Friday, October 16, 2015

Some Dodger Goodies at Heritage Auctions - WS Trophy, Drysdale/Koufax Contract and Vintage Jersey's

Ugh!

I was hoping this blog post would be more cheery; especially since I was about to feature an 1988 Dodgers World Series Championship trophy that is currently on auction at Heritage.  I was planning on ranting on about how something similar to this could be our prize in less than a month, and how it's about time we have something to celebrate.  Instead, all I can do now is dream about what could have been.  Oh, well.

Below is a 1988 World Series trophy (12" version) that was given to a former front office worker named Shirley L. Adcock.  Check out the auction here.  This exact trophy sold earlier this year through a well know eBay retailer for $2,913.00.

Here's an unusual piece of memorabilia.  As you know, both Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax chose to negotiate their upcoming contract with the Dodgers for the 1966 season collectively.  In doing so, they were trying to bargain for the best deal they could get.

Initially, they sought a three year contract for $500,000 each ($167,000 per season).  After a month of discussions they settled for less.  Koufax would get $125,000 and Drysdale would get $115,000.  Below is a side agreement to that deal.  In the signed documents below, both Koufax and Drysdale assert their claim to their names and likenesses for endorsement and merchandising interests while assuring the Dodgers the right of first refusal for any conflicts.  It is also signed by Dodger GM Buzzie Bavassi.  Check out the auction here.
(Auction Link)

Here are some great looking vintage Dodger jersey's.  Below is Frank Howard's 1961 home white jersey.  Check out the auction here.
(Auction Link)

Below is Ron Perranoski's road blue jersey.  Check out the auction here.
(Auction Link)

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

"The Good - The Bad - The Ugly" of the Dodger Season


It is always terrible when you have to end the season on such a sour note.  A year that began with the dawn of Spring - full of hope - has abruptly ended like a car crash before a race is over.  Make no mistake, a season that doesn't result in a championship is a failure.  Still, there is a lot to be hopeful about.  As the days move forward much will be said about what has transpired over the past 12 month, so I figured I'd throw my two cents in.  Below is my brief rundown on what I thought was "The Good - The Bad - The Ugly" of the past year.

The Good
  • Another season with Vin Scully is like a gift from the heavens - A Blue Heaven.
  • Justin Turner - Last season was no fluke!  Turner has made himself into a very effective producer on the field and in the box.  If you were only to look at what he did as a Met you'd think there was no way he could sustain what he had done for the Dodgers, but anecdotal evidence suggest otherwise.  An epiphany while working out with Marlon Byrd a couple of years ago has lead to this.  If you don't know what I mean then check out this story by Eno Sarris at FanGraphs.
  • Corey Seager - He is clearly the future on the left side of the infield for the Dodgers.  I suspect the shortstop job will be his to lose come Spring.
  • Starting pitching duo of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke - It was a pleasure to watch them feed off each other this season.  Hopefully, this continues for a few more years.
  • Kik√© Hernandez and the #RallyBanana - What a fantastic pickup in the Dee Gordon trade.  Not only has be performed well, but he is proving to be a good clubhouse presence.
  • Andre Ethier - I think he proved to the naysayers that he is still an productive player.  He slashed .294/.366/.486/.852.
  • We won that Matt Kemp for Yasmani Grandal trade (for now).  Unfortunately, an injury late in the season hurt Grandal's bat, but I can assuredly say that I'm happy to have Yas on the team.
  • Justin Ruggiano - Who would have thought he'd be so important in September.  Unfortunately, his magic didn't extend to the postseason.

The Bad
  • Finding out that next season is likely to be Vin Scully's last at Dodger Stadium.
  • Nancy Bea Heafley - Her retirement announcement was a shock to the system.  Her play on the organ will be missed.  Heck, the organ in general will be missed.  No doubt, we are in the midst of an changing of an era.
  • Yasiel Puig - Obviously, injuries had much to do with this, but I also sense that he's lost some fire.  I fear that the complaints about how he should respect the game and his perceived entitled attitude in the clubhouse may be wearing on him.
  • Jim Johnson - His short stint with the Dodgers is best forgotten.
  • Mat Latos - Clearly, he was not a good choice to anchor the starting rotation.  Worse yet, putting Mike Bolsinger in the minors for Latos was an ill-advised move.
  • Alex Guerrero - He is not as good as we had hoped, and was ultimately a waste of a roster spot.

The Ugly
  • I can't help but think that Nancy Bea Hefley was mistreated by someone within the Dodgers front office.  For background on this check out Bill Plachke's article about it.
  • The defensive shift during Game 5 of the NLDS that caught the infielders napping and resulted in the tying run scoring.
  • Injuries Galore! - From the back end of the starting rotation to just about every position player on the team, the Dodgers were constantly hampered at every turn.  In fact, the injury problem was so bad, a front office thought to have created more than enough depth found itself with no depth at all.  Go figure.
  • Joc Pederson - He sure did regress - BIG TIME - during the second half.  Fortunately, there's a lot there to build on.
  • The constant public harping about Don Mattingly's job security was an annoyance and a distraction.  Unfortunately, this is unlikely to stop anytime soon.
  • Zack Greinke opting out of his contract scares the daylights out of me.  Please... Please stay a Dodger!
I'm sure as more time passes I could add to this list.  For now, these are my initial impressions.

Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers

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Blog Kiosk: 10/16/2015 - Dodger Links - The Shift, Turner and the Future of Don Mattingly


That was a tough loss to digest.  It was so close, and victory was seemingly within our grasp.  Unfortunately, Baseball has a way of punching you in the gut in the most unexpected ways.  For this game it was a innocent looking defensive shift that caught the Dodger infielders napping.  Per Steve Dilbeck at the LA Times:
Naturally I’m talking about the infamous fourth inning. They were leading the Mets 2-1 in the decisive Game 5 of their National League Division Series when Dodger-killer Daniel Murphy led off with a single. One out later, with the Dodgers in a major defensive shift on the right side for left-handed hitter Lucas Duda, Zack Grienke walked him.

Murphy started trotting to second, only as he arrived, he took a peek at third and noticed no one was there. So he broke into a sprint and ended up at third, with one odd stolen base, and one group of red-faced Dodgers.
He would eventually score the tying run on a sacrifice fly.

Crap!

I'm sure I could go all day long about who should have covered that base, but what would be the point of that?  The game was lost due to multiple factors; including an offense unable to drive in runs when they had a chance.  Suffice to say, this was a team effort that lead to a team loss.

On a side note, Justin Turner really turned some heads this season and during the playoffs.  Overall, he slashed .294/.370/.491/.861 for the season and 526/.550/.842/1.392 for the playoffs - going 10 for 19 against the Mets.  Hopefully this puts to bed the idea that last year was a fluke.

The photo above of Turner via Jon SooHoo on the Dodgers twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
  • There was one moment during the game where Andre Ethier was seen screaming at Mattingly in the dugout.  Now we know why.  Via AJ Cassavell at MLB.com, "Mattingly says Ethier's ire at umps, not him."
  • Yasmani Grandal was obviously hurt.  Via a tweet from Pedro Moura:
  • Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, "Don Mattingly on disappointing end to Dodgers season."
    "It's disappointing. I don't think it matters what it is. It's just disappointing. That's what I told the guys in there. There are really no words to describe how you feel right now," Mattingly said. "You come to spring training, you work all winter, you scratch, you fight, all year long to get into this situation and you have a chance. It comes to a crash."
  • Via Jon Heyman at CBS Sports, "Inside Baseball: Mattingly deserves to stay in LA, but will he? Plus notes."  He also mentions that the Dodger plan on extending qualifying offers to both Howie Kendrick and Brett Anderson.
Mattingly, it is said, has been quite cooperative on the lineup input he receives from above, and word is, it's substantial. The club is blessed with terrific positional depth at full strength, giving them options galore, though Mattingly doesn't always make the ball. (That might explain why he answers questions about lineup decisions with "We thought it gave us the best chance to win."

Under normal circumstances, Mattingly should easily be safe. But he also knows his job comes with no guarantees, and the one year to go on his three-year contract brings no certainties, either (if anyone's shown they're wiling to eat money, it's the Dodgers).
  • Via Ken Rosenthal at FoxSports, "Mattingly has his flaws, but LA's front office bears responsibility, too."
    That it failed to happen this season is not Mattingly's fault. It is not entirely the front office's fault, given that it could accomplish only so much in its first year. But let's not overlook Mattingly's strengths -- his even personality, his ability to manage egos and hold together a diverse group of players. And let's not pretend that he was the problem, not after he led the Dodgers to three straight postseason appearances for the first time in club history.
  • Via Scott Miller at Bleacher Report, "Kirk Gibson on His Parkinson's Disease Fight: 'It's Not a Death Sentence'"
"I just took it with great vigor, I guess you could say. I wanted to do it, I wanted to do it right, I wanted to do it well, and I wanted to attack what I was up against."

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