Friday, January 30, 2015

Blog Kiosk: 1/30/2015 - Dodger Links - Kershaw Blanket, MLB 15 and Bye Bye Billingsley

Dodger alumni (Kenny Landreaux, Tim Leary, Dennis Powell and Derrel Thomas) visited the LAPD's Harbor Division Station in San Pedro.  The photo above is via Juan Ocampo/LA Dodgers 2015Go here to check out more photos from him of this event.

Below are some more links to check out:
  • Boo!  I really like Billingsley.  At the same time I realize that there just wasn't any room for him in LA.  Via Mark Polishuk at MLB Trade Rumors, "Phillies Sign Chad Billingsley."

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Blog Kiosk: 1/29/2015 - Dodger Links - Some Odds and Ends

Featured above, Kenny Landreaux, Justin Tuner and another volunteer visited the Long Beach Rescue Mission to serve and prepare meals as a part of the Dodgers' Community Caravan yesterday.  Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015Go here to check out more photos from Jon from the event.

Below are some more links to check out:
  • I had failed to note this down on my calendar until today, so I apologize in advance.  Three Kings players will be signing free autographs later today at the Staples Store in Long Beach from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM.  They are Anze Kopitar, Jake Muzzin and Martin Jones.  Go here for information.
  • Via Harold Uhlman at Think Blue LA, "Major League Scouting Bureau has Dodgers linage."
  • With the TWC/Dodgers TV deal hanging in the balance, this story by Meg James at the LA Times is important; "Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is no longer viewed as inevitable."  It has been widely speculated that if they do not merge then the TWC deal falls apart and forces SportsNetLA into bankruptcy.  I am uncertain as to how they chose to structure everything, but you shouldn't be too worried about the team if this is the outcome.
  • Via JP Hoornstra at Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, "Dodgers’ Justin Turner aiming for a healthier 2015."
“I think the key to anything is obviously being on the field and staying healthy,” Turner said. “That was my emphasis this offseason, was to focus on that. Get stronger, get leaner, do some running stuff and prevent any breakdowns.”
JP also notes that thirdbase is where Turner is likely to play more:
“I haven’t talked to Donnie. I don’t know how he’s going to approach it, but I think they’d like to keep Uribe healthy throughout the year,” Turner said. “They might have built-in days off for him but I haven’t talked to Donnie or Wallie (bench coach Tim Wallach).”

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    Wednesday, January 28, 2015

    Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Dodgers FanFest this Weekend

    Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.


    FanFest, baby!

    The event that officially kicks off the new season will be on Saturday, and I plan on being there as early as possible.  Unfortunately, I only received one autograph voucher (Howie Kendrick during Session 2), but I figure that just gives me more time to roam around an enjoy the sights.  This year FanFest will be held within Dodger Stadium, so we have the added bonus of spending the day in our second home.  Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider points to a very helpful guide to Saturday's festivities, here.  Below is the map.
    (click to embiggen)
    Go here for more information about FanFest.  All autograph vouchers are sold out, but VIP Experiences remain available online (they are pricey).  Go here to check that out.

    BTW, parking is FREE and there is no admittance fee.  FanFest starts at 10:00 AM and closes at 4:00 PM.  I am unsure when the parking gates open.

    Of course, I'll have plenty of photos to share in my upcoming report on the event, so stay tuned. 
    If you have any photos that you'd like to share please pass them along.

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    Blog Kiosk: 1/28/2015 - Dodger Links - About Yoan Moncada

    The Dodgers continued their community caravan yesterday afternoon at Hollenbeck Middle School in Los Angeles.  Former Dodgers' Al Downing, Lee Lacy, Tim Leary and Dennis Powell visited with 100 students.  The photo above of the entire group is from Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015Go here to check out more photos from him of the event.

    Below are some more links to check out:
    Hastings won't talk about what role Nicole Banks—a California based agent with previous experience representing Cubans—played in Moncada's travels.

    Banks is rumored to be romantically involved with Moncada and to have possibly had his child in September. In early October, a baby registry existed on the website that listed Banks' and Moncada's names with a due date of September 2014. That registry has since been changed to show only Banks' name and a September 2015 due date.
    The holdup is that MLB won’t let Moncada—or any Cuban player, for that matter—use the general license any more. That wasn’t always the case. Yasiel Puig, for example, signed using the general license. It’s not clear what exactly changed, but at some point in 2012 after Puig signed in June that year, MLB no longer allowed Cuban players to sign using the general license and instead required them to apply for the specific license, which is a written document from OFAC. That goes beyond what the government requires from Cuban players to be able to begin their careers, and with some players waiting six months to receive their licenses, MLB’s policy has added a significant bottleneck for those players.
    On the other hand, Jeff Passan at Yahoo writes that the Treasury Department has just announced they will no longer be issuing specific licenses referenced above, so Moncada may be able to sign a contract sooner rather than later.
    MLB was drafting a letter to OFAC on Tuesday asking for a meeting in the near future to clarify the new regulations and potentially change league policy, which requires a specific unblocking license. Should a meeting take place soon, one league official estimated Moncada could be free to negotiate with teams within two weeks.

    “If OFAC confirms that the process for unblocking Cuban players is no longer to apply for a specific license,” the official said, “MLB will conform to the law.”
    • Topps is selling exclusively through their website a Sy Berger 1951 Tribute Collection of cards featuring the 1951 Red/Blue Back set design, and several Dodgers are included.  See them above.  Available are 10" X 14" sized prints of Kershaw, Puig and Jackie Robinson, as well as, postcard-sized cards sold in complete set form.  Go here to check them out at Topps.

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    Tuesday, January 27, 2015

    An unusual 1981 WS Dodger Ring and Game Jerseys from Koufax and Campanella at Heritage Auctions

    Heritage is running their February 2015 auction right now and it includes several vintage Dodger uniforms and a rather unusual 1981 World Series Championship ring.  Check them out below.

    As I indicated above, there is a 1981 Dodgers World Series Championship ring for sale that strikes me as very strange.  It has all the hallmarks of being real; including the original box it came in, but has a name emblazoned on it that I found surprising. 

    The ring was given to scarcely used Dodger utility infielder Pepe Frias, and if you recall your history he was released by the Dodgers before the end of the 1981 season.  So, he didn't end the year as a Dodger and never played a playoff game in Blue.  Still, remembering that he stuck with the club until late August, the Dodger awarded him with a championship ring nevertheless.  You can see that ring below.

    As noted by the auctioneer:
    It would appear that Frias had mixed feelings about the honor, as the ring exhibits no signs of wear whatsoever, and remains housed in its original velvet lined case and cardboard outer box, 100% unchanged from its status upon receipt.
    (Auction Link)

    This is a rarity.  Featured below is a 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers game-used jersey worn by the great Sandy Koufax, and it is the only one of its kind.  In fact, there are only two Koufax Brooklyn jersey's known to exist.  I suspect the below gamer will sell upwards of a quarter of a million dollars (and may approach half a million dollars).
    (Auction Link)

    Below is a 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers game used jersey of Roy Campanella. 
    (Auction Link)

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    Blog Kiosk: 1/27/2015 - Dodger Links - Kemp, AGon and Yoan Moncada

    The Dodgers began their 12th Annual Community Caravan yesterday afternoon by visiting students at Garfield High School in East LA.  Adrian Gonzalez, Eric Karros, Tim Leary, Dennis Powell and Derrel Thomas hosted a baseball skills clinic with the junior varsity and varsity baseball and softball players.  This was one of several planned events throughout Los Angeles this week.  Today, several former Dodgers will be visiting Hollenbeck Middle School in Los Angeles and the After-School All-Stars at Cesar Chavez Elementary in Bell Gardens.

    In the photo above, via Jon SooHoo of the Dodgers, Eric Karros demonstrates batting techniques with the kids.  Go here to check out more photos of the event from Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015.

    Below are some more links to check out:
    "People say we lost power, but I think we're just getting power in different areas in our lineup," Gonzalez said Monday afternoon. "We've maintained that. It's just not going to be one hitter; it's going to be six or seven."
    Mayora is more than an aspiring major league baseball player. He has devoted his life to pursuing his career. He may have simply settled for playing the game he loves as long as he can but I doubt he has settled. He still has his dream and he plays everyday in hot pursuit of it.

    Moncada is a 19-year old infielder who is regarded as the best prospect to leave Cuba since Soler.  We should all celebrate wildly if the Dodgers end up signing him. 

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    Monday, January 26, 2015

    The 10 Best Dodgers' Cards of 2014

    With the 2014 collecting season officially at a close I figured it was time to share my picks for "The 10 Best Dodgers' Cards of 2014." This is the third consecutive year I've put together this list.  Go here to check out my past two "10 Best" list: 2013 & 2012.

    There were 50 different card sets to go through, so I had a heck of a time narrowing my picks down to just ten cards.  No doubt I missed some of your favorites.  This time I tried to just focus on only base cards or inexpensive inserts, and I stayed far away from autographs and relic cards (save the "Honorable Mentions" at the very bottom).

    Take a look at my choices below, and let me know if you agree.  Better yet, what would be your picks?  Click on any pic to embiggen.


    There is no better way to start this list than with Topps 2014 Opening Day set and the "Superstar Celebrations" insert card of Yasiel Puig sliding into home.  This card immortalizes Puig's very first walk-off hit (a home run) in a game against the Cincinnati Reds on July 28, 2013.  The score was 0-0 in the bottom of the 11th inning and right-hander Curtis Partch was on the mound.  On an 0-1 count with the bases empty Puig unloaded, flipped his bat and slid into home to put an exclamation point on his endeavors.  Watch a video of the event hereGo here to check out all of the other Dodger cards in this set.

    2014 Topps Opening Day
    #SC-25 Yasiel Puig


    Some of you might think I'm crazy for including this card, but I just couldn't help it.  The card is so goofy... So brilliantly ugly... So fantastically stupid... That I couldn't help but think of it as being so bad, it's awesome.  Featured here is Upper Deck's Goodwin Champions card of Ron Cey, "The Penguin" in a tuxedo.  Get it?  Go here to check out the other Dodger cards in this set.

    2014 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions
    #4 Ron Cey

    Blog Kiosk: 1/26/2015 - Dodger Links - Congrats Clayton Kershaw!

    Clayton Kershaw accepted both his Cy Young and MVP awards this past Saturday at the BBWAA ceremony.  Photo above via @MLB_PR on twitter.  You can watch his entire acceptance speech at the very bottom.  BTW, the Kershaw's celebrated the birth of their first child Friday evening, via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider.  The young girl is named Cali Ann, and she was 6 pounds, 13 ounces.

    Below are some more links to check out:
    Like those training wheels, supplements don’t train us to ride the bike. They don’t teach us balance or to be in tune with our body. They’re dangerous, because they’re highly processed and poorly regulated. Our bodies struggle to recognize them, because they’re isolated and altered from the natural state. We’re still learning that nutrients and vitamins work in concert with others, not in a singular state.
    There is "zero" chance the Dodgers' owners would surrender control of the team in the deal, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks have not been confirmed publicly. The person said the talks were "progressing" but otherwise declined to characterize how advanced the negotiations might be or handicap the chances of reaching a deal.
    • Watch Sandy Koufax present the NL Cy Young Award and NL MVP Award to Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw at the 2015 BBWAA dinner.

    Video Link:

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    Thursday, January 22, 2015

    FanFest Autograph Tickets Go on Sale Tomorrow Morning!

    After several days of refreshing your browser every ten minutes, the news Dodger fans have been waiting for has finally arrived.  Ticket vouchers for autographs and VIP Experiences during the Dodgers FanFest will go on sale tomorrow morning, Friday, January 23rd at 10:00 AM.

    Autograph vouchers per line/per session is $20.00 each.  Go here for information.  If it's like last year (and I'm certain it will be just like last year) fans can purchase a voucher and receive autographs from the two players in that line.

    VIP Experience will also go on sale at the same time.  Go here for information.  Unfortunately, the cost for each experience has yet to be released.

    On a side note, I am very annoyed it took this long to announce this.  Being a working stiff makes it difficult to appropriately plan when you are given just 24 hours to plan.  I had to scheduled a 9AM meeting for tomorrow morning that I confirmed an hour before the Dodgers official notice.  Now, I am afraid that I'll get shutout when I finally get back into the office.

    As you can imagine, I am not a happy camper.

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    Blog Kiosk: 1/22/2015 - Dodger Links - Chris Anderson, Brett Anderson and Jeff Bridges

    We are less than two weeks away from the release of Topps 2015 flagship Baseball card set, so news and information about it will be coming out like a flood.  For instance, one of the subsets being released is called "First Pitch," and it includes cards of notable folks throwing out first pitches.  There are 15 cards in the subset, and three of them are from Dodger Stadium.  The above pic, via Chris Olds at Beckett, is a preview pic of a Jeff Bridges card.  Below is a checklist of Dodger "First Pitch" cards.
    • #FP-01 Jeff Bridges
    • #FP-08 Jermaine Jones
    • #FP-13 Suzy
    Out of curiosity, who the heck is Suzy?  Other notables include McKayla Maroney, Eddie Vedder, Tom Morello and 50 Cent.  As you will recall, 50 Cent hilariously couldn't throw a Baseball right during his first pitch last season.  Watch it here.  There is also a card for 105-year old Agnes McKee.  You can check out a complete checklist of the upcoming set here.

    Below are some more links to check out:
    As a starter, Anderson has one of the livelier fastballs in the system. He typically sits at 92-94 with heavy armside run. Anderson doesn’t generate as many ground balls as you’d expect with this life, most likely because he tends to pitch up in the zone. Anderson has the potential to throw in the upper 90’s in relief stints and should maintain enough of the life on the pitch to miss plenty of bats.
    Anderson called Kershaw one of “the nicest guys you could be around,” and that fondness remained long after their high school days were over. Anderson was with the opposing Colorado Rockies when Kershaw threw his no-hitter this past June 18, and couldn’t help praising the lefty.
    "I feel good and hope, with no setback, I should be good to go for Spring Training," he said.
    Baseball’s fattest payroll commands the most attention when it comes to the Dodgers, but the organization has built one of the game’s better farm systems, especially at the top. Aside from the Cubs, the Dodgers’ top three prospects are as strong as any other organization’s in baseball.

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    Wednesday, January 21, 2015

    2014 Panini Elite Extra Edition - All the Dodger Cards

    If I'm not mistaken, this is the very last Baseball card set of 2014.  Released last week was Panini's Elite Extra Edition Baseball set, and like in years past it focuses primarily on young prospects rising through their respective systems.  Go here for a complete checklist.

    Several of the Dodgers' newest and brightest ballplayers are featured in the set; including last years #1 pick Grant Holmes. Below are pics of every Dodger player available.  Of note, Mike Piazza is included as a Dodger in the set.

    Base Set

    #35 Jared Walker                               #47 Jeff Brigham

    Blog Kiosk: 1/21/2015 - Dodger Links - Some Odds and Ends

    What a fantastic vintage image of Jackie Robinson grabbing a bat and heading to the plate for the very first time as a Dodger in 1947.  Pic above via @pderrico_49 on twitter.

    Below are some more links to check out:
    "The people who are very talented in this game are going to move up or they’re going to have opportunities to move on, and you only hope the best for them," (Andrew) Tinnish said. "The Dodgers made a great hire. He’s a great guy, he’s a great worker, he’s got a lot of energy, he has a great eye for talent, and he does a nice job of developing players."
    Publications such as Baseball America provide great information on a wealth of young players, but a significant number of those players covered never amount to anything of significance at the major league level. Consider this study from Matt Perez of Camden Depot which concluded that from 1990 through 2006, approximately 70 percent of Baseball America Top-100 prospects failed. Over at Royals Review, Scott McKinney conducted a similar study that came to a couple of conclusions: A) 70 percent of Baseball America Top-100 prospects fail. B) About 60 percent of position players ranked in the Top-20 succeed in the majors C) About 40 percent of pitchers ranked in the Top-20 succeed.

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      Tuesday, January 20, 2015

      My First Helmar Brewing Company Card - Brooklyn Dodger Joe Dunn

      For years I've been interested in something different for my collection.  For Baseball collectors that means Topps.  Sure, Panini is out there, but without team logos cards often look odd and amateurish.   There's still vintage, and goodness knows I've got a healthy wantlist there, but I firmly believe you just can't chase the old stuff alone.  I wanted something new and different to add, and I think I may have finally found something that fills that need.

      Not to long ago I added my very first Helmar Brewing Company Card.

      Helmar Brewing fills an niche that current products do not.  Starting in 2005 they produced retro-style Baseball cards to go along with their product line of beer, and almost immediately created a following among the collector set.  Their cards were attractive, modern day drawings of olde-tyme ballplayers that used designs borrowed from many different classic card sets.  They are not reprints.  Instead, they are unique collectible cards, often limited in number, that have the look and feel of something old.  Heck, their modern offerings are purposefully given a distressed look; including scuffed edges and rounded corners, in order to make each individual card look as unique as possible.

      For years these cards were put into their beer, chips and caramel corn products, but based upon the high collector demand they now sell them directly online through eBay.  And this is where I recently got my newest card.  Check out photos of it above and below.

      The card is of former Brooklyn ballplayer Joe Dunn, and it is a part of the "Our Guy" Helmar set.  The card is the same size as a vintage tobacco card, is made with thicker card stock than a vintage card and uses a design reminiscent of the T205 & T206 sets.  In fact, the drawing used for Dunn is the exact same image used in the T206 set.  

      For several months I had placed numerous bids on many different Dodger Helmar cards, but always got outbid.  This time, I was able to walk away with this beaut for $13 delivered.  A steal when you consider that their cards often sell for far more; especially when they use a readily known design of a  well-regarded player.  For instance, a Burleigh Grimes Boston Garter Helmar card recently sold for $88.

      BTW, Joe Dunn was a backup catcher for Brooklyn from 1908-1909 -- when they were known as the Superbas.   He got into only 30 games over that span; including 27 as a catcher. 

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      Blog Kiosk: 1/20/2015 - Dodger Links - Agon, Ryu and Gabe Kapler

      Adrian Gonzalez spoke a bit about his walk-up song "El Mariachi Loco" with ESPN The Magazine.  Check that out here.  The photo above via @DodgersPR on twitter/Art Streiber.

      Below are some more links to check out:
      Sharing a meal with Song and the triplets, Ryu was asked about how he and his girlfriend date while in Korea.

      “I come to Korea for two-and-a-half months in the winter,” Ryu said in a literal translation. “We spend time together, dating ‘hard,’ as in a condensed manner.”
      Via Gabe Kapler: "One thing we want to do is avoid locking ourselves into any organizational philosophy that can't be easily altered or improved," said Kapler. "While mining for best practices, we have overarching themes and philosophies, but we don't want to say, 'This is what we believe' and get so dug in that we're not capable of being nimble as new studies present better ways to approach problems and development. That flexibility is a thought process that we have to constantly talk about it with players and staff.
      It seems that the Dodgers were the only team willing to take a chance on Caleb Ferguson following his TJ surgery. It was a selection made with no risk to the Dodgers and a decision that a could reap significant rewards. Logan White, the Dodgers former Vice President of Amateur Scouting, said there is no longer a worry about athletes who have had the surgery. “It’s definitely more of a trend with the travel ball and the way these kids are playing all year round. I think it’s going to continue to be more common,”
      • Via David Cycleback at Sports Collectors Daily, "8 Sports Card Issues Rarer Than the T206 Wagner."
      • When I highlight an auction item I often wonder if it'll somehow make its way to a museum.  I'm happy to report that one such historically significant item will be going to a museum.  The MacPhail letter from the Lelands Auction that I shared last week will be going to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, via their tweet:  (BTW, the letter sold for $9,235.19)  You can read the entire document here.

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        Monday, January 19, 2015

        2014 Bowman Chrome Mini Baseball - All the Dodger Cards

        Recently, Topps released a complete factory set of Bowman Chrome Mini's, and I thought I would include some photos for informational purposes.  Other than being slightly smaller than a normal Baseball card, these cards look just like cards already released in past Bowman sets.  Go here for a complete checklist.

        There are 12 Dodger prospects in the set.  Check them all out below.

        Prospect Mini Base 

        #2 Julio Urias                                       #28 Alex Verdugo

        Blog Kiosk: 1/19/2015 - Dodger Links - Puig Buys Home in Sherman Oaks

        Tommy shows the kids how it's done.  Yesterday, Tommy Lasorda shared this fantastic spring training photograph of himself on instagram and I can't stop laughing at it.  He added the below inspirational caption, but I still can't get this smile off my face. 
        Sometimes if you want something done right you got to do it yourself. Championship teams are made in #SpringTraining
        Tommy looks as graceful as Wile E. Coyote chasing after the Road Runner.  Better yet, his team looks so concerned for his well-being.  Is that reliever Steve Howe, over his left shoulder, ready to jump in to save his soon-to-be ailing manager?

        Below are some more links to check out:
        • The Dodgers have now agreed to terms with all the Dodger players who had filled for arbitration:

        A stone-floored center hall entry has beige walls, beige inlaid stone tile
        floors and curved, wrought iron railed staircase that sweeps up to a circular second-floor gallery with domed sky light. The pretty much all-beige, open-plan living spaces at the rear include a built-in wet bar, a roomy dining area, formal sitting area and family room with bookshelf flanked and television-surmounted fireplace and a built-in aquarium. The (also very beige) adjoining kitchen has a sizable center island, room for a breakfast table next to a sizable center island, speckled granite countertops, completely average although probably custom-crafted raised panel cabinetry and medium-grade stainless steel appliances.
        • Here is a must read if you want to know what this young stud prospect can throw.  Via Cary Osborne at Dodger Insider, "Julio Urias’ illustrated guide to pitches."
        • Now that the Dodgers' Winter Development Program is over Matthew Mesa at Dodger Insider writes, "Through the eyes of the prospects," which includes social media post by some of our young prospects.
        • Dodgers add some depth to starting pitching minor league staff.  Via Ken Gurnick at, "Dodgers ink Bedard to Minor League contract."
        • Dodger Penguin shares his experience at Frank & Sons this past Saturday getting Chan Ho Park's signature.

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        Friday, January 16, 2015

        Dodgers FanFest Autograph Schedule and Events have been Announced!

        The Dodgers have just announced the player autograph schedule for their main fan event to kick in the new season.  FanFest will be on Saturday, January 31st at Dodger Stadium starting from 10:00 Am to 4:00 PM, and it is free for all.  For the first time it will be held within the stadium itself (instead of the parking lots like in years past).  Go here for more information.

        Like last year, fans must purchase autograph voucher tickets online in order to get autographs.  Vouchers are $20.00 each, and the sale begins the week of January 19th (next week).  For each voucher you will get an autograph from each signer in your line.  For instance, if you get a voucher for Session 1, Line 1 you will get an autograph of both Paco Rodriguez and Eric Karros.  Go here for more information.  Below is the announced schedule:

        Also, for the first time the Dodgers are offering special VIP experiences for FanFest.  This includes a clubhouse tour, press box tour and several different meet & greets with the newest players to join the club.  Tickets will also be sold next week online.  I do not know what the prices are for these events.  Go here for more information.  Below are descriptions of each one.

        This should be an absolute blast, and if you're aching to get some Dodger signatures I suggest making this coming Monday open for you to go online.  BTW, there will once again be a Dodger Foundation Mystery Bag sale that includes a mystery Dodger autograph.  Also, the Dodger Foundation will hold a yard sale that will include jerseys, T-shirts and more.

        Take a look back at my past post on this event from prior years below.  There are plenty of photos to look through.

        Here is a video from the Dodgers.

        Video Link:

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        2014 Panini National Treasures - The Dodger Base Cards

        Here is a final look at 2014 National Treasures.  Go here to check out all of my previous post on this set.  This time I share pics of the various base relic/autograph cards that can be found.  Unfortunately, I have yet to see the Jackie Robinson card, so I'll update this post when it pops up.  Unlike most card sets the base cards in National Treasures are not the most common.  Instead, they can be just as scarce as any other relic or autographed card.

        The base portion of the set are numbered to 224 cards, and consist of either a relic piece or autograph & relic.  There are also a handful of variations available that include nicknames.  Go here for a complete checklist.

        Base Set

        #25 Jackie Robinson

        #31 Roy Campanella                                   #46 Duke Snider

        Blog Kiosk: 1/16/2015 - Dodger Links - Puig the Gamer and Sweeney to the Next Level

        Yasiel Puig has been tearing up the interwebs lately.  He's been posting up pics and videos on almost a daily basis on his instagram account, and the above vintage B&W is my favorite.  Yesterday, on #Throwback Thursday, he put up proof that he's been a gamer since he was a little tyke, and like many folks he started out with a Nintendo.

        Below are some more links to check out:
        But beyond that, the WDP (Winter Development Program) has also struck me as a major organizational retreat, a moment for the Dodgers’ new leadership to stamp its open-minded, thoughtful direction throughout the franchise.
        “Some of it is a little new as far as what they’re really looking for, (but) when you hear Alex and you hear these guys talk about it and you get further in depth about the numbers, you start putting things together,” Dodger pitching prospect Zach Lee said. “I kind of had a little problem with last year, trying to get over some things mentally, when errors or things didn’t necessarily go the right way, rather than taking three or four pitches to reset, kind of resetting right away. And you realize that those things don’t really matter in the long run. Just continue to execute, continue to do things the way you’re taught to do, and things will work themselves out.”
        From Larkin, he said he’s learned the following:
        “His thing is it’s definitely a physical game, but you need to exercise the mental part of it, too. You have to make sure you visualize yourself being successful. Make sure before the game you visualize what you have to do, and after the game you go through the game, play it back in your head (and think), ‘I could have done this better.’ ”
        From Gordon:
        “How he reads pitches. His jumps. (And) have fun. He’s one of those guys who always has a smile on his face. That’s what I always want to do is play the game right and have fun.”

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        Thursday, January 15, 2015

        Plenty of Dodger Goodies at Goldin Auctions - Pedro's Dodger Glove and Jackie's Contract for Souvenir Baseballs

        Goldin's 2015 winter auction is current ongoing and it includes so many great Dodger memorabilia items.  Check out my favorites below.

        With his recent inclusion in the Baseball Hall of Fame this glove couldn't come to the market at a more appropriate time.  Featured below is purported to be an early 90's game-used glove of Pedro Martinez.  You'll notice bright Dodger Blue leather can be seen throughout.
        (Auction Link)

        Here is a fantastic original vintage photograph taken by legendary photographer Charles Conlon of Dodger Hall or Famer Wee Willie Keeler. 
        (Auction Link)

        I thought this was a fun little contract between Jackie Robinson and an facsimile autograph baseball manufacturer.  This was penned in 1948, after Jackie was named the Rookie of the Year for the 1947 season, and it promises to pay Jackie the sum of $0.01 for each baseball sold with his signature stamped on it.  
        (Auction Link)

        Here is another Dodger World Series trophy.  This time it's from the 1981 season and it was originally given to Dodger executive Bob Schenz.  As you may know, Schenz worked for the club for 30-years and was primarily responsible for team travel.
        (Auction Link)

        Below is an original painting of Jackie Robinson playing football for UCLA by famed Baseball artist Dick Perez.
        (Auction Link)

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        2014 Panini National Treasures - The Dodger Scarcities

        I've shown you the relics and autographed cards found in Panini's 2014 National Treasures set.  Now, take a look at some of the really scarce cards.  Below is a checklist and some photos of the (1 of 1) bat barrel and bat knob cards.  Also, I've included pics of most of the Dodger "Flawless Diamond" cards.  Go here to check out all of my previous post on this set.

        Bat Barrels

        • #13 Carl Furillo 
        • #29 Gil Hodges 
        • #31 Hanley Ramirez 
        • #35 Jake Daubert 
        • #54 Pee Wee Reese 
        • #55 Pete Reiser
        • #75 Yasiel Puig

        #29 Gil Hodges

        Blog Kiosk: 1/15/2015 - Dodger Links - Kershaw, De Leon and Don Mattingly

        Clayton Kershaw was in Oklahoma City yesterday to attend the Warren Spahn Award gala in his honor.  While there he stopped by the new Dodgers AAA home.  In the photo above he sports the teams new cap.  Pic via twitter @okc_dodgers.  Below is another photo of him with his newest award, via @okc_dodgers on twitter.

        Below are some more links to check out:
        “Coming to my first training, I didn’t know what to expect,” De Leon said. “I didn’t work as hard as I should have in the offseason. Then I got to Spring Training, and they opened my eyes. “(Former Dodger vice president of player development De Jon Watson) said, ‘Hey, you came in out of shape. You can’t come here to get ready. You come here to try and make a team.’ ”
        • AJ Ellis thanked the fans for their support, via twitter:

        • Via Ken Gurnick at, "Mattingly addresses center-field battle, roster reshaping."  A video is included in the link.
        Mattingly didn't rule out Ethier working his way back into the mix even after losing his starting job in 2014, when he hit .249 with only four home runs.

        "Put up numbers, you play. Simple," said Mattingly. "If you win the job, you're playing."
        Mattingly said Pederson would have "an opportunity to compete, but I don't think we should hand anything over."
        “Moncada we’ve scouted extensively … We have the checkbook, young elite talent is the most valuable asset to have… This is probably going to be one of those investments where you don’t want to leave any stone unturned

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        Wednesday, January 14, 2015

        Larry MacPhail's Opposition to Integrating Baseball on Full Display at Lelands Auctions

        From Branch Rickey's elaborate plans to Jackie Robinson's ability to rise above the hate, we are all familiar with the folks behind the integration of Baseball.  But, do you know much about the forces working against breaking the color barrier?  Per an item currently available for sale through Lelands Auctions we learn a bit more about an influential Baseball insider who was opposed to change and his reasoning.

        The below 4-page letter is known as "The MacPhail Report" and it details all of the often irrational and obviously racist thinking of the time.  It was penned by Larry MacPhail - one time Dodger President and General Manager, and then current co-owner and General Manager of the Yankees - in 1945. Read it in its entirety below.
        (Auction Link)

        (Auction Link)

        (Auction Link)

        (Auction Link)

        Per Bryan Soderholm-Difatte at
        Best known as “The MacPhail Report” for its principal author, Larry MacPhail, who was part of the new ownership group of the New York Yankees, the committee tackled head-on the “people who charge that baseball is flying a Jim Crow flag at its masthead—or think that racial discrimination is the basic reason for failure of the major leagues to give employment to Negroes” by accusing them of “simply talking through their collective hats.” In addressing the “Race Question” the report set as its foundation premise that “professional baseball is a private business enterprise [that] depends on profits for its existence, just like any other business.”
        Written in the same summer that Jackie Robinson was tearing up the International League with 40 stolen bases, 113 runs scored and an ultimately league-leading .349 batting average, the report observed that there was a tremendous increase in black attendance at all the games in which he played, and that in two Triple-A cities—Newark and Baltimore—blacks accounted for more than half the attendance when Robinson’s team, the Montreal Royals, came to town. As paying customers, they were surely contributing to club coffers, but the MacPhail Report warned that such levels of black attendance in ballparks such as Yankee Stadium and the Polo Grounds in New York City and Comiskey Park in Chicago “could conceivably threaten the value of the Major League franchises owned by these Clubs.” The report did not specify Ebbets Field, which all concerned certainly knew was Jackie’s ultimate destination.

        Once that very pregnant point was made—and it was certainly one that motivated the Yankees well into the integration era—the MacPhail Report went on to assert that if the best black players left to play in the major leagues, then the “Negro leagues will eventually fold up” and, back to the issue of money, major league teams would lose out on substantial revenue from renting out their stadiums to Negro League teams featuring star players. All of this, the drafting committee concluded, “is not racial discrimination.” Instead, “it’s simply respecting the contractual relationship between the Negro leagues and their players.”
        It should be noted that MacPhail specifically states in the letter that the Yankees would not be integrating any time soon (that didn't happen til 1955). Nevertheless, MacPhail was admitted into the Hall of Fame in 1978. 

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