Friday, October 20, 2017

2017 Topps Now - #792, #793, #794, #795 & #796 - Bring On the World Series


You knew this was coming.

Following last night's overwhelming NLCS victory comes a plethora of Topps Now cards to celebrate the occasion. There are five different 2017 Topps Now cards and seven different autograph/game-used base relic cards of Kiké Hernandez available. Unfortunately, all of the Kiké auto/relic cards are all now sold out. A complete listing is at the very bottom. Below is a look at the five cards that honor last night's win.

First up is a card that makes note of Cody Bellinger's first inning double to drive in the Dodgers first run of the game in the first inning. Go here to check it out and order. See the reverse of the card on the right.

These Cards are Fantasy - Our World Series Berth Is Not


It's raining champagne!

Here are come fantasy Baseball cards featuring pics grabbed from last night's Game 5.

Stay tuned, I'm planning on making a bunch more; including some more celebratory cards using only card designs from 1988.

2017 Topps Update Series - The Dodgers Base & Variation Cards

The first order of business before I share a bunch of recently made Dodgers' fantasy Baseball cards is to point to some real cardboard gold that has recently hit the marketplace. A couple of days ago Topps released their end-of-the-year flagship 2017 Topps Update brand and it includes a boatload of Cody Bellinger cards to chase after. There are four different base cards found of him and an additional three more cards are available as short prints - making it a total of seven different Bellinger base cards available to collect. Go here for a complete checklist.

This set also includes a Yu Darvish in Dodger Blue card as a short print, but fails to include either Tony Watson or Tony Cingrani (both of whom were traded to the Dodgers on the same day as Darvish).

Check out all the Dodgers base and variation cards below.

Base

#US38 Cody Bellinger AS            #US50 Cody Bellinger RC

Blog Kiosk: 10/20/2017 - Dodgers Links - World Series Bound!


Wow!

That was as dominating a win as you'll ever see. From the get go, the Dodgers attacked, and all the Cubs could do was crawl into their dens and contemplate the upcoming hibernation season.

We are going to World Series, baby! WooHoo!

Above is a fantastic pic of the Scully's celebrating the Dodgers win, via Cat Scully on twitter. I also thought the photo on the right, as shared by Justin Turner himself on twitter, deserves some praise. That's a great shot.

Below are more links to check out:

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fantasy Baseball Cards from Game 4


Even with the loss nothing can stop the fantasy baseball card machine. Featured here are some fantasy cards featuring pics from Game 4 from 'round the 'net.

2017 Topps Now - #789 & #790 - Turner and Bellinger Hit Bombs


Although the Dodgers lost Game 4, there certainly were some great performances at the plate to warrant several 2017 Topps Now cards. Featured here are two online exclusive cards made available today that focus on the homers by Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger. The first card shown shows Cody Bellinger. Go here to check it out and order. It says the following on the reverse:
Cody Bellinger accounted for the Los Angeles Dodgers only run off Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta when he hit a line-drive home run to right field with one out in the third inning. With his third inning home run, Bellinger became the youngest hitter to homer in a League Championship Series since Miguel Cabrera in 2003.

2017 Topps Heritage Minor League - All the Dodgers Cards

Even as the season comes to close, the Baseball card hobby doesn't stop. In fact, this Fall is proving to be one of the busiest. This week alone Topps has released three card sets to keep collectors busy, and next week three more are scheduled to hit the public.

The first set I'll make note of is the 2017 Topps Heritage Minor League brand. It focuses on prospects and soon-to-be Major Leaguers on the vintage 1968 Topps Baseball card design. Go here for a complete checklist.

There are eleven Dodger youngsters in the 220 card base set (including a card for the recently traded Willie Calhoun). Additionally, three Dodgers are also a part of the league leaders subset. Check out all of the Dodger cards found in packs of 2017 Topps Heritage Minor League below.

Base

#5 Andrew Sopko                #36 Yusniel Diaz

#45 Will Smith             #87 Alex Verdugo

Blog Kiosk: 10/19/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


That sure was one heck of a game. Both teams battles and clawed, and unfortunately, we didn't come out on top. But rest assured, we are not in for a slide. The Dodgers, once again, made defeating them difficult. They collectively earned eight walks to rattle the Cubs cages, and forced them to go to the bullpen -- even using their closer to get the final six outs with 48 pitches. Overall, nine runners were left on base, while three were in scoring position. Ultimately, that's the story of the evening. The Dodgers had their rallies, but they were unable to get that one last hit to either tie or win the game. They came close, but came up just shy. Per Bradford Doolittle at ESPN:
"We were one pitch away from tying the game or taking the lead," Bellinger said. "That's just how it goes down sometimes."
I guess this is where I should repeat that old adage, "you can't win them all." Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2017. Below are more links to check out:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Dodger Christmas Card and a Letter to a Fan at BST Auctions

With the Baseball world's attention focused on the playoffs, I thought it would be a nice little respite before the start of this evenings Game 4 to point to an auction currently ongoing. Shown here are a couple of Dodgers related items that jumped out at me in BST's current auction.


Since the holidays are just around the corner I though the above 1955 Dodgers Christmas card would be fun to point out. (Auction Link) As you know, this year was the franchises first championship, so naturally their Christmas card had to reflect that. Above is both the front and back of the card. Below is a team photograph that was placed inside. As you can see, it reads on the reverse:

Ned Colletti Took Some Time This Morning for a Reddit AMA


When you're a part of a club that prides itself on newfangled ideas about how to play the game, it makes sense that you'd go to the world's best viral website -- Reddit. This morning former Dodgers GM and current Senior Advisor Ned Colletti jumped on to popular website to participate in a AMA (Ask Me Anything). Go here to see the entire interaction.

Below are some choice outtakes. The first being about Justin Turner.

Fantasy Baseball Cards from Game 3


Clearly, I'm addicted.

Featured here are a bunch of new fantasy Baseball cards I put together that focus on Game 3 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and Cubs. Go here or here to check out the fantasy cards I made of Game 1 and Game 2.

My favorite of the group is the horizontal 2007 Topps card seen directly below. I'll let Chris Cwik at Big League Stew tell you all about what is going on in the pic:
This incident took place in the top of the ninth inning. Puig smacked a line drive single off the ivy out in left field. He wasn’t satisfied with that, however, and decided to test Kyle Schwarber’s defense by charging toward second. Schwarber played the ball perfectly off the wall, and fired a strike to Baez at second. Baez put down the tag, and then put an exclamation point on it with the finger wag.

Ha! Now on to the rest of the cards.

2017 Topps Now - #779, #780 & #781 - Dodgers Win Game 3


I still find it amazing that of all of the young rising stars that joined LA in the late-aughts, it is Andre Ethier who still remains in Dodger Blue. He has been a survivor, like those fools stranded on an island for our enjoyment, and the results we experienced last night is a testament to his guile and perseverance. Andre Ethier is a veteran leader on this club, and I think it's fair to say that everyone on the team appreciates not only his experience, but also his ability to still affect a ballgame. Per Cary Osborne at Dodger Insider:
“Very, very happy for him, and the game honors you,” Roberts said. “And a guy like Andre who has done it the right way for such a long time and repeatedly said he just wanted to be a part of this and to prepare every single day like he’s going to play, and when that opportunity presented itself, he was ready. For him to come through and perform and pick us up the way he did is no surprise. It’s just a credit to his professionalism.”

Blog Kiosk: 10/18/2017 - Dodgers Links - Dodgers Take 3-0 Series Lead


They could do no wrong last night. Just about everything the Dodgers tried worked - to an almost mystifying degree. Balls were dropped, grounders booted, extra bases were taken and a pitcher (who can't hit a lick) was walked during an obvious pinch-hit situation with the bases loaded on four straight.

Yeah... It was one of those games, and unlike the Dodgers storied past we did not end up the butt of jokes the next day. Instead, everyone is wondering if this steam locomotive can be stopped. Per Ken Gurnick and Carrie Muskat at MLB.com:
"I think that, right now, we're just laser-focused on trying to win baseball games," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "So that obviously, if [a sweep] presents itself, obviously it will be great. But right now our focus is [Cubs Game 4 starter Jake] Arrieta and trying to figure out a way to win a baseball game tomorrow night."
These guys are far from content.

Photo above of LA City Hall in Dodger Blue via Mayor Eric Garcetti on twitter. Below are more links to check:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

2017 Sports Crate - Adrian Gonzalez Figurine has Finally Arrived


The second to last piece to the 2017 Dodgers Sports Crate set has arrived. As you know, this inaugural fan subscription service delivered its final five-crate box a couple of weeks ago, but (like in the previous crate) it did not include the promised Dodger figurine. Yesterday, I received one of the two remaining figurines not already sent out to collectors. Featured here is the Adrian Gonzalez 2017 Sports Crate action figure. Hopefully the final figurine of Joc Pederson arrives soon.

Even More Fantasy Baseball Cards to Enjoy - Game 1 of NLCS


Yesterday, I shared a bunch of fantasy cards I created using pics from Game 1 (link here). Now, here some cards from Game 2. Most of the pic used were grabbed from Dodger Insider (link here); while others were found throughout the 'net.

Blog Kiok: 10/17/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


I thought I would begin the day with this -- a pie covered Cubs fan at the LA Kings game on Sunday. Per NHL.com:
When the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Chicago Cubs in Game 2 of the National Legaue Championship Series, Bailey, the LA Kings mascot, was ready to celebrate. 
In what appeared to be an obviously staged but still funny stunt, Bailey sought out a "Cubs fan" in the crowd, decked out in a Cubs shirt and hat, and promptly smashed a celebratory pie in the fan's face.
I had tickets to this game (I've got season tickets up in the rafters -- Die Hard Seats), but elected to opt out so that I can focus all of my attention on the Dodger game. Given what I've heard about the Kings crowd that day and the fun little incident highlighted above, I now regret it. You can watch the pie-facing here.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1978 the Yankees defeated the Dodgers in Game 6 of the World Series to win their second consecutive title. 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, Pop DillonMike SandlockJohnny KlippsteinJim Gilliam!

Monday, October 16, 2017

2017 Topps Now -- #766, #767 & #768 -- Game 2 Victory


What a huge game. Not only did the Dodgers offense come through when they needed to, but their relief staff has been unhittable. To help celebrate this fact Topps has issued a Game 2 NLCS Topps Now card to remind us that these role players out of the 'pen deserve some credit to. Check it out above. Go here to check it out and order. It prominently featured Brandon Morrow, Tony Watson, Josh Fields and Kenley Jansen. They collectively recorded twelve straight Cub outs last night. Per Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
"They're just executing pitches and they're ready when called upon and they're competing," said Roberts. "It's a close-knit group down there. Josh Bard, our bullpen coach, has done a fantastic job with those guys, along with [pitching coach] Rick Honeycutt. And just the preparation. Those guys know exactly what they want to do, and they're going out there and executing."

Fantasy Dodger Cards From Game 2


Here are even more fantasy Baseball cards to satisfy your virtual cardboard thirst. All of these pics were grabbed off the 'net and feature photos taken during Game 2, last night.

2017 Topps Now - #763 & #764 - Taylor and Puig Lead Dodgers to Game 1 Victory


Following Saturday's thrilling Game 1 NLCS victory over the Cubs Topps issued two 2017 Topps Now cards to commemorate it. The first card makes note of Chris Taylor's go-ahead solo homer in the sixth inning to give the Dodgers lead. Per Joshua Thornton at MLB.com:
"He just carries himself well," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "Doesn't get too high, doesn't get too low. People use that word 'poise' a lot, but he has poise. And in big spots, he has the ability to zone in and swing at strikes and take balls. So he's done that all year for us."

Blog Kiosk: 10/16/2017 - Dodgers Links - Walk Off!


Holy Moly!

And it happened 29 years to the day when Kirk Gibson hit his own walk-off during the 1988 World Series. Unbelievable! Per Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider:
“I can’t even put it into words right now,” Turner said. “It’s incredible, and the most important thing was obviously helping us get another win. But, that’s something down the road, hopefully many, many years from now, I’ll get to tell stories about.”
...
“I hit a ball pretty good to center earlier in the game, and Almora’s an unbelievable center fielder,” Turner said. “He’s been taking hits away from us every time we play him. So, I was just watching him hoping he wasn’t going to catch it. When it did end up going over the fence … obviously, I was fairly excited.”
You can watch the Celine Dion version of Turner's massive homer here. BTW, Justin also got the game ball, as you can see in the photo on the right.

Photo above via @Dodgers/Jon SooHoo on twitter. Photo on right via @Dodgers/Jon SooHoo on twitter. Below are more links to check:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1949 the Brooklyn Dodgers elect to not renew the contract of Dodger President Branch Rickey. He would soon join the Pirates the following season. In 1985 Jack Clark of the Cardinals created one of my worst memories as a Dodger fan. He belted a come-from-behind two-out, three-run home run in the ninth inning off of Dodger reliever Tom Niedenfuer to take the National League pennant. Watch it here if you must. 
  • Happy Birthday, Nick CullopBoom-Boom Beck!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Playoff Series Starts on Saturday - Food, Pregame Info and Other Stuff!


The NLCS starts on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. Below are some odds and ends for this upcoming best-of-seven playoff series. Here are some important links:
Pregame coverage can see seen on Facebook Live starting 90 minutes before each game with Dodger Insider, SportsNet LA’s Leadoff LA and Access SportsNet Dodgers. Postgame Access SportsNet Dodgers will also be streamed on Facebook Live, as will Dodgers Insider shows during workout days.

The umpires for this NLCS will be Mike Winters (crew chief), Lance Barksdale, Todd Tichenor, Jim Wolf, Bill Welke, Alfonso Marquez and Eric Cooper.

At the moment stadium and pregame information is still a bit sparse, so I will update this post when more information is released.

Like last series there will be a whole bunch of new and unique food options available for this NLCS. Furthermore, three items introduced during the Diamondbacks series will also still be available -- BBQ Rib Platter (smoked baby back ribs slathered in blueberry bacon BBQ sauce, served with parmesan fries) at the King’s Hawaiian Grill on Left Field Plaza & Think Blue BBQ on Reserve level (section 30); Chicken Waffle Sammy (Belgian Waffle, spicy crispy chicken with candied smoked bacon, maple syrup) at Chick N’ Tots on Field level (section 8) & Tenders Etc. on Reserve level (section 14); and the Cheet-O-Lote (roasted sweet corn on the cob slathered in chipotle-lime mayo, dusted with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, cotija cheese & tajin seasoning) at the King’s Hawaiian Grill on Left Field Plaza & Think Blue BBQ on Reserve level (section 30). See all three below.

Blog Kiosk: 10/13/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


As I've said many times before, there's nothing cooler than seeing some fan taken vintage snapshots of our legendary Dodger players. More often we see them in Dodger duds. On this occasion, however, we see several players in their travelling suits at the Terminal Train Station in Cincinnati. They were in town for a four-game series in late August 1950.

According to the auction listing at BST Auctions (Auction Link) they were taken by a porter at the train station and eventually gifted to a 16-year old kid who had his own dreams of Major League ball. His name was Herb Shavers and he eventually played African-American semi-pro ball. I'm sure that although he never reached that eventual goal I think it's fair to say that if not for Jackie he could not have dreamed so large.

Featured are Pee Wee Reese and Gil Hodges on the top left; Jackie Robinson on the top right; manager Burt Shotten and his wife on the bottom left; and Don Newcombe and Gene Hermanski on the bottom right.

Below are more links to check:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Blog Kiosk: 10/12/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


The dreams of youth.

Above is a fantastic 1943 ACME press photo of several New York area youngsters at Ebbets Field on a midsummer day trying out for the club (ebay link). As many teams are wont to do, the Dodgers reached out to the community in hopes of finding a diamond in the rough. At left is Hall of Famer George Sisler showing the kids the ins-an-outs of fielding. Per the descriptor on the reverse:
"IMAGINE -- THEY WANT TO BE DODGERS.  New York City -- Kids who would rather be bums than scholars, are told how to stop a hot grounder by George Sisler, one-time famous first baseman.  Some of metropolitan aspirants for diamond fame are (left to right, next to Sisler): Alfred Phillips, Coney Island; Bert Oppenheim, Coney Island; Bob Geary, Flatbush; Ernest Dolphy, Astoria; and Paul Brenner, Manhattan.  They are trying out at Ebbets Field, and a careful check on their performances will be used at a later date when the farms call for possible big league timber."
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1916 the Brooklyn Robins lost Game 5 against the Boston Red Sox to lose the World Series. As a side note, Boston played their games at the home of their NL rival, Boston Braves, since their stadium held more patrons than Fenway Park. In 1920 the Cleveland Indians defeated the Brooklyn Robins to win the World SeriesIn 1949 Vin Scully, after being recruited by Red Barber, worked his very first broadcast of his career when he does play-by-play for a college football game between Maryland and Boston University. He famously called the game from atop the roof during a very frigid day at Fenway Park. In 1988 Orel Hershiser threw a five-hit shutout victory, 6-0, against the NY Mets in Game 7 of the NLCS to advance to the World Series.
  • Happy Birthday, Ed HouseholderSteve ShirleySid FernandezJose ValentinTanyon SturtzeNick Tepesch!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fantasy Dodger Cards Galore - Game 3 Highlights


Here is my second batch of NLDS fantasy Baseball cards. This time I feature pics grabbed from all over the 'net from the Dodgers Game 3 victory on Monday. Go here to check out my fantasy cards from Game 1 & 2.

My favorite is the 1973 Topps card showing Yasiel Puig saluting Cody Bellinger. You can see that at the very bottom.