Monday, August 29, 2011

Mailbag: Another Cheap Dodger Auto Card

At $0.99 I figure I couldn't go wrong with this 2008 Topps Co-Signers autographed card of Andy LaRoche and Chin-Lung Hu. Of course, knowing that they will never reach the lofty projections placed on them certainly diminishes the buy. Ah... who cares? It's a Dodger autograph card and a new brand new addition to my collection.

Monday's Beatles Contest

Here is the last trivia questions contest to win a Beatles CD. First, though, be sure to enter in the drawing for the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band CD by going here. All yo have to do is make a comment so you can put your name in the hat. A winner will be chosen Tuesday evening.

Now on to the trivia question to win the above With The Beatles CD. The first person to answer the question correctly in the comments section wins. Also, please be sure to provide contact information so I can get in contact with you.
On the day of the Beatles concert at Dodger Stadium who were the Dodgers playing, and what was the outcome of the game?

Silvio Garcia, a Forgotten Potential Dodger

We've all heard of the stories behind how Jackie Robinson came to join the Dodgers to break the color barrier. He was scouted, put on a list of possible candidates and subsequently grilled by Branch Rickey with a series of questions meant to get inside his head. Rickey, being aware of the societal stress that was to come, wanted to make sure that the trailblazer had the poise and character to withstand the heat. Obviously, he chose wisely, but how about the other guys. Who else was on Branch Rickey's list?

Well, one fellow was star shortstop and future Cuban League Hall of Famer Silvio Garcia. He started his career primarily as a pitcher in the 1930's, but hurt his arm by the start of the next decade and would no longer pitch regularly. Never mind, though, his bat and glove would carry him to a long career. In the Cuban Winter League he would bat .314 in 1940, .341 a year later, and .303 in 1942. In all, he would bat a career .282 in Cuba from 1931 to 1954. He would also go 8 for 21 in an exhibition series against the Dodgers in 1942. I'm sure this is what originally brought him to the attention of the team.

On a side note, Tommy Lasorda once said he was one of the toughest hitters he ever faced in Cuba. Carl Erskine commented in an interview with Nick Diunte that
"he was a handsome guy, big. He was big for what we think of shortstops, [as opposed to] being willowy, loose and limber. He was a big man [and] had good power to right-center. I think his age might have been against him.”
Well, Erskine was half right. In 1945, during his search for the perfect man, Branch Rickey went to Cuba to meet with Silvio Garcia. Like with Jackie Robinson, Rickey gave Garcia a grilling. He wanted to know the man, and tossed scenario after scenario at him to see what his response would be. Details are fuzzy about specific questions, but one specific answer given by Garcia has withstood the test of time.

I have read numerous reports that he was asked about how he would deal directly with racist taunts, but it seems more likely he was asked what he would do if a white man slapped him on the face. As you know, Jackie Robinson said he would turn the other cheek. Garcia said something totally different. Silvio Garcia gave a simple and sincere response. He said, "I kill him." And with that, the interview was effectively over.

Blog Kiosk: 8/29/2011

Matt Kemp shows off his 30/30 Baseball. (Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo: LA Dodgers)

By the way, be sure to enter into the free drawing to win the Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club BandCD by going here and making a comment.
  • Check out Greg's story at Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle about camping out to meet Matt Kemp.
  • Via AJ Cassavell at MLB.com, Davey Lopes is the reason for the Dodgers success on the basepaths this season.
  • The demise of the lazy- Dioner Navarro. Per Dylan Hernandez, Navarro's lack of preparedness is the reason for his reassignment.
    "I believe in work, very simple," Mattingly said. "I believe you have to work and work and work — and that's if you're going good. I don't care who you are. Matt Kemp … has to keep getting after it. I just believe in that."
  • Matt Kemp is the Hero, But James Loney is the Conundrum, via Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness.
  • True to the Blue was at the recent Dee Gordon signing.
  • Cards That Never Were makes a 1957 Topps card for former Dodger Joe Black in a Senators uniform.
  • Dodger prospect, Kyle Russell, talks about his recent promotion, via Examiner.com.
  • Sports Card Info visited Williamsport to watch some Little League World Series games and to get some pins.
  • Nick Diunte writes a great feature on Carl Erskine at Examiner.com.
  • Then, watch Nick's interview with Carl Erskine as talks about how Cuba revolutionized his curveball. (Hat Tip: Examiner.com)

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