Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Full-Squad Workout #6

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.
(Adrian coaching his daughter, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

ARE WE THERE YET?: Just a week 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 sixth full-squad workout of 2014.
  • Another round of hitters faced live pitching today, as three groups of hitters encountered Dan Haren, Kenley Jansen, Chris Perez, Josh Beckett, Brian Wilson, J.P. Howell, Stephen Fife and non-roster invitee Chris Reed.
  • Newcomer Dan Haren, who is a three-time All-Star, is 129-111 with a 3.74 ERA in 327 career games (316 starts) and has posted double-digit win totals in his last nine seasons, ranking among the Major League leaders in quality starts (194, 1st), innings (1927.2, 2nd), wins (123, 4th) and strikeouts (1661, 4th) since 2005. The right-hander is among the game’s best when it comes to limiting walks, ranking first among active pitchers with 1.87 walks-per-nine innings and his 4.08 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks third all-time in the live-ball era (min. 1500 IP).
  • Also a new face to the Dodgers is right-handed reliever Chris Perez, a 28-year-old who has notched 132 saves and posted a 3.41 ERA in six seasons with St. Louis (2008-09) and Cleveland (2009-13). The two-time American League All-Star has fared well against NL opponents, posting a 3.35 ERA (29 ER/78.0 IP) in 84 career appearances.
GETTING THEIR REPS IN: The Dodgers will play in two inter-squad games on Sunday, Feb. 23 and Monday, Feb. 24 on the backfields of Camelback Ranch - Glendale. Pitchers schedule to throw on Sunday include Matt Magill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Perez, Brian Wilson, Kenley Jansen and J.P. Howell. On Monday, Stephen Fife, Dan Haren, Chris Reed, Paco Rodriguez and Jamey Wright each will pitch.

A WARM WELCOME: There has been a steady stream of familiar faces to arrive at Camelback Ranch – Glendale in the last few days, including Sandy Koufax, Orel Hershiser, Tommy Davis and Eric Karros. Today, yet another person to arrive for the first time to 2014 camp was Dodger Owner Todd Boehly, who spent the morning visiting with players, coaches and Dodger alumni.

PING-PONG RALLY’S ON: The Dodgers’ second annual double-elimination doubles ping-pong tournament continues in the Dodger clubhouse. In a shocking revelation today, the dynamic duo of non-roster invitee Daniel Moskos and right-handed pitcher Chris Withrow defeated last year’s inaugural champion, Clayton Kershaw and his partner Chad Billingsley, to advance to the quarterfinal round. All hope is not lost for Team Kershaw to defend the title, as the once undisputed ping-pong champion of the Dodgers must win four games in a row to reclaim the title.
(Ryu tries his hand at ping pong, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

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The Tommy Davis 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet

Here is another installment featuring the 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet set.  Go here to see my past posts showcasing this set; including complete scans of both the Vin Scully/Jerry Doggett and Roger Craig booklets.

Tommy Davis was always going to be a Dodger.  He was born just 8 years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Brooklyn, New York.  A standout athlete at Boys High School in Brooklyn, he was set to sign a professional contract with the Yankees in 1956, but a certain voice came calling.  Jackie Robinson gave him a ring and made a strong pitch on behalf of the team.  As you can imagine, the Brooklyn born child couldn't say no.  So, he started his career in Blue.

Davis made his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1959 as a late-season call-up.  In that lone pinch-hit at-bat he struck out against journeyman reliever Marshall Bridges.  Fortunately, that was not entirely symbolic of his future.  The following season, he earned a spot on the regular roster to start the year, and soon established himself as one of the leagues best young stars. 

He played 7 full season in Los Angeles; batting a career .304, a slugging percentage of .441, and OPS+ of 117 as a Dodger.  To this day he holds various LA Dodger records; including most RBI's in a season with 153 (1962), most hits in a season with 230 (1962), most RBI's in the month of June (1962), and the top 2 season batting averages as a LA Dodger (1962 & 1963).

After the 1966 season he would be traded to the Mets.  Then, Tommy Davis would play for 9 different ballclubs over the next 10 season; thereby, going full circle.  He had become the journeyman ballplayer reminiscent of the man who struck him out in his very first Major League at-bat.
(Steve Yeager and Tommy Davis, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

As you know, Tommy Davis has remained a member of the Dodger family.  He is a constant presence at LA Dodgers charitable events, and is currently at Camelback Ranch advising youngsters during Spring Training.

Below are complete scans of every page from Tommy Davis' 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet.  Click any pic to embiggen.

One item of note, this booklet has been stamped by the gas station that originally gave it away.  As you can see, Rollie and Stan's Union Service in Glendale gave this booklet to an eager fan.  Although many collectors might see this stamp as a unwanted blemish, I believe otherwise.  I think of it as a beautiful scar that tells you a bit about its past - a mark that is to be remembered and recalled. 

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Hockey, Football and Basketball

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.


The Jackie Robinson of NHL hockey will be signing autographs at the OC Dugout in Anaheim.  Willie O'Ree will be siging on Saturday, February 22nd from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  He broke the color barrier in the NHL in 1957. Autographs start at just $20 each, and photo-ops are FREE with the purchase of any will-call autograph ticket for the event.  Go here for more information.
The OC Dugout (owners of
1238 S. Beach Blvd.
Ste. K
Anaheim, California 92804
(714) 527-6319

Former LA Ram, Mike Lansford will be signing autographs at Harry's Dugout in Whittier on Sunday, February 23rd from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM.  Go here for more information.
Harry's Dugout
10715 Beverly Boulevard
Whittier, CA, 90601


Los Angeles Lakers Center, Robert Sacre will be signing autographs at Westside Sports Cards & Memorabilia in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 22nd, from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM.  Pricing:$20 for ANY ITEM Signed.  Go here for information.
Westside Sports Cards & Memorabilia
1431 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 828-1777

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Blog Kiosk: 2/19/2014 - Dodgers Links - Keeping Hanley Focused, Puig's International Impact and Dodger Ping Pong

Eric Karros and Mark McGwire are featured in the photo above, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.

"It's a conversation I wanted to have. I didn't want it hanging out there," said Mattingly. "I've been a player, I know. He knows what I think about him as a player."
"New ownership came in and asked what were some of the things we needed to do immediately, and we said, 'We need to get engaged in Latin America like today,' and they said, 'Let's go,"' Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "Puig became available and we made a push to sign him, but also to serve notice to other players in Latin America that we are back and we are real and we'll spend money for talent."
Feller “was the engine that powered that museum,” DiBiasio said. “With his passing, the business model is just not working.”

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