Check out this veteran Brooklyn Dodger in pinstripes. Featured above is a vintage 1933 AP press photo of the Dodgers newest first baseman Joe Judge that I ran into on eBay. Check out the auction here. The Brooklyn born native spent his first 18 years in the Majors with the Washington Senators, but now he was ready to return to an old home in the National League. Joe Judge was one of the best fielding first baseman in the game; leading the AL in fielding average five times (a record eventually broken by Don Mattingly decades later). He could also hit. In 20 Major League seasons he batted .298/.378/.798 with 2,352 career hits, 1,034 RBI's and an WAR of 46.9 (33rd best all-time for the position). Below is what was written in the caption:
"HE'S A DODGER NOW. Joe Judge, veteran first baseman for the Washington Senators, shown in a Dodger uniform covering his old bag at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, N.Y.. Recently given his release by the Senators, Joe was taken up by the Dodgers and will appear with the Brooklyn team this spring. He signed his contract in New York, Jan. 27.".You can check out a great biography on him at the SABR biography project here. The best take-away quote from that piece is from Hall of Fame coach Connie Mack. This is what he had to say about Joe Judge:
“(He's) one of the smartest first baseman the American League has ever seen. Joe’s the sort of player who hits .300 or close to it year after year and never gets any reputation as a great hitter. To get a true appreciation of Judge’s value to the club you have to go through his record of runs batted in. And you’ll find that Judge annually drives home more than players who hit twenty or thirty points higher than he. Where Joe really shines is in batting in the runs that hurt-the runs that change the tide of battle and swing a ball game to his club.”Now, check out some links below:
- Thanks for the memories, Drew! Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, recently DFA's catcher Drew Butera has been traded to the Angels for cash or a player to be named later.
- Via Mike Petriello at FanGraphs, "On Matt Kemp’s Defense."
From what we’ve seen, it’s premature to say that given a full year of data and health in a corner, Kemp couldn’t be at least adequate as relates to the offense he provides, because he’s still got that arm and being slower isn’t the same as being slow. But he’ll keep aging, and what might be acceptable for another year or maybe two seems like a huge issue down the road. He’s not a DH yet. Soon, though. Soon.
- Topps Five Star Baseball set officially comes out today. Check out some preview pics of the set on Topps facebook page, here. Above is a photo of the Jackie Robinson 'bat plate' card.
- Also, Topps is releasing their 2014 Bowman Draft Picks and Prospect set today. Some preview pics can be seen on their facebook page, here. To the right is a Jose De Leon card.
- Via Daniel Brim at Hardball Times, "A First Look at StatCast Baserunning Data." This should be a fun tool to play with.
- Via a TMZ report online, "Yasiel Puig Dominates 24th Bday Party... With Huge Hip Hop Stars."
It all went down at Liv ... where Puig and his buddies rubbed elbows with some of the biggest names in hip hop including Diddy, DJ Khaled (also celebrating a birthday), Rick Ross and Miguel.
But despite the competition, our sources tell us Puig outpartied EVERYONE ... slamming Hennessey (dat Hen Dog) with his pals all night long.
As one source put it ... "They shut the club down."
- Tommy Lasorda has a plan, via a tweet by Jon Heyman.
ran into tommy lasorda, 87, in lobby. said goal is to make to 100 and go onto the dodger stadium mound and throw a pitch.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 10, 2014
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