Tuesday, April 14, 2015

When Jackie Robinson Performed at the Apollo

Since we are a day away from MLB's celebration of all things Jackie Robinson I thought I would take just a moment to share an unique Robinson collectible I saw at Goldin's current sports auction.  Check it out above.  It is a 1947 program from the famed Apollo theater featuring a one week engagement of the recently named Rookie of the Year - Jackie Robinson.  Check out the auction here.

From what I understand, Jackie signed a term management contract (via The Billboard Magazine, September 13, 1947) with General Artist Corporation for radio, vaudeville and exhibition Baseball game appearances after his fantastic rookie season.  After all, pro ballplayers at that time did not make the millions they earn today, so finding another revenue stream during the off-season was a must.  Considering his growing popularity, he was easily able to market himself at various events like the one above.   Best yet, it must have been a fun departure from the vitriol he would often hear on the ballfield.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find an actual account of what he did on the stage at the Harlem theater, but from what I understand he appeared as part of a musical comedy routine.  What I did find, though, was the below photo showing the Robinson's reviewing what looks like a script backstage before the show.  If you happen to know what he performed or who he performed with please let me know.
( Photo: FPG / Archive Photos / Getty Images)

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

2015 Panini Stars & Stripes USA Baseball - All the Dodger Cards - Corey Seager

Last week Panini released their 2015 USA Stars and Stripes Baseball set, and from what I can tell it includes only one Dodger player - top prospect Corey Seager.  Go here for a complete checklist.  If I erred and there is another Dodger in the set please let me know.

There a re a ton of different Seager cards in the set; including a couple of autograph cards.  Unfortunately, I have yet to see any of the autograph cards, so a checklist of them is directly below.
  • Longevity Signatures - #25 Corey Seager  (See below in UPDATE)
  • Longevity USA Flag Black Signatures (#/1) - #25 Corey Seager

Base Set

#25 Corey Seager

Scans of the 1950 Jackie Robinson Comic #1 - the Second Half

Following up on yesterday's post, below are scans of the second half of the 1950 Jackie Robinson comic #1. 

UPDATE:  Directly below are links to the other Jackie Robinson vintage comics I've scanned and shared:

  • 1950 JR Comic #1 (the first half) - Link
  • 1950 JR Comic #1 (the second half) - Link
  • 1950 JR Comic #2 (complete scans) - Link
  • 1950 JR Comic #3 (complete scans) - Link 
  • 1950 JR Comic #4 (complete scans) -Link
  • 1951 JR Comic #5 (complete scans) - Link 
  • 1951 JR Comic #6 (complete scans) - Link
Click on any pic to embiggen.

Welcome to the Blue, David Huff!

What a huge oversight on my part.  Veteran reliever David Huff signed a minor league contract in January, and I failed to do the courtesy of making a fantasy Baseball card for him.  For that, I apologize.

To make up for my obvious indiscretion featured above is said card.  I grabbed a photo taken during Spring Training by Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015 and the 1959 Topps Baseball card design. 

To the surprise of just about everyone, Huff was chosen to fill a spot left open due to a Spring injury to Hyun-Jin Ryu.  I found out via a tweet from Dodger broadcaster Alanna Rizzo:
Over the past six years David Huff has bounced up and down between the Majors and Minors.  For the most part he has primarily come out of the bullpen, but has made a handful of spot starts.  The last time was in AAA for the Giants last year, and he started two games for the Yankees the year before that.  I think it's fair to say that tonight's game will be a bullpen game.  Via Mark Saxon at ESPN:
"I'm just going to try to go as long as I can until my body literally hurts, but obviously, injury-free," Huff said.
You gotta love that enthusiasm.

UPDATE: via a Dodger press release, Darwin Barney has been options to AAA to make room for Huff.
The Los Angeles Dodgers today selected the contract of left-handed pitcher David Huff from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned infielder Darwin Barney to Triple-A. Huff, 30, will make his Dodger debut as tonight’s starting pitcher against the Seattle Mariners.

Huff, who will wear No. 54, last pitched on Thursday for Oklahoma City against Round Rock, allowing one run on three hits in 3.0 innings of relief in a 50-pitch appearance. He was a non-roster invitee for the Dodgers at Spring Training and went 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA in six games (three starts).
Below are his career statistics, via Baseball-Reference:

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

Blog Kiosk: 4/14/2015 - Dodger Links - Tommy Lasorda, Adrian Gonzalez and Hyun-Jin Ryu

This past Saturday Tommy Lasorda visited CSUN to sign some books, meet with fans and provide an inspiring speech to the youthful ballplayers in that college program.  As evidenced in the photo above, he gave a rousing pep talk to the attentive students athletes prior to that afternoons game.  Photo above via CSUN Athletics.

During the pregame ceremony CSUN Head Baseball Coach Greg Moore, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Brandon Martin, President Dr. Dianne Harrison and Matty the Matador presented Lasorda with his very own Matador uniform.  Photo below via BHEPhotos.

Below are some links to check out:
  • To the surprise of no one, Adrian Gonzalez was named the National League Player of the Week for the week ending April 12th. Congrats!  Per a press release:
The veteran slugger, who led baseball with 116 RBI in 2014, opened the 2015 campaign on a torrid pace, leading the Majors with five home runs, 14 hits, 32 total bases and a .609 batting average (14-for-23) in six games last week.  Gonzalez also posted the top slugging (1.391) and on-base percentages (.667) in the Majors and led the NL with eight runs scored, while tying for fourth among National Leaguers with seven RBI.  
  • What a bunch of petty little babies.  Via Andrew Joseph at AZ Central, "Dodgers fan is asked to wear Diamondbacks jersey."  They've got video to prove it.
We have heard stories in the past about the Diamondbacks asking opposing fans to wear D-Backs colors while sitting in the premium seats behind home plate or agree to change seats. The policy has come under scrutiny, and during Sunday's game against the Dodgers, it evidently happened again.
“That’s the way it’s been ever since I was in high school,” the Dodgers catcher said. “I’ve been dealing with this for a long time. It hasn’t been just the past couple years.”
"The first week was really trying to be careful with him, and just amp up from there," manager Don Mattingly said on Monday. "We're trying to be cautious, make sure he give himself the us best chance to be healthy when he gets back. The MRIs and reports have not shown anything different than when we first signed him. We're fairly comfortable that it's inflammation and we have to get that out of there. The first time when he took two or three days off before throwing, that wasn't enough."

  • Here is something fun.  Via Michael Baumann at Grantland, "The Man From Mildon: Remembering the Year the Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez Broke Baseball."  It's an excerpt from a future edition of Ken Burns' Baseball that will be released in 2021.
NARRATOR: Gonzalez continued to hit: 22 home runs in June, 18 more in July. He ended the season with a .662 batting average, 114 home runs, 450 hits, 319 runs scored, and 388 runs batted in, all major league records. The Dodgers won the division by 21 games.

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