Friday, February 13, 2015

Yasiel Puig is a PlayStation Hero - Now you can Play Against Puig

Yasiel Puig is one of the most gifted ballplayers in the game.  He's an All Star outfielder, a potential MVP candidate and an fan favorite throughout the league.  Puig is also an active gamer, and will soon grace the cover of this seasons MLB15 video game.  So, it shouldn't be a surprise that he has been tapped to join Sony as a PlayStation Hero.

What exactly is a PlayStation Hero, you ask?

Per the PlayStation blog:
Hi PlayStation Nation! I’m extremely excited to announce PlayStation HEROES, a brand new initiative that will give PS4 owners the chance to play celebrities and professional athletes in the games of their choosing, with nearly all funds raised going to charity. This is not a one-time event – gamers will get the chance to challenge celebs every month.

Winners will play some of the biggest PS4 games with cultural icons from the sports and entertainment worlds, online via PlayStation Network and in person. Here’s how it works: PS4 owners will purchase and download digital themes and other items via an official PlayStation HEROES app, with each dollar spent providing you with a sweepstakes entry to win one of the celebrity gaming sessions. Ninety percent of the purchase price of those items will help aid some amazing charitable organizations including Make-A-Wish, The USO and The V Foundation for Cancer Research. To celebrate PlayStation HEROES and kick start our support for these incredible causes, we’re donating $100,000 to each charity.
That sounds like a great program, and for a lucky few a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

I can't imagine how fun it would be to play Puig in MLB15.  I wonder if he'd let me be the Dodgers.

Anyway, this evening Sony kicked off this new program with a star-studded event in New York City during NBA All Star weekend, and Yasiel Puig is in attendance to meet a cartoon version of himself.  After all, you can't be a video game hero unless you are animated.  Check him out in the below photo.

Yup, that's him as an robotic-armed superhero.  Best yet, Sony has a fun cartoon of PlayStation Hero Yasiel Puig and his fellow cohorts - Stephen Curry, Snoop Dog and Shaun White.  Watch it below.

BTW, the app will be available for download on the PS4 on February 24th, but you can pre-order starting today.

Video Link:

Photo at the very top via Puig's instagram.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Former MLB Commissioner Happy Chandler had No Love for Leo Durocher

The other day I featured a personal letter currently for sale at Legendary Auctions that was written by MLB Commissioner Happy Chandler that addressed his role in integrating Baseball (you can check out that post here).  He expressed obvious displeasure at having his role diminished by history.

In addition to that letter is more correspondence that is of interest to Dodger fans.  In a 1988 letter to former Dodger executive and GM Buzzie Bavasi he let us know that he is not in favor of admitting former Dodger manager Leo Durocher into the Hall of Fame.  In fact, he was adamant that Durocher was not eligible.  He writes:
Leo Durocher made me more trouble during my time as Commissioner than all the other Baseball players in both the Major Leagues.  I frequently talked with Rickey about him, and his need for discipline.  Rickey promised me that he would take care of him, but after numerous failures on Rickey's part, I asked him to turn him over to me.
I do not think he is eligible for the Hall of Fame.
As you know, Leo Durocher was eventually admitted into the Hall in 1994 as a part of an Veteran's Committee vote.

It's likely that Chandler, when considering eligibility, was referencing Durocher's friendships with known gamblers, book-makers and mobsters.  After all, association with gambling is a big no-no, and Durocher's dalliances with this crowd became headline news during his managing days.  Nevertheless, Durocher was never banned (unlike Joe Jackson or Pete Rose), so he was in good standing.

Of special note, Chandler writes a bit about former Dodger PR executive Harold Parrott.  He wrote:
Harold Parrott came and cried to me with respect to his fine, which was deserved.  I rescinded it because he made me think that I was causing his family to starve.  He repaid me by being nasty to me all the days of his life.
Parrott was Durocher's ghostwriter in a regular column in the Brooklyn Eagle, and got into trouble with Chandler when he penned a piece criticizing him.  At the time there were wild accusations about Durocher and Yankee owner Larry MacPhail's connections to gamblers, but the league chose to only come down hard on Durocher.  Parrott's article called that a double-standard.

If you are not familiar with Harold Parrott you can watch the movie "42" for some context.  He was the small fellow with glasses who always seemed to be hanging around Harrison Ford's character Branch Rickey.  A picture of him, as played by TR Knight, is on the left.

Check out the letter below, and check out the auction here.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

The 2015 Dodger Bobblehead Schedule is Now Complete

With the start of Spring Training just days away the Dodgers finished up their boblehead schedule for the 2015 season.  They announced the final four Dodger bobblehead give-aways today.

In addition to the six already announced bobbles (Kershaw, Gonzalez, Jansen, Wills, Uribe and Puig), Sandy Koufax, Justin Turner, Fernando Valenzuela and Vin Scully will get their own this season. BTW, Justin Tuner will be getting his very first Dodger bobblehead.  Below is a complete schedule:

  • Tuesday, May 12th vs. Miami: Clayton Kershaw Bobblehead
  • Saturday, May 23rd vs. Colorado: Adrian Gonzalez Bobblehead
  • Thursday, June 4th vs. St. Louis: Kenley Jansen Bobblehead
  • Monday, July 6th vs. Philadelphia: Maury Willis Bobblehead
  • Saturday, July 11th vs. Milwaukee: Juan Uribe Bobblehead
  • Wednesday, July 29th vs. Oakland: Yasiel Puig Bobblehead
  • Thursday, August 13th vs. Cincinnati Reds: Sandy Koufax
  • Tuesday, September 1st vs. San Francisco: Justin Turner
  • Wednesday, September 16th vs. Colorado: Fernando Valenzuela
  • Wednesday, September 23rd vs. Arizona: Vin Scully
Go here to check out the Dodger complete promotion schedule.

Also announced are two new movies to be aired at Dodger Stadium as a part of their 3rd Annual Dodger Stadium Movie Series.  They will show "The Lego Movie" on Saturday, June 20th and "Back to the Future" on Saturday, August 18th.  Both movies are free for all attendees at the conclusion of that afternoons game.  Fans in the outfield pavilions can come onto the outfield grass to watch the movies.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Blog Kiosk: 2/13/2015 - Dodger Links - Moncada and Kershaw

I can't wait for the action to hit the field.  So when I ran into this fantastic action photograph on eBay I knew I had to share it.  Check out the auction here.  Featured is June 1, 1958 Chicago Sun-Times press photo of LA Dodger shortstop Don Zimmer evading a sliding Lee Walls of the Cubs to complete a game-ending double play.  As an added bonus, Hall of Fame umpire Jocko Conlan is in the foreground.

BTW, the photo was once a part of the George Michael collection.  For those who don't know, George Michael was a legendary sports broadcaster.  He had a weekly Sunday night sports highlight show on NBC in the 80's called "George Michael Sports Machine," and just about anyone obsessed with sports who didn't have cable watched it.  For many of us it was the only way to see a full slate of highlights from sporting events throughout the country.  Well, in the hobby he was known to be one of the more prolific collectors of action (specifically sliding plays) press photographs in the country, and the photo above is a classic example of what he chased after.

Below are some more links to check out:

Everyone is arrogant, everyone is wrong, and everyone is now blaming the whole mess on a couple of slow-moving marriages that were supposed to clean it up, but have only made it worse.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *