “bought.” Incredibly, just one week after its game with the Actives in Kingston, the Mutuals were involved in what is recognized as baseball’s first major gambling scandal. On September 28, 1865, the Mutuals lost a game to the Brooklyn Eckfords by a score of 23-11. Following that loss it was discovered that three Mutual players, Thomas Devyr (shortstop), William Wansley (catcher), and Edward Duffy (third baseman), each accepted $100 to throw the game. After admitting their involvement in the conspiracy, all three were expelled from baseball shortly after. Incredibly, the trio was eventually reinstated a few years later: Devyr in 1867‚ Duff in 1869‚ and Wansley in 1870.
What an incredible item. I can't help but think that this ball belongs in a museum.

Robert Lifson of REA does a great job of providing a detailed description of the ball and its significance, so I'll let his word conclude this blog post.
This is a simply phenomenal relic dating from the earliest days of our national pastime, just months after the Civil War had ended and the great popularity of the game was just beginning to spread throughout the land. The fact that it was awarded to the Mutuals, one of baseballs most historically significant and notorious clubs, just one week prior to their gambling scandal, and was also personally presented to the infamous Boss Tweed, only adds to its great historical significance.
Story Link: REA Blog:

Who has the $1,000,000 Baseball?

Where is #762? It's out there somewhere. Is it sitting in a mitt ready to be thrown from one glove to another, or has the owner kept it in a safe place as a memento? After all, it's not everyday you catch a homerun.

With Bonds possibly forced into retirement, he may never hit another homerun again. So his last homerun in Colorado on September 5th may become very valuable.
The ball Bonds hit off Ubaldo Jimenez landed in the left field seats at Coors Field, but it's still unclear what happened to it.

No special effort was made to recover it and no one has come forth thus far claiming to own it. That could change now that it appears 762 may stand as the record.

Auction companies have said the $752,000 Mark Ecko paid for #756 would be surpassed should the final home run ball be authenticated and come up for sale.

Man-O-Live! Someone out there is holding a fortune.

Story Link: Sports Collectors Daily:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Barry Bonds Indicted

News from out of the Blue. Barry has just been indicted for perjury and obstruction.

The indictment charged Bonds with lying when he said that he didn't knowingly take steroids given to him by his personal trainer, Greg Anderson. He also denied taking steroids at anytime in 2001 when he was pursuing the season home-run record.

He is also charged with lying that Anderson never injected him with steroids.

"Greg wouldn't do that," Bonds testified in December 2003 when asked if Anderson ever gave him any drugs that needed to be injected. "He knows I'm against that stuff."

Ya know, my problem with all of this is that I can't help but gloat. Does that make me a bad person?

Anyway, I don't believe there is any realistic chance Barry will end up in jail. Probation and public service time are probably in the cards.

Also, how do you like my weak attempt at photo-shopping.

Story Link: Yahoo Sports:

A-Rod Is Off The Table

At least we don't ever have to hear about A-Rod and his crazy contract demands again.
"Rodriguez -- minus agent Scott Boras -- initiated talks that, according to a baseball source, will return Rodriguez to the Yankees under a 10-year, $275-million contract."
The big negative is that this may cause the value of Cabrera to increase to heights unacceptable to the Dodgers. Heck, i consider many of the names already thrown around unacceptable to this Dodger fan.

Story Link: LA Times:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's Starting To Look Official: Dodgers to Play Padres in China

Well this may ruin Spring Training plans for a bunch of people.
Signs also point to the Padres and Dodgers playing exhibition games in Beijing, China, on March 15-16, 2008...The delay in making that announcement has nothing to do at this point with MLB, DuPuy said, since the Padres, Dodgers and players union are all in agreement about going.
It's not yet official, but if your planning on heading out to Dodgertown I'd wait to find out if the team decides to cut their Florida spring short. They could still just send a split squad to China and keep everyone else in Florida.

Story Link:
Hat Tip: Griddle:
Pic Link: Wikipedia:

Team USA Continues Its Winning Ways

Team USA wins four in a row and earns the top seeding in the quarterfinals as they edge past Chinese Taipei, 10 to 7. If things continue on this track we may see a Cuba vs. USA match-up.

Dodger Andy LaRoche had 1 hit in 5 at-bats while recording 2 RBI's.
Colby Rasmus walked to lead off the (5th) inning and Nix followed with a single. Rasmus and Nix then pulled off a double steal of second and third and Andy LaRoche ripped the next pitch into the right-center gap scoring both base runners. Two batters later Longoria ripped a single to left scoring LaRoche and giving the U.S. a 6-3 advantage.
Delwyn Young hit 2 doubles, going 2 for 4 for the day, and scored 2 runs with 1 RBI. Young has been just as impressive this winter as LaRoche. The Road to Beijing Blog adds,
"Delwyn Young is just plain fun to watch. Whether it's the 3-run bomb, the facial-Jim-Edmonds-esque catch in left, the wide open jersey a la David Wells, or the, what has to be 74 in. bat he swings at the plate, you get your money's worth."
I hope these 2 kids get a chance to prove themselves with the Dodgers.

Game Notes Link:
Box Score: USA 10, Chinese Taipei 7:

Vintage Authentics Auction: Cap Anson Game Used Bat

Sure, we've seen jerseys worn by Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig, but how about a game-used bat by one of the games earliest stars. Well, Vintage Authentics is auctioning off an item just like that. Below is a game-used bat from the first member of the 3,000 hit club, Cap Anson. What's great about this bat is it's provenance. First, the barrel of the bat (see below) has the following inscription, "this bat was used in the campaign of the 1888 Chicago B.C. (Baseball Club) By Our Beloved Adrian C. Cap Anson." Second, the bat also has a piece of paper on the barrel that dates to the late 19th Century. Finally, the bat comes with a 1907 Sporting Life article explaining how the bat left Cap Anson's home.
The article recounts the story of how Pittsburgh catcher Harry Peitz aka Henry aka Heinie Peitz, who enjoyed a 16 year major league career, was at the time of his meeting with Anson a member of the Pirates circa 1906. Peitz actually obtained this game bat while visiting Anson at his home. The Hall of Fame 3,000 Hit Club member encouraged Peitz to visit his home by stating "come out to my house this evening and I will show you something to make your eyes water". Who among us could possibly decline.

Anson took him down to his cellar and Peitz was allowed to see hundreds of vintage hickory game used bats hanging in racks. Anson encouraged Peitz to take his pick as a momento and Heinie wisely chose the game used specimen presented in this lot.
Currently the auction is at $66,500.00, but I would expect it to go for much higher than that.

Auction Link: Cap Anson Bat:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

LaRoche Is On Fire!

Team USA clinches a quarterfinal spot as they defeat South Africa, 4 to 2, to extend their winning streak to 3 games. Dodger rookie, Andy LaRoche, continues to whack the ball. He went 3 for 3 with 1 run and 3 RBI's. Delwyn Young went 0 for 3 in today's win.

If I may echo MSTI, I think the other option available to the Dodgers at thirdbase may be right in our own house. Andy LaRoche is doing his best to force people to take notice. In fact, Mark Timmons of LA Dodger Talk, is paying attention and believes he has outshined the other highly touted prospect Evan Longoria of Tampa Bay during the IBAF World Cup.

Game Notes:
Box Score: USA 4, South Africa 2:

Could This Be The Worlds First Baseball Card?

One of the things always on the mind of any Baseball collector is the first Baseball card. What was the first card? Of course, many collectors will argue about what constitutes a Baseball card. Must they be insert in tobacco or gum packs? How about CDV's (which are basically mounted photographs)? Does an individual player need to be prominently displayed, or is a general Baseball scene acceptable? Who knows, and frankly I don't care. What I do like is the history an old Baseball relic will show and how it can help us appreciate and understand the game we love.

The above copper plate engraving, originally sold in a Leland's 2002 auction, may prove to be one of the earliest, if not, first Baseball card ever created. Sure there are depictions of the game in children's books dating to as far back as 1744, but this is the first known image of the game not in a book. What's even more fascinating is that this card, which measures 5" by 3 1/4",
is not an invitation... but a ticket, costing a dollar and, given its enamel-coated card stock and its original, commissioned imagery, intended to be saved as a memento,
as Baseball historian John Thorn points out. Thorn dates the above card at 1844. Check out the rest of his blog entry to find out more about this incredible item.

Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily:
Story Link: Thorn Pricks:
Pic Link: Lelands:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lelands Auction: November 2007

Lelands, once again, has a great collection of Baseball photos on auction. I thought I would take the space to share some of my favorites.

Below is a photo of the infamous, yet spectacular White Sox outfielder, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. It was taken after the 1919 World Series and shows a man who doesn't seem able to smile. "Say it ain't so Joe."

Eddie Gaedel will forever live as Bill Veeck's greatest stunt. The 3'8" man, shown below, is the shortest person to every play in the majors.

In the 50's the Dodgers went on many world tours in hopes of spreading the glory of Baseball. Below is a 1956 photo during the teams Tour of Japan series. Jim Gilliam is the only recognizable face. Photo comes from the archives of Roger Craig.

We've all seen photos of the great Sandy Koufax throwing a Baseball, but have you ever seen him playing football. Below he cradles a ball like it's a newborn baby.

Lelands Auction Link:

LaRoche and Young Hit Homers Over The Weekend

After a surprising loss to Italy on Friday, Team USA decided to get back on track by beating Japan and routing Spain over the weekend. On top of that, there was plenty of Dodger news in these games.

On Saturday, in the 5 to 1 victory over Japan, Delwyn Young was the big hero as he drove in three runs in the first inning on a homerun to centerfield. He also made a highlight catch in the outfield.
Duensing (the Team USA pitcher) was helped by a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch from Young, who crashed face-first into the wall and managed to hold onto the ball and double up Kenji Yokoyama at first, saving at least one run.
Andy LaRoche earned 2 walks and scored twice. Our star closer, Takashi Saito, came in to provide some relief for Japan as Team USA pelted the Japanese starting pitcher. He faced just 2 batters, getting them both out to end the second inning.

On Sunday, Team USA unloaded on Spain, 12 to 1. Andy LaRoche did much of the damage as he belted 2 homeruns; his first to start the game and his second to cap the teams scoring for the day. He finished up with two homeruns and 4 RBI's. Delwyn Young walked twice and scored once.

In the tournament so far, Andy LaRoche leads the team with three homers and nine RBI's. Also,
of the nine runs Team USA has yielded in the first five games seven have been unearned.
Again, watch the games right here.

Box Score: USA 5, Japan 1:
Box Score: USA 12, Spain 2:
Pic Link:, Craig Moran:

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Russell Love Fest Continues

Russell Martin wins another award. This time it is the Silver Slugger Award.

Story Link: LA Dodgers:
Pic Link:

ESPN Video: Torre, Torre, Torre & Bowa

Below are a group of ESPN videos featuring Joe Torre. Enjoy.

Video Link: Torre Can Talk A Good Game Too:

ESPN Video: How Will Torre Impact The Dodgers?:

ESPN Video: Joe Torre Enthusiastic to Manage Dodgers:

ESPN Video: Bowa Joins Torre in Los Angeles:

Hunt Auctions: Video

Here is a ESPN Video featuring several items from the upcoming Louisville Slugger Auction. Check out the game used Lou Gehrig Jersey.

Video Link: ESPN Video:
Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily:

The Italians Can Play- Upset Team USA

Wow. Of all the teams we could lose to the Italians were not on top of that list. This morning Team USA lost to undefeated Italy, 6 to 2.

USA started Josh Outman didn't start off as he'd planned, walking the first two batters that stepped to the plate for Italy but a quick 5-4-3 double play and a strikeout quickly erased the threat and pushed Team USA's scoreless inning streak to 19. It would end there. In the second inning after two quick outs back-to-back singles gave Italy runners at the corners. Outman got Italy's ninth place hitter Leonardo Zileri on a grounder to short but Brian Bixler booted the ball giving Italy a 1-0 lead; two singles later and the Italy lead stretched to 3-0.

Team USA bounced right back in the top of the third when left-fielder Justin Ruggiano led off the inning with his first homerun of the tournament, a 3-1 blast into the left field seats. Two batters later, Brian Bixler laid a perfect bunt down the third base line for an infield hit but was picked off first with Colby Rasmus batting. Rasmus then doubled to left and after Jayson Nix was hit by a pitch Adam LaRoche doubled to left-center scoring Rasmus and cutting the Italy lead to 3-2.

Italy struck for three more runs in the bottom of the 4th. Lefty Jerry Blevins relieved Outman and after SS Brian Bixler second error of the game on a tough chopper up the middle Blevins handcuffed first basemen Andy LaRoche on a pickoff attempt for Team USA's third error of the game. Steven Shell then relieved Blevins and after a groundout plated a runner Shell gave up back to back hits to Maximiliano Di Blaise and Mario Chirini and Italy extended their lead to 6-2 on five unearned runs. Shell pitched shutout ball through the eighth but the damage had already been done. Six Italy relievers pitch six shutout innings while striking out six as the U.S. managed just two hits the rest of the way as Italy beat the heavily favored Team USA 6-2.

Of special note: Former Dodger manager and current Team USA manager, Davey Johnson, was placed on the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee ballot.

Again, watch all future games live or taped at this website.

Also, The Road to Beijing Blog provides excellent coverage of this tournament. They add that former Dodger farmhand
(Justin) Ruggiano has come to play. Not sure if you could fill a stat sheet any more than he did today: 2-2 with a HR, RBI, SB, R and 2 BB.
Story Link: USA Baseball Game Notes:

Scully's Wish Finally Comes True

After years of pleading, game after game, Vin Scully finally gets his way. As you all know, Vin Scully has been extremely vocal about having coaches wear helmets while along the 1st or 3rd base lines. We now find out that it will now be required by the Dodgers.
Larry Bowa commented on the news today that base coaches will now be wearing helmets in response to the awful death of the Rockies minor league coach earlier this season. Larry said he was fine with doing this, as long as it doesn't have the earflaps that would impede their vision rather than help them.
Pic Link: Sports Collectibles Store:
Story Link: Inside The Dodgers:

Thursday, November 08, 2007

LaRoche And Team USA Kicked Some Butt Today, 7-0 over Panama

Team USA easily handled the Panamanian team as they routed the Central American foe 7 to 0. Andy LaRoche did much of the damage as he finished up going 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI's.
In the first, with two outs, Andy LaRoche singled, Delwyn Young walked and Evan Longoria ripped a single to center scoring LaRoche. In the second Tyler Colvin led off with a double then after two quick outs centerfielder Colby Rasmus knocked in Colvin with a single to center, Jayson Nix was hit by a pitch and LaRoche ripped a double to right scoring Rasmus and Nix to make it 4-0 USA. The score remained the same until the bottom of the sixth when after singles by shortstop Michael Hollimon and second baseman Jayson Nix, Andy LaRoche once again provided the power by doubling off the centerfield wall, scoring both runners and making it 6-0.
Delwyn Young went 0 for 2 with one walk. Tomorrow, Team USA faces off against undefeated Italy.

Update: Watch the game right here.

Story Link:
Box Score: 7-0 over Panama:
Pic Link: TeamUSA:

This Years Reclamation Project

Year after year the Dodgers always seem to have a couple of arms in Spring Training that are hoping to earn one last chance at the big leagues. In the past we saw Victor Alvarez and Jose Lima make the team in this manner. In 2008 former Dodger Chan Ho Park hopes to do it too. He has signed a contract to play for the Dodgers and will be showing up this Spring. No doubt it is a tryout with no strings attached.
``Dodgers Town is the spring camp venue where I first started my Major League dreams,'' Park said. ``The terms of the contract are similar to a rookie on the start, but the important thing is that I will be able to play for a team that I always missed.''

It bears further watching whether Park, who always pitched better in the pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium, can convince new manager Joe Torre that he is worthy of a spot on the Major League roster.

At best, Park could be an insurance player for the Dodgers should starters Jason Schmidt and Randy Wolf fail to return strong from injuries.
Maybe he might be able to regain a little bit of his old form and become a serviceable addition to our relief corps.

Story Link: Korea Times:
Pic Link: Baseball-Almanac:
Hat Tip: 6-4-2:

Grey Flannel Auctions: Dodgers Game Used Jerseys

I've never been much of a jersey collector, but I sure would love to be able to put on the jersey above. Grey Flannel has a 900 lot auction currently ongoing that is set to close in early December. Amidst all of the memorabilia you could imagine is a large collection of vintage game-used Dodger jerseys; including the 1951 Jackie Robinson shown above.
“This Dodger jersey, worn by one of the greatest athletes of all time, much less a stellar ball player, bears the script Dodgers brand, which with the New York Yankees is the greatest brand in sports,” company CEO Russek said in a news release. “Figure in the Dodger blue 42 worn by one of the most overall exciting players to wear a uniform and collectors have one of the most cherished pieces that could come to the auction block.”
By my count there are 19 different Dodger jersey lots; including one lot that includes only Dodger pants. It's incredible the things people collect. Available are Dodger heroes such as Claude O'Steen, Jay Johnstone, Pedro Guerrero, Orel Hershiser, Dusty Baker and Don Sutton. Current stars include Jeff Kent, Saito and Russell Martin.

The most intriguing uniform is that of Jesse Orosco's from Spring Training in 1988. It even has the "Vero Beach 40th ANNIVERSARY" patch. As you all probably know, it was Jesse Orosco who pulled off a Spring Training prank on newly signed outfielder Kirk Gibson.
In a celebrated incident on the first day of spring training, Gibson grew enraged when clubhouse prankster Jesse Orosco smeared the sweatband of his cap with eye black, his reaction setting the tone for the professionalism and competitiveness that would fuel the Los Angeles' pennant drive.
They didn't just win the pennant that year. They became World Champions. I wonder if Jesse was wearing this uniform when Gibson went into his tirade.
One of the more unique items in the auction is the below turnstile from Dodger Stadium. Imagine coming home every night and seeing this. Every day could be like going to Dodger Stadium.
Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily:
Auction Link: Grey Flannel Auctions:

Dodgers, Angels, Giants, Padres and A's Get Together for Charity Auction

All five California Baseball teams have gotten together to help raise money for Southern California's fire victims. The auction runs through November 25 and can be found here, at auction website.

My favorite items is the Dodgers St. Patrick's Day Jersey. There is also a team autographed jersey, ball and bat of the SF Giants, and, get this, Barry Bonds signature is not included! (Just another reason to hate the guy.)

So help out if you can and get some cool stuff too.

Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily:

The Skydash Find

No. This can't be real. One afternoon, several weeks back, I was checking out my favorite collector forum- Net 54 Vintage Baseball Card Forum. Some of the most informed collectors and dealers in the country frequent this site.

On that day a new poster, using the name Skydash55, chimed in claiming to have inherited a large collection of vintage baseball cards. He was looking for some guidance about its worth and direction about what he should do with them.
“I just inherited approx. 1,200 t206 cards and 157 colgan “tin tops.” The cards are from about 1900-1910 and there are around 15 different cig. companies. I don’t know where to start!”
As you can imagine many folks were skeptical. How many times have we heard about a great find- especially a T206 Honus Wagner find- that turn out to be fakes or elaborate scams.

Fortunately for Skydash the cards are as real as you and me.
It turned out that Skydash lives in upstate South Carolina, as does one of the veteran board members, Brian Weisner. Between the help from Weisner and numerous other board members, the gradual postings slowly uncovered the inevitable – some of the rarest, high-grade E270 Colgan’s Chips Tin Tops in existence...

The excitement reached epic proportions when he posted some blurry images, one which appeared to be the one of the rarest cards in the entire set. (See the Jim Thorpe above)

“THORPE TIN TOP!!!” one board member typed.

“Sure looks like Thorpe!” was the post made by another member. By now, the major auction houses began to take notice of what was going on...
From my understanding, there is only one other Thorpe in existence, and it resides in the personal collection of Larry Fritsch, a legendary veteran card collector and dealer. (Update: I recently read that there are actually 3 known Thorpe's and now there are 4. This Thorpe is by far the best condition tin top in the hobby.)

The best part about these kind of discoveries is the story behind the find.
His wife’s grandfather, who originally owned the cards and was a collector, passed away in 1964.

“When he died, my father-in-law and mother-in-law drove to the funeral and arrived a day early,” said Skydash55. “When he passed, he had four boxes. Two of the boxes contained the baseball cards and Tin Tops. The other two boxes contained memorabilia – uniforms and signed baseballs, including a Babe Ruth game-worn, signed jersey.

“But, when my father-in-law arrived at the house, he was going through his things and asked where his baseball cards were. They told him they were thrown away, that they were just trash. So he literally went to the trash dump and dug those things out, but he only found the cards. He didn’t find the uniforms.”
Man-O-Live! A Babe Ruth game used uniform?

The cards will auctioned through Mastro in their upcoming December auction. BTW, Skydash's collection is valued at over $1 million and the Jim Thorpe above will easily reach 6 figures, and then some.

Skydash photos of the collection:
Pic Link: Net 54:
Story Link: SCD:

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Player Updates

Diamond Leung let's us know how the rest of the Dodgers are doing.
  • Jeff Kent is still undecided about playing next season.
  • Chin-lung Hu is no longer playing in the Arizona Fall League due to a strained hamstring.
  • Tony Abreu is on the mend. He is starting a rehabilitation assignment in Florida.
  • Yhency Brazoban will begin throwing next week.
  • Jason Repko will begin working out soon.
Also, I'd like to add that Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young are playing for Team USA in this winters 2007 IBAF World Cup Tournament in Chinese Taipei. Check out the "Countdown to the Olympics" Baseball Blog for updates about how Team USA is doing.

Team USA played their first game of the tournament today against Mexico and came out on top with a 3-0 victory. Both LaRoche and Young went 0 for 4. LaRoche was the DH and Young played leftfield, batting #3 & #4, respectively.

Story Link: Diamond Leung:

Is Miguel Cabrera worth it?

Lately, I've been reading about the availability of Florida's thirdbase phenom Miguel Cabrera.

Is he a better match for the Dodgers than ARod?

On the positive side of the ledger:
  • Miguel Cabrera is younger (8 years younger than ARod by my count).
  • He fills a position we need.
  • In 4 1/2 years he has hit 138 homeruns, has 523 RBI's, is batting .313 and has a career OPS of .929.
  • A potential long term contract for Cabrera would be less than ARod's desired contract.
Negatives to Cabrera:
  • He has been getting a little round around the edges. You know what I mean? Weight issues can oftentimes be a precursor to future injury problems.
  • Rumors are that Florida is looking for 3 prospects (Rob at 6-4-2 mentions that Matt Kemp, Andy LaRoche and Clayton Kershaw are in Florida's sights.)
  • Although a future long term contract would be less than ARod's, it is still expected to be a large chunk of change. MLB Trade Rumors suggest that an 8 year $200 million price is being thrown around. That's $25 million a year.
  • At $25 million a year he would still throw a wrench in the Dodgers future planning. How will we be able to keep all of our homegrown shinning stars when they will undoubtedly command larger salaries when their time comes for free agency.
I guess you can say I do not envy Ned Colletti's job. After all, if he screws up he will forever be known as the devil that came down from San Francisco to ruin the Dodgers. If everything works out then he will achieve knighthood status.

All I do know is that the three names mentioned above as potential trade fodder is far too much to give up. In fact, I wound put Kemp and Kershaw in the untouchable column.

Here is what I would be happy with. Andy LaRoche, Andre Ethier and one of the following prospects (Hu, Abreu, Elbert or Meloan) for Miguel Cabrera. The deal would also be contingent on the signing of a long term contract. This package would still be better than what any other team can offer.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Don't Make Your Spring Training Plans Yet

This coming Spring will be the Dodgers last in Vero Beach, Florida. As you can imagine, as a result, Dodger fans are expected to come out in droves in hopes of experiencing Dodgertown one last time. Unfortunately, fans may start turning Blue. The Dodger exhibition schedule in Florida may be shorter than desired.
The Los Angeles Dodgers' scheduled final spring training at Dodgertown may be cut in half...

Los Angeles is one of several teams being considered for Major League Baseball's first games in China. Those exhibitions are tentatively set for March 15-16. If the Dodgers were selected for the China series, team officials have stated that they are also considering a stopover in Taiwan to play additional exhibition games.

Further, the Dodgers could then spend the remaining part of spring training in Arizona at the Oakland Athletics training complex in Phoenix. The A's facility would only be available if Oakland were selected to play the Boston Red Sox in a two-game, season-opening series in Japan on March 22-23.

It is not clear whether Los Angeles would continue to play spring training games at Dodgertown at the same time it was participating in exhibition games in China and Taiwan.

What a shame. Dodgertown's last hurrah may end up being nothing more than a whimper. I was hoping to get out there one last time, but now it looks like my plans may be foiled.

There is one glimmer of hope.
The 2008 Spring Training season will be the Dodgers 61st in Vero Beach. The team is scheduled to move to a new spring training complex in Glendale, Ariz., in 2009, however, the completion date for construction on that new facility has not been finalized. If it is not done in time for 2009, one option the Dodgers would have is to remain in Vero Beach.
2008 may not be the last Spring at Vero Beach.

Story Link:

Congratulations Russell!

Russell Martin tops off the 2007 season with his first Gold Glove award.
He led all Major League catchers with 145 games caught, posted a 3.95 catcher's ERA -- good for fourth-best in the league. He threw out 30 percent of potential opposing base stealers and picked two runners off base. He was charged with 14 errors and five passed balls.
Story Link: LA Dodgers:
Pic Link: Wikimedia Commons:

Friday, November 02, 2007

Delwyn Young Turning Heads for Team USA

The Dodger rookie prospect is on a tear and folks are taking notice. This guy can just plain hit.
Young, who is batting a Team USA-best .529, helped the national squad improve to 3-2 entering Thursday's fall finale against the Peoria Saguaros at Scottsdale Stadium. Team USA will then fly to Taiwan on Thursday night to prepare for the IABF World Cup, which begins Nov. 6.

If the regular season and AFL results are any indication, Young will be a major part of Team USA's offense against international competition. The Los Angeles native finished third in the Pacific Coast League with a .338 average to go with 17 homers and 97 RBIs. He also led the PCL and finished second in the Minors with 54 doubles.

Those numbers didn't take a dip during his Major League callup as Young hit .382 with two homers and three RBIs in 19 games with the Dodgers. He batted .778 in his first three AFL contests, including a stretch of five straight hits.

Andy LaRoche is also playing for Team USA.

Imagine if Pierre was not in the mix. We could potentially have one of the youngest, best defensive and most explosive outfields in Baseball. The Dodgers could have Andre Ethier in left, Matt Kemp in center and Young in right.

Story Link: LA Dodgers:
Hat Tip: True Blue LA:
Pic Link: Baseball-Almanac:

Thursday, November 01, 2007

It's Official!

Well... now we have a new manager. Joe Torre has joined the team of his youth. The Brooklyn born captain will now try to steer this wayward ship towards port. Take us home Joe! Take us home towards the promised land!

Welcome to the Blue, Joe!

Aren't you glad you don't have deal with a shifty owner? That Steinbrenner sure was a pain in the ass, eh. Oh wait, we have the McCourt's.

Story Link: LA Dodgers:
Pic Link: The Big Lead:

No Way

You won't believe this. In the Topps 2007 Update boxes they have created a short printed insert card for a squirrel. Yes, a squirrel! Not any squirrel, mind you, but the famous squirrel Poley Walnuts.

They'll make a card for just about anyone. eBay Auction Link:

BP's 2007 Internet Baseball Awards

Baseball Prospectus just released their 16th annual 2007 Internet Baseball Awards. Over 1,400 fans participated in online voting. As you might have expected no Dodger made the top of the list, but we do have some notables worth mentioning.

Brad Penny had his best year as a Dodger. He won 16 games with only 4 losses, and his ERA was at 3.03. He ended up third on BP's NL Cy Young voting. Takashi Saito was the highest ranking reliever at #12 as he continued to impress the league with a 1.40 ERA, 39 saves and 78 strike outs versus only 13 walks in 64 innings.

In Rookie of the Year voting James Loney came in at 7th place. If given a chance to play all year he could very well have won this race. He hit .331 with 67 RBI's and 15 homeruns in just 344 at-bats. He has solidified his position as the Dodgers first baseman of the future, and, I suspect, will only get better. I believe several Gold Gloves and batting titles will follow this young man.

In spite of the recent turmoil currently embroiling management we have a lot to look forward to. All three gentleman above will be in Blue next season and, hopefully, for much longer than that.

Story Link: BP: