Friday, June 06, 2008

Collection: 1979 Clinton Dodgers

I have always loved minor league baseball cards. They feature the portraits of budding young dreamers who are just on their way up hoping for a chance to prove themselves. Many are fresh out of high school and not yet straddled by the rigors of regular life. After all, they play Baseball for a living- a game passed down from generation to generation over the last 100+ years. They travel the countryside from one town to another entertaining us with their skill with the bat and ball. It's a life many of us can only fantasize about. The cards here are from 1979 and feature the Dodgers single A ballclub in Clinton, Iowa- Clinton Dodgers.
As you can see, this team features several future major league players. Steve Sax with his steely stare is joined by his brother Dave on the team. Mr. slow-motion hurler Alejandro Pena is shown in his wind-up while Candy Maldonado gazes at the camera blankly. See the rest of the set here, including Dave Sax's card.
Photo Album: Minor League Set:

Guernsey's Will Hold Special Auction During All Star Weekend

Guernsey's, famous in the collecting world for holding the 1989 Topps archive auction, will be holding a special auction during MLB's All Star Weekend featuring the 1912 Boston World Series trophy.
Guernsey's is pleased to be the auction house chosen to represent a unique piece of baseball history, one of very few World Series trophies to remain in private hands. Predating the days when Major League Baseball provided an official World Series trophy, the 1912 Boston Red Sox team purchased this sterling silver trophy to honor their teammate and manager, Jake Stahl. Remaining in the Stahl family for the better part of a century, and now the property of a collector, the cup will find a new owner this Summer. Bidders have a chance to own an incredible piece of baseball history.
This is an incredible piece of Baseball history. I'll let the auction description speak for itself.

The first major league baseball game to be played at Fenway Park took place on April 20, 1912, between the Red Sox and the New York Highlanders (who later became the Yankees). The Sox launched their new ballpark with a rousing 7-6 win. As the season progressed, that winning streak continued, with the Sox and their ever-present “Royal Rooters” - led by Boston Mayor (and grandfather to President John F. Kennedy) John “Honey-Fitz” Fitzgerald and local tavern owner and Red Sox fanatic Michael T. “Nuf-Ced” McGreevy - marching towards the American League Championship and the World Series with a regular season record of 105-47. The 1912 roster included National Baseball Hall of Famers Harry Hooper and Tris Speaker, and Boston Red Sox Hall of Famers Bill Carrigan, Larry Gardner, Duffy Lewis and Smokey Joe Wood.

Though the Sox emerged as eventual champions, the 1912 World Series was a real nail-biter, with the Sox clinching it only after reaching extra innings in an unexpected eighth game. Indeed, the 1912 Series is the only “best of seven” World Series to require an eighth game. (Game two ended in a tie, called on account of darkness after eleven innings.) Four of the eight games were decided by a single run, and two games went into extra innings. This historic showdown also marks the first time a World Series was decided in the last inning of the final game, or “sudden death.” John B. Forster, writing in the 1913 Spalding's Official Baseball Guide had this to say about the series: “No individual, whether player, manager, owner, critic or spectator, who went through the world's series of 1912 ever will forget it. There never was another like it.”

Above is an original Carl Horner photograph featuring the the trophy and the 1912 Boston Red Sox team.

Dodgers Draft Andy "Pullman" Porter

I can't believe I forgot about this. Thanks to Orel from the Sons of Steve Garvey we find out about the 2008 MLB fantasy draft of surviving former Negro League Players. Every team participated and the Dodgers chose Andrew "Pullman" Porter. Here is a complete list of draftees.

He wasn't altogether sure, though, how best to push for those men whose careers never took them to the Majors because of the color barrier that blocked their path.

Having mulled a couple of ideas, Winfield decided on one that he thought would serve as a salute to O'Neil and the brethren he left behind.

Winfield proposed holding a ceremonial Draft on Thursday for surviving players from the Negro Leagues. The Draft would be a way for Major League teams to connect the past with the present.

Thank you Dave Winfield for making this happen. The postcard above was produced in 1991 and comes from a 100 card set featuring Negro League players. Andy Porter is the third person on the left. It has been signed by the new Dodger.