Saturday, October 25, 2008

19th Century Only: Pacific Coast League Cards

19th Century Only focused their recent summer auction on the usually forgotten West Coast major league- the Pacific Coast League. During the early part of the 20th Century it was the only professional game in town.

I picked out examples of 3 different rare cards featuring players from a PCL teams local to the Los Angeles area. Below is a 1911 Pacific Coast Biscuit card of Los Angeles Angels Bert Delmas.

This card has the most unusual name for a set. Below is a 1912 Home Run Kisses card of Smith from the Los Angeles Angels. These cards were produced by a candy maker named Collins-McCarthy in San Francisco. They are a bit larger than your modern Baseball card and feature sepia toned photographs.

Zeenut Pacific Coast League cards were produced for 28 years from 1911 to 1938. They are very popular and the most collected West Coast based vintage set. Below is from the 1928 offering and still retains its coupon on the bottom. It is very rare to find them with the tag in place since most were torn off and redeemed for prizes. This card is Heath of the Hollywood Stars.

Friday, October 24, 2008

eBay Buy: 1959 Dodgers Postcards

I picked up 2 great new postcards on eBay. Check them out below. They are from 1959 season and has a total of 12 cards for a complete set. My find includes catcher John Roseboro and infielder Carl Furillo. They were sold in souvenir stands during games, and is one of the earliest team issued sets for the new LA team. What makes this set unique is the backdrop. Only the 1959 and 1960 sets feature all of the players on the field at the Los Angeles Colieum.
A unusual collecting fact is that the exact same photos where used for the Morrell Meats LA Dodger set inserted in hot dog packages from the same year. I paid $10.00 a piece for the postcards.

Hunt Auctions: Brooklyn Memorabilia

Hunt's regular internet auctions seem to always have a couple of great little finds. Their recently closed summer offering includes several Dodger gems.

Below is a used and I'm sure well loved ticket stub from game 7 of the 1955 World Series. As you know, the Dodgers won their first World Series that year. It sold for $58.00.

This is something I've never seen before. Below is a vintage 1950's Dodgers "Bum" seat cushion. It has obviously been well used, but still has a strong image on the face. It sold for a healthy $220.00. I had bid on this item, but was greatly over-matched.

Here are some 1950's ceramic Dodger themed table pieces. There is a ashtray, creamer and salt/pepper shaker. It sold for $143.00.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

eBay Buy: 1984 Dodgers Smokey the Bear Fire Safety Set

I recently made a great pick-up on eBay that was both cheap and unique.

In the 80's, the Forestry Service issued special sets for many Baseball teams that would typically be handed out during a game. The cards were about the same size as your typical Baseball card, made with very thin card stock and would usually consist of most of the players on the team. "Smokey the Bear" would frequently be featured prominently.

In 1984, they did something different. The Dodgers set had only 4 cards. Steve Sax, Ken Landreaux, Tom Niedenfuer and Smokey the Bear were featured. On top of that, the almost paper thin cards measured a robust 5x7 inches. Check them out below.
I love how they are standing in a forest right next to the Smokey, but why is Landreaux shovel-less. Both Steve and Tom have their tools at the ready.
I paid a very affordable $3.00 + $3.00 shipping. The set looks great, but I wish it included more players.
Smokey looks like he could hit it a country mile.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hall of Famer Mariano Duncan

Yes! That's right. The Dodger first base coach, Mariano Duncan, is a Hall of Famer. This past weekend he was inducted into the Dominican Sports Hall of Fame in Santo Domingo. Congratulations!
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that current first base coach and former infielder Mariano Duncan, was inducted into the Dominican Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony that took place yesterday at San Pablo House Auditorium in Santo Domingo . Duncan becomes the 93rd player inducted into the Dominican Sports Hall of Fame.

In 1,279 Major League games, Duncan hit .267 with 87 homers, 491 RBI, and 174 stolen bases for the Dodgers, Reds, Phillies, Yankees, and Blue Jays over 12 seasons. While playing seven years for the Tigres de Licey in the Dominican League, the versatile Duncan hit .248 with 31 triples and 17 doubles in 180 games. In the ‘85-86 campaign, he led the Dominican League with eight triples. Duncan was inducted alongside longtime Cleveland Indians’ infielder Felix Fermin and legendary scout Epy Guerrero.

Duncan, 45, just completed his third consecutive season as the Dodgers’ first base coach after one year coaching stints with the Gulf Coast League Dodgers (2003), Double-A Jacksonville Suns (2004) and Triple-A Las Vegas 51s (2005). The native of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic saw action at all four infield positions and in the outfield during his 12-year Major League career and played four seasons with the Dodgers (1985-87, 1989).

This fall, Duncan will serve as the bench coach for Los Toros del Este in La Romana, where several current Dodger prospects are expected to play for him.

Duncan earned National League All-Star honors with the Phillies in 1994 and was a member of the World Champion 1990 Reds. Duncan was also a key member of Dodger Manager Joe Torre’s first World Series winning team, the 1996 Yankees, batting .340 as the regular second baseman that season.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

B&L Auctions: Rare Pre-WWII Brooklyn Cards

I've gotten a little behind in posting about some recent auctions so I'll do my best to catch up. Fortunately, there have been some outstanding items featuring Dodger players available to gaze at.

Brockelman and Luckey Auctions recently concluded their summer offering. This is a new auction service run by a couple of fellow collectors. They feature some very rare pre-WWII Baseball cards, including the below 1887 Kalamazoo Bats card. This card features one of Brooklyn's favorites. Wilbert Robinson (playing the catcher in the card below) managed the Brooklyn Baseball Team from 1914 to 1931 and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1945. He was so beloved in the borough they started calling the team the Robins in his honor. This was during the age when teams were known for their location and league rather than by a team name. The below card sold for an astounding $31,337.00.

Here is another rare 19th Century Baseball card featuring a Brooklyn player. Below is a 1887 Old Judge card of outfielder Ernie Burch of the Brooklyn Grays. He played for the team for only two years from 1886 to 1887 and professionally for only 3 years. This card is notable for it's horizontal photo. On top of that, the mini-photo adds to it's rarity. It sold for $3,245.00.

Nap Rucker played in Brooklyn for his entire career from 1907 to 1916. He won 134 games and had and ERA of 2.42. He recorded an no-hitter in 1908 and won 22 games for the team in 1911. Below is his 1911-14 Brunners Bread card. It sold for an affordable $100.00.

Tommy Lasorda To Be Honored

Tommy Lasorda will be awarded the World Impact 2008 Tom Bradley Lifetime Achievement Award this coming November 15 at the Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium Club. Go ahead and spend a Saturday evening celebrating with this great samaritin. Below are the details.
The World Impact 2008 Tom Bradley Lifetime Achievement Award, featuring a reception, dinner, silent auction and live entertainment, will be held at the Los Angeles Dodgers' Stadium Club on Saturday, November 15, 2008 at 6 p.m.

This year's recipient is Tommy Lasorda, who helped to win two World Championships, four National League pennants and eight division titles in an extraordinary 20-year career as the Dodgers' manager. This Hall of Famer is baseball's most popular ambassador. He is the spokesperson for the American Heart Association and serves on the Board of the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation. Master of Ceremonies Craig T. Nelson will headline the entertainment, including world-class flautist Pedro Eustache, a tribute to Tom Bradley and a tremendous video of Tommy's life.

Proceeds from the Gala will benefit the Los Angeles Christian School (LACS). For more than 25 years inner-city children have received a quality education that emphasizes character, competence and confidence. The LACS is unique in that if one can afford tuition, he cannot enroll. It is for those often neglected or forgotten. Being a sponsor of this event is a fantastic way to empower inner-city children to become all they were created to be. The LACS positively impacts the entire families of the students and through them, the Los Angeles community.

Tickets, which are tax-deductible, can be purchased on the event website at

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Heritage Auctions:

When the playoffs are in full swing top notch sports memorabilia auctions are sure to pop up. Fortunately, this years crop does not disappoint. Hunt, Brockelman & Luckey, Mastro, 19th Century Only, Huggins & Scott and Heritage are filled with some great items to look through.

For this segment I'll focus on Heritage. They have some incredible items including Ruth autographed balls galore, his cap worn during his barnstorming days and more cards than i can link here.

Below is a ball that comes from the early days of Baseball.
It took thirteen tries until the Washington Senators catcher was able to snag one, and later the crowd that had gathered to watch Gabby Street attempt to catch a ball dropped from the top of the Washington Monument described the sound of the ball hitting Street's mitt as that of a pistol shot. The 535 foot drop took just four and a half seconds, the ball carrying two hundred pounds of force behind it as it reached Street, traveling at one-eighth the speed of a rifle bullet, as a local Washington newspaper reported.
Yes, this is the ball Gabby caught that August day.

I first wrote about this item in August, below is a 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers stock certificate for 2,750 shares of the team signed by Walter O'Malley.

In 1955 the Dodgers won their first World Series. Their capture of the pennant that year became a afterthought. Nevertheless, their National League championship was memorialized with a certificate from Warren Giles. It reads:
"Championship Award, 1955 Greetings, Official National League records establish the following record of games won and lost by National League Clubs during the Championship Season of 1955. By virtue of having the highest percentage of games won, the Brooklyn National League Baseball Club, 'Brooklyn Dodgers,' is hereby declared 1955 Champion of The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs and is entitled to fly the National League pennant at its park symbolizing said Championship until the close of the 1956 season. Signed Warren Giles, President and Secretary."

How did this get out? Below is Mike Sharperson's 1988 World Series trophy.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Blog Kiosk 10/5/2008

No sweat! Bring on the Phillies!!!!

  • Topps is introducing some very limited 1 of 1 artist sketch cards in their 2008 Updates & Highlights Baseball packs; including a very cool card of Manny Ramirez. Check it out below. (Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily)
  • Wow. Kimbo Slice of the MMA lost yesterday. Go here for the video.
  • Topps continues its foray into gimmick cards. Check out their latest politically themed insert card featuring Sarah Palin as a beauty queen. (Hat Tip: Cardboard Connection) Upper Deck decides follow suit with their own Palin card below. Joe Biden's Upper Deck card is scary looking! (Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily)
  • I've just discovered a great collectors website that focuses on Baseball gloves. It is called the Baseball Glove Collector and features hundreds, if not thousands, of various vintage examples; including some 19th century mitts. Memorabilia of this sort makes for a great display. In fact, check out the "displays" section to see how other collectors have set up their own personal museums.
  • Back on Topps, Episode 1.

  • Back on Topps, Episode 2 with special guest Russell Martin and Andre Ethier.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Victory Is Ours

There is not much more that I can say. Last nights win was big.

Loney came through with an unexpected 0-2 round-tripper. Manny was being Manny. Ethier missed an opportunity, but redeemed himself with a walk in front of Loney's slam. Furcal was good, not spectacular, but good. Watch out, though, if he turns it on we will be unstoppable. All season long pitching has been our bedrock. In the playoffs it will be no different.

With every passing minute I like our chances more and more.

Pic Link: SoccerLens:

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Collection: 1975 Waterbury Dodgers

Here is another Dodger minor league Baseball set from my collection. Below are a couple of the key cards from the AA affiliate Waterbury Dodgers from Connecticut. They were members of the Eastern League and only represented the Dodgers for 4 years from 1973-1976. In 1975 they finished 3rd in their division, going 77-59.
There are only a couple of notable players in this set.

Above is Rafael Landestoy. He played for the Dodgers for only a handful of season, but he spent some quality time with the Houston Astros in the late 70's to early 80's. Below is our former bench coach and current Mariner Manager Jim Riggleman. He looks funny in those giant frame glasses.
Check out the rest of the cards in the set here in my photo album.

Game Face Time

Andre Ethier updates his blog in preparation for the series.

There are no descriptions of local Chicago delicacies. There are no photos of specially prepared veggies or beef cooked to order. Neither Sushi or Pizza was on his mind.

Preparation was the order of the day.

Heck, from the sounds of it, the Dodger plane ride to Chicago felt different according to Andre.
You could just sense from the way the guys were acting on the plane that this wasn't just another trip.
Then, Dustin Pedroia sent Ethier a message that helped put it all in perspective.
"This is where champions are made -- Let's go."

The right frame of mind, for a young player, sometimes is all that is needed to take you to that next level.

Champions! As Dustin said, "Let's Go!"

Roster Set... Series Opener Begins

Could you sleep last night?

I laid in bed wondering about tomorrows event. My mind was in a manic state. I was reeling with fantasies of Dodger homeruns and well pitched innings.

I imagined runners on first and third and two men out. The new king of Hollywood was readying his swing. All I could see was a flash of black dreadlocks passing by my eyes.

Sinkerballs would zing in and out of the strike zone. The hapless Cubbies would look on in amazement.

In just a few hours the Dodgers begin their quest for their first World Championship in 20 years. I can't wait for it to begin.

Below are the players who will represent us in this series.:

Pitchers (11): LHP Joe Beimel, RHP Chad Billingsley, RHP Jonathan Broxton, LHP Clayton Kershaw, RHP Hiroki Kuroda, RHP Derek Lowe, RHP Greg Maddux, RHP James McDonald, RHP Chan Ho Park, RHP Takashi Saito, RHP Cory Wade

Position Players (14):C Danny Ardoin, IF Angel Berroa, IF Casey Blake, IF Blake DeWitt, OF Andre Ethier, IF Rafael Furcal, IF Nomar Garciaparra, OF Matt Kemp, IF Jeff Kent, IF James Loney, C Russell Martin, IF Pablo Ozuna, OF Juan Pierre, OF Manny Ramirez,