Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Jackie Robinson's First Professional Game was Today -- (... Er, Tomorrow)

Jackie Robinson is an important theme for the Dodgers this season; especially considering the upcoming unveiling of an Robinson statue at the stadium later this year.  Therefore, it is of note that today is the 70th anniversary of his first professional ballgame.

It occurred on March 16, 1946, and it was a exhibition game between the Brooklyn club and the Jackie led Montreal Royals (the Dodgers top farm team at the time) at the City Island Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Thankfully due to an series of tweets by Baseball fanatic Keith Olberman we get an up-close look at an official scorecard of the event.  Check out the front cover at the top.  Even more incredible, though, is a look at the scorecard itself.  You can see that below.

As you can see, Robinson batted sixth in the order and he played second base for the Royals.  Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a boxscore for the game (or a detailed description of it), so if you run across something please let me know.  The below scorecard does say that Jackie got up to the plate three times and scored a run.

Also of note, the original owner of this scorecard made an interesting notation by Jackie's name.  Written in pencil is the word "colored" -- a term commonly used at this time in reference to African-Americans.

BTW, as I did a bit of research on this event I came across a Wikipedia entry that said this game actually occurred on the 17th, not 16th -- with a footnote from a source I was not familiar with.  Of course, who are ya going to believe -- a Wikipedia entry or Olbermann? 

UPDATE:  I guess you should believe Wikipedia.  Via a tweet by the Jackie Robinson Foundation, this game actually occurred on March 17, 1946.  Check out the proof below:

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: The Famous San Diego Chicken!

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.


Yes, you read this right.  The Famous San Diego Chicken will be signing autographs in Santee in San Diego county this coming Saturday, courtesy of Panini America.  In fact, they'll be providing over-sized cards for the chicken to sign.  From what I understand, autograph availability is based on qualifying purchases of 2016 Donruss cards at the store.  Go here for information
All Star Sports Cards
8781 Cuyamaca Street, Suite R & S
Santee, CA 92071
PH: 619-562-7357

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Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 15/Home Game 7

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.

Colorado Rockies (8-6) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (9-3-2)
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 – 1:05 p.m. MT | Camelback Ranch - Glendale
RHP Chad Bettis (0-2, 2.77) vs. RHP Zach Lee (1-0, 2.89)
TV: None Radio: None

(Sky over Camelback, pic taken and shared by Alanna Rizzo on twitter)

STREAK SNAPPED: The Dodgers lost to their Camelback Ranch neighbors, the White Sox, yesterday, 8-6, snapping a four-game Cactus League winning streak. Joc Pederson went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, raising his spring average to .318, and the Dodgers clubbed four home runs, one each by Andre Ethier, Kike Hernandez, Austin Barnes and Rob Segedin.  On the mound, Kenta Maeda allowed two unearned runs in 3.2 frames and Chris Hatcher tossed a scoreless inning.
  • The Dodgers beat the Rockies, 6-4, at Salt River Field on Sunday. Last year, Los Angeles was 11-8 against the Rox, including 7-3 at Dodger Stadium.
BARNESTORMING: Dodger catcher/infielder Austin Barnes hit his fourth home run of the spring yesterday, temporarily taking over sole possession of the team lead until Rob Segedin came up in the 9th inning and blasted his fourth. Overall, the Dodgers’ 20 home runs are tied with Arizona for third in the Cactus League, trailing just the White Sox (26) and Cubs (22). The club’s offense has been clicking on all cylinders this spring, ranking second among NL clubs in batting average (.293), on-base percentage (.362) and slugging percentage (.503), behind only Arizona. Individually, Scott Van Slyke (.417, 3rd), Austin Barnes (.375, 6th) and Micah Johnson (.357, T-8th) rank among the NL leaders in batting average.
    (AJ Ellis, pic via @Dodgers on twitter)
  • On the mound, Dodger All-Star Clayton Kershaw’s 10.0 innings pitched is tied with Cincinnati’s Brandon Finnegan for the most in baseball this spring while his 10 strikeouts are tied for second among NL clubs.  
DOING WORK: The Dodgers are inviting the Los Angeles community to meet more than 100 employers and pursue nearly 3,000 job opportunities available Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the 21st annual Community Job Fair at Dodger Stadium. Those interested in attending should register by visiting:

TRIMMING THE ROOM: On Monday, the Dodgers made their first cuts of the spring, optioning RHP Jharel Cotton and reassigning RHP Lisalverto Bonilla, RHP Chase De Jong, RHP Caleb Dirks, RHP Jacob Rhame, RHP Chris Anderson, OF Alex Hassan and C Kyle Farmer to minor league camp. The Dodgers have 54 players in big league camp, excluding Brandon McCarthy and Frankie Montas, who are on the 60-day DL.

  • RHP Zach Lee will make his third start of the spring, after tossing 3.0 innings against the Angels on Friday. Lee, 24, saw his first big league action last season, starting at New York-NL on July 25, and was named the Dodgers’ Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year after combining to go 13-6 with a 2.63 ERA in 21 starts with Triple-A Oklahoma City, Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers. Lee ranked among the Triple-A Pacific Coast League leaders in wins (11, T-3rd), ERA (2.70, 2nd), WHIP (1.11, 1st), strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.26, 3rd) and home runs allowed per 9.0 innings (0.40, 3rd).
  • LHP Julio Urias will make his second appearance, after making his spring debut Friday against the Angels. The 19-year-old, who was the Dodgers’ 2014 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, combined to go 3-5 with a 3.81 ERA in 18 starts last year, primarily with Double-A Tulsa before a late-season promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Urias also made several rehab starts last year with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers following cosmetic surgery on his left eye, which cost him two months of the season on the DL. Urias enters the 2016 season rated by as the top left-handed pitching prospect in baseball and the fourth-best overall prospect.
  • RHP Carlos Frias is expected to pitch in his fourth game of the spring, after making his first start on Saturday against the Mariners. He enters his third big league season after going 5-5 with a 4.06 ERA in 17 games (13 starts) with the Dodgers last season.
  • RHP Yimi Garcia will make a relief appearance for the fifth time this spring, after his fourth straight scoreless outing against the Rockies on Sunday. He ranked among the NL’s best relievers in WHIP (0.95, 5th), opponents’ batting average (.199, 16th), opponents’ on-base percentage (.242, 4th) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (6.60, 3rd).
  • LHP Adam Liberatore will appear in his fifth game, after most recently throwing a scoreless frame against the Rockies. Liberatore saw his first big league action last season with the Dodgers, going 2-2 with a 4.25 ERA in 39 games.
  • RHP Matt West will come on in relief for the fifth time, last pitching 1.0 inning against the Rockies and striking out two. He tossed 3.0 scoreless innings in two relief appearances with the Dodgers after being acquired from the Blue Jays last year
(Kiké enjoying tacos brought by AGon, pic via Kiké on twitter)

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Blog Kiosk: 3/16/2016 - Dodgers Links - Kazmir, Piazza and Tacos!

Adrian Gonzalez declared "Taco Tuesday" yesterday afternoon.

With his eventually departure later that day for the WBC qualifying tournament in Mexicali for Team Mexico, AGon treated his teammates and Dodgers staff to tacos.  Check out part of the spread in the above photo tweeted out by the DodgersGo here to check out Kiké's plate.  Via Matthew Moreno at Dodger Blue:
“He brought in tacos and they were really good, so that was nice,” Kiké Hernandez said of his day’s lunch.
Below are more links to check out:
  • Scott Kazmir talk was all the rage yesterday.  Via Ken Gurnick at, "Dodgers not yet concerned with Kazmir's velocity."
"He feels good," said Friedman. "I'd prefer a pitcher use Spring Training to build up. It's almost frightening when a guy is throwing harder as opposed to not as hard. He says he's fine, and I think he would say something if he wasn't. I'd prefer six weeks of building and getting ready instead of coming in on Day 1 and blowing."
  • This is a fantastic story about a youthful Mike Piazza meeting the great Ted Williams.  Via Rich Mueller at Sports Collectors Daily, "Card Show Trip Led to Piazza Meeting Ted Williams."  There's a video at the above link as well.
“I don’t remember much, just that intense feeling of panic,” Piazza laughed.

Piazza had a copy of Williams’ famous book ‘The Science of Hitting’ and had the last man to bat .400 sign it for him.

After watching a few swings in that cage, Williams paid the young Piazza quite a compliment.

“He said ‘this kid’s gonna hit in the big leagues’.  And I was like ‘really?’  He said ‘oh yeah’.  It was euphoric. You can’t even describe a moment like that.”
  • This has been making the rounds with vintage collectors and Baseball historians of late.  The veritable "Magna Carta" of Baseball is going to auction soon at SCP.  Check out some info about it at SCP, here.  Also, the official Baseball historian John Thorn wrote about the documents here.  Needless to say, this is one of the more important finds to come along in a long time.
  • Audio: Listen to former Dodgers Head Athletic Trainer Dr. Sue Falsone talk a bit about her time with the Dodgers and what she is doing now.  (Link Here)
  • There appears to be some good news on the Time Warner/Charter Communication merger front.  Via Shalini Ramachandran and John D. McKinnon at the Wall Street Journal, "FCC Likely to Circulate Draft Order Approving Charter-Time Warner Cable Deal."  As I've indicated in the past, I do not believe there can be any movement in the Dodgers SportsNet LA coverage issue until this merger is completed.  Once that is done, I suspect coverage comes along soon thereafter.  Of course, the timing is all relative.  Soon might mean a few more months.
  • So cool!

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