Friday, November 14, 2014

Now You Can Own Joc Pederson's Hooptie - Nicknamed 'Little Chucky'

Here is a fascinating piece of Dodger/Isotope history.

As you might remember, Joc Pederson and the Isotopes gave away a unique prize to a guest at fan appreciation night in Albuquerque this past season.  Up for grabs was Pederson's 'ride' and it was quite a junker.  I think the appropriate term might be 'hooptie.'  Anyway, it was Joc's ride around town as he muscled his way towards an MVP trophy this past season in the Pacific Coast League.

As described in the originally press release for the contest:
The car, nicknamed "Little Chucky," has only 166,000 miles on it and has at least one operable window, which is really all you need. It is perfect for cruising around during the New Mexico summers with its "awesome" stereo system and lack of air conditioning. Kelly Blue Book estimates the value at nearly $1,000 (depending on if it has a full tank of gas). Little Chucky will also come with two complimentary air fresheners and whatever else Pederson forgets to clean out.
(The winner, pic via @AbqTopes on twitter)
'Little Chucky,' as it was affectionately known, was won by a young lady named Renee, and after a few weeks of driving it another 1,000 miles has decided her safety is more important than the prestige.  This same car is now up for sale on eBay, so now you can own Joc Pederson's 'ride.'  Check out the auction listing here.  It has an opening price of $1,200.00.

There is less than 33 hours to get your bid in, so act fast if you want to own a little piece of awesome.

The best part of the auction is the description in the Seller's notes:
“Used High Mileage, Faded and Cracked Paint, Windows don't Work, Light Dents and Scratches, Worn Dash and Missing Plastic Mold Frame Around where the stereo is. Air Conditioner doesn't work and you have to wiggle the steering wheel to get the key to turn at times.”
I wonder if the original air fresheners provided by Joc are included.

Hat Tip: Pedro Moura on twitter.
Pic at the very top via eBay listing (originally from Albuquerque Isotopes_.

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When the Candy Man Wore Blue - a John Candelaria Leaf Autographed Card

Brooklyn native John Cadelaria had a great 19-year Major League career.  Noted for a three-quarters left-handed delivery and throwing a high-90's fastball with pinpoint control, he displayed phenomenal movement that left batters sprawling.  Candelaria was also outspoken, once calling his GM in Pittsburgh a 'Bozo," and vocally expressing a passion for living large by saying "life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved."

Overall, Cadelaria played for nine different clubs; including the Dodgers from 1991 to 1992.   Over his career he appeared in one All-Star game in 1977, won a World Series trophy with the Pirates in 1979 and was the American League Comback Player of the Year in 1986.  He also threw a no-hitter against the Dodgers in 1976; which was the first Pirate no-no thrown in Pittsburgh.

As I was researching Candelaria I came across an interesting story that is almost too weird to believe.  It's from wikipedia and unsourced, so take it with a grain of salt:
At the age of 15, Candelaria attended a baseball tryout where a Los Angeles Dodgers scout called him the best he had ever seen. The tryout catcher had to be replaced with a major league catcher for fear of injuring the stand-in. By the account of this same scout, Candelaria was in line to sign with the Dodgers before he appeared at a later tryout wearing a shirt that featured a marijuana leaf with the caption "try some, you'll like it." The Dodger executives at the tryout were so appalled by this lighthearted display that they declined to sign him.
Strange, right?  But, considering we're talking about the Candy Man it's not so out-of-bounds.  After all, this was a guy who could party harder than most, while still hurling wicked fastballs on the corner.

Another story I know is true is from his time as a Dodger, via Bill Plascke of the LA Times:
Although he was not given a contract until the end of camp, he made his lasting impression during one of the first intrasquad games.

He threw a fastball that hit teammate Juan Samuel in the elbow, then later confessed to his astonished teammates that he had done it purposely.

"The guy hit a home run against me six years ago. . . . And pay-back can be brutal," Candelaria said.
By the time he became a Dodger he was in the twilight of his career.  He got into more than 50 games each season with the Dodgers and was used primarily as a left-handed specialist by the team.  By all accounts he was very effective; still able to fling a fastball like a trebuchet aimed at a mighty castle.  As the oldest member of the Dodger club in 1991 and 1992, Cadelaria still had something to give as he searched for one final chance for a ring.

Featured in this post is an autographed 1991 Leaf John Cadeleria card that I added to my collection.  It is a 2014 Leaf Metal Draft 'Leaf Memories' buyback autograph card, and has been numbered 15 out of 45.

Below are his career statistics, via Baseball-Reference:

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Blog Kiosk: 11/14/2014 - Dodger Links - Schebler, Rojas and Farhan Zaidi on the Hot Stove

While playing some Baseball in Japan Yasiel Puig still finds time to do the tourist thing.  Here he is with a Geisha/  Photo via @MLBFanCave on twitter.

Below are some links to check out:
  • Via Jim Callis at, "Fall League observations: Dodgers' Schebler impresses vs. former No. 1 pick."
(Scott) Schebler had the two best at-bats against Appel. He dealt with six straight mid-90s fastballs in the second inning, getting ahead in the count 3-1 and blasting a 95-mph heater over the fence in right-center. Schebler fouled off a changeup to lead off the fourth before coaxing four straight balls for Appel's lone walk.
LT: I heard you got married earlier this year, congratulations. I know that your wife, Mariana was living in Caracas until the season started, but since then she has been here with you. How has she helped you this season?
MR: My wife Mariana has been great for me this year because this is the first year she has been here with me in the United States. She keeps me away from distractions. Your first year in the big leagues, there is a lot of media surrounding you and a lot of temptations. That’s been the biggest thing; she has been great for me.
“This project is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when a community focuses their energies towards the possible,” said Buscaino. “In only one year, Leland Park went from being an abandoned trouble magnet to one of the nicest baseball parks in the City thanks to the efforts of the neighbors, the Department of Recreation and Parks, my office and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation.”
  • In commemoration of Clayton Kershaw's 2014 CY Young award Topps has issued a limited edition 10"x14" prints that uses the vintage 1961 Topps MVP design.  There are three different versions; limited to #/99, #/10 and #/1.  The card on the left below is the more common #/99 variation and the print on the right is limited to #/10 copies.  The "1 of 1" version uses a gold background and is already sold out.  Go here to check them out.
  • Listen to Dodger Gm Farhan Zaidi on Hot Stove:

Video Link:

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