Thursday, April 30, 2009
Who can ever forget the beauty and majesty of this Dodger infield. They were so perfect together. So perfect, in fact, they ended up setting a record. From June 23, 1973 to the end of their World Championship in 1981 they never stayed apart. Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey will forever be regarded as Dodger heroes.
Artwork by James Zar.
Check out the rest of the set here in my photoalbum.
While your at it, check out Night Owl Cards post. He just received his catalog and shares some of the items that has his mind swirling.
UPDATE: Welcome Wax Heaven readers. Be sure to check out my previous post about this auction by clicking the label below called REA. I've been excitedly writing about this auction and plan a couple of more post soon.
UPDATE II: If you want to see a catalog worth every penny check out the auction catalog featuring the Barry Halper collection from 1999 that was sold through Sotheby's. Here is one on eBay.
This poster just makes me laugh. Wasn't it Barnum who said "There's a sucker born every minute." Well this sucker is absolutely smitten with this piece. Below is a 29" x 19.25" poster advertising "Mooney's Giants- The Famous Elephant Baseball Team." This poster is very rare and I suspect it will sell for a tidy sum.
There is nothing better than a photo featuring the stars of the Negro Leagues. Here is a 1916 panoramic team photo of the Chicago American Giants. It goes without saying that vintage negro league memorabilia is exceedingly rare.
This incredible panoramic photograph captures Rube Foster's Chicago American Giants posing together on field during a barnstorming trip to Vancouver, Canada, in 1916. The significance of this rare photo lies in the fact that some of the game's greatest stars, for which few images exist, are on this historic team. Rube Foster (elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981), who was the owner of the Chicago American Giants, is prominently pictured in the center, nattily attired in a three-piece suit and sporting a fedora. He is flanked on either side by twelve members of his club, including shortstop John "Pop" Lloyd (third from the right; considered by many to be the greatest all-around player who ever lived, Negro League or otherwise, elected to the Hall of Fame 1977), outfielder Preston "Pete" Hill (first from the left; one of the greatest outfielders of his day, elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006), first baseman Leroy Grant (fourth from the left), outfielder Jude Gans (fifth from the left), catcher Bruce Petway (sixth from the left; one of the top catchers in Negro League history), third baseman Bill Francis (sixth from the right; ranked among the top third baseman in the League during the early 1900s), pitcher Bill Gatewood (fifth from the left), and first baseman/catcher Pete Booker (first from the right).
Have you ever wondered what the mythical founder of Baseball looked like? Well here he is- Abner Doubleday.
This is probably my favorite non-star 1952 Topps card. What's even better is that this auction lot consist of a group of 6 color-process proof cards. How freaky it must have been for kids in the 50's to see all those Baseballs clinging to the bat like that.
Below is a true rarity. This is Joe DiMaggio's true rookie card. It is a 1934 Zeenut PCL card of DiMaggio playing for the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League.
This is a great set. It is from 2008 and is designed after the 1888 N28 Allen & Ginter set. For nearly a decade I've been working on putting together the complete set of these. I'm only 8 cards shy, but I'm missing some of the more expensive cards from the set. Considering the economy it might take another decade for me to complete it. Ike's Cards was kind enough to send me a whole bunch of Dodgers from the set. He even included a group of mini inserts (the 3 cards above) that are of the same size as the original vintage set.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Don Drysdale was a master pitcher and a rather imposing figure on the mound. So much so, he would literally scare batters at the plate. He once said,
"I hate all hitters. I start a game mad and I stay that way until it's over." (Quotes by players were no more comforting: "Don Drysdale would consider an intentional walk a waste of three pitches. If he wants to put you on base, he can hit you with one pitch." -- Mike Shannon. "I hated to bat against Drysdale. After he hit you he'd come around, look at the bruise on your arm and say, 'Do you want me to sign it?'" -- Mickey Mantle)You get the picture.
Anyway, this collectible sheet highlights one of Don's greatest Baseball achievements. In the 1968 season "Big-D" recorded 58 2/3 scoreless innings that set a major league record that would stand for 20 years. During that streak he recorded 6 straight shutouts- this snapped a recorded once held by Walter Johnson for 55 years.
The artist of this drawing was James Zar.
Check out the rest of the set here in my photo album:
YouTube Link: iammattcoleman:
Too much of everything is just enough
One more thing I just got to say
I need a miracle every day
- Grateful Dead
What a game last night. It was a comedy of errors, bobbles and bad plays. Heck, there was even some great defense to keep us guessing. At the end of the evening, our saving grace was our teams ability to find a way to win.
The first inning ended in an unexpected manner. Raffy made an unbelievable throw from the outfield to get Winn at home. Martin, sprawling to his left after catching the bullet, used his foot to cover the plate as he tagged out the runner. A miracle of a play as I've ever seen.
Later on, our team strikes first because of an embarrassing missed fly ball by Lewis in left field. It was the type of error you would see in a little league game. In fact, I'm pretty sure that was a perfect imitation of me during my playing days. San Francisco scored their first run because of an error by Furcal in the third inning. I guess one good play deserves a bad one.
Soon, other Giants got into the act. Uribe makes an errant throw that ties the game at two. Ishikawa holds at third after a double by Uribe in the sixth inning- he was no doubt fearful of Furcal's mighty arm. Giant pitchers were wild all day with Sanchez throwing 2 wild pitches and Howry one in the ninth. Molina was like Patrick Roy in Orange.
Walks galore filled the scorecard. The Dodgers netted 9 and the Giants 5. In fact, both teams scored on bases loaded walks.
At the end, it took the dramatics of a Manny, Ethier and Kemp to seal the deal. The Dodgers win it in the ninth with a score of 5 to 3. It was just another difficult day in the long standing battle between these two storied franchises.
Box Score: Dodgers 5, Giants 3.
This historically important catcher's mask was worn by Deacon White during the 1880s and originates directly from White's great-grandson, Roger Watkins, who has provided a one-page signed letter attesting to its provenance. Any and all nineteenth century game-used equipment is exceedingly rare, let alone examples that can be attributed to a specific player. What makes this particular piece even more significant is the fact that not only was White the first professional catcher to use a mask, but he also improved on its design. Ideally, the mask is accompanied by a circa 1920s newspaper clipping in which White recalls, first hand, how he was introduced to the new invention. In part:
One day during the season of 1875 at Boston, the papers announced that "The man with the iron mask would play a game of baseball for Harvard." Harry Wright asked me to go out with him and see the demonstration. A fellow named Fred Thayer, third baseman for Harvard, had made a big cage, much like a bird's cage, out of heavy iron wire. This the Harvard catcher, Jim Tyng, wore during the game. "What do you think of it?" Harry asked me. Well I told him such a mask hindered a catcher's work but I believe one could be made which would prove satisfactory. "Make one the way you think it should be made" he ordered. So I went to an iron worker in Boston and had him make me a mask out of steel wire. It fit over my face only, with padding around it, and was held on with elastic bands. This I used in catching Spalding for two seasons after that, and it came in handy when I went up behind the plate to catch my brother in 1878.
While we cannot state with certainty that the offered "spider-style" mask is the one referenced by White in the article, it may very well be and it is without question certainly one of the earliest examples in existence. Consisting of a network of strong metal wires, the mask features five separate pieces of leather padding, each affixed to the framework by its original metal fasteners. Three pieces of padding display additional reinforcement by means of vintage metal wire. No form of head strap is present. The mask displays heavy wear throughout, including numerous cracks and tears to each of the leather pads, but with no breaks to the framework. According to Watkins, this mask was found together with many other baseball items belonging to his grandfather: My great grandfather, James "Deacon" White, was a professional baseball player in the 19th century, playing for several teams in the 1860s-80s including the Cleveland Forest Citys, Boston Red Stockings, and Detroit Wolverines. Before she died, my grandmother, Grace White, brought a box full of Deacon's things to our house. We put the box in a closet where it remained unopened for many years. This spider style catcher's mask originates directly from Deacon White's personal collection.
My package was better than I had hoped. In fact, it was so good I've decided to break up the bounty into several post to highlight my favorites. Check out my first series of scans below.
The group of 9 cards above include some old friends. There are 2 Ramon Martinez's. That man could pitch. Nomo, Belcher and Grissom round out the other old Dodgers. The Matt Kemp card is absolutely wonderful. It is from a set I've seen before, but have not really searched for. It is designed after the vintage 1952 Topps set and looks great. I think it came out in 2006. I've got to get more Dodgers from that set.
The nine above include Russell Martin, Jeff Kent and Chad Billingsley. The best card of the group, though, is Nomar Garciaparra. This is my first card with Nomar in a Dodger uniform.
I love those Heritage cards of Saito and Furcal. The use of vintage designs with modern players was a good call by Topps. I might be forced to complete an entire set of these. At center is should-be Hall of Famer Maury Wills. Thanks you Ike's Cards.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I'll start this off with the key Dodger items in the auction. Unfortunately, it's a little light in True Blue memorabilia. No matter though, there is enough to make us gaze in amazement. Below is a truly scarce game-used uniform of Don Drysdale from the 1963 season. The description in the auction is priceless.
Don Drysdale game-used jerseys are among the rarest of all modern-era Hall of Famer players' jerseys. Their rarity is perhaps best communicated by the fact that, in addition to being the only example we have ever offered, this is the only Don Drysdale jersey ever graded by MEARS. Koufax and Drysdale together struck fear into opposing batters throughout the early to mid 1960s - especially Drysdale, who was well known for having selective "control issues" at times, especially when a "message" needed to be sent. The message was "Hit a home run against Don Drysdale at your own risk." Hitting batters was just part of Drysdale's arsenal of tricks to intimidate the opposition. Just the threat, and Drysdale's cavalier attitude, was more than enough. "I hate all hitters. I start a game mad and I stay that way until it's over." (Quotes by players were no more comforting: "Don Drysdale would consider an intentional walk a waste of three pitches. If he wants to put you on base, he can hit you with one pitch." -- Mike Shannon. "I hated to bat against Drysdale. After he hit you he'd come around, look at the bruise on your arm and say, 'Do you want me to sign it?'" -- Mickey Mantle). Drysdale scared a lot of batters, and probably hit more than a few, wearing this jersey enroute to one of his most successful seasons.As of this writing it is already up to $12,000.00.
Here is a large 19.5" x 29.5" photo of Jackie Robinson that is believed to have, at one time, hung at Ebbets Field. The provenance is a bit shaky, but, unlike other auction houses, REA is upfront about what is known about it. It is at $1,000.00 currently.
I don't usually post up a lot of game-used bats in my post, but with the lack of Dodgers in this auction, as a whole, I though, "what the heck." Here is a game-used bat of Pee Wee Reese dating to 1949. Not only that, it was owned by Phil Rizzuto.
The precise dating of this bat is all the more desirable as the Dodgers were NL champions in 1949. Adding to the appeal of the bat is its unique provenance. This bat originates from the personal collection of fellow Hall of Fame shortstop Phil Rizzuto and was purchased in 2006 at the highly publicized auction of Rizzuto's collection. Ideally, a color copy of a photograph picturing Rizzuto holding this very bat accompanies the piece. The bat is not cracked and displays significant use along its entire length including both ball and stitch marks, green rack marks, and very slight deadwood on the front and back of the barrel. Factory records show that Reese first ordered model "M117" bats in 1949, thus conclusively dating the bat to that year.
Here is Gil Hodges World Series game-used bat dating to 1956.
The bat is stamped "World Series" and "Brooklyn Dodgers 1956" in block letters above and below (respectively) Hodges’ name (last name only) on the barrel. All of the manufacturer's stampings remain distinct and legible, and the bat displays appropriate light use, including a few ball marks, cleat marks, and rack marks. Additionally, an unidentified skipping black line runs along the length of the barrel. Factory records support the fact that Hodges ordered “S2” model bats, measuring 35 inches and weighing 32 ounces, for the 1956 World Series. Players usually received only two bats for World Series use, making each example an event-specific extreme rarity.
On Sunday I was doing some shopping at Target looking for some essentials like shaving cream and dog food. In my search I meandered over to the Baseball card aisle and couldn't stop myself from taking a long look. These days I rarely buy and open a box of modern issued cards. I don't know why that is. Maybe the old thrill that used to exist is gone. Who knows, but for some reason I had that tingling feeling in hands last night. So, I gave in to my regressed childhood desired and found a mini box (called a "blaster" in today's parlance) of 5 packs of 2008 Topps Series 1 packs on sale for $4.99. Check out my video box break below.
See the video on YouTube here.
How screwed up is that. Topps must have wanted to piss off fans of both Boston and New York.
Below are 2 of the bonus cards that are made to resemble the vintage T-205 set from the early part of the 20th century.
Here are the 3 Manny cards I pulled.
Here are the Dodgers I got- Raffy Furcal, Brad Penny and a insert of Russell Martin. Below is the back of the Year In Review card of Russell Martin.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Starting this coming homestand, fans will have the opportunity to sit in “Mannywood,” an area named to honor Manny Ramirez. Field Level seats, fair of the foul pole in left field, will be sold in pairs with exclusive Mannywood T-Shirts for $99. Ramirez wears Number 99.
The seats, the closest to the Dodgers left fielder, are in sections 51 and 53. Fans can order online at dodgers.com/mannywood. The limited edition Mannywood T-shirts are only available through the promotion.
On May 5, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo, a limited edition “Yo estuve en Mannywood” (“I was in Mannywood”) T-shirt will be given to fans who purchase tickets in Mannywood.
Pretty as a pitcher.
New York -- A figure familiar to Basketball fans, Wilt 'The Stilt' Chamberlain, stoops to conquer as he prepares to display his skill on the Baseball diamond. The pitcher, whose long, lovely legs frame the hoop star, is Carol Hodecker. The cute blonde catcher is Charlotte Kirsten, who came to the U. S., from West Berlin six years ago. Both gals are 'Bunnies' (hostesses) from the Playboy Club. Wilt met them as they were warming up in a Central Park field for a game with show girls from a Broadway musical in the Broadway Show League series. Wilt never had such glamorous opponents on the basketball court! He now plays with the San Francisco Warriors. (1963)The funniest thing is all the guys gawking behind the fence. And of course, this pic makes me think about that book Chamberlain wrote. I wonder if these 2 ladies made the cut.
It sold for $107,550.00 (including a 19.5% Buyer's Premium).
The 1966 glove was consigned by the son of former Major League Baseball umpire. Doug Harvey. In June Leavy's biography 'Sandy Koufax, a Lefty's Legacy', Harvey recounted the story of how Koufax came to give him the glove. Harvey was sharing a drink with Koufax at a Milwaukee hotel bar one night when Koufax inadvertently left behind a personalized lighter given to him to commemorate the Dodgers' latest World Series visit. Harvey later returned it to Koufax, who – as a token of appreciation – gave him the game used glove. It is inscribed: “To Doug, With very best wishes, Sandy Koufax.”Wow. Based on that there is no doubt this is the real thing.
Now, this is one of my all-time favorite oddball cards. Below is Roger McDowell's 1993 Upper Deck card #250. In it, he proudly displays his Lasorda University t-shirt.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
YouTube Link: trwvd7:
- Check out this new Dodger blog from a fan on the East Coast called Dodger Blue 162.
- You have got to check out LAist's interview with Dodger bullpen coach Rob Flippo.
- Check out these great photos from Photo Day at Dodger Stadium: From Linda 1 & 2. Vin Scully Is My Homeboy. SOSG.
- Listen to Jon Miller praise Vin Scully as he imitates him in Japanese. (Hat Tip: Pedro's Sports Short)
- The "Beat LA" chant started in Boston.. Who knew?
The Lakers were the first target of “Beat L.A!” and they weren’t even within earshot when it began. It started in the old Boston Garden, the memorable, but now-demolished home of the Celtics, their arch rivals. But it was directed at the Philadelphia 76ers, who were about to eliminate Boston in the 1982 Eastern Conference finals.Hat Tip: Diamond Notes:
- Saturn through spacecraft Cassini's eyes. Go to Boston.com for more pics.
- Malingering, of Flickr fame, has a blog called Malingering's World. She always has some great Dodger pics, as well as other random photos.
- Would it be a surprise if a vast majority of vintage Hall of Fame (and current stars) Baseball autographs are fake? The biggest shame in the industry is it's past willingness to ignore this festering sore. (I'm looking at you- Sports Collectors Digest!) Most of you may be surprised to know that a seemingly legit card manufacturer like Upper Deck has been caught up in the growing scandal. (When they are unwilling to release the sources for some of their autos which are obvious fakes [or autopens or secretarials], then you've got to be very weary.) Fortunately, hobbyist and many experts are coming together to root out this dishonest behavior. Tom Tresh has made it his mission to expose autograph fraud at Coach's Corner Auctions (I advise you to never buy from them) and eBay on YouTube. Autograph Alert is also a very good source, but soon there will be another. Autograph specialist, Ron Keurajian, is putting out a large book that will be a major study of every member of the Hall of Fame and their signatures.
- Most valuable Baseball teams by Forbes.
- Sports Locker does a book review on "Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman"- a biography on Branch Rickey.
- A dog takes a dump on the field during a game and gets ejected.
- BYOBW (Bring Your Own Big Wheel) extravaganza during this past Easter Sunday in San Francisco. (Hat Tip: My buddy Mike who makes an appearance at the 0:27 mark.)
YouTube Link: UselessDesiresMusic:
- I always get the impression that most folks don't really understand the theory of evolution (including myself), so when I came across this video I felt it was a my duty to pass it along. (Hat Tip: Little Green Footballs)
YouTube Link: QualiaSoup:
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Professional Baseball in LA has long history. The pin below is a testament to that. This Pacific Coast League LA team pin dates to pre-1910 (possibly 1902) and is in great shape. It measures 1 3/4" and was produced by Los Angeles Badge & Novelty Company. The individual players are unknown.
Here is a great lot of vintage Jackie Robinson pins. All of them are rarities I love to have in my collection. If not for my recently self imposed buying vacation I would be all over this one. The scarcest of the group is the "Team For Rockerfeller" pin. My favorite, though, is the "I'm Rooting For Jackie Robinson" pin.
I first gazed upon this schmuck at numerous Kings games at the Staples Center. He would sit in the lower bowl and dance away during every break in play. His arms wave in a psycho-like frenetic style as he dons Mickey Mouse gloves and a Nemo hat. He even will show up in a cape and a shield bearing the marks of his corporate sponsor. Bailey, the LA Kings mascot, would routinely dump popcorn on his head and make him the butt of his jokes.
As of yet I had never seen him at a Dodger game, hoping he could not possibly stain Dodger Stadium with his presence. Well, my hopes and dreams have been shattered. He does show up at Chavez Ravine and Malingering has the proof.
Rental Man has the look of a man deranged.
Am I alone here? I can't possibly be the only person who finds him as annoying as beach balls at the ballpark. Heck, that's an insult to beach balls. At least I can hit a beach ball until it pops.
UPDATE: There are a ton of videos of this guy on YouTube.
UPDATE II: Here is a great story told by a Staples Center "red Coat" retelling the day Rental Man got knocked out.
As the Laker game against the New Orleans Hornets had came to about..1 minute left, the Lakers were losing by like 9 and the game was pretty much over. So Rental Man decided to get up and rap and dance like crazy as usual. The guy behind him said loudly "Hey! I paid $185 to see the WHOLE game, I dont care if they're losing. SIT DOWN!"Hat Tip: Life in Hockeywood:
Rental Man didn't listen, so the guy says again: "I'm serious SIT down!" Rental man DIDN'T listen. So the game ends and everyone is walking up the stairs and the guy shoves Rental Man and says "Whats your problem, Idiot?!" Rental Man, crazy as ever, waves his arms around like a lunatic and raps the following "Yo! We both have white skin, we gotta stay till the END!" Without warning, the guy cocks his fist back, and lands a haymaker of a right hook, dead on, in between Rental Man's eyes. Knocks him OUT. Completely...unconcious.
Security rushes and grabs the dude. I'll never forget it as long as I live, LOL. You know that guy that's always with Rental Man?..Thats his ATTORNEY! All this time he had been on hand in case such a thing happened and it never did, till Tuesday, lol. He kept yelling to the police "We want to press charges! We ARE pressing charges, you got that!?"
Friday, April 24, 2009
Yahoo has their new Power Rankings up and they have the Dodgers vaulting from #6 to #1.
This immediately caused me to check ESPN for their Rankings, and would you believe it they have us at #2. Heck, they even acknowledge that regardless of our stellar hitting of late it has been our pitching that has really impressed.
The Dodgers scored 50 runs to go 6-0 at home and have a team BA of .302, but pitching has been their biggest asset (.200 BAA).Of course, that was before the two loses to the Astros. (The ranking is from April 20th) Nevertheless, it's nice to get the attention.
This 1949 Jackie Robinson National League MVP trophy plaque was found hanging in the lobby of Dieges & Clust, the renowned specialist gold and silversmiths who have been producing prestigious trophies, medals, jewelry and awards for the Olympic Games, the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Heisman Trophy, the National Football League, Major League Baseball, etc., since 1898.With 5 days left it is at $5,500.00. They also have duplicate of Roger Maris's 1961 MVP Award and Roger Clemens 2000 Yankees World Series trophy that he gave to his personal trainer, Brian McNamee.
I had to start off this post with this 5x7 photo of Nate Oliver. Not because of its rarity (It's not, I don't think), but because of those glasses. Wow. If anyone knows were this pic comes from please let me know. I suspect it came from a picture pack sold at the stadium souvenir stands.
This is something you don't see everyday, and considering its bid prices right now I think the market agrees. Below is a 1938 Brooklyn Dodgers game ticket from game #3 celebrating a oddity called "Night Baseball." As of this writing it is already up to $330.00.
It's amazing what people collect. Here is a 1954 college yearbook from the University of Cincinnati that has a famous alum named Sandy Koufax. (I shouldn't be talking, I have a couple of college yearbooks featuring Jackie Robinson) The seller is asking $100.00.
This, by far, the rarest item featured in this post. Below are several advertising posters, measuring approximately 36" x 24", of the 1958 Bell Brand Chips Baseball card set. The seller is asking a very healthy $13,000.00 for the group.