Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We're All Gonna Miss You, Gary

A couple of weeks ago the father of my best friend from college passed away.  Over the past several weeks everything was looking better, but in the end his heart could not hold on.  It was a tough time for my friend.  He was there for his Dad every step of the way, and I know the father of two will be sorely missed.  As my buddy told me, "he was a good man who had accomplished all that he had hoped to during his time on earth.  In the end, he had no regrets."  That is something I'm sure we all would want to say about ourselves when our time comes to pass.

As that evening rolled on, I made sure to give my condolences and provide the kind of support only a friend of 20+ years could give.  We talked about his life, and joked in a manner only those who know us could understand. 

Which is why I feel compelled to write this post.

My friend of 20+ years turned to me and asked, "so, are ya going to write a post about a Dodgers casket?"  I, of course, looked at him strangely.  I was both shocked and bemused.  Then, we had a laugh.  Apparently, he had spoken with his uncle who asked, in what my friend described as an excited manner, if I was going to write a post about the newest trend in memorial services.  So, in honor of my friend and the sense of humor his entire family continues to hold even in these times of grief, I share with you something any die-hard would love to spend their restful days in.

(pic link)

For those more inclined to finding an urn as a final resting place check this out. As strange as it is to write this, I must say that this thing is awesome.

Unfortunately, Gary (my buddies father) was an Angels fan.  So the below Angels urn will have to do.

On a side note, we use to joke how strange that was.  You see, although I am a Dodgers fan I have resided for most of my life in Orange County.  On the other hand, my friend and his father were Angels fans, but they had lived for most of their lives in Los Angeles.  Strange stuff, eh?

BTW, we are all Kings fans.  The last time I saw Gary we rejoiced in seeing our Kings finally win the Stanley Cup.  He had a true smile of happiness about that one.  So, I like to think they won it for him.  After all, don't we all want to see our team win it at least once before we die?

So, to Gary or Dancing Bear as he was called when he was a conductor in the rail road, I send you off in the best way a Baseball and hockey fan can.  You had the opportunity to witness a championship from both your Angels and Kings, and I am grateful for that. 
(pic link)

And I want to end this post by sharing a video I recently saw that I think we all can appreciate.  In the early 80's Sesame Street tackled the subject of death in one of their episodes when Will Lee (who played Mr. Hooper) died.  It's incredibly well done and is sure to cause some tears.  Man-O-Live, Sesame Street really is one of the greatest televisions shows around.

Sesame Street - I'm Gonna Miss You, Mr. Hooper! by Wrestlegameshow
Video Link:

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Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 8/29/2012

I'm not sure if I've ever seen this before.  Above is a canvas giclee painting of Vin Scully done by Stephen Holland. I found this on eBay.  This piece is numbered to an edition of 93, but I'm sure more affordable prints can be found.
 The people told USA TODAY Sports that Lo Duca alleges Seth and Sam Levinson, through their firm ACES Inc., introduced him to Radomski. Lo Duca also alleges a checking account was opened for Lo Duca to pay Radomski for steroids, human growth hormone, amphetamines and sexual-enhancement drugs, according to the people. The MLB probe is part of the investigation after the failed drug test and suspension of San Francisco Giants All-Star Melky Cabrera two weeks ago.
Scott Elbert on the 15-day disabled list with left elbow inflammation and recalled right-handed pitcher Shawn Tolleson from Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. 
  • Another major vintage Baseball card lot was found in Maine.  It goes on auction today.  Via The Morning Sentinel.
The card, found by an antiques picker from Kennebunk who asked the auction house not to identify him, is one of seven Old Judge Cigarette cabinet cards from the 1888 Boston Beaneaters that will be auctioned Wednesday by Saco River Auction. The Boston Beaneaters went on to be known as the Boston Braves and, eventually, the Atlanta Braves. 
  • John Ely has been named the PCL pitcher of the year, via @Dodgers on twitter.  Right now, I prefer to see him over Harang and Capuano.
(twitter link)
I’m not sure how you would define “enthusiastic.” I’m also not sure how you’d define “crazy.” I had back surgery a little more than two weeks before this year’s National, held in Baltimore Aug. 1-5. So when I got up at 4 a.m. to catch a commuter train to New York’s Penn Station, where I would catch the 6:05 a.m. Amtrak to Baltimore, I was wearing a neck brace. Yeah, I say enthusiastic. My wife and more sane people would say crazy. Not the first time I was called that, and probably not the last.

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Card of the Week: 1951 Bowman Paul Richards

This is probably one of the goofiest vintage drawings on a Baseball card ever made. Featured is former White Sox manager Paul Richards giving his best "outstretched-neck" rooster impression on a 1951 Bowman Baseball card. 

When I first saw this I couldn't figure out how an artist could fail so badly as to find this drawing acceptable.  That giant neck doesn't look natural.  Well, as luck would have it I ran into a photo of Paul Richards just a few years older (when he managed Baltimore) than this card that explains it.  Richards seemed to have a really long neck.  Check out that photo below.
(Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

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Hunt Auctions: A Branch Rickey Letter and a Bill Gallo Dodgers Cartoon

Here are a couple of Dodgers related memorabilia items currently available for sale through Hunt Auctions.  This auction closes in about a week. 

I consider Branch Rickey to be the greatest visionary to ever be involved in Baseball.  It was he who is credited with engineering Jackie Robinson's breaking of the color barrier in Baseball, and it was he who developed the modern minor league farm system.  Rickey had changed the game in ways no one else every had- or ever will.

Below is a 1945 letter from Rickey to former Dodger Eddie Stanky.  It is on Brooklyn Dodger letterhead and plainly refers to Stanky's contract dollars for the upcoming season.  Stanky was paid $5,500.00; which is worth about $66,000 in todays dollars.
(auction link)

Below is a great editorial cartoon drawn by former NY Daily News cartoonist Bill Gallo.  It features former Dodger manager Chuck Dressen being flicked by a giant hand, and includes the words: "They Shoulda Not -- Let Go Dressen!"  It is dated to 1954.
(auction link)

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The Limited Edition Vin Scully Bobblehead Speaks to You

Okay.  I am now officially envious.

Earlier this month, during the Sandy Koufax bobblehead game, I shared that there were two different bobbleheads being given out that day.  See that story here.  There was the normal one we all knew about and a limited edition version of Sandy in his iconic pose holding 4 Baseballs signifying his 4 no-hitters.

Now, I discovered through an eBay search that there is also a limited edition Vin Scully bobblehead, and I want it bad.  See that auction here.  At the time of this posting with a little over a day left it is already up to $265.00.  A bit too pricey if you ask me.

See photos of the bobble above and below.

As you've noticed.  It looks exactly like the normal bobblehead, but has an added twist.  See the wires and plastic switch contraption on the back?

Well, this limited edition Vin Scully bobblehead has a recording player that plays Vin Scully call of Kirk Gibson's 1988 World Series home run.

I kid you not!  This bobblehead talks.  The seller helpfully provides a video of the bobblehead in action.  Watch it below.  It's likely that once the auction is over the video below will disappear so act quick and watch it now.

Notice how the seller touches the Baseball on Vin's right to get it talking.  This bobblehead couldn't be cooler.

Here are some more pics of this bobblehead.

BTW, these limited edition bobbleheads are numbered to just 3,000.  According to the seller they were available through some special Dodger Stadium ticket package.  I am not entirely sure which one the seller speaks of, but I wish I knew the Dodgers were doing this.  I would have jumped on it immediately.  UPDATE:  The Sons of Steve Garvey on twitter sheds some light on the ticket program by providing a link to it.  I was completely oblivious to this.
(eBay link)
(eBay link)

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