Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sign This Kid Up!

With the current woes plaguing the Dodgers right right now maybe it might be fun to consider some future prospect on the horizon that we should be keeping an eye on. After all, you can never have enough young players in the system.

Via The Huffington Post, we hear about one such player. His name is Jericho Scott and he's a pitcher. Jericho throws a wicked fastball that scares his opponents. He is very good. In fact, he is too good. The kid throws so hard at 9 years old the league has decided to ban him from pitching.
The right-hander has a fastball that tops out at about 40 mph. He throws so hard that the Youth Baseball League of New Haven told his coach that the boy could not pitch any more. When Jericho took the mound anyway last week, the opposing team forfeited the game, packed its gear and left, his coach said.

"He's never hurt any one," Vidro said. "He's on target all the time. How can you punish a kid for being too good?"

The controversy bothers Jericho, who says he misses pitching.

"I feel sad," he said. "I feel like it's all my fault nobody could play."

Ya know, there is something un-American about all this.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Blog Kiosk 8/24/2008

Are the Olympics over yet?
  • Check out the Olympics made of Lego's.
  • Michael Phelps autographed cards are selling for crazy money on eBay. The below 2004 Donruss Leaf "Fans of the Game" card is going for more than $400.00 a pop. The Upper Deck 2005 Autographed card below (limited to 10) was available only at the Hawaii Trade Conference and is already at $3,850.00.
  • Cardboard Junkie shows off my favorite Olympic card set- the 1983 Topps Greatest Olympians. I know this is a card with a hockey player on it, but I can't even begin to tell you how eager I am for the season to begin. BTW, did you know that Eruzione means eruption. His winning goal in 1980 was like Mount Vesuvius blowing his top.
  • The Inside the Park Blog shows off an early 60's Dodgers souvenir mail order catalog. I've seen most of the items before. The bobbleheads at the top are very rare and highly sought after. The pennant, ashtray, helmet and hat are readily found on eBay, but that cartoon looking toy of the pitcher is totally new to me.
  • This guy knows how to catch a ball. With no glove in hand he uses the best thing he's got- a cup of beer.

Hat Tip: Lion In Oil:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Blog Kiosk 8/17/2008

Late as usual.

Hat Tip: Cardboard Mania:

The Professor, Part II

Apparently, the smartest pitcher in Baseball will be a Dodger once again.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Monday night that the team had completed a deal with the Padres for veteran right-hander Greg Maddux. Citing an anonymous person close to the deal, the newspaper did not know who San Diego would receive in return.
With some questions still surrounding the Dodgers pitching staff this is a good pick up that should provide some stability, if not some veteran leadership for the stretch run.

Brian Kamenetzky notes further,
While overall Maddux sports a 6-9 record, a look at the game log shows he's been pretty effective since mid-May (three awful starts skew his numbers a lot), and the three starts he's had in August have been lights out. With Brad Penny out for perhaps the remainder of the year, it makes sense for the Blue to make a move. How good a move depends a lot on the cost of acquiring the future HOFer. Assuming it's low, I can't see how adding him hurts, that's for sure. Maddux will, I assume, make his re-debut Saturday in Philadelphia, unless Joe Torre decides to jigger around the rotation to accommodate his presence.
Here is the breaking story from Dylan Hernandez of the Times.

UPDATE: MLB Trade Rumors has a full rundown here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dodger Autograph Notice

I just got a notice from the Dodgers PR department that I wanted to pass along.

Closer Jonathon Broxton, legendary 1st Baseman Wes Parker and one of the nicest guys in the world "Sweet Lou" Johnson will be on-hand at the Staples store in Westchester to participate in a "Back to School" shopping spree to benefit the Westside Children's Center tomorrow afternoon, Friday, August 15, 2008.

I guess they'll be racing around the store while filling up their shopping karts with some goodies for the kids. The event starts at noon and the autograph session begins at 1:00 PM. Below are the details.

WHERE: Staples #0951
8704 S. Sepulveda
Westchester , CA 90045
(310) 342-5113

WHEN: Tomorrow, August 15, 2008
12 – 1 p.m. “Back to School” shopping spree with Westside Children’s Center
1 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Autograph session open to the public

Feds Visit the National

The National Convention was not all fun and sports. It was also filled with the Feds.
Federal investigators crashed the National Sports Collectors Convention in Rosemont, Ill., on Thursday and Friday, delivering subpoenas to several hobby executives to appear before a grand jury that is hearing evidence about fraud in their industry.
This is probably one of the hobbies biggest dirty little secrets. For many years this unregulated multi-million dollar business has been prone to abuse. Several years ago the FBI broke up a huge fake-autograph ring, called "Operation Bullpen." Now, they are hovering around the major auction house business to question certain hobby practices such as shill-bidding
(when an auction house or a consignor enters fake bids on an item in order to drive up the price),
fake memorabilia (in particular the altered UNC Michael Jordan warm-up jersey) and altered cards. The subject of their ire appears to be Mastro Auctions. AGAIN!
"No more business as usual," said Chicago collector Michael Gidwitz, who was interviewed by the FBI several months ago. "An unregulated business like this, it brings in a lot of unscrupulous people. This needed to be done a long time ago."
I say it's just about time. Fortunately, I'm not a collecting "whale", so to speak, so I doubt this has affected me. Nevertheless, I'm disappointed that these practices have been allowed to occur in a hobby I deeply enjoy. There are a lot of good people in the hobby and I believe these indiscretions are the exception and not the rule. Nevertheless, always keep your eyes open and if you have any questions I will always do my best to help out or point you in the right direction.

Hat Tip: VBCF:

National Pics Galore

Sports Antiques.com has really outdone themselves. They have over 600 photos now available for all to view from the 2008 National Sports Collectors Convention. Check them all out by clicking here. Below are some of my new favorites.

Below is probably one of the rarest of all game used Baseball caps. It is Babe Ruth's barnstorming cap from 1927. He and Yankee legend Lou Gehrig went out on a national tour during the off-season. It was billed as a battle between Ruth's "Bustin' Babes" versus Gehrig's "Tarrupin Lou's."
I have never seen one of these. This is a stock certificate for the Brooklyn National League Baseball club. It is from 1953 and are for Walter O'Malley's ownership shares. This is an incredible find.
Mantle, Mantle, Mantle! Here is a case filled with the most collected player in the hobby.
This is my favorite of all Rittgers statues, circa 1940's. Known for its comical style it perfectly encapsulates the humor and loss that often surrounds Baseball.
Oh, you little rascal!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dodgers Win! Dodgers Win!

Wow! What game tonight.

The relief corps hold off the Phillies with 6 outstanding innings. Manny drives in 2 with a deep drive to right centerfield. Kent ties the game in the 8th inning with a 2-run double. Nomar hits a walk-off homerun to win it.

Do you feel the magic! We are now in 1st place, baby!

Dodger Kids

There is a nice collection of vintage press photos available in the most recent Mastro Auction featuring the Dodgers with their kids. It's like a Dodger family album. Check them out below.

Did you know that the Dodgers had a canine mascot. His name was "Dodger" and he can't help but whisper something important into the ears of Duke Snider's son, Kevin. The little tyke listens intently as Duke watches on.
Dodger hurler Clem Labine hoist up his two daughters as they pose for the camera.
Jackie and Rachel Robinson with their son. I think this is their youngest son David Robinson.
A youthful Jackie watches over Jackie Jr. as he shows off his swing. The most interest thing about the photo is that Jackie is wearing one of those shiny satin Brooklyn uniforms.This press photo is titled "Making it a family affair." Pee Wee Reese is giving some pointers to his wife and daughter, Barbara, on how to play the infield. The paper press bio on the reverse says, "if ever women make their debut in the majors, Mrs. Reese will be ready." Gil Hodges enjoys some ice cream from his son. I don't think I've ever seen a kid balance on a couple of bats like that.
Stick 'em up! Roy Campanella's son is in full catcher attire as he tries to steal daddy's job.
Check out the rest of the photos here.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Card Of The Week: Don Mossi

This card will make even the most polite people do a double-take. Above is the 1958 Topps card of Indians hurler Don Mossi. On his Baseball-Reference page an anonymous sponsor writes the following:
"He could run ugly, hit ugly, throw ugly, field ugly, and ugly for power. He was ugly to all fields and you never saw a player uglier in the clutch. We love you Don!!"
And I love this card.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Olympic Principles

American Olympians have already done us proud even before they compete in their respective events. Sudanese immigrant, recent American citizen and 1,500 meter participant, Lopez Lomong, was chosen by the US Team captains to be the flag-bearer during the Opening Ceremony.
Sudanese refugee Lopez Lomong was chosen by his U.S. Olympic teammates Wednesday to be the American delegation's flag-bearer at Friday's Opening Ceremonies, a move that will cast an additional spotlight on the controversy over humanitarian abuses in Sudan's embattled Darfur region as the Beijing Games begin.

The announcement of the vote by U.S. Olympic team captains came just hours after the Chinese government rescinded the visa of 2006 Olympic speedskating gold medalist Joey Cheek, the co-founder of Team Darfur, a group of athletes that aims to raise awareness about the conflict in Sudan and has been pressing China to do more to help end the fighting.

Lomong is an active member of the organization. "This is the most exciting day ever in my life," Lomong, 23, said in a statement. "It's a great honor for me that my teammates chose to vote for me. I'm here as an ambassador of my country, and I will do everything I can to represent my country well."

Photo Credit: Ricardo Mazalan / Associated Press

Hat Tip: AmericaBlog:

Olympic Fever

I love the Olympics. Ever since those days in 1984 when LA played host to the event I've always watched with awe at the spectacle.

In honor of the Olympics the Dodgers PR staff have been kind enough to share some photos of some Olympians at Dodger Stadium. Check them out below.
Photo Credit: Jill Weisleder/LA Dodgers

Dodger Hall of Famer and Special Advisor to the Chairman Tommy Lasorda exchanged jerseys with the USA Women’s Softball Team Coach Mike Candrea before the Dodgers’ April 23 game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The team also unveiled its’ Olympic jersey on the field at Dodger Stadium that day, and Lasorda, who managed the U.S. Baseball team to its first and only gold medal in baseball in the 2000 Olympics, also gave a pep talk to the women’s softball team during the game.
Photo Credit: Jill Weisleder/LA Dodgers

The Women’s Olympic Water Polo team was introduced on the field before the Dodgers’ July 13 game against the Florida Marlins and team captain Brenda Villa threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Photo Credit: Jill Weisleder/LA Dodgers

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Blog Kiosk 8/3/2008

Count me in as I jump onto the Manny bandwagon. We have a legitimate shot at the playoffs and with our pitching staff we can go a long way. It's time to get hot now.
  • Say hello to a new Dodger blog called Bleeding Dodger Blue.
  • If your an autograph hound go to Roscoe's Deli in Fullerton on August 8th from 4PM to 6PM to grab Rex Hundler's John Hancock. (Hat Tip: Bad Wax)
  • Just in case your curious below is Manny Ramirez's Rookie Card. It's a 1992 Bowman.
  • The PSA 5 Honus Wagner card sells for $1,620,000 at the Mastro Auction during The National. Go here to see the results from the auction. Here is Yahoo's story.
  • Check out Beckett's coverage from The National.
  • As I wrote previously, Steve Bartman did not show up at the National Sports Collectors Convention. He was offered $25,000.00 for his signature. See the empty display with 250 $100 bills in a briefcase waiting for his arrival. Check out the story here.
  • This is where Jar Jar belongs- frozen in carbonite. Photos of the ILM campus.
  • Gary Coleman was signed by the Madison Mallards to a one day contract to play Baseball. Check out his signing, first pitch and at-bat below.

Hat Tip: Home Run Derby:

Card Of The Week: Milt Thompson

Below is this weeks card of the week featuring Milt Thompson's 1995 Pinnacle Baseball card. As you can see he is performing the great task of clearing the ballfield from one of those pesky beach balls. Vin would be so proud.

National Rarities

Below are 3 new photos from DMcD of some rare cards and memorabilia found at the National. Go here to see his photoalbum.

These 6 cards belong to the 1894 Alpha Engraving Baltimore Orioles set. They are a part of the collection of Patrick Preece and are on display at the SGC grading booth. This set has 14 cards and only one example of each card is known to exist. Players below include (from the top row, left to right) HOF'er Joe Kelley, soon to be Dodgers coach and HOF'er Wilbert Robinson, HOF'er Ned Hanlon, HOF'er Dan Brouthers, HOF'er John McGraw and HOF'er Hughie Jennings. Willie Keeler is the only other HOF'er not shown here. Needless to say, but with a collection of 7 Hall of Famers on one team you know this group was good. In fact, they were champions that year and are considered by many to be one of the greatest teams to ever take the field.
Below are a couple of Kalamazoo Bats tobacco cards of Jim O'Rourke and Tim Keefe, as well as an Old Judge cabinet card of King Kelly.
This is an extremely rare game used glove from William Wamby. What makes this glove so rare is that it was used during the 1920 World Series when he performed the only triple play ever recorded during the October classic.

Photos Link: DMcD:

Friday, August 01, 2008

Laundry Guerrilla Marketing

Blue Heaven reader, Lupe, just sent me some unbelievable pics. While doing her laundry at a local laundromat she found a whole bunch of red socks. What's so unusual about that you say. Well, these aren't just any red socks. These socks closely resemble Boston Red Socks. Not only that, they had a special tag from ESPN welcoming Manny to LA. Check out the pics below.
"Lose a sock, Boston? ESPN joins Los Angeles in welcoming Manny Ramirez."

I Wish I Was There

More pics from the National are here. This time MikeH has some photos to view. Check out the rest of them here.

My favorite part of these large shows are the display cases filled with stuff. Check out the Baseball gloves below- especially the gloves on the second row from the bottom. The two gloves on the left are examples of fielder gloves used nearly a hundred years ago. They were small with very little webbing. A far cry from the giant mitts used by todays ballplayers.
The top row in the display case below has some Baseball statues that were very popular from the 1950's to 1960's. You can see the Japanese version made in post WWII Japan on the top left, the original American made Rittgers statues are in the center and the Africanized version (made in post WWII Japan) is on the far right. The African version has some obvious racist overtones.
Slot machines and Baseball- my two favorite things.
Can you say bobbleheads.
Hat Tip: Vintage Baseball Memorabilia Forum:

2008 National Convention VIP/ Promo Cards

With every large card convention comes limited edition VIP/ promotional cards only available at the show. Everyone from Topps to Press Pass (known for NASCAR cards) are there to pass out these little gems. After a little scouring I found a few pics of this years offerings. (Taken from Kit Young's website)

Topps Allen & Ginter is passing out a 6 card set to VIP registrars that includes the great Jackie Robinson (below).
Here is the complete 6 card set that includes Don Larson, Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth and Johnny Unitas.
Here is a 5 card retro VIP set from Topps designed to look like the 1958 Topps set. The Bob Gibson card below is a fantasy card since he did not have a Topps card in 1958. I guess you can say it's his "rookie card."