Friday, July 29, 2011

Mailbag: LoDuca Donruss Studio Auto

eBay has once again become a repository of great Dodger bargains. Check out this 2003 Donruss Studio Private Signings card of Paul LoDuca. It is numbered 69 out of 75 and features a unique background that I'm pretty certain has never been used on a card. It is the Dodger Stadium Top Deck seats - one of my favorite places to sit during a game. When you are there you feel like you're literally sitting above home plate with a panoramic view of the entire stadium and field in front of you. On top of that, the seats are super cheap. Like, $6 a seat cheap. Considering this card was also had for a bargain, for $0.99, it really makes for a nice duo. An inexpensive card showing affordable seats in the background while featuring a player and a view that was far from cheap.

2011 ITG Heroes & Prospects Series 2: Fernando Patch Card

I gotta be honest with ya. I don't know a lot about this set. It is from a company called "In The Game," is unlicensed by MLB, and is made by a company more known in the hobby for hockey cards than Baseball. In fact, this is the companies first year at trying to make cards featuring Baseball players, and since they do not have a license there are no team logos in the design. What the set does have is a boatload of prospects cards and their autographs. On top of that, there are some pretty big "hits" that may make it worthwhile for collectors to chase. This is the 2nd series set. Check out my post about the 1st series, here.

For instance, check out the above card. It is a 1 of 1 game-used patch card of Fernando Valenzuela, and it features a 1984 Olympic Games patch. Unopened boxes go live in early August. Check out more, here, at beckett.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

UPDATE: Minor Change for Kings Night

As I had written previously, tomorrow is LA Kings Night at Dodger Stadium, and fans who purchase tickets through a special ticket offer ( would be receiving a voucher, at the game, for the above hat.

Well, a reader recently asked if the hat give-away was still in place since the above link for tickets now indicates a King themed "This Is My Town" t-shirt (see it below) instead of the hat. So, I gave a call to the PR department for an answer, and this is what I was told. Also, a big thanks to Amy for responding so quickly.

We sold out of the caps for the Kings Night promotion but still wanted our fans to be able to purchase the discounted ticket, so we replaced the cap with the My Town, Kings t-shirt. Everyone who purchased a ticket when the cap was available will receive the cap and everyone who purchased a ticket after the cap was sold out will receive a t-shirt. The vouchers that come with the ticket are marked appropriately.

So there you have it. Demand was apparently high and the hats are now sold out.
Furthermore, as Roberto at Vin Scully Is My Homeboy pointed out, the Kings Ice Girls will also be in attendance. So, I though I would pass along this great video featuring the recent Ice Girls audition for the upcoming season. Go here to see more Ice Girl videos.

Call Me Sentimental, But I Don't Want Kuroda to Go

I don't know what it is, but I really like Hiroki Kuroda on this team and would prefer that he stay with the club. I've heard all of the arguments, and readily accept that they make more sense than my emotional underpinnings about what the Dodgers mean and who should be wearing our colors. But, when I read quotes like the one below I can't help but believe he needs to stay right here.

From AJ Cassavell at MLB:
"My honest feeling is that I can't fathom wearing another uniform than the Dodgers uniform right now," Kuroda said through a translator. "I never thought about it, and it's really hard to think."
With the MLB non-waiver Trade Deadline coming this Sunday decisions need to be made very quickly.
"I haven't really decided on anything, so I can't really give you an answer," Kuroda said. "Today I was wearing a Dodgers uniform, and I was playing here, to win, for this team. I have a few days before the Trade Deadline, so I'm going to think about it, I'm going to talk to my agent about it, and we'll go on from there."
All I can say is, please don't go!

2011 Bowman Platinum: Dodgers Base Cards

The newest Baseball card set just went live yesterday. It is called Bowman Platinum and it basically consist of two different base sets- one with current Major Leaguers and the other consisting only of prospects. Below are the Dodger cards from those base sets. As always, there are parallels of each card available in limited quantities- some examples of them are below.

24 Andre Ethier

58 Clayton Kershaw

96 Matt Kemp

From the prospect base set.

BPP2 Dee Gordon

BPP6 Zach Lee (Purple refractor parallel)

BPP9 Blake Smith
(Green refractor parallel)

BPP46 Leon Landry (Green refractor parallel)

BPP68 Allen Webster (Red refractor parallel)

BPP76 Kyle Russell (X-Factor parallel)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Bugs Bunny- You Rascally Dodger Fan

Do you know who's 71 years old today? It's everyone's favorite rabbit, Bugs Bunny. Some of you may have already heard this. I'm betting, though, that this next bit of information is totally new to most of you. As the story goes, Bugs Bunny was born in Brooklyn, New York underneath Ebbets Field- the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Heck, according to the hare's original voice actor, Mel Blanc, he used a flatbush accent. So, by right, that makes Bugs Bunny a True Blue Dodger fan.

Happy Birthday Bugs!

To help celebrate this fine day I though I would put up Bug's debut movie, originally released today in 1940 called "A Wild Hare." Check it out below.

Video Link:

(Pic Link from Night Owl cards)

Blog Kiosk: 7/27/2011

Tommy Lasorda's office, circa 1987. Via @Dodgers yfrog pic.
  • Forbes tells us that MLB is charging the Dodgers twice the rate they charged the Rangers.
  • Check out Clayton Kershaw on twitter at @KershawsChallenge. (I don't think it's really him, but a marketing arm for his charities)
  • Night Owl Cards shows off his recently completed 1972 Topps Dodgers team set. One of my favorites.
  • Who knew the Dodgers still owned some real estate in Vero Beach? We find out through TCPalm that the Dodgers have been cited for code violations. It's for a 3.4 acre parcel of land that has no access, other than through a neighbors back yard. I believe it is located across the street from Dodgertown, on the opposite side of 43rd Avenue.
  • per John Heyman at SI, Ron Burkle, thought to be a major financial backer of Garvey's bid to buy the Dodgers, may not actually be in Steve's court.
  • Are you kidding me? An $80 hot dog? Via Huffington Post.
    (It) is deep fried and rolled in truffle oil, then coated with porcini dust, sprinkled with white truffle shavings, and topped with dollops of creme fraiche, caviar and fresh roe.
  • The Dodgers honored Tim Wallach recently as he entered into the College Baseball Hall of Fame this year.

Tim Wallach First Pitch Ceremony from FullertonTitansTV on Vimeo.

And I'm putting this up because its brilliant.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Charlie Sheen - Dodger Owner?

Here come the parade of crazies!

The National Inquirer, being the benchmark for news that it is, informs us that Charlie Sheen wants to buy the Dodgers.
Baseball fanatic CHARLIE SHEEN’s making frantic calls to rich pals in a heartfelt bid to forge an investment group that’ll buy the in-bankruptcy Los Angeles Dodgers – and fulfill his life-long dream of being a player in major league baseball!
Holy Moly! Could he possibly be worse than McCourt?

(Hat Tip: The Post Game)(Photo Credit: LA Dodgers)

LA Kings Night This Friday- Mike Richards at the Game Tonight

Here is a friendly reminder for any LA Kings fans out there. This coming Friday is the 2nd annual LA Kings Night at Dodger Stadium. Of special note, newly acquired King, Mike Richards, will be introduced on the field in his first appearance as a King in tonights game. Why today instead of Friday? I don't know. It really makes no sense, but whatever.

WHO: Kings forwards Jarret Stoll, Dustin Penner and Trevor Lewis will throw out a ceremonial first pitch and members of the Kings Ice Crew will also be on site. Stoll, Penner and Lewis are slated to be guests on the Dodgers Live pre-game show on PRIME TICKET.

Friday, July 29, 2011, Approximately 7:00 p.m.

Dodger Stadium

Tickets for LA Kings Night at Dodger Stadium are $35 for Preferred Field Box seats and $25 for Infield Reserve and Preferred Loge Box seats. Each ticket purchased comes with a voucher for a limited edition Kings-themed Dodger hat (seen above). Tickets are available at

Daily Conlon: 190 through 198

Here is today's Daily Conlon cards numbered #190 to #198. One of the notable players here is "Wee Willie" Bill Sherdel of the St. Louis Cardinals (located right in the middle). Willie wasn't the fastest or hardest thrower on the team, but he sure could win on pure craftiness. Unfortunately, his sneaky pitching persona didn't go over too well in the 1928 world Series.

Sherdel was on the mound for Game 4 of the Fall Classic against the Yankees. With a 2 to 1 lead going into the 7th inning, Wee Willie faced Babe Ruth and seemingly struck him out looking. But, it was with some controversy. Sherdel had quick pitched Ruth- he took the relay from the catcher with his foot on the rubber and quickly threw the ball at the plate for a strike before the batter could get set up. In the National League this was legal, but deemed illegal in the American League and in this game. Ruth would stay up at the plate and proceed to hit a game tying home run. Then the next batter, Lou Gehrig, hit a homer and the route was on. The Cardinals would never recover as the Yankees would swept them for another championship.

Ranked at #36 on the Cards All-Time top 40 players by The Cardinals, his team records include fourth all-time in career wins, third all-time in games pitched and fourth all-time in innings pitched and complete games.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 7/25/2011

A vintage pic from the Dodgers twitter of KFI Day as several Dodger players take a ride on a tank.
  • Thank you Bad Wax for a great parody regarding Andruw Jones. It is hilarious. "Andruw Jones... I'm Mailing It In."
    “I had dreams of giving Kobayashi and (Joey) Chestnut a run for their money in the Coney Island hot dog eating contest in 2008 so I trained all winter and yeah, I showed up to camp a little overweight.”
  • Cards That Never Were makes a great fantasy 1981 Topps card featuring our World Series co-MVP's.
  • Check out Alyssa Milano's blog as she recently visited Dodger Stadium.
  • From the Press Enterprise, Rialto neighbors react to beating arrest.
  • Card Buzz was one of the unlucky few to not get a Kershaw autograph this weekend, but Greg at Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle was happy to snag one.
  • New Mexico Fan has pics from throwback night at a Albuquerque Isotopes game. They wore old Dukes uni's.
  • Check out some photos from the last Space Shuttle flight, via
  • Check out Edgar's post as he visited Maury Wills at a Rancho Cucamonga Quakes game.
  • David Best visits the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California and speaks with Team Historian for the Dodgers, Mark Langill, who tells him about his most memorable Dodgers play, as well as about some of Dodger Stadium's best-kept secrets.

YouTube Link:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Daily Conlon: 181 through 189

Here are today's Daily Conlon cards numbered #181 to #189. The most notable player here and possibly our countries most unsung hero is Moe Berg (located on the niddle row, far left).

Moe wasn't much of a offensive ballplayer, but he sure could catch. Still, it was a better life than a potential career as a lawyer. Per his SABR biography:
"He encountered Dutch Carter, an eminent lawyer who advised him to keep playing professional baseball. Carter had wanted a baseball career himself, but his family had persuaded him to follow the law, and he still regretted it. He told Berg that he would have plenty of time to practice law after his baseball career was over. "
He spent most of his time as a backup catcher in his 15 year Major League career. Batting for a career average of .243, he started out his career in Brooklyn in 1923, but was sent down until he finally stuck with the White Sox in 1926. No doubt, his skills on the diamond is not what makes him notable. Moe Berg was "the strangest man ever to play baseball " according to Casey Stengel, and possibly the smartest man to ever put on a uniform. He was thought to be fluent in 12 languages and would regularly read 10 newspapers a day from all over the world. Moe Berg also work as a spy for the United Stated during and after his career in Baseball. This story is often told when speaking of Berg.
In 1934 Berg's career took the turn that made him the stuff of legend. Now a member of the team of Americans that took baseball to Japan, he presumably walked the streets of Tokyo dressed in a long black kimono. He entered St. Luke's Hospital carrying a bouquet of flowers intended for Ambassador Joseph Grew's daughter (Mrs. Cecil Burton), who had recently given birth to a daughter. He introduced himself as a friend of Mrs. Burton but instead of going to her room went up to the roof and using a motion picture camera shot the skyline and other important parts of Tokyo. He never visited Mrs. Burton.
He would later work for the Office of Strategic Services which would become the CIA.

True Blue Kuroda?

I've often wonder if a player today is so loyal to their first team that they would be willing to be traded (seemingly to help the club get some prospects), but return to their home club the next season. In our days of frequent player movements, strained budgets and free agency it just didn't seem likely, but here we are staring at just that.

Per MLB Trade Rumors, they share a tweet from CBS sports writer Danny Knobler who lets us know a little bit about what may be going on in the mind of Hiroki Kuroda.

So Kuroda may be the clearest definition of a rental player. He would agree to play elsewhere, but intends on playing only in LA if he steps out onto the mound in 2012. I gotta tell ya, I'm lovin' this guy more and more.

Also, according to MLB Trade Rumors, the Indians have already made inquires to the Dodgers for Kuroda's services. Maybe we cantake this opportunity to get Carlos Santana back?

Mailbag: A Billingsley Win

Here is another recent eBay win, and I got it for under a buck (just $3.49 delivered). This is a 2009 Topps Unique "Solo Shot" autographed card of Chad Billingsley. Hopefully, this win will translate into a Dodger win with him on the mound tonight.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Daily Conlon: 177 through 180

After a brief respite yesterday, today I bring to you the Daily Conlon. This features 4 cards as I return to featuring full sheets rather than individual cards. With well over 1,000 cards in the set it just is not reasonable to write a post for each one, but I will do it from time to time when it seems appropriate. Anyway, here are cards numbered 177 through 180. Unfortunately, not a Dodger in the group.

Judge Gross Coming Down on the Side of MLB

Word is just coming out that the McCourt/ Dodgers must negotiate with MLB for a loan. Bill Shaikin is providing timely tweets to keep us instantly informed.
(Twit Link: Shaikin)

The reason for this is explained below.
(Twit Link: Shaikin)

(Twit Link: Shaikin)

Count this as another win for the good guys.

UPDATE: Check out the entire ruling from Judge Gross, here.

Hall of Fame Weekend!

This is always one of my favorite times of the year. It is Hall of Fame weekend as Baseball's greatest descend on Cooperstown for the annual Induction Ceremony. I've only had the pleasure of visiting the Baseball Mecca once and, fortunately, it was during the 1999 Induction of Robin Yount, George Brett and Nolan Ryan. It was just awesome and I recommend every Baseball fan try to make it out here once in their lives. For this weekend, I'll have to enjoy the ceremony from the comforts of my own couch. Thankfully, the MLB Network will be bringing the festivities to us.

Here is the schedule of events for this coming Sunday.

8:30 AM PST-
MLB Network will air the 2011 Hall of Fame Awards Presentation at 11:30 a.m. ET. The presentation, which will be held on Saturday, June 23 in Cooperstown, will honor longtime Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins announcer Dave Van Horne, who will receive the Ford C. Frick Award for major contributions to baseball broadcasting; Philadelphia Daily News national baseball columnist Bill Conlin, who will receive the J.G. Taylor Spink Award; and veteran baseball executive Roland Hemond, who will receive the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award.
9:30 AM PST-

Coverage will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET with a pre-ceremony show live from MLB Network’s studios, hosted by Greg Amsinger and Baseball Writers’ Association of America members and Hall of Fame voters Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci. The pre-ceremony show will include interviews by Bob Costas with Alomar, Blyleven and Gillick, live interviews with guests on-site, and highlights from the Hall of Fame Parade of Legends.

MLB Network’s Peter Gammons, winner of the 2004
J.G. Taylor Spink Award for baseball writing, Harold Reynolds and Matt Vasgersian will join with live coverage from Cooperstown, including interviews with Hall of Famers in attendance and special features on this year’s inductees.

10:30 AM PST-
Live coverage of the ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET, including each inductee’s acceptance speech, an appearance by Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, and introductions of an expected 49 returning Hall of Famers, including Hank Aaron, George Brett and Sandy Koufax.
Enjoy and don't miss the show.

Blog Kiosk: 7/22/2011

Weren't the 60's great! Above was a random photo provided by the Dodgers on twitter. From 1968, I would love to know exactly what is going here.
  • Aaron at Inside Dodgers Baseball has the full press release for Shawn Green's upcoming book signing event on August 3rd at the ESPN Zone at LA Live. And, yes, Green will sign 1 additional piece of memorabilia only for fans who have a copy of the book.
  • Night Owl Cards tells us a bit about the 1989 Smokey Dodger Greats set.
  • Do they now have the right guys? The LAPD have dropped charges against the first guy they arrested in the Byran Stow beating, and have arrested two other folks they believe were involved. Via LA Times. This is a classic case of why you shouldn't just assume that whoever they arrest must be guilty- no matter the subjects background.
  • In Dodger BK news, MLB says the TV contract McCourt
    "presented as the team's financial salvation would instead have crippled the club's ability to compete and saddled McCourt and his affiliated companies with close to $1 billion in debt.... Despite your pledge to make the Dodgers the 'best franchise in baseball,' you are not selling the club's media rights … to improve the club's on-field performance, renovate Dodger Stadium or enhance the fan experience," Selig wrote.
    Via LA Times.
  • Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy tells us that then Dodger Championship banners are back at Dodger Stadium. WooHoo!
  • AEG says a downtown LA Baseball stadium would not work, via ESPN.
  • With this being Hall of Fame weekend, check out The Hall of Very Good's interview with Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson.
  • Check out a one-on-one afternoon with Magic Johnson on Saturday, July 30th at LMU.
    Earvin "Magic" Johnson recounts his favorite “Showtime” memories and discusses his current and future plans during a special one-on-one conversation with Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke. It’s your chance to hear his on-and-off-the-court stories and see the Hall of Famer up close and personal.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mailbag: A Sweet Withrow Auto

What's better than a autographed card of a #1 draft pick hard throwing Dodger pitching prospect? Getting the card for under a buck. Check out the newest addition to my Dodger autograph collection. This is a 2007 Bowman Sterling Certified autographed card of Chris Withrow and it was found on eBay for 99 cents. Not too shabby. And, he still has a chance to fullfill all of the promise that made with a first rounder.

Daily Conlon: #176 Specs Toporcer - I Got 50 Cents a Week

Here are today's Daily Conlon card numbered #176 featuring St. Louis Cardinal utility man George "Specs" Toporcer talking about having one of the best jobs a kid can have.
"Back in 1912, when I was 13 years old, I got a job posting scores in an old-fashioned corner saloon at 85th Street and 1st Avenue. The scores would come in on a Western Union ticker tape, and I'd proudly write them on a large blackboard in the back room of the saloon."
Before the widespread use of radios by the masses most folks got up-to-date news of important sporting events by going to a public square or watering hole. You would watch the game in slow motion as you waited for next play to be announced.

On a side note, Toporcer was nicknamed "Specs" because he was the first Major League position player to wear glasses on the field. Also, Branch Rickey once said of Specs
"A 19-year-old boy who weighed 142 pounds and never had played a game of pro ball came off the field at Orange, New Jersey. I watched this kid and saw him take off his glasses and, with his hands outstretched, grope his way along the wall to the showers. My captain turned to me and said, `For God's sake, who sent him up?' " Toporcer, who never played baseball in high school, college, or the minors, is remembered as the first infielder to wear glasses in the majors.
Read more from him by clicking the pic below to embiggen.

Blog Kiosk: 7/20/2011

Fernando Mania is about to officially get on it's way.
The Dodgers will commemorate the 30th anniversary of “Fernandomania” with a bobblehead giveaway presented by Kaiser Permanente on Tuesday, July 26 (7:10 p.m. vs. COL). Valenzuela will also make a special one-hour long appearance at “Viva Los Dodgers Day” presented by State Farm, Time Warner Cable and Chevrolet this Sunday, July 24 at 11:30 a.m. The legendary lefty will meet and sign autographs for fans.

“I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the fans that are so friendly and supportive even after 30 years, it really means a lot to me” said Valenzuela.

Of special note: Tommy Lasorda announced his wife Jo asked for Valenzuela's autograph, the first time she has ever requested a players signature. (Photo Credit Above: LA Dodgers)

Video Link:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Daily Conlon: #175 Bob O'Farrell - Those Things Weren't Legal

Here is today's Daily Conlon card numbered #175 of Bob O'Farrell talking about those illegal pitches.
"Those were the days when catching was really tough. There were so many off beat pitches then, you know. Like the spitball, the emory ball, the shine ball. You name it, somebody threw it."
Read more below by clicking the pic to embiggen.

Heritage Auctions: 1887 Batting Champion Presentation Bat

Take a look at this silver slugger award. In 1887 Sam Wise of the Boston Beaneaters had a phenomenal year. He batted .334 with 92 RBI's and 103 runs scored. Furthermore, he had a .913 OPS and stole 47 bases. For his efforts as that years batting champion he was awarded this sterling silver bat from the Boston Globe. They sure don't make 'em like this anymore.
From the auction description:
Our skilled Heritage researchers were able to track down an article in the October 18, 1887 issue of The Boston Globe, the local newspaper that honored the best of the Beaneaters, recounting the details of the presentation ceremony. In part:

When Honest Sam Wise took THE GLOBE trophy from Colonel Taylor and contemplated the handsome silver bat as it lay in its silken case, a flush of manly pride swept over his face. He took the long case, and, holding it as he might a good-sized baby, the big short stop said: "Colonel Taylor and Gentlemen--I never made a speech in my life, but this elegant and beautiful emblem ought to inspire me to say something. The trouble is 'I ain't built that way,' but I do want to return my sincere thanks for it, and wish you many prosperous years of life. I wish to express my thanks to the members of the press for many kind favors during the past season. Once more I thank you for this splendid prize and say I shall never forget your kindness."