Friday, January 17, 2014

Check Out Some Nomo Videos

In honor of Hideo Nomo's election into the Japan Hall of Fame, I thought I would collect and share some great videos featuring him.  Sit back and enjoy

On March 13, 1996 Nomo struck out 17 Marlins in route to a 3-1 win.  Watch all 17 below.

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And if you're aching to watch an entire game from the Dodgers past, then why not Nomo's first no-hitter on September 17, 1996 at Colorado.  IN COLORADO!  I never would have believed it was possible to throw a no-no there if I hadn't seen it.  You can also watch his 2nd no-hitter as a member of the Boston Red Sox here.

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Here's a fun video of Nomo high-five'g a bunch of young fans at the 1995 All Star Game.

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Here's a tribute video of Nomo created by the Dodgers for his bobblehead day last season.  Watch him throw out the first pitch, here.

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This Mornings Press Conference was All About Kershaw - New Contract Extension Announced

To the surprise of no one, the press conference held at Dodger Stadium this morning was scheduled to formally announce a new contract extension for Clayton Kershaw.  As I'm sure you know by now, Clayton and the Dodgers came to an agreement for a 7-year extension in the amount of $215 million. 

The breakdown of this deal was shared by CBS Sports reporter Jon Heyman on twitter a couple of days ago.
2014: $22m ($18m signing bonus, $4m salary)
2015: $30m
2016: $32m
2017: $33m
2018: $33m
2019: $32m
2020: $33m
Also, after year 5 Kershaw can opt-out of the contract.  If he continues to pitch like he has, I would expect that this is a likely event. 

From a Dodgers press release:
"It is an incredible privilege to be part of the Los Angeles Dodger organization for another seven years," said Kershaw. "L.A. has become a second home to me and my wife, and I'm excited for the opportunity to represent the city for a long time to come. I am particularly grateful to our team's ownership and front office for believing in me. With this contract comes tremendous responsibility, not only as a pitcher, but as a good steward of the resources given to me. To whom much is given, much is required. Ellen and I are excited to take an undeserved blessing and, Lord willing, make a difference in the lives of others. I'm humbled by this recognition and looking forward to a new season, and hopefully, a World Series championship for the city of Los Angeles." 
Ned Colletti adds:
"There are great players and pitchers in the game," said Colletti. "And then there are those who are truly special. Clayton is not only among the elite of this era, but the perspective he and Ellen bring to their lives in helping others is equally remarkable. We have been honored to have the Kershaws as part of the Dodger organization and we are honored to have them as a part of the Dodger family for years to come."
Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider released a story just a moment ago that features Clayton Kershaw speaking with reporters via a speaker phone this morning.  You should check that out, here.  Below are some quotes.
“During the season, it’s always hard to think about that stuff,” Kershaw said on the phone from Texas with reporters. “I didn’t let myself think about it too much. Once the offseason started, I always kind of had the feeling it was going to work out.”
“I don’t think there’s a negative,” Kershaw said. “I think it’s how you look at it. Obviously, there’s gonna be a lot of expectations as it should be, if your salary’s out there and you’re one of the top players in the game, you’re gonna be expected to be one of the best players in the game. That’s fine with me. I look forward to those expectations and look forward to trying to live up to them.”
BTW, his teammates (and former teammates) came out in great support of him. 

From Hanley Ramirez:

From AJ Ellis:

From Matt Kemp:

From Nick Punto:

Oh... And what did Clayton do to celebrate?

Well... Ping Pong with friends, of course (via @Dodgers on twitter).

Pic at the very top via Jon SooHoo and Patrick Gee/LA Dodgers 2013.

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2013 Panini America's Pastime Baseball - the Dodgers Base Cards

I believe this is the very last Baseball card set of 2013 (save one set I failed to report about that I'll be getting to shortly).  Featured here are all of the Dodgers base cards to Panini's 2013 America's Pastime Baseball card set.  I will feature the inserts, relics and other autographed cards next week. 

America's Pastime has an unusual base card checklist.  The first 175 cards feature current and retired ballplayers.  The red border cards are numbered to 125 copies, gold bordered at 25 copies, green bordered at 10 copies and black bordered cards have just 1 card available.  There are 9 Dodgers in this portion of the set.

The next 74 cards (#176 to #250) feature rookie cards and some memorabilia cards.There are 2 Dodgers here.

The next 25 cards (#251 to #275) are Rookie Autographed cards.  There are two Dodgers here.

The next 26 cards (#276 to #311) are Rookie Booklet Autographed cards.  As you can see below, the Puig card does not include an autograph.  Three Dodgers are represented in this portion of the set.

The next 25 cards (#312 to #336) are National Treasures Autographed cards.  Again, the Yasiel Puig is not autographed.  The Ryu card can only be found through a redemption card.

Since these relics are sequentially numbered with the non-autographed cards, I decided to include them as a part of the base set. 

#7 Brian Wilson                                   #22 Matt Kemp

#33 Zack Greinke                                #45 Clayton Kershaw

#57 Adrian Gonzalez                              #75 Michael Young

#126 Don Sutton                                #174 Jackie Robinson

#175 Roy Campanella

Rookie Cards

#195 Matt Magill                              #199 Jose Dominguez

Rookie Autographs

#271 Paco Rodriguez                             #274 Shawn Tolleson

Rookie Booklets Autographs

#278 Yasiel Puig (these cards are not autographed)

#289 Hyun-Jin Ryu
I have yet to see redemption cards for this.

#304 Scott Van Slyke

National Treasures Rookie Autographed Memorabilia

#314 Yasiel Puig (these cards are not autographed)

#324 Hyun-Jin Ryu

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Dodgers FanFest News - A New Format for the Autograph Sessions

As you probably know by now, the Dodgers have scheduled their 2014 FanFest for Saturday, February 1st from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at Dodger Stadium.  It'll be a day of Dodger Dogs, player Q&A's on stage, fun activities and some Baseball history.  It will also be a great opportunity to get an autograph from your favorite Dodger players.  Heck, that's probably the biggest reason to go.

Well, unlike in years past, fans will be able to purchase autograph session tickets online.  Each session will cost $10.00, and all of the proceeds will go to the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation.  So, these fund will go to charity.

In the past, fans had to wait in laborious lines just to get into another line for an autograph.  I suspect this new system is meant to end all of that, and this fan is thankful.  I didn't bother getting an autograph last year because I just didn't have the patience to wait the 3+ hours.

Anyway, details are still a bit scant at the moment, but they promise more information soon.  In the meantime, go here to check out the Dodgers FanFest webpage

BTW, you will not be able to get an autograph without purchasing an autograph session ticket.  Again, details from the Dodgers will be forthcoming.  These autograph session tickets are not yet for sale.

Here is a current list of players and coaches scheduled to appear.  This list is obviously subject to change.
  • Drew Butera
  • Carl Crawford
  • Paco Rodriguez
  • Tim Federowicz
  • Stephen Fife
  • Dan Haren
  • Dee Gordon
  • Matt Magill
  • Don Mattingly
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu
  • Nick Buss
  • Mark McGwire
  • Yasiel Puig
  • Justin Sellers
  • Scott Van Slyke
  • John Valentin
  • Tim Wallach
Below are the guidelines as stated by the Dodgers.

Player Autograph Guidelines
  • 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.
  • Players may NOT sign a blank piece of paper.
  • 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.

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WooHoo! Hideo Nomo has been Elected to the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame

Hideo Nomo is one of my favorite Dodgers, and the recognition he has just received from Japan just warms me up inside.  As you may know, Nomo was on the American Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this past go-around, and he received 6 votes.  Although it was clear he wasn't going to make it to Cooperstown, it was nice that some writers chose to cast a vote for him.  As one reporter said, "he was a trailblazer".

Now, we learn that the Hall of Fame in Japan has elected him as a first ballot inductee.  Congrats, Nomo!

He is one of only three players to be elected in the first year eligibility.  Victor Starffin and Sadaharo Oh are the other two players.

Peter O'Malley had this to say today:
“Congratulations, Hideo, I am very happy for you. You deserve this extraordinary recognition by the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ever since we first met in 1995, I have admired your professionalism and courage facing baseball’s finest hitters. Everyone in the Dodger organization respected you. You are a pioneer and have opened the door for others to follow you in Major League Baseball, well done.”
From a press release:
Nomo won 123 games in 12 major league seasons, plus 78 games for Kintetsu in Japan. He pitched for the Dodgers from 1995-1998 and 2002-2004. Nomo’s popularity was historic, as his homeland watched every start on giant screen televisions placed on buildings and on street corners in 13 major cities. No matter when the game started, it was televised live in Japan. Nomo did not disappoint and fan support grew. Dodger Stadium was packed for his starts and he filled National League stadiums when he pitched, creating a phenomenon known as “Nomomania,” as Americans of Japanese descent attended, while tourists from Japan also flocked to watch him.

He was selected as the starting pitcher for the 1995 All-Star Game in Texas and struck out three in two scoreless innings. After going 13-6 with a 2.54 ERA in 28 starts, Nomo was named 1995 N.L. Rookie of the Year, the fourth consecutive Dodger in a string of five to earn that distinction. He became a role model for school-aged children and the biggest hero imaginable.

Nomo is one of only five pitchers to have thrown a no-hitter in both the American and National Leagues (for the Dodgers at Colorado and for the Red Sox at Baltimore).

When Dodgertown was about to be shuttered for a second time, O’Malley asked Nomo to join him in his efforts to help save this historic Spring Training camp.

Today, Nomo is leading an industrial league team in the Osaka region of Japan, called “Nomo Baseball Club,” which gives non-drafted players (semi-professional) an opportunity to compete.
The above photo features Hideo Nomo and Peter O’Malley at the press conference that introduced Nomo at the New Otani Hotel, Los Angeles on February 13, 1995.  Photo credit: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

UPDATE:  Here are some quotes from the Dodgers about Nomo's election.

From Tommy Lasorda:
“I am so happy and proud to learn of Hideo Nomo’s election to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, he is truly a Hall of Famer,” said Tommy Lasorda, who managed Nomo during his first two MLB seasons in 1995-96. “When he came to the Dodgers in 1995, I remember taking him under my wing like a son and helping him with the transition. He was quite a pitcher and competitor, but he is also a very special and caring person. The Dodger fans loved him and it became the start of ‘Nomomania’ in Los Angeles and Japan. Hideo, on behalf of the Dodger organization, congratulations on this prestigious honor. We wish you and your wonderful family many happy and healthy years.”
From Stan Kasten:
“The Los Angeles Dodgers congratulate Hideo Nomo on his election to the Japanese Hall of Fame,” said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. “‘Nomomania’ was a very special time for Dodger fans in the United States and internationally. He had a great career both in Japan and the United States and that’s quite evident by the overwhelming voter support Hideo received in gaining entrance on the first ballot.”

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Blog Kiosk: 1/17/2014 - Dodgers Links - Baseball Instant Replay, Hiccups and the Rink at Dodger Stadium

Check out this great photo tweeted out by @VinScullyTweet yesterday evening.  It is from October 23, 1957.  Dodgers brass and at least one player (Jim Gilliam) are featured boarding the Dodgers plane.  Other than Vin Scully, who else do you recognize?
  • There is a press conference scheduled for this morning at 10:00 AM at Dodger Stadium.  It is likely to be a formal announcement regarding the new Clayton Kershaw extension.  The Dodgers will stream the event live online.  Go here.  Unfortunately, I will be at the doctor for a physical, so I will miss the entire thing.
  • This coming Saturday, January 18th is Upper Deck's National Hockey Card Day in America.  Go here for details.  Collectors will receive a free pack of UD hockey cards at participating stores. 
  • The rules for instant replay in Baseball have been approved, via a MLB press release.  The entire process is detailed in that link.  (Hat Tip: Dodger Insider)  The most interesting part is the use of a hard-wired Replay Command Center located at MLB Advanced Media headquarters in New York.  This system sounds very much like the NHL's replay center for reviewing all goals.  
Major League Umpires will be staffed as Replay Officials at the Replay Command Center. After viewing video feeds, the Replay Official will make the ultimate determination of whether to overturn the call, based on the continuing standard of whether there is clear and convincing evidence.
I was amazed at what he has accomplished. How the power of ONE person can make a huge difference in others lives. Once a month he gathers all his friends and collects food, clothing and shoes. Then he heads to Downtown LA Skid Row which contains one of the largest populations, between 3,000 and 6,000, of homeless people in the United States. The sidewalks are lined cardboard boxes, tents, and shopping carts. There he feeds about 350 homeless people who gather.
(pic via @LAKings on twitter)

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