Thursday, February 28, 2013

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: A Laker and a Hall of Fame Padre

Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.


Lakers Forward, Jordan Hill will be meeting with fans on Saturday, March 2, 2013 from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM.  He will be posing for photos and signing autographs for the 1st 200 lucky fans!
213 North Glendale Avenue
Glendale, CA 91206
Hat Tip: LA Inspiration


Hall of Famer, Tony Gwynn, will be down in San Diego on Saturday, March 2, 2013 from 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM.  More information can be found here.
El Cajon Ford
1595 East Main Street
El Cajon, Ca 92021
(619) 579-8888
Hat Tip: LA Inspiration

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Here's Some More Details on the New Dodger Stadium Video Screens

As you all know, Dodger Stadium is going through a major facelift.  They are rebuilding the clubhouse areas, seating, the bathrooms, etc.  On top of that, the Dodgers are replacing the outfield video screens.  Today, the developer, ANC Sports, has passed along some additional details
  • They will debut the first 10mm 1080p surface mount light emitting diode (LED) displays in baseball - featuring physical pixels which are closer together than any other large display in MLB and driven by a 1080p high-definition feed, the Dodger Stadium video screens’ will feature some of the clearest images around the League.  
  • ANC will deploy a high-definition video screen in both right and left field of MLB’s 3rd oldest ballpark. Both displays are designed in the historic hexagonal shape of the stadium’s original scoreboard and will feature a total active viewing area of approximately 2488 square feet.
  • The new hexagonal shaped displays measure 77.69 feet wide with varying degrees of height. In the center, the video screens are approximately 38 feet high while the ends of the screens measure approximately 24 feet high.
  • The new scoreboard structures will also feature a 10mm LED strip measuring approximately 6’ high by 69’ wide beneath each video screen. Complementing the scoreboards, ANC is integrating two outfield video wall displays, each measuring approximately 6 feet high by 61 feet wide and an LED ribbon system along the club fascia that runs for 1121 feet. The entire display system will be capable of seamlessly transitioning between statistics, animated content, sponsor engagement and fan interaction.  
  • ANC will provide the Dodgers with a home plate and field level rotational system, including banner printing, installation and signage operation.
Below is an artist rendering of the new screens.  The ANC Sports website can be found here.

Something tells me that it'll be quite a sight when these new boards are up and running.

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Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 6/ Home Game 4

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
Los Angeles Angels (0-4-2)LOS ANGELES DODGERS (2-1-2)
Thursday, February 28, 2013 – 1:05 p.m. | Camelback Ranch, Glendale, AZ
LHP Clayton Kershaw vs. RHP Jerome Williams

(twitter link: @Dodgers)
(pic link: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2012)

START A STREAK: Fresh off a road victory, the Dodgers host the Angels this afternoon at Camelback Ranch, before sending a split squad to Tempe tomorrow and wrapping up a two-game Cactus League set with their I-5 neighbors. The Freeway series will then take place from March 28-30, including the 2013 Dodger Stadium opener on March 29. The Dodgers face the Angels in the regular season on May 27 and 28 at Dodger Stadium and May 29 and 30 at Angel Stadium. Last season, the Halos went 4-2 against the Boys in Blue, taking two of three in both series. In case you were wondering and I know you were, there are just 32 days until Opening Day!
  •  The Dodgers popped off for 11 runs yesterday, including three hits apiece for Alfredo Amezaga and Elian Herrera and three RBI for Jerry Hairston Jr. In addition, outfielder Alex Castellanos belted his second home run of the spring and Yasiel Puig scored three runs. On the mound, Matt Magill was impressive again, tossing 2.0 scoreless innings while RHP Javy Guerra made his 2013 debut with a scoreless frame.  
HILLTOPPERS: Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw will make his second Cactus League start after allowing two runs and four hits in 2.0 innings to the White Sox last Saturday. The left-hander will attempt to become the first pitcher to win three consecutive Major League ERA titles since Greg Maddux accomplished the feat from 1993-95 as a member of the Braves.
  • LHP Ted Lilly is set to make his 2013 debut today. Lilly won five of his first seven starts without a loss last season, but did not pitch again due to left shoulder inflammation after suffering his first defeat on May 23. 
  • RHP Peter Moylan will make his second spring appearance after giving up two runs in 0.2 innings last Sunday vs. the Chicago White Sox. Moylan has a career record of 20-9 with a 2.59 ERA over 295 games with the Atlanta Braves.  
  • RHP Josh Wall will also make his second Cactus League appearance after firing 1.1 scoreless innings and striking out two in his debut last Sunday. Wall picked up the win in his Major League debut last season on July 22 at Citi Field, but was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque the next day.
  • RHP Steve Ames fired a scoreless frame last Sunday and is set to make his second 2013 appearance. Ames was added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster on Nov. 20, 2012 after going 3-3 with a 1.56 ERA and 18 saves in 54 games for Double-A Chattanooga last season.   
(pic link: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2012)

GET YOUR BIG LEAGUE ON: The Dodgers will have three minor leaguers joining the club vs. the Angels today with right-handed pitchers Andres Santiago (#92) and Blake Johnson  (#83) coming over along with LHP Fabio Castro (#82). Johnson notched a save in the Dodgers’ first win of the spring after being signed out of the open tryout in 2012.
  • Speaking of the open tryout, more than 80 Dodger hopefuls came out to test their wares on the minor league side this morning. Among those who showed off for the Dodger scouts were a 54-year-old local pitcher, a 40+-year-old Japanese professional hurler and Iraq war veteran Daniel “Doc” Jacobs, who lost his left leg below the knee and suffered serious hand and foot injuries when an IED exploded beneath him in 2006. Jacobs has sustained more than 50 surgeries, but has returned to his naval infantry and for one day at least was able to try out for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jacobs will also throw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to today’s game. 
LET’S GET IT GOING DODGER FANS!: Dodger center fielder Matt Kemp advanced to the finals of MLB Network’s #FaceofMLB and is currently trailing Cincinnati’s Joey Votto in MLB Network’s bracket to decide who the Face of MLB is. The online hashtag battle (#MattKemp) runs through tomorrow. Start tweeting!

LEGENDS ARRVING: The Dodgers would like to welcome Special Advisor to the Chairman and medical pioneer Dr. Frank Jobe to Camelback Ranch today. Jobe arrived a day before Eric Karros, who will be in uniform tomorrow, speaking to the club in the morning meeting.


HE COMES FROM A LAND DOWN UNDER: The Dodgers would like to welcome former outfielder Trent Oeltjen back to Camelback Ranch today. The Sydney, Australia native was a Dodger from 2010-12 and is now a non-roster invitee for the Angels.

WORTH WATCHING: Today’s game will be broadcast live on PRIME TICKET and heard on AM 570 Fox Sports Los Angeles. This morning, Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully sat down with legendary Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax for a brief interview that will air on PRIME TICKET this afternoon.
(pic link: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2012)

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Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 2/28/2013

The above pic is from Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo.  Check out more of his photos from yesterday on his blog, here.
  • Today is the Dodgers' open tryouts at Camelback Ranch and CBS has a great story about a wounded veteran who is there to show off his stuff.  Check it out here.
Calling the opportunity a “dream”, Jacobs will take his skills to Dodgers spring training in Arizona after an invitation from Dodger legend Tommy Lasorda, whom he met at a California Disabled Veterans Business Alliance meeting and shared his dream.

“He can hit major league pitching,” said friend and former Angels star pitcher Justin Speier. “I have seen it first hand.”
  • Alex Cora at Sons of Steve Garvey is stalking Sandy Koufax.
  • Mark Langill, the Dodgers official historian, tells us that today is the anniversary of the infamous living room boxing match in Cuba between pitcher Hugh Casey and Ernest Hemingway... Yes, the writer.  Hemingway was considered one heck of a crazy drunk, so when he offered up a duel (with whatever weapon Casey wanted) the next evening Hugh declined.
  • Mattingly is pleased with Hanley Ramirez's work at shortstop, via Bill Plunkett at the OC Register.
"Wally's (Tim Wallach) totally happy with his effort and what he's looking like," Mattingly said. "We film it and look at it pretty much every day. We're real happy with where he's going.
The showdown on a frigid afternoon at Yale Field was not the only time the Yale baseball team played host to a star-studded major league squad. But watching the Bulldogs come tantalizingly close to knocking off a Brooklyn Dodgers team coming off a 104-win season made for one of the most scintillating baseball games played at the historic facility.
  • Panini just released some preview pics of a new Baseball card product that they'll be releasing shortly (in April, I think) called 2012 Prizm Baseball; including the Kemp card below.  As you can see, they will be very shiny cards.  Shiny enough to blind you.
  • Grantland tackles the Mona Lisa of Baseball cards in their newest '30 for 30 Documentary Series' called the "The Holy Grail: The T206 Honus Wagner."
  • The Topps Archives stumbled across a rare find - a 1967 Topps Venezuelan Baseball card album. This is arguably one of the more iconic foreign made Baseball card sets; due primarily to the 'Retirado' subset filled with Hall of Famers.
  • Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy post up a couple of ESPN videos featuring the Dodgers as a part of their '30 Clubs in 30 Days' series.

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Hake's Auction: A 1955 Barnstorming Vintage Photo of the Willie Mays All-Stars

Hake's Auctions has, of late, been a depository of some incredible vintage Baseball artifacts.  Over the past couple of years they have had the honor of selling off numerous pieces from the Baseball collection of Richard Merkin- who was noted for having one of the greatest collections of Negro League related material. 

Featured below is a press photo taken by Tennessee photographer Ernest Withers of the 1955 Willie Mays All-Stars. The salaries for players from MLB clubs was not enough to cover the winter months.  So, during the off-season many players continued playing Baseball on barnstorming teams throughout North America. 
(auction link)

As you can see, these Major Leaguers wore their respective team uniforms when they played across the country with this team.  Dodger hurler Don Newcombe is on the top row, far left; and former Dodger Joe Black is directly on Newcombe's left.  Also, Dodger outfielder Jim Gilliam is on the front row, on the far left. Click on the pic above to embiggen, and go here to see this auction.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 5/ Road Game 2

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS (1-1-2) at Chicago Cubs (3-1)
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 – 1:05 p.m. | Hohokam Park, Mesa, AZ
RHP Aaron Harang vs. LHP Brooks Raley
(twitter link: @Dodgers)
(pic link: Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2013)

HIT THE ROAD!: The Dodgers travel to Mesa today for their first true road game of the spring as they meet the Cubs for the second time in three days after Los Angeles’ 7-6 win on Monday at Camelback Ranch. After today, the clubs will meet two more times this spring and then seven times during the regular season, Aug. 1-4, at Wrigley Field and Aug. 26-28 at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles won the season series, 4-2, last season and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Dodgers hold a slim, 1,028-1,023-14, advantage in the franchises’ 2,065 all-time meetings. In case you were wondering and I know you were, there are just 33 days until Opening Day!
  • The Giants rallied for four runs in the ninth inning yesterday to tie the Dodgers, 8-8. Los Angeles batted around during a five-run second inning that knocked Tim Lincecum out of the game and also plated three runs in the sixth inning on Alex Castellanos’ three-run homer. Skip Schumaker and non-roster hopeful Jeremy Moore both hit two-run doubles during the club’s second-inning rally with Moore going 2-for-2 with two doubles, a run scored and two RBI on the afternoon. On the mound, Josh Beckett threw 27 pitches and struck out three in 2.0 scoreless frames in his first start of the spring.
HILLTOPPERS: Aaron Harang will make his 2013 debut this afternoon after going 10-10 with a career-best 3.61 ERA in 31 starts last season with the Dodgers. Harang made just one start against the Cubs last year and did not factor in the decision despite allowing just two runs in 6.0 innings in an eventual 4-3 Dodger loss on May 6 at Wrigley Field. In his career, the 35-year-old right-hander has thrown more innings against the Cubs than any other big league club (165.2 IP), going 11-8 with a 4.40 ERA in 26 starts against Chicago.
  • RHP Ronald Belisario is expected to make his second appearance of the spring this afternoon after allowing two runs on three hits in 1.0 inning on Saturday against the White Sox. Belisario did not allow a hit or a run in three appearances against the Cubs last season, walking one and striking out four in 3.0 frames.
  • RHP Mark Lowe tossed a scoreless inning on Saturday against the White Sox and will be making his second appearance of the spring. Lowe, a seven-year big league veteran, is in his first season with Los Angeles after two-plus years with the Rangers.
  • RHP Javy Guerra will make his 2013 debut today after having his 2012 season cut short by an oblique injury. Guerra has been successful in 29 of 36 save opportunities in his career and his 2.45 ERA is the 15th lowest mark among NL relievers during the past two seasons.
  • RHP Matt Magill enters the season rated as the Dodgers’ No. 9 prospect by Baseball America and will make his second appearance of the spring after striking out three in 1.1 scoreless frames on Saturday against the White Sox. Magill was a 2012 Double-A Southern League All-Star and was honored as the league’s pitcher of the week on three occasions last year, going 11-8 with a 3.75 ERA in 26 starts for Chattanooga.
(pic link: Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2013)

LET’S GET IT GOING DODGER FANS!: Dodger center fielder Matt Kemp advanced to the finals of MLB Network’s #FaceofMLB and is currently trailing Cincinnati’s Joey Votto in MLB Network’s bracket to decide who the Face of MLB is. The online hashtag battle (#MattKemp) runs through Friday. Start tweeting!

TODAY ON THE DIAL: None TODAY ON THE TUBE: None LACE ‘EM UP: Tomorrow morning is the Dodgers’ annual open tryout in which any ballplayer can come to the fields and attempt to earn a minor league contract. Registration will begin promptly at 8 a.m. with the tryout taking place at 9 a.m. on the minor league back fields. Players just have to bring their own uniform and then dazzle the staff.

: The Dodgers will have six minor leaguers joining the club in Mesa today with outfielder Matt Angle (#82), infielders Rafael Ynoa (#83) and Rusty Ryal (#84) and pitchers RHP Angel Sanchez (#87), LHP Eric Eadington (#88) and RHP Red Patterson (#89). Today will be a homecoming of sorts for Eadington, Patterson and Ynoa, who played in Mesa during their stints last fall in the Arizona Fall League. Ynoa, 25, led the Solar Sox with a .330 batting average, 32 hits, four triples, 20 RBI in 27 games.

WORTH WATCHING: Today’s game will not be televised or on the radio in Los Angeles, but tomorrow’s 1:05 pm game (12:05 pm PT) can be seen on PRIME TICKET and heard on AM 570 Fox Sports Los Angeles. During tomorrow’s telecast, an excerpt of a special interview will air featuring a pair of Hall of Famers, Vin Scully and Sandy Koufax.
  • Yesterday, team photographer Jon SooHoo shot a once-in-a-lifetime photo with legendary Dodgers Maury Wills and Sandy Koufax, Hall of Fame broadcasters Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin, Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda and Team Travel Advisor Billy Delury that represented more than three hundred combined years of service to the club. That photo along with SooHoo’s daily photo galleries can be viewed on
(pic link: Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2013)
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Dodgers' Open Tryouts Tomorrow!

I know this is a late note, but for those of you who think you have the right stuff to wear Dodger Blue might want to drop what you're doing and head over to Arizona - like now!  Tomorrow is the Dodgers' annual open tryout.  Anybody can come to the field in hopes of "wowing" the Dodgers' staff. 

Registration starts at 8:00 AM and the tryout begins an hour later at 9:00 AM on the minor league back fields.  You must bring your own uniform and equipment.

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Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 2/27/2013


Chris Olds at shares even more pics from 2012 Panini National Treasures Baseball.  This set officially goes live today, so you should be able to find them in hobby stores soon, if not now.  Above are Duke Snider and Burleigh Grimes game-used jersey button cards, and below are Leo Durocher and Wee Willie Keeler book cards.  BTW, I believe the Snider card above is a base card.  Also, this set is not licensed by MLB, so you will not see any team logos.  Nevertheless, the cards that I have seen look very sharp and I hardly miss the logos.
The Dodgers might be losing a few runs here or there due to Hanley Ramirez playing at shortstop despite his bad range to his right. With a good defender to his right, though, that negativity is mitigated. And by showing him a little positivity, maybe the Dodgers will reap the best Ramirez has to offer. 
“We have an awful lot of celebrities at our games,” Kasten said. “People that I know from TV and movies. … You associate that with the Lakers; you see them at courtside and you see them dolled up like they’re going to a Hollywood premiere. All the makeup, all the glamour, all the jewelry and all of that. Those same people come to Dodger games. You don’t notice it because they’re in jeans and a T-shirt and a baseball cap without a lot of frills. I’m telling you, I have met star after star after star of TV shows and movies and they are blending in because there’s a different way to go to a baseball game — a more comfortable, more relaxing, more natural way — than to other events.”
It’s unclear if the league would want the Dodgers to leave Chavez Ravine if an NFL team moved in. Guggenheim is planning to spend a low-nine-figure sum renovating Dodger Stadium, so that would seem an odd investment if the stadium were to be torn down to make way for an NFL venue.
I don't mean to go on a rant here, but as far as I'm concerned the NFL gave Angelenos a big "middle finger" when they let those other teams leave, and as a result I could give a flying "f***" if a NFL team ever comes back to LA.  I am a firm believer that NO citizen (tax dollar) funds should ever be used to build a stadium; especially after witnessing what the Marlins owner did to Miami.  I consider the spending of those funds for that purpose to be welfare for millionaires, with little prospect of a fair return for taxpayers.
An increasingly rare opportunity to witness one of the legends who played in the Negro Leagues tell their story live and in-person came to Mt. Calvary Baptist Church on Saturday in Mullica Hill, N.J. Eighty-eight-year-old Rev. William “Bill” Greason, former pitcher for the Birmingham Black Barons and St. Louis Cardinals, delivered an impressive sermon for their "Take the Mystery out of Black History" event in which baseball, race, and spirituality were effortlessly intertwined.

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Another New Vin Scully Baseball Card from Panini

For the second time in as many months Panini releases a Baseball card set that includes a Vin Scully insert card for adoring fans to gawk over.  Check it out above.  This past November they released their Cooperstown set that included a Scully insert and autographed card (see them here).

It is from Panini's 2012 National Treasures Baseball set (see a complete checklist here), and it officially becomes available today at your local hobby store.  Apparently, this is the only card of him in the entire set, and it is very limited (just to 20 copies).  As you can see, it includes Scully's portrait and an autograph "cut" from one of his old banking checks.

BTW, National Treasures is a very high-end Baseball card set.  An unopened box of cards will run you about $350.00, and you get only one pack it it.  So, this is definitely for collectors with some cash to burn.  On the plus side, that one pack is filled with "hits" - literally.  Each pack includes 8 cards, and all 8 cards will either have a relic, autograph or a combination of the two.  Heck, even the base cards are hits.  Hopefully, by the end of the week I'll have pics of all of them to share here.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 2/26/013

AJ Ellis and Don Mattingly head out to the field in the photo above taken by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013.  See more of his pics from yesterday over here.
‘‘So if that’s what they’re doing, great. If they’re taking guys coming off Tommy John, that’s taking a crapshoot. You don’t know. . . .

‘‘But the success rate has been so good that I wouldn’t hesitate today.’’
"I could play for the worst team if they paid the most," Greinke said in an interview with "If the last-place team offers $200 million and the first-place team offers $10, I'm going to go for the $200 million no matter what team it was."
  • I'm in utter disbelief.  Panini release more preview pics of their 2012 National Treasures Baseball cards that includes a bunch of incredible bat-knob cards.  Go here to see them all.  Hall of Fame bat-knob cards include Ty Cobb, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Honus Wagner and Lou Gehrig, and some of the nobs even have MEARS authenticity stickers attached. 

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Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 4/Home Game 3

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.

San Francisco Giants (1-1-1) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (1-1-1)
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 – 1:05 p.m., Camelback Ranch – Glendale
RHP Tim Lincecum vs. RHP Josh Beckett
(twitter link: @Dodgers)

(pic link: Koufax, Colletti, Kasten and Lasorda, Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013)

JUST A SNEAK PEAK: The Dodgers and Giants square off this afternoon in the first of two Cactus League meetings this spring with the other coming on March 8 in Scottsdale as part of a split-squad tussle. Those two games are just a couple of appetizers, however, as the main course will be when the Giants visit Los Angeles on April 1 in the Dodgers’ 56th home opener in L.A. In case you were wondering and I know you were, there are just 34 days until Opening Day!
  • The Dodgers came from behind and beat the Cubs 7-6 yesterday as Omar Luna’s eighth-inning single plated Nick Evans with the eventual game-winning run. Paco Rodriguez worked out of a jam in the eighth inning to record his first-ever Cactus League win and minor leaguer Blake Johnson notched a save by working a scoreless ninth.
  • The Dodgers will send right-hander Josh Beckett to the mound today against Tim Lincecum. Following Beckett to the hill in their spring debuts this afternoon will be RHP Brandon League, RHP Kenley Jansen and LHP J.P. Howell. RHP Gregory Infante will make is scheduled to make his second Cactus League appearance.  
  • Los Angeles will have five players venturing over from the minor league side today to suit up with the Major League club: RHP Angel Castro (#95), LHP Fabio Castro (#81), infielder Rusty Ryal (#83), RHP Angel Sanchez (#82) and RHP Mario Santiago (#88).
THE OTHER BIG TEXAN: Former World Series and ALCS MVP Josh Beckett will make his 2013 debut this afternoon. Beckett went 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA in seven starts with Los Angeles last season after coming over in an Aug. 25 trade with Boston. The right-hander made one start against the Giants, allowing four runs in 6.1 innings last Sept. 7 in San Francisco .Beckett posted a 2.65 ERA (11 ER/37.1 IP) in September and went 3-4 with a 2.97 ERA in nine combined starts against NL opponents last season. Since 2005, Beckett’s 106 victories rank sixth in the Major Leagues over that time, trailing just C.C. Sabathia (137), Roy Halladay (132), Justin Verlander (124), Dan Haren (113) and Cliff Lee (108).
(pic link: Juan Uribe on 1st, Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013)

TIME TO DIG THE LONG BALL: Through three games, the Dodgers have just one home run, courtesy of Luis Cruz, who belted one on Sunday. Today’s starting lineup combined for 85 homers in 2013, led by Hanley Ramirez’s 24.
  • The Dodgers’ 116 homers last year ranked 29th in baseball. The only team who hit fewer home runs than Los Angeles was the World Champion San Francisco Giants (103).
  • Cruz was a late scratch and was sent home due to the stomach flu. He was replaced in the lineup by DH Tim Federowicz and Juan Uribe will move to third base. 
OLD FRIENDS: Former Dodgers Scott Proctor and Wilson Valdez are on the Giants’ travel squad today. Proctor and Valdez were teammates in blue on the 2007 Dodgers, after Proctor was a trade deadline acquisition and Valdez was recalled in September.
  • Today’s starting third baseman for the Dodgers is Juan Uribe, who played in San Francisco from 2009-10, driving in nine postseason runs on the way to helping the Giants win their first World Series in the Bay Area. Uribe started at first base yesterday and played 3.0 innings, going 0-for-2. On Saturday, his line-drive single was the first Cactus League hit for Los Angeles.
LET’S GET IT GOING DODGER FANS!: Dodger center fielder Matt Kemp advanced to the finals of MLB Network’s #FaceofMLB and is currently trailing Cincinnati’s Joey Votto in MLB Network’s bracket to decide who the Face of MLB is. The online hashtag battle (#MattKemp) runs through Friday. Start tweeting!

RADIO FLYERS: Today’s 1:05 p.m. (12:05 p.m. PT) game will be called by Charley Steiner and Rick Monday and can be heard on AM 570 Fox Sports Los Angeles, which will also feature Dodger Talk with Kevin Kennedy, David Vassegh and Jorge Jarrin tonight at 7:00 p.m. PT.

ADMIRING THE SCENERY: If you have been to the Camelback Ranch Major League building over the years, it will be easy to notice a few changes to the interior that jump out at you in 2013. In addition to the blue paint that now adorns most of the office walls, framed pictures of past Dodger yearbooks, media guides and Sports Illustrated covers now hang in the building. In Dodger manager Don Mattingly’s office,  framed black and white photos of each Dodger skipper in franchise history rests over the couch. Today, Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully stopped by to see Mattingly and Dodger GM Ned Colletti, spinning yarns about rooming with Leo Durocher in Vero Beach, Burt Shotton’s suits and Charlie Dressen’s perfect attendance at church.

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Will George Shuba Get Snubbed?

In 2007, I wrote a blog post focused on an important barrier breaking event related to the breaking of Baseball's color-line.  And no, I'm not talking about the Pee Wee Reese arm-over-the-shoulder event.  Instead, I mentioned an instance that occurred a year before Pee Wee's famous embrace. 

In 1946, George Shuba had shook the hand of a black man, in what had been described as the first interracial handshake in professional Baseball.  Of course, this is a bit of a dubious claim since the term professional would include paid-for-play barnstorming ballplayers, and interracial games and mixed-race teams were not that uncommon prior to Jackie Robinson's rise to fame.  Still, when it comes to Major League play (including the minors) this moment has some resonance.

Unfortunately, this innocuous act by Shuba has seemingly disappeared from the history books.  Rarely is it spoken about in the same breath as Pee Wee's moment, and as one commentator has noted, it is likely this event will be passed over in the upcoming Jackie Robinson movie, '42'. 

From a comment left by an anonymous reader:
I just received the official movie novel book by scholastic.

I wanted to see where they have the Handshake moment in it, well guess what, it's not in the book . Wow.. They just didn't talk about George shaking Jackie's hand at the moment never happened ! The Book says "Jackie was not in a hurry running the bases, especially with two of this teammates making their way ahead of him. Both of them turned and waited for him once they'd crossed home plate, and shook his hand as he joined them" well this never happened , the two so called teammates did not shake Jackie's hand, they crossed home plate about 15 feet away and turned and watched to see if George "Shotgun" Shuba would shake Jackie's hand, they did not shake Jackie's hand, they didn't want to. So looks like someone has History wrong, just look at the associated press photo's web page and you can see a wide angle photo of the moment, it clearly shows the two so called teammates back from homeplate, one on his knees behind the other watching ,waiting to see if George would do it.
All I can say is this is unfortunate.  I can understand making Reese's embrace a major focal point, but I do not understand why Shuba's act is glossed over.  I guess it's all about the remaking of history to fit within the short attention spans of todays entertainment obsessed culture.

Sure, the new Robinson movie will likely be awesome and worthy of your time, but please keep in mind that it will not provide the full story- just a simplified version of it.

BTW, the pic above is of that handshake and is taken from Shuba's official website, here.

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Young Dreams Fullfilled at Spring Training

Little 4-year old Christian has previously been pictured on this blog showing off his superior skills on the ballfield.  Well, a couple of weekends ago he had a chance to show off his Baseball prowess for the Baseball Wizard, Tommy Lasorda, and his mother was kind enough to pass along some pics. 

First of all, Tommy wasn't the only person to notice Christian.  As you can see in the photo above, Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo also took note of Christian and shared a couple of pics of him throwing on his photoblog.  Heck, even Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy caught a glimpse of Christian and shared his own photo.  Below are some additional pics of Christian with Tommy and highly-ranked prospect Yasiel Puig.

Here, Tommy shares some wisdom with the young tyke.

Even, better, you can hear what Lasorda had to say to Christian in the video below.  Again, I'd like to extend a big thank you to Christian and his mother for allowing me to share these pics.

Video Link:

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 3/Home Game 2

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
Chicago Cubs (2-0) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (0-1-1)
Monday, February 25, 2013 – 1:05 p.m., Camelback Ranch – Glendale
RHP Carlos Villanueva vs. RHP Chad Billingsley

(twitter link: @Dodgers)
(pic link: Pat Corrales and Pat Listach via Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2013)

I LIKE YOUR TIE: The Dodgers and Cubs meet for the first of four times this spring with Chicago right-hander Carlos Villanueva facing Los Angeles righty Chad Billingsley. The two clubs will meet again on Wednesday in Mesa, March 14 here in Glendale and then on March 21 in Tucson with the game proceeds benefitting the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation. In case you were wondering, there are 35 days until Opening Day!
  • The Dodgers and White Sox played to a 2-2 tie yesterday at Camelback Ranch as Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu combined for 3.0 scoreless innings and Luis Cruz hit the Dodgers’ first homer of the spring. Hanley Ramirez knocked in the Dodgers’ first run of the contest with an RBI single in the third to bring home Tim Federowicz, who doubled to lead off the inning, and non-roster invitee Brian Barden picked up a pair of singles in his two at-bats after entering the game as the designated hitter in the seventh inning.
  • Los Angeles will have four players venturing over from the minor league side today to suit up with the Major League club: RHP Ryan Acosta (#84), LHP Victor Garate (#95), RHP Blake Johnson (#82) and IF Rafael Ynoa (#83).
BILLS ON THE HILL: Chad Billingsley makes his first start of the spring this afternoon and will take the mound for the first time since Aug. 24 after missing the last month of the season with right elbow pain. Prior to the injury, Billingsley had been one of the game’s top pitchers in the second half, going 6-0 with a 1.80 ERA (9 ER/45.0 IP) in seven starts after the All-Star break. The 28-year-old right-hander has posted double-digit wins in each of the last six seasons and has never had a losing season at any level as a pro.
  • Left-hander Chris Capuano will see his first action of the spring in relief today after establishing a career-best mark with a 3.72 ERA in 2012. Capuano has made 25 relief appearances in his career, posting a 3.80 ERA in 42.2 innings.
  • RHP Matt Guerrier will make his first appearance of the spring after pitching in just 16 games last year in an injury-shortened season.
  • RHP Shawn Tolleson will make 2013 Cactus League debut after limiting opponents to a .221 batting average (.152 against right-handers) over 40 games last year in his first big league season.
  • LHP Paco Rodriguez became the fastest player from the 2012 First-Year Player Draft to reach the Majors last year after he was selected in the second round out of the University of Florida. Rodriguez, 22, tossed scoreless relief in 10 of his 11 big league appearances.
  • RHP Kevin Gregg will see his first action in Dodger blue after spending the 2012 campaign with Baltimore. Gregg, 34, is entering his 11th big league season.
    (pic link: Hyun-Jin Ryu via Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2013)
REALIGNMENT: With Adrian Gonzalez receiving an off-day after starting both of the Dodgers’ first two Cactus League contests, Juan Uribe will make his first-ever start at first base this afternoon. The sure-handed infielder was the Dodgers’ designated hitter on Saturday, going 1-for-2, and has appeared in 1,355 games in his career with a .977 fielding percentage at second base (220 games), third base (259 games), shortstop (917 games) and center field (one game).
  • Dee Gordon (shortstop), Nick Punto (designated hitter), Ramon Castro (catcher), Alfredo Amezaga (third base) and Tony Gwynn Jr. (left field) will all make their first starts of the exhibition season this afternoon.
PRIME TIME: The Dodgers will make their first television appearance of the season today with Hall of Famer Vin Scully calling the action on PRIME TICKET. Scully enters his 64th season behind the mic in 2013 and will call six Cactus League contests for the Dodgers this spring.
  • Today’s 1:05 p.m. (12:05 p.m. PT) game will also be called by Charley Steiner and Rick Monday and can be heard on AM 570 Fox Sports Los Angeles, which will also feature Dodger Talk with David Vassegh and Jorge Jarrin tonight at 7:00 p.m. PT.
THE TOUR CONTINUES...: Today, MLB Network descended on Camelback Ranch for their annual 30 clubs in 30 Days tour. Eric Byrnes will be on-site talking to numerous Dodgers, including fellow outfielder Andre Ethier. The network also conducted a live interview with Ned Colletti and spoke with a number of Dodger players on their past WBC experiences.

YOU SEE THIS FACE?: Dodger center fielder Matt Kemp advanced to the finals of MLB Network’s #FaceofMLB and is currently facing off against Cincinnati’s Joey Votto in MLB Network’s bracket to decide who the Face of MLB is. The online hashtag battle (#MattKemp) started today and runs through Friday.

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