Friday, October 02, 2015

Nancy Bea Hefley to Retire at End of Season

This is terrible news.  The melodic tunes, since reduced over the past few years, will be no more.  Dodger fans, the stadium and all those who enjoy a good tune played on the organ will be losing something grand.

Nancy Bea Hefley has just announced that she will retire at the conclusion of this season.

For 28 years she has entertained the crowd with ballads as varied as "Master of the House", "Funiculi Funicula" and "When I'm 64".  Now, who knows if anyone will ever come in to really replace that sound.  No doubt, modern DJ music will invade our ears at every waking moment, and the sounds of the old Roland organ will fade away like a distant memory.

Per a Dodger press release:
“I have had a wonderful time playing for the Dodgers and their fans,” said Hefley.  “My husband and I felt that this was the right time to settle down in our home in Silver Springs and eliminate all the travel.  The Dodgers have told me I can come back and make guest appearances and I greatly appreciate this gesture.  I hope to get back to Dodger Stadium on occasion.”
Something I didn't realize was that Nancy lived in Silver Springs, NV, and would commute to Los Angeles for each homestand -  renting a second home locally.  That's quite a lot mileage, so at 79-years of age I can certainly understand why she wants to hang it up.  Still, I'm saddened by this news, and desperately want to fall at her feet in hopes she'll change her mind. 

In honor of her, please check out a couple of videos of her playing some notable tunes below:

Master of the House - Orel Hershiser's theme song.

Video Link:

When I'm 64

Video Link:

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Complete Schedule for Autographs and Photo Opps for La Gran Fiesta / Viva Los Dodgers on Saturday

I just received some additional detail regarding the upcoming La Gran Fiesta / Viva Los Dodgers event at the Historic 76 Station on Saturday.  It all begins at 2:00 PM and concludes at 6:00 PM.

Several current Dodger players will be signing there; including Yasmani Grandal, Joel Peralta, Ronald Torreyes, Luis Avilan, Carlos Frias and Alexander Guerrero.  Old-timers signing for fans include Al Ferrera, Rick Monday, Manny Mota, Ron Cey and scout Mike Brito.  Both Jaime and Jorge Jarrin, along with Pepe Yñigue, Fernando Valenzuela, Kiké Hernandez, Yimi Garcia, Pedro Baez and Juan Nicasio will be available for photographs.

Below is a complete schedule of events:
1:30 p.m. All Dodger Stadium auto gates open
2:00 p.m. La Gran Fiesta / Viva Los Dodgers begins
2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Autographs with Grandal, Peralta and Torreyes
2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Photos with Hernandez
2:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.  On stage interview with Gonzalez
2:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  On stage interview with the Jarríns
2:35 p.m. to 3:05 p.m.  Sonsoles perform
2:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.  Autographs with Ferrara, Monday and Mota
2:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.  Photos with the Jarríns
3:20 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.  Sinverguenza performs
3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Autographs with Brito, Cey, Ferrara and Mota
3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Photos with Yñiguez and Valenzuela
4:05 p.m. to 4:10 p.m.  On stage interviews with Yñiguez and Valenzuela
4:08 p.m. to 4:28 p.m.  Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez performance
4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.  Autographs with Avilan, Frias and Guerrero
4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.  Photos with Garcia, Baez and Nicasio
4:35 p.m. to 4:40 p.m.  Cotto interview on stage
4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.  Los 5 performs
5:35 p.m. Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez performance on field
5:45 p.m. DJ Adam provides entertainment
5:55 p.m. Cotto first pitch
6:10 p.m. Game time

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Brooklyn Memorabilia at REA - Dodger Stock, an Old Pin and a Jersey from "The Natural"

Yesterday I wrote about a vintage letter from an old Brooklyn coach to one of his top players (check that out here) that is available at REA's current auction.  Now, I wanted to point out a few more Dodgers related collectibles that struck my fancy.

Above is an old Brooklyn Dodger uniform.  (Auction link here)  It is a reproduction that was created for the Robert Redford movie "The Natural".  As you can see, it is meant to represent the jersey's worn in 1939, as evidenced by the Baseball Centennial patch on the left shoulder, and sports the iconic number "42".  It was obviously created in homage to the great Dodger barrier breaker - Jackie Robinson.  The listing claims that it was worn in the movie, but I don't actually recall seeing a Dodger uniform in it.  If you know differently please pass that along. 

BTW, a similar jersey sold last year at Lelands Auctions at $388.00.  I do not know if the above example is the same item.
(Auction Link)

Everytime I see the item above for sale I get exciting.  For a fleeting moment I imagine myself emptying out my bank account to add it to my collection.  Then, I'd try to claim partial ownership of the team to fulfill a lifelong fantasy.  Of course, it would be stupid for me to do that; especially since these documents have long since been cancelled.  Still, it would be cool to have.

Featured above is a 1948 Brooklyn Dodgers stock certificate.  It has been signed by then President Branch Rickey, team treasurer John Smith and former owner Marie McKeever Mulvey.  BTW, Marie remained an owner of the club until 1975.  Having featured this kind of certificate numerous times before, I know that an example just like this routinely sells for about $4,500 to $5000 a piece.  That's quite an expensive piece of paper.
(Auction Link)

This last item is a pin you just don't see very often.  It is a large-format composite pinback celebrating the 1947 National League pennant winning Brooklyn Dodgers.  They were originally sold only during the ensuing World Series played that October against the Yankees.   There are 22 faces on the pin; including Jackie Robinson.  Considering this was Jackie's first year as a Dodger makes this a unique and extremely desirable collectible.  I am uncertain how much an an example like this is expected to sell for, but I imagine it would be in the low four figures.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2015 Leaf Metal Draft Baseball - All the Dodger Cards - Walker Buehler's First Card

With the regular season rapidly coming to a close, Baseball cards of all stripes and colors have been coming out of the woodwork.  Over the past several weeks there have been five different card releases by Topps.  Now, I show off a new card set from a non-licensed competitor known as Leaf.  It is called 2015 Leaf Metal Draft, and as the name implies it focuses on prospects and recent draftees.  It's a high-end set were every card is autographed, and four top-flight Dodger prospects are included in it.  Check them all out below.  Go here for a complete checklist

Of note, recent Cuban signee Yadier Alvarez is in the set. This is his second card available in the marketplace - Onyx produced a card for him earlier this year.  Also, the Dodgers 2015 1st round pick (24th overall) Walker Buehler receives his very first Baseball card.  In fact, he has two different cards in this set.

Base Autographs

#BA-JDL Jose De Leon                            #BA-JU1 Julio Urias

Blog Kiosk: 10/2/2015 - Dodger Links - Ethier, Puig and AJ Ellis

Andre Etheir looks like he was having a fun time hanging out with part of the cast from the show Fuller House, via a pic from David Vassegh on twitter.  It's a bit worrisome those ladies were sporting those colors, though.  Couldn't they find them some Dodger Blue to wear?  It's even more disconcerting that Ethier is wearing a hat reminiscent of that crazy preacher guy in Poltergeist II.  That character was creepy.

Below are more links to check out:
  • Check out a copy of the October issue of Dodger Insider magazine on the right.  Jon Weisman writes a bit about it here.
  • Via Jim Caple at ESPNW, "Will Kim Ng be MLB's first female GM?"
"She's very competitive,'' Torre says. "And for someone as bright as she is, she has no trouble relating to people on everyone's level. She is there, she doesn't delegate, she does it herself.''
  • I totally missed this from Wednesday's game.  Apparently, Austin Barnes achieved the rare feat of hitting a single pitch twice... Twice!  Ben Cosman at Cut4 has a gif of it.  Check it out.
  • Yasiel Puig might just be ready to play in the NLDS.  Via Ken Gurnick at, "Puig makes 'miraculous' progress."
"Three days ago, he was running 80 percent and having pain," said Mattingly. "All of a sudden it's 100 percent and he feels fine. That's a nice surprise. It's been pretty miraculous, really, for me. Eighty percent to 100 percent. That's legendary."
It was during early batting practice at Dodger Stadium against a mechanical pitching machine. Ellis, who tends to be a relentless tinkerer when he is struggling, had a million thoughts swimming in his head before that. Then, he said, “something just grabbed.”

“It felt perfect,” Ellis said. “It reminded me of when I first got to the big leagues in 2012, when I really stayed through the baseball.”

The breakthrough involved Ellis’ left hand. Rather than break his wrist during his swing, which tended to force him to “roll over” on pitches and hit harmless ground balls to the left side of the infield, he was hitting the ball with greater loft and driving balls to the outfield. He decided he would keep all his focus on keeping his left hand firm.
  • A big thanks to Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider for letting everyone know about the current LA Dodger Foundation auction currently ongoing.  Go here to check that out.  There's a bunch of great items for sale; including game uniforms, signed balls, bats, locker tags and autographs.  My favorite item is the signed Sports Illustrated magazine with Kershaw and Kings centerman Anze Kopitar on the cover.  Check it out on the right.  Awesome!
  • Night Owl Cards once again writes a fantastic post - this time celebrating Don Newcombe's 1956 Topps card while also tackling the recent "foreigners" comment made by Bud Norris at the same time.  He does this by weaving in the integration of Baseball, the rise of the Latin American ballplayer and Newcombe's future role as an alcoholism counselor.  It's really a great read, so be sure to check it out.  Heck, I think he brilliantly ties them all together in the most perfect of ways.  Thanks for writing this Night Owl!
  • Congrats, Brett Anderson!

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