Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Dodgers TV Channel - SportsNet LA - Opens for Business on Feb. 25th - Details Here

Throughout the winter, we received word about various signings of former Dodger players who would join the Dodgers cable channel this upcoming season.  We rejoiced at Orel Hershiser's signing, celebrated Nomar Garciaparra's return, and congratulated Jerry Hairston Jr. on his career change.  So, all we were waiting on now was information about the new channel.

I have just been notified that the new Dodgers channel, to be called SportsNet LA, will officially be going live on Tuesday, February 25, which is the day before the Dodgers first Spring Training ballgame at Camelback Ranch.

What good timing, eh?

As their press release said:
SportsNet LA will take fans behind-the-scenes and offer in-depth access into the Dodger organization, providing an immersive experience with never-before-seen content, and thousands of hours of comprehensive Dodger programming. SportsNet LA will televise 24/7 Dodger content, including live and classic games, live studio shows, numerous original programs, all with expert commentary led by the network's on-air talent team of Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra, Charley Steiner, Jerry Hairston, Alanna Rizzo and John Hartung.
Here is a pic tweeted out by the @Dodgers of the entire broadcast team.  As newest Feelin' Kinda Blue blog writer Jason Drantch said on twitter,
"Broadcast Team!  Assemble!"

You can follow SportsNet LA on twitter, here.  Also, their website is live.  Go here to see that.  The website is currently pushing fans to get in contact with their television providers to demand SportsNet LA.  No doubt we'll get upcoming stories about this or that cable/satellite provider refusing to carry the channel.  So that should be fun.

As for game broadcast, here is the lineup:
  • Vin Scully will, of course, continue broadcasting all home games and road games (in Arizona and California only) on television.
  • For games Scully will not be broadcasting on television, Charley Steiner and Orel Hershiser will make the call.
  • On the radio, Charley Steiner and Rick Monday will do the broadcast.
  • For games Steiner will be on television, Rick Monday and Nomar Garciaparra will be on the radio.
  • For Spanish language radio broadcast, the team remains the same: Jaime Jarrin, Pepe Yniguez and Fernando Valenzuela.
  • Jerry Hairston Jr. and Nomar Garciaparra will contribute both pre and post game Dodger coverage on television.
  • Alanna Rizzo will be an in-game reporter for games broadcast on television by Steiner and Hershiser, and be a host for both pre and post game shows on television.
  • John Hartung will be in the studio for SportsNet LA, anchoring the network's live studio shows.
BTW, Hartung was today's newest announced broadcast signing.  He was formerly with KABC-TV and a sports and news anchor.

So, there you have it.  Welcome your 2014 Dodger broadcasters.

Here's what some of them had to say on twitter.

Jerry Hairston Jr.

John Hartung

Alanna Rizzo

Orel Hershiser

Jaime Jarrin

And here's a video from the Dodgers introducing this new team.

Video Link:

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Check Out Greg's Contest - It's a Doozy - Win a Ticket to the Stadium Series Game!

I want to pass along a contest being held by Greg Zakwin at Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle that I know many of you will be interested in.

He is in possession of one (1) ticket to the upcoming Stadium Series outdoor hockey game at Dodger Stadium for this Saturday, and you have a chance of winning it.  Go here for details.

Again, GO HERE for you chance of winning a ticket to the game!

I'll just add that I told Greg not to throw my name in the hat since I've already booked my seats, so you won't have to worry about me possibly winning.  Now, go there now!

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The Dodgers First Home in Brooklyn - Washington Park I

The 2014 Baseball season is around the corner, so Dodger fans can look forward to some new upgrades to Dodger Stadium.  As I had previously reported, the Dodgers home will include expanded outfield pavilions that will now be connected to the rest of the stadium, a seating section overlooking the bullpens and new restaurants.

I think it's fair to say that these upgrades (included improvements from last year) were sorely needed, and makes me wonder how we ever survived a game at Chavez Ravine before Stan Kasten's group.  Then, I wondered about the previous stadiums the team resided in, and I realized, other than Ebbets Field, that I didn't know much about them.

So, I thought I'd share with you my journey as I take a look back at some of the stadiums the Dodgers used to play in.

As a point of reference, below is a quick guide of past Dodger home fields:
  • 1883-1891 -- Washington Park I
  • 1886 -- Grauer's Ridgewood Park
  • 1887-1889 -- Wallace's Ridgewood Park
  • 1891-1897 -- Eastern Park
  • 1898-1912 -- Washington Park II
  • 1913-1956 1957 -- Ebbets Field
*Please note that the dates above may not be exactly correct.  Various sources I found conflicted on this, so consider it approximate.  Also, it appears that the team played at several different ballparks during some season.

The stadium first thought of as the original home of the Brooklyn franchise was at Washington Park I; on the corners of 3rd Street and 4th Avenue in Brooklyn.  Do not confuse this ballpark with its reincarnation built some 8 years after the Dodgers left Washington Park I (and located a couple blocks northeast of this field). 

Washington Park I was situated in an area of Brooklyn called Park Slope.  It was bounded by 3rd and 5th Streets, and 4th and 5th Avenues, and still exist there today.  Below is an aerial view of where Washington Park I Stadium once stood.

And below are original drawings of how the field sat on the land, per Brooklyn  The pic on the left was drawn by the teams founders in 1883, and on the right is from 1888.  (Click to embiggen)  The cost of building the ballpark was $13,000.00 in 1883, and it was said to be able to seat up to 2,500 fans in the stands and another 2,000 in standing-only areas (usually the outfield).  Later on, it expanded to seat another 3,000 fans in the stands.  According to, the dimensions of the field were as follows:
  • 335' to left field;
  • 445' to center field; and
  • 215' to a short porch in right field

Also, at the top of this post is a public domain photo of Washington Park I found at Wikimedia Commons.  This is a photo I've seen in the past as a postcard.  The postcard made note that the photo was taken on Decoration Day (the former name for Memorial Day) in 1887, which was on Monday, May 30th, in a game between the Brooklyn Grays and the St. Louis Browns.
(pic via Dodgers website)

Baseball Reference tells me that they played a doubleheader on this day.  Unfortunately, Brooklyn lost both games; 8 to 7 and 9 to 3.  I suspect another photo I saw on the Dodgers website was also taken on this day.  You can see it on the right.

(By C.J. Taylor, 1884)
BTW, during the winter the field was flooded into a pond and frozen over for ice skating.  In fact, it was here where several baseball games were played on ice as noted by Mark Langill on a blog post at Dodger insider.  See the woodcut on the left.

As for the parks historical significance, Washington Park I Stadium sits on land where General George Washington once led revolutionary forces against the British in the Battle of Long Island (also known as the Battle of Brooklyn).  This was the first battle after the states declared their independence.

A house, once called Vechte-Cortelyou House (today called the Old Stone House), sat on the grounds of Washington Park I, and is an important relic from the Battle of Long Island and to the Dodgers.

General George Washington used it as his headquarters prior to evacuating his forces to Manhattan.  As you may know, this was a major defeat for the revolutionary forces as they would eventually be driven from the state of New York after several more losing battles.

The Brooklyn team used that same house as their clubhouse when they resided at Washington Park I, over 100 years later.

Today, the Old Stone House still exist and can be visited.  Here is its website.  The original stone house was destroyed and burned to the ground in 1897, but was rebuilt in the 1930's using original stones excavated from the site.  Also, it was moved slightly from its original location. 

Below is a pic of the Old Stone House; the former home of the Brooklyn franchise and one-time headquarters to General George Washington.
(pic via Dmadeo at Wikimedia Commons)

Unfortunately, there are very few other photos of this old ballpark.  It would be great to see more pics of the stands and its facilities.  If you happen to know where more can be seen please let me know.

In the meantime, check out an old 1888 Joseph Hall cabinet photo of the Brooklyn team that was taken at Washington Park I.  You can see the grandstands in the background.  BTW, this cabinet card is scarce and valuable.  This particular example sold in 2004 at Legendary Auctions at $8,348.00.

Here is another Joseph Hall cabinet photo of the 1888 Cincinnati Red Stockings taken at Washington Park I.  In this photo you get a much clearer view of the stands.

Joseph Hall was a noted Baseball photographer based in Brooklyn, so he naturally photographed many of his subjects at his home teams stadium.  The below cabinet card sold in 2008 at Robert Edwards Auctions at $3,525.00.

Also, 1888 Old Judge tobacco cards and cabinets of the Brooklyn team appear to have been taken at Washington Park, as well. See a couple below found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art website, here and here.  As you can see, the stands were built into the bank of the park.

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7 Days Before the 2014 Baseball Season Starts for the Collector

One week from today, 2014 Topps Baseball cards officially hit the streets. 

This moment ushers in the new season, and assures us all that Baseball is just around the corner.  I'm excited and I can't wait.

I can't wait to open up my first pack of cards, and I can't wait to go to my first ballgame.

In anticipation of their most important product, Topps has been sharing preview pics of the set across all of their social media channels.  BTW, the card at the very top is a preview card Topps shared several months back to illustrate the card design for the 2014 base set. 

Below are some of the Dodger cards they have shown the last couple of days.
(pic link: twitter @ToppsCards)

These first three cards are silk relic insert cards that are numbered to only 50 copies.  Above is Hyun-Jin Ryu, and below is Adrian Gonzalez.
(pic link: Topps on Facebook)

These cards provide a glimpse at what photos Topps uses for the normal base cards.  The silk cards are miniature versions of the base cards.  Below is Yasiel Puig.
(pic link: twitter @ToppsCards)

Several days ago, Topps shared a pic of Dodger hitting coach Mark McGwire signing a bunch of Topps cards for inclusion into this set.  I doubt that he will be sporting a Dodger uniform on those cards, but one could hope.
(pic link: twitter @ToppsCards)

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Lakers Hall of Famer Jamaal Wilkes (HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED)

Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.


This is the only signing event I am aware of this weekend. 
This has been rescheduled for February 16th!!!

This coming Sunday, January 26th at the Radisson in Whitter, LA Laker and Basketball Hall of Famer Jamaal Wilkes will be signing autographs for fans.  It will be from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM that evening.  This is a pay for autograph event.  Go here for more information.

He is coming out for the Uptown Whittier Sports Fest that is held every Sunday at the Radisson. 
7320 Greenleaf Avenue
Whittier, California 90602

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Blog Kiosk: 1/22/2014 - Dodgers Links - Kemp, Bundy and Clayton

Tommy Lasorda received the NL Bobby Murcer Award on behalf of the Dodgers at the B.A.T. charity dinner last night, pic above via @Dodgers on twitterMark Newman at has a story up about the event, here.
“It was flattering,” Bundy said on being appointed Dodger third base coach. “I’m a very humble person. The opportunity to first, work with the Dodgers has always been very special. Especially growing up, I grew up a Dodger fan per se because of Jackie Robinson. He was someone talked about often in my family. Especially by my dad.”
  • Via Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times, "Dodgers' Matt Kemp advised by agent to not rush back for opening day".   He also notes that Alexander Guerrero is currently working out in Arizona with Jose Vizcaino at 2nd base.
  • Apparently, Matt Kemp wanted to use the phrase "Beast Mode" on some apparel he would be marketing, but it is trademarked by Marshawn Lynch.  TMZ tells us that Lynch told Kemp no, and they have a video response from Kemp.
  • Masahiro Tanaka chooses the Yankees, via Bryan Hoch at
  • Via JP Hoornstra at Inside the Dodgers, "Daily Distractions: Cut fastball could fast-track Ross Stripling to Los Angeles."  JP also tells us that Dodger Stadium will have permanent metal detectors onsite by the 2015 season, here.
  • Adam Rubin at ESPN tells us that, "Tommy Lasorda blasts A-Rod".
  • Mike Petriello at Dodgers Digest provides an update on the 15 Dodgers who are non-roster invitees to Spring Training.  It includes word that the Dodgers just signed free agent catchers Miguel Olivo and Griff Erickson to minor league contracts
  • Old Time Family Baseball writes, "My New Favorite Baseball Team: Fat Men’s Amusement Company".  This is great.  Over the years, I've seen vintage postcards featuring these portly men of the ballfield, and I've wondered what there story was.  Who are they?  Could they play competitive ball?  Did they ever try to steal?  Unfortunately, there remains few answers, but it was nice to see this story, nonetheless.  There's a great video of a real uniform presented on the Antique Roadshow that you have to watch.  BTW, I totally disagree with the appraisal.  I think at auction, all of the items would sell in excess of the $2k stated - easily.
  • Via DSWright at Fire Dog Lake, "Grantland Editor-In-Chief Apologizes For Story That May Have Led To Subject’s Suicide".  This is an episode of when reporting goes wrong.
  • Night Owl Cards blog has been named the 2013 Best Card blog of the Year for the 3rd straight time.  Congrats! 

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