Thursday, April 03, 2014

WooHoo! Kings are Playoffs Bound for the 5th Straight Season

What a long strange trip it's been.

For the 5th year in the row the Kings have made the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Last nights win made it official; as they shut out the Phoenix Coyotes, 4 to 0.

Congrats, Kings!  Who would have thought that something once considered so elusive for this franchise would become an annual expectation.

This is my 10th year as a LA Kings season ticket holder, and it has been filled with more hills and valleys than you can imagine.  For the most part (especially the last few years), it's been all good, but I was reminded last night that it wasn't always.

During my first few years as a season ticket holder the Kings were bad - like, superbad.  They had just started a rebuilding movement, and pulled out all of the stops when it came to stripping the team bare, and installing a new ethic and playing style. 

All the while, the passive fan stopped going to games while hardcore fans, like myself, saw a brighter future.  I recall sitting in the rafters of Section 315, and being able to move about at my leisure.  I could choose any Section I wanted to sit in, and it wasn't unusual to run into some stranger giving away lower-bowl seats for free.

Those were a different time - a simpler time.  We knew we were bad, and came to games just because we loved being there.

Now, I feel burdened knowing that the Kings are considered a part of the elite.  I watch games intently, like a lion eyeing its prey.  I spend time analyzing new-fangled statistics like Corsi and Fenwick, and then shake my head wondering how I could have allowed math to enter into the equation. 

Of course, I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining.  It's so much better being a fan of a winning team, and I wouldn't trade experiencing the second season for anything (besides, maybe, a Dodgers World Champtionship).

Its just that I marvel at how so much has changed in 10 short years.

Anyway, enough with the reminiscing.   I wanted to also share in this post a give-away from a recent Kings game.  Featured below is a LA Kings hockey card team set made by Upper Deck.  Check out scans of both the front and backs below.  BTW, the card above (on the right side) is a header card to the card set, below.  It says,
"LA Kings fans and players share a passion that runs deep.  We are bound by a devotion and pride that unites us all."
Passion.  Devotion.  Pride.  Those are emotions that fans of any sport can understand.

Oh, another thing, someone please tell the Dodgers that we need a Baseball card Dodger team set give-away this year.... Like, seriously!

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The Larry Sherry 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 Sandy Koufax booklets.  This time I share the Larry Sherry Booklet.

Larry Sherry was the pitching end of a Dodger battery that were both brothers (Norm Sherry) and the very first Jewish tandem in Baseball history.  He primarily came out of the pen for the Blue Crew; having recorded 39 saves and a 3.47 ERA in his 6 years in the bullpen.  He earned 2 victories during the 1959 World Series against the White Sox; including the deciding Game 6.

The below booklet shares a couple of great anecdote's that I have included below.
Confidence in a pitcher is a fine thing indeed, and how do you like this sample of Larry Sherry's?  He was called in the ninth inning of a game, bases loaded, Dodgers leading by a run.  The count on the hitter went two-and-two.  Larry beckoned catcher Joe Pignatano to the mound.  "He's crowding the plate," Sherry said.  "I'm going to brush him back before I strike him out."  Pignatano, thinking by the book, was horrified.  "Are you crazy?  Brush him back, you'll make it three-and-two.  A bad pitch after that walks in the tying run."  "Trouble with you, boy, is," said Larry, "you worry too much."  He then brushed the hitter back and struck him out.
Dick Donovan, the White Sox pitcher, once told a gathering met to honor Sherry that a visiting ball team couldn't win in the Coliseum without "eight men and an ape - the ape to climb that ridiculous left field screen."  On cue, someone led an ape into the dining room.  "If you'd had the ape playing, said Sherry, patting its head fondly, "you might have done better in the Series."
Below are complete scans of every page from Larry Sherry's 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet.  Click any pic to embiggen. 

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Some More Dodgers Memorabilia at Goldin Auctions - Drysdale, Erskine, Robinson and the 1963 World Series

Following up on yesterdays post featuring some vintage Dodger game-used headgear at Goldin Auctions, I now share some other interesting memorabilia items.

Below is a 1967 Don Drysdale game-used Dodger jersey.  Via the auction description:
During the waning days of the 1969 season, Dodgers bat boy Rich Raya approached his friend, Dodgers ace Don Drysdale in the team's locker room. After 14 years in the majors, the big righty was calling it quits: 209 wins, 3 World Series rings and a lifetime 2.95 ERA, all accomplished while wearing Dodger Blue. Over the years Raya had run many an errand for Drysdale, carting around his golf clubs, grabbing drinks from the lunch room, and this time it was he who asked for a favor: could he have his jersey? Drysdale grabbed one of his home white jerseys, quickly glanced around the clubhouse and silently handed it to Raya. This is that jersey.
(Auction Link)

Have you ever wanted a Dodger World Series trophy to call your own?  Well, now you can.  For sale is a 1981 Dodgers World Series trophy that was originaly given to Dodgers front office executive Bob Schenz.
(Auction Link)

Below is a great cartoon featuring Cark Erskine's Game 1 start during the 1953 World Series.  It was drawn by Boston Herald sports cartoonist Vic Johnson.
(Auction Link)

Also, for sale are several groups of vintage press photos that have some notable Dodgers within them.  Check out the below 1952 AP Wirephoto that shows an irritated Jackie Robinson punting his glove into the stands.
(Auction Link)

These next two photos features Maury Wills causing some damage on the basepaths during Game 2 of the 1963 World Series.  The auction includes a lot of 8 unique photos of Wills.
(Auction Link)

Below is another group of photos from the 1963 World Series between the Dodgers and the Yankees.  At the top is Tommy Davis sliding into 3rd base after hitting a triple in the 3rd inning.  On the bottom is Jim Gilliam and John Roseboro congratulating reliever Ron Perranoski on his save.
(Auction Link)

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2014 Topps Museum Baseball - The Dodger Primary Pieces Relic Cards

Take a look below at the 2014 Topps Museum 'Primary Pieces' Dodger relic cards.  This is the first of many future post featuring Dodger cards from this set; including some of the autographed cards that are available.  Go here to check out my past post, so far.

Single-Player Primary Pieces Quad Relics

#PPQR-CKE Clayton Kershaw

#PPQR-MK Matt Kemp

#PPQR-YP Yasiel Puig

#PPQR-ZG Zack Greinke

Single-Player Primary Pieces Quad Relics Legends

#PPQRL-DS Duke Snider

Four-Player Primary Pieces Quad Relics

#PPFQR-1 Parker, Ryu, Miller & Sale

#PPFQR-10 Kemp, Bourn, Upton & Granderson

#PPFQR-21 Darvish, Sale, Hernandez & Kershaw

#PPFQR-30 Greinke, Kershaw, Puig & Kemp

Four-Player Primary Pieces Quad Patch Relics

#PPFQP-10 Puig, Greinke, Kemp & Kershaw

#PPFQP-16 Puig, Trout, Cespedes & Harper

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Blog Kiosk: 4/3/2014 - Dodgers Links - Dodgers Win Again, Ross Porter Back on Opening Day and Dodgers to be Broadcast in Korean

Dodgers won the rubber match against the Padres on the back of a stellar starting pitching performance by Dan Haren.  He pitched 6 innings, struck out 6, gave up 1 run and allowed only 4 hits.  (Pic above via @Dodgers on twitter) As Eric Stephen at True Blue LA noted,
"I definitely had nerves. On a new team you always want to make a good impression. I'm glad I did that," Haren said after the game. "I feel like part of the team now. I hadn't done anything up to now."
“I was appreciative of the fact they asked me to do this this year,” Porter said. “It’s a special honor to do on Opening Day. That’s nice, and I’m looking forward to that. It’s gonna be exciting just to be with the fans, to be able to speak to the fans. I’m just happy to be there and be back.”
How is it then that baseball doesn’t have a handshake after a playoff series? I understand none after regular season games when teams play each other three or four days in a row, but why not after a post season series? I expect it is an unwritten rule. I also expect it was an unwritten agreement that kept black players from playing in the Major Leagues until Jackie Robinson crossed the line in 1947. Unwritten rules can be over turned.
You're right about a hockey fans respect for the handshake rule after a playoff series.  Win or lose, you always stay and clap for the victor during the handshake.
The network announced today that it will launch Korean-language Secondary Audio Programming (SAP) for all live Dodger games on its air this season, a first for any Major League Baseball (MLB) team. 
"It's just slight discomfort. I think everything will be fine once I get four, five, six innings under my belt, just to kind of finish spring training," Wilson said. "I only threw four times because I had to get shut down for the same thing."

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