Thursday, May 07, 2015

A Vintage Pin from a Long Forgotten Dodger Minor League Club - the Odessa Dodgers

Collecting isn't all about autographs, Baseball cards and bobbleheads.  Sometimes it's about history and finding treasures that reflect the past.  For instance, featured above is a vintage pin from a minor league club I'm sure most of you have never heard of.  Heck, before running into this item a few days ago on eBay I had no idea this former Dodger farmclub ever existed. 

The above pin is for the Class D Odessa Dodgers of the short-lived Sophomore League.  A Class D club is akin to Rookie Ball (the Ogden Raptors) or low Single-A (the Great Lakes Loons) leagues that exist today.  The Dodgers resided in Odessa, Texas for only two seasons, from 1959 to 1960, before moving to Artesia, New Mexico for the 1961 season.  After that season the league disbanded.  BTW, the Odessa team played at American Legion Park in Odessa, and this facility still exist today.  Check out photos here.

As for any future Dodgers' who played in Odessa, unfortunately, that cupboard is rather barren.  Only one future Major Leaguer came through there, and he didn't even begin his Major League career in Los Angeles. 

His name was Dick Smith, and he absolutely raked in Odessa during the 1959 season.  He collected 24 doubles, 16 triples, 18 HR, 105 RBI, 15 SB and recorded a .332 batting average.  Later on, he was sold to the Mets (along with Norm Sherry) in 1962.  Then spent the next couple of years bouncing between the Mets and the Buffallo Bisons (their AAA club) before being traded back to the Dodgers for pitching prospect Larry Miller in 1964.  Although he failed to get a hit in seven plate appearances while wearing Blue, Smith did receive his very own Dodger Baseball card courtesy of Topps.  Check it out below (1965 Topps - #579).

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2015 Panini Diamond Kings Baseball - All the Dodger Autograph & Relic Cards

Here is a final look at Panini's Diamond Kings Baseball card set.  This time I share pics of all of the relic and autograph cards - and there are a bunch of them.  Go here to check out all of my past post on this set.  You can see a complete checklist here.

The only card I have yet to see is the Duke Snider Diamond Cuts card.  This includes a "cut" signature of Snider.
  • Diamond Cuts- #20 Duke Snider (#/20)

Base Rookies Signatures

#165 Joc Pederson

Blog Kiosk: 5/7/2015 - Dodger Links - Pederson's Streak, Puig to Rehab and Ryu's Velocity is Down

Joe Wieland had a terrible start to his Dodger career.  He gave up five runs in the first inning, but quickly settled down at one point got nine batters out in a row.  Uncharacteristically, he only struck out two and walked four.  Via Ken Gurnick at
"I couldn't locate my fastball," said Wieland, who didn't use a changeup until the second inning, when he started to get quick outs.
As for the offense, Joc Pederson continues to mash the ball.  He blasted two solo home runs to continue a streak of seven consecutive hits for home runs.  BTW, Joc is the first Dodger to do this since Hee-Seop Choi in 2005.  Mattingly had this to say via another Gurnick story at
  • "This is what we thought we'd get, but we didn't know the power would come this early," said Mattingly. "Joc's a baseball player. He plays hard."
Graphic above via @Dodgers on twitter.  Below are some links to check out:

Overall, the Dodgers are torching right-handed pitchers to the tune of an .841 OPS, which is .001 behind the club-record .842 set in 1953. If it were to hold up, the 2015 team’s .495 slugging percentage against righties would break the team record by .018 and the Los Angeles record by .048.
“I think we should take the human element out of it,” he said.
  • Via Jonah Keri at Grantland, "Joc Rocks: In Praise of the Dodgers’ Phenomenal Rookie Center Fielder."
  • The Dodgers have made another pick up for the minor league system. This time they signed PJ Walters.  He had been playing for the independent Atlantic League’s Lancaster Barnstormers, via Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors.
  • BTW, Chris Heisey is back with the club.  Via a Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today recalled outfielder Chris Heisey from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned right-handed pitcher Joe Wieland to Triple-A.

Heisey, 30, is tied for fourth in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with seven home runs and batted .246 (15-for-61) with a double, 13 RBI and 16 runs scored in 18 games for Oklahoma City prior to his second stint with the Dodgers. He previously appeared with the club on April 22, starting in center field against the Giants, going 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout. Heisey was acquired in an offseason trade with Cincinnati and posted a .247 batting average with 50 home runs and 147 RBI in 543 big league games in five seasons with the Reds.
“I feel great. I’m making pitches, I’m happy about the outing,” Jansen said. “The results [don’t reflect that] but I had a good outing. It’s just about me making pitches ”
  • I'm glad to see Dee Gordon having some success, and wouldn't be surprised if his current performance is reflective of the new normal for him.  That's not to say that he'll hit over .400, but I do think he'll fulfill the promise we expected when he first came up to the  Dodgers.  Via Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs, "Dee Gordon Has Been Going Full Ichiro."
  • Panini America released a bunch of preview pics of their upcoming 2015 Prizm Baseball card set; including the Yasiel Puig and Joc Pderson cards below.  Go here to check them all out.  There are 150 different photos.  BTW, this set officially releases next week.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *