Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Beard Stays Blue - Dodgers Re-Sign Brian Wilson

This is news that I'm sure will make you smile.  Reliever Brian Wilson has agreed to a new free agent contract with the Dodgers, per a report from Tim Brown on twitter.

So, in celebration I made a fantasy Baseball card of him that you can see at the very top.  I used the 1987 Topps Baseball card design and a photo from Dodgers photographer Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013.

Per a follow-up story by Tim Brown on Yahoo, it is a 1-year deal with an player option for a 2nd year.  He will earn $10Million in 2014 and the option for 2015 is between $9Million to $10Million (based upon game appearance).  If he performs anywhere close to what he did this past season, then I suspect he'll be opting out of the option and seeking a more new deal. As has been mentioned numerous times, Wilson is fine with being the set-up man for Kenley Jansen in 2014.  It's expected that he'll have a physical soon before the deal is finalized. 

Things are starting to shape-up nicely, eh?  All that's left to do is to figure out the 3rd base situation, and maybe another arm for the bullpen.

Below are Wilson's career stats, via Baseball Reference:

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An 1883 Brooklyn Scorecard from Huggins & Scott - Earliest Dodgers Artifact?

A couple of years ago, I featured a scorecard from a 1883 Baseball game that was thought to be the earliest known artifact featuring the Dodgers franchise.  It was being sold by an auction house named Huggins & Scott.  Well, that same auction house now has a Dodgers scorecard that is even older.

Featured in this post is a scorecard for a game between the Brooklyn Polka Dots and Newark's Hamilton ballclub, dated July 4, 1883.  From the auction description:
Combining the Fourth of July, “Ladies Day” and Brooklyn baseball, this thick stock scorecard was issued at Washington Park for the July 4, 1883 Interstate Association battle between the Brooklyn Polka Dots and Newark’s Hamilton club. A brave new world in 1883, Brooklyn fielded its first-ever professional team on May 12, erected the Brooklyn Bridge on May 24 and won the league title that same year. The namesake of the club’s eventual venue, 23-year-old team secretary Charlie Ebbets sold programs – perhaps this one! With pre-printed lineups listing combatants, this stadium heirloom is definitively earlier than an 1883 Polka Dots scorecard unearthed in 2011, as this one lacks the names of five players acquired from the disbanded Camden Merritts on July 20.
As you may know, the Brooklyn franchise became a Major League team in 1884 as a member of the American Association Baseball League.  They were dubbed the Brooklyn Atlantics back then, but were also known as the Grays and Bridegrooms. 

The true birth of the franchise happened a year before, though.  In 1883, real estate developer Charles Byrnes decided he wanted to field his own team.  So, he created a club early in the year, and had them play their first-ever professional game on May 12th.  This was also the year they first moved into Washington Park.

At the time, his Brooklyn team played in the Interstate Baseball Association; which was not considered a Major League.  Also, fans called the team the Polka Dots.  Why, you ask?  Well, for that season the team wore socks with polka dots, and fans took notice.

By 1884, they were admitted into the American Association, and officially became a Major League franchise.  As you might have guessed, the club tossed away the polka dots leggings. 

The scorecard has been scored and shows that the Polka Dots won the game with a blowout score of 37-1.  It should also be noted that the pre-printed lineup card includes 3 players who would go on to play for the franchise the following season: Billy Geer, Adonis Terry and Oscar Walker.  Adonis Terry was the franchise's earliest "most popular" player, and the reason should be obvious.  His real name isn't Adonis.  It's William.  He was nicknamed Adonis because of his dashing good looks, and female fans are said to have fawned over him.

The scorecard itself is one of the more desirable styles available in the hobby.  They were created in the 1880's by publisher John B. Sage.  I have several of these kind of scorecards in my own collection.  I'll have to take some time to scan and put them up.
(Auction Link)

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Blog Kiosk: 12/5/2013 - Dodgers Links - Isotopes Go Breaking Bad, an Interview with Bundy and Steve Lyons Lays Down Some Snark

This just might be the best thing ever!  Via Danny Wild at, "Isotopes pay tribute to 'Breaking Bad': Heisenberg-esque tee a unique souvenir for Albuquerque fans". 
While there are plenty of rotations that can lay claim to a top-three ranking in the game, one group clearly stands above all others as easily the best in baseball: the staff of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Via Ross Gassmer at Dodgers Nation, "Video: Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw Discusses Contract, NLCS Loss".
  • Via Ken Gurnick at, "New (Dodgers) third-base coach Bundy has paid his dues".
"For those of us who have been in the Minor Leagues a long time trying to get to the Major Leagues, with all the hard work you have to do in the Minors, and now to be rewarded, well, I feel like I earned it," Bundy said from Mexico, where he is into his third decade as a Winter League manager because "I'm trying to get better.
  • Here's an old friend alert.  Via Dodgers Nation on twitter, former Dodger Dave Hansen has joined the Angels coaching staff as assistant hitting coach.
  • Tom Verducci at Sports Illustrated writes a great argument for including Jack Morris into the Hall of Fame.  His article explains what I have believed for some time; that Jack Morris, when placed in context of his peers during his era, was one of the best - if not the best starting pitcher in Baseball.
  • This is for those interested in the upcoming 2014 Draft.  Via Jim Callis at, "Next year's Draft deeper, packed with pitchers".
"Last year was one of the weakest Drafts I can remember," a scouting director with a National League team said. "Last year was really weak in high school pitching, and this year there's some really good-looking high school pitchers. Last year was the weakest year I've ever seen in shortstops, and this year there are shortstops. It's better in almost everything."
  • Steve Lyons is not happy, via his twitter.  Lyons takes a little swipe at the reported newest member of the Dodgers broadcast team, Nomar Garciaparra.  He claims he's not trash talkin', still he sounds a little bitter about his exit.

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