Monday, August 31, 2009

Thome... Garland... Really?

Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated is saying we just got Jon Garland from the Diamondbacks and Jim Thome from the White Sox. Wow! If true, this is quite a move. I wonder who we traded.

Vin Scully has just confirmed it! Thome is a Dodger for a player to be named later! That's something else. Wow!

This is a aggressive move. Will he be playing some first base? Platoon with Loney? Our designated big bat off the bench from the left side?

Update 2:
Vin now confirms that Jon Garland is a Dodger. No word on what we traded for Garland.

Update 3:
Denver Post also confirms the Garland trade and adds that the Rockies got Jose Contreras. Also, they speculate that Arizona was looking for a grade B prospect in return for Garland.

Update 4:
Jon says, from the Chicago Tribune, that we traded Class A ballplayer Justin Fuller ans cash for Thome. As Jon wrote, "a pure giveaway." Smells like the Manny trade. Instead of giving away a clubhouse problem like the Red Sox, the White Sox shed some salary. After all, picking up Peavy and Rios was not cheap. Chicago also traded pitcher Contreras to Colorado.

Update 5:
AZCentral says
"The Diamondbacks are paying the rest of Garland's salary. That is, whatever is left this year plus whatever the option amount ends up being. He has about $1 million left this year, meaning they are kicking either $2 million or $3.5 million into this deal."
With Arizona pitching in some sizable money expect a decent prospect to be going their way.
Hat Tip: Twitter:Dodger Thoughts:

Whose Jersey Is This Anyway?

A couple of days ago an eBay auction closed on an item that is very rare. The only problem, though, is whose jersey is this anyway?

Below are pics of a vintage 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers jersey with the number #22 on the chest. It appears to have all of the telling signs of a real game jersey. The stitching is right and the tags are real. Not only that, the front stitching refers to a "Warner" as the wearer of the shirt. My questions is, who is that? Anyone know?

Could this be a coach, or a minor leaguer who never quite caught on? If you know please pass it along.

By the way, this vintage jersey sold for a healthy $1,036.00.

Card of the Week: What Are Ya Doin' Tim?

Tim Wallach has a long and storied history in Southern California. It all began in the late 70's as he was a standout for the Cal State Fullerton Titans Baseball team. In 1979 he won the Golden Spikes Award which goes to the best college Baseball player of the year. He was subsequently drafted by the Expos and would spend most of his career north of the border. Later on, though, he came back home and played for both the Dodgers and Angels from 1993 to 1996. After retirement he became the Dodger hitting coach for the 2004 and 2005 season. Today, he currently manages the Dodger AAA club- Albuquerque Isotopes.

The card above is this week's "Card of the Week". It is Wallach's 1992 Topps Stadium Club card of him in a pose unexpected on a Baseball card. He appears to be ready to launch the Baseball like it is a shot put. Why? I don't have a clue.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Blog Kiosk: 8/30/2009

See, no reason to worry. We are back on track. My hair is not turning gray.
  • Here is another great custom card from The Custom Card Blog. Billingsley on a 1982 Donruss design.
  • Jo Anna volunteered at the ThinkCure! telethon and has photos to prove it. Check it out.
  • Charlie Haeger in a new custom Goose Joak original card. He has become my new pitching hero.
  • My good friends, Rob and Nancy, recently went to Disneyland and posted a trip report complete with pics on MiceChat. Below is my favorite photo of all- complete with a mellow Yoda. Oh yhea, I apologize for the Angels hat. I guess there is no accounting for taste. The funny thing is that he grew up in LA County and became a Angels fan, while I basically grew up in Orange County and remain true to the boys in Blue.
  • Here is a great article about Chan Ho Park and his transition from starter to reliever in the Phillies bullpen. It all came together for him during a West Coast swing through LA.
  • Bob Lemke shares a new discovery- a 1952 Ponca City, Oklahoma Dodgers Class D Minor League Baseball cards made by Globe Printing.
  • Rob L gives a nice rundown of the evolution of the Baseball in the 1800's at the Net54Baseball message board.
  • Get your own torture team cards here. Get one complete set for free. (Hat Tip: A Cardboard Problem)
  • Upper Deck interviews Andrew Long, creator of the "Packs to the People" video box break series. He puts together the best video box breaks around. See them here.
  • Former Vikings football player, Onterrio Smith, has his infamous Whizzinator being auctioned off (Randball). Apparently, it was confiscated at an airport and would presumably be used to pass a drug test. (Hat Tip: Deadspin) Go to the links to get to a picture of it. I would have posted it, but it just ain't appropriate looking and is definitely NSFW.
  • World Champions and Tommy was a catalyst.
    I told them that if they all get on one end of the rope and pull together that they could pull the rest of the teams with them.
    The 16 and under Team USA won the gold medal. Read more about if from Tommy Lasorda's World.

YouTube Link: takapaiki:

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dodger Correspondence: George Cisar

George Cisar is one of the oldest living Major League Baseball players- 5th on the list. He was born on August 25, 1912 in Chicago, Illinois. He recently turned 97 years old.

Cisar only played in the Majors for one season, 1937, at the age of 25, but got to do it for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He played in 20 games; scoring 8 runs, getting 6 hits and 4 RBI's. George Cisar also stole 3 bases and did not commit a error as an outfielder.
Uber Fan Roy gets a great letter from this old-timer as they happen to have a common connection.
(click to enlarge)
You may not know it, but I finished my pro ball career right in your old home town with the Anniston Rams of the old South Eastern League (1940). Bill Rodda was our manager and Larry Gilbert Jr. was the business manager. I joined them in June of that year and they were in last place where we eventually finished up.

I wish I could think of some names of the many friends I made there but time and the war gradually erased that. I do remember a "Doc Tom" who worked in a drug store, but he and his wife may not even be their anymore.

Well anyway, it brought back fond memories even if we finished in last place. Best of luck and very Merry Christmas.
How fortuitous George must have thought it was to get a letter from a lad who comes from a town he played in.
(click to enlarge)
P.S. I still can't figure how we finished in last place. We had Joe Hatton who later starred for Brooklyn, Ralph Hamner (later White Sox), Frank Papish (later White Sox) (all good pitchers).

I just wondered if Tommy O'Brien who later starred foor the Boston Red Sox still makes Anniston his home. He was one of us Anniston Rams.
One of the unfortunate realities of growing old is that memories can sometimes fade away. That is why letters like these are important to record, keep and share for the sake of family, friends and history.

Friday, August 28, 2009

2009 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Preview

On Upper Deck's Facebook page they recently released some preview photos from their upcoming Baseball card set called Sweet Spot Baseball. Above is the Manny Ramirez base card from the set. This set is very popular due to randomly inserted autographed cut pieces of baseballs, bats or leather on a card. This year they have added some special autographs that I'm sure the collector community will go mad over. They had Michael Jordan and LeBron James sign some stuff for the set.

UPDATE: There is one thing I find most frustrating about these early previews. It seems that if they show a Dodger it is always Manny. I know he is our high profile superstar, but are there not other team members worthy of inclusion in the previews? How about our burgeoning ace Clayton Kershaw, or our soon to be superstar Matt Kemp. Anyway, that is my little bit of venting for the afternoon.

Photo Day at Dodger Stadium, 1966

Once again I would like to thank Bob Wong for allowing me to post some photos from his collection. They are like sitting in a H. G. Wells Time Machine painted in Blue and adorned with pennants, trophies and a little statue of Tommy Lasorda resting in front like a hood ornament. Below are a series of photos taken on Photo Day at Dodger Stadium in 1966.

Below, Willie Davis poses for the cameras.
Doesn't Sandy Koufax look dapper.
Below is Ron Perranoski and John Kennedy.
Jim Barbieri and Don Sutton are connected at the hip.
It looks like Willie Davis is having a little fun with Don Sutton.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Down to the Wire

It is now hand-wringing time. My palms are sweaty as beads of perspiration starts to dribble down my cheek. The season is almost over as the Dodgers suddenly find themselves in a battle we all thought would not come a couple of months ago.

Such innocent times those days were. We had the best record in Baseball and no other team was close. We had capably beaten every team in our division and found that the competition in the East and Central had difficulty matching our gusto.

Now, we find ourselves- at least us fans- dealing with self doubt. Can we hold on? Are we on a sinking ship or a cruise line slowing down as it comes to rest at its final port? From our rear we see the S.S. Rockies and it has us worried. Can we beat them so we can collect our luggage and go to the promised land? Is our October going to be a bag filled with "tricks," or will we be treated with candies and chocolates from the big Dodger in the sky.

Even at this hour our record is still tops the National League. Unfortunately, many teams (the Rockies, Cardinals and Phillies) stand just a few feet away. Our hold on the division was assured, but now we look over our shoulders wondering if we will get passed. I feel like that truck driver on a two lane highway who goes too slow for passenger car traffic and can't go too fast otherwise he'll run himself off the road. I'm just holding on to keep on keeping on.

Nearly 80% of the season has passed us by and 35 games remain (not including this afternoons match). The Dodgers sound confident and assured. We face a fairly weak schedule going forward; Pittsburgh for 6, Washington for 3, San Diego for 5, Arizona for 7 and Cincinnati for 3. We should be rejoicing at our good fortune. Instead I stare in the mirror watching my hair go gray. Auction: will soon be closing up on their most recent auction. There isn't much Dodger stuff to really speak of, but I figured "what the hey!" I'll post them anyway. Below is a goofy looking press photo of the 1939 Dodgers prior to some conditioning drills at the Hot Baths in Hot Springs, Arkansas during Spring Training. I don't recognize any of the players, except for the manager Leo Durocher- who is standing. Don't ask me what those rods are for. I haven't a clue.

Below is a Sandy Koufax painting featuring his rookie card at the top and his actual autograph on the ball in the center. It is painted by Charles De Simone.

Below is a beautifully done painting of Walter Johnson done by Darryl Vlasak.

Here is another Vlasak painting of Ty Cobb. I love the details of his work.

Below is a video by the auction house featuring some of the above paintings.

YouTube Link: Collectauctions:

Dodger Correspondence: Nap Rucker

Walter knew what he was doing. He was interested in getting autographs from some early 20th century Dodger players. Below a response from Nap Rucker.
I'm sorry for not having sent you my autograph before now. (illegible) better late than never. Give my regards to John Hummel.
John Hummel was a teammate of Rucker.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

eBay: More Dodger Stuff

Here are some great Dodger items that came up on eBay.

Below is a All Star press pass from 1966 that featured Sandy Koufax's last appearance in the annual game. The National League won in extra innings (10), 2 to 1. Maury Wills knocked in the winning run.

I know I've written this before, but I can never get enough of the Babe in a Dodgers uniform. Below is a rare Bra-Mac photo of Gabby Hartnett and Babe Ruth from 1938.
These "colorized" versions of Burke's black and white photos were produced by the Burke/Brace studio from hand-tinted 8"x10" prints. In many cases, labels were affixed for the lettering (recognize those from the old-style label-makers?) Brace himself selected the photos and researched the original colors. Once the hand-coloring process was completed, the whole photo was re-shot to produce these smaller, matte-finish color photographs. Much rarer than their black and white or sepia-toned counterparts, these were called "Bra-Mac" photos (after George Brace and the colorist, Bill MacAlister), and were sold exclusively through hobby shops and the Burke/Brace studio in Chicago.

Here is a 1960's LA Dodgers kitchen apron. It says what we all think.
"To Heck with Housework, Let's See the Dodgers Play."

The 1959 All Star Game

The All Star game has been a annual institution since 1933. The greatest stars would have a chance to play together in a battle between leagues. Then, as now, fans argued about which league, the National or American Leagues, had the better players and played a better game. This mid-season battle would settle the score and provide fans with an event to remember.

Unfortunately, the game soon became stale and boring. After all, at the end of the day the game didn't count for anything and fans just stopped watching. By 1959 Major League Baseball decided to make a change. There would be 2 All Star games played on consecutive days. The first game would be played on August 2 at Forbes Field, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The next afternoon they would play in Los Angeles at the Coliseum. They then threw in a twist by allowing the managers to play whichever players they wanted for game 2, thereby not being bound by the voted-in starting lineup. This format would last until 1962.

Bob Wong has once again allowed me to post some more photos from his collection. Below are some of his pics from the All Star Game at the coliseum in 1959. Check them out below. BTW, the American League won the 2nd game 5 to 3.

UPDATE: Bob just let me know that the below photo is not from the All-Star game. My Bad. The bottom 3 photos below are from the All-Star game. Sorry for the confusion.
Below is a photo of the player introductions. The baselines are filled with All Stars.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mientkiewicz on "Back on Topps"

Doug Mientkiewicz makes a special appearance on Topps most recent episode of their online video series "Back on Topps."

YouTube Link: BackOnTopps:

Dodger Correspondence: Our Congratulations

The more I find out about the Brooklyn borough and their affection for the Dodgers the more amazed I become. They really loved their team and their players.

On September 25, 1956, Sal Maglie, known as Sal the Barber for his propensity to throw inside, threw a no-hitter. As soon as the hometown faithful found out they went to all lengths to congratulate the hurler.

Recently on eBay examples of this came up for bid. Below are a series of congratulatory telegrams sent to Maglie.
There never was a better one pitched, either, because nobody really got his bat on the ball and there wasn't a hard chance. -Carry Schumacher
Sal was very dominant that evening. He walked two and hit one batter.

The below telegram gets right to the point.
Congratulations Sal on your no hitter, now do it to the Yankees in the World Series. -Al St. Onge

eBay Auction Link: Maglie Telegram:

The series of 3 videos below are really special. It includes audio from the last inning of Maglie's no-hitter and features the voices of Jerry Doggett and Vin Scully.

YouTube Link: FloralParkKid Part 1:
Part 2.

YouTube Link: FloralParkKid Part 2:
Part 3.

YouTube Link: FloralParkKid Part 3:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dodgers Tour of Japan, 1956

A big thanks to Bob Wong for allowing me to post these picks. They are from the Dodgers 1956 Tour of Japan and come directly from color slides. Photos were originally posted at the Net54Baseball message board.

Update: Go to Walter O' for some additional information about this historic trip- complete with even more pictures.
Roy Campanella

Don Demeter

Ralph Branca

Gil Hodges

Billy Herman and Jackie Robinson

Duke Snider

Card of the Week: Bunyan's Bat

Sometimes all you need is a bigger bat which Brett Butler shows in his 1993 Upper Deck Fun Packs card featured above. It is this weeks "Card of the Week." I don't actually have this card in my collection, but I saw this at Night Owl Cards blog last week and knew it was a winner.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

An Unassisted Triple Play

I guess Seth Swirsky is gonna have to get another autograph on his ball.

Eric Bruntlett, of the Phillies, completed the Majors 15th unassisted triple pay today. He even did it in style as it was a game ending walk-off triple play.

(Hat Tip: Walk of Walk)

Check out this video of the event.

Video Link: Thefightins:

Blog Kiosk: 8/23/2009

I really feel our pitching is fine. It's the offense that needs to get going again.
  • Check out this great custom card of Matt Kemp on a 1991 Topps Baseball design at Goose Joak. Also, check out this blog dedicated solely to homemade cards called the Custom Card Blog.
  • Bob Lemke has a blog. Check it out. He is a giant in the hobby and a editor of the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards.
  • Nice pull! Beckett tells us about a rare 1of1 dual cut signature card recently pulled out of a box of 2008 Topps Co-Signers Baseball featuring Marinus Willett, a captain during the Revolutionary War and notably New York City’s first Mayor, and Jedidiah Huntington, a brigadier general during the war. These historical cards and signatures in Baseball packs is pretty cool.
  • Night Owl Cards puts together the Baseball All-Dog Nickname Team.
  • Football- celebrity look alike's from
  • Bryce Harper, the teenage phenom from Las Vegas who plans to drop out of high school in hopes of entering the draft early, has a Baseball card from the AFLAC All-American Baseball Classic held in San Diego recently.
  • Here is a video of Russell Martin's Thursday night Grand Slam. (Hat Tip: Reflections of Blue)

YouTube Link: dodgerfilms: