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