Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hunt's: More Dodger Goodness

These next few items are just great. If you are going to the Anaheim All Star game FanFest in July at the Anaheim Convention Center you have to stop by Hunt's auction preview exhibition to check some of these things out.

Below is a full size replica 1988 World Series Trophy. This was produced by Balfour and are much rarer than the ones more commonly seen.

Here is a actual Brooklyn street sign of Flatbush Avenue. This is the street where Ebbets Field once stood.

Again, I can't help but post this uniform style. Below is a 1944 Brooklyn Dodger full satin uniform once worn by Ray Hayworth. The coolest thing about this uniform is that it features number 32. A little over a decade later this number would be worn by Sandy Koufax.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just Calm Down

You have to read Jon's great post over at Dodger Thoughts imploring fans to calm down and take a seat. There is no need to allow your sense of emotional dread to overcome common sense decision making. Simply put, trading Matt Kemp now is a bad play.

I suspect this post could easily have been written with Kemp's name replaced and Jonathon Broxton or Chad Billingsley's put in. After all, at numerous points over the past couple of years fans and sports journalist alike have screamed about those players supposed failings and how trading them now would be better than watching them waste away like a Darren Dreifort nightmare.

The potential that exist in both Billingsley and Broxton, as well as, Matt Kemp, is still there. We know it has yet to be fully realized. I know that we fans can sometimes be impatient- wanting to have it now like a quick search on Google or a cafe late at the corner coffee shop. The simple fact is that they are still young and far from reaching their peak years. I, for one, am more than willing to ride out these tough patches.

T206 Brooklyn Dodgers: Kaiser Wilhelm

It has been amazingly difficult doing research on this former Brooklyn player. Irvin Key Wilhelm, better know as Kaiser Wilhelm, spent 3 years of his 9 year Major League career with the Brooklyn Superbas. When I did some basic google searches for Kaiser 9 out of 10 results were related to the former German Emperor who started WWI. Even searching his given name yielded undesirable results. Nevertheless, I'll do my best.

One of the things I wanted to find out was why he was given such a undesirable nickname. After all, most Americans, at the time, despised the the German warmonger, so it must not have been very flattering to Wilhelm. It can't be just as simple as sharing a similar last name, can it? In a newspaper obituary at Deadball Era it indicates that his nickname was "Kize." So, it appears he may have disavowed the name later in life. If you happen to know the true story please pass it along.

Kaiser Wilhelm was a right handed hurler who had a couple of years of pure brilliance. In 1907, while with the Birmingham Barons of the Minor League Southern Association, he established the professional consecutive scoreless innings pitched record at 56 innings. Then in 1908, during his first year in Brooklyn, he won 16 games and lost 22 for a terrible team. His ERA was a tiny 1.87 (good enough for the third best ERA in Brooklyn history) with 6 shutouts and 33 complete games. Unfortunately, the following two years for Brooklyn were not as good. He lost 20 while only winning 6 games from 1909 to 1910, and his ERA ballooned by almost 3 runs. Wilhelm was subsequently sent back down to the minors until 1914 when he jumped ship to join the Baltimore Terrapins of the competing Federal League. As you may know, the Federal League was a competitor to the American and National Leagues, but failed to gain a foothold as it only survived for two seasons.

In 1917 the United States entered WWI and Wilhelm joined the effort by becoming a government inspector. By the end of the war, he was back in Baseball as he assisted "Wild Bill" Donovan when he managed the Phillies. Then, he became the manager himself from 1921 to 1922.

Hunt's: Dodger Vintage Game Used Bats

Imagine that it's 1953 and you and your older brother are at Ebbets Field to watch your favorite team, the Brooklyn Dodgers. After the game you make your way towards the dugout and are given two game bats- one from Jackie Robinson and the other from Roy Campanella. How jacked up would you be?

Well, below are those two bats. They stayed in the personal collection of those kids and are offered for the first time at Hunt's 2010 All-Star Game FanFest Auction.

Jackie Robinson

Roy Campanella

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Mighty Casey

Casey did not strike out. Instead, he blasted a two run homer in the eigth inning to propel the Dodgers to a 4 to 2 win over the hated Giants. On top of that, Chad Billingsley had a solid effort on the mound after a couple week stint on the DL.

This win was a nice thing to see after a homestand that had everyone in DodgerNation shaking their head.

BTW, leave Broxton alone. There is no need to panic. Broxton has been great all year long and I see no reason to jump the gun. Besides, he's our best option out of the bullpen, and I think it's doubtful the team will find anyone who is better.

Hunt's All Star Game Auction: The Honus Wagner

As the story goes, American Tobacco Company was about to put out their now famous 1909-1911 T206 set in packages of cigarettes. In order to do this they needed to get permission from each individual player since a players union did not exist at the time. One player who had evaded their inquiries was Hall of Famer Honus Wagner. As you can imagine, it was hard to fathom releasing a set like this without one of the league greatest stars, so they procured the help of a local newspaper man to approach his old friend.

Legend has it that Honus Wagner still refused to allow his portrait on a card to be released in packages of cigarettes. He even offered to compensate his newspaper friend with the amount promised to him by the tobacco company. Wagner sent a check of $10.00 to his friend, but it was promptly returned out of respect to the ballplayer. From there a legend was born as the card was removed from the printing presses (although a few did go out) and would soon become the most valuable Baseball card in the hobby.

Below is proof strip card featuring the rare Honus Wagner T206 card (second on the left) that is currently at auction at Hunt's 2010 LiveAuction at the All-Star Game Fanfest in Anaheim. It resided for many years within the collection of fabled hobbyist Barry Halper and is said to have come directly from the estate of Honus Wagner. It is believed it was presented to Honus by American Tobacco to convince him to sign on with them. Considering its condition and giant crease across Wagner's face, I think it's safe to say that he didn't hold it in great regard. My recollection is that it was found folded and stuffed in one of Wagner's suit pockets. It is expected to sell for over 6 figures.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blog Kiosk: 6/27/2010

It's still too early to be worried about the Dodgers.
  • Bob Lemke makes his own fantasy 1955 Bowman Sandy Koufax card.
  • The Duke signs in the mail and a commenter shares a great personal story about Snider at 30-yr Old Cardboard.
  • The "Don't Stop Believing" guy gets the last laugh, It's Time for Dodger Baseblog.
  • New Mexico fan shares some awesome Isotopes created large size cards. How can I get me some of these?
  • I am continually amazed at not only the cards, but the biographies Gary Joseph Cieradkoski writes about each player. Check out his recent Victor Starffin creation- who I count as one of the more fascinating players from Japanese Baseball.
  • Trader Crack's opens up a couple of packs of Toy Story 3 cards with his kids on Father's Day.
  • Gellman at SCU has a run down on other high priced Strasburg cards.
  • Cardboard Junkie shares some 2010 World Cup Panini Stickers.
  • A left field pavilion usher does a dance.

YouTube Link:

Friday, June 25, 2010

T206 Brooklyn Dodgers: Nap Rucker

One day after he had dropped out of school, Nap Rucker was working a job as apprentice printer in his home state of Georgia. While setting up some type he came across a headline that said, "$10,000 for pitching a Baseball." From there his mind was made up. He decided he would be a pitcher, and, by 1904, he was on his way as he began his professional life with the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association. The next year he played for the Augusta Tourist of the South Atlantic League- winning 40 games over two season. While in Augusta he roomed with Ty Cobb for a bit.

In 1906 he was drafted by Brooklyn and would pitch his first game for the borough in 1907. He instantly becoming their best hurler. Over his career he won 134 games, 38 by shutout, while recording a 2.42 ERA. Rucker's best year was in 1911 when he won 22 games. On September 5, 1908 he threw a no-hitter against the Boston Doves during the second game of a doubleheader. Nap Rucker would go on to spend his entire 10 year career with the Brooklyn Superbas, from 1907 to 1916.

Unfortunately, he would lose his fastball by 1913 and would hurt his arm in 1914. Rucker would have to get by on off speed stuff and a new pitch called the knuckleball. It is thought that he learned the knuckle from Eddie Cicotte, a teammate in Augusta and considered by many to be the pitches inventor. He retired after the 1916 season and went on to scout for the dodgers for over 15 years. Afterwords, Rucker became mayor of his hometown of Roswell, Georgia in 1935.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Nation Reacts to Donovan's Goal

I just had to put this up. It's awesome. I don't care what you think about soccer, futbol or whatever; if this doesn't send some chills up your spine then you are a lost cause.

YouTube Link:

Ugly Ethier

Beckett Blog had a chance to break open a couple of boxes of Topps, soon to be released, 2010 Allen & Ginter set. Go here to check out what they found. One card really stuck out to me, and it was the lone Dodger card they chose to share in their post. It is a Andre Ethier card and, I must say, it is the ugliest drawing I have ever seen. That guy doesn't look anything like Andre!

Yankee Series News

If you are going to any of the games between the Dodger and Yankees this weekend then this will interest you. The Dodgers are opening up the gate early for fans, so be sure to get their early. Here are the details.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will play a much anticipated series against the defending World Champion New York Yankees starting this Friday at 7:10 p.m. In order to alleviate traffic congestion, offer fans the opportunity to watch the Dodgers and Yankees take batting practice and meet Dodger legends in Autograph Alley ticketholders will be able to enter Dodger Stadium earlier this weekend.

Friday, June 25

Game Time: 7:10 pm
Auto Gates: 4:40 pm
Early Batting Practice: 4:40 pm
Stadium Gates: 5:10 pm
Autograph Alley: Bill Russell

Saturday, June 26
Game Time: 4:10 pm
Auto Gates: 1:40 pm
Early Batting Practice: 1:40 pm
Stadium Gates: 2:10 pm
Autograph Alley: Matt Luke

Sunday, June 27
Game Time: 5:00 pm
Auto Gates: 2:40 pm
Early Batting Practice: 2:40 pm
Stadium Gates: 3:10 pm
Autograph Alley: Steve Yeager

Fans are encouraged to arrive early, carpool and take the Dodger Stadium Express shuttle from Union Station to help alleviate parking congestion. The Dodger Stadium Express picks up fans at the Patsaouras Bus Plaza adjacent to the east portal of Union Station and drops them off in the parking lot behind left/center field.

Dodger tickets will be honored as fare. Service is provided starting 90 minutes prior to the beginning of the games and will end 45 minutes after the end of the game. The Dodger Stadium Express runs every 10 minutes prior to the start of the game and run approximately every 30 minutes throughout the game.

Some Dodger Videos

Here are some Dodger related videos. Below is a hidden video pilot called "Payback" from the 90's featuring former Dodger Tom Condiotti. It's almost a little painful to watch.

YouTube Link:

Here is the Phineas and Ferb singing the Dodger Stadium Code of Conduct.

YouTube Link:

Ozo!!! This band rocks. Ozomatli's live shows are incredible.

YouTube Link:

I love fireworks; especially from Dodger Stadium. I only wish the camera-person focused on the fireworks full time. What a great view from the right field reserve section with the trees in the parking lot illuminated.

YouTube Link:

Campanella's Car

Here is a 1958 photograph of the car driven by Roy Campanella. Overall, the car really doesn't look that bad, but considering the lack of seat belts at the time it's probably not a surprise he was injured so badly.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Walk Off Loss

Just when I thought the Dodgers had tied it up the Baseball gods decide to slap me across the face. Jamey Carroll hit a bloop single to left which, under normal circumstances, would have scored Reed Johnson from second base. Unfortunately, Russell Martin rounds second a bit farther than he should have and gets thrown out by an attentive Juan Rivera before the tying run could score.

What tha....!

When things aren't going right nothing goes your way. Fortunately, we still have over half the season to go, so there is more than enough time to right the ship. On the other hand, with our luck so far this year I can't blame someone for overreacting.

Keep this in mind, though, we didn't lose because of this play. There were plenty of other mistakes throughout the game that set this all up, and I can't help but think that we were destined to lose this one.

Vintage Spokesman: Billy Loes

Here is 1958 magazine advertisement featuring former Brooklyn Dodger Billy Loes endorsing Nokona Gloves.


What an exciting finish in this mornings World Cup match between the USA and Algeria. See the last minute goal by Landon Donovan below.

(TwitVid Link)

Card of the Week: Power of the Big Unit

Here is Randy Johnson's 1993 Stadium Club card, #501, as this weeks "Card of the Week." It shows the power this man brought to the field.

Wha???? Holy Cra???? Strasburg is at What?

The world must be coming to an end because the Red Bordered 2010 Bowman Auto Strasburg is officially over $100,000.00 right now. That's right, a card made just months ago now eclipses, in value, many of the most rare and cherished Baseball cards and memorabilia items ever created over its 100+ years of history. Very few items have sold for this much.

Not only that, the chap who bought the 2010 Bowman Superfractor for $16,403.00 just a few weeks ago has listed the card back on eBay. With a little over 5 days remaining it is already at $18,600.00- potentially garnering him a nice little profit. On the other hand, since it has a reserve floor value that has not been met yet it may not sell at all.

As I slap my forehead in utter disgust I wonder aloud, "what the hell is going on here?"

Lopes Throws Some Dirt

Davey Lopes had a heck of a day against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday afternoon, August 20, 1974. He went 5 for 6 with a lead-off home run to start the game, another home run in the 2nd inning, and then a third dinger in the 6th inning. Throw on top of that a double and a single, and I guess you can say that he single-handily beat the northsiders. So, I imagine it would not have been a surprise to learn that he received a little bit of chin music from the Cubs.

Dave LaRoche threw a high and hard one that caused Lopes to hit the deck. He got up in a hurry while hurling some dirt in LaRoche's direction. Davey walked towards the hapless pitcher as the benches cleared. No fight ensued, but considering the drubbing the Cubs received, 18 to 8, I think the message was clear. Don't mess with these Dodgers- especially Davey Lopes. Below is a pic from eBay memorializing the moment.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

T206 Brooklyn Dodgers: Bill Bergen

Brooklyn Superbas catcher Bill Bergen was one of the best defensive backstops to ever play the game. He
"ranks with the best receivers in modern baseball. He is an intelligent student of the points of a batsman, a true and fast thrower and is without a peer in judging and capturing foul flies."
Billy ranks 8th all-time in catching base-runners and 9th all-time is assist by a catcher. Bergen also was 1st in fielding percentage for a catcher in 1908 and 1911. Unfortunately, as a hitter he is arguably the worst batsman to ever play the game.

In a 11 year Major League career, including 8 years with Brooklyn, he batted a career .170 in 3228 at-bats. That is the lowest batting average for any player with over 2,500 chances at the plate. In fact, the next lowest batting average is .211- recorded by Davey Force who played in the 19th Century. His lifetime on-base percentage was an inept .194 and his slugging percentage was .201. In 1909 he set the longest hitless streak at 46 at-bats. (This record stands today if you don't include pitchers) No doubt, Bergen was the last person you wanted at the plate during a clutch situation.

He's Out

What a great action photo. Here Dee Moore of the Brooklyn Dodgers is tagged out by NY Giant Mickey Witek, circa June 15, 1943.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lakers Parade Pics on Twitter

Check out some pics from the Lakers parade this afternoon on twitter.

First, here's a look at the crowd.
(pic link: Twitpic: suMK1_dAE)

See Kobe. He's walking next to the Staples Center. I presume this is before the parade starts.
(pic link:

Pau Gasol lifts up the trophy.

Do I need to give an introduction.

Holy Strasburg!

If you thought $16,000+ for the, 1 of 1, 2010 Bowman Chrome Strasburg Superfractor was a lot of change, then you gotta check this auction item out. The recently pulled, 1 of 1, Stephen Strasburg 2010 Bowman Red Bordered Autographed card is now up to $30,726.00 with 7 days to go. Holy Moley!

Check out the auction right here. This is getting a little insane folks.

Wally Endorses Rawlings

Wally Moon inspects his newest glove from Rawlings below. It is an 8x10 black & white photograph given by Rawlings to sporting good stores throughout the southland to display with their gloves. Not many of these have survived the test of time, so they are scarce. Fortunately, they are not highly sought after either. Prices for these rare collectible is very affordable. This item on eBay starts out at a buck with no bids as yet. It is slightly damaged with a tear along the left side near Wally's waist.

Vintage Photo Snapshot: The Penguin

Here is a vintage photo snapshot of Ron Cey.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blog Kiosk: 6/20/2010

Happy Father's Day!

YouTube Link:

Here is another great video called.... I don't know what's it's called- it's in Russian. Maybe it is PacMan vs. Mario?

YouTube Link:

Friday, June 18, 2010

RIP: Willie Pope

As time goes by the players from the Negro Leagues say goodbye.

Last week, former Homestead Grays and Pittsburgh Crawfords pitcher William "Willie" Pope passed away. He was a member of the 1948 Negro National League Champion Homestead Grays, the last team to win a championship in that storied league.

Here is an obituary online.

Hat Tip: Baseball Think Factory:

T206 Brooklyn Dodgers: Bill Dahlen

"Bad Bill" Dahlen was a mean gruff. He was unruly, abrasive and had a natural unfriendly disposition. Often, he would argue with umpires and get tossed from ball games. Bad Bill is also probably one of the greatest players not already in the Hall of Fame.

Dahlen was a phenomenal defensive infielder, playing both third base and short stop. But, he is more well known as one of the finest short stops to ever play the game. Currently, he is 4th all time with 8138 assist, ranks in the top 4 in both assist and putouts by a short stop all-time, and has the 6th best range factor at short stop. Ironically, he has the most errors of all-time at 975. Bad Bill could also swing the bat. In 1894 he hit safely in 42 consecutive games for the Chicago Cubs- a record that stood until broken by Wee Willie Keeler three years later. Currently, his 42 hits is 4th all-time. He finished with 2461 hits, 413 doubles, 163 triples, 1590 runs and 548 stolen bases.

Bill Dahlen finished off his Baseball career as manager of the Brooklyn Superbas from 1910 to 1913. He recorded a record of 241-355 for a .414 winning percentage.

Contgrat's Lakers!

What a 7 game series. Exciting til the very end. A big Blue Heaven congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers.

All of these championships for Mr. Buss is making me envious!

More Lelands Dodgers Items

Here are some more great Dodger items in Lelands current auction. Below is a presentation silver serving tray to commemorate the LA Dodgers 10th Anniversary at Dodgers Stadium.

Here is a silver plated presentation bowl from Roy Campanella Night at the Coliseum on May 7, 1959. It was given to only players and coaches at the game.

I wonder if anyone can use this? Below is Duke Snider's lifetime pass issued by Major League Baseball for any MLB event. A truly one of kind item of the "Duke."

Pedro Guerrero is apparently selling a good portion of his personal mementos. Here is his 1981 All-Star Game ring.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

eBay: A Las Vegas Dinner Show

A couple of years ago I ran into a great pic on eBay that featured Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Tommy Davis in tuxedos dancing on a stage. See it below or the original post here. Anyway, I had always wondered where this photo came from. Well, I think now know. Below is a original menu from a January 6, 1963 dinner show at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas. It was hosted by Milton Berle and featured 6 popular Dodgers in a musical review. One discrepancy is Willie Davis mentioned below. Tommy Davis is clearly in the above picture, so I have to think there was a printing error. I dunno, maybe I'm stretching here a little bit. On the other hand, I can't imagine there being another reason why the photo exist. It's gotta be from this show. Right?

Guerrero's Magic Month

1985 was an incredible year for Pedro Guerrero. He hit .320 with 33 home runs, 87 RBI's and 99 runs scored. On top of that, he lead the league with a .422 OBP, a .577 slugging percentage, .999 OPS and a OPS+ of 181. His efforts helped propel the team to a division championship.

The topping on the cake, though, was his incredible month of June. Guerrero batted .344, drove in 26 runs and OPS'd an had incredible 1.297. He also slugged a LA Dodger record 15 home runs (also tying a franchise record with Duke Snider established in 1953). Below are three of those home run balls from June. They come directly from Pedro.
First is the homerun ball from 6/23/85-it was Pedro's 12th in the month of June and tied the Dodger's record set by Frank Howard in 1962. Second is from 6/24/85 and was his 13th homer of the month breaking the Dodger's record set by Frank Howard. Third is his 14th homerun ball of the month hit on 6/26/85.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

eBay: 1955 Ticket Order Form

Here is something I have never run across before. This is an actual vintage Brooklyn Dodger ticket form from the 1955 season.

T206 Brooklyn Dodgers: Tim Jordan

Tim Jordan was one of the most feared left-handed bats on the Brooklyn Superbas lineup. He was also one of the most popular Dodgers to ever play the game in Brooklyn. In 1906 and 1908 he lead the National League in home runs with 12 each season. I know that doesn't sound like much, but back then that was quite a feat. Jordan also had a great .263 career Dodger average on numerous Brooklyn teams that were just plain terrible.

Unfortunately, during the 1910 season, at the age of 31, he left the team due to some ailing knees. Then, controversy ensued. During the 1910 season, while dealing with the bad knees, he was released to the Toronto farm club in the Eastern League and on April 12, 1911 he sued Brooklyn for not making a satisfactory settlement with him. Jordan claimed that at the time of his release his knees where still in bad shape due to his play with the Superbas, and that he was due fair compensation as a result. He notified Toronto that he could not report in 1910 due to an upcoming surgery, but did play for them in 1911. A year later a court ruled that the Brooklyn Superbas were not responsible for the remainder of his salary in 1910, arguing that his incapacitation was not due to his play on the team that year. Brooklyn won and Tim Jordan lost.

Jordan would never again play in the Major Leagues even though he continued to hit home runs and bat well in the lower levels. In fact, you can argue that he was purposefully held back by Brooklyn. One news report indicated that he was highly sought after by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1912, but a deal could never be made. Tim Jordan finally retired from the game in 1920.