Friday, March 09, 2012

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training- Day 17

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS (2-1-1) vs. TEXAS RANGERS (2-3)

Friday, March 9, 2012 – 1:05 p.m., Surprise Stadium

LHP Clayton Kershaw vs. LHP Martin Perez

Spring Game 5/Road Game 3


Todays Starting Lineup:
Dodgers: Gordon SS, Hairston Jr. 3B, Kemp CF, Rivera DH, Ethier RF, Sands 1B, Sellers 2B, A.J. Ellis C, Van Slyke LF
Rangers: Kinsler 2B, Andrus SS, Hamilton CF, Beltre DH, Young 3B, Cruz RF, Murphy LF, Torrealba C, Moreland 1B
Upcoming Spring Training Schedule:
(Matt Guerrier plays video games w/ troops in Afghanistan as part of the Pros vs. GI Joes Program, via Twitter Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2012)
  • IN FOR A SURPRISE: The Dodgers will bus to Surprise today for their first of two meetings this spring with the two-time defending AL-champion Texas Rangers. The two clubs will have a rematch one week from today at Camelback Ranch – Glendale and haven’t met in the regular season since 2009, when the Dodgers took two of three in Arlington. Los Angeles holds an 11-9 advantage in their all-time meetings.

  • SHOWING THEIR ATHLETIC SIDE: Los Angeles rallied for two runs in the first inning off Oakland prospect Jarrod Parker and cruised to a 7-2 victory yesterday over the A’s at Camelback Ranch. Mark Ellis drove in two against his former teammates as did one-time Oakland prospect Andre Ethier, who continued his hot spring with his third extra-base hit in as many games (two doubles, home run). Chris Capuano struck out three in 2.0 scoreless innings in his Dodger debut and Todd Coffey fanned two in his 1-2-3 inning of relief after his signature sprint in from the bullpen.

(A slugging Matt Kemp, pic credit Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2012)

  • LONE STAR LEFTY: Dallas native Clayton Kershaw makes his first official start of the spring against his hometown team today after striking out five in 2.0 innings in an intrasquad game on Sunday. Kershaw, who turns 24 on March 19, looks to continue his momentum from the end of last season after he went 8-0 with a 0.96 ERA (7 ER/65.2 IP) and a .192 opponents’ batting average over his last nine 2011 starts. The eight straight wins represent a career-long winning streak for the left-hander. The Highland Park High School graduate took home a number of awards last season, including a Rawlings Gold Glove and the NL Cy Young Award, but was also honored in his hometown by winning the Texas Professional Baseball Player of the Year Award for the second time in the last three years.

  • THE BULLPEN: RHP Ryan Tucker, a Burbank native, will get the chance to face his old teammates today after earning an American League Championship ring with Texas last season. The 25-year-old, who was selected by Florida with the 34th overall pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, spent the entire 2011 season in the Ranger organization and appeared in five games with the big league club. In addition to Tucker, RHP Ronald Belisario, RHP Josh Wall, RHP Fernando Nieve, RHP Angel Guzman, LHP Scott Rice and LHP Matt Chico are expected to follow Kershaw to the mound this afternoon.

(Dee Gordon on deck, pic credit via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2012)

  • THIS IS YOUR CHANCE!: Major League Baseball has launched its fourth annual Honorary Bat Girl contest. Fans are encouraged to visit HonoraryBatGirl.com to submit stories online about how they, or someone they know, are “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” in their daily life and why they would like to be an "Honorary Bat Girl" for their favorite MLB Club this Mother’s Day. Nominations and voting end on April 5, so log on today and make someone’s dream come true.

  • DRESS TO IMPRESS: The Dodgers will host the 17th annual Community Job Fair tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. at Dodger Stadium. Last year, more than 3,600 people found employment at the free event, which features more than 100 companies. Applicants are encouraged to wear appropriate business attire, bring copies of their resume and visit LACommunityJobFair.com
    for more information.
  • IT’S GETTING CLOSER: The 3rd annual Dodgertown Classic is just four days away and will take place on Tuesday, March 13 at Dodger Stadium with UC Irvine taking on Pepperdine at 2:00 p.m. and USC battling their crosstown rival UCLA at 6:30 p.m. There will be discounted concessions and free parking with an all-day ticket costing only $7 in advance and $12 on gameday.

  • GONE CAMPING: The Dodgers Dream Foundation will host two four-day sessions of the Dodgers Youth Baseball Camp this summer at Dodger Stadium. All campers will be instructed by members of the Dodgers Major League coaching staff, as well as Dodger Alumni, on the finer points of baseball, from hitting, running, fielding and throwing. During camp current Dodger players will visit to talk on a number of topics including the importance of school, sportsmanship and what it is like to be a professional baseball player. Session 1 will be held July 12, 13, 16 & 17 and Session 2 will be held August 3, 6, 7 & 8. Camp is open for boys & girls ages 7 - 12 years old. Limited spots are available, register today at www.dodgers.com/camp.

2012 Topps Opening Day- The Dodgers Within

As noted previously, this set is fairly "ho-hum." It really doesn't excite me much and I think the collecting world would be better off if they were never made. Unfortunately, I don't control the cog at Topps, so I have no control over such things. Still, couldn't they at least use different photos than what is available in Topps current flagship card set?

The above cards are the 6 Dodger base cards and you will notice they are exactly the same as the normal Topps base card set released in early February. In fact, the only difference is the little "Opening Day" logo on the bottom right of each card.

On the other hand, this base set does provide something new. On the bottom left is our first glimpse at a 2012 Clayton Kershaw base card. The Series 1 set released previously did not include Kershaw.

For Dodger fans there really isn't much to be happy about when it comes to limited insert cards. Check out the only ones you will find. No relics or autographs are known at this time. Below is a Opening Day Fantasy Squad insert card of Matt Kemp.
The next two are Opening Day Stars cards of Kemp and Kershaw. These are 3D cards that are similar to the Sportsflix cards made in the late 80's.
Other than the Kershaw base card I mentioned above, this card below may be the only reason this set even enters my mind. Here is a Superstar Celebration card of a, I assume, walk-off win. I love that they captured him sporting one of those throwback uniforms from last season.

Hake's Auctions: Awesome Baseball Collectibles

I've got Hake's Auction on my mind this week. Here is my third post (see 1 & 2) featuring items from their current auction and I think it's important to note that this might be the most fun of the three. This time I feature some very cool Baseball collectibles. Check them out below.

I happen to love vintage Baseball figurines and this grouping is beyond awesome. Originally produced in 1958 it features 6 cartoon characters playing ball. The come from the Studios of Walter Lantz- creator of such lovable characters as Woody Woodpecker and Chilly Willy.

Includes Woody Woodpecker pitching, Wally Walrus catching, Oswald as umpire, Knothead & Splinter cheering at bat rack, Andy Panda batting, and Chilly Willy selling popcorn and peanuts.
(Auction Link)

Circa 1930's Mickey Mouse figurines from Japan in a Baseball theme are below.

For some reason I really like this two postcards. They both come from the collection of Richard Merkin, who I wrote about previously, and feature some rather large fellows playing ball.
First is dated June 30, 1908 on reverse showing "World's Largest Ball Player. Member Of Citizens Baseball Team Weight 450lbs. Emporium, Pa." Several different in this series by Weiman. This one shows player in uniform holding bat at home plate. Second postcard is c. 1910 showing ten member team in "Fat Mens Amusement Co." uniform on field with crowd in bkg. Mostly obese men as well as one little person.
These are likely related to a couple of barnstorming teams from the early part of the 20th Century.
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