Monday, April 06, 2015

Some Brooklyn Dodger Rarities Available at REA

One of the more anticipated sports memorabilia auctions in the hobby just opened up, and there are some fantastic Dodger related collectibles up for sale.  Over the next few days I'll share some of my favorites from the REA Spring Auction.  You can check out the entire REA catalog here.

I thought I start by taking a look at some notable Brooklyn Dodger memorabilia.  Featured below is a circa 1950's Brooklyn Dodgers usher's cap dating from Ebbets Field. According to the consignor, it was found in a secondhand store in Brooklyn in the 1970's.
(Auction Link)

I first spoke about this next item back in January.  Featured below is the Brooklyn Dodgers official ledger (penned by Charles Ebbets) showing the teams day-to-day financial operations from April 1899 to December 1900. That's right.  This tattered book tells us everything about how they funded and operating the franchise during its more formative years.

According to the owner, it was originally retrieved from the trash as works crews began tearing down Ebbets Field after the Dodgers left for Los Angeles for the 1959 season.  I can only imagine what other items might have been discarded at that time.
(Auction Link)

Hidden these pages are player salaries, gate receipts and even the mundane cost of mowing the grass.  Via the auction description:
This book is a treasure trove of financial information. All incoming and outgoing funds of the club are recorded. Included are the exact attendance records for Brooklyn's games, with gate receipts broken down by seat prices. Also recorded are all of the concession sales, including peanuts, refreshments, and scorecards. Included on the expenditure side are both player and employee salaries (team owner Charles Ebbets' salary is also recorded numerous times, including in his own hand), as well as the cost for general repair and maintenance of Washington Park, equipment (balls, bats, uniforms, etc.), team stationery, newspaper advertising, a subscription to the Sporting News, and, of course, peanuts (150 pounds of peanuts cost $7.75 in 1900). Players on this powerhouse team include stars such as Hughie Jennings, Joe Kelley, Joe McGinnity, and Willie Keeler, as well as manager Ned Hanlon (all future Hall of Famers). With that remarkable roster of talent, Brooklyn captured the pennant in both 1899 and 1900. Each of the future Hall of Fame players is listed numerous times in the ledger with regard to salary payments and special compensation. The ledger also records the payment of fines to the National League levied against Kelley, Keeler, and Bill Dahlen in 1899; bonuses to McGraw and Wilbert Robinson in 1900; etc. In short, virtually all financial information relating to the business of the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1899 and 1900, this volume was Charles Ebbets' single most important record of the club's finances.

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Kershaw Pitches for Subway - Watch his First Commercial

Back in November it was announced that Clayton Kershaw, along with the Angels slugger Mike Trout, would be pitchmen for the Subway sandwich chain.  As I understand it, Kershaw would frequent Subway before each start for his pregame meal, so the pairing made a lot of sense. 

With Opening Day officially here, the first commercial featuring him has been released.  I first saw it during the Easter Sunday game between the Cubs and Cardinals yesterday afternoon.  If you missed it then you can watch it below.  Per the video description, his go-to sandwich is a Turkey and Cheese on 9-Grain Wheat with JalapeƱos, Mustard and a little bit of Vinegar.

Video Link:

In case you are interested, here is the Mike Trout commercial.

Video Link:

Photo at the very top, via via Bill Shaikin on twitter.

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Blog Kiosk: 4/6/2015 - Dodger Links - RIP, Billy DeLury

Longtime Dodger employee and constant fixture around everything Dodgers, Bill DeLury, passed away over the weekend.  He joined the club in 1950, the same year Vin Scully became an broadcaster, and did just about every job imaginable for the club as he rose up the ladder.  For 20 years he was the teams traveling secretary, and in recent years was the assistant to the broadcasters and to the traveling secretary.  No doubt, he will be sorely missed.

Per a Dodger press release:
“Billy's consistent dedication and outstanding character were both an inspiration in our front office as well as a daily reminder of our roots in Brooklyn,” Dodger president and CEO Stan Kasten said. “His presence will be missed by all who knew him.”

“I was privileged to know Bill DeLury for more than 60 years from the time he was an office boy in Brooklyn and rose to become a most valuable member of the organization as our traveling secretary,” said Vin Scully. “A Dodger from head to toe.  A respected baseball man.  And a deeply religious husband and father. Anyone and everyone in baseball who knew Bill will mourn his passing and he will be truly missed.”
Mark Langill, the Dodgers official historian, pens a great piece at Dodger Insider in his honor, hereEvan Bladh at Think Blue LA also has an excellent piece worth checking out, here.

Photo at the very top is of Billy DeLury being introduced at Dodgertown in 1995, via Jon SooHoo.  Check out more pics from Jon's vault of DeLury here.  Below are some links to check out:
"You are never bored. You always have something to do. She is starting to have a real personality and loves to smile," Kershaw said with a smile lighting up his face. "It is pretty fun."

  • Via Anthony Witrado at ESPN, "Dodgers add another arm in Scott Baker."  Also, via Ken Gurnick at, "Dodgers acquire Minor League pitcher (Rudy) Owens from Oakland."  Both of these are minor league deals.  They add additional depth to the Dodgers and both will report to AAA.
  • Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, "Mattingly says analytics have yielded new insights."
“As we’re learning more about it, seeing a different set of numbers and ways to evaluate, it’s interesting to see how certain guys kind of fit in, where they’ve been really good and where their deficiencies are,” Mattingly said. “That’s been the most interesting part for me, going over player plans and things like that and seeing how different guys are really good at one thing — that you kind of noticed, but you didn’t really know to paint that picture — it’s been nice doing that.”
  • Blue Skinny Fan was a Frank & Sons on Saturday to get Eric Gagne's signature.  Check out his trip report here.
  • Via Bill Plaschke at the LA Times, we find out that Dodger organist Nancy Bea Hefley's role during games has been drastically reduced.  Boo!  Boo!  
Missing will be the soothing sound of a ballpark organ, as 28-year veteran Nancy Bea Hefley's workload has been reduced to one song during the actual game. One. She waits for seven innings, plays "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," and goes home.

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