Monday, October 31, 2016

Kenley Jansen 2016 Topps Now Card - NL Reliever of the Year - #OS-3

As you know, Kenley Jansen was named the 2016 Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year on Sunday.  Naturally, Topps has commemorated the award with an 2016 Topps Now card that features both Jansen and the AL winner Zach Britton.  Go here to check it out and order.

Per Mark Newman at
"Thank you so much for this tremendous honor," Jansen said via video. "I'm so sorry that I could not be there to receive the Trevor Hoffman Award from the man himself, a pitcher I respect and always admire. … Thank you for the legends and Hall of Famers to vote for me. To earn that respect from the greatest reliever of all time means a lot."

Blog Kiosk: 10/31/2016 - Dodgers Links - Congrats, Kenley!

Here is a fantastic vintage photo of soon-to-be Dodger star hurler Joe Black that I ran into at Hake's auctions.  (Auction Link)  It was taken following an impressive winter season effort where he lead the Cuban League (1951-52) in both wins and strike outs.  As you can see, a makeshift crown was placed on his head to commemorate this achievement.

As you may know, Joe joined the Dodgers that Fall and absolutely blew everyone away.  In 1952 he would go 15-4 with an 2.104 ERA, 85 strike outs, 41 walks, a 4.4 WAR and an ERA+ of 171.  Furthermore, he would be named the Rookie of the Year and come in third place in MVP voting.

Below are more links to check out:

Friday, October 28, 2016

Blog Kiosk: 10/28/2016 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Above is an fantastic Acme press photo, dated October 8, 1941, that features a group of resilient Dodgers fans eager to watch Game 3 of the World Series.  Unfortunately, it appears that mother nature has something else in mind for the day.  It's pouring like the Dickens, but that doesn't stop them from waiting in line for the start of the game.  It is currently available at Hake's current memorabilia auction (Auction Link).  Per the descriptor on the reverse:
Can’t Dampen That Dodger Spirit
Brooklyn, NY -- Holding umbrellas and blankets over their heads, Brooklyn fans – male and female – wait outside the bleachers entrance to Ebbets Field to see their “Bums” in the third game of the World Series.  Dark skies and continued rain caused the game to be postponed.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1890 the Dodgers played a Game 7 of a World Series between the National League and American Association.  They battled the Louisville Colonels but lost 6-2.  This put the series in a tie with a record of 3-3-1.  Game 3 had ended in 7-7 tie due to darkness.  Furthermore, they would never play a decisive Game 8.  Poor weather and a general lack of fan interest –(the largest crowd for any of the game was 5,600) caused the competition to be stopped.  Both Brooklyn and Louisville would be named co-champions.  In 1953 Red Barber resigns as the Brooklyn Dodgers Broadcaster, and will work for the New York Yankees.  In 1981 the Dodgers defeated the Yankees in Game 6 of the World Series to become champions for the first time since 1965.  Pedro Guerrero, Steve Yeager and Ron Cey are named co-MVP's of the series.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

2nd Annual Bat 4 HOPE Celebrity Softball Game with Adrian Gonzalez in November

On Saturday, November 19th Dodger Stadium will host the 2nd annual Bat 4 HOPE Celebrity Softball Game in benefit of PADRES Contra El Cáncer.  You can go here for more information and to order tickets.

Event Details:
Join Los Angeles Dodgers First Baseman Adrian Gonzalez for his 2nd Annual Celebrity Softball Game benefiting children and young adults with cancer.  Player line-up: MLB players and celebrities.  Game Day Includes: Free parking (use Sunset entrance), concession stands sales (limited menu), pre-game sponsor village, limited merchandise sales, goodie bag with each ticket purchase, silent auction, raffle, and an autograph session with Adrian Gonzalez.

Adrian Gonzalez will sign a limited number of baseballs and items prior to the start of the game. MLB baseballs and tickets for the signing will be sold on game day. Sales start at 10 AM, are limited and will go quickly. MLB baseballs are $25 (if you don't bring your own ball); autograph $35 per item/signature.  A maximum of 2 baseballs and 2 signatures per person. Cash will only be accepted in exact denominations (no change). Signing will begin at 10:45 AM in section 1 for only those that purchase a MLB baseball or ticket.
Last year the event was co-hosted with Eva Longoria.  Go here to check out some photos from that, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015.

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Blog Kiosk: 10/27/2016 - Dodgers Links - Verdugo, Stewart, Seager, Jansen and Maeda

Check out this World Series action photo.  Per the descriptor:
Dodgers Andy Pafko makes a leaping one-handed catch off Gene Woodling's whistling bid for home run into the right field stands in the second inning of fifth Series game.
The run saving grab would help the Dodgers maintain a small lead in the early going, and prove to be an important catch as the Dodgers would eventually win the game in extra innings, 6-5.  I think the best part of this photo, though, are the hundreds of fans who are seen peering in eager anticipation.

I ran into this United Press Association press photo, taken by Tony Sande, on eBay.  Check out the auction here.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1890, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (Dodgers), in their first season as a member of the National League, lost Game 6 of an World Series against the Louisville Colonels of the American Association, 9-8.  The loss shrank the Dodgers lead in the series to 3-2-1 -- Game 3 ended in a 7-7 tie due to darkness.  Game 7 will be played the next day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Bill Russell

Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.


Legendary Dodger infielder and former manager Bill Russell will be signing free autographs at the new Sports Authentics store at the Puente Hills Mall this coming Saturday, October 29th from 12:30 PM to  2:00 PM.  Go here for information.
Sports Authentics
Puente Hills Mall 
1600 South Azusa Avenue
City of Industry, CA 91748 

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2016 Topps Update Baseball - The Dodgers Retail Exclusive Rookie Cards

I misspoke yesterday when I said my post featuring some of the Dodgers inserts found in packs of 2016 Topps Update would be my last post on this set.  This post, I promise, will be the last one.  Go here to check out all of my past blog post on this set.

Featured below is a group of insert cards that can be found in packs and boxes bought only at Walmart or Target stores.  They are dubbed the "Retail Exclusive Rookies" and they include three Dodger younglings on older Topps Baseball card designs.  Basically, they are fantasy Baseball cards in real life.

Retail Exclusive Rookies

#TAR-6 Julio Urias                       #TAR-15 Kenta Maeda

Blog Kiosk: 10/26/2016 - Dodgers Links - Kershaw on a Plane, Urias, Utley and Garvey

Above is an fantastic 1910's advertising poster for Fatima Turkish brand Cigarettes that features action photos from an opening series match-up between the Brooklyn Superbas (Dodgers) and New York Giants.  It is currently on auction at Mile High Card Company.  (Auction Link)

Unfortunately, the poster mainly points out popular Giants players like Fred Snodgrass, George Burns and Fred Merkle.  So it's likely this ad was prominently displayed in neighborhoods loyal to that team.  Nevertheless, it's a unique piece that includes several rare photographs.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1950 Walter O'Malley became the ninth president and chief stockholder in the Dodgers franchise.  Following the death of team owner John L. Smith (who owned one-quarter of the club) O'Malley navigated a deal where he bought Branch Rickey's share of the club and essentially became a trustee over the Smith family portion to take over majority control.
  • Happy Birthday: Dan Coulombe!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Eddie Miksis' 1947 World Series Jersey Used During Dodgers Game 4 Walk-Off Victory

I thought I would take a moment to highlight a vintage Brooklyn Dodgers game-used jersey that I recently came across in Goldin's current auction.  Featured above is Eddie Miksis' 1947 flannel that he wore during the World Series.   (Auction Link)

“Miksis will fix us,” was what he was playfully referred to by Branch Rickey during the following season in 1948.  Obviously, Eddie was highly regarded.  He was an super-utility player who, at the ripe age of seventeen, already displayed the skills and smarts of a much older player.  Just to illustrate how wanted he was, he joined the franchise only after the Dodgers bought an controlling interest in the minor league club he played for (the Trenton Packers) in 1944.  Then, he got called up to Brooklyn as a seventeen-year-old later that year.

2016 Topps Update Baseball - The Dodgers 500 HR Futures, Own the Name and All-Star Cards

Here is a last look at the Dodgers cards found in packs of 2016 Topps Update.  Featured below are the 500 HR Futures Club, All-Star Cards and "Own the Name" cards.  Go here to check out all of my past blog post on this set.

Of note, I find it a bit presumptuous to include both Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson in a list of future 500 home run hitters.  With 308 career homers at 34 years of age it is highly unlikely Adrian Gonzalez will reach the 500 mark.  Additionally, Joc Pederson has averaged 25 home runs a season, so he'd have to continue hitting at that pace for twenty years. 

500 HR Futures Club

#500-9 Adrian Gonzalez                          #500-19 Joc Pederson

Blog Kiosk: 1/25/2016 - Dodgers Links - Press Conference, Quakes New Logo and an Mysterious Vintage Cap

Here is one last item from the current Lelands Auction that I thought was worth mentioning.  Featured above is a vintage photograph of the empty stalls within the Dodgers clubhouse.  As you can see, Roy Campanella's uniform is prominently displayed among throngs of Dodger flannels on wire hangers.  Check out the auction here.

Initially, I assumed that this photo was taken in the Brooklyn Dodgers clubhouse -- pre-1958.  But now, I'm not so sure. I say this because of a certain ball-cap above Campy's jersey.  Do you see it?

That's a "LA" hat with the "L" crossed with the "A" just like the current Dodgers logo, but the color scheme is all wrong.  The "L" is a dark color (unsure which considering this is an B&W pic) and the "A" is clearly white.  Heck, it almost looks like the caps the old Los Angeles Angels of the PCL wore before the Dodgers came to town, but again the color scheme is wrong.  Those hats, if I remember correctly, had a white "L" and a red "A". 

So, what the heck is that hat?  Were did it come from?  And, was this photo actually taken in the Dodgers clubhouse in the Coliseum?  Best yet, is this photo from Roy Campanella Day at the Coliseum -- when 93,000 fans jammed the stadium in 1958?

I dunno, and I don't know if we'll ever find out.  Unfortunately, the photograph itself has no relevant markings on the reverse to let us know.  If you happen to have any insight please pass that along.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1981 in Game 5 of the World Series the Dodgers won their thrid straight game against the Yankees to take 3-2 series lead.  Pedro Guerrero and Steve YEager hit back-to-back homers, and Jerry Reuss pitched a 2-1 complete game for the victory.
  • Happy Birthday, Pedro Martinez!

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Couple Vintage Dodgers Collectibles at Lelands Auctions -- The Sym-Phony Band and an Wrigley Flag

With our teams unceremonious exit from the 2016 postseason, I thought it would be fun to take one last look at the current Lelands Auction for some more vintage Dodgers memorabilia.  After all, there is no better way to get over the hump of another disappointing Baseball season then by seeking out the past for some guidance, and this auction is filled with stuff that could assist us.  For instance, last week I dived into this auction and shared pics of a couple of great vintage editorial cartoons featuring the Brooklyn Dodgers "Bum" (link here) -- which seems fairly apt considering how things ended for us.

2016 Topps Gold Label - All the Dodgers Cards

Last week Topps released an old Baseball card brand that existed in the hobby in the late-90's and early naughts.  It is called 2016 Topps Gold Label, and it features an 100-card base set that includes three different versions of each base card.  Go here to check out a complete checklist.

The Dodgers have seven players in the base set and eight different on-card autographed cards.  Unfortunately, four of the autograph subjects are only available through a redemption card.

BTW, this set was last produced in 2002 -- a time period when I was still out of the hobby but on the verge of returning with gusto.  So this is a brand that I have very little knowledge of.

#18 Kenta Maeda
Class 1                                   Class 2                               Class 3

Blog Kiosk: 10/24/2016 - Dodgers Links - It Wasn't Meant to Be

The Dodgers got beat.  There's no way around it.  They got beat by the better team.  A team that did all the little things to win; including a surprise bunt single (just like Vic Davalillo for the Dodgers in 1977) in Game 4 that ended up being a huge spark for their offense.

The Dodgers, on the other hand, were just not themselves in this series.  They committed seven errors in the six games; having only committed 80 errors all season long.  Worse yet, they recorded six of those errors in the last three games they played -- all loses.  Per a transcript of the Dave Roberts' press conference after the game:
Yeah, it's a little bit of a sour taste. Obviously, if we play a clean three games in 4, 5, 6 there could have been a different outcome. And very uncharacteristic of our guys. When you make plays and pitch counts change and the next hitter that's coming up, the outs, everything changes.

So, yeah, when you look back these last three games, to not play our best baseball, there's a little sour taste.
I am constantly reminded that Baseball is as much about losing as it is about winning.  The game is meant to break your heart, and it's ultimate enduring lesson is the value of perseverance.   You must never give up, and always try again.  So it is with a hearty and optimistic growl that I yelp, "wait 'til next year!"

Photo above of Clayton Kershaw and Joc Pederson via Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles DodgersGo here to check out a few more photos from Saturday's game by Jon.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1972 barrier breaker, Dodgers great and Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson died of an heart attack at the age of 53 at his home in North Stamford, CT.  In 1986 Dodgers shortstop Bill Russell announced his retirement from the game after an 18-year Major League career. 
  • Happy Birthday, Rafael Furcal!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Blog Kiosk: 10/22/2016 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends -- Game 6

Game 6 is now.  Above is today;s starting lineup.

Graphic above via SportsNet LA on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1965 the Dodgers released Wall Moon, whose famed "Moon Shots" over the short left field wire fence at the Coliseum helped propel Los Angeles towards a championship in 1959. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

2016 Topps Update Baseball - Team Franklin, Scouting Report and Fire Cards

Here is a look at some of the various Dodgers insert cards found in packs of 2016 Topps Update.  Featured below are the Team Franklin, Sporting Report autograph and Fire cards.  Go here to check out all of my post on this set.

Team Franklin

#TF-19 Josh Reddick

Blog Kiosk: 10/21/2016 - Dodgers Links - Scully, Blanton, Turner and Kershaw

Once again, we leave the fate and destiny of the Dodger to the man above.  He'll be pitching for the Dodgers in Game 6 this coming Saturday evening.

As you know, the Dodgers lost another big game last night, 8-4.  A culmination of Maeda's inability to go deep, a relief staff that is both overworked and shaky, a defense that has shown some holes and an offense that can't get a timely hit sunk the Dodgers in Game 5.  But have faith, the season isn't over with yet.  We've got our two best starters going in Game 6 and 7 (Kershaw and Hill).  Per Ken Gurnick and Carrie Muskat at
"Obviously, our backs are against the wall, but we feel like we've been there all year, from Day One until the end," said Blanton. "We got down in Washington [in the NL Division Series], and everybody wrote us off then. I'm sure everybody is doing the same now, which is fine. That's maybe where we need to be.

"We lost Game 1 in Chicago and everybody probably wrote us off then, saying we were going to be swept, but we came back and won the next two. We fight. We showed that in the ninth, we put up some runs when we were down a whole bunch. That's the character of this team."
Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2016Go here to check out a bunch of pics by Jon, Jill Weisleder and Juan Ocampo from yesterdays game.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1968 former Dodgers player and team executive Fresco Thompson dies at the age of 65.  He played in Brooklyn from 1931-32, slashing .264/.350/.324/.674 in 209 plate appearances.  As an executive he was the Dodgers assistant farm director, executive vice president and general manager.  He presided over the 1968 draft, considered one of the best ever, that included Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Ron Cey, Bill Buckner, Bobby Valentine, Joe Ferguson and Doyle Alexander.
  • Happy Birthday: Bill Russell, Franklin Stubbs and Zack Greinke!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

New 2016 Topps Now Card is Available - Julio Urias' as Youngest Starter Ever - #609

Frankly... It's a bit depressing to see that this card will exist... Not that I have any disdain for the player portrayed on it... After all, Julio remains one of the more dynamic and highly-rated pitching prospects in the game today.

Rather, its the resultant end that gives me heartburn.  Last nights record start by Urias, as the youngest starting pitcher in Postseason MLB history, while certainly notable, left me with a taste of something bitter. 

Extraordinary Vintage Dodgers Drawings of Brooklyn "Bum" at Lelands Auctions

Lelands current auction is fantastic.  It's filled with a bunch of Dodgers-related memorabilia; including collectibles from the ever-impressive collection of Sal LaRocca (I'll write about some of those soon).  Featured items here, though, do not come from Sal, but who cares?  When artwork featuring Baseball's most lovable clown pop up I take a moment to take a look, and since you're here I figure you're interested in a peek too.  Shown here are two original drawings (one by Willard Mullin and another by NY Journal-American cartoonist Burris Jenkins) featuring the Brooklyn Dodgers "Bum".  

At top is a classic drawing by famed NY artist and Dodgers muse Willard Mullin.  As you may know, he is the original creator of the Dodgers "Bum" in 1937.  (Auction Link)  As you can see above, Mullin's creation is having a heated and animated argument with an umpire.  Best yet, the drawing is in color -- a rarity for collectors.

Below is an editorial cartoon by artist Burris Jenkins, and it features the Brooklyn "Bum" being strangled by the "Yankee Stadium Jinx".  (Auction Link)  As the auction description states, this drawing originally came out on the morning of October 8, 1956; which was on the day of Game 5 of the 1956 World Series between the Dodgers and Yankees.  Furthermore, on that day Yankee hurler Don Larson threw his "Perfect Game"; thereby confirming that the Dodgers were jinxed at the Bronx. 

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Blog Kiosk: 10/20/2016 - Dodgers Links - Urias Shelled, Maeda Tonight

That didn't go quite as planned.

For the first three innings things didn't look so bad.  Urias had gotten through the first twelve batters with four strike outs, two walks a no hits.  Then, the wheels just kinda fell off.  Per Ken Gurnick and Carrie Muskat at
"I thought he had really good stuff," Roberts said of Urias. "Just that inning got away from us."
That dreaded fourth inning.  Zobrist started it off with a bunt single, then four batters later the Cubs stood tall with a 4-0 lead.  Ugh!  After that, everything else is a blur.  It was like a bad nightmare that wouldn't stop.  The would eventually Dodgers record four errors on the evening.  Fortunately, I think Dave Roberts has the right frame of mind going into today's game.  Per Cary Osborne at Dodger Insider:
“It happens and obviously it’s more magnified in the postseason, but we haven’t had a game like that in a long time,” said Dave Roberts. “It wasn’t to be. So I think for us it’s one of those things you have to brush off and get ready to go tomorrow.”
The pic above of Julio Urias via @Dodgers on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1988 the Dodgers defeated the A's in Game 5 of the World Series to win the championship at the Oakland Coliseum.  Orel Hershiser pitched a complete game, struck out nine and gave up four singles in the 5-2 victory.  He would also be named MVP of the series.  Mickey Hatcher hit a first inning two-run home run to start the offense for the Dodgers.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Four New 2016 Topps Now Cards to Commemorate Last Nights Victory -- #599, #600, #601 & #602

To no one's surprise Topps has issued a foursome of new Topps Now cards to celebrate the Dodgers 6-0 shellacking of the Chicago Cubs yesterday.  Featured on them are Corey Seager, Yasmani Grandal, Justin Turner and Rich Hill.  As always, you can purchase all four (in addition to two Toronto cards) for $39.99. Go here to check that out.  In the meantime, let's take a brief look at each one individually.

2016 Topps Update Baseball - The Dodgers Base Cards & Variations

Following up on my post sharing the Dodgers "first Pitch" insert cards found in packs of 2016 Topps Update, below are photos of all the Dodgers base cards in the set; including variations.  Go here for a complete checklist.  BTW, there may be more Dodger variations beyond the Thompson and Urias cards indicated below.  So, if more do pop up I'll update this post.

Of note, Austin Barnes, Bud Norris and Josh Reddick (not counting Topps Now) receive their very first cards in a Dodger uniform.  The base set also includes what is likely to be the last card of AJ Ellis in Dodger Blue -- at least until he decides to join the club later on in his career when he's coaching/managing. 

Base Set

#US9 Ross Stripling

#US21 Austin Barnes

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Wayne Gretzky Book Signing on the 25th

Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.

I am not aware of any Dodgers or sports related signings this weekend, but I do know that Wayne Gretzky will have a book signing this coming Tuesday.

Next week on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 starting at 7:00 PM LA Kings great Wayne Gretzky will have a book signing at the Barnes & Noble book store at The Grove.  Go here or here for information.  This is wristband event.  Wristbands will be issued beginning Tuesday, October 25th at 9:00 AM to customers who purchase “99 Stories from the Game” from Barnes & Noble at The Grove. Wristbands will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Limit 1 wristband per person
  • There is a limit of 2 books per person
  • Personalization will not be available
  • Wayne Gretzky will only be signing his book "99 Stories from the Game"
  • Pictures from the line and candid photo's are allowed.
  • No posed photos or selfies
  • No memorabilia please
Barnes & Noble @ The Grove
189 The Grove Drive Suite K 30
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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

Blog Kiosk: 10/19/2016 - Dodgers Links - Kershaw Saves, a Dodger Mural, Urias and Rich Hill

Rich Hill and his curve ball dominated the Cubs yesterday evening.  Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider:
“I think it’s one of those things that if you have a pitch that’s better than your other pitches, you throw it more, and percentage-wise it should work out in your favor,” Hill said. “I’m not going to sit here and say it’s not a major part of my game.”

The 36-year-old added that tonight’s victory was the “biggest game of my career,” but that you can’t think like that while it’s happening.

“It’s all about staying in the moment and executing when you’re in that moment, and that’s all you can think about,” Hill said. “All you can control is that pitch. In the second inning, walk a few guys — it’s over with, can’t control it — and you move on. You execute the next pitch, and you execute the pitch after that. And you continue to execute until the ball gets taken out of your hand.”
Holy Moly!  I knew Hill's numbers with the A's were strong, but I really had no idea that this journeyman who'd been out of the game (playing independent Baseball just a year or two ago) was the late-blooming ace that he showed last night.  What a godsend, eh?

And, let's give it up for the resurgent Dodgers offense.  Both Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner hit homers, while Yasiel Puig and Corey Seager finally broke out of their slumps to record five singles, collectively (two for Puig and three for Seager).

Photo at the very top of Rich Hill be awarded the "Dodgers Player of the Game" belt, via @Dodgers on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1981 Rick Monday made history by hitting a dramatic solo home run in the eighth inning of Game 5 of the NLCS to propel the Dodgers to a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Expos.  Go here to watch a highlight of it.  He hit a 3-1 fastball against Steve Rogers.  BTW, Fernando Valenzuela allowed just three hits and one run in 8 2/3 inning.  The win sent the team to the World Series against the Yankees.
  • Happy Birthday, James McDonald and Tim Belcher!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

2016 Topps Update - The Dodgers First Pitch Cards - Keith Urban, Aubrey Plaza & JoJo Fletcher

Topps 2016 Update to their flagship Baseball card set is just now starting to hit store shelves, and like in years past it features the popular "First Pitch" cards as one of its better inserts -- at least in my opinion.  After all, what fan doesn't enjoy watching (and possible making fun of) the multitude of stars who try to show off their Baseball prowess.  So, it's only natural that a real Baseball card be made available in their honor.

BTW, my favorite "First Pitch" card is probably the one they made to celebrate 50 Cent's fantastically horrible first pitch at CitiField a couple years ago.  Check out that card here.  Also, you can watch 50 Cent and his terrible aim here.

Like in years past, Dodger Stadium always seems to be featured more often than any other stadium -- for probably obvious reasons.  So, seeing Dodger Stadium represented in three of the ten cards in the set is of no surprise.  Check them all out below.  I also include a video of their respective throws.

On a side note, this years Update set includes "First Pitch Ticket Stub Relic" cards, as well.  Which is strange considering Dodger Stadium no longer prints out actual ticket stubs anymore -- at least not for season ticket holders.  Anyway, at this early juncture I have yet to see any of these, so I include only a directly checklist below.  I will update this post once photos start showing up.

First Pitch Ticket Stub Relics
  • #FPR-AP Aubrey Plaza
  • #FPR-JF JoJo Fletcher
  • #FPR-KU Keith Urban 
#FPR-AP Aubrey Plaza                   #FPR-KU Keith Urban

#FPR-JF JoJo Fletcher

Below are the "First Pitch" cards for Keith Urban, Aubrey Plaza and JoJo Fletcher.  I thought I would note, at least from what I recall, that Keith Urban did not actually throw out the first pitch on May 9th, 2016.  Instead, he said the words we all think when the game is about to start.

First Pitch

#FP-5 Keith Urban

More Vintage Dodgers Memorabilia at REA

Last week I pointed to a couple of fantastic vintage photos featuring the famed clown Emmett Kelly as the Brooklyn Dodgers "Bum" in 1956 that is currently for sale at REA.  Below, I take a closer look at some other Dodgers-related goodies from that same auction.

Above is a very rare 1888 Joseph Hall team cabinet photograph of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. (Auction Link)  Both Bob Caruthers and Adonis Terry are featured in the photo.  BTW, please note that photo was taken at teams home field at Washington Park located on the corner of 3rd Street and 4th Avenue in Brooklyn.  In fact, the photographer, Joseph Hall, had his studio in Brooklyn, so nearly all of his Baseball pics (including his Old Judge's) were taken there.

Blog Kiosk: 10/18/2016 - Dodgers Links - Kuroda to Retire, Urias in Game 4, and Game 3 Tonight

Dodger Stadium sure looks ready for today's Game 3.  It all begins at 5:08 PM tonight.  BTW, both the auto and stadium gates open at 2:08 PM.

The photo at the very top via Petros & Money on twitter.  Graphic above via @Dodgers on twitter. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  This is one of the worst days in Dodger history.  In 1977 Reggie Jackson slammed three home runs against the Dodgers in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium to win the World Series. 
  • Happy Birthday, Alex Cora and former manager Burt Shotton!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Three New 2016 Topps Now Cards to Commemorate Dodgers Game 2 Win - #590, #591, #592

To pay homage to the Dodgers victory last night Topps has released three new 2016 Topps Now cards featuring Adrian Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen.  They are all available for order exclusively online for the next 20 hours, or so.  BTW, you can purchase all three at a discounted price of $24.99 -- they normally cost $9.99 each.  Go here to purchase a bundle of all three cards.

Blog Kiosk: 10/17/2016 - Dodgers Links - AGone and Kersh Power Dodgers Past Cubs -- Series Tied at 1

It was the efforts of the two Dodgers above that lead to the team tying the Cubs at one game a piece in the NLCS.  Clayton Kershaw went seven strong innings, allowing just two hits, one walk and recording six strike outs with 84 pitches.  Best yet, he is one of only two pitchers to hold the Cubs scoreless by a 1-0 score in the postseason ever -- the other man being Babe Ruth.  Per Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider:
“Awesome. Watching Kersh, that shows he’s the best in the game,” Jansen said. “His stuff that he had, the way that he pitched against this team. He showed you again, he can just put this team on his back.”
Adrian Gonzalez, for his part, got only one hit, but it was a big one.  On the second pitch of the second inning Gonzalez hit a towering drive to centerfield that cleared the wall for the only run to score in the entire game.

Photo above via @Dodgers/Jon SooHoo on twitterGo here to check out a bunch of pics by Jon SooHoo from yesterdays game in Chicago.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1981 the Dodgers defeated the Montreal Expos in Game 4 of the NLCS at Olympic Stadium, 7-1.  Steve Garvey hit a two-run homer in the eighth to break a 1-1 tie, then the Dodgers scored four more runs in the ninth to run away with it.  They are tied at two games a piece in the series with a deciding Game 5 two days later.
  • Happy Birthday, Jim Gilliam

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Blog Kiosk: 10/15/2016 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Tonight is Game 1 of the NLCS at 5:08 PM.  Be there or be square.

BTW, the Dodgers just announced their updated roster for the series and it includes two changes.  Utility infielder Kiké Hernandez and pitcher Alex Wood have been added.  Charlie Culberson and Austin Barnes are off.  Below is a graphic of the team, via the Dodgers on twitter.  You can check out the Cubs roster here.

Photo at the very top via the Dodgers on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1988 Kirk Gibson hit his legendary walk-off home run off of Dennis Eckersley of the A's to win Game 1 of the World Series.  This happening spawned Vin Scully to utter these immortal words; "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened."  Go here to watch and listen to it.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Whole Ton of Dodgers 2016 Topps Now Cards are Now Available - Kershaw Autographs

There are now a bunch of 2016 Topps Now Dodger cards commemorating last nights thrilling victory currently available for sale; including a limited number of Clayton Kershaw autograph and autographed game-used relic cards.

Featured above is the first of four base cards in the set.  It highlights Julio Urias' mark as the youngest Dodger pitcher to ever win a game in the postseason.  Go here to check it out and order.  Per the reverse:
Twenty-year-old pitcher Julio Urias entered Game 5 of the NLDS in the bottom of the fifth inning, with the Dodgers trailing the Washington Nationals, 1-0.  In doing so, Urias became the youngest pitcher in Dodgers history to pitch in a Postseason game, and the youngest pitcher in MLB to pitch in a Postseason game since 1970.  Urias recorded two clean innings of work, and was credited with the win, as the Dodgers took the lead with a four-run seventh inning, which led to an eventual 4-3, series-clinching victory.

Blog Kiosk: 10/14/2016 - Dodgers Links - WooHoo! Dodgers Win


That game was epic.  Maybe the best ever.  And I'm not saying that 'cause the Dodgers won... Okay, maybe I'm far more enthusiastic about it 'cause my guys won, but really... Wasn't it the best ever!
  • "One of the best games in history," said Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. (Link Here)
  • "That's probably one of the craziest, if not the craziest, games I've ever been a part of in my career," Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer said. "Man, this is a tough one to be on the wrong side of."  (Link Here)
  • "I'm like, wait a minute, am I dreaming right now?" Jansen said, exhausted on the floor of the visiting clubhouse. "It's an awesome feeling to know the best pitcher in the game has your back."  (Link Here
  • “It was crazy,” Pederson, who finished this NLDS 5 for 15 with two walks, a double and the homer, said on the field after the game in a televised interview. “I’m kind of at a loss for words right now. Washington played great. They fought us to the end, but it just shows what kind of team we are. We stuck together, we believed in each other, we came back.”  (Link Here)
  • “I came to [Roberts], you know, once Kenley went out there in the seventh,” Kershaw said. “I was just kind of doing the math. I don't think Kenley's ever done a six-out save, let alone a nine-out save. He threw 20 pitches in that seventh inning, and I just said, 'I'm going to go get loose, see how I feel and I'll let you know, but I might be able to do this.' That's kind of what happened.  (Link Here)
  • “I thank God for being able to be at his side,” Urias said through an interpreter. “When I saw him come in the clubhouse and put on his spikes, I knew he was ready to go and I learned a lot about him at that moment. He’s about winning and all that goes through his mind is winning, winning, winning. I’m so glad that everything worked out.”  (Link Here)
  • "This encapsulated our season, yeah," manager Dave Roberts said. "It takes 25 guys to win a game [and] that’s what we did [in Game 5]."  (Link Here)
Dave Roberts managed the gutsiest game of Baseball I've ever witnessed... Bar none!  And as a viewer, I am exhausted.

Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2016Go here to check out more pics by Jon from yesterdays game and celebration.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1965 Sandy Koufax, on just two days rest, masterfully pitched a 2-0 complete game shutout to defeat the Twins in Game 7 of the World Series to win their fourth championship.  He was named MVP of the series.
  • Happy Birthday, Hugh Casey and Ivy Olson!  

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Emmett Kelly as the Brooklyn Dodgers Bum at REA

Emmet Kelly and his depiction as the tragic clown "Weary Willie" is one of the more iconic figures in both the clown world and to Brooklyn Dodgers fans everywhere.  So, it is my pleasure to share with you a couple of vintage photographs of Emmett Kelly at Ebbets Field that are currently available on auction at REA.