Monday, August 12, 2013

A Musical Interlude with Happy Felton's Knot-Hole Gang

Since I posted up earlier today a little something about Happy Felton's Knot-Hole Gang, I decided to do a little more searching (namely trying to find video of the show) and came across something on youtube.  Unfortunately, it isn't a copy of the show itself, but it is a fun video showcasing the theme song of the show with some vintage Dodger photos overlapping it (including Happy Felton, himself).

The song is called "I Want to Be Happy", and it is performed by Benny Goodman & his Orchestra.  Watch and enjoy the tune below.

Video Link:

I also came across a funny story about the show, as told by Cal Abrams.  It is from his obituary from the NY Times by Richard Goldstein.
He once told a story that illustrated how he was overshadowed by the Dodgers' stars despite his memorable moment. Abrams recalled a scheme he engineered to earn extra cash. It involved Happy Felton's ''Knot Hole Gang'' pre-game television show, in which a Dodger player would work out with three sandlot youngsters. The player would get $50. The boy selected as the best of the three would come back the next day, go to the Brooklyn dugout and talk to his favorite Dodger, who would also get $50.

One day, Abrams was picked to play catch with the youngsters. As he told it: ''I got hold of this one kid, and I said, 'Look, I'm going to pick you as the best fielder, and in turn I want you to say that you want to talk to me in the dugout.' That way I would get an extra $50. So he said, 'All right.'

''And so I was throwing the ball to the three kids, and Happy Felton says: 'Cal, who do you think is going to make it?' I said, 'No. 3.' And the kid I had made the deal with comes over, and Happy says, 'Congratulations, here's an autographed ball, a Baby Ruth candy bar. Now who do you want to talk to in the dugout?'

''I'm waiting out there, and the kid says: 'Carl Furillo.' ''
Very funny stuff.

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A Happy Felton Knot-Hole Gang - Brooklyn Dodger - eBay Find

In the early days of Dodger Baseball on television you would sit down in front of the tube a half hour before game time to watch a pregame show featuring Happy Felton and his Knot-Hole Gang on WOR-TV, channel 9.  As I had written previously:
Happy Felton would host a group of 3 little league ballplayers of the same age, same position and from 3 different Baseball programs and have them work out with a Dodger player. They would go through drills the pro's do. Then, the Dodger would pick one of the kids who did the best. That kid's prize would be to have an opportunity to meet the player of his choice the next game and hang out in the dugout with the team.
It was an opportunity for kids to watch their favorite players up-close.

Today, this show has largely been forgotten and I do not believe there are any recordings available for us to view.  (If I'm wrong about this please let me know.  I'd love to watch an episode.)  So, all we have are various memorabilia items to remind us of this past. 

Recently, I came across a group of Happy Felton/Brooklyn Dodger collectibles on eBay, and I wanted to make note of them.  See those items below.
(eBay Auction Link)

The item above is a Happy Felton business card.  It sold for $24.05.
(eBay Auction Link)

This next item is a cardboard advertising pin featuring Happy Felton.  On the reverse it says, "you can always bank on a good sport", and is sponsored by Bank of the Manhattan Company.  I wonder if they were the main sponsor for his TV show.  This unusually mint pin sold for $68.55.
(eBay Auction Link)

The Baseball scorer below is my favorite of all the Happy Felton items I ran into.  According to the seller it dates to 1953.  As you can see, it is a mint condition Baseball scorer with little dials denoting balls, strikes and outs.  Vintage scorers like this are very desirable and highly collected.  It sold on eBay for $140.27.
(eBay Auction Link)
(eBay Auction Link)

Pic at the very top of Happy Felton via Snider's Photo Album.

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Blog Kiosk: 8/12/2013 - Dodgers Links - Puig Keeps Learning, Greinke Can Hit and Kershaw

The Dynamic Trio.  Pic above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013.  Check out more pics he took yesterday over here.
"(We) just keep trying to teach, as much as anything," Mattingly said. "(I'm) not really frustrated. Just want him to get better. Everyone makes mistakes. Obviously, we don't want to make them over and over."
"With Dee, against a left-handed pitcher, it would make more sense to hit Zack eighth. Zack can really hit. You can't look at him like a pitcher. I would use this guy as a pinch hitter. Every day he's available, we have him spiked up. We don't do it the day before he pitches ever, and it kind of depends on the day ever," Mattingly said. "You don't feel like you're down a guy because we'd use him."
The game was part of the 12th annual Travis Roy Wiffle Ball Tournament, which raised over $500,000 for spinal cord research this year.
  • Via Andrew Shortall at the Glendale News-Press writes, "Jim Smiley holds hidden baseball Hall of Fame collection: Crescenta Valley High teacher, former Falcons boys' basketball coach's Hall of Fame baseball collection is something that is rarely seen outside of Cooperstown."
“At some point, you amass some players you’re looking for — some Dodgers maybe — and then all of a sudden you realize you have a lot of hall of fame players and then you wonder what it would be like to collect hall of fame signatures,” Smiley said. “Your collection kind of matures, and at some point I realized there’s quite a good collection of guys and it’d be interesting to kind of go for it a bit.”

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2013 Allen & Ginter - Dodgers Base Cards + Short Prints

One of the Baseball card hobby's favorite sets was officially released this past Wednesday - 2013 Allen & Ginter.  Once again, it features an ornate border design with colorful drawing-style portraits.  It also includes the always popular mini cards with unusual subject matters.  There are limited mini sets featuring the Peacemakers, Inquiring Minds (great thinkers) and The First Americans (famous Native-Americans).

In this post I show all of the Dodger base cards and mini short prints.  I'll have future post showing the relics, autographs and other Dodger inserts.

#10 Sandy Koufax                                 # 13 Adrian Gonzalez

#42 Jackie Robinson                                     #44 Yasiel Puig

#88 Clayton Kershaw                                #92 Paco Rodriguez

#170 Hanley Ramirez                           #171 Chad Billingsley

#222 Andre Ethier                                     #246 Hyun-Jin Ryu

#260 Duke Snider                                          #265 A.J. Ellis

#275 Josh Beckett

#319 Matt Kemp SP

Every Baseball card in the set has a mini card parallel inserted into packs.  Below is just a sample of what they look like.  They use the exact same photo from the normal base card - just shrunk down to size.

There are mini short printed exclusive cards inserted within RIP cards.  A RIP card is a large base-sized card with a little mini placed within it.  All you have to do is pull open a tab to reveal the hidden card.  These cards are very scarce and hard to come by.  Four Dodgers are represented.  As you can see, they use a different photo for these cards.

Mini Exclusives

#358 Adrian Gonzalez              #367 Jackie Robinson 

#377 Clayton Kershaw                 #394 Sandy Koufax

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