Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Casey Blake is Retiring

Casey Blake prior to game against the Reds Friday, June 3,2011. © Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers 2011

"The Beard" is hanging it up.  He told the Des Moines Register that he will retire from the game. 
Blake told the Des Moines Register that he has been leaning toward retiring, but stopped short of a decision until now.

“My wife (Abbie) has been telling people I’m retired, but I’ve kind of been giving her a look... But I think I knew in my heart that I am (retiring), but I just haven’t announced it.”
Casey Blake was able to provide the kind of quiet leadership a young Dodger team required.  He was grounded and down to earth, while leading the team to a first place finish in the NL West Division in 2009.  That year he batted .280 with 18 home runs and had a fielding percentage (.973) at thirdbase that is the best in all-time Dodgers history.  As a side note, we had to give up one of our best prospects, Carlos Santana, to pry him from the Indians, and as Santana's bat continues to shine there are those who will never forget that.  Nevertheless, I find it best to just ponder the power of "The Beard" instead of fretting about what could have been. 

Casey Blake, good luck to you on your future endeavors. 

(Hat Tip: MLB Trade Rumors)

Blog Kiosk: 5/8/2012

This is probably the coolest tote bag I have ever seen.  20,000 fans at Sundays game will receive a Andre Ethier bag in celebration of Mother's Day.
The Dodgers have been the talk of the baseball world this season, with the $2 billion sale of the organization and their league-best 17-8 record. However, as well as the team has played, they actually stand to improve their offense with a simple lineup tweak: Move Dee Gordon in front of the pitcher and bat A.J. Ellis near the top of the lineup.
There's this whole idea you're supposed to try to hit line drives all the time. Seems like you're swinging for the fences a bit now, no?

No, no. I'm actually not that good of a hitter when I try to hit the ball out of the ballpark. I'm not really good at swinging real hard. If you watch video, most of the time when I do drive the ball out of the ballpark, it's not one of those crazy, hard swings. It's just nice and easy.
  • If you haven't seen the Orel Hershiser Bobblehead yet, well here it is.
  • Wow!  There has been a good amount of violence at ballgames everywhere.  Check out this recent vid from Anaheim on Cinco de Mayo as two female Angels fans duke it out, via Huffington Post
  • 2012 Honorary Bat Girl contest winners have been chosen.  Lisa Nevolo-Lewis is the Dodgers winner.  From Quinn Roberts at MLB.
The program recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment of "Going to Bat" in the fight against the disease.

During MLB's annual Mother's Day national day of recognition, the Honorary Bat Girl will take part in pregame activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony and receive pink MLB merchandise, along with two tickets to the game.
  • Nomo's Sushi Platter shares some Dodgers autographed cards.
  • Kenley Jansen takes over the closer spot, via True Blue LA.
  • Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy has a video up featuring the recent autograph signing event with Kemp and Ethier at Frank & Sons.
  • Trey Parker of South Park is a huge Kings fan, and Puck Daddy has pics to prove it.  Heck, from my understanding the Kings are the only team in the league allowed to use South Park characters for in-game entertainment.

Collection: Steve Garvey Greats Autograph

You can never have too many Steve Garvey autographed cards in your collection.  After all, he was the face of the organization for so long.  Here is my 2004 Fleer Greats autographed card of the man once called "Mr. Clean."  Per the BaseballLibrary:
Garvey projected his Mr. Clean image to the nation in a TV interview before the 1974 World Series when he explained that "I always try to act as though there is a little boy or a little girl around, and I try never to do anything that would give them a bad example."
Of course, no one could every live up to a moniker like that.  As you know, Garvey would face a scandal after retiring from the game that included infidelity and the fathering of several children with other women.  Hence, the Sons of Steve Garvey.  Doh!  Anyway, I find it a little ironic that the man with a squeaky clean image only to be undone by a sex scandal would also be called "Senator" in the Dodger clubhouse due to his interest in politics. 

REA: Some Dodgers Rarities

Following up my post from last week featuring the artwork of Dick Perez, here are some Dodgers collectibles I saw in the current REA Auction that I thought were notable. 

This is one classy looking ticket stub.  It is from the first game at Ebbets Field from the 1916 World Series that showcased the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Boston Red Sox. 
This ticket commemorates the very first World Series game ever played at Ebbets Field and also the first World Series win in franchise history. Brooklyn fans would have to savor it, for it was the team's only victory in the Series that year. Jack Coombs defeated Carl Mays 4-3 in front of 21,087 fans, which was the smallest attendance figure of the Series.
With an opening bid of $400.00, it has already jumped to $1,300.00 with 4 days to go.

I can never say no to putting up an original Willard Mullin drawing of the Brooklyn Bum.  From the auction description:
Originally published in the July 8, 1946, issue of the New York World-Telegram, the artwork pictures the iconic "Brooklyn Bum" singing a fanciful tune about heading to that baseball heaven known as the "Big Rock Candy Mountain" (more commonly known as the World Series).
There is also a unique inscription on the bottom.  Again, from the auction description:
"To Th' Best Tenant I Ever Hopet' Have - Uncle Karl." Although there is no additional documentation accompanying the piece, we strongly believe the "Uncle Karl" referenced here is famed cartoonist Karl Hubenthal, who was Mullin's protégé and lifelong friend.
Click on the pic to embiggen.

This is a very scarce 1897 large sized Cameo Pepsin Gum pin featuring the Brooklyn Base Ball Club.  They were affectionately called the Brooklyn Bridegrooms then.