Tuesday, January 28, 2014

AJ Ellis is Getting a Bobblehead! - That Makes 12 Dodger Bobbles for 2014!

This is the coolest news! 

The Dodgers have decided to add a 12th bobblehead to their 2014 promotional schedule, and it's of AJ Ellis.  Per a Dodgers press release:
As part of their 2014 promotional schedule, the Los Angeles Dodgers will add an A.J. Ellis bobblehead. The first 50,000 fans in attendance on September 7 (vs. ARI) will receive an Ellis bobblehead. This marks the catcher's first Dodger Stadium bobblehead.

Ellis has served as the Dodgers' starting catcher for the past two years and is entering his 11th season with the organization after he was selected in the 18th round of the 2003 draft. The hard-working backstop guided the Dodgers' pitching staff to the Majors' second-lowest team ERA last year (3.25), when the club's hurlers established a franchise record for strikeouts (1,292), and ranked second among MLB qualifiers by throwing out 40.7% of runners attempting to steal. At the plate, Ellis tied for third on the club with a career high-tying 52 RBI and hit 10 homers in 2013, including a game-winning solo shot on Sept. 19 at Arizona in the Dodgers' division-clinching victory. In the postseason, the 32-year-old batted .323 with four doubles, a triple, a home run and three RBI, while catching every inning of the Dodgers' 10 playoff games.
Better yet, this new bobble appears to be a belated birthday gift to AJ's wife, Cindy.  She tweeted this out a few days ago (Hat Tip: Josh Tucker at Dodger Insider).

You sure can't beat that kind of turnaround.  Seemingly, with a lead-time of just a few days the Dodgers react and respond to Cindy's wishes and make her dream come true.  Congrats, Cindy!  And Congrats, Dodger fans!

This is a great announcement.

BTW, this new bobble will be the 12th bobblehead the team will give out this coming season.  Check out a list of Dodger bobbles below, and check out a complete promotional schedule here:
  • Clayton Kershaw on April 24 (vs. PHI);
  • Yasiel Puig on May 13 (vs. MIA);
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu on May 27 (vs. CIN);
  • Hello Kitty Mini Bobblehead on June 3 (vs. White Sox);
  • Tommy Lasorda on June 14 (vs. ARI);
  • Brian Wilson - Fan Vote bobblehead - on June 26 (vs. STL);
  • Pee Wee Reese and Roy Campanella (Coliseum moment; 1959) on July 12 (vs. SD);
  • Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith (30 HR same season) on July 31 (vs. ATL);
  • Zack Greinke on August 20 (vs. SD);
  • Magic Johnson on September 2 (vs. WAS); 
  • AJ Ellis on September 7 (vs. ARI); and
  • Babe Ruth (first base coach in Brooklyn; 1938) on September 9 (vs. SD).
Also, in case you didn't already know, a preview image of the Dodgers first bobblehead has already been leaked.  Check out the Clayton Kershaw Cy Young Bobblehead below.

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Mailbag: An Autographed card of a Dodgers Top Prospect - Julio Urias

I guess you can say that I've jumped onto the Urias bandwagon.

Julio Urias was signed by the Dodgers in August of 2012 as a 16-year old from Mexico, and made his pro debut on May 25, 2013 with the Great Lakes Loons (the Dodgers Low A Minor League affiliate).  Since then, he has absolutely wowed the scouts. 

He made a total of 18 starts, with 54.1 innings pitched (pitching few innings in order to maintain a low pitch count), and finished with a 2.48 ERA.  Additionally, he sported a phenomenal strike out per 9 innings ratio of 11.1, and a strike out to walk ratio of 4.19.  Not too shabby for the youngest player in the league, at 17-years old.

Since his debut, Urias has skyrocketed up the Dodgers ladder to be considered one of the 5 best (and in some polls the very best) prospects the Dodgers have. 

Per Doug Thorburn at Baseball Prospectus:
The most stunning grade on Urias' report card is the 50-grade repetition. Developing pitchers just do not have the type of consistency of timing and movement that Urias possesses right now, both game to game and within a single outing. He still has room for improvement, to be sure, but even when the southpaw is off-kilter he rarely misses his release point by much. Like any pitcher his age, Urias faces a mountain of work that has to be done before he can reach his potential, but he has an incredible head-start on his baseball journey, and the advanced nature of his skill-set puts him on an accelerated path to the big leagues.
Featured here is one of my most recent eBay purchases.  Check out the only Julio Urias card on the market - a 2013 Bowman Sterling Autographed card.  Today, this card can be purchased between $15 to $20 a piece.  I figured that if he's as good as they say he is, then I better pick one up now before it's too late.

Here are his stats, via Baseball Reference:

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A Vintage Brooklyn Dodgers Souvenir Sell Sheet

I came across this great little letter the other day on eBay and thought you'd all get a kick out of it.

Featured below is a 1953 letter from the Brooklyn Dodgers Publicity Department responding to a request from a fan for some autographs and memorabilia. They politely stated that they couldn't provide what the fan wanted, but he/she can get many of these items from their concessionaire. 

Then, they detailed the cost for such items.  Check out the letter below, and marvel at what a few coins could get you 60 years ago.
  • A facsimile autographed Baseball for $2.25; a
  • 1951 Dodgers Yearbook at $0.50; a
  • Scorecard at $0.10; a
  • Dodgers cap for $1.00;
  • Bracelets (including a luxury tax?) for $1.50;
  • Beanie hats for $1.00;
  • Autographed bats (large) for $0.75;
  • Autographed bats (small) for $0.50; and
  • Pennants for $0.50.
Wow!  Even if you put these values into an inflation calculator they still come out to be great deals.

(auction link)

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RIP, Pete Seeger

I was saddened to hear the news that country/folk singer Pete Seeger passed away yesterday.  He was 94 years old.  All I can add about his impact is to relay a quote I just read in a comment on youtube that I find most apt:
"Pete Seeger's banjo surrounds hate and forces it to surrender"
Watch the below video of Seeger on The Johnny Cash Show, March 4, 1970 where he sings the song "Worried Man Blues".

Video Link:

Goodnight Pete.  Thank You.

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Blog Kiosk: 1/28/2014 - Dodgers Links - Community Caravan, Dazzy Vance and Hugs all Around

How touching.  Good friends reunited.  Pic via @Dodgers on twitter.
“There’s a little bit of a backstory to it. I had a little brother, growing up — he was sick, he was always in the hospital and he later passed. Just coming to the hospital for me is pretty tough. The smell of a hospital reminds me of my little brother. Coming to see some of these kids, hooked up to these machines, it just takes me back. It’s definitely tough just to come here and see some of this stuff. But it’s what I guess I was born to do, and it’s nice to do and puts everything in perspective.”
As Bill James noted in his Historical Baseball Abstract, no one knows the exact procedure performed by this random New Orleans doctor. James speculated that bone chips and debris were cleared out of the elbow. Whatever the doctor did, the pain was gone and Vance could suddenly throw hard again.
In recognition of Black History Month, the second annual Compton Community Day will be celebrated Saturday, February 1 at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, featuring dignitaries representing Major League Baseball and the City of Compton. 

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