Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Full-Squad Workout #5

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
(Hyun-Jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers

GROUNDHOG DAY: Just eight days away from their Cactus League opener against the D-backs at Salt River Fields - Talking Stick, the Dodgers took to the fields at Camelback Ranch – Glendale for the fifth full-squad workout of 2014.
  • Another round of live batting practice took place today to close out the day’s workout, as Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp faced off against left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu and right-hander Matt Magill on Field 1. On Field 2, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, Juan Uribe, Chone Figgins and Justin Turner took their cuts against left-handed pitcher Jarret Martin, right-handed pitcher Pedro Baez and right-handed pitcher Carlos Frias.

A WARM WELCOME: There has been a steady stream of familiar faces to arrive at Camelback Ranch – Glendale in the last few days, including the likes of Sandy Koufax, Orel Hershiser and Tommy Davis. Another Dodger great to arrive in camp today was Eric Karros, whose name is etched atop the LA Dodgers career home run list with 270, 42 ahead of Ron Cey. In Karros’ 14-year career, he was honored with the 1992 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 1995 Silver Slugger Award for first basemen, the year in which he also finished fifth in the NL MVP voting. Karros will serve as a guest instructor while in camp.
(Koufax, Hershiser and Honeycutt are coaching Stripling, pic via @Dodgers on twitter)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!: Assistant Hitting Coach John Valentin and Coach/Spanish TV Broadcaster Manny Mota both celebrated their birthdays today at Camelback Ranch – Glendale.
  • Valentin enters his second season as the assistant hitting coach after serving as a minor league coach in the Dodgers’ organization since 2008, following an 11-year Major League career with Boston (1992-2001) and New York-NL (2002). Valentin posted a career .279 batting average and was honored with the Silver Slugger Award with the Red Sox in 1995.
  • Mota enters his 35th season as a coach with the Dodgers and 2014 will mark his 46th year with Los Angeles after a playing career that spanned parts of 13 seasons from 1969-1980 and 1982. During his 20-year-career, Mota hit .304 with San Francisco (1962), Pittsburgh (1963-68), Montreal (1969) and the Dodgers (1969-80, 82) while becoming baseball’s all-time pinch-hit leader with 150, a mark since broken by Lenny Harris and Mark Sweeney.
(Manny Mota, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

ALL DODGERS, ALL THE TIME: We’re just seven days away from the launch of SportsNet LA on February 25, the new 24-hour-a-day network of the Dodgers. SNLA will televise all of this year’s Dodger Cactus League games, with the exception of two split-squad games, giving fans more Spring Training coverage than ever before. In addition to airing games during Spring Training, SportsNet LA will also air a nightly show, “Access SportsNet: Dodgers,” at 7:00 p.m. PT.
  • SNLA’s programming lineup will include new shows “Backstage: Dodgers,” “Access SportsNet: Dodgers,” “Leadoff LA,” “Dodgers Clubhouse,” “Connected With,” “Talkin’ Blue,” “Dodgermentary,” “Timeless Dodgers” and “Dodgers Squeeze Play” all set to air starting Feb. 25. For more information, please visit www.ineedmydodgers.com.
  • Today, SNLA began filming a series of long-form interviews for the “Connected With” program. During the next few days, Orel Hershiser, John Hartung and Alanna Rizzo will sit down for extended interviews with Don Mattingly, Clayton Kershaw, Brian Wilson and Adrian Gonzalez for the network.
(Hershiser interviewing Koufax for SportsNet LA, pic via @alannarizzo on twitter)

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Looking at the 1989 Dodgers Unocal Pin Set

Following up on my posts from last week featuring pinbacks from the Dodgers Unocal pin set, I now share with you the pins from the 1989 set.  Go here to check out my previous post on these sets.

Check out all 6 pins from the 1989 pin set below.  The descriptions are from the cardboard backing that came with the original packaging for the pins.  As you can see, there is a definite theme involved.  Each one celebrates a Dodgers' World Series Championship.
Pin #1 - 1988 Dodgers vs. A's -Kirk Gibson's dramatic 2-run pinch-homer in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 1 set the stage for the Dodgers' sixth World Championship, fifth in LA.  Orel Hershiser won two games, a 6+0 shutout and the complete game Series clincher, to earn MVP honors.

Pin #2 - 1981 Dodgers vs. Yankees -Rick Monday's winning homer against Montreal in the NLCS sent the Dodgers to the World Series.  After losing the first two games at Yankee Stadium, the Dodgers clinched the title by winning the next four straight.  The Series marked the first tri-MVP selection in World Series history - Steve Yeager, Pedro Guerrero and Ron Cey.

Pin #3 - 1965 Dodgers vs. Twins -The Twins had been blanked only twice all year, but the Dodgers shut them out three times, once by Claude Osteen and twice by Sandy Koufax.  Koufax was named Series MVP as Sweet Lou Johnson hit the game-winning homer in Game 7.

Pin #4 - 1963 Dodgers vs. Yankees -The Dodgers used only four pitchers - Sandy Koufax, Johnny Podres, Don Drysdale and Ron Perranoski - who compiled a team ERA of 1.00.  Koufax was named MVP, setting Series records by striking out 15 in Game 1, including the first five batters he faced.

Pin #5 - 1959 Dodgers vs. White Sox -An all-time attendance record was set as the Dodgers won their first World Series in Los Angeles.  Larry Sherry became the first pitcher to finish all four wins in a World Series, earning him MVP honors.  Charlie Neal (.370, 2 HR's, 6 RBI), Gil Hodges (.391, 1 HR) and Chuck Essegian (2 pinch-HR's) were the hitting stars.

Pin #6 - 1955 Dodgers vs. Yankees - The Dodgers won their first-ever World Championship and became the first to win seven games after losing the first two.  Pitcher Johnny Podres was the Series MVP and Duke Snider was the hitting star (.320, 4 HR's, 7 RBI).  Sandy Amoros turned in the play of the Series with a running catch that saved at least two runs, in game seven.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Original Dodger Drawings by Dick Perez at Legendary Auctions

Legendary Auction has just started their February Catalog Auction and it is definitely worth a look.  There's a bunch of Dodgers' related collectibles.  In this post I feature some original artwork from famed Baseball artist Dick Perez.  Later this week, I'll share some of my favorite vintage press photographs from the collection of George Michael (the man behind the Sports Machine).

As you may know, Perez is one of the games most recognizable present-day Baseball artist.  His work can be found at the Baseball Hall of Fame and at a permanent exhibit at Citizen's Bank Ballpark (home of the Phillies).  Perez has been the official artist for the Phillies since 1982.  His work has also been found on Donruss' Diamond King series of Baseball cards.

Both original drawings below were printed in his 2010 book titled, "The Immortals: An Art Collection of Baseball’s Best".

Here is a charcoal drawing of Roy Campanella.  From the auction description:
Much of my early published works dealing with baseball were black-and-white illustrations. They had to be because the art was used in the Phillies yearbooks of the 70s when those publications were not in full color. I enjoy looking at the black-and-white works of the great masters, and I still love to do single-color work. I revisited my distant past doing this charcoal drawing of Roy Campanella.
(auction link)

This drawing is an oil painting of Duke Snider.  from the auction description:
New York City in the 1950s was the center of the baseball universe. Three teams represented the city, and each claimed the best centerfielder in baseball. For Brooklyn Dodger fans it was Duke Snider. Like his counterparts, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, Snider could hit for average and power, and he was a spectacular outfielder. Duke Snider was one of only three players to hit 4 home runs in World Series play; the others were Ruth and Gehrig. Snider did it twice, once in 1952 (pictured as the subject for this painting), and again in 1955, when he sparked the Dodgers to their first World Championship.

I found it appealing that the first person to greet and offer a congratulatory handshake to the great slugger was the batboy. But this was no ordinary batboy. He was "Charlie 'The Brow' DiGiovanna"—named so because of his uni-brow. He was the most publicized batboy in baseball history. He was in his early twenties and very popular with the players. One of his duties was to sign baseballs for the players, hundreds of them. Duke Snider once said that Charlie could sign his name better than he could. DiGiovanna died in 1958 at the age of 28, following a heart attack.
(auction link)

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Blog Kiosk: 2/18/2014 - Dodgers Links - Koufax's Return, Figgins Working to Get Back and League has a Mild Strain

Matt Kemp takes in some words of wisdom from Sandy Koufax, pic via @Dodgers on twitter.
“You have a great arm, you want to show it off, but I’d like to see him throw it to the right place all the time,” Koufax said. “He’s young. The biggest thing is he’s not played against competition as good as he is. So you’re always able to have your physical ability make up for whatever else you do. He’s learning. I’m sure it’s going to happen. He has too much talent.”
"At 25 you don't have to adjust. Talk to me when he's 35. He just has to keep doing what he's doing, and every year he has gotten better," he said. "If he keeps getting better the sky's the limit, and if he doesn't get any better the sky's still the limit. He's a great pitcher, he's special."
"We don't think it's anything serious," Mattingly said. "But we want to be extra cautious, especially with the schedule we've got, we don't want anybody pushing it and winding up with something worse. Just like Zach, Brandon is feeling better and he's moving closer to getting back on the mound."
  • Dodger Penguin was at the Steve Sax signing on Saturday and shares his awesome experience.
  • Dodger Penguin then visited Harry's Dugout for the Jack McDowell signing, our new Dodgers Single A manager, and shares some pics.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *