Friday, March 14, 2014

2014 Topps Heritage Baseball - Some of the Dodger Insert Cards

After a 1-week delay, Topps 2014 Heritage Baseball card set is finally available to the masses.  This year, the base cards copy the popular 1965 Topps Baseball card design that is known for its closeup portrait photos and pennant style team flags.

Featured in this post are some of the more common Dodger insert cards that are available.  Next week, I will show you the Dodger base cards, variations, autograph and relic cards.

Baseball Flashback

#BF-SK Sandy Koufax

New Age Performers

#NAP-CK Clayton Kershaw                   #NAP-HR Hyun-Jin Ryu

#NAP-YP Yasiel Puig

Then & Now Inserts

#TAN-KD Sandy Koufax / Yu Darvish

#TAN-KK Sandy Koufax / Clayton Kershaw

#TAN-WE Maury Wills / Jacoby Ellsbury

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Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 18/Road Game 8

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 (5-8-4) at Chicago Cubs (6-8)
Friday, March 14, 2014 – 1:05 p.m. | Mesa
RHP Josh Beckett (0-1, 9.00) vs. RHP Kyle Hendricks (0-0, 5.40)
Spring Game 18/Road Game 8
Television/Radio: SNLA/None

(Van Slyke photobombs, Guerrero, Arruebarrena and Puig, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS: With just four games remaining on the 2014 Cactus League slate, the Dodgers will face the Cubs at their new facility in Mesa for the first and only time this spring. Los Angeles leads the all-time series against Chicago, 1,034-1,024-14, and won six out of seven meetings in 2013, including a four-game sweep at Wrigley Field.
  • Los Angeles opens the 2014 season in just eight days against the D-backs in MLB’s Opening Series in Sydney, Australia.
  • After playing in intrasquad minor league games on a back field of Camelback Ranch – Glendale on Wednesday and Thursday, Matt Kemp will have a scheduled off day today. Right-handed pitcher Brandon League will take the hill in a minor league intrasquad game this afternoon.
  • Minor league position players suiting up today include IF Brendan Harris (#35), C Chris O’Brien (#70), RHP Steve Edlefsen (#83), IF Darnell Sweeney (#84), RHP Justin Souza (#87), OF Jon Garcia (#88), OF Trayvon Robinson (#89), IF Corey Seager (#90), C Jose Capellan (#91), IF O’Koyea Dickson (#95), IF Jamie Romak (#96), RHP Romulo Sanchez (#97).
(Rick Honeycutt, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

KING OF THE HILL: Right-hander Josh Beckett will take the mound and is scheduled to pitch 4.0 innings in his third start of the spring and last since giving up five runs in 3.0 innings on Saturday against Seattle. Beckett enters his third season with the Dodgers and ranks sixth among active pitchers (min. 1,500 IP) with an average of 8.34 strikeouts per 9.0 innings in his 12-year Major League career.
  • Also scheduled to pitch today is hard-throwing right-hander Jose Dominguez, who has pitched 6.0 scoreless innings (5 G) in Cactus League play this spring, while walking two and striking out six. Dominguez has allowed only two hits this spring, good for a .100 opponents’ batting average (2-for-20).
  • Despite issuing four walks in his four appearances, Paco Rodriguez has struck out four and has not allowed a run in 4.0 innings pitched. Scheduled to pitch today, Rodriguez ranked among the NL’s best relievers in ERA (2.32, 12th), opponents’ batting average .164 (3rd) and WHIP (0.90, 6th) in his first full MLB season in 2013.
  • Also scheduled to pitch today is right-hander Javy Guerra, who spent the majority of 2013 with Triple-A Albuquerque. Guerra has posted good numbers in Cactus League play, allowing only one earned run (two runs) in five appearances (6.0 IP) for a 1.50 ERA.
  • Right-handers Chris Withrow and Jamey Wright are scheduled to pitch in this afternoon’s game.
(Mounf conference, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

WELCOME BACK: Manager Don Mattingly, who has missed the club’s last two games due to a death in his family, is back in camp today. With four Cactus League games remaining, the Dodgers will play two of their weekend games with the new replay system, tomorrow at Chicago-AL and Sunday vs. Colorado. The system will also be in place for all three Freeway Series games against the Angels.
  • The Dodgers fell, 8-2, to the Reds yesterday at Camelback Ranch. Left-hander Paul Maholm made his second start (third appearance) of the spring and suffered the loss, allowing six runs (5 ER) on six hits in 2.2 innings, while right-hander Seth Rosin allowed his first earned runs in Cactus League play (2 ER) in 3.0 innings. At the plate, Hanley Ramirez hit his second homer of the spring, a solo shot, while Justin Turner plated a run in the fourth inning to account for the Dodgers’ scoring.
  • Another bright spot on offense yesterday was infielder Dee Gordon, who went 2-for-4 in the losing effort. The 25-year-old has had quite a spring on the base paths, as he leads all big leaguers in steals with eight (8-for-8 in SB attempts). Despite playing in only 181 games since 2011, Gordon ranks 16th in the NL with 66 steals and has been successful on 77.6% of his stolen base attempts in the big leagues (66-for-85).
  • As a team, the Dodgers have been patient at the plate during Cactus League play, drawing 67 walks (T-1st, NL) in 17 spring games.

AUSTRALIAN FOR BASEBALL: The historic Sydney Cricket Ground, which is the site where the Dodgers will face the D-backs in MLB’s 2014 Opening Series in Sydney, Australia, has been undergoing renovations to prepare for the first-ever MLB games to be played Down Under. The club will depart Arizona following its Sunday game against the Rockies and land in Sydney on Tuesday, March 18. Following a few days of workouts and sightseeing, the Dodgers will play Team Australia in an exhibition March 20 and then take on the D-backs March 22 and 23 to open the regular season.
  • Clayton Kershaw will be the Opening Day starter for the first game against the D-backs in the 2014 Opening Series in Sydney, Australia. This will mark Kershaw’s fourth consecutive Opening Day start for the club and he has not allowed a run in his three previous outings (19.0 IP). The left-hander has racked up 19 strikeouts in his three Opening Day starts against the Giants (2013 – SHO, 2011 – 7.0 IP) and Padres (2012, 3.0 IP, exited game due to illness). Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch the second game in Australia.
(Watch out for that ball, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

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I Won Something Great - a Vintage Babe Ruth Press Photo!

I won!  And, boy... Did I win a doozy!

Several weeks back I was perusing my favorite sports collector message board and came across a post that struck my fancy.  Check it out here.

A well respected collector and memorabilia auction house owner, Rhys Yeakley of RMY Auctions, put up a contest to advertise an ongoing vintage photo auction he was holding.  I had featured some of my favorite photos from that auction in a post here.

Up for grabs in the contest was a vintage, circa 1928, ACME News press photo featuring Babe Ruth warming up with a bat during Spring Training.

All participants had to do to win was guess how many photos were crammed into the above bankers box.

I guessed 1752 photos.  The actual number was 1778.  So, I ended up just 26 photos off.

Earlier this week, my prize arrived, and it's gorgeous.  Check it out below.

This Ruth photo is my very first vintage Babe collectible.  It's dated March 24, 1928 and was taken in St. Petersburg, Florida during a Spring game between the Yankees and the Boston Braves.

Thank you, Rhys!  I really appreciate it!

I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest that you should check out RMY Auctions.  They specialize in vintage photographs for the collector.

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Blog Kiosk: 3/14/2014 - Dodgers Links - Arruebarrena is Here, Billinglsey is Progressing and Manny

Erisbel Arruebarrena has just arrived to the Dodger camp.  As you may recall, Arruebarrena is a recent Cuban signee.  Check out my past story about him here.  And, you pronounce his last name thusly: "Arr-ru-eh-BAHR-ena".  Pic above via @Dodgers on twitter.  BTW, Jon SooHoo shares even more pics focused on his arrival that you can see here.
“I’ve been fortunate to have a really good rehab,” Billingsley said. “It’s a pretty boring process, so it’s nice to be able to think about getting out there again to face hitters.” 
"I use myself as an example to my son who is in college, playing baseball: 'Look what daddy went through because daddy didn't do things right.' When you do things right, you don't have to look back. You always look forward.
"With Zach you see more of the old-style kid coming up, who is quiet in the clubhouse, going about his business. He's just working on his game all the time, asking a lot of questions, paying attention and learning. It's what you like about him," manager Don Mattingly said last week. "I just like his composure, and pretty much everything about him."
  • Bob Lemke tells us about the day a Texas Leaguer belted 8 home runs in 8 at-bats in one game in 1902.  I kid you not!
  • This might not matter to you, but this Kings fan is more than elated.  I'm ecstatic.  Via a tweet from Helene Elliott of the LA Times, Bob Miller will be back for another year.

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