Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dee Gordon is a Topps All-Star Rookie

It has been announced today that Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon has been named to the 53rd annual Topps All-Star Rookie Team. This is the first time a Dodger has been named since James Loney was selected as a first baseman in 2007. For a complete list off all past winners go here. Below is a complete list of 2011's All-Star Rookies team members.
1B: Mark Trumbo, Angels
2B: Danny Espinosa, Nationals
SS: Dee Gordon, Dodgers
3B: Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays
OF: Desmond Jennings, Rays
OF: Josh Reddick, Red Sox
OF: Ben Revere, Twins
C: J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays
SP: Jeremy Hellickson, Rays
RP: Craig Kimbrel, Braves
I'm not sure if an actual trophy is presented to the player. At least, I don't ever recall seeing one in a museum or one for sale at auction over the years. It's biggest prize is having the iconic Topps All-Star Trophy placed prominently on next years Topps card. Besides that, each player can claim to be in elite company. Seventeen past members have gone on to be inducted into the Hall of Fame-
Willie McCovey, Johnny Bench, Rod Carew, Gary Carter, Carlton Fisk, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan, Eddie Murray, Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Kirby Puckett, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken, Ryne Sandberg, Tom Seaver, Ozzie Smith and Billy Williams.
Past Dodgers recipients include Ron Fairly, Tommy Davis, Frank Howard, Ted Sizemore, Bill Buckner, Davey Lopes, Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Sax, Greg Brock, Tim Belcher, Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi, Hideo Nomo, Todd Hollandsworth, Wilton Guerrero, Russell Martin, James Loney, and Andre Ethier.

UPDATE: The Dodgers just sent out a press release. See it here.

Blog Kiosk: 11/30/2011

Here is another interesting 2011 Topps Triple Thread I recently ran into on eBay. It is a one-of-kind jumbo patch book card of our soon-to-be 50/50 man. It sold for what I thought was an unbelievable $224.50. (Auction Link)
  • It looks like Adam Kennedy will be in Blue for $800k on a 1 year contract, via MLB Trade Rumors.
  • Baseball America's top 10 Dodgers prospects, via @Dodgers tweet:
  • Listen to Don Newcombe speak about Matt Kemp on MLB Network Radio, here. Don talks about an open invitation from Willie Mays to Matt Kemp to talk about Baseball. Willie believes Kemp is a couple of steps from being one of the best center fielders ever.
  • Now, listen to Don Newcombe speak about Clayton Kershaw in the same interview, here.
  • 'Baseball Executives, players weight in on what makes a good owner,' via Mike DiGiovanna at the LA Times.
    "The bottom line is he put great players on the field, and he delivered championships," Cashman said. "He built something the fans can be proud of, and that's what a great owner does."
  • Former Dodger Bobby Valentine will be the new Red Sox coach, via Big League Stew.
  • The Murdoch's, the principle owners of the Fox Sports networks, appear to be in a little bit of trouble. On top of the phone hacking scandal there is word that they may also have hacked into computers of high level ministers in Northern Ireland containing sensitive intelligence information. One thing is certain, the Murdoch influence is waning in Europe and it's likely to spread to America. This may be the reason that MLB has been willing to turn its back on Fox while siding with McCourt in the sale of a future TV contract. Fox does not wield the kind of power they once had.
  • Larry King has now thrown his hat into the ring. He joins Dennis Gilbert's group. Via Tony Jackson at ESPN.
    The source said King's financial stake in the ownership group is comparatively small. The group's primary investors, the source said, are two high-ranking executives with Imperial Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment bank with offices in five other U.S. cities.
  • This is the best news I've heard all year. Well... Actually, it rivals the McCourt sale announcement in my mind. Fugazi will be releasing an archive of 800 live shows on a pay-what-you-want basis. Check it out here.
    The punk band’s loyal following will be thrilled to learn that the Fugazi Live Series, a massive archive of Fugazi shows spanning from 1987 to 2003, will launch to the public on December 1st.
In celebration, listen to them play live.

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Collection: Tim Hamulack Auto-Facts Signatures

This is a 2006 Upper Deck Auto-Facts signature card of former Dodgers reliever Tim Hamulack. The back of the card tells us:
"Hamulack, who made his Major League debut with the Mets in 2005, will look to solidify the bullpen for the Dodgers in 2006. The lefty didn't allow an earned run in his first six appearances for Los Angeles."
Unfortunately, his good start didn't last the entire season. Hamulack finished the 2006 season pitching 33 games with a 6.35 ERA. I think it's fair to say that his time with us was unremarkable. By the end of the year most of his appearances were what would be deemed "mop-up" duty.

Lelands: These Are Just Weird

What the heck is this?

A collection 16 original life cast resin hands from the collection of Raelee Frazier are on the auction block at Lelands. Frazier is a noted artist based in Denver who specializes in creating hand cast of some of the most notable ballplayers in history. Typically, a bronze cast would be made from the original cast, and would be paired with a bat for a nice display. See an example of a Ted Williams sculpture below.The cast on auction are the original hand cast she used to make the sculpture. BTW, her work has appeared at the Smithsonian and the Negro League Baseball Museum, among others.

This is a cast of Duke Snider's hands.

This is a cast of Pee Wee Reese's hands.

Just Watching Some Box Breaks

Every once in awhile I'll search through youtube to live through the box breaking of others. I rarely buy boxes today. So, this is a great way to satisfy my urge. Check out a couple that I thought were great.

Here is a break of 2011 Topps Triple Threads and a great Dodger hit. I won't tell you what it is. You'll have to watch to find out.

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Gary Payton was signing autographs at the OC Dugout this past Sunday and was filmed breaking a box of cards. He pulled a Kobe auto.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Vin!

I can't believe I had forgotten all about this special day. Eighty-four years ago a red headed kid named Vincent was born in the Bronx to a silk salesman and homemaker. As a youth, he would dream of being a sports broadcaster. First, he started calling Baseball, football and basketball games at Fordham University, then go on to have a successful career in the field as the Dodgers regular radio/television man for over 60 years. Today, at such a ripe age, he continues to entertain Los Angelenos with the style and wit that is unrivaled in any other market in the country. We are lucky to have him. Happy Birthday Vin!

For something really special, check out Tom Haffarth's post featuring a 1944 High School yearbook with a dapper senior named Vin Scully inside, here.

UPDATE: Check out this great interview between Scully and Koufax after clinching the 1965 World Series.

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Blog Kiosk: 11/29/2011

Here is another cool looking 2011 Topps Triple Threads card I ran into on eBay. It's a booklet bat relic/autographed card of Duke Snider. Numbered 1 of 3, it sold for a lofty $172.50 recently. (Auction Link)
  • Here's a prospect report by Jared Massey at LA Dodger Report on pitcher Juan Rodriguez. He's his prospect #20.
  • Apparently, Adam "I have a upper-cut swing" Kennedy is in our sights, via MLB Trade Rumors.
  • Broxton is going from Dodger Blue to Royal Blue. He has signed a 1 year contract with Kansas City, via 6-4-2.
  • Roberto shows off a recent purchase, a 1964 Topps Giants card of Tommy Davis, at Vin Scully is My Homeboy.
  • Check out Gary's newest creation at the Infinite Baseball Card Set. He is producing and selling a limited 15 card set featuring Negro League legend and Hall of Famer Pete Hill.
    Joining forces with famed Negro League researcher Gary Ashwill and Pete Hill's great nephew, Major Ron Hill I am proud to bring to you a beautiful 15 card tribute to one of the greatest black ballplayers of all time - PETE HILL.
  • Tom at Baseball by the Letters has some fantastic advice for autographs through the mail seekers.
  • A topless basketball league? Bring it on! Via Courier
    Rick's Cabaret group's league, consisting of dancers from their 23 clubs, has reportedly said a former NBA star will be announced next week as coach of the New York team, which will unveil its uniforms - we're suspecting some of the most minute ever seen on a court -next week as well....

    "The girls are really excited. We're practically busting out of our tops. We plan to give him a really warm welcome on Tuesday."

    "I hear he's going to have us do a workout on Tuesday in front of the press," said Sky, the point guard for the team.

    "I can't wait to show off some of my moves."

    UPDATE: BTW, Spud Webb was just announced as a coach for one of the teams. Press release is here.

    “He's a hero to people of all sizes and he shows that anyone can accomplish anything,” said Gianna, a point guard on the New York team. “Of course we are happy the NBA is coming back in December--they are some of our best customers. We’ll play ‘til the NBA season starts because our fans and customers want it.”
    Oh Boy!

  • Just another reason why I want to go to space. A Japanese astronaut plays Baseball in the space station.

Video Link:
Hat Tip: HotClicks:

Collection: Billy Ashley

This is a really ugly card. I mean, really ugly. This is a 1995 Signature Rookies 'Future Dynasty' autographed card of Billy Ashley from my collection.
UPDATE: I also wanted to add that the Dodgers uniform pictured here are hilarious. Obviously, Signature Rookies did not have a Baseball license, so they couldn't use actual team logos. Instead of air-brushing them out to make the uniforms blank they chose to make their own version of a Dodgers uniform- complete with a new fangled cap design. This new design has a kind of unsettling feel to it, doesn't it?
Ashley didn't pan out in the Majors, but he sure did show some promise in the minors. He was a slugger who belted 63 homers in Albuquerque from 1993 to 1994. Unfortunately, he could not translate that success to the show. His inability to hit for average and poor fielding was his demise. On another note, he is apparently trying to make his way through Hollywood. Wikipedia tells me he is (or was, i just don't know) on a reality television show called 'Househusbands of Hollywood.' Is that show still on?

eBay: A Complete 1959 WS Pin

Here is a great vintage pin originally sold at LA Coliseum concession stands during the 1959 World Series found on eBay. It's not often that you run into a pin like this with both the ribbon and plastic Baseball still attached. Typically, the ribbon would get frayed and removed as the perils of time erode the pin. As I finish off this post it is already up to $71.00, and I suspect it will approach $100.00 before it closes Tuesday morning.

Lelands: Some Dodger Goodies

The current Lelands Fall Auction is very impressive. It not only includes a bunch of great vintage Baseball memorabilia items, but also has some great Dodgers stuff. I've highlighted some of them below, but it is far from everything Dodger related. In fact, their auction includes another installment of Dodger paraphernalia from the collection of Sal LaRocca. Sal's collection is absolutely incredible. The below Dodger items are not a part of Sal's collection, but don't worry I'm not neglecting them. I will follow up this post with additional stories of those items over the next several days. For now, salivate over these three pieces.

Satin! Satin! Satin! This is a 1945 Brooklyn Dodger satin jersey once worn by Art Herring.

I'm not familiar with this pin at all. It is a advertising celluloid pin featuring Sandy Koufax for a company called American Male. I believe that are an apparel manufacturer. It measures 3" in diameter.

This item is a real treat. Here is a 1956 Tour of Japan kimono robe once belonging to Gil Hodges. It was presented to him and other players during their goodwill tour one year after their first World Championship. This is definitely museum worthy.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Auto Op: Shaq!

I thought I would take a moment and remind folks that Shaquille O'Neal is having a book signing tonight and tomorrow night. Below are details. As always, be sure to contact the respective book stores for further details. Also, for more autograph/sports events in the Southland feel free to check the Blue Heaven Calender Page, here.
Monday, November 28, 2011
He'll be signing copies of Shaq Uncut
7:00 PM at Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101
Ticketed event, tickets will be available when the book is released on November 15th. Tickets will be available with the purchase of your book from Vroman's only.
Book limit of 5 copies per person with ticket. No personalizations. No memorabilia. Photos from the line ok but absolutely no posed photos.
Event Link:
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
He'll be signing copies of Shaq Uncut
7:00 PM at Barnes & Noble, 1201 3rd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401

This will be a wristband event. For more details, inquire in-store or online as the event approaches.
Event Link:

Blog Kiosk: 11/28/2011

Here is a great looking 2011 Topps Triple Threads Roy Campanella card on eBay featuring a bat knob- actually, it's the end of the bat, not the nob. Still, this is pretty cool. Unfortunately, the seller wants thousands for it. (Auction Link)
  • Dodgers sign reliever Wil Ledezma to a minor league contract, via MLB Trade Rumors.
  • Opinion of Kingman's Performance reminds us of Jason Romano. I had forgotten all about his one-out punch in the outfield.
  • Jonathan Broxton is not returning, via Steve Dilbeck at LA Times. This was not unexpected, but it sucks that we will end up getting nothing in return.
  • 'Who Slipped Willie the Mickey, October 3, 1962,' is a reprinted article featured on Sunday in the SF Chronicle and originally written by Charles McCabe. It spreads a rumor about a scheme to stop the Giants rise that year. (Hat Tip: Steve Dilbeck/LA Times)
    "The outfielder signs. A big thing. Like he's giving away money or something. And while he's doing this, young Capone is walking over to his bed and putting the mickey in the oatmeal."
  • Are you aching for some basketball? Well, Jesse at LA Inspiration was at the LAUNFD charity basketball game this weekend hosted by Baron Davis and Tina Thompson.
  • Check out some pics from the Wisconsin Baseball Hall of Fame at Carson Park in Eau Claire, via Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius.
  • Are you a football collector? Check out the Vintage Football Card Gallery for a peek at what looks like photos of just about every old football card ever made.
  • Address is Approximate. Just a fun short movie.

Address Is Approximate from The Theory on Vimeo.

eBay: Vintage Dodgers Salesman Samples

Here are a couple of unique vintage salesman samples for a sweatshirt featuring Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese. According to the seller they date to 1948 to 1949. Now, I'm not familiar with this item or if any actual sweatshirts were made at that time. Still, it's something that would look good in a collection, but would probably be difficult to sell since it is a bit of an unknown. For that reason, they sold for $19.49 a piece.

Are there any old-timers out there who may recall these shirts?

Jackie Robinson

Pee Wee Reese

SCP Auctions: Some Willard Mullin Brooklyn Bum Drawings, Part 1

I just can't resist the drawings of Willard Mullin. Every time one pops up I have to share it. He's a great bridge to the Dodgers of the past, and his humor and insight into that Brooklyn team makes me wish I had an opportunity to experience it.

Available in SCP's current auction are several original drawings. Below, I point out three below. I'll follow this up with additional drawings in a couple of followup post.

The below piece is titled "The Blue Streak," and it pokes fun at a losing streak only a Dodger fan could love. It looks back at a series of games from late September 1937. Here is a little snippet (click on the pic to enlarge):
  1. Back in the late 20's, under uncle Robby,the Dodgers put together quite a string of 12 defeats...
  2. ...And when they finally won one to end it the players carried Rube Ehrhardt, the pitcher, off the field on their shoulders
  3. ...As recently as 1937 they had a chance to celebrate the ending of their record 14straight whippings
  4. ...Only the PA. curfew law kept our bums from tying their all-time low last Sunday...
  5. ...Now they take the unfinished string of 13 8/9 to Boston for three games...
  6. ...And it'll be quite a feat to preserve and build that streak up to 16 straight against the inept Braves so we can have the big day in flatbush...
  7. ...The first home game is Tuesday against the Cardinals... ...What a spot for the great event!
Be sure to check out the characters speaking. It's a gas.

This is a Independence Day themed drawing showing the Brooklyn Bum trying to light a firework symbolizing the 'Vaunted Dodger Power' underneath a colonial founding father who remarks, "Hear, ye... Hear, ye... as they are today- so they shall be!" It appears to be titled "Delayed Celebration," and must be pointing to a very slow start to the season for the Dodgers. Unfortunately, it is not dated.

This drawing is from 1945, and it features both the Brooklyn Bum and New York Giant. It is title, 'Heading West on the Cushions." I don't know if I quite get this one. Maybe it has to do with both teams having an easy go at it so far in the young season. Any insight you could provide would be great.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pujols in Blue?

I know this is a pipe dream, but what the heck. A man can dream, right?

Beckett has been kind enough to follow up on a post from last year featuring Baseball cards imagining Derek Jeter wearing other teams uniforms with cards focused on Albert Pujols. Check out their post with all of these pics, here.

Below is King Albert in Blue. I think it suits him, wouldn't you say?

Sunday Dodgers Videos

For your lazy Sunday viewing pleasure, here are some Sunday Dodgers videos.

Are you yearning for some Spring Baseball? Well, here's a video to wet your appetite. Clayton Kershaw is seen in a fielding drill- taking comebackers from a batter.

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And are you ready to head to the ballpark? To get you prepared listen Tommy Lasorda discuss the Code of Conduct.

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Now, Tommy provides a fan some marriage advice.

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James Loney has some fun with Tatoo & CeCe at KDAY 93.5 in LA. I don't know is I would consider this safe for work. Video was first featured by Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy.

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Collection: Jason Frasor 2004 Absolute Auto

Yes, Jason Frasor use to be Dodger property. He was originally drafted by the Tigers, but was sent to us as a 'Player to be Named Later' in a deal that sent Hiram Bocachica to Detroit. As he excelled under the tutelage of the Dodgers farm system, Jason was traded straight up to Toronto for Jason Werth. There, he became a regular middle reliever for a number of years with a few stints as a closer when needed. Jason Werth, on the other hand, never accomplished much with the Dodgers, but proved to be a good pick-up after he left Los Angeles and starred in Philadelphia. Bocachica, on the other hand, never produced the kind of power seen in Albuquerque.

Here is a 2004 Donruss Playoff Absolute Playoff autographed card of Jason Frasor in my collection.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects Dodgers Base Cards

Topps just released their newest Baseball card set that features only recent draft picks and up-'n'-coming prospects. It is called Bowman Chrome Draft Picks & Prospects and it includes 10 different Dodger hopefuls. Several players receive their very first card. Check out the base cards below.

#30 Rubby De La Rosa - RC

#40 Dee Gordon - RC

#58 Josh Lindblom - RC

#79 Nathon Eovaldi - RC

#80 Javy Guerra - RC

#100 Jerry Sands - RC

This is Justin Sellers first regular issued Baseball card.
#109 Justin Sellers - RC

Bowman Prospects
BDPP5 Pratt Maynard
BDPP48 Rick Anton
BDPP49 Scott Woodward