Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mailbag - A 2005 Orel Hershiser Diamond Kings Autographed Relic

The Diamond Kings autographed cards from 2005 ranks as one of my all-time favorite inserts.  I have 10 different Dodger cards in my collection and this new purchase (shown here) is my 11th different card.  As you can see, it is an autographed Orel Hershiser card with a couple of game-used relic pieces attached.  It is also numbered 9 out of 10.

I have made several recent purchases, so I'll be sharing them over the next few days.  They include mostly autographed cards like this, but there is one surprise vintage Dodger set that I am very excited about sharing.  So, stay tuned.

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The Original ROY Award Given to Jackie Robinson is Available at Lelands

The 2014 Sports Memorabilia Auction Season is starting off with a bang. 

Lelands auction house has their Fall 2014 auction already up and it features one of the more unique and incredible memorabilia items available.  Below is the first and original Rookie of the Year Award given to Jackie Robinson

As you may know, this was the first-ever ROY award ever given out and it was a league-wide award; meaning it was for both the American and National Leagues.  It is expected that it will sell in the 6-figures range, but exactly how high is anybodies guess.  At the time of this posting it is at $80,525.50.
(Auction Link)

Following up on the Jackie Robinson theme, Lelands also has on auction an original scorecard from Jackie Robinson Day, September 23, 1947.  See it below.  This game was organized by the Brooklyn fans, and featured a showering of gifts onto Jackie and his family.  He received a new Cadillac, TV set, radio, cutlery and many other gifts.  Also, noted civil rights pioneer and entertainer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson danced on the dugout in Jackie's honor.
(Auction Link)

Below is a used ticket stub from Jackie Robinson Day.
(Auction Link)

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Blog Kiosk: 12/31/2013 - Dodgers Links - Vin Scully and the Puig Police Report

This New Years is all about Vin Scully and the Rose Parade.  As you know, he is the Grand Marshall.  In the above pic he is being interviewed by Hannah Storm for ABC, pic via her twitter.
The theme of this Rose Parade is “Dreams Come True.” Does that resonate with your life?
Oh, absolutely. I mean, I might not really qualify to be a Grand Marshal, but I certainly qualify under “dreams come true,” because I wanted to be a sports announcer when I was eight years old. Now that’s really rare because there were hardly any sports on radio and there was no television. So for a little kid who crawled under a big radio to listen to a college football game, to become a sports announcer and work in the big leagues, oh yes, I’m the embodiment of dream comes true.
Based on my training and experience as a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper and due to the high speed that he was traveling and the others Vehicles on the roadway. If Mr. Puig would had loss control of his vehicle or would had suffered a tire failure and crash. His mother and the two passengers would not survived as resulted of his action.

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Sandy Koufax!

On this day in 1935 a Jewish child of imminent importance to Dodger history was born.  He was raised in Brooklyn's Borough Park, and would go on to be a part of 4 Dodgers World Championship teams.  As a reminder of his greatness, he gained entry into the Hall of Fame as its youngest ever member.

Sandy Koufax turns 78 today.  Happy Birthday, Sandy!

Beyond all of the accolades that he deserves, I thought this birthday message from Dodger outfielder Scott Van Slyke was the best... if not most hilarious.

Pic above via @Dodgers on twitter

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2013 Bowman Sterling Baseball - The Dodgers Autographed and Insert Cards

Take a look at the Dodgers autographed and insert cards available in 2013 Bowman Sterling Baseball packs.  Check out the Dodger base cards here.

Unfortunately, all of the Ryu and most of the Puig cards are available only through a redemption card.  Also, Topps produced "Asia Only" boxes that were only sold in the Far East, and they include 5 different Hyun-Jin Ryu refractor die-cut cards.  I've only seen 2 different styles, so far.

Also of note, this set includes the very first card of teenage sensation Julio Urias.

Prospect Autographed Cards

#BSAP-CA Chris Anderson                    #BSAP-JP Joc Pederson

#BSAP-JU Julio Urias                    #BSAP-TWN Tom Windle

Rookie Autographed Cards

#BSAR-YP Yasiel Puig

The Puig Showcase autographed card is only available through a redemption.  The card below is a preview mock-up.  Also, there is a Sterling Silver Autographed card (#SS-YP), but a photo is not available.

Sterling Showcase Autographs

#SAS-YP Yasiel Puig

The Ryu Sapphire Signings autographed card is only available through a redemption.  The card below is a preview mock-up.  Also, there is a Dual Autographed card with Yu Darvish (#SDA-RD), but a photo is not available.

Sterling Blue Sapphire Signings

#BSS-HR Hyun-Jin Ryu

Refractor Die Cut (Asia Only Boxes)

#RDC-5 Hyun-Jin Ryu (There are 5 different available, only 2 shown)

The Dual Insert Cards

#TD-BP Joc Pederson - Clayton Blackburn

Bowman Sapphire Reprints

#Yasiel Puig                                          #Jackie Robinson

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Baseball Bloggers Alliance Voters Recommend 3 New Hall of Fame Members

For the 5th consecutive year, the Baseball Blogger Alliance came together to vote on who they recommend should be enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  The BBA is a collection of approximately 240 Baseball writers and hardcore fans from throughout North America who blog - covering every team, the game's history and fantasy Baseball fanatics.  We are encouraged to use one another to deepen our understanding of the game and the teams that play it.  Go here to find more about this organization.

With such a large number of good candidates on this years eligible ballot, only three ballplayers made the cut for our choice to enter into the hallowed hall.  The BBA recommends Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas for this years class.

Not too shabby, eh?  If your going to overcome any controversy, why not just pick the cream of the crop.  After all, I don't think anybody questions the integrity of these fellows.

From a BBA press release:
December 30, 2013: The Baseball Bloggers Alliance today recommends three players from the official Hall of Fame ballot to be inducted into Cooperstown this summer.  Pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, most closely associated with the Atlanta Braves, and long-time Chicago White Sox first baseman/designated hitter Frank Thomas reached the 75% threshold when BBA members cast their ballots.

Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner for the Braves, pitched from 1986 to 2008 and won 355 games while posting a 3.16 ERA and striking out over 3,300 batters.  He had a career WHIP of 1.143 in just over 5,000 innings and an ERA+ of 132 over that span.  His best season was 1995, when he fashioned a 19-2 record with a 1.63 ERA, good for a bWAR of 9.7 that year.

Thomas played from 1990 to 2008, all but the last three season on the south side of Chicago.  He has a career slash line of .301/.419/.555 and fashioned an OPS+ of 156 during his playing days.  He put up his highest single-season bWAR in 1997, when his 1.067 OPS and 35 home runs played a large role in his mark of 7.3.

Glavine’s career spanned roughly the same time frame as Maddux’s, with Glavine starting in 1987.  He won the Cy Young in 1991 and 1998 and finished runner-up two other times.  His career ERA was 3.54 and he won 305 games during his tenure with the Braves and the New York Mets.  Glavine had a 1.314 WHIP for his career and an ERA+ of 118.

The voting of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance has often been close to what the baseball writers eventually decide, though the correlation is stronger with the year-end awards.  A quick look at the past few years:

In 2010, no player reached the 75% mark in BBA voting, while the writers inducted only Andre Dawson.

In 2011, the BBA selected Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven and both were inducted into Cooperstown that summer.

In 2012, Barry Larkin and Jeff Bagwell were selected by the BBA, but the writers only took Larkin.

Last year, the bloggers again picked Bagwell, while the writers could not agree on anyone to honor.

Bagwell lost support in this year’s voting, coming up roughly 10% shy of recommendation.  The final vote totals are as follows:
Greg Maddux 94.51%
Frank Thomas 80.22%
Tom Glavine 75.82%
Mike Piazza 72.53%
Craig Biggio 70.33%
Jeff Bagwell 64.84%
Barry Bonds 60.44%
Roger Clemens 59.34%
Tim Raines 54.95%
Edgar Martinez 41.76%
Curt Schilling 39.56%
Mike Mussina 32.97%
Alan Trammell 30.77%
Jack Morris 25.27%
Mark McGwire 21.98%
Larry Walker 17.58%
Jeff Kent 15.38%
Lee Smith 14.29%
Don Mattingly 9.89%
Fred McGriff 8.79%
Rafael Palmeiro 7.69%
Sammy Sosa 4.40%
Moises Alou 3.30%
Eric Gagne 2.20%
Luis Gonzalez 2.20%
Sean Casey 1.10%
Kenny Rogers 1.10%
Richie Sexson 1.10%
J.T. Snow 1.10%
Armando Benitez 0.00%
Ray Durham 0.00%
Jacque Jones 0.00%
Todd Jones 0.00%
Paul Lo Duca 0.00%
Hideo Nomo 0.00%
Mike Timlin 0.00%

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Dodger FanFest is Scheduled for Saturday, February 1st

For those of you wondering, the Dodgers have scheduled their annual FanFest for Saturday, February 1st, 2014.  Go here for more information.

This will be the opening event to usher in the 2014 Baseball season.  I would expect most of the Dodgers players to be on hand to sign autographs, and there will be numerous activities available for fans to participate in.  Check out my post from the 2013 FanFest right here.  I had spent most of that afternoon checking out the sights; including the Baseball museum put up by Gary Cypres of the Sports Museum of Los Angeles.

As for player autographs, I thought I would post the following guidelines as detailed by the Dodgers:
Due to circumstances beyond our control, not all players or coaches may be available on this date. Any player and coach present is subject to availability.

Event will be conducted on a first-in-line-first-served basis, we reserve the right to post and enforce line cut-offs. These postings will indicate that guests may not be guaranteed an autograph from a specific player or coach during a specific posted time if you are in line beyond the posting. These postings will be enforced at each station.
  • You may bring personal items for autographs. You are welcome to bring a photo, ball, and jersey, baseball bat or sports memorabilia to be autographed.
  • One autograph item per player or coach per station. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • In order for as many Dodger fans as possible to receive an autograph, no photos with players or coaches will be permitted.
  • Players will not be personalizing autographs.
  • If you choose to vacate your space in any line at any time during the autograph session or impede the lines' progress voluntarily, you will be removed from the line. This will be strictly enforced.
  • You may not have someone reserve a space in any autograph line. Cutting lines is not permitted and may result in dismissal from the event.
I would also suggest that if getting autographs is you main purpose for attending, then get there early - like really early!  The lines last year were horrendously long.  In fact, if you have season tickets or know someone with season tickets then your wait will be appreciably shorter.  Season Ticket holders get their own line.

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Blog Kiosk: 12/30/2013 - Dodgers Links -

Take a look at the limited edition Vin Scully 2014 Rose Parade Grand Marshall pin, pic via @Dodgers on twitter.  Now, how do I get one of these?  UPDATE:  Via reader Bruce, he tells us that you can get the pins at sites around the parade and you can order online, here.  Thanks, Bruce!
  • Sons of Steve Garvey shares some recent photos from Dodger Stadium; including some construction work that will finally connect the outfield pavilion with the rest of the stadium.
  • Via Tom Hoffarth at the LA Daily News, "The Los Angeles Sports Person of the Year: Yasiel Puig is the real deal".  This announcement was the day before his arrest for speeding.  Maybe, he was so excited he just couldn't contain himself.
“I’m happy and proud to hear about this,” Puig said from Miami on Friday night. “I am happy that the fans of L.A. have supported me all the time, and supported the team, and I hope they do the same next year. Thank you to the fans and I will do the best I can for all of them next season.”
"He plays hard, he eats hard, he drives hard, he does everything hard," said Tim Bravo, a high school teacher who was employed by the Dodgers last summer to serve as Puig's full-time companion and mentor.
  • Via Bill Shaikin and Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times, "MLB asks Masahiro Tanaka's club for promise of no side deals".  There is some speculation that free agent Tanaka will be giving his former Japanese team a kickback to let him go to MLB.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Puig, Just Can't Drive 55

I've been as sick as a dog the past few days, so imagine my surprise when I finally decided to get onto the interwebs this morning and saw the most recent Dodger news.  Yasiel Puig has gotten arrested again.

Per Naples News.com,
Los Angeles Dodger all-star Yasiel Puig was arrested around 9:30 a.m. Saturday on a reckless driving charge after he was caught speeding at 110 mph on Alligator Alley section of Interstate 75, according to Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Greg Bueno.
Come on now, really?

I know it's fun to drive fast, but you've got to be kidding me.  This is the 2nd time in the past year he's been captured for speeding.  As you may recall, back in April he was clocked going 97 mph in Chattanooga.  Fortunately for him, those charges were recently dismissed.  Otherwise, who knows what kind of hurt he would be in.  As of now, he has been released on a $500 bond.

The drama surrounding Puig just doesn't want to stop.

This afternoon the Dodgers released the following statement:
“We have spoken to Yasiel and made it clear that we, as an organization, are very disappointed in his recent behavior. This is a very serious issue to us and we will continue to educate him and strive to further develop his growth off the field and as a member of this community.”
BTW, the headline I used was an homage to a Sammy Hagar song, "I Can't Drive 55".  Watch the music video below.

Video Link:

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Blog Kiosk: 12/27/2013 - Dodgers Links -

Above is a pic of the Dodgers Spring Training facility in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1946.  Pic via @Dodgers_History on twitter.
The contract is worth a guaranteed $11.25 million, and could be worth as much as $17.25 million over three years, not counting any incentives.
  • Eric also shares, "Juan Uribe contract details".
Uribe will be paid a signing bonus of $2 million, then will receive salaries of $6.5 million in both 2014 and 2015, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. He will also receive $1 million in 2014 as a deferred signing bonus from his previous three-year, $21 million contract with Los Angeles.
  • Via Joel Sherman at the NY Post, "Sizing up the Yankees’ 8 biggest Tanaka challengers".  Unsurprisingly, the Dodgers are considered their top challenger to his services.
  • Via Ray Guilfoyle at Fake Teams, "Alexander Guerrero: ZIPS optimistic on Dodgers second baseman".
  • Joe Posnanski on his blog writes a great piece about Hall of Fame voting and the quagmire PED's has created.  For the most part, I agree with him.  The BBWAA is a poor avenue for deciding who deserves enshrinement, and the HOF needs to show some leadership.  That being said, I believe the best route is to have the BBWAA reject all players tainted (rumored), and the HOF should let the peers (i.e. current HOF'ers) form special committee's to decide who is worthy.  
  • The Dodgers are a class organization, via Nick Punto's twitter:

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 Bowman Sterling Baseball - the Dodgers Base Cards

Baseball cards just keep on comin'.

Last week, Topps released their newest Baseball set - 2013 Bowman Sterling.  It is a high-end offering that typically focuses on rookies and young rising future stars.  There are numerous Dodger autographed cards available, and I will share those soon.  For today, I show the Dodger base cards to the set.  See them below.

Rookie Cards

#8 Matt Magill                                     #17 Hyun-Jin Ryu

#32 Yasiel Puig

Prospect Cards

#BSP-23 Joc Pederson

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New Fantasy Cards for JP Howell and Juan Uribe to Celebrate their Re-Signing

After weeks of speculation and press confirmation, the Dodgers finally made the re-signing of both JP Howell and Juan Uribe official.  In fact, they made their announcement on Christmas Eve, but it was far too late for me to put up a post at that time. 

In belated celebration, I made a couple of fantasy Dodger cards for them.  See them above.  I used photos taken by Dodgers photgrapher Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013.  BTW, only an official team announcement about the re-signing of Brian Wilson remains.  I would expect that will happen at any time. 

Ned Colletti had this to say about JP Howell, via a Dodgers press release:
"J.P. proved to be a very valuable pitcher us," said Colletti. "Not only did he help us achieve success, but his demeanor and competitiveness were real positives in the clubhouse."
And about Juan Uribe, via a Dodgers press release:
"Juan was a major player in our success last season," said Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti. "His play at third base, leadership in the clubhouse and clutch hitting helped the club immensely."
I would say that the Dodgers job is done.  They are bringing back most of the crew from this past season, and I am hopeful this will be enough to send us to the playoffs.  What happens then is anybody's guess.  I just believe that all management can do is put us in the best position possible, and I think it's fair to say that they've done that.  Now, it's time for them to play the games.

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Blog Kiosk: 12/26/2013 - Dodgers Links - Crawford Getting Married, Tanaka to be Posted and the Dodgers Winter is Basically Done

Matt Kemp was sure to wish everybody a Merry Christmas yesterday on instagram.
If Hollywood executives in search of the next blockbuster script had only looked to the nearby Los Angeles neighborhood known as Chavez Ravine, maybe they wouldn't have resorted to that one extra remake of a bad TV sitcom.

As it turned out, "The 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers" turned out to be one heck of a flick, replete with a huge budget, an engaging cast of characters, a plot line nobody could predict, and a pulsating soundtrack of stadium cheers.

First, we found out she was  carrying his baby and now the couple revealed that they are engaged! The former Mrs. Ochocinco has now moved on to her new man, Dodgers slugger Carl Crawford. 
  • I guess it'll be official soon.  Via ESPN, Masahiro Tanaka will be posted and made available to MLB teams.  I suspect the Dodgers would be willing to pay the maximum posting fee ($20Mil), along with several other teams.  Then, the wooing begins.  Tanaka will get to decide which team he goes to.
For 30 days from the time a player is posted, any MLB team can attempt to sign the player. It pays the posting fee only if it signs the player. A player who is not signed may not be posted again until the following Nov. 1.

Tachibana said his team is happy to retain Tanaka if he does not reach an agreement with an MLB team.

The new posting system was negotiated after some MLB teams objected that only the richest clubs could afford to bid on top Japanese players.

Under the previous agreement, which began in 1998 and ran through last offseason, there was no cap on bidding and only the highest bidder could negotiate with the player.
  • LA Kings blog Mayor's Manor made a great t-shirt about Tommy Lasorda.   Get it here.  As you may know, Tommy has dropped the opening puck at numerous Kings games over the years, and he has a strange way of doing it.  He walks up to center ice, never acknowledges the opposing player, barely acknowledges the Kings player, drops the puck and immediately walks away.  It's hilarious.  Watch his puck drop from Monday, here.  

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    Wednesday, December 25, 2013

    The Star Wars Holiday Special

    I ran into this today and just had to share it.  Sit down, relax and enjoy the Star Wars Holiday Special.  There's no telling how long this will last before it gets pulled down, and if you can survive the whole thing then you're a champion.  (Hat Tip: Reddit)

    The Star Wars Holiday Special by FilmGeek-TV
    Video Link:

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    Merry Christmas! Take a Look at the 2007 Topps Holiday Santa Claus Set

    I hope your holiday is filled with joy, wonder and good spirits.

    To celebrate this Christmas Day, I thought it would be fun to share the 2007 Topps Holiday set featuring Santa Clause.  If I'm not mistaken, they were sold as a complete set in stores throughout the country.

    There are 16 base cards, a relic and a Santa autographed card - no doubt signed by Kris Kringle himself.  Topps used some of their more popular Baseball card designs for the base set.  Take a look at the entire set below.  BTW, this set is very affordable.  You should be able to find an unopened complete set for sale from $10 to $15, or less.  Click on any pic below to embiggen.

    #1 - Santa Claus RC - Anchorage Antlers

     #2 - Fr. Christmas - Yuletide Spirits

    #3 - Santa Claus - Douglas Firs

    #4 - St. Nicholas - Pennsylvania Dutch

    #5 - Santa Claus - Holiday Tidings

    #6 - Santa Claus - Winter Solstices

    #7 - St. Nick - Clement Creations

    #8 - Santa Claus - North Pole Noels

    #9 - Kris Kringle - Polar Bears

    #10 - Santa Claus - Hohohos

    #11 - Santa Claus - Boreal Blizzards

    #12 - Santa Claus - Arctic Sleighers

    #13 - Santa Claus - Svalbard Reindeer

    #14 - Santa Claus - Northern Lights

    #15 - Santa Claus 

    #16 - Santa Claus - Bowlfulla Jellies

    Here is a Santa Claus autographed card.

    #SCA-SC - Santa Claus Autograph

    Below is a Santa worn relic piece.

    #SCR-SC - Santa Claus Relic

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