Thursday, March 06, 2014

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 9/Road Game 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.
 LOS ANGELES DODGERS (3-4-1) at LA Angels of Anaheim (3-3)
Thursday, March 6, 2014 – 1:05 p.m. | Tempe Diablo Stadium
RHP Dan Haren (0-0, 4.50) vs. LHP C.J. Wilson (0-1, 13.50)
Spring Game 9/Road Game 5
Television: SNLA/Radio: KLAC

(Tim Wallach, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

I-5 RIVALS: The Dodgers travel to Tempe to face the Angels in the clubs’ only meeting during Cactus League play. The two clubs will square off three more times during the exhibition season in the Freeway Series, March 27-28, in Los Angeles and March 29 in Anaheim, and meet four times during the regular season in early August. Since the advent of Interleague Play, the Dodgers trail 56-40 in the all-time series.
  • Two weeks from today, the Dodgers will play Team Australia in an exhibition game at the Sydney Cricket Ground followed by two games against the D-backs in MLB’s Opening Series, March 22-23. Opening Day is just 16 days away!

UP FOR THE CHALLENGE: Don Mattingly and the Dodgers will get their first taste of the new instant replay system today against the Angels in Tempe, as Mattingly will have the ability to challenge umpires’ calls. Los Angeles has a total of five Cactus League games where replay will be used; today, March 11 at Kansas City, March 12 vs. Arizona, March 15 vs. Chicago-AL and March 16 vs. Colorado, and the system will be in place for all three Freeway Series games against the Angels.
  • Dodger video coordinator John Pratt will be assisting with the replay process today and during Spring Training from the visiting clubhouse. Pratt is in his third season as the club’s video coordinator after joining the organization in 2011 as the Triple-A Albuquerque video coordinator.

FAMILIAR FACES: Dan Haren will face his former Angels’ teammates today as he makes his second start of the spring after allowing one run on three hits on Saturday against the Brewers. Haren, in his first season with the Dodgers, pitched for the Angels for three seasons from 2010-12, going 33-27 with a 3.52 ERA in 79 games (78 starts) with the club, before spending the 2013 season in Washington.
  • Scheduled to make his third 2014 Cactus League appearance today is right-hander Javy Guerra, who has two scoreless outings under his belt (2.0 IP), last pitching on Saturday against the Brewers. Last season, the reliever spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Albuquerque and allowed nine runs (eight earned) in 10.2 innings in nine appearances during his only stint with Los Angeles from April 30-May 30.
  • Non-roster invitee Carlos Frias will also take the mound today after allowing one run in his first outing (1.0 IP) a week ago vs. the Diamondbacks. Frias, 24, is coming off an impressive stint with Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League, going 1-0 with a 1.62 ERA in 15 relief appearances.
  • Zack Greinke threw off a mound again today after a mini-bullpen yesterday. Greinke made just four pitches in his only Spring Training appearance on Feb. 27 against the D-backs before suffering a mild right calf strain.
(Guerrero's Grand Slam swing, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

SEEMS LIKE ONLY YESTERDAY: Los Angeles scored a bounceback win last night with two home runs, a grand slam by Alex Guerrero and a solo shot by Adrian Gonzalez, in a 10-3 victory over the Reds in Goodyear. Gonzalez had two hits, while Mike Baxter (2-for-3, R) and Juan Uribe (2-for-3, 2 R, RBI) also posted multi-hit games in the Dodgers’ 10-hit outburst. Hyun-Jin Ryu picked up the win, allowing two runs on four hits with three strikeouts in 4.0 innings, and Matt Magill earned the save, striking out three in 3.0 innings of one-run ball.

HELLO HALOS: Longtime Angel Chone Figgins will face his former teammates today after spending eight years with the Halos from 2002-2009. The 2009 All-Star compiled a .291 batting average with 31 home runs and 341 RBI in 936 games as an Angel before signing with Seattle as a free agent prior to the 2010 campaign. Figgins, who is in the starting lineup today at third base, has made starts at five different positions for the Dodgers this spring; second base, third base, shortstop, left field and center field.

PENGUINS IN ARIZONA?: Six-time All-Star Ron Cey made his first appearance of the spring at Camelback Ranch-Glendale today and will serve as a special instructor through Monday. Cey played 12 of his 17 Major League seasons with Los Angeles (1971-81), posting a .261 career batting mark and averaging 25 home runs and 89 RBI per 162 games played.

ROLLING DEEP: The Dodgers will have eight minor leaguers suiting up for today’s game in Tempe: RHP Henry Sosa (#95), RHP Sam Demel (#38), LHP Daniel Moskos (#47), RHP Chris Anderson (#94), OF Jon Garcia (#86), OF Jeremy Hazelbaker (#89), OF Scott Schebler (#90) and INF Darnell Sweeney (#87).
  • Chris Anderson will don the Dodger uniform for the first time today after he was selected with the 18th overall pick in last year’s draft out of Jacksonville University. Anderson, who enters the season rated by Baseball America as the Dodgers’ No. 5 prospect, made 12 starts for Single-A Great Lakes in his first professional seasons, posting a 3-0 record with a 1.96 ERA. The 21-year-old limited opponents to a .201 batting average and struck out 50 in 46.0 innings.
(Hyun-Jin Ryu, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA DOdgers 2014)

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Like Finding Treasure In Your Own Pocket - A Ladies Baseball Club Postcard - Features the Man Who Signed Jackie First

As I'm sure many of you have realized, I am an avid collector of oddball Baseball memorabilia.  I've got everything from pinbacks to statues, nonsports cards to autographs, press photos to postcards.  In fact, that last item, postcards, is the main subject of this post.

While recently going through the current Hake's Americana auction (that I wrote about here) I came across an item that looked very familiar.  For sale is a 1910 Hopkins Bros. Champion Lady Baseball Club postcard (see it here) at a very high opening bid, and I realized that I have that exact same postcard in my collection (see it at the very top).

As is the case with much of my collection, I am a frugal buyer.  I shop around and rarely splurge, unless it was a must have item.  I would not consider the Hopkins Bros. postcards to be must have - just interesting.  So, imagine my surprise when a postcard that I likely paid less than $20 for is listed at an opening bid of $200.00.  Needless to say, I was shocked and elated.

Did I stumble upon a rarity?

Apparently, I did.

As I found out, the 1910 Hopkins Bros. Champion Lady Baseball Club postcard is notable in the hobby because it features the only known Baseball memorabilia item of Negro League pioneer and Baseball Hall of Famer J.L. Wilkerson.  Wilkie, as he was better known, is shown as the gentlemen on the top row, at center.  A blow-up of him is on the right.

Wilkerson was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2006, and was the founding owner of the Kansas City Monarchs.  His Monarchs won 10 league titles and 2 Negro League World Championships.  He was also the first league owner to hire African-American umpires and set up portable lights to play night Baseball.

Per a description on Wikipedia:
Wilkinson was the only white team owner trusted by Rube Foster when the Negro National League was founded; Wilkinson became a trusted member of Foster's inner circle. Stories were told by his players that during the Depression, Wilkinson would bunk with his coaches and players when the team was on the road and hotels were short of rooms.
Of special note to Dodger fans, Wilkie signed Jackie Robinson to his first professional contract as owner of the Monarchs.

Further searching found that a similar postcard sold at a Goodwin & Co. auction in 2012 at $756.  That postcard was in much better condition that what I have.

BTW, my postcard has been marked up with notation from the original owner.  Apparently, this postcard was purchased during an exhibition game in Kemmerer, WY in August 1910.

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2014 Donruss Baseball - The Dodgers Relic & Autographed Cards

Here is my final post featuring Dodger cards found in 2014 Donruss packs.  Go here to check out my other post on this set.  This time I show the Dodger relic and autographed cards.

There is a Power Plus autographed card of Carl Crawford (#20), but an example has yet to be unearthed.

Donruss Signatures

#10 Dusty Baker

Game Gear

#43 Matt Kemp                                       #50 Yasiel Puig

Re-Collection Buy-Back Autographs

#2 Dusty Baker #/20                             #13 Dusty Baker #/20

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Blog Kiosk: 3/6/2014 - Dodgers Links - Lasorda thew Motivator, Greinke Throwa and Kenley's Dominant Cutter

Above is Maury Will, Franklin Stubbs and Davey Lopes from last nights game, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.
  • Via Peter Gammons, "Dodger Blue prevails over L.A."
It’s hard not to look at the Dodgers and think that if their pitching is healthy, they are the best National League team west of the Mississippi. Clayton Kershaw is the best in the game, and doesn’t turn 26 for another couple of weeks. Zack Greinke. Hyun-Jin Ryu. Josh Beckett, healthy again after Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Surgery. Dan Haren. Colletti signed Paul Maholm for depth. Former number one pick Zach Lee is nearly ready.
I remember, back in 2008, Tommy came into the Kings locker room during a crosstown rivalry game against Ducks, and motivated them to a 3 to 1 victory.  I was in the stands for that game, and heard about the motivational speech during the game.  I have to admit, the Kings weren't very good, and I do recall noticing a little bit more jump in the step that night (or, stride in their skate, as it were).  Keep in mind, the Kings were in the midst of a rebuilding, and the Ducks had just won the Stanley Cup.  Colin Gunderson at has the story about this.
The thing about Jansen is he’s aggressive with his cutter in the strike zone. He doesn’t have Rivera’s impeccable command, but his command is plenty good and the quality of his cutter gives him a greater margin of error. He’s able to get away with more.

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