Wednesday, March 18, 2015

2015 Topps Tribute Baseball - The Dodger Base Cards

The first premium Baseball card set of the season is now available in stores.  It is Topps' Tribute brand, and it's as shiny as a chrome bumper seen on Pimp My Ride - and just as loud.  Boxes will run you about $250 a piece, and you are guaranteed three autographed and three relic/memorabilia cards.  Go here for a complete checklist.

There are five Dodger players in the 100-card base set.  Check them all out below.  I hope to have photos of the insert cards next week.

#22 Jackie Robinson                              #50 Clayton Kershaw

#51 Joc Pederson                                    #70 Sandy Koufax

#89 Yasiel Puig

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Paul Lo Duca in Rowland Heights and Jeff Kent in Texas

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.


If you're heading out to the ballgames in San Antonio this weekend at the Alamodome as a part of "Big League Weekend" then you're in for a treat.  Former Dodger and potential Hall of Famer Jeff Kent will be singing free autographs prior to the start of Friday's game between the Dodgers and Rangers.  Go here for informationI do not know the exact time of his appearance.  BTW, former Ranger Ruben Sierra will also be signing free autographs prior to Saturday's game.

Their appearances are part of a sports collectors convention that is happening concurrent with the ballgames at the stadium.  It is located in the South End Club Level of the Alamodome, and admission is free with a game ticket.

Former Dodger catcher Paul Lo Duca will be signing autographs at the office of Dr. Alex C. Liu in Rowland Heights on Saturday, March 21st from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  Go here for information.
Dr. Alex C. Liu OD
19735 E. Colima Rd. 
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

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Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 16 / Home 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.

Chicago Cubs (6-9-1) at Los Angeles Dodgers (8-2-5)
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 – 1:05 p.m. MT | Camelback Ranch

RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-0, 3.60) vs. RHP Jake Arietta (1-1 1.50)    
TV: SNLA Radio: None

(Yasiel Puig, pic via @MLB on twitter)

WINNING TIME: The Dodgers, who have the Cactus League’s best winning percentage at .800 and are unbeaten in their last six games, take on the Chicago Cubs at Camelback Ranch this afternoon. The last time the Dodgers lost was March 11 in Mesa, when they were beaten by these same Cubs, 4-3. Los Angeles won the season series over Chicago last year, 4-3, and will play six regular-season games against the Cubs, June 22-24 at Wrigley Field and Aug. 28-30 at Dodger Stadium.

AND SO IT HAS BEEN DONE: The Dodgers exploded for 11 runs and 15 hits yesterday, but gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth and finished in an 11-11 tie with the Rangers in Surprise. The five ties for Los Angeles this spring (with 15 Cactus League games left) equals the franchise mark for ties in Spring Training, previously reached in 2006 and 2014.
(Kendrick Home Run, via Dodgers on tumblr)
  • New Dodger Howie Kendrick was 2-for-2 and hit a long three-run homer to the deepest part of center field yesterday, giving him six RBI this spring, which ties Darnell Sweeney, Kyle Jensen and Scott Schebler for the team lead. Kendrick is also hitting .364 during his first spring in blue.
  • The Dodgers’ 18 home runs rank fourth in the Cactus League, trailing the Giants (22), Cubs (19) and Padres (19).

TEXAS TWO-STEP: Big League Weekend, with the Dodgers taking on the Rangers Friday night and Saturday afternoon at the Alamodome in San Antonio, is almost here! The traveling party will depart Camelback Ranch tomorrow at 5:40 p.m. Erik Bedard and Zack Greinke are expected to start the two San Antonio exhibition games for the Dodgers, with a roster that includes Yasmani Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, and Joc Pederson.

TELL YOUR STORY: Major League Baseball has officially launched the 2015 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, which will recognize one fan per MLB Club who has been affected by breast cancer and has demonstrated a commitment to battling the disease.  Dodger fans, ages 18 and older, can now share stories about themselves or loved ones who are “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” by visiting for a chance to be recognized on the field, Sunday, May 17 (1:10 p.m. vs. Rockies). Fans also are invited to visit the site to vote for these inspirational stories, designed to provide hope and motivation for those currently in the fight against breast cancer. Entries can be submitted through April 16 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

ON THE MOUND: Right-hander Brandon McCarthy will make his third start of the spring today. He has allowed two runs in 5.0 innings pitched with three strikeouts. The 6’7’’ veteran established career highs in wins (10), strikeouts (175) and innings pitched (200.0) last season with the Diamondbacks and Yankees. McCarthy made his major league debut against the Cubs on May 22, 2005, allowing two runs on four hits in 5.1 innings.
  • LHP Adam Liberatore is expected to make his fifth appearance of the spring today. Through four Cactus League appearances, Liberatore has tossed 4.0 scoreless innings, surrendering only two hits and striking out three.
  • RHP Dustin McGowan is also expected to see action today. McGowan has allowed five hits and 4 runs in 3.0 innings thus far.
  • RHP Sergio Santos will make his fifth Cactus League appearance today. Santos has not allowed a run in 4.0 innings and has held opposing hitters to a .083 batting average.
  • Veteran RHP Mike Adams will make his second appearance of the spring today. In his first Cactus League appearance, Adams allowed one run on one hit in 0.2 innings pitched.

REMEMBER WHEN: Sixty years ago today, Dodger Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax pitched for the first time in a Dodger uniform at Holman Stadium, Dodgertown, Vero Beach, FL. On March 18, 1955, Koufax made his debut for Brooklyn in a camp game against the “All-Stars,” a collection of players from Dodger minor league teams. The 19-year-old faced seven batters and struck out five, while walking two in two innings of work. Sports writer Roscoe McGowan wrote in The New York Times, “Sandy Koufax, Brooklyn’s $17,000 bonus right-hander, made his debut tonight against the All-Stars.” Apparently, an editing mistake changed Koufax to a “right-hander.”  
(Rollins playing catch, pic via @Dodgers on twitter)

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Blog Kiosk: 3/18/2015 - Dodger Links - Ryu, Seager and Paco Rodriguez

Hyun-Jin Ryu was on the mound for the Dodgers on St. Patrick's Day.  On 46 pitches he went three innings and allowed three runs (two of them earned) against the Rangers.  Afterwards, he threw another 19 pitches in the bullpen (65 on the day total) to round out his day.  Although not stellar, Ryu was comfortable on the mound and appears healthy after having back issues earlier in camp.  Via Eric Stephens at True Blue LA:
"I'm not having any issues with the back anymore," Ryu said after his outing. "This time was three innings. Hopefully next time I'll be able to go four."
The photo above is via @MLB on twitter.  Below are some more links to check out:

"I was able to land on the foot and there was no pain," said Jansen, who had kept his arm loose by throwing while stabilized with a knee on a chair. "I just have to take is slowly. It's still healing, but I didn't feel anything wrong."
“From the day that he signed, the first thing I ever read about him was that he was going to be too big for short,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Everything I ever read about him, someone always mentions that he’ll probably have to move to third. I’m wondering where that comes from. I’m like, ‘Is anybody watching this kid play short?’ Because I’m watching him play short and I’m thinking, ‘It looks like he can play short to me,’ but what do I know.”
"I was very upset," said Rodriguez, who was also left off the Dodgers' 2013 National League Championship Series roster. "That really took a toll on me this off-season. And I thought a lot about it. That motivated me and gave me the extra drive to get healthy and get back to where I once was."
  • Via Jared Massey at Dodger Nation, he gives us an rundown on minor league camp for the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch.
  • Fantastic!  John Thorn at Our Game follows up with Part 3 of his series on "Black Ball" that covers the Negro Leagues from the 1930's to WWII.  Check it out here.  He discusses Satchel Paige, barnstorming as a precursor to integrated Baseball and the lead-up to integrating MLB.
  • Awesome!  This is as oddball as you can get.  Antiques Roadshow appraises 1910 Fat Men's Amusement Co Baseball jersey and memorabilia.  Watch the video here.  Although there isn't much known about this barnstorming team their postcards do come up often for sale and can sell for a healthy amount.  (Hat Tip: Paul Lukas at UniWatch on twitter)

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