Saturday, December 31, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 12/31/2011

Tommy Claus. (Pic via @Dodgers Twitter)
  • Forbes claims Dodgers value could fall by $300Million as a result of the order to disallow sale of cable contract. Frankly, I think it's a bunch of bunk. I don't believe there was any real expectation that the winning bidder for the team would take the highest deal made during the cable auction. In fact, I expected the future owner to decline it immediately, and then use it as leverage for a higher value a year later with either FOX or some other suitor when the current contract expires. As I saw it, the cable auction would have been nothing more than a barometer for a future owner to determine a true fair market value for the television deal without the negotiating restrictions FOX has in place. If anything, the ruling will likely disqualify leverage buyers, but will not diminish (by much) the number of qualified buyers. In other words, cash will rule this sale and those bidders with patient cash investors will likely win out.
  • Here's some positive news. The Biz of Baseball declares Dodger fans winners in 2011.
  • CrzBlue's Dodger Blue World puts together a nice tribute to members of the Dodger family who died in 2011.
  • A Redditer shares some cool designs made by mowing on some Baseball fields. Links to even more are here.
  • Night Owl Cards puts together his list of the top Baseball cards of 2011.
  • Former Giants outfielder Don Mueller passed away this past Wednesday. RIP. He was 84, and an able opponent. Via St. Louis Today.
  • Bloomberg Business Week makes 5 Bold Sports Predictions for 2012; including who is in the lead to buy the Dodgers.
  • A Vintage Dodgers commercial featuring Pedro Guerrero, circa 1982, supporting an anti-vandalism PSA campaign in Spanish.

Video Link:

Friday, December 30, 2011

Collection: Do You Remember Andrew Brown?

I have no recollection of this kid at all. He came to the Dodgers as a part of the trade that sent Gary Sheffield to the Braves for Brown, Odalis Perez and Brian Jordan. Not a bad haul, really. I remember liking Odalis before he fizzled out, and Brian Jordan was serviceable but hardly the kind of slugger he was with the Braves.

Andrew Brown's numbers suggest, at best, that he could develop into a end of the rotation starting pitcher, but that would not be. After a couple of years in the minors he would be shipped to Cleveland to land the troubled Milton Bradley for us. In a few more years, Brown would get a taste of the big show in 2006 as a reliever for the Indians, then the A's over the next couple of seasons. After that, he kind of disappeared. He was not on a professional roster in 2011 and appears to have left the game.

Anyway, I mentioned that the trade that sent away the gifted Sheffield worked out for the best because it eventually lead to Andre Ethier joining the Dodgers. You see, after 2 seasons of Bradley he was sent to Oakland, with Dodgers prospect Antonio Perez, for Ethier in a trade that seemed more like a player dump than an acquisition for someone good. I did not expect Ethier to become the kind of star he has become. So, at the end of the day we got Ethier, Odalis Perez, and Brian Jordan for Andrew Brown, Gary Sheffield, Franklin Gutierrez and Antonio Perez. Only Gutierrez and Ethier remain in the Majors.

Here are 3 autographed cards of Andrew Brown in my collection. From left to right (above): 2003 Topps Pristine Auto, 2003 Bowman Best Certified Auto, and a 2003 Donruss The Rookies Auto.

Topps 2012, Series 2 Previews: Some Dodgers Cards

2012 couldn't come any sooner. With the New Year upon us and the upcoming season fast approaching I find myself clawing for any news regarding next seasons Baseball cards. I can't wait to open up my first box. The Topps Baseball set, Series 1, is set to be officially released on February 1, 2012 so be sure to put that on your calendar. A preliminary checklist can be found here. If thoughts that set to chase after doesn't quite do it for you, then take a gander at some preview images from the Topps Baseball set, Series 2.

Man-O-Live! The 2012 collecting season hasn't even started yet and they are already baiting us with Series 2 pics. See them all here on Facebook.

These all appear to be insert cards from the set.

Jackie Robinson

Matt Kemp

Sandy Koufax

Looking to Add a Koufax Gamer to your Collection?

So who hasn't ever wanted a Sandy Koufax game-used Dodgers jersey to hang on your wall? I know I'd love to have one. Heck, any Baseball fan in the country would want it. Right?

Well, if you got the dough it can be yours. On top of that, you don't have to wait out an auction. All it takes is a quick phone call to hammer out a deal. Right now, Legendary Auctions has been consigned with the job of selling items from the Dreier Collection. So far, only 8 items have been put up for sale with 2 already gone; including a T206 Honus Wagner. The Koufax uniform is a home jersey and is from the 1960 season. It has a current price tag of $200,000.00 on it, and I imagine a little bit of negotiation might be possible.

Of special note is a story in the description of this item that I had never heard before. I'll let it speak for itself.
At first, the eventual “Left Arm of God” was still widely viewed as a hot-tempered bonus baby who couldn’t harness his immense talents and seemed destined to languish in mound mate Don Drysdale’s shadow. Koufax blamed his limited appearances; Dodger General Manager Buzzie Bavasi blamed Koufax’s erratic performances. The situation finally came to a head in May when Koufax confronted Bavasi inside one of the L.A. Coliseum’s tunnels during pre-game warm-ups. Depending on the story version, Koufax either begged to be traded or threatened to quit baseball altogether, and Bavasi either denied the trade request or offered to buy Koufax’s bus ticket. “Trade him to us,” Giants superstar Willie Mays, who happened to overhear the spat, told the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. “He’s got a fastball you can’t see.”
Left Arm of God, indeed.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 12/29/2011

Dee Gordon Comments on twitter: "I swear I absolutely HATE losing!” (Pic Link)
  • Chris Erskine of the LA Times catches up with Gary Cypres to talk about his Sports Museum of Los Angeles.
    Before he collected sports memorabilia, Cypres collected businesses — retail, travel, mortgage lending. His pockets deep, he turned his passion for sports into this collection. Estimates of its value range to $30 million, but he won't even speculate, saying it's only worth what it eventually sells for.
  • The Bryan Stow lawsuit against the Dodgers could potentially cost millions, via the Denver Post.
    Attorney Ehline deals with brain injury cases as part of his law practice, has attended Dodgers games, and he relates that cases involving head injuries can often result in settlements and verdicts in the millions of dollars. Although there is no outcome known, or court finding of brain injuries currently, attorney Ehline relates that repeated kicks to the head and comas, as alleged here, are generally accepted to be a cause of brain injuries.
  • Ryan Garvey, Steve's son, is transferring out of USC, via Dan Arritt of ESPN. Big mistake if you ask me.
  • Panini's blog shares some production pics for their upcoming 2011 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball set; including the below pic of the Kershaw card.
  • I find the power of the internet absolutely fascinating, and so does Forbes.
  • Babes Love Baseball puts together a list of 2011 Most Memorable Stories in MLB.
  • The Baseball Professor takes a look at the fantasy values of the leagues top 25 pitchers. Take note fantasy players, this is important stuff. On Clayton Kershaw:
    Kershaw's stuff is devastating. With all due respect to Verlander and Halladay, Kershaw has the highest ceiling in the league.
    For fantasy purposes, I would try to take Kershaw in the 1st round if available (focusing on pitching has done me well in fantasy leagues) then go after Haren, Shields, Johnson, Wainwright or Darvish at the appropriate times.
  • Check out the 24 Greatest Sports Streakers of 2011, via Busted Coverage.
  • Matt Kemp at CaliChristmas with DJ Vick One. (Hat Tip: Vin Scully is My Homeboy)

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  • If you're a hockey fan you'll definitely enjoy this. If not, I gotta believe you'll still think its a gas. Check out Don Cherry's piano desk.

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Murray Chass Knows Who Will Buy the Dodgers

Murray Chass, retired NY Times sportswriter and prior winner of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award, has some insight into the mind of Selig when concerning the sale of a ball team.

When the Boston Red Sox were in the process of being sold in 2001, John Henry, then the owner of the Florida Marlins, joined forces with Tom Werner, former owner of the San Diego Padres, and Larry Lucchino, a veteran, highly regarded executive, who had served as president of the Baltimore Orioles and the Padres.

All interested buyers of the Red Sox, they merged their efforts at the suggestion of Commissioner Bud Selig. As soon as I heard that they were making a joint effort to secure the team, I wrote in The New York Times that their group had become the leading candidate.

I had read recently, I'm unsure where, that a similar effort is underway for the Dodgers. Can Selig use his magic again? It's a possibility. With that in mind, Chass predicts who is now in the lead.

Circumstances are far more premature and complex than they were when Henry, Werner and Lucchino merged their efforts. Much has to happen before Frank McCourt can sell the Dodgers, and the team’s bankruptcy status makes the process more intricate.

My money, however, is on the money that (Stan) Kasten and his group will generate for McCourt, who has owned the Dodgers into such a depressed state he deserves worse.

And guess who is one of the partners- Magic Johnson. That's right, "Showtime" may be turning blue.
Adding Johnson to the mix is more than putting icing on the cake. In his post-basketball life, Magic has become a successful entrepreneur and as an African-American would be a highly attractive addition to the major league lineup of owners.
Where are the big bucks coming from?

The money man in the group is Mark Walter, chief executive officer of Guggenheim Partners, a global financial services company that is said to manage more than $125 billion in customer assets.

“Guggenheim Baseball Management brings together a team of proven winners with deep ties to the Los Angeles community, an impressive track record of sports excellence and the financial wherewithal to provide long-term financial stability for the Dodgers organization,” Walter said in a statement to Bloomberg News.

Chass goes into more detail about the group, but hesitates at suggesting that other partners could potentially enter the fold. I think this remains a possibility. Check out what Murray Chass has to say right here.


On another front, Business Insider notes that Steve Cohen is so interested in the Dodgers that he has already hired an architect for Dodger Stadium.

With his financial muscle (potential SEC problems aside) and support from local businessmen like David Geffen and Eli Broad, maybe a combined effort from Kasten and Cohen might be in order.

1947 "Brooklyn Against The World" Invitation

Ephemera= Written matter meant to be useful for a short period.

The collecting mind knows no bound. We'll chase after anything as long as its related to something we enjoy. This even includes scraps of paper for a onetime event.

Found on eBay is the below dinner invitation celebrating the 1947 2nd Annual "Brooklyn Against the World" Amateur Baseball Series. Dodgers President Branch Rickey and Brooklyn Eagle Owner/Publisher Frank D. Schroth presided over the event. The series featured a group of all star sandlot nines and equivalent squads from as far away as Montreal in a game of ball. I am unsure how long this lasted, but appears to have at least gone on well into the 50's.
(eBay Auction Link)

Checkout the pic below that I found at the Brooklyn Public Library featuring a group of players from this tournament visiting the USS Juneau in Brooklyn Navy Yard. I had initially thought this was a youth tournament, but based on this pic that appears to be wrong.
(Pic Link)

Below is a advertising sign for this exact 2nd Annual tournament. It had previously sold at Leland's for $115.00 in 2001.
(Pic Link)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Scioscia posing with Smokey the Bear

"Protect Home!" Scioscia says.

This has more meaning than just his profession as a Major League catcher. It is also the duty that those who fight fires mightily profess. To spread the word Smokey the Bear solicits the help of our favorite catcher, Mike Scioscia.

This is a poster I ran into on eBay that has to be close to 30 years old. It is reminiscent of a Smokey the Bear set featuring 3 Dodger players (one of which was not Scioscia) from 1984. Check out my previous post about the set here. Could this possibly have been a stadium giveaway back then? Anyone remember?

Collection: Karim Garcia

Karim Garcia was looking pretty good as a Dodger prospect. In 1995 he batted .319 for the Albuquerque Dukes while knocking in 91 runs with a OPS of .912. The Sporting News named him Minor League Player of the Year. Heck, a managers poll that season named him just below Alex Rodriguez as that seasons hottest prospect. Things were on the upswing for the kid. At 19 he would join the Dodgers for a short stint- to get his feet wet. Over the next couple of season he would stay in AAA and play minimally for the Dodgers. It just seemed like he couldn't take it to the next level. Then, during the 1997 Expansion Draft he would go unprotected and be snipped by the Diamondbacks as their 9th pick.

Unfortunately, his status as a everyday Major Leaguer never really came to fruition. He would bounce around from the minor to majors then from club to club. Soon, a promising prospect would be labeled a major bust. On top of that, a brawl with a Fenway Park employee as a member of the Yankees and a reported drunken episode during Spring Training a year later as a member of the Mets really sealed his fate in 2004. That would be his last Major League season.

Fortunately for Karim that would not be the end of his Baseball career. He would be reborn in Japan by showing he still had some skill. In consecutive games he had belted 3 homers each day to establish a Japanese League record. Then, he become a hero in Korea for the Lotte Giants as they called him the "Latino Bambino."

Featured here are 2 Karim Garcia autographed cards from my collection. On the right above is a 1997 Bowman autographed card and to its left is a 1996 Classic Visions Signings card.

Blog Kiosk: 12/28/2011

53 Days until pitchers and catchers report!
  • Check out a new Dodgers blog called Shadows of '88.
  • Steven Cohen is bidding on the Dodgers, via Bill Shaikin of LA Times.
    He has engaged one of America's notable sports architecture firms to propose renovations to Dodger Stadium, allied himself with one of baseball's power brokers, secured the support of at least two prominent Angelenos and met with several major league owners.
  • Frank McCourt is #1, via LA Weekly.
  • LFP takes a look at the Dodger bid book.
  • Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts pulls for a Tim Raines as a Hall of Famer, and I couldn't agree more.
  • Lasorda's Lair concludes its list of top 10 Dodger bums with Juan Castro.
  • Freddy Sherman provides his fan's perspective on the Dodgers situation, via Yahoo.
  • Nomo's Sushi Platter pulls out some cards featuring the movie Eight Men Out.
  • DodgerBobble shows off his Steve Garvey musical bobblehead.
  • A Very Zombie Holiday.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

A Baseball Christmas Card

Here is another Upper Deck Christmas card I received way back when. I believe it's from 1990, but I'm not sure. It may have come from 1989- it has that copyright date on the reverse.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Baseball Christmas in Holiday Cards

To you and yours, have a very merry Christmas and holiday season. On this Christmas eve I though it would be nice to show some vintage holiday cards I received way back when I was a young Baseball card dealer in the early 90's. Below is a card I received from Upper Deck in 1991, and below that (with Reggie Jackson as Santa) is from 1992.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 12/23/2011

Have a very merry holiday!
  • Feelin' Kinda Blue notifies us that Dodgers prospect Blake Smith won the Panamanian Winter League MVP award.
    Smith, 24, crushed pitching in the league, posting a .352/.475/.602 triple slash with five home runs, 26 RBI, 10 doubles and 20 walks.
  • Halos Heaven sure likes to twist that knife.
  • A special message from (BAT) Baseball Assistance Team-
    Baseball Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays and Tom Seaver have joined the list of the more than 100 current and former Major Leaguers who are scheduled to attend the 23rd annual “Going to Bat for B.A.T. Fundraising Dinner presented by Natural Balance Pet Foods” celebrating the 50th anniversary of the New York Mets. The annual fundraising dinner, which benefits the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.), will be held on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square.
    Go here for more details. In addition, the Dodgers get an award as well.
    For the second consecutive year, both the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers will be recognized as the recipients of the annual Bobby Murcer Award. In 2009, B.A.T. established the award in honor of the late B.A.T. Chairman, MLB All-Star and Yankees legend. The award is presented to the team in both the American League and National League whose players contribute the most amount of money to B.A.T. through the B.A.T. Payroll Deduction Program that previous season.
    For more information about B.A.T., to purchase tickets for the dinner, or to make a donation, phone 212-931-7821 or visit
  • I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out. Check out Puck Daddy's top 10 hockey fights of the year.
  • The Dodgers announce their minor league coaching staffs. See the official press release, here.
    After a successful 2011 season throughout the Dodger organization, Albuquerque and Chattanooga will return their entire coaching staffs next season, while the club will keep in place the managers from six of its seven minor league affiliates. Last season, four of the Dodgers’ seven affiliates reached the postseason with the Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers winning their league championship. The organization posted a combined .543 winning percentage (414-349), which was the second-highest winning percentage among Major League teams last season.
  • Check out the LA Kings holiday message here.
  • Cards That Never Were shows off some awesome homemade Santa Baseball cards.
  • Check out this video of 50 great sports plays of 2011- all in 4 and a half minutes.

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Happy Festivus

A Festivus for the rest of us!

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The Airing of Grievances:
  • To Eugenio Velez: 0 for 37. 0 for 37!! Really?
  • James Loney: Consistency! There was a couple of months; especially to start the season, where you were just horrible at the plate. And stop driving that Maserati. It's like Kemp and Rihanna. It will just drain you physically, emotionally and monetarily.
  • Rafael Furcal: You hit under .200 for us in 2011, but then go on to hit well above that in helping the Cardinals win a championship? I see how it is!
  • Casey Blake: So you shave your beard and the Dodgers suck big time. I'm thinking of blaming you, big guy.
  • Hiroki Kuroda: I loved you on this team... Like, man crush love... And now you're not coming back? Dammit! Do you want to see a grown man cry?
  • Juan Uribe: I don't blame you for being so bad and looking so sad all of the time. I blame Ned for signing you.
  • Vicente Padilla: I totally forgot you were on this team.
  • Ned Colletti: Eugenio Velez. Eugenio Velez!! Really?
  • To Frank McCourt: I Hate You! Please just go away.

There will be no feats of strength. I got mighty depressed at the number of Dodger Fight videos glorified on YouTube.

The Ultimate Dodgers Pocket Protector

Dodger geeks unite! Take out your tape repaired glasses and pencils with eraser tips. Maybe a mechanical pencil or a little stencil of geometric patterns is more to your fancy. I know I prefer those triangular shaped finger pencil grips. They fit so nicely in my hand when I write.

This auction item on eBay was made especially for us. It is a vintage 1974 World Series press pocket protector that must find the right home with the right nerd. So who wants it? Check it out right here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 12/22/2011

Santa Kemp! Matt was given the key to the Oklahoma City and celebrates by giving out some toys to kids. (Pic via: twitter @SMPLonnie)
  • Check out the Dodgers official Seasons Greetings right here.
  • A future Bryan Stow settlement is an issue that should concern any Dodgers bidder, via LA Times.
  • Ronald Belisario might be back, but he will face a 25 game suspension to start the season, via ESPN.
  • Chan Ho Park will be playing in South Korea and will be donating his income to youth Baseball in his home country, via France 24. (Hat Tip: Dodger Thoughts)
  • High Heat Stats takes a look at the worst 20 pitching contract in history, and the Dodgers fill 4 spots on that list. Can you name the 4?
  • Happy Birthday, Steve Garvey! Big League Stew has a great writeup today.
  • Tom at Baseball By the Letters tells us that Steve Sax is now only signing autographs through the mail for a fee of $20.
  • From the Bleacher Report, check out 50 of the coolest sports photos of 2011.
  • Remember the woman who was arrested for allegedly placing a Craigslist ad offering sex for World Series tickets in Philadelphia? Well, an appeals court just overturned her conviction. Via Washington Post.
  • Tebowing has gotten way out of hand.
  • Check out this Christmas miracle. 59 year old Brenda Hewlett wins a new truck with one shot of the puck. Unbelievable.

59 Yr Woman Wins Truck From Frenchie's Ford By Making Hole in one from Clayton Plourde on Vimeo.

Collection: Some Edwin Jackson Auto's

I always liked this kid. He came to the mound as a wide-eyed 19 year old just a couple of years removed from high school. It was like he was an innocent buck grazing on a field not understanding the situation he was in.

You see, a big bad hunter with a fierce look in his eye was on his path. That menace was taller than a giraffe, and had a gun clocked at speeds that made a burly bear like John Kruk turtle in fear.

It was Edwin Jackson's very first game in the pro's, late in the 2003 season, and he would face off against the formidable Randy Johnson. The Dodger were well out of the race by then, so they must have figured what's the risk in seeing what the kid could do. Well, the risk was something we didn't really realize till much later. On that September evening Jackson would bedazzle the Dodgers faithful by out-dueling the future Hall of Famer. Fans and pundits alike screamed, "we have an ace in our hands!"

Unfortunately, the perils of that early assessment was our demise. Plainly said, I believe we rushed him to the big leagues and hurt his development with our club. Soon, a soon to be hero became a worrisome blight. So, we traded him for whatever we could get- a couple of over hyped relief pitchers. In that wake Edwin would continue to learn to pitch and become a valuable innings eater.

Will he become the type of pitcher he showed us that September evening? Who knows. He still possess the tools and is young enough to grow into a top of the order pitcher. It just feels like we wasted an opportunity with him.

Featured here are 3 autographed cards of Edwin Jackson in my collection. From left to right (above), a 2004 Playoff Absolute Spectrum, a 2004 Fleer Flair Autograph Collection, and a 2004 Skybox Rare Form Autographed card.

eBay: Duke Snider's Restaurant Coaster

I learn new stuff everyday. Like last night, I realized that you should never procrastinate when Christmas shopping. Oh wait, that's a lesson I learn every winter. I just always forget.

Something else I learned, and I swear this is something totally new to me, is that Duke Snider had his own restaurant. Better yet, it was in Vero Beach, FL which was the home of the Dodgers Spring Training facility known as Dodgertown.

How I would have loved to have dined there during my Spring Training jaunts to that town a few years ago. Unfortunately, it had long been closed by the time I had the funds to visit that Dodger mecca in the south. Oh well, I guess I'll have to imagine the medium rare steak, baked potato and grilled asparagus I would have munched on. Wow! I'm getting hungry and it's not even close to dinner time now.

Anyway, recently for sale on eBay was this drink coaster for Duke Snider's Restaurant. A cursory search unearthed other collectibles from this joint like a matchbook and menu. One of these days I'm going to have to add this to my own collection.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Video of a Baseball Auction

I just saw this video that features the Hunt Auctions Louisville Slugger auction from 2009. It takes a glimpse at the auction bidding itself and highlights a game-used 1948 Jackie Robinson jersey they had for sale. I thought is was a fun, short and fascinating look at the process.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 12/20/2011

Pic via @Dodgers twitter. From their recent dedication of their 19th Dodger Dream Foundation Dreamfield.
  • Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy announces that the Dodgers will be having a Fan Fest on May 19, 2012. This is great, but I don't think the Dodgers understand what a team fan fest is all about. Typically, most fan fest events are held during the off-season. (Check out info about the annual Giants Fan Fest from Feb. 2011) Current and former players attend, there are Baseball clinics, and fun games are available for fans to participate in. This proposed fan fest will be during the season on a day the Dodgers play a game at home. So, having current players on-hand will likely be limited. Also, I don't see how you can have clinics. Access to the field will be limited due to the home game, and you can't take up too much space in the parking lot. So, what gives? Of course, if they hold it somewhere else, then that is a different story.
  • Happy Birthday, Branch Rickey!
  • Chris Jaffe at Hardball Times has a nice story celebrating the 25,000 day anniversary of the conspiracy by Dodgers players to oust Leo Durocher in 1943.
  • TMZ has a 911 call from the James Loney accident.
  • Forbes reports on the Dodgers Bid Marketing Package.
    The banker said the sale book is “a piece of crap,” because of some information typically given in such matters was missing, such as net income.
  • Ronald Belisario finally receives a visa and is expected to join the Dodgers, via Dylan Hernandez at LA Times.
    “He understand he has issues in the past, but he’s ready to go and get back to the major leagues.”
  • A word of warning for any vintage card collectors. All vintage Christmas Rack Packs are fake. Topps never produced them. Likely, they were produced by a third party and sold in stores in the 60's and 70's. They should never be valued like vintage unopened material. Via The Topps Archives.
  • Agate Type shares a great vintage pic of Hall of Fame Negro Leaguer Jose Mendez.
  • The Rangers win the Yu Darvish sweepstakes and MLB Trade Rumors has a bunch of reactions.
  • Cooperstown Chatter has a report on the Hall of Fame's recent tour to Puerto Rico.
    Understanding that baseball has the power to connect cultures, families and memories unlike anything else has never appeared more genuine than what transpired over the last four days. The people of Puerto Rico were so honored and moved by this celebration that is impossible not to be realize that for so many we encountered, this was truly a dream come true that we were able to facilitate.
  • The Eephus League points to some great Baseball photos from LIFE Magazine.
  • Here is the Dodgers video from Andre Ethier's recent buying spree for 10 disadvantaged youths.

Video Link:

1949 Brooklyn Dodgers All-Star Game Press Lighter

I didn't think this would be worth very much, but eBay proved me wrong. This is an original 1949 All-Star Game Ritepoint lighter that was given to the press. It is unused and in great shape. Heck, it even has its original box. As you can see, this game was played at old Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. It sold for a price of $202.50.

This particular game is notable since it was the first time black ballplayers participated in the event. Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe represented the National League, while Larry Doby played for the American League. On top of that, Jackie was the first black player to start the game.
(Auction Link)

Here is some vintage video from the All-Star Game below. There is no sound, but the view is wonderful

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Kings Hire New Coach: Darryl Sutter

What a rough and tumble year this has been for my Kings. They came out of the gate as potential division favorites and possible Stanley Cup contenders only to stumble as scoring became nonexistent. Soon, they did the only thing they could do. They fired their coach. Now, it has been announced that the official replacement has been chosen and it is Darryl Sutter.

Sutter is a part of a hockey family that saw 6 brothers skate in the NHL. He is known as a tough coach with a propensity to scream and expect the most from his players. The Kings will not be getting the patient teacher they had in Murray, but will instead get a coach who will demand excellence at all times. It appears the Kings front office thinks a little bit of butt kicking is in order, and I couldn't agree more. They are too good to be playing this bad.

Here is a announcement I came across from their minor league affiliate Manchester Monarchs.
The 53-year-old Sutter has a career head coaching record of 409-320-131 in 860 regular season games. He’s tied for 27th among all-time NHL head coaches in games (seventh among active coaches) and is tied for 24th all-time among NHL head coaches in wins (seventh among active coaches). Sutter’s teams have eclipsed the 40-win mark four times, 100 points twice and his clubs have finished in first place three times. He is also only one of nine head coaches in NHL history to lead three different teams to 100 wins. Only Scotty Bowman and Ron Wilson have coached four different teams to 100 wins.

Sutter’s teams have qualified for the postseason 10 of his 11 seasons. He led Calgary to Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals and Chicago to the 1995 Western Conference Finals. Overall he has a 47-54 record in 101 career postseason games. He’s tied for 19th all-time among NHL head coaches in playoff games (fifth among active coaches) and is tied for 24th all-time among NHL head coaches in playoff wins (tied for sixth among active coaches).

Monday, December 19, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 12/19/2011

And the process begins. Thank goodness! (twitter: @BillShaikin)
  • Charlie Sheen helped the Dodgers do some winning in the 80's, via High Heat Stats. There is a complete video of the interview at the above link.
    Last week, actor Rob Lowe appeared on Conan, hosted by Conan O'Brien, and claimed that in the late 1980s, Charlie Sheen would invite his hometown Cincinnati Reds over to "party" when they were in Los Angeles to play the Dodgers, and then bet against them.
  • I don't consider this big news, but the Dodgers just signed John Grabow to a minor league deal, via MLB Trade Rumors. He's a lefty and probably an insurance policy- just in case Elbert fails to impress in the Spring.
  • GCRL continues on with his series on the Evolution of the Dodgers Right Fielder.
  • Don Mattingly plays the role of Mother Ginger in the Evansville Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker.Check out the video, here.
  • The year in photos from
  • As proof of its popularity, another T206 card site is now up and running. It may be the best of the bunch as it includes several top collectors and hobbyist as participants. Check out T206 Resource.
  • I'm a bad person. This runaway cart made me chuckle. Fortunately, there was no serious injuries. Check it out, here.
  • Check out the top 16 funniest tweets from athletes at
  • Wow. A Lingerie Football League fight. That's right, I said Fight. Via BroBible who has video.
  • This is how you celebrate a victory.

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Collection: Orlando Rodriguez

There isn't much to say about this gentleman. Orlando Rodriguez played most of his professional career for the Dodgers farm system. From 2001 to 2005 he toiled on the dusty diamonds of Baseball dreams, but never had an opportunity to taste the nectar of the Major League world. At one time, he was thought to be a potential situational lefty out of the pen. As the reverse of the two cards featured here state, he had a knack for striking folks out. Heck a strike out ratio of over 12 is a good foundation to build on. As he advanced up the ladder, though, his effectiveness diminished, and so did his dreams of the show. He played in a few independent leagues after being released, and was last seen playing in Mexico.

Featured here are his 2004 Donruss Playoff Leather & Lumber autographed rookie card and 2005 Donruss 'The Rookies' card.

Topps Archives Coming Back in 2012

The Topps Archives set was one of my favorites. It has been a decade since a set was released, so finding out recently that it will be unearthed again has been a nice surprise. Unlike in the past, it will not only feature vintage players on reprinted cards. It will also include current players in the mix. Recently, Topps unveiled some preview pics on their Facebook page. Check them out here. Below is the Sandy Koufax on a 1966 Topps card design with a brand new period photo.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 12/18/2011

A GIBBY does not make up for the MVP.
  • Weird rumor of the week. This is a little strange. Rumors are swirling indicating that Ryan Braun initial positive test was due to medication related to herpes medication prescribed by doctor. Via TTF.
    But that’s not what this is about, it’s about Braun’s new rumor. Apparently, he allegedly failed the test due to medication. Usually a steroid is given for those type of things.
  • No jail time for Barry Bonds, via Big League Stew.
  • Josh at DodgerBobble points out a attraction at the Marlins new field- a Bobblehead Museum. How awesome is that?
  • A Halos Heaven writer shares his experience at the Winter Meetings job fair and accepts a job with a team.
  • This sounds like a bunch of horse puckey. This ESPN report claims we are in the running for Fielder. Yhea, right!
  • Kobe and Panini wish you a Happy Holidays.

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A musical interlude with ZAZ- Les Passants. Lyrics in English, here.

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1972 Hollywood Stars Game

From vintage press photos of Koufax to fan taken pics of the Penguin, eBay never fails in unearthing wonderful photographs of Dodgers from the past. Sometimes, it even shares Dodger events that have been long since forgotten. For instance, check out the below two photographs from a long since abandoned tradition at Dodger Stadium.

The Hollywood Stars game was a wonderful event that allowed your favorite TV stars to hack it out on the field. Fans would cheer and players would live out their dreams on the diamond. It use to be that they played actual hardball, but recent games was just softball. Unfortunately, the Dodgers have not had one of these games in quite sometime. Hopefully, they can bring it back.

Here, I captured a couple of pics available on eBay from the 1972 Hollywood Stars game featuring Bob Newhart and Walter Matheau.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 12/16/2011

Dee Gordon is bored. Pic via twitter: @SkinnySwag9.
  • RIP: Christopher Hitchens.
  • Bill Shaikin helps calm my restless mind. "Why McCourt Won't Renege on Selling the Dodgers"

    "There is an agreement, publicly announced by Major League Baseball and the Los Angeles Dodgers, to sell the team," Siegfried said. "That is the process being undertaken."

    Here's why McCourt is not planning to reverse course and try to keep the Dodgers: He would put hundreds of millions of dollars at risk to try a "hail Mary" strategy.

  • Check out Dodger Blue Forever for his recap of the Justin Sellers signing at Valley Sports Cards last weekend.
  • Scott at Lasorda's Lair writes about Hee Seop Choi who ranks #7 on his list of Top 10 LA Dodgers Bums.
  • Panini has just secured the rights to produce Baseball cards of 12 CMG Worldwide legendary Baseball clients; including Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella.
  • Mike Napoli likes Hooters, via Larry Brown Sports.
  • This story is just too unbelievable. A Senior League Hockey player has been suspended for pooping in the equipment of an opposing player. That's right! I said pooping! Via Deadspin.
  • Oh yhea! Top 12 Jackie Chan fight scenes of all time, via
  • Letters of Note has slowly become one of my favorite blogs. Check out this post featuring a vintage Groucho Marx letter addressed to US Troops in Suriname in 1943.
    So far, I have raised a family of moles, enough snails to keep a pre-French restaurant running for a century and a curious looking plant that I have been eating all summer under the impression that it was a vegetable. However, for the past few weeks, I've had difficulty in remaining awake and this morning I discovered that I had been munching on marijuana the whole month of July.

A Dodgers Shield and Coins

I've always thought this was the coolest vintage Dodger collectible out there. It causes me to imagine a great Dodger superhero with a mask and a cape. Our blue suited hero would fight crime with the powers of this mighty shield adorned with the images of the great Dodgers of the past. No one can defeat the collective powers of Koufax, Snider, and the rest. The orange clad villains from the northern bay, and the upstart red step-children to the south would be no match for us. He would jump out of the shadows and crush them with the power of the great Dodger in the sky and with the craftiness that make Dodger pitchers the stuff of legends. He would be invincible, and all of Los Angeles would rejoice in his honor.

Yhea, I've got one crazy imagination.

Anyway, this a 1962 Salada Coin set with shield display that I ran into on Ebay. It's a great little item. Check out some close-up pics below. All of the stars of the time are there. I've yet to add one to my collection, but it is definitely on my want-list.

Weekend Autograph Opportunities

This is the last weekend of the year for autograph hounds to capture signatures of your favorite sports stars. As you can imagine, not much of anything is planned for the Christmas and New Years weekends. As always, check out my Blue Heaven Calendar for listings of sports related events throughout the southland, here. Unfortunately, there isn't a Dodger opportunity, but there sure is football galore at LA Live! all weekend long and some vintage Angels in Orange County.

This weekend is the Verizon Training Ground football event at LA Live. It will be from Saturday to Monday and features everything from games to free autographs of some legends. Go to this link for more information.
Here is a list of the autograph guest.
  • Saturday 12/17= Marcus Allen 2pm – 4pm
  • Sunday 12/18= Ronnie Lott (1pm – 3pm) & Junior Seau (3:45pm – 5:30pm)
  • Monday 12/19= Tim Brown (3pm – 5pm)

For the Orange County based fans there are a couple of free signings at the Angels Store at Angels Stadium. OC Register has some details, here. One free autograph per person, and no bats or jerseys will be signed. On Saturday, gritty second baseman Bobby Grich will be on hand, and on Sunday Doug DeCinces will be signing. They will both be there from 10:30 AP to 12:30 PM, on their respective days.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dodgers Unveil 6 New Bobbles for Fans

In addition to the already revealed bobblehead of Sandy Koufax to be given away on Tuesday, August 7th against the Rockies, the Dodgers reveal 6 more to wet your appetite. Here they are:
  • Maury Wills with Don Drysdale on April 28 (vs. WAS),
  • Orel Hershiser on May 15 (vs. ARI),
  • Dodger infield of Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey on May 29 (vs. MIL),
  • Mike Scioscia on June 12 (vs. LAA),
  • Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda with Hall of Fame Manager Walter Alston on July 14 (vs. SD); and
  • Fernando Valenzuela on August 21 (vs. SF).
This is pretty exciting as several of these bobbles will feature more than one subject. On top of that, Mike Scioscia gets a bobble as well to be given out during a freeway series game. Check out the Dodgers Press Release, here.


One thing to note, there is a special give-away for the game that will highlight Clayton Kershaw's Cy Young Award presentation. According to the Dodgers promotional schedule, a Kershaw Cy Young Replica will be given away. I imagine this will be a mini-plaque of the award similar to the Lasorda HOF mini-plaque award given away a couple of season ago.


Check out this video from the MLB Network featuring Matt Kemp with his thoughts about the Ryan Braun situation.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 12/14/2011

  • NBC speculates that McCourt is angling to try to keep the team. More of these kind of stories are popping up and it's killing me. I don't know what I'll do if this is what happens.
    ...There is speculation that McCourt will turn around and tell the court, hey, this is how much the media rights are worth. I have money now. I'm no longer bankrupt. I can pay off the creditors, leave bankruptcy and hold on to the team.
  • Check out some photos from Justin Sellers' signing at Valley Sports Cards last weekend, here.
  • Wall Street Select puts together a list of Top 10 PR miscues of 2011 and, unsurprisingly, the Dodgers make the grade. Guess which issue made the bill.
  • There is a nice write up on Yu Darvish in the LA Times blog The Fabulous Forum. As expected, the Dodgers are not believed to be in the race for his services.

    But don’t hold your breath. Not only do the Dodgers already appear to have their rotation set, the bidding for Darvish may just be too rich for the team.

    Enough said.

  • Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy captured Andre Ethier at Best Buy doing some holiday shopping for 10 lucky youngsters, here and here. One kid is the size of a NFL lineman, and wearing a awesome Epic Mealtime t-shirt.
  • The Amen Break. It breaks down one of the most important 6 seconds ever recorded into its musical and legal/Copyright importance. Via Life Signs Project.
  • National Hockey Card Day sponsored by Upper Deck is finally coming to America on February 11, 2012.
  • Urban Skiing at its best.

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Collection: A Couple of Elbert's

Our 2004 1st round draft pick has finally secured a spot on the roster. Scott Elbert was called up on May 11th of last season and never left the team. He pitched in 47 games, primarily as a left handed specialist, and impressed with a 2.43 ERA. Overall, Elbert had 34 strike outs in 33 innings while have a 154 ERA+. He figures on being a mainstay in the bullpen for several years.

Featured here are 2 autographed insert card of Elbert's from my collection. Above is a 2005 Bowman Heritage 'Signs of Greatness' card and below that is a 2005 Team Topps autographed card.

eBay: 1947 Radio Broadcast Recordings on Record From Valdosta, Georgia

I find this eBay auction item totally fascinating. I'll let the auction describe it:
You are bidding on three, rare, flexible metal, record transcriptions from March 24 and March 27, 1947, from the radio station W.G.O.V. in Valdosta, Georgia. The records are of the radio's Sports Cast of those two days. The announcer is Vic Zodda, the business manager for the Valdosta Dodgers which was a farm club of the major league baseball Brooklyn Dodgers. Zodda was filling in for the regular sports reporter, Curley Bovers, who was at a golf tournament. The three records are flexible metal and are played at the 78 rpm speed.
Knowing that the dates coincides with Jackie Robinson's entrance into the league I naturally wondered if he was mentioned. Unfortunately, he is not, but there are some other interesting tidbits.
  • Vic Zodda describes Mr. Branch Rickey, himself, (owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers) being on the pitching mound and giving advice to the pitchers.
  • There is a lengthy monologue about the charges by baseball commissioner Larry MacPhail brought against three members of the Brooklyn Dodgers in connection with gambling at a previous spring training stint in Havana, Cuba. Those involved included Branch Rickey and manager Leo Durocher. The actions were declared as, "detrimental to baseball".

Other sports are also spoken about. Since I don't have a record player this item is not for me, but I sure would love to hear them. If anybody takes these home please record them and put it on youtube.

"That's a good dude. That's my homie"

Matt Kemp weighs in and takes the high ground. Via TMZ.
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