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.