Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dodger Pics on Twitter

So who's got time to go through twitter to see all of the Dodger goodness it has to offer. Well, I do, apparently. Yhea, I've got a busy life.

With the 1981 World Series trophy, via Tommy Lasorda.

How about Tommy with Mario Andretti.

Wow. Just awesome. Via AlexPudl1n.

Geddy Lee of Rush is a huge Dodger fan. Don't believe me. Check out this photo below. Via djdruemitchell.

Pee Wee Hauling Some Bats

Pee Wee Reese just can't seem to decide which bat he wants to use, so he figures he'll just take them all.

(eBay Auction Link)

WooHoo! Group Case Break Mojo!

I love it when a plan comes together. Several months back the fine ladies of A Cardboard Problem put together a group case break of a brand new card product called Gypsy Queen. I had previously written briefly about it by highlighting the Koufax auto a few days ago, here. Well, I immediately jumped in to join the fun and was fortunate to snag the Dodgers as my team in the break. Fast forward to this past Thursday as the cases were released and a live break was performed online for the 20+ other participants to see what we got. (Watch here to see them open the case)

I was hopeful that some magic would come my way, and fortunately the stars aligned just right. I won't go into full details until the package of Dodger goodies arrive sometime early next week, but I will provide a peek at one of the "big hits" that has me reeling. They pulled out a "1 of 1" yellow printing plate of Duke Snider. Check it out below!
This will be the very first printing plate in my collection and I can't tell you how exciting I am about it. Below is the reverse of the card. Now, this is just a small taste of all the incredible "hits" I will be receiving, so stay tuned as I will be posting them all up as soon as they arrive. And no, I didn't get a Koufax, but there is some other mojo. If you can't wait, check out their post here, here and here to see many of the cards they pulled in the case.

Thanks ladies! It was definitely the best group break I've ever been a part of.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 4/29/2011

  • Bark at the Park at Dodger Stadium on May 28th.
  • Bob Lemke unveils possibly the rarest Pee Wee Reese card around- a Masquerade Party.
  • A radar gun conspiracy? Via AZ
    "I know for a fact that every time Brad Penny pitched for the Dodgers in San Diego it was probably the lowest velocities he ever had. He liked velocity. He'd stare at the board. He was throwing 95-96 (mph), but we'd have it at 91 and he'd get pissed off and throw harder and harder and start elevating."
  • Here is another story about the possible public ownership of the Dodgers. This has been talked about for quite some time. I doubt it could happen, but the thought of it is pretty damn intoxicating. This LA Weekly story does a good job of explaining the hurdles.
  • Schoolhouse Rocks!

YouTube Link:

Auto Collection: Orel Hershiser Diamond King

Orel Hershiser is the greatest modern pitcher in Dodger history. He's a 3 time All-Star and pitched 59 1/3 scoreless innings. He's won a Gold Glove, Cy Young, World Series MVP, Babe Ruth award, a league championship MVP in both leagues, and even won a Silver Slugger award. Basically, he's done it all. So, it is apt that the above autographed Diamond King green frame variation card of the "Bulldog" is a 1 of 1. He was that rare and special.

On another note, I wanted to pass along this great story from Tommy Lasorda's own blog:

“I never saw a pitcher pitch as negatively as you,” I told Hershiser. “You were afraid to throw the ball over the plate. You were saying to yourself, ‘I better not throw the ball there or he is going to hit it.’ Instead, you should have been saying to yourself that you are going to throw the ball there and he aint going to hit it!”

But he was thinking negatively, and he did not have the confidence in himself.

I went on, “And furthermore, I don’t like your first name, Orel. If I bring you in tonight to pitch to Dale Murphy and the PA announces, ‘Now pitching for the Dodgers, number 55, Orel Hershiser,’ Murphy is going to think hitting against you is going to be easy.”

“From now on your name is Bulldog! You are going to act like a bulldog. You are going to pitch like a bulldog. And you are going to walk around like a bulldog!”

“Now when the PA announces number 55, Bulldog Hershiser, Murphy is going to be thinking you have got to be mean to have a name like Bulldog.” Well, he began to pitch like a bulldog, and everybody knows what he did.

From the mouth of the master motivator.

1981 Ron Cey Pepsi Cup

Probably the least appreciated collectible in the hobby today are plastic cups featuring your favorite player. They are used as promotional tools usually sold at your local gas station or convenience store, and can be found at very affordable prices. This particular cup is from Pepsi and is commonly known as "Super Action." I love the little penguin on this Ron Cey cup.

(eBay Auction Link)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Auto Collection: Steve Finley Diamond Kings

LinkI will never forget his walk-off grand slam against the Giants in the second to last game of the season to clinch the NL West. It was monumental. Glorious. Astounding. Heck, it was breathtaking. I remember sitting at the edge of my seat, with my palms clinched like a schoolboy praying with all his might, wishing for one final hit to bring home the victory. No, strike that... the bases where loaded and the game was tied 3 to 3 with only one out. All Finley needed to do was loft a flyball to score the winning run on a sacrifice. I thought to myself, "that's not too much to ask, is it?" Well, as soon as he hit it the entire the stadium leapt up with a collective roar. We all knew it would be deep enough, but to see it leave the field was some else. Steve Finley had closed it out in the most spectacular of fashions. If you want to relive that moment go here to see a video.

Here is a very scarce 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings autograph card of Steve Finley. It is numbered 1 out of 5.

Oscar Charleston as a Dodger?

This is from a current auction available from American Memorabilia and is stated as being a photo taken by famed photographer Teenie Harris in 1945. It's not an original vintage pic, but is a modern photo taken from an original negative.

Teenie Harris worked for the Pittsburgh Courier, one of America's leading African-American newspapers. He had made it his mission to photograph African-American life from the 1930's to 1970's, so it makes sense that he would cover Negro League Baseball- especially considering the popularity and fame of the Pittsburgh Crawford ball team. A large group of his negatives (80,000) currently reside at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Now, you are probably wondering, what is Negro League star and Baseball Hall of Famer Oscar Charleston doing in a Dodgers uniform? After all, he was way too old to play by the time integration came around. Well, this isn't the Brooklyn Dodgers that we know well, but is instead the Brooklyn Brown Dodgers- a Negro League team created by Branch Rickey for a newly created Negro League called the United States League in 1945. This was, of course, just a smoke screen by Rickey. He had to be able to scout the Negro League without having the gaze of the segregated Baseball getting a whiff of his plans. He needed to find the perfect player, and this rouse allowed him to send his top scouts out to find him. As we all know, Jackie Robinson is who ultimately became the ground breaker. Interestingly, in the background is Jackie Robinson himself. At least, I think that's him.

(Auction Link)

Some ToppsVault Dodgers

I haven't checked out ToppsVault in some time, so I thought I would cruise over there to see if there was some cool Dodgers to gaze at. Well, I wasn't disappointed. BTW, ToppsVault is Topps own eBay store where they sell off some rarities from their archives. Anyway, below is a 1984 Color Transparency/ negative of Orel Hershiser.

The next two items are 1960 color transparency/ negatives of Maury Wills.

Below is a 1987 Topps sticker photo of Mike Scioscia.

This is probably the most interesting item they have for sale right now. It's an original player contract between Topps and Dusty Baker from 1979. It doesn't say what the amount of the original contract was, but states that this 2 year extension made Dusty a whopping $75.00.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 4/27/2011

The McCourt saga is causing me brain damage.
  • Eephus League was at a Dodger game recently and has a interesting round-up.
    In the bottom of the seventh and with Ivan DeJesus at the plate, a small child half a row away from me threw up. As his mother picked him up, trying to get him up the stairs, he projectile vomited across at least eight to ten seats.
  • David Pinto at Baseball Analytics looks into Andre Ethier's hot start and finds that Andre is making better contact compared to years past. Check out his analysis to see some great graphs.
    He's not swinging more at outside pitches, except those in the upper outside corner. He's squaring up those pitches better, however. In the past, 19% of balls he put in play on outside pitches resulted in line drives. This season, 35% of those pitches turn into line drives.
  • Check out this great Eddie Gaedel autograph photo highlighted by REA.
  • Beckett interviews sports artist Dick Perez.
  • Jabba!!!! Via Punk Rock Paint. Check out even more Star Wars vintage card creations from him here.
  • Via Shorpy, a 1923 photo of the Washington DC Fire Department Baseball team.

Auto Collection: Edwin Jackson Diamond Kings

I remember when this kid first came up to the Dodgers as a 19 year old in 2003. He was tall and lanky, and had the makings of a great fastball that was sure to make us all forget about giving up too early on Pedro Martinez. Heck, I was sure he would be added to the long line of great Dodger pitchers. He started out great as he out-dueled Randy Johnson in his very first outing. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Maybe the Dodgers called him up too early and ruined his development. I dunno. All I know is that Edwin Jackson has yet to achieve the heights talent evaluators promised.

Here is a 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings autographed card of Edwin Jackson in my collection. It is numbered to 100

Gypsy Queen is Live: Check out a Koufax

Topps newest vintage themed Baseball card set is now officially live, and as you can imagine the interwebs are already filling up with photos. The set is called Gypsy Queen (which is fairly un-PC since Roma is the more preferred terminology today) and is fashioned after a 19th century set considered some of the rarest cards known in the hobby. Below is an example of one of these scarce cards.

I've yet to put together some Dodger base cards from the set (don't worry I'll get to that in a couple of days,) I did want to show one of the key finds any collector would love to grab. Above is the Sandy Koufax autograph card from the set. I had joined "A Cardboard Problem's" group case break and picked up the Dodgers, so I'm excited about what I will get in the case. I'm crossing my fingers hoping the fine ladies there pull the card above.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Old Judge: Some Dodgers to Gawk At

One of my favorite small scale auction houses, Old Judge, just closed up their most recent offering. Included were several Dodger related memorabilia items worth a taking note of.

Below is just a sample of some original artwork pieces created by Mark Rucker at the request of Lew Lipset (operator of the Old Judge Auctions) in 1983. It consisted of 11 different paintings of some of the greatest ballplayers to ever play the game. Below are the drawings for Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn (he's paired with Koufax below- notice his extended middle finger) and Mike "King" Kelly. Considering that these are one-of-the-kind I think that the final closing price of $550.00 for 11 pieces was pretty reasonable.

This photo use to hang at the Rotunda at Ebbets Field. I'll let the auction description tell you more about it.
In 1960 the owners of Ebbets Field decided to sell the memorabilia that remained in the ballpark. Several items were purchased by an ex-marine (well known in the hobby) and a lifetime Dodger fan who used a four day pass to come home to purchase several items that included four wall photos, two Ebbets Field seats and some other items. Total cost $100! It was autographed in person to our consignor "To a great Brooklyn Dodger Fan, Best Wishes Johnny Podres" years later.
It sold for $2,500.00.

Here is a seldom seen Jackie Robinson Boosters pin that sold for $242.00.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Go King Go! Game 6 Tonight!

It's do or die time for the Kings as they face off against the San Jose Sharks in their first round match up tonight. The game is at 7:00 PM- which is a small departure from their normal 7:30 start times. They again face elimination, but I have no fear. The Kings have found a way to overcome every obstacle they have faced this season.

With the Kings 3rd line- a checking line consisting of some young but amped future stars- taking control of the scoring lately, I can't help but think this has caused significant problems for the Sharks defense. Do they have their best defenders go out against that line at the risk of having the Kings more traditional scoring lines face off against lesser defensive setups? Will Dustin Penner, anchoring the 4th line, actually make it a more dangerous scoring threat like we saw in Game 5? After all, who else can boast about having a top of the line scoring winger on a line traditionally thought of an energy line. Has coach Murray's lineup juggling finally found a great mix that emphasizes balance over star power? Can the Kings win tonight thereby forcing a Game 7 scramble up north.

I hesitate to make a prediction (I'm sure you know who I'm rooting for), but I will tell you this- If this goes to a seventh game the Kings will win the series. And you can take that to the bank.

Below is a video to pump you up.

Tom Schieffer, It Is

LinkThe new Dodger overlord, i.e. trustee, will be George W. Bush crony and brother of Bob Schieffer of "Face the Nation" fame, Tom Schieffer. Oh, he also use to be president of the Texas Rangers. From the MLB press release:
Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today that he has appointed J. Thomas Schieffer, the former president of the Texas Rangers, as the Monitor of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise. Schieffer will represent the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball in the oversight of the day-to-day operations, business and finances of the Dodgers and all of the franchise's related entities.

Schieffer, an investor in the ownership group headed by George W. Bush and Rusty Rose that purchased the Rangers in 1989, was the club president from 1991-1999 and the franchise's general partner from November 1994 until June 1998. The Fort Worth native was the club's partner in charge of ballpark development in advance of the 1994 opening of The Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers won their first three American League West titles (1996, 1998-1999) in club history in the years during Schieffer's tenure.
And a quote from Selig:
"We are very fortunate to have someone of Tom Schieffer's stature monitor the operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers on behalf of Major League Baseball. Tom is a distinguished public servant who has represented the nation with excellence and has demonstrated extraordinary leadership throughout his career. The many years that he spent managing the operations of a successful franchise will benefit the Dodgers and Major League Baseball as a whole. I am grateful for Tom's acceptance of this role."

Collection: Jackie Robinson 1938 Yearbook

After a successful sporting life at John Muir High School Jackie Robinson entered Pasadena Junior College in 1938 with plenty of athletic promise. He went on to play Baseball, football, basketball and track & field there. On the diamond he was the short stop and batted lead off for the team, and broke the school record for the broad jump that was once held by his Olympian brother Mack.

While there he also received the following honors:
  • Elected to the All-Southland Junior College Team in Baseball;
  • All-Southland Junior College Team MVP;
  • Named to the school's Order of the Mast and Dagger (Omicron Mu Delta), awarded to students performing "outstanding service to the school and whose scholastic and citizenship record is worthy of recognition;" and
  • member of a student run police organization called the Lancers.
Pictured in this post is a 1938 yearbook from Pasadena Junior College in my collection. Check out some of the pics featuring Jackie within it.
Here he is with the track & field team.
Jackie is pictured on the bottom right below.
Here is a beaming Jackie with the basketball team.
I'm pretty sure that's Jackie on the bottom right below.

(click on any of the pics to enlarge)

Auto Collection: Maury Wills Sweet Spot

Here is a group of great Maury Wills autographs. These are 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Signatures. Below is the "red & blue" stitching variation numbered to 40.

Blog Kiosk: 4/25/2011

Go Kings Go!

YouTube Link:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Auto Collection: Maury Wills Diamond King

Another Dodger no True Blue collector should be without is Maury Wills. His speed and guile were an important part of the team in the 60's. Heck, it's doubtful the Dodgers could have won as many games as they did without him.

Here is my 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings autographed card of him. It is a scarce variation that includes a unique green frame. It is numbered 7 out of 10.

Memory Lane: A Jackie Robinson Showing

It doesn't get much rarer than this.

It's one thing to have a unopened pack of Baseball cards from 1954, but to have one with a Jackie Robinson showing if quite another thing. Here, in Memory Lane's current auction is a 1954 Topps Baseball Penny Wax Pack graded by PSA. Unfortunately, it's a bit tough to see the Robinson.
(Auction Link)

Here is a video with the auction house introducing the unopened pack.

YouTube Link: