Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The National Promos From Topps

As some of you may know the 30th Annual National Sports Collectors Convention will be taking place in late July in Cleveland, Ohio. It is the highlight event of the year and most major collectors will travel far and wide to attend. Unfortunately, I will not be going this year, but I am hopeful collectors on the 'tubes will pass along their insights and photos from the event. (Hint, Hint: Please pass along any photos and your thoughts about the show if you are attending)

As always, there will be numerous corporate sponsors setting up booths. All of the big players will be there; from Topps to Upper Deck, PSA to Beckett, NFL Players Association to Sports Card Forum. In addition, many of these sponsors will be handing out specials limited edition promotional cards that are usually made available to VIP attendees.

Topps recently unveiled their VIP promo set and it includes a couple of Dodgers. Unfortunately, one of the cards has me a little on edge.

The Topps promos are fashioned after the vintage 1959 Topps Baseball card set and it includes only fantasy cards, or "Cards That Never Were." Roy Campanella, as you can see below, gets his very own card as Honorary Coach. The year before he suffered through a debilitating accident and would never play a game again. In recognition of his leadership to the Dodgers he became a special coach to the team at their Spring Training facility in Vero Beach, FL.
Now the card below is just wrong. Even though it's of the great Jackie Robinson I can't stand looking at it for longer than a second or two. There is a reason the card like this would never exist- because it is just wrong.

The Jackie Robinson "Card that Never Was" features him in a Giants uniform. I know, I know! Sacrilegious!

As you may know, after the 1956 season Jackie retired from Baseball after his trade to the hated Giants. The popular story is that he refused to join the team he despised. Now, Topps wonders aloud what he would have looked like in their uniform. If I was attending and picked up this card it would hard not to do something drastic.

I might literally find myself pulling out a lighter and burning it right there. The thought that a card like this actually exist makes me want to puke.
Of course, if you are attending and happen to be in possession of the card. Well... I would be happy to take it off your hands.

Hunt Auctions: The Bob Schenz Collection

Hunt Auctions has just started their recent offering that coincides with the 2009 All-Star Game Fanfest in St. Louis and it has numerous items that would make any Dodger fan green with envy. In fact, there is so much great stuff I am going to split it up into several different post.

One of the collections of interest to the Blue Nation is the personal collection of former Dodger executive Robert John Schenz. He worked for the Dodgers from 1959 to 1988 in various executive capacities; including Transportation, Stadium Club and Personnel. Check out some of his booty below.

Now here is the really good stuff. Here are a group of real championship rings. Not only that, they all come with the original presentation boxes. Below is his 1974 National League Championship ring. Click any of the photos for a larger pic.
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Auction Link: 1974 NLC Ring:

Below is his 1978 National League Championship ring.
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Auction Link: 1978 NLC Ring:

Below is his 1977 National League Championship ring.
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Auction Link: 1977 NLC Ring:

Below is his 1963 World Series ring.
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Auction Link: 1963 WS Ring:

Below is the 1981 World Series ring.
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Auction Link: 1981 WS Ring:

Here is the best ring of all. Below is the 1988 World Series ring.
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Auction Link: 1988 WS Ring:

If you thought the rings were great then get a load of these trophies. Below is the 1981 World Series trophy.
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Auction Link: 1981 WS Trophy:

Who wouldn't want this trophy sitting on their mantel. Below is the 1988 World Series trophy.
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Auction Link: 1988 WS Trophy:

Monday, June 29, 2009

Video: Bat Trick Real

I really had no doubt. Josh Womack is a brilliant master at flipping the bat.

YouTube Link: LongBeachArmada:
Hat Tip: Alyssa_Milano: via GetBenderNow:

The Baseball Card Rap

This is a bit risque, but entertaining for the Baseball collector in you.

YouTube Link: mray11:

Card of the Week: The Impending Crash

In my opinion the 1991 Topps Baseball set is one of the nicest and most flawless card designs Topps has put out over the last 30 years. They really outdid themselves this year. Above is one of my favorite cards from the set. After all, you can't beat Carlton "Pudge" Fisk in the process of receiving the ball so that he can block the plate as a relatively small Cecil Fielder comes storming home. I'm not sure who the Tiger is in the background holding the bat, but I do know he is motioning for Fielder to slide. A collective gasp can be imagined from the crowd behind the play. Two big men are on a collision course sure to be felt from New York to Los Angeles. Of course, these star ballplayers will feel it the most. I can't help but wonder who got the better of each other.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Blog Kiosk: 6/28/2009

OK, I admit it. After one week I am now hopelessly addicted to twitter.

Video Link:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Get Your Pink Bats Right Here

As a follow up to the always successful Mother's Day celebration at Baseball games this year you can now bid on game-used pink bats of your favorite players. Net proceeds go to Susan G. Komen For The Cure. Go here for a complete list of bats. You can get players like David Wright, Derek Jeter, ARod and even our favorite outfielder Andruw Jones. Below are the Dodger bats I came across- Juan Pierre, James Loney, Matt Kemp and Rafael Furcal. The coolest thing about these bats is you know the exact day they were used- May 10, 2009.

Juan Pierre
Juan Pierre had 3 hits in the game.
Auction Link: Pierre Mothers Day Bat:

James Loney
James Loney laid some goose eggs as he went 0 for 6.
Auction Link: Loney Mothers Day Bat:

Matt Kemp
This bat shows a great amount of use as ball marks can easily be seen on the barrel. Unfortunately, Kemp went 0 for 5. I guess he fouled off a bunch.
Auction Link: Kemp Mothers Day Bat:

Rafael Furcal
Rafael Furcal had one hit in six at-bats while driving in one.

Hat Tip: Beckett:

Auction Recollections: Professional Baseball is Born

Once in awhile late at night as insomnia kicks in I'll be roaming around the internet and run into something interesting. Lately, I've noticed that many auction houses provide archived information on past offerings for collectors to search through. These listings are like virtual museums filled with sport history.

One recent evening, I came across an old REA auction from 2005 that I found amazing. A true museum piece. Below is a presentation case made in 1906 that was given to Henry Chadwick, the original Baseball historian, with a vintage trophy ball inside from the 1858 Fashion Course games. What is that you say?
Well, this 3 game series at the Fashion Race Course in Corona, Queens is considered the birth of professional Baseball. It was a match of all-star players from Brooklyn versus New York. This may be the birthplace of the rivalry between the Dodgers and Yankees. I jest, of course. Anyway, this event marks the very first time fans were charged an entrance fee to see a game. It was a charity event for New York area fire departments.
Prior to the Fashion Course all-star games of 1858, baseball was almost exclusively a private gentleman's sport of participation, which virtually excluded crowds as spectators of the game. Although the Fashion Race Course games had been organized for charity, their extraordinary success demonstrated for the first time to baseball entrepreneurs that fans would pay money just to see the finest players of the game compete. The success of the Fashion Course games was revolutionary. The game of baseball as a professional sport was born. By 1869 the Cincinnati Red Stockings would be fielding the first all-professional salaried team, touring the country to play the best teams in the nation before enthusiastic crowds of thousands of paying fans.

The trophy ball is decorated with gold paint and the following word drawn on:
"29 - All Brooklyn Nine. 8 - All New York Nine. Fashion Race Course Long Island N.Y. Match Aug. 17, 1858 Umpire - J. Bache Excelsior - H. Chadwick - scorer."
It comes from game 2 of the series in which Brooklyn walloped New York 29 to 8. Unfortunately, New York won the first and third game to take the crown. (What else is new?) Trophy balls from the other two games currently reside in the vaults of the Hall of Fame. Read he entire auction description here.

This amazing piece sold for an incredible $498,800.00.
Auction Link: 1858 Trophy Ball:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

MannyVision III & Some Other Dodger Videos

More of Manny in Albuquerque.

YouTube Link: Ace505:

Part 2.

YouTube Link: Ace505:

Upper Deck's video of Loney, Billingsley and Broxton's recent signing at their HB store.

YouTube Link: UpperDeckRetail:

OK. This crazy dude is called "Rental Man." He goes to just about every Southland sporting event, usually in costume, to dance. He bugs me, but some folks find him hilarious.

YouTube Link: lukedogg:

Koufax is Still the Toast of the Town

Sandy Koufax rarely makes public appearance, but when he does come out he instantly becomes more popular than the President. Recently, he showed up at a Pro-AM golf tournament called the Traveller's Championship in Connecticut. Expectantly, he was surrounded by fans and collectors alike. From the Middletown Press:
He is as gracious as he was brilliant, but there were times Wednesday that the fans wanted a piece of him a little too much. He tried to humor a man who insisted that he take his lucky coin. When Koufax finished the second hole, as he walked over toward the gallery, he instructed them to be polite and orderly. When a couple of fans may have not been quite that, he shushed them.

After the round, I asked Koufax if the crowd’s over-exuberance got any better as the day went along. “You think it got any better?” he said with a twinkle in his eye. “No.”

Go read the rest as he talks about various charities he has been involved with.

Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily:

Manny's Doctor Under Investigation

Manny's doctor, Pedro Publio Bosch, who prescribed the fertility medication is currently under DEA investigation. From ESPN:

"We're aware of the investigation and our department of investigations is cooperating with the DEA," MLB president Bob DuPuy said Thursday afternoon. He declined to answer any other questions.

Investigators believe the prescription for human chorionic gonadotropin, known as hCG, was written by Pedro Publio Bosch, 71, a physician who has practiced family medicine in Florida since 1976. His son, Anthony Bosch, 45, is believed to have worked as a contact between his father and Ramirez. It's unclear how far along the DEA is in its inquiry but sources indicated that investigators want to know whether either man ever procured improper or illegal prescriptions for other people. DEA officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Hat Tip: BlueCrewNews on Twitter:

Sign For Me, Please

Here is my final Legendary Auctions post and I made sure to keep the best for last. They have a huge lot of 36 Sports Magazine photos of ballplayers with fans. There are all kinds of shots with autographs hounds, children and even groupies. Really, this lot consist of some of the best candid photos around. As of this writing it is at $1,560.00 and rising.
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Who says autograph hounds are worse today? Look at George Brett being surrounded by a sea of balls. I don't recognize the fellow below, but he too is surrounded. (I think he may be Satchel Paige? If anyone has a better guess please let em know)
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Sandy crouches and smiles to the delight of a child and his mom.
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Hey Mickey! Say, "Ahhhh!"
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Campy looks tired as he sign for the kid.
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This is just too damn adorable. Warren Spahn poses with an happy fan.
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Lou Gehrig signing. He is wearing a Yankee uniform with a 1939 Baseball Centennial patch on his sleeve.
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This Clemente photo is powerful and graceful at the same time.
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The ladies love Pee Wee.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

MannyVision II

Here are some more Manny related Isotope videos.

ESPN Video Link:

Here is an interesting video from ESPN featuring Manny's Alma Mater, George Washington High School, and their thoughts about the suspension. You can see the disappointment in the eyes of one of Manny's mentors.

YouTube Video Link: ESPN:

Koufax, Koufax and More Koufax

Legendary Auctions has even more great photos from Sport Magazine in their auction; including a whole bunch of Dodger great Sandy Koufax.

The photo below is nicely framed with Koufax's follow through, the ball (no doubt a curve) whizzing through the air and the catchers right shin guard. The contrasting black and white shades have my eyes moving in a counterclockwise direction as I can visualize the pitch coming towards the catcher. This is almost as perfect a photo as you an get of the Hall of Famer in action. Currently it is at $200.00.
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Auction Link: Koufax Pic:

Now here is some good stuff. Below are some pics within a 7 photo lot of Sandy Koufax's 1963 no-hitter against the Giants. It happened on May 11th at Dodger Stadium as the Dodgers overwhelmed the powerful Giants, 8 to 0. Koufax even took a perfect game into the ninth inning. Unfortunately, he walked the first batter up on a 3-2 pitch. Nevertheless, he finished up the inning without giving up a hit. Overall, 1963 was a magical year as Koufax won the pitching triple crown (306 SO, 1.88 ERA & 25 Wins), the MVP award, Cy Young and the Dodgers sweeped the Yankees in the World Series. Of course, Koufax won both ends of that series. Yogi Berra commented after game one, "I can see how he won 25 games. What I don't understand is how he lost five."
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The below pic shows Koufax preparing the ball just before he makes his pitch to the last batter. Notice that it's the top of the ninth inning with two outs and no count.
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The celebration begins.
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Koufax looks happier than Homer with a doughnut, but the usher in the background looks unhappy. He must be a Giants fan. So far, this auction is at $175.00.
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Auction Link: Koufax No Hitter Pic Lot:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Here are a couple of videos featuring Manny in Albuquerque on the 'tubes. Below is a view from the left field line during his first at bat in tonight's game. Did some fans holler "Cheater" during the "Charge!" chant?

YouTube Link: DrAGON0485:

KRQE reports at the game as Van Tate interviews Isotopes President Ken Young.

YouTube Link: KRQE:

UPDATE: Also, check out Diamond's video of Manny arriving at the stadium here.

Luc Robitaille Elected to the Hall of Fame

Congratulations! Luc Robitaille has been elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Video Link: KingsVision:

UPDATE: From Inside the Kings:
I asked Robitaille to re-tell one of my favorite hockey stories, which is about the day he got drafted in 1984 at the Montreal Forum, in the ninth round, after he sat in the stands all day waiting for his name to be called.

``I had one hot dog every hour,'' Robitaille said with a laugh. ``I think I ended up eating six hot dogs. That was the year, if you remember, that Mario (Lemieux) said he wasn't signing with the Penguins. We got to draft day, a Saturday, and it was a big deal because they called Mario's name and he didn't go to the draft table or anything. There was a delay, and it was like Pittsburgh didn't know what to do and the league didn't know what to do. So I sat and waited. It was 7 o'clock at night and I was still waiting in the Forum, up in the white seats. When I heard my name, I ran downstairs. The security guy, he didn't want to let me on the floor, but I told him that I just got drafted.

``I got to the Kings' table and there were just a couple guys left there. Rogie (Vachon) was there and (former assistant GM) John Wolf was there and a couple scouts. They had me write down my name and address on a card. When we got to August, and I hadn't heard anything from them, I was afraid that I wrote down the wrong address. So anyway, I met those guys at the table, and I met John Wolf and he said, `We don't really have anything to give you, but here,' and he gave me the Kings pin off his jacket. I took the subway home and I was just so excited.''

Legendary Auctions: Brooklyn Photos

Legendary Auctions has a great lot of 53 Brooklyn Dodger photos up for auction from the archives of Sport Magazine. It's a nice treasure trove of vintage pics to be had all at once. Below are only a handful of photos from the lot.
Alston on the phone and then with the bat.
Cake for the Duke from is adoring fans.
Snider is being congratulated by the team and home fans as he heads towards the dugout. Is there any doubt that he just belted a homer?
Here is a pic of Don Newcombe delivering a pitch.
Dog pile at home. I wonder what started this fight.
Another brawl. Is that Don Drysdale ready to throw a right cross.
Team owner Walter O'Malley holds the ball for the Brooklyn Bum.