Friday, March 20, 2015

2015 Topps Opening Day - All the Dodger Insert Cards

Here are all of the Dodger insert and relic cards that can be found in packs of 2015 Topps Opening Day Baseball.  Unfortunately, there are no autographed cards available. 

Of note is the "Stadium Scenes" cards.  From what I understand, Topps held a Instagram contest last year where fans could submit a photo to Topps and they would pick the best ones to put on cardboard.  One Dodger fan made the cut, and you can see that below.  BTW, a card blogger also hit pay-dirt and received his own licensed Baseball card, and I am totally envious.  He wrote all about it here: Kevin Ransom at

Hit the Dirt

#HTD-12 Yasiel Puig

Opening Day Stars 3-D

#ODS-05 Clayton Kershaw                         #ODS-06 Yasiel Puig

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 18 / Road Game 9

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.

Los Angeles Dodgers(8-3-6) at Oakland Athletics (10-7-1)
Friday, March 20, 2015 – 1:05 p.m. MT | Hohokam Stadium

LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 2.16) vs. RHP Sonny Gray (1-0, 5.68)
TV: SNLA Radio: None


MESA MADNESS: The Dodgers, who have the Cactus League’s best winning percentage at .727,  travel to Mesa to take on the Athletics in the second and final meeting of the spring between the two clubs following Los Angeles’ 10-5 win in Glendale on Monday. The teams, who haven’t met during the regular season since 2012, will have a home-and-home, two-game series during the regular season, in Los Angeles July 28-29 and in Oakland Aug. 18-19.
  • A split-squad of Dodgers that includes Yasmani Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Turner, Alex Guerrero, Darwin Barney, Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson among others, traveled to San Antonio last night and will take on the Rangers this evening at the Alamodome. The pitching matchups for the two-game Big League Weekend series feature left-hander Erik Bedard for the Dodgers against Texas right-hander Anthony Bass tonight, followed by RHP Zack Greinke vs. RHP Anthony Ranaudo tomorrow afternoon.

NICE TIE: The Dodgers established a record with their sixth tie of the spring yesterday, tying the Angels, 7-7, at Camelback Ranch. Los Angeles pounded another 11 hits, including a three-run homer by Alex Guerrero, to raise his spring batting average to .400. Andre Ethier and Justin Turner both posted multi-hit games in the victory, as Turner hit safely for the eighth consecutive game and is now hitting .423 this spring. Brett Anderson lasted just 1.2 innings in his third start of the spring, allowing three runs on seven hits in a no-decision.
  • Yesterday marked the Dodgers’ sixth consecutive game with double-digit hits as the club raised its cumulative batting average to .271 in 17 games this spring.
    (Guerrero 3-run home run, via Dodgers on tumblr)

OH HAPPY DAY!: The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy birthday to Pat Corrales, who turns 74 today! Corrales is in his third season with the Dodger organization as a special advisor to the GM following a nine-year MLB playing career and a nine-year run as a big league manager.

ON THE MOUND: Left-hander Clayton Kershaw, who celebrated his 27th birthday yesterday, will make his fourth start of the spring today after allowing one run on four hits in 3.1 innings in his last start, Sunday at Seattle. Kershaw has faced the A’s twice in his career, in 2009 and in 2012, allowing just one run and striking out 15 in 13.2 innings (0-0, 0.66 ERA).
  • LHP J.P. Howell is expected to make his fourth appearance of the spring today, last pitching 0.2 innings on Tuesday against the Rangers.
  • RHP David Aardsma, who last pitched on Tuesday against the Rangers, is expected to make his fifth appearance of the spring today.
  • LHP Adam Liberatore has struck out four in 5.0 scoreless innings in five Cactus League outings, last pitching on Wednesday against the Cubs.
  • Kershaw will bat ninth today as Dodger pitchers hit for themselves for the first time this spring. Last year, Kershaw hit .175 with his first-career triple and three RBI, while Dodger pitchers combined to lead the National League with both a .163 batting average and a .207 on-base percentage.
  • Kershaw and Howell, along with Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson, will be featured on a special “Connected With…the Pitching Staff,” which debuts tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. PT on SportsNet LA.
(Clayton Kershaw, pic via @Dodgers on twitter)

LET THE GAMES BEGIN: Today marks the first day of exhibition games for Dodger minor leaguers as the club’s Triple-A and Double-A teams take on the Rangers at Camelback Ranch. The Single-A clubs begin games on Sunday.

NEWEST DODGER: Congratulations to Lisa and David Huff on the birth of a son, Ethan Thomas Allen Huff, yesterday! Huff’s next start has been pushed back to Sunday, with Chad Gaudin taking the hill Saturday against Colorado at Talking Stick.

RYU UPDATE: On Wednesday, Dodger left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu reported feeling tightness in his left shoulder, similar to the discomfort he experienced last season, and after consulting with Dr. Neal ElAttrache, he elected to have an inflammation-reducing injection. Ryu will not throw for three days and his next step will be determined at that time. Ryu pitched 3.0 innings on Tuesday against the Rangers, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits, and has tossed 5.0 innings this spring.

ROSTER UPDATE: Yesterday, the Dodgers reassigned RHP Ben Rowen to minor league camp.  Including Brandon Beachy and Chris Withrow, who are on the 60-day disabled list, the Dodgers have 43 players remaining in big league camp.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

RECALL! Topps Issues a Complete Recall of 2015 Tribute Baseball!


I don't think there has ever been a Baseball card product that has faced a complete recall.  This has got to be unprecedented.  I'm in complete shock.

As you may know, there have been complaints all over the web about the poor quality of the autographed cards found in the set.  They appear to be smudged - nearly every single one.  Check out a couple of pics below to see what I mean.
(Adrian Gonzalez signature)

(Fernando Valenzuela signature)

Horrible, right?

Now, Topps issues a recall and I'm left to wonder, "what does this mean for the set?"  Will it be reissued or abandoned entirely this year?  Could this move possibly make the cards out on the market right now super rare?

I dunno.  It's a move you'd expect from just about any other product in the consumer marketplace, but when it comes to a high-end collectible like Tribue... Well, it's a different animal.

Anyway, here is Topps official announcement from their Facebook page:
Dear Valued Topps Collectors and Customers,

Topps has been investigating complaints regarding the quality of the autographed cards in the just-released 2015 Topps Tribute Baseball and has confirmed that many autographed cards are damaged due to a UV contamination on the card.

As a result of our investigation and to rectify the situation, Topps is initiating a complete recall of the product.

Those in possession of unopened boxes should return them no later than Friday, March 27, 2015 to the authorized distributor or store from which the box was purchased for a full refund.

In addition, between now and June 30, 2015, anyone in possession of a damaged autographed card (not in pack) can exchange the card by contacting Topps Customer Service. Exchanges will be made for another card of equal or greater value, plus a bonus autographed or relic card (valued at the company’s discretion).

Topps appreciates your understanding in this matter. We stand firmly behind all our products and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
BTW, I'll share pics of the Dodger relic and autographed cards in the set next week regardless of this recall.  I figure they'll make their way to collectors hands anyway.

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

What Would You Name the New Dodger AAA Mascot?

With the Dodgers AAA club now established in Oklahoma City there is one little thing left to do.

There must be a mascot, and we must name said mascot.  After all, all minor league teams have one and the Dodgers branded club in the Midwest is no different.

But, what shall it be?

The Dodgers don't have a mascot in Los Angeles (unless you count those hideous bobblehead looking creatures) and the team name doesn't automatically provide any answers.  So naturally, the Oklahoma City Dodgers decided to reach out to the fans for suggestions.  They are asking all fans to make their submissions and I suggest that you head over there right now to lend a hand.  Go here.

You've got until March 25th, so you'll have to act fast.

BTW, I initially came across this due to a reddit post by u/tacotcat.  As one commenter stated, the graphic on the OKC site (that you can see above) appears to show a couple of guys in a pony outfit; which of course elicited the term "Brony."  If you don't know what that is then you need to look it up.  In fact, I did it for you.  Go here for some photographs of what a "Brony" is.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

With this all in mind, I will submit "Brony" as the male mascot name and "Pinkie Pie" as the female name.  I understand that "Pinkie Pie" is a fun and energetic pony.  (I swear I didn't know this before looking it up)  If you'd prefer another "My Little Pony" character then you could do that.  And if you don't know any of the characters names then there's a helpful wiki you can check out here.  Of course, if you think I'm a crazy lunatic who should be ignored at all cost then you can submit any name you want.

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

Blog Kiosk: 3/20/2015 - Dodger Links - Guerrero Making Strides and Ryu Shut Down

It was crowded in the Dodger clubhouse when spring training started, and it was especially cramped on the infield.  With all four infield positions taken by able veterans, all that remained were a handful of reserve spots on the bench.  So, it didn't seem likely that there would be room for Alex Guerrero to make the team.   Fast forward a couple of weeks and it now appears the Dodgers can't afford to not keep him in Los Angeles. 

Alex Guerrero has had a great spring.  He's looked good at the plate (no surprise since he was coveted for his bat), and has improved measurably on the field.  Don't be surprised if he pushes his way onto the Opening Day roster.

Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015.  Below are some more links to check out:

Indeed, one of the storylines of spring training has been this generation of multi-dimensional young shortstops. Anyone and everyone who passes by the Dodgers is drawn to 20-year-old Corey Seager, 6-4, 220, with the John Olerud swing, great hands and exchange and big arm on defense and what players, coaches and the manager describe as “a unique internal clock.”

And with Jimmy Rollins clearly the heartbeat of this renovated Dodger team, Seager is going to triple-A for a year. “There’s no doubt in my mind he can stay at short,” says Don Mattingly. 
"On Yasiel, nobody should tag and Albert’s not a burner, so he’s basically anticipating that Yasiel’s going to be taking something for granted, so he’s taking advantage of the way he plays," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "That’s what he did. It was a good lesson for Yasiel."
"The more I catch them, I get a little bit better with them," Grandal said. "For now, it's really just talking game plan and things they like to do in different situations, counts. ... I think that's, for now, the one thing we can do the most."

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