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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