Friday, February 19, 2016

Skirball Cultural Center - CHASING DREAMS: Baseball and Becoming American Exhibit

Mark your calendar because when this opens up you should attend. 

(Greenberg's Military ID)
The Skirball Cultural Center, located on Sepulveda, has just announced a brand new exhibit just in time for Baseball's Opening Day.  Starting on April 7th and ending on October 30th -- just about the entire Baseball season -- they will celebrate the game by examining the sport as a unifying force in American life.  Minority groups of all stripes have not only excelled at our National Game but have also used it as a way to immerse themselves into American life.  Per a press release:
(1947 Ebbets Field, Opening Day)
Chasing Dreams is the first large-scale exhibition to illustrate America’s national pastime as a pathway for American Jews and other immigrant and minority communities—including Italians, Asians, Latinos, and African Americans—to become American.

“Chasing Dreams weaves together baseball history with stories of immigration and integration into American life,” explains Robert Kirschner, Skirball Museum Director. "It illustrates what it is about the game that has resonated so deeply with diverse immigrants and minorities since the nineteenth century—whether on the field or in the stands—helping them to navigate American culture, connect to the nation’s collective values and traditions, and feel at home in American society. We hope that it will deepen our visitors’ appreciation of the role that baseball has played in furthering equality and social justice.”
Go here for information.  On display will be over 130 artifacts; including uniforms, film footage, trophies, memorabilia and Baseball cards.  BTW, there will be a bunch of Dodgers related stuff to enjoy.
For its presentation at the Skirball, the exhibition will be augmented by an array of rare Dodger memorabilia. Erin Clancey, Skirball Chief Curator, explains, “In addition to the Koufax items that will come from the original exhibition, it was important that we add even more treasured objects relating to our hometown heroes, such as the warm-up jacket of Dodger Fernando Valenzuela, the Mexican American pitcher who became a transnational sensation when he threw a 2-0 shutout against the Houston Astros on opening day 1981. His unique pitching style and charisma made him an instant celebrity.”
There will also be an companion exhibit featuring the artwork of Ben Sakoguchi; "The Unauthorized History of Baseball in 100-Odd Paintings."

In the photo on the above left is an Ewer presented to Barney Dreyfuss in celebration of his twenty-fifth anniversary as owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1924.  On the above right is the last home plate used at the NY Giants home stadium, the Polo Grounds.  On the left below is a photo of Hank Greenberg and Jose DiMaggio.  On the below right is a Joe DiMaggio game-used uniform.

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WooHoo! Pitchers and Catchers Report Today!

It all starts today!

(Pic via @Dodgers on twitter)

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Welcome to the Blue, Louis Coleman!

As has been widely reported, the Dodgers have signed former Royals right-handed reliever Louis Coleman to a Major League contract.  Per a tweet by Coleman yesterday afternoon:
Various reports indicate that his contract is for $750,000.00, but I don't think this guarantees a spot in the Dodgers bullpen.  He'll have to earn a position to stay in Los Angeles.  That said, he shined in Triple-AAA in 2015 and was spotless in a brief call-up last season for the World Champion Royals.  Coleman throws a four-seam fastball in the low 90's, a slider in the low 80's and an occasional change-up (strictly to left-handed hitters).  He had been very effective in his years in Kansas City, but got set aside due to an already deep bullpen.  With the Dodgers he will have a chance to earn a middle-relief job; especially considering how moribund the staff has been the past few seasons.

UPDATE:  Louis Coleman will be wearing #62 during Spring Training, via a tweet from Coleman.  I've already updated my 2016 Spring Dodgers Roster List (link here)

From a Dodgers press release officially announcing the signing:
Coleman, 29, spent the majority of the 2015 season with the Royals’ Triple-A Omaha, going 8-2 with nine saves and a 1.69 ERA in 38 games, before receiving a call-up to Kansas City on Sept. 7 and making four scoreless appearances (3.0 IP) in the big leagues. With Omaha, he struck out 63 in 64.0 innings and limited opposing hitters to a .212 batting average, while posting a 1.11 WHIP.

Coleman made his Major League debut in 2011 with the Royals and appeared in 152 games with Kansas City from 2011-15, going 6-4 with two saves and a 3.20 ERA. He’s limited opposing hitters to a .223 batting average in the big leagues, while averaging better than a strikeout per inning, with 186 Ks in 177.1 innings pitched.

In seven minor league seasons, the Mississippi native has gone 24-12 with 36 saves, a 2.26 ERA, a .197 opponents’ batting average and a 1.04 WHIP in 165 relief appearances after being selected by the Royals in the fifth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Louisiana State University.
In celebration of his signing I made the above fantasy card of him.  The photograph is from Zimbio/Christian Petersen/Getty Images and I used the 1987 Topps Baseball card design. 

Below are his career statistics, via Baseball-Reference:

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Blog Kiosk: 2/19/2016 - Dodgers Links - Gonzalez, Valenzuela and Clayton Kershaw

Two ambassadors in the house!

Miguel E. Basáñez, the Mexican Ambassador to the US, visited with Fernando Valenzuela and Dodgers President Stand Kasten yesterday morning.  Photo above via @Dodgers on twitter.  He took a tour of the stadium with Fernando; who was named an presidential ambassador for citizenship and naturalization by Obama last year.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This makes me happy and sad at the same time.  Happy that they have charged someone, but sad that this crap still happens.  Via Tracy Bloom at KTLA 5, "Palos Verdes Man Charged in Dodger Stadium Parking Lot Assault." 
Michael Rae Papayans, 27, was accused of punching a 50-year-old man in the head in the stadium parking lot on Oct. 9, following Game 1 of the National League Division Series between the L.A. Dodgers and the New York Mets, the DA’s office said in a news release.
"We have probably the deepest team in baseball. We'll be able to afford almost any injury, and a lot of teams can't say that. Every team goes through a lot of injuries. If you ever think you won't, you're not looking at baseball from a realistic standpoint. You prepare by adding depth, by having six or seven starters for the rotation instead of just five, by having extra bodies that can fill in to keep the same talent level on the field. If teams aren't prepared for that, they will fall off."
The projection systems expect a strong season from much cheaper Greinke alternative Scott Kazmir, an even stronger season from Rookie of the Year favorite Corey Seager, and one of the best records in baseball for a Dodgers club as deep as any seen at Chavez Ravine since the days before Swindlin’ Frank McCourt started robbing his own organization blind. Getting another big arm for the bullpen wouldn’t hurt, but there’s enough here to get the Dodgers to the trade deadline in playoff contention, at which point Friedman could flex a little of that financial might and talent depth to make a deal.

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