Monday, March 03, 2014

The Jim Gilliam 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet

Here is another post featuring the 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet set.  Go here to see my past post showcasing this set; including complete scans of both the Vin Scully/Jerry Doggett and Don Drysdale booklets.  This time I share the Jim Gilliam Booklet.

Jim Gilliam spent his entire Major League career as a Dodger.  He was a consummate professional, a student of the game, a teacher and coach.  Gilliam was immensely versatile on the field and exhibited an intelligent approach to the game that won plaudits from everyone.  It's doubtful there was ever any other Dodger who was a smarter player.

Walter Alston once said this of Gilliam:
“He gets on base. He can punch the ball on the hit and run. He steals and never throws to the wrong base. He knows how to get a walk. He has all the little things that go to make up a good ballclub….I don’t think he’s ever been late a day in his life.”
Former teammate Ron Fairly said this of him:
“Junior played to win ballgames,” Fairly said. “He didn’t care who was the player who won the game so long as the Dodgers won the game. Jim didn’t worry about personal things like that.”
An example of Gilliam's willingness to sacrafice his statistics for a win is best told by Gilliam himself.
“I try to help him (Maury Wills) …Lots of times there are pitches I could swing at, but I see Maury out of the corner of my eye and take the pitch if I think he’s going to get the base. Or else I’ll take a strike, even two strikes to give him a chance to steal it. If it looks like he could be caught, I’ll hit at the pitch. Maybe I’ll punch it through and Maury’ll be able to make it to third. Or else I’ll foul it off and he’s not out.
Jim Gilliam retired as a player-coach for the Dodgers after the 1966 season, and immediately started coaching fulltime for the team.  He had hoped that one day he would become a manager in the Major Leagues, but time ran out.  Late in the 1978 season he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, fell into a coma and died two days before the World Series matchup between the Dodgers and Yankees.  Before Game 1 of that series, the Dodgers retired his uniform number - #19.  He remains the only Dodger player to have his numbered retired by the team who is not a member of the Hall of Fame.

Los Angeles Times sports columnist Jim Murray wrote this in his tribute to Jim Gilliam.
“I guess my all-time favorite athlete was Jim Gilliam. He always thought he was lucky to be a Dodger.

I thought it was the other way around.”
Below are complete scans of every page from Jim Gilliam's 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet.  Click any pic to embiggen.  BTW, if you want to find out more about Gilliam I suggest reading his SABR biography.  It is very thorough.  Go here for that

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Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 6/Road Game 3

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.

 LOS ANGELES DODGERS (2-2-1) at Oakland Athletics (3-1-1)
Monday, March 3, 2014 – 1:05 p.m. | Phoenix Municipal Stadium
LHP Clayton Kershaw (0-1) vs. RHP A.J. Griffin (0-0)                       
Spring Game 6/Road Game 3
Television: SNLA/Radio: None

(Puig and Ryu fooling around, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

FEELIN’ ATHLETIC: The Dodgers travel to Phoenix Muni today for their first of two Cactus League meetings with the Athletics. The clubs will meet again for a rematch a week from today back in Glendale. The Dodgers are 9-16 all-time in the regular season against the A’s, last facing them in 2012, and have faced Oakland twice in the World Series, falling in five games in 1974 before downing the A’s, 4-1, in 1988.
  • The Dodgers open their “North American” regular season slate against the Padres in San Diego on March 30. In case you’re counting down the days, the Dodgers are just 19 days away from Opening Day in Sydney, Australia vs. the Diamondbacks!

SEEMS LIKE ONLY YESTERDAY: The Dodgers and Padres played to a 3-3 draw yesterday at Camelback Ranch as Josh Beckett and Paul Maholm made their 2014 debuts, tossing 2.0 scoreless innings apiece. Beckett, making his first appearance in a big league game since May 13, allowed just one hit and struck out three. Chone Figgins went 2-for-2 with a stolen base after entering the game as the designated hitter in the seventh inning and also scored a run in the seventh on Dee Gordon’s RBI triple.
(Beckett and Ethier high-five, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

ON THE MOUND: Clayton Kershaw will make his second start of the spring after allowing three runs on five hits in 2.0 innings and taking the loss on Wednesday at Arizona in the Dodgers’ Cactus League opener. Kershaw has made two career starts against Oakland without factoring in a decision, but has allowed just one run on seven hits with 15 strikeouts in 13.2 innings (0.66 ERA) against the A’s.
  • Brandon League is expected to make his first appearance of the spring today and is familiar with the A’s from his days pitching in Seattle from 2010-12. During the course of his career, League has made 35 appearances against Oakland (4.03 ERA), facing the A’s more than any other club besides the Yankees (42 games).
  • Seth Rosin will make his second appearance of the spring after an impressive debut on Wednesday at Arizona, when he struck out five of the seven batters he faced in 2.0 scoreless frames. Rosin was acquired in a trade with the Mets in December after he was selected from Philadelphia in the Rule 5 draft.
  • Pedro Baez (0 ER/1.0 IP, Thursday vs. Arizona), Carlos Frias (1 ER/1.0 IP, Thursday vs. Arizona) and Jarret Martin (0 ER/1.0 IP, Thursday vs. Arizona) are expected to make their second appearance of the spring today.
  • The Dodgers have yet to surrender a home run in 43.0 innings through five games this spring.

NOT SO MINOR: The Dodgers will suit up four minor leaguers today: RHP Justin Souza (#90), OF Jamie Romak (#94), OF Jeremy Hazelbaker (#92) and IF Darnell Sweeney (#87).
  • Hazelbaker was acquired from Boston on Oct. 23, 2013 in exchange for Alex Castellanos and batted .257 with 11 homers and 54 RBI in 121 games for the Red Sox’s Triple-A Pawtucket club last season. The 26-year-old was originally selected by Boston in the fourth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Ball State University.
  • Romak was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent on Nov. 19, 2013 and has a .248 career batting average with 149 homers and 564 RBI in 1,020 minor league games in 11 professional seasons. The 28-year-old spent the last two seasons in the Cardinals’ system after he was originally selected by the Braves in the fourth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft.
  • Souza enters his first season in the Dodger organization and has a 33-27 record with a 4.66 ERA in 302 games (28 starts) in eight minor league seasons. Last year, the 28-year-old went a combined 5-3 with a 4.58 ERA in 50 relief appearances with Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo in the Tigers’ organization.
  • Sweeney enters his third professional season after he was selected by the Dodgers in the 13th round of the 2012 draft out of Central Florida. The 23-year-old spent the 2013 campaign with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and ranked among the California League leaders in steals (48, 3rd), hits (152, T-4th), doubles (34, T-4th) and triples (16, 1st), while batting .275 with 11 homers and 77 RBI in 134 games.
(Honeycutt signs for fans, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

A CUTT ABOVE THE REST: Congratulations are in order for Dodger pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, who tonight will receive the Fred Gregg Jr. Award from the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame at their 48th annual banquet. The Gregg award goes “to an individual who has made major contributions to sports.” Rick’s wife, Debbie, will accept the award in his honor.

TAKING A STAND:  Earlier today, Clayton Kershaw, along with six other MLB players, was named to the Advisory Board of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating North America’s young people about the dangers of anabolic steroids and other appearance and performance enhancing drugs.   The friends and family of Taylor Hooton formed the Foundation in 2004 after his untimely death at 17 years old following his use of anabolic steroids. More information can be found at

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2014 Donruss - The Dodgers Base Cards

I didn't think I'd like this set, but I do.  Heck, I think the design perfectly encapsulates an old Baseball card brand that remains well regarded and loved by collectors today.  Even without MLB/team logos, I believe it is the early leader as one of the better looking card sets of the year.

Last week, Panini America dug up the Donruss brand and issued a brand new set for the 2014 season.  It includes Diamond King drawings, Rated Rookies (unfortunately, no Dodgers), a base card design reminiscent of their 1987 card set and inserts that hearken back to yesteryear.

In this post, I share all of the Dodgers base cards to the 2014 Donruss Baseball set.  Check them all out below.

BTW, the Diamond King card of Yasiel Puig below is a part of the base set, but is short printed.  I am uncertain how scarce it really is.  Also, as always there are numerous parallel cards available; including press proof, season and career stat line embossed cards.

Diamond Kings

#4 Yasiel Puig

Base Set

#69 Clayton Kershaw                           #92 Adrian Gonzalez

#133 Hyun-Jin Ryu                                   #147 Matt Kemp

#152 Zack Greinke                             #157 Hanley Ramirez

#163 Michael Young                                  #170 Yasiel Puig

#176 Carl Crawford

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Blog Kiosk: 3/3/2014 - Dodgers Links - Kemp, Greinke and Beckett

The above photo was taken by Orel Hershiser after Saturday's game and was shared on twitter.  He said, "Rainbow after game was worth the trip!!"
"His MRI was good, at least to the point where we're allowed to move forward. He's able to do more things. You'll see him out on the field more, you'll see him doing more stuff," manager Don Mattingly said on Saturday. "It doesn't mean he's full go or that he'll be playing games in a week. It's just part of a process of him getting ready."
"It had good spin, I've just got to get the feel back and the release point," said Billingsley. "I definitely was a little rusty."

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