Friday, February 05, 2016

Ross Porter Back to Calling Baseball - for CSU, Northridge

Ross Porter is a name many younger Dodgers fans do not know, but for those of us who still vividly remember the days before the McCourt era his name should still ring blissfully in your ear.  For 28 years, from 1977 to 2004, he was the Dodgers play-by-play announcer.  He sat alongside Vin Scully in the broadcast booth, and even hosted both pre- and post-game "Dodger Talk" broadcasts for fourteen years.  Then, unceremoniously, he was fired by the club, and to this day still doesn't know who or why he was fired.  Heck, no one in the organization (which was in the first year of the McCourt ownership) even contacted him directly about it.  Such was the McCourt ownership.

Now, some twelve years later, Ross Porter will be back on the airwaves to call some Baseball.  This time it will be for CSU, Northridge.  Per a press release:
“I am thrilled to be asked by CSUN to announce their home baseball games this year. It’s a great chance for me to do what I love,” said Porter. “I’m excited to do it for a wonderful university like CSUN and to be associated again with young men who are passionate about baseball. I have been able to spend time getting to know the team and find them to be outstanding young student-athletes.”
Porter is slated to call 18 of the 28 Northridge home Baseball games this coming season.  The remaining ten home games, along with all of the schools softball games, will be called by radio and play-by-play broadcaster Brandon Marcus.  You can listen to it all streaming at the CSUN Sports Network.

BTW, for those who recall, Ross Porter had a penchant for passing along statistical information during his Dodgers broadcasts, so I suspect he'll be do the same for Northridge.  No doubt the sabermetrically-inclined Matador fan will enjoy what he has to say. 

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2016 Topps Baseball Series One - The MLB Debut, No Hitter Pin and Perspectives Cards

Now we get to take some time to look at the various Dodgers' inserts available in 2016 Topps Series 1 packs.  Below are all of the MLB Debut, No-Hitter Pin Relic and Perspective insert cards. 

Of note are a couple cards of Mike Piazza in a Dodger uniform.  Also the Yasiel Puig "Perspective" card reminds us that he was the cover-boy for the MLB15 video game last season.

MLB Debut (Retail only)

#MLBD-18 Sandy Koufax                        #MLBD-25 Mike Piazza

2016 Topps Baseball Series One - The Dodgers Short Printed Base Variations

I erred a bit in my post yesterday featuring pics of the Dodgers base cards within packs of 2016 Topps Series 1.  I initially wrote that there was only one Dodger variation available.  That is wrong.  There are actually two known variation cards available, and as time goes by there may be more.  So, I'll certainly update this post should more pop up.  In the meantime, take a look at the Puig and Kershaw variations below.  As you can see I paired each variation with its normal base card.

BTW, it does not appear that there will be any "sparkle" or "sabermetric back" variations in this set.  All the variations seen so far feature different photos.

#139 Yasiel Puig

Base Card                                      SSP Variation

#150 Clayton Kershaw

Base Card                                             SSP Variation

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Blog Kiosk: 2/5/2016 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

The best vintage press photos are not always action shots of your favorite player.  Oftentimes, it's these quirky little stories that really make you smile.  Case in point, check out the July 13, 1954 Associated Press photo above that I ran into on eBay.  It features Carl Furillo with a 13-year old Brooklyn Dodger fan named Danny Gawronski.  At first glance, you might think that his presence on the field with the Dodger icon is of little significance.  Instead, he's the subject of some local controversy that will no doubt make you laugh.  Check out what it says on the descriptor attached to the reverse:
"SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT AFTER ALL.  Danny Gawronski, 13, is as close to heaven as a Brooklyn boy can be, as Carl Furillo of his beloved Dodgers shows him how to use outfielder's glove, a present from the team, during workout at Ebbets Field today. It all started last April when Danny was given some Easter chicks which grew up into noisy roosters and complaints from neighbors which took Danny before a magistrate.  Danny offered $3 in pennies, nickels and dimes he had saved toward a new baseball glove in way of a fine.  Magistrate Charles Murphy dismissed complaint and the Dodgers did the rest."
Now this is a Dodgers good deed I can get behind.  Below are more links to check out:
  • Via Rachel L. Swarns, Darcy Eveleigh and Damien Cave at the NY Times, "Unpublished Black History."  They explore a 1949 photograph featuring Jackie Robinson giving a lecture to some local college kids and they want to know why.
  • ICYMI:  The Howie Kendrick signing was made official yesterday, per a Dodgers press release.
The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the signing of infielder Howie Kendrick to a two-year contract. 
I had to take the subway home. I lived on Bay Parkway in Brooklyn. It was an elevated station. We had only one Giants fan in our neighborhood. His name was Davey Freed. I got off the train and as I’m walking down the stairs, Davey Freed is at the bottom of the stairs. All he did was laugh. He just laughed. 
  • Blowout Buzz shares some preview pics of Panini's 2016 Diamond Kings Baseball cards; including the Corey Seager card on the right.  This set officially comes out on March 30th.
  • Via Bob Nightengale at USA Today, "Dodgers' Howie Kendrick on MLB free agent system: 'It's hurting everybody'".
“I figured there would be quite a few suitors for me, and nobody was really calling. Here it is, getting close to spring training, and you keep hearing the same thing over and over.

“Nobody wanted to give up that draft pick. It was a shocker.’’

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *