Wednesday, March 25, 2015

2015 Topps Garbage Pail Kids - A Mike Piazza Autograph Card

Here's a set I didn't expect to write anything about.  Several weeks back Topps released their 2015 Garbage Pail Kids card set, and as promised Baseball plays a prominent part.  Check out pics of some of the base and insert cards at the very bottom of this post.  A complete checklist is here.  

Unbeknownst to just about everyone, several actual ballplayers can also be found in the set.  Topps has included at least four different autographed cards, and former Dodger Mike Piazza is included.  The other known players include Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado and Joey Votto (Check those out here).

As you'll notice there are no team logos since this set was released without the benefit of Topps' MLB license. 

Mike Piazza

Below are some of the base and insert Baseball themed cards found in the set.

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Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 24 / Home Game 12

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.

San Diego Padres (11-10) at Los Angeles Dodgers (11-6-6)
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 – 1:05 p.m. MT | Camelback Ranch

LHP Jason Lane (0-0, 4.70) vs. RHP Juan Nicasio (0-0, 5.14)
(Jimmie Rollins, pic via @Dodgers on twitter)

SAN DIEGO SHOWDOWN: The Dodgers, who have the Majors’ best spring winning percentage at .647, take on the Padres for the second and final time this spring after beating San Diego, 1-0, on March 12 in Peoria. The clubs will play again in just 12 days, on April 6 - Opening Day at Dodger Stadium - for the first of 19 regular-season meetings.

A CASE OF THE MONDAYS: The Dodgers rallied for three runs in the eighth inning on Monday to down the D-backs, 7-4, at Camelback Ranch. Jimmy Rollins, who is batting .316 in 13 Cactus League games, tripled and scored during Los Angeles’ third-inning rally, and Kiké Hernandez went 2-for-2 with an RBI single in the fourth inning. Chris Anderson made the spot start for the Dodgers, allowing one run on four hits in 3.0 innings, and Daniel Coulombe picked up the win after retiring all three batters he faced in the eighth and ninth innings.
  • Following Monday’s game, the Dodgers optioned Coulombe to minor league camp.

MEANWHILE ON THE MINOR LEAGUE SIDE…: While the majority of the Dodgers were off yesterday, Brett Anderson and Mike Adams pitched in minor league games against the Brewers. Anderson threw 79 pitches in the High-A game, allowing three runs on nine hits with five strikeouts in 5.2 innings, and Adams needed just 13 pitches to strike out the side in his only inning in a Low-A contest.
  • Today, Carl Crawford will receive extra at-bats on the minor league side in the Dodgers’ Single-A game against the Rangers. A.J. Ellis is expected to do the same tomorrow.

(Graphic via @Dodgers on twitter)
THEY SAY IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY: The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy birthday to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who turns 28 today! Ryu, who hasn’t pitched since March 17, underwent a contrast MRI in Los Angeles on Monday, which showed no changes since his 2012 MRI. The Dodgers plan to rest and rehab Ryu for two weeks before re-evaluating him at that time to determine his throwing progression.

SUCH A JOC: Joc Pederson has posted a .415/.455/.732 slashline this spring and continues to rank among the NL leaders in runs (10, T-3rd), hits (17, 2nd), batting average (.415, 3rd) and total bases (30, 3rd), on-base percentage (.455, 7th) and slugging percentage (.732, 1st).
  • Despite not having an official at-bat on Monday, Justin Turner’s 10-game hitting streak came to an end, terminating after he was hit by a pitch and a third-inning sacrifice fly without a hit. He’s batting .469 with four doubles, two homers and seven RBI, while posting a .500 on-base percentage and a .781 slugging percentage in 13 Cactus League games.
  • Kiké Hernandez went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored on Monday, as he continued to swing a hot bat. Hernandez has hit safely in his last six contests, batting .500 (7-for-14) with six runs scored, a double, three homers and four RBI since March 18.
  • The Dodgers have been going deep at a frenetic pace of late and continue to lead the Major Leagues with 33 home runs.

ON THE MOUND: RHP Juan Nicasio will make his first start in his sixth appearance of the spring today. Nicasio has made three consecutive scoreless appearances, including striking out four in 2.0 scoreless frames in his last outing on Saturday against the Rangers.
  • RHP Dustin McGowan will make his sixth appearance of the spring today, last pitching 2.0 scoreless innings on Saturday against the Rockies.
  • RHP Sergio Santos has allowed just one run and struck out nine in 6.0 innings in six outings this spring. He last pitched on Saturday against the Rockies at Talking Stick.
  • LHP J.P. Howell will make his sixth appearance of the spring today, last pitching a scoreless inning on Sunday against the Indians.
  • LHP Paco Rodriguez has allowed just three hits and struck out seven in 6.0 scoreless innings this spring, last pitching on Sunday against the Indians.
  • RHP David Aardsma has tossed scoreless relief in five of six appearances this spring, last pitching on Sunday against the Indians.
  • RHP Yimi Garcia has nine strikeouts in 7.1 scoreless innings this spring, last pitching 1.2 innings on Sunday against Cleveland.
  • Brandon League will have an MRI on his right shoulder today. He has made two appearances this spring, last pitching on March 9.

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Dodgers FanFest in Oklahoma City with Cey & Demeter

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.


The Dodgers new AAA home will have their FanFest this coming Saturday at the stadium, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, in Oklahoma City.  Go here for information.  It'll be from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM, and is free for all fans. 

As a part of the festivities former Dodger All-Star Ron Cey and Oklahoma native Don Demeter will be on-hand to greet fans and sign autographs.  Also, former University of Oklahoma softball standout and USA National Softball Team member Destinee Martinez will be there.  They will be signing autographs from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM.
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
2 South Mickey Mantle Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

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Blog Kiosk: 3/25/2015 - Dodger Links - Ryu OK (for now), Olivera Arm Issues and Preventing Future Injuries

Check out who visited Dodger Stadium yesterday.  That's 1988 Dodger World Series champion Rick Dempsey.  Photo above was tweeted by the @Dodgers.

Funny story:  About a decade ago I visited Dodgertown in Vero Beach for Spring Training and spent a good amount of time gathering signatures like everyone else.  So, imagine my delight when Dempsey, a member of the '88 team, was on the field.  Strangely, he was largely ignored since he was no longer a player and was working as a coach for the opposing team instead - which made getting his signature easy.  Anyway, after fielding a question from some young lad about who he was Dempsey remarked (to paraphrase), "ya know, I was on the '88 Dodger team."  I got a good laugh out of that one.

Below are some more links to check out:

  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tells us that the Dodgers were able to get something unique out of Hector Oliver should he require Tommy John Surgery.  This has also been confirmed by JP Hoornstra, and Jesse Sanchez on twitter confirms Passan's previous scoop that Olivera does have a slight tear in his UCL.  Obviously, there were some concerns by the Dodgers about his arm, but with this now hovering over him I can't help but think that this deal is an overpay.

  • The man who doesn't want to talk about Los Angeles, talks about Los Angeles. Via Pedro Moura at the OC Register, "Kemp convinced he's found a healthier situation with Padres."
“I’ll talk about the Dodgers just a little bit,” Kemp volunteers. “We had a lot of talented outfielders over there that are used to playing every day. It wasn’t good for any of us to wonder if we were gonna play. It’s not a healthy situation.”

“I thought they would figure it out, but they just kept all of us. Honestly, right now, I feel like they might be in the same situation.”
“I always like to think big, I always like planning things out,” Hernandez said, “I worked the whole entire off-season working towards being the everyday second baseman in Miami and when I got traded, I got all these people telling me ‘Oh you got traded, you got screwed by that trade, there’s no room for you there,’ and I told myself ‘Hey, I don’t care, they traded for me for a reason, it means they like me.’ I’m just going to keep working hard.”
  • Considering past history, the Dodgers sorely need this.  Via Stephania Bell at, "Dodgers, Kitman partner on program."  
Kitman Labs, a sports technology company with a history of providing European teams with data regarding athlete management and injury prevention, has worked with the Dodgers for a year to develop a comprehensive program specifically tailored to baseball players. 

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