Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Let's Go For Five

Wow. What a turn of events. After going through a terrible road trip that saw us get swept by the Braves our boys in Blue have put together a nice string of victories. Since the Atlanta clubbing we have won 6 games out of the past 8 and find ourselves back at .500. We also find ourselves in the midst of our first winning streak of the season as many of our important pieces look like they are settling in.

Our relief pitching is getting back on track. Over the past 21 innings they have given up only 1 earned run. Our offense has been strong as they have scored 51 runs over the past 8 games (that's over 6 runs per game). Russell Martin has snapped out of his poor start by hitting .409 over the past 6 games.

As Joe Torre said,
"Now, we have to think of five over."
That's right. Saying four in a row is great, but staying well above .500 would be better. Nevertheless, these four wins in a row have been a nice thing to watch.

Pic Link: X-Ray Eyes:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mile High Auction: Dodgers, Ruth and Monroe

Mile High Card Company has a little auction coming up that has a couple of choice items.

It's October 1, 1955 and the Brooklyn Dodgers just beat the Yankees during game 4 of the World Series, 8-5. This win evened the series 2 to 2 so the Dodgers are feeling mighty good. They are jubilant and ready to fight on. In fact, they are so filled with spunk they show off their fist while sporting knowing grins. You see, they know they are about the reverse the trend. They know their drought will soon be over. The Dodgers will soon go on to beat the Yankees. Below is a Associated Press photo capturing the moment.

Not only could Babe Ruth hit a Baseball a mile he can drive a golf ball far too. Below is a AP photo of Ruth's backswing while in Florida.

This is my favorite item of the bunch. Marilyn Monroe was gorgeous. This United Artist press photo is incredible.

Monday, April 28, 2008

PostSecret eBay Secret

If you've never been to Postsecret it's a great site where viewers submit their own secrets for all to see. This week the above postcard was shown. Unfortunately, it highlights a dirty secret active collectors know about eBay. Fakes are everywhere.

This postcards is a useful warning for anybody using eBay. There are a lot of hucksters there so be careful. Whether it's a signed photo or a antique chair always be aware of possible fakes. My only advice is to do your research, ask for a Certificate of Authenticity from a valid authenticator when appropriate and buy from who you trust.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekly Blog Kiosk 4/27/2008

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -Bernard Berenson
  • Zach Hample shows off his giant glove at the Rays game in Disney World.
  • Considering the current state of the Dodgers this new Dodger blog arrives just in time. Say hello to Dodger Rage!
  • NASA just released the largest collection of Hubble telescope pics of universes colliding.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dodger Videos

Here is another group of Dodgers videos on the net.

abeltran73 has put together a great Dodger collage video.

YouTube Video Link: abeltran73:

What happens when a Dodger fan and Giants fan marry and have a child? You get the video below. Hey, Dodger Mom! You gotta start teaching your kid right.

YouTube Video: kateyp7:

Below is Roger Craig being interviewed by KABC at the Coliseum game.

Online Videos by
YouTube Video Link: KABC:

Here is another KABC interview with Wally Moon and Carl Erskine.

Online Videos by
YouTube Link: KABC:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fan Satisfaction Ratings

ESPN put out their annual fan satisfaction ratings covering every team in North America's four largest leagues- MLB, NFL, NBA & NHL. As you can see, the Dodgers ranked 77th overall and just 4th against other LA (and vicinity) based franchises.
How sad is it when the OC teams not only beat all of the LA teams, but well outpaced the group? The Ducks and Angels are in the top 10 in the nation.

ESPN summarizes the Dodger fan experience.
Last Year's Rank: 60
Title Track: 41
Ownership: 64
Coaching: 21
Players: 76
Fan Relations: 85
Affordability: 65
Stadium Experience: 48
Bang for the Buck: 107

Looks like Dodgers fans haven't minded going back to their East Coast roots. The replacement of Grady Little with Brooklyn native Joe Torre vaulted the Coaching ranking 45 points. It's also clear Angelenos didn't appreciate every change this year. The Dodgers faithful endured, but clearly hated (given the 31-place Affordability plummet), a 26.9% spike in average ticket prices (up to $26.28, the biggest bump in the bigs), plus a 50% rise in parking costs, to $15. An upper-deck seat behind home plate is still just $9, but fans must save pennies to enjoy the newly renovated Field Level. "It makes me thankful for two things," wrote Xeifrank on "Home games are televised and parking in my driveway is free." This season marks the Dodgers 50th b-day in the City of Angels, but not everyone feels like celebrating. - Doug Mittler

McCourt continues to have a lot of work to do. Not only that, the Kings, my other sports team passion, of the NHL have a long way to go.

Story Link: ESPN Ratings:
Hat Tip: Inside The Kings:

Heritage Auction: Jackie, A's and Ancient Balls

Heritage Galleries has an upcoming auction that includes a great Jackie Robinson artifact. After the 1956 season Jackie Robinson was traded to the hated Giants for cash and mediocre middle relief pitcher Dick Littlefield. Jackie refused to go. As the story goes, Jackie considered the Giants to be the enemy and joining them would be treasonous. The letter below, however, seems to refute that story.

Heritage is auctioning a January 14, 1957 letter written by Jackie Robinson officially announcing his retirement from Baseball to New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham. Within it, Jackie indicated no ill feelings towards the Giants. In fact, he compliments them.
Dear Mr. Stoneham:

After due consideration I have decided to request to be placed on the voluntary retired list as I am going to devote my full time to the business opportunities that have been presented.

My sincere thanks to you and to Mr. Feeney for your wonderful cooperation and understanding in this matter.

I assure you that my retirement has nothing to do with my trade to your organization. From all I have heard from people who have worked with you it would have been a pleasure to have been in your organization.

Again my thanks and continued success for you and the New York Giants.


(signed) Jackie Robinson

Auction Link: 1957 Jackie Robinson Signed Retirement Letter:

Also available is an incredible 1929 World Series Champion Philadelphia A's autographed photo album.
"All of this elite squad's legends are present and accounted for, with Foxx, Cochrane, Collins, Simmons, Grove and Connie Mack representing the Hall of Fame contingent. Other notables include the very tough Thomas Shibe, 1919 Black Sox manager Kid Gleason, Dykes, Earnshaw, Quinn, Walberg, Boley and more."
This is one of the greatest team in history. Below is the reverent Connie Mack.
Eddie Collins
1919 Chicago Black Sox manager Kid Gleason.
Auction Link: 1929 Philadelphia Athletics Team Signed Photographic Portrait Album:

Below is a circa 1870 lemon peel Baseball.
The infancy of our National Pastime is represented by this ancient homemade sphere used in the years immediately following our American Civil War. You'll first note the unique stitching pattern, quite different from the figure-eight model that has dominated the game for well over a century, and then the enormous heft of the ball despite the fact that the circumference is actually smaller than modern examples.
Imagine playing with something like this.
Auction Link: 1870 Lemon Peel Baseball:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Call Me Impressed

I've been waiting to hear more about these kinds of improvements since Frank McCourt first stated his desire to re-engineer the stadium grounds at the time of his purchase of the Dodgers. Fortunately, he has not disappointed. Overall, I think this will be a very nice change to the facility. Whether fans actually show up early and stay late remains to be seen, but at least the option is there.

My favorite part of the deal is the proposed Dodger museum. Although it is being billed as an interactive setting, I hope it also includes a more traditional museum. How great would it be to be surrounded by the memorabilia and artifacts of Dodgers long gone. In one corner are the uniforms of Jackie, Campy, Duke and Pee Wee. On the other wall are Campy's MVP awards. Sandy's glove is in another display and the flag Monday saved is hanging at the front entrance.
For the official press release go here. For the gallery link go here.

Hat Tip on the links to Dodger Thoughts.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Card of the Week: Mickey Hatcher

I've been thinking about doing something like this for awhile. After all, I've been collecting cards since I can remember, and I still, literally, have tens of thousands of cards sitting in a closet nicely organized by year and manufacturer. There is more dust sitting on those little treasures than what you might expect to find in your attic. And yes, I can't, for the life of me, even consider throwing them out. One of these days I'm gonna pick through them just for old times sake and pull out some of my old-time favorites to share here.

Unfortunately, since I've been too lazy to actually go through them this week I figured I'd steal a photo of a card I remember very well from my youth and make it my card of the week.

Above is the always jovial Mickey Hatcher showing off his new glove. Man-O-Live! He can catch everything with that. It comes from the 1986 Fleer set.

Pic Link: Squeeze Play Cards:

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tampa Bay Does The Unthinkable

After only 6 Major League games the Tampa Bay Rays signed highly touted 3rd base prospect and former Long Beach Dirtbag Evan Longoria to a 6 year $17.5Mil contract that includes bonuses and extensions that can reach as high as $44.5Mil over 9 season. This guy has played in less than a weeks worth of real games and, yet, they felt confident enough to sign him to this sweetheart deal. I guess time will tell if this was a smart move, but considering the quality of their youngsters it might just be the right move.

As some of you know, the Rays have been aggressively tying up their young players to long term deals. They include Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli, James Shields, Carlos Pena, and Dan Wheeler. Furthermore, they are in talks with the agents of Scott Kazmir and B.J. Upton. So, I think their future is looking bright.

Now this news has got me thinking. Should the Dodgers do the same thing? Is there anybody on the Dodgers you would like to have signed up to a long term deal? How about any prospects that will be coming up soon or later this year?

Of course we would like to see Russell Martin signed up, but, as we all know, the Dodgers were rebuffed by Martin's agent over the Winter. Right now James Loney and Andre Ethier come to mind as potential beneficiaries of a long term deal. Also, if we wanted to take a risk I would sign Matt Kemp to a contract. Should we consider something along these lines for Clayton Kershaw, or how about Andy LaRoche? Should Blake Dewitt be considered at this time? These are tough questions that has me thankful I'm not a GM.

eBay: Scarfs and Games

Here are some Dodger treasures recently found on eBay.

I had seen a silk scarf like this years ago at a card show in the early 1990's. It was framed and matted in a nice display along with some autographs. I think they wanted a few hundred dollars for it then. The scarf dates from 1951 and has bright blue borders with a green infield frame. It measures approximately 32" square. There are drawings, done by famous sports cartoonist Willard Mullin, of the Brooklyn Bum, Ebbets Field, a map of the Brooklyn borough and a scoreboard. This particular scarf recently sold on eBay at a very reasonable price of $56.25. In fact, this was really a steal. I wish I had spotted this auction sooner.

Here is a board game made in the late 50's to early 60's featuring the Los Angeles Dodgers. It comes with a game board, some disk and several deck of cards. Now, I'm not sure how the game is played, but it clearly has been well used. Or as my sister would say, "It has been well loved." I'm sure there are several "kid at heart" grown-ups out there who can let us all know about the game.
A great feature to this game is that it includes head shots of several Dodger players along the edge of the board game box. I see Gill Hodges and Roger Craig. Anyone see anyone else?
This game board did not sell in the eBay auction. In fact, I can't figure out why the seller placed such a high reserve price. It received a high bid of $89.59. I think that is more than generous for the item considering its condition.

A Weekend Sweep

This past weekends series against the Braves was painful to watch. Our offense was anemic. They scored only 3 runs and had a total 17 hits over the three game set. When your runs are the result of pinch hit single by Juan Pierre and solo homeruns by slumping Andruw Jones and a slow starting Russell Martin, then you know things are not good in Dodgerville.

Our pitching was subpar. Derek Lowe gave up 5 runs in just over 4 innings on Friday. This included 2 rocket-propelled homeruns by Chipper Jones. Chad Billinglsey was a little stronger on Saturday as he yielded only 4 runs in 5 innings of work. Unfortunately, that was more damage than the team could overcome. On Sunday the game was competitive- at least for most of the time. Hiroki Kuroda only gave up 2 runs in his 7 innings, but, again, it was too high a wall to climb for the Dodgers. They failed to score again after Martin's solo homerun. On top of that, Scott Proctor came into the game in relief in the 7th inning and was dinged for a total of 4 runs in less than 2 innings. The game was over and the Dodgers got swept for the first time this season.

Just when I thought the Dodgers could get well playing some east coast teams they end up getting slapped silly. I hope Cincinnati will bring us out of our slump. It does not feel good to be in last place.

Of special note: If Garciaparra's injury continues to hamper his play, then he needs to sit down. By all accounts his fielding gaffes have cost us quite a few runs.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekly Blog Kiosk 4/20/2008

Quote of the Day on Saturday. "I look great, don't I?" By Nomar Garciaparra.
  • Cardboard Junkie discovers the 1988 Dinosaurs Attack! Topps Set.
  • I've added a whole new section of Dodger bloggers called "Video Bloggers." I only know of a couple of folks who regularly post Dodger relating videos on the internet. Say hello to TroyfromWestVirginia and Deezulboy. If you know of anyone else please let me know.
  • Dodgers Locker has been added to the Dodger blogroll.
  • Topps Company secured the rights to exclusively produce cards from the estates of 16 Hall of Famers. They include Jackie Robinson, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Thurman Munson, Roy Campanella, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Cy Young, Mel Ott, Johnny Mize, Jimmie Foxx, Honus Wagner, Pee Wee Reese, George Sisler and Christy Mathewson.
  • Frank Thomas was released today by the Blue Jays. Wow! The stars from my youth have become unemployed veterans. Anyone know what Piazza is doing? On the other hand, could they be looking at Barry Bonds as a replacement?
  • The Padres serve low octane beer and now they have a Rally Ram.
  • Did the Cubs throw the 1918 World Series?
    Now, it cannot be said for certain that gamblers got to the '18 Cubs. But Eddie Cicotte, pitcher and one of the eight White Sox outcasts from the '19 World Series, did say in a newly found affidavit he gave to the 1920 Cook County grand jury that the Cubs influenced the Black Sox. Cicotte said the notion of throwing a World Series first came up when the White Sox were on a train to New York. The team was discussing the previous year's World Series, which had been fixed, according to players. Some members of the Sox tried to figure how many players it would take to throw a Series. From that conversation, Cicotte said, a scandal was born.
    Forget the Billy Goat, how about the thrown series? Hat Tip: Baseball Musings.
  • Hockey Fights Cancer has an auction running til the end of the month to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the charity. If your a hockey fan click here to bid. Hat Tip: SCD:
  • Here is another auction to watch. The Yankee Curse jersey is available on eBay right now. It is up to $69,000.00.

Friday, April 18, 2008

NO WAY! Joe Beimel Gets a Bobblehead

Troy from West Virginia is the man. Joe Beimel's biggest fan gets his wish. Welcome to Joe Beimel Bobblehead night at Dodger Stadium on August 12th.
The first 50,000 fans in attendance on July 25 will receive a Brad Penny bobblehead compliments of Cacique, while the first 50,000 fans on August 12 will take home a Joe Beimel bobblehead, compliments of Bank of America.
For the second consecutive season, the Dodgers conducted an online fan vote during Spring Training to determine one of the bobblehead promotions, and after Russell Martin garnered the most votes in 2007, Beimel took home the honors this season. With a strong Internet following, including a campaign that was orchestrated by his parents, Ron and Marge Beimel, the southpaw reliever earned the right to be immortalized in ceramic.
“This is a cool birthday present and a real honor,” said Beimel. “I really want to thank the fans who voted for me, and I know my kids will get a kick out of this. I just hope that I get into the game that night and help the team earn a victory.”
Yhea, Joe. Who you should really thank is Troy!

YouTube Link: TroyfromWestVirginia:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How's That for Fanaticism

So, your at your favorite sporting event sitting in the stands watching an exciting playoff game. Everything is moving too quickly. The game is so close and you dare not move. If you avert your eyes for just a second you might miss something.

Unfortunately, you need to pee. What I really mean to say is that you need to pee badly. You are clinching whatever muscles you have to delay the inevitable for just a moment longer. "When will play stop," you say to yourself, but you can't bring yourself to take your eyes off the game. This is quite a quandary. Do you stay and risk soiling yourself in front of everybody, or do you run to the nearest toilet in the hope that you don't miss anything?

As luck would have it, Lion in Oil let's us know about a third possibility. You could always just whip it out and pee on the people in front of you.
Officers were informed that the noted individual had been observed reaching into his pants with his hands and manipulating his hands inside his pants. According to event staff and event guests, the suspect then exposed himself and started urinating on event guests causing them to become hysterical and attempt to escape from the confined area.
Yes, this really did happen. In fact it happened this past Monday at a Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadians 1st round playoff hockey game in Boston. On top of that, in the Boston Police Department website detailing daily incidents they headline this act as, "Black and Gold Covered in Yellow."

Hat Tip: Lion in Oil:
Criminal Report: BPDNews:

YouTube: KABC Radio Interview with Davis and Pignatano

KABC posted a youtube video from their interview of Tommy Davis and Joe Pignatano before the Coliseum game.

YouTube Link: KABC Radio:

Free Matt Kemp! Troy from West Virginia gives us his best Matt Kemp impersonation as he sits on the bench waiting for his turn. Get him off the bench and put him in the outfield, Torre! Of course, since Kemp has started the past two games this video has turned out to not be very timely. On the other hand, Troy cracks me up.

YouTube Link: TroyfromWestVirginia:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Collection: 1971 Ticketron Dodgers

Below are a few pics from the 1971 Ticketron 20 card Dodger set. This promotional offering measures 6' x 4' and features the entire season schedule and promotional schedule on the back. I'm not sure how they were originally distributed, but I imagine they were given out at Ticketron kiosk throughout the Southland.

My favorite card, by far, is the Vin Scully/ Jerry Doggett. For the tandem, who have been so instrumental to the rabid Dodger fanaticism that exist today, this card is well deserved. How often are broadcasters put on trading cards or collectibles?
I believe the below Steve Garvey card is a rookie card.
My other favorite card in the set is the Richie Allen. Look at the size of his bat. It almost rivals that bat the Hollywood All-Stars would show off in those celebrity games years ago. Remember when Kareem Abdul Jabbar and "The Hulk" Lou Ferrigno used that bat? Ok, I'm exaggerating. That Hollywood Stars bat was massively huge. BTW, what ever happened to that bat?
Check the rest of the set in my photoalbum here.

Photoalbum Link: 1971 Ticketron Dodgers:

Monday, April 14, 2008


What was that! I was so sure of victory.

Our team had scratched and clawed themselves into a position to win. Then, Bam! It was over like a flash.

Dodgers lose on a three run homerun by leadoff hitter Nate McLouth in the ninth inning, 6 to 4.

I hate games like this one.

Master Jedi Maddux

What else can you say about this guy. He is the all-knowing, all-seeing Baseball psychic with a iron arm, a magic glove and a brain hard-wired for the game. Maddux will mesmerize you with his voodoo ball trick. He can throw and make you hit the ball wherever he wants. It can be both frustrating to watch and a pleasure to behold. At 42 years old, he is truly a master.

Unfortunately, he had to face our Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. It was a hot day. Hotter than the sun some would say. Billingsley, who was shelled the last time out, was to be our starter. If we had any hope of victory it would have to start with Chad.

The game began well enough, with Maddux and Billingsley going through the batting order the first time through with relative ease. The second time around, though, Billingsley made a key mistake. He started off the top of the 4th inning by walking Edmonds. Soon to follow was a double by Kalil Green and a sacrifice fly to right field by McAnulty to score the run.

That was all the Padres needed as they beat us 1 to 0.

The Dodgers staff pitched a great game. Park, Broxton and Beimel recorded 6 strike outs in their 4 innings of shutout work. Billingsley was the unlucky man in the room having given up just 4 hits while recording 8 strike outs.

For the season, we have now split 6 games with Padres. We took the series last weekend in San Diego by winning 2 out of 3, but the Padres did likewise to us this weekend. At least we are playing better against them this year.

Upcoming, we finish off this homestand with a 3 game set against the Pirates starting tonight. Hopefully we can right the ship against some east coast teams.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weekly Blog Kiosk 4/13/2008

Last nights shellacking was well overdue.
  • LA Kings forwards Dustin Brown and Patrick O'Sullivan have been selected to represent the United States in the World Championship Tournament in Canada in May.
  • Ever the clairvoyant ones, Topps Company created a set in 1992 called Topps Kids that had extremely muscular cartoon caricatures of some of Baseballs biggest young stars. MSN's Ben Goldfein rediscovers the set and believes they saw the steroid era coming. Photos of Bonds and Clemens included. Hat Tip: SCD:
  • Barry's last homerun ball sells for $376,612. Hat Tip: SCD:
  • Wax Heaven opens up a 1989 Jose Canseco 40/40 Chocolate bar. Yum!
Video Link: Wax Heaven:

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Autograph Solution

As most of you already know, the Dodgers have decided to do the right thing.

The Dodgers, surrendering to the wishes of irate fans, announced Friday they have dropped a new rule and will allow all youngsters to seek autographs in Dodger Stadium in much the same way they have done for years.
In this wonderful age of electronic communications the fans have decided to collectively let the Dodgers management know exactly what was on their minds. Apparently, they emailed the Dodgers in great numbers to announce their displeasure.
"I read the e-mails aloud to everyone here and it helped," the Dentist said. "We decided to allow everyone to enter the field level the way they have in previous years -- through the end of batting practice.
J.T. Simers continued by noting something that I find a bit disturbing.
"I guess they are making an attempt," said Gabriel Ramirez, 39, of Santa Clarita. "But nobody showed up."
It is one thing to demand the kind of access to the players than can only be a win-win for the organizations desire to build its fan base. It's quite another thing to expect the Dodger players to always be available to sign.

Autograph seeking fans need to understand that all players tend to have their own set routines as they prepare for the game. Think of it this way. When the players enter that stadium, they are on the clock. It's work and as professionals they treat their day like any hard working schmo. The fact that they earn far more than you and I combined only means that their preparation is that more important. They are paid to play the game to the best of their abilities and sometimes they need to spend their time putting on their game face.

So, the next time your standing in that line, please don't scream, push or shove. Please do not get angry at any players who are not available. If you get an autograph be thankful, you are one of the lucky ones. If your ball goes unsigned don't sulk, it just wasn't your day. There will be many other opportunities.

In fact, the best way to get autographs is to follow Roberto at "Blogging Dodgers and Baseball". He goes to free promotional signing events often found in advertisements in local papers.

Suite Seats The Movie

Is it morning yet? I woke up both disheveled and confused. My hair was giving me its best Carrot Top impression. It was matted with choice spikes, looking like stalagmites in a deep underground cave. I was still wearing my Dodger jersey. Had I slept in it last night? It was wrinkled and in need of a wash. My cap was sitting atop my alarm with my glasses barely hanging on the ledge of my end table. What happened? Did last night really occur? Wow.

As many of you know, several Dodger bloggers were invited to spend the evening at Dodger Stadium. We were to be regaled with hot dogs, a suite and some special guest. I remember that Friday afternoon, I was anxiously fidgeting at work eager to end the day. Minute by minute passed, but it felt like hours.

At around 4PM i started wondering about the evening. Who would be the special guest Josh Rawitch mentioned? Would Colletti, or even McCourt himself show up? Would the most famous Dodger blogger of them all, Alyssa Milano, stop bye to say hello.

I walked through the concourse with two friends in tow. We opened the door to the suite that would become our haven for the next few hours. To my surprise Alyssa was there to greet us all with a smile and a firm handshake, even firmer than Ned Colletti's shake. I said "G' Day Alyssa" and gave her a big hug. A childhood dream had been fulfilled. My friend Bill was frozen like a goalie facing a Zdeno Chara slapshot. He almost vomited at the sight of her like Stan from South Park when he meets Wendy. All evening Alyssa and I chatted as I could tell the fireworks were flying. By the end of the game we left arm in arm, exchanged numbers and planned to meet at a nearby club.

My phone was ringing. I'm still at the office. I can barely hold up my head as drool starts to fall from chin to desk. Dammit! Had I been daydreaming? Where's Alyssa? Is it game time? Damn, it's only 4:20. I started preparing to leave the office so that I could pick up my friends for an evening that was sure to be unforgettable.

From here the whole actual evening is a blur. GM Ned Colletti came by and spent almost half an hour before the start of the game to answer our questions. As Chris from wrote, he has some great looking boots. Team owner Frank McCourt stopped by during the early innings and was open and amiable. The saintly Tommy Lasorda finished the evening off with stories about the past. I love that old man.

I would like to thank Josh Rawitch for an incredible evening. I would especially like to thank Chris from for making the suggestion to Josh. It was great meeting everyone there. I am hopeful that we can do this regularly, whether it's sponsored by the Dodgers or if we decide to do it ourselves. For more details about the night, far beyond anything I can remember please check out the post from the other bloggers in attendance. They've done a much better job of recalling the evening than I ever could.
And yes Robert, I started the morning off right with a pick-me-up hot dog. Now I feel great! Thanks for the advice.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Suite Seats

As Orel at Sons of Steve Garvey mentioned last night, the Dodger have organized an impromptu blogger get together at tonight's game against the Padres. Like the Sons I quickly RSVP'd without hesitation. It's not everyday you get a chance to see a game in a suite. On top of that, this will be a first for me at Dodger Stadium.

I can't wait to don my Dodger jersey. I'll put my cap on my head as I head to the gates leading to the stadium. The ticket taker will greet me with a smile and repeat the words I've been longing to hear all year. "Welcome to Dodger Stadium."

Yes! Tonight will be my first regular season game of the year and I can't wait. I'm coming from down south of the orange curtain. So, traffic will be a major issue for me. Hopefully, the great Dodger in the sky will part the lanes enough for us to squeeze through.

Thank you to Chris at for making the pitch to Josh. I look forward to meeting all of the folks who can attend.

Rising Star Edwin Jackson

Remember that tall lanky kid that came around our parts with a golden arm. He was a shy guy who everyone believed had the ability to blow people away.

When Edwin Jackson came up with the Dodgers during the 2003 season many worried that he was being rushed. We ran the risk of hurting his fragile nature by throwing him at the wolves. After all, he was just 19 years old. How would he react to the daily grind of being a highly touted major league starting pitcher?

As many of you remember, he started out with a bang. His first major league game was against future Hall of Famer Randy Johnson and the Arizona Diamondbacks. By the way, that game was on his 20th birthday. He won that game handily by going a solid 6 innings. He showed poise and consistency that made us all wonder, "do we have a bonafide number 1 pitcher here?" He finished the season strong going 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 4 starts. Not too bad for the rookie. Next year was going to be interesting.

Unfortunately, this is where the story takes a detour. He began the 2004 and 2005 season in the minor leagues with the expectation of a late season call-up. Each time he came back to the big show he looked worse and worse. He had lost his confidence. He had lost his stuff. His respective ERA's those two seasons were 7.30 and 6.28. Management had lost all confidence that they could get him back on the right track.

As time wore on it became obvious that something went wrong and the only solution was to cut bait. Edwin Jackson, our future starting ace, was traded for a couple of scraps- Danys Baez and Lance Carter in 2006. He soon became a reliever for Tampa Bay, but resumed starting for them in 2007. In that year he got shelled in what many may call an important learning experience. Jackson began the year going 1-9 with a 7.23 ERA, but
rebounded somewhat after the all-star break, posting a 4-6 record and a 4.48 ERA over 15 games.
Maybe he was starting to figure it out. Maybe the damage done to his confidence in LA was disappearing. Maybe he can regain his status as a "can't miss" prospect.

This season, 2008, Edwin Jackson is showing signs that he is coming into his own. In 2 starts this season he is 2 and 0 with a minuscule 0.64 ERA and his stuff has been filthy. The young kid who grew up in Dodger Blue may be turning into a monster of a man on the mound for the Devil Rays. He may very well be turning into that ace pitcher we all dreamed about. Only time will tell, of course, but I'm pulling for him.

Sotheby's/ SCP Aution: Johnny Cooney and Gil

Sotheby's/ SCP has some great rare items in their upcoming auction. They have trophies (like NY's 1999 World Series Trophy) to signed Baseballs (Cy Young)(Ty Cobb)(Babe Ruth). Of course, nothing beats a letter from Baseball's meanest and most despised man, Ty Cobb. Check out his letter here. He writes about how "They Ruined Baseball."

The below lot just leaves me breathless. They are auctioning off a collection of 24 framed and matted Sporting Life Baseball team composite pictures from 1903 to 1908. They are in pristine condition and feature nearly every major Baseball star from the era.
Auction Link: Group of 24 framed and matted 1903 to 1908 Sporting Life team composites:

The Cooney family was an early Baseball dynasty.
Johnny Cooney was the youngest of the "Cranston Cooneys," a Rhode Island ballplaying dynasty begun in the 1890s by James Joseph Cooney, whose four sons all played pro ball. Two brothers never got to the majors, but Johnny strung together 20 seasons in the big leagues that saw him adapt from a pitcher to a potent hitter and outstanding outfielder. His career was spent primarily with the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers, where he thrived under the tutelage of Casey Stengel.
Below is his game worn Brooklyn Dodger home uniform from 1936 and is very rare. It is one of only two known (still existing) pinstripe Dodger jerseys from 1936.

Gil Hodges was a fan favorite. From his early days as a Dodger player to his later career as manager, he always received the adoration of fans and players alike. The silver plate below was an early symbol of that popularity. It was presented to him on July 19, 1957 by his fellow Dodger teammates as recognition as winner of "Player Popularity Award." On a side note, why isn't he in the Hall of Fame? His playing career and the World Championship with the Miracle Mets in 1969 should be more than enough.
In his 16 seasons with the Dodgers, Hodges anchored the lineup during their Brooklyn heyday, hitting at least 30 home runs a season from 1950 to 1954. He knocked 100+ RBIs each year from 1949 to 1955 seasons. Known as the best defensive first baseman in baseball, the six-time All-Star also won Gold Glove for the first three years that they were awarded, 1957-59.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Legend of Troy From West Virginia Grows Larger and Other Videos

I didn't catch this, but Roberto got the video with a little help from Nick. Joe Beimel made the team introductions and gave a shout out to Troy from West Virginia by introducing Andre Ethier as his biggest fan.

Video Link: tinypic:

From the infamous Troy himself, below is a video he put together featuring Dodger futility over the past decade.

YouTube Link:TroyfromWestVirginia:

Below is just over 2 minutes from game 2 of the 1956 World Series between the Dodgers and Yankees.

YouTube Video Link: shippingeverywhere:

Natalia of Silent String Entertainment was at a Dodger caravan before Spring training started and got some interviews from Andre Ethier and James Loney.

YouTube Link: silentstring:

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Huggins & Scott Auction: Dodger Rarities

Huggins & Scott just closed their recent auction and it included a couple of Dodger rarities. Below are a two 1952 Tip Top Bread labels of Gil Hodges and Duke Snider. They are very rare. These flimsy paper labels were placed at the end your loaf of bread. So they often became damaged or easily discarded. These two label are in rough condition with tears and creases throughout. Nevertheless, they sold for a lofty $850.00.

Carl Horner was one of Baseball's original photographic pioneers. He photographed them all, from Cobb to Wagner. In fact, many of his portraits fill the famous T206 set, including the rare Honus Wagner. Below is an original Carl Horner cabinet photograph that sold of Brooklyn Bridegroom/ Superbas (later to become Dodgers) left fielder Jimmy Sheckard.

Sheckard was an all star player. He could hit, steal and make great plays in the outfield. In 1903, he became the first player to lead the league in both steals and homeruns. One of only three guys to ever do it. In 1901, with the Superbas, Sheckard led the league in triples (19) and slugging (.536) while he hit .353. He also established a 20th Century first by hitting grand slams in consecutive games that year. Currently, he holds the record for double plays by a left fielder and right fielder with 12 and 14. Then, with the Chicago Cubs, he played for championship teams in 1907 and 1908.
In his 17-year career, Sheckard hit .274, with 56 home runs, 813 RBI, 1296 runs, 354 doubles, 136 triples, and 465 stolen bases in 2122 games played.
This rare photo below sold for $800.00.


We got swept and it doesn't feel good. Arizona came out and just pummeled our pitchers. They had a total of 35 hits in 3 games- batting a healthy .340 for the series. They recorded 4 doubles, 3 triples and 4 homeruns. Three of those homeruns were hit by Mark Reynolds. They just got the hits when it counted. Arizona was like a roaring 18 wheeler rolling down the highway refusing to slow down. We were no match.

Estaban Loaiza was bad from the start. Chad Billingsley looked even worse. Hiroki Kurada hung in there for over 5 innings, but ultimately fell victim to the Diamondback hit machine. Did I mention that they had 35 hits?

I keep telling myself it's too early to get worried. It's too early to start complaining. Nothing can truly be gleaned from such a small sample of games. It's early, right?

So, for now, I'll hold my tongue and bask in the joy of having Baseball back after a long Winter break.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Class Struggle at Dodger Stadium

T.J. Simer's column in the LA Times left me shaking my head. How could the Dodgers deny loyal Dodgers fans access to the field level before games to get autographs? Only ticket holders in the expensive box seats are allowed access. Russell Wise explains in Simer's column.
"My friends tell me I bleed Dodger blue. My faith, though, in the Dodger family, has been shaken. I was lucky enough to get tickets to last Wednesday's game. My seat was on field level section 33, row C, the closest I have ever been to Major League action."
"I showed up at the game two hours before the opening pitch and found my seats. Three rows from those new box seats -- I figured it would be a snap to get an autograph. When I made my way toward the stretching players, ball and pen in hand, I was rebuffed. 'New rules,' the attendant said.
"Then I saw kids turned back from that magic line between regular seat and box seat. I couldn't believe it, their parents couldn't believe it, and the whole time the privileged few, in the new box seats, got as many autographs and pictures as they liked. At that moment I actually questioned my Dodger loyalty.

"The Dodgers to me have always been about family and tradition. I never thought I'd see the day where a regular kid couldn't get an autograph at a ball game.
This is a travesty. Isn't the pre-game autograph ritual a Baseball tradition? I did it as a child. Heck, I still do it today from time to time. I'm sure most of you tried to get autographs before a game too. How could they be so callous and arrogant?

Simer's goes on to write that the Dodger solution is to open up the centerfield gate. Of course, this no solution at all. Players rarely ever roam to deep centerfield, and, from some accounts, players have not been found there the past three games in LA.

Story Link: LA Times:

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hu Helps Win the Game

What else can I write that has not already been written? Last nights win was big. Derek Lowe was shaky, but he gave up only 2 runs on 5 hits. Our offense was nonexistent, but they were able to scrap up enough runs to win. Chin-Lung Hu ended up the as the hero of the game as he made a great defensive play to catch Brian Giles at third base in the 3rd inning and drove in the winning run in the 9th inning.

Hu will be one of those instrumental pieces that a ballclub needs in order to win a division. He is a master with glove, plays defense with great intelligence and can hit well enough to be a everyday starter.

Of greater concern, at least in the Dodger-centric blogger world, has been the outfield situation surrounding Juan Pierre and Matt Kemp. Tonight it is expected that Pierre will start in left field again. That would be 3 starts in the row, and 4 games out of the first 7. Matt Kemp has been on the outside looking in as our expected starting right fielder has been more friendly with the bench than the grass.

Are these recent moves something to be worried about yet? I don't think so. I have faith that Joe Torre with make the realization that we all have made- Matt Kemp has superior upside to that of Juan Pierre. That fact is as plain as day and Torre can do nothing but accept it. Sure, he will give Pierre an opportunity to get some swings (especially early on), but he knows that Matt Kemp will be our ultimate solution.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The All Latino Dodger Team

Tu Ciudad Magazine puts together their All Latino Dodger Team on an interactive page complete with Baseball cards.

Weekly Blog Kiosk 4/6/2008

5 games down 157 to go.

  • Stale Gum informs us that Topps Card Company pulled off an elaborate April Fools joke by creating a Baseball card inserted in their 2008 Baseball Series 1 boxes of fake high school phenom Kazuo Uzuki. He supposedly threw a 104 mph fastball and was expected to go straight to the major leagues. Kazuo Uzuki means "the first son of April."
  • ARod was attacked by a hawk at Fenway Park. No, not that ARod, but Alexa Rodriguez a 13 year old middle school student from Bristol, Connecticut. Check it out here and with pics.
  • Guy Wellman shares his Dodger career and collection. He was a player, a scout (who signed Frank Howard and Garvey) and a field coordinator.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

REA: Spring 2008 Auction

REA has one major auction a year, so when it comes around it is always something to take note. They always have rare vintage material available. This year is no different as it features everything from Babe Ruth to Michael Jordan. Baseball decency is explored and rare sets are uncovered. The premier highlights of this coming April auction include a Babe Ruth Baltimore News Rookie Card, a Wagner T206 card and a very rare beer poster featuring 19th century Hall of Famers Anson and Ewing.

The dirty language Baseball memo I wrote about last last year is coming up for auction too. It will be interesting to see what this item sells for.

Some of the rarest of Baseball collectibles from the 19th century are Old Judge cabinet photographs. What makes this card notable, though, is that it features star slugger Dave Orr of Brooklyn.
Orr was a major nineteenth-century star and universally regarded as one of the premier power hitters in the Major Leagues throughout his eight-year career (1883-1890).

The earliest baseball cards came packaged within packs of cigarettes and tobacco. In fact, all kinds of promotional items were placed within packs. There were felt flags, various non-sports cards covering actors, animals, etc., and silks.

Below is a example of a group of silk inserts that has been used for its intended purpose. 77 silk rectangles have been sewed together to make a Baseball themed tapestry/ blanket. There are no notable Dodgers to point out, but it does happen to have many Hall of Famers like Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson. I just happen to love items like this. It is Americana at its best.

This is one of the more unique autograph albums I have ever seen.
On Wednesday, September 18, 1946, the Brooklyn Dodgers hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates at Ebbets Field. Prior to that game, a young man by the name of John Kilmas began the compilation of an incredible autograph album, which we are proud to offer here. What sets this autograph album apart from the many others we have seen is the inclusion of snapshot photos of many of the players. Ideally, most of the photos picture the respective player signing this very album! Nearly all of the album pages are also date stamped, so we know exactly when the album was signed. Kilmas returned to Ebbets Field on the 19th (Pirates) and the 20th (Reds) to continue his quest for autographs, and it was on his final trip that he took the photos displayed in the album (later mounted on the proper pages with the given player's signature). He also returned the following spring (April 22, 1947, is the date listed for many of the autographs), at which time he collected many additional signatures, including that of Jackie Robinson during his rookie season. In total, ninety-two signatures are featured in the book, the vast majority of which belong to members of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Imagine the thrill this kid had.