Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Impact of the Written Word - A Letter of Thanks from Jackie Robinson at Lelands Auctions

It is often easy to oversimplify the impact one little letter can have on someone.  But believe me, the written word does make a world of difference.

Like a kind pat-on-the-back or a congratulatory "good job" it can lift the spirits of just about anyone, and considering the struggles a man like Jackie Robinson went though as he traveled the wilderness of professional Major League Baseball during the age of segregation, he needed as much encouragement as he can get. 

Featured in the current Lelands auction are the below letters showing one such example that by Jackie's own admission was the "most complimentary" one he had read. 

It starts with a letter from a fan named Raymond Treacy to a columnist Jack Lang of the Long Island Press, following an article he printed about "letters (Lang) and Jackie Robinson received."  Raymond writes:
(click pic to embiggen)
My father, Andrew Treacy of Merrick (age 75) and I (age 50) have been rabid Dodger fans since we were both 10 year of age.

My favorite was always Zack Wheat but my father and I both agree that Jackie is the greatest competitor of any man who ever played in the major leagues and much as I regret saying it, Jackie now comes first and poor Zack is second.  What I mean is, I regret it because Zack was first, all of these years since he first fumbled a ground ball at Ebbets Field -- but how he could hit!

I hope some day to see nine Jackie Robinson's playing at Ebbets Field, if they measure up to his standard, and I don't care whether they are white, black or yellow!

If he were traded to the Giants tomorrow, he will always be my favorite (and that's pretty hard to say for a Dodger fan, when one or your favorites is traded to the Giants) but the truth is, we both love him.

I hope if you get a chance you can show this letter to him and tell him to tear up the nasty ones!
And passing this letter along is exactly what Jack Lang did.  Less than a month later Jackie wrote directly to Raymond Treacy on hotel stationery from The Chase in St. Louis, and what he says is fantastic.  Check it out below:
Jack Lang showed me a letter I believe to be the most complimentary one I have seen and I sincerely appreciate what you had to say.  If nothing more comes from baseball, I will always remember (your letter) and whenever I receive letters that are not right I'll always remember yours. It's gestures like that that make us in baseball feel like we have accomplished something and I am sure it's a feeling I will always remember.

Give my regards to your Dad and believe me I am sure my wife will enjoy hearing what you had to say.  Again, my thanks and best wishes to you.
Class, all around, eh? 

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Giants Series Starts Tomorrow - Scheduled Autograph Sessions, Pregame Info and Other Stuff!

The next homestand starts Friday evening against the San Francisco Giants.  Below are the scheduled autograph opportunities and other odds and ends for this upcoming homestand.

Friday, June 19th at 7:10 PM
SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

Friday's game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:10 PM. It is Friday Night Fireworks, so fans will be able to go down onto the field after the game to watch the spectacle. Music will be presented by DJ and producer Jeremy Blacklow.  The theme will be LGBT Pride Night.  Go here for information about future firework themes.

It is also LGBT Night at Dodger Stadium.  Folks who ordered a special ticket package in the All You Can Eat Right Field Pavilion or Infield Reserve will get an exclusive LGBT t-shirt.  See that on the left.  If not already sold out go here for information.

Lisa Vanderpump, LGBT advocate, GLADD spokesperson, actress and West Hollywood restaurateur, will throw the ceremonial first pitch. Recording artist Lance Bass will also be on hand to announce the Dodgers’ starting lineup and Ty Herndon, country music star, will perform the national anthem.

MLB’s Ambassador of Inclusion Billy Bean will be on hand for pre-game festivities. The Dodgers will also recognize athletes from Varsity Gay League (V.G.L.) and GLASA (Greater Los Angeles Softball Association). David Kopay, former NFL running back who in 1975 became one of the first professional athletes to come out as gay, and EJ Johnson will also be recognized. Fans can also attend a LGBT pride reception in the right-field plaza from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. where Levy Restaurants will feature a pride-themed drink.

Pregame entertainment will also include DJ Adam in the right-field plaza and a stilt walker in the left-field plaza from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Jaime Soto of Torrance. Soto has served in two consecutive combat deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After being selected for drill instructor duty, Soto transformed 509 recruits into U.S. Marines and earned the billet of Senior Drill Instructor.  He earned his First Degree Black Belt and as a U.S. Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor was selected as the first enlisted radio chief to be sent to Norway, attending the Norwegian Allied Officers Winter Warfare course. He currently serves as the Course Chief for the Mountain Communications Course and Cold Weather Mountain Warfare Instructor, stationed at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, CA.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) conducts silent auctions throughout the season featuring more than 25 signed pieces of memorabilia from Dodger players, coaches and alumni. Auctions will take place behind the Vin Scully press box on the club level. The items up for auction on Friday include a Joc Pederson autographed photo, Clayton Kershaw autographed baseball and Zack Greinke autographed Dodger jersey. The auction will end at 8:45 p.m.


Saturday, June 20th at 4:15 PM
 SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

Saturday's game starts at 4:15 PM.  Auto gates open at 1:45 PM, and stadium gates open at 2:15 PM.  It is Movie Night at Dodger Stadium.  The club will treat fans to “The Lego Movie,” and it will be screened for fans following Saturday’s game. Screenings are free with a game-day ticket. Fans sitting in the right field pavilion and left field pavilion will be invited down to the field postgame for a better viewing experience.

It is also "Pups in the Park" day at the stadium.  Fans who purchase a special event ticket in the All-You-Can-Eat Right Field Pavilion are invited to bring their dogs to the park and help cheer on their home team.  Go here for more information.  A ticket must also be purchased for each dog. Also required is a valid Rabies certificate with a current expiration date for each dog.

Pregame entertainment will also include DJ Adam in the right-field plaza, DJ Lady Sha in the left-field reserve plaza, a balloon artist in the left-field plaza and singer Brooke Ansley in the right-field reserve plaza.

Dodger alumnus Billy Ashley will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion.
  • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Matthew Kronick of Lompac. Kronick has served one deployment to Korea and is currently a F-16 Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Specialist Instructor stationed at the Luke Air Force base in Arizona.

Sunday, June 21st at 5:08 PM
 RHP Lance Lynn vs. RHP Zack Greinke
 SNLA/AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

Sunday's game starts at 5:08 PM.  Auto gates open at 2:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 3:10 PM.  It is Father's Day.  The first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a Father's Day BBQ set.  See it on the left.  There will also be a Father's Day catch in the outfield following the game.  Families can enter through center field after the game.

Viva Los Dodgers will be at the historic 76 station and will begin at 3:00 p.m. It will feature musical entertainment by Cumbia Machin and Ballet Folklorico Eternal Juventud. 

Golden Boy Promotions will be on hand from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. with former Interim WBA Super Lightweight Champion Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera and 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz Jr., who will sign autographs and meet with fans ahead of their respective fights on July 11 at The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena

Father’s Day pregame ceremonies will feature a special ceremonial first pitch with Dodger dads and their youngsters. Clare Bowen from ABC’s “Nashville” will perform the national anthem.

Dodger alumnus Lee Lacy will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion plaza from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant E5 Todd Prince of Prescott, AZ. Prince joined the military in 2002 and was deployed to serve in Afghanistan in 2008 and to Southwest Asia in 2012. He is currently Inactive Ready Reserve assigned to March Air Force Base in Riverside.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) conducts silent auctions throughout the season featuring more than 25 signed pieces of memorabilia from Dodger players, coaches and alumni. Auctions will take place behind the Vin Scully press box on the club level. The items up for auction on Sunday include an Adrian Gonzalez autographed photo, Howie Kendrick autographed baseball and Yasiel Puig autographed Dodger jersey. The auction will end at 6:45 p.m.

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2015 Topps Series 2 Baseball - The Dodger Base Cards

Take a look at the Dodger base cards found in packs of Topps Series 2 packs.  This set was officially released to collectors yesterday.  Go here to check out a complete checklist, and here to see all of my previous post on this set.

Of special note is possibly the last Juan Uribe card in a Dodger uniform.  Who am I kidding, though.  Topps is likely to include him as a Dodger in various other upcoming sets.  Also, I especially love the no-hitter tribute card for Josh Beckett.  As you know, he retired from the game over the winter.

#409 Juan Uribe                                      #429 A.J. Ellis

Blog Kiosk: 6/18/2015 - Dodger Links - Frustrated

I guess the word for the day is 'Frustrated.'

The Dodgers are frustrated.  Clayton Kershaw is frustrated.  Adrian Gonzalez is frustrated.  Don Mattingly is frustrated.  Heck, the entire fanbase is frustrated, and if you spend too much time on any social media community then you're likely ready to pull your hair out and scream expletives to the wind. 

The team is struggling.  There's no doubt of that, but I take solace in knowing that every team, even the very good ones, always face a lull in the season.  There are valleys that have to be crossed and the mark of a club worthy of postseason success is that clubs ability to overcome these tough days. 

Take heart.  This time will pass... I am sure of it. 

The above photo of Adrian Gonzalez is via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015Go here to check out more pics taken bu Jon from yesterday's game.  Below are some links to check out:
"It's really frustrating to lose games you should've won," Ellis said. "It's one thing when you can tip your cap to the other team and say that they beat you, and not to take anything away from the Rangers and the way they've played this series, but we haven't played Dodger baseball at all."
Kershaw called it "the most frustrating game I've ever pitched," and Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, picking up on Kershaw's mood Wednesday night, called it "the picture of our club right now."
Most interesting about this new pitch for Bolsinger might be that it’s not very different from the other two pitches he throws. He threw a cutter and a curve and now he’s throwing a … slider. Everything breaks towards his glove, and everything averages between 80 and 88 mph. Watch him pitch, and you’ll think he’s throwing the same pitch over and over again. Actually, he might be.
  • Rob McMillin at 6-4-2 does a back-of-the-napkin analysis of the TWC TV deal with the Dodgers and it ain't pretty: "Why Sports Net LA Can't Sell A La Carte."  Only thing I would add is that he doesn't include the potential revenue from tv advertising revenue, so his numbers may be underestimates.  Although, I'm not entirely sure who exactly captures the revenue from ad sales.
  • Pics of the All-Star Game caps have leaked and they appear to look very similar to the versions that proved to be fake a month ago.  Check the real one's out below, via a tweet from @Uniswag.  Check the fake one's here.  Which do you like better?

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    * Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *