Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pop-Up Museum Tour with Maury Wills at FanFest

I had only one event at the 2017 Dodgers FanFest scheduled for myself.  I had missed out on getting any autographs online, so I decided to do the next best thing.  I scheduled a guided tour with Dodgers legend Maury Wills at the Dodgers "Pop-Up Museum", and it proved to be the highlight of my afternoon.

Before I get started I thought I would make note of a couple trophies (seen above) currently being displayed in the club level of the stadium - near the elevators.  I had seen these as our tour group was heading up to the museum.  At the above right are two Baseball Organization of the Year Awards (1981 & 1997) that were presented to the Dodgers by Topps - the trading card company. These are obviously pertinent to this blog.

Also, go to this link if you are interested in visiting the museum yourself.  It will run only until early March, so you need to get out there soon. 

Blog Kiosk: 1/31/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Yesterday afternoon the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association honored Vin Scully during their 26th Annual Awards luncheon. He is their first recipient of the newly renamed Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Photo above via Dodgers photographer Jill Weisleder on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1941 the Dodgers signed future Hall of Famer Paul Waner to a free agent contract.  In 1972 former Brooklyn Dodger players Rube Marquard (known mostly as a Giant) and Dave Bancroft (also mostly a Giant) were selected by an Hall of Fame Special Veterans Committee for enshrinement.  In 2003 the Dodgers signed free agent pitcher Wilson Alvarez.  In 2005 the Dodgers signed pitcher Scott Erickson as a free agent. 
  • Happy Birthday, Ted Power, Stuffy Stewart & Jackie Robinson!

Monday, January 30, 2017

My 2017 Dodgers FanFest Recap - Photos and Links

I had thought the day would be cold and windy.  Instead, a record crowd of nearly 30,000 fans experienced the FanFest in the best possible way.  It was bright and shiny, and hardly a gust of shivering cold was felt.  It proved to be a perfect Southern California day, and an fantastic segue to the upcoming Baseball season.

I was unable, unfortunately, to secure any autographs from the sessions sold online.  I tried, but all of the sessions I wanted sold out quickly.  Thankfully, the Interactive History at the Pop-Up Museum hosted by Maury Wills was open.  So I attended that VIP Experience, and plan on writing a separate post of the event. Stay tuned for that.  (UPDATE: Here is a link to my post on the museum tour.)

Before I show you all of my pics from FanFest, I thought I would provide links to some other sites that include some great photos, videos and recaps from the afternoon.  Check them out below:
  • Photos:  A bunch of pics taken by Dodger photographers Jon SooHoo and Jill Weisleder at the FanFest (link here).
  • AM 570 Sports Radio provides a full recap of all the interviews they put together during the FanFest.  Go here to check them all out. 
  • YouTube Video:  Pantone294 shares a vlog at the 2017 Dodgers FanFest.  They set up a table at the event for the first time (link here).
  • Cat Loves the Dodgers shares her afternoon at the Dodgers FanFest; including the autograph she received and the food she ate (link here).

Blog Kiosk: 1/30/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

This past Saturday was the Dodgers FanFest, and one of the special announcements made that afternoon was the naming of Corey Seager, the NL's "Rookie of the Year", as the cover-spokesman for RBI Baseball 2017.  Check out a screengrab from the presentation made on stage above.  You can watch it here.

BTW, I have a bunch pics I took at the FanFest and will be sharing them soon.  Below are more links to check out:
A team statement said Miller “is under the care of a team of specialized physicans and he is doing well and is in good spirits.”

Friday, January 27, 2017

My Evening at the 2017 NHL All-Star FanFair

I hadn't planned on attending the NHL All-Star Game FanFair at the LA Convention Center, but I couldn't help myself.  A major mid-season event was happening in my town, and I would be remiss if I didn't show up to take it all in.  Besides, I was told that there would be a small card show, a little museum display and autographs... Free autographs.  So I went, and I'm glad I did.

One of the keen displays were these large hockey pucks seen all around the Staples Center.  They featured every All-Star in attendance this year.  Naturally, I tracked down the two Kings players - Jeff Carter (left) and Drew Doughty.

Blog Kiosk: 1/27/2016 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

After a brief rain delay Joc Pederson finally had the opportunity to meet with throngs of Dodger fans with their dogs at the Silverlake Dog Park yesterday.  It was a part of the week-long Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour that concludes today.

This afternoon from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM will be a Dodger rally at the Westfield Topanga Shopping Center.  Chase DeJong, Kyle Farmer, Yasmani Grandal, Chris Hatcher, Kenta Maeda, Josh Ravin, Jacob Rhame, Darin Ruf, Corey Seager, Rob Segedin, Ross Stripling, Chris Taylor and Trayce Thompson are scheduled to be there.

Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2017Go here to check out more pics by Jon and Juan Ocampo from yesterdays Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodger History:  In 1968 the Dodgers picked future Dodgers infielder Davey Lopes in the second round of the 1968 amateur draft.  They also chose pitcher Geoff Zahn - who would go on to have a long Major League career.
  • Happy Birthday, Dan EvansBert Inks, Bob Barrett, Fred Heimach & Nick Willhite!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Welcome to the Blue, Brett Eibner!

If there is one thing you should expect the Dodgers front office to do it's that they'll add seemingly inconsequential depth pieces to buttress the Major League roster.  Last season depth players like Chris Taylor, Rob Segedin and Andrew Toles made impactful contributions.  This coming season the Dodger hope Brett Eibner can do the same.

As you know, the Dodgers traded minor league infielder Jordan Tarsovich to the A's for outfielder Brett Eibner.  He was then immediately placed on the 40-man roster, and reliever Carlos Frias was designated for assignment to make room.  Eibner was originally drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft by the Royals (out of the University of Arkansas), traded to the A's six years later and now finds himself in LA. He stands 6' 4" tall, bats and throws right-handed, and was born in San Diego.  You can follow Brett on twitter here: @Brett_Eidner.  Per a Dodgers press release:

Blog Kiosk: 1/26/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

LA Councilmember Gil Cedillo made a special presentation to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts yesterday afternoon at City Hall in recognition of his "Manager of the Year" award for the past season.  This was part of the teams ongoing Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour that continues with a few more events today.  Go here to watch a bunch of videos from yesterdays events, via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider.

Fernando Valenzuela is scheduled for a surprise visit somewhere in the Southland.  So, stay tuned for that.  Additionally, Kiké Hernandez and Rob Segedin will make a surprise pizza delivery to a special group of city employees in recognition of their commitment to creating a positive impact in the community.  Lastly, Joc Pederson will host a Pet Family Photo Day at the Silver Lake Dog Park, starting at 2:00 PM.

Photo at the very top via @Dodgers on twitterGo here to take a look at a bunch of photos from yesterday from Jon SooHoo, Juan Ocampo and Jill Weisleder.  Below are more links to check out:

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Dodgers FanFest & the NHL All-Star FanFair

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.

This is a big weekend in sports for the Los Angeles area.  Not only are the Dodgers holding their annual Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour this week, but they are also hosting their FanFest on Saturday.  Also, the NHL All-Star Game FanFair is also taking place at the convention center from Thursday to Saturday.

On Thursday, January 26th Joc Pederson is hosting a Pet Family Photo Day at the Silver Lake Dog Park as a part of the Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour starting at 2:00 PM.  Go here for some information.

Blog Kiosk: 1/25/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Yesterday afternoon Trayce Thompson hosted a bunch of kids and their families who are patients at Cedars-Sinai for a movie night at Dodger Stadium.  First, though, he spent some time showing the tykes the Dodgers clubhouse.

Day three of the Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour is today and it's filled with plenty of appearances throughout LA.  First, Andre Ethier and Julio Urias will hold a clinic for more than 20 Special Olympics of Southern California athletes at the Dodgers Dreamfield at Baldwin Hills Recreation Center from 9:30 Am to 11:30 AM.  At 10:00 AM the Los Angeles City Council will formally recognize Dave Roberts as the 2016 NL "Manager of the Year" at City Hall.  At the same time, Adam Liberatore, Ron Cey, Al Ferrara and Dennis Powell will promote literacy at four different Los Angeles public libraries.  Finally, Ethier and Roberts will take part in a "Thank You Lunch" for the LAPD at the Northeast Community Police Station.

Photo at the very top via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2017Go here to check out more pics taken by Jon from yesterday's tour events.  Below are more links to check out:

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Blog Kiosk: 1/24/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

The first day of the Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour was on Monday, and to start things off was a brief visit by Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig to local area Coffee Bean's.  They greeted fans, served coffee and even posed for pictures.  Watch a couple videos featuring their visits via Dodger Blue (link here).

Today, Dodger Strength and Conditioning Coaches Brandon McDaniel, Travis Smith and Shaun Alexander will hold a fitness and health clinic 100 underserved young women from the New Village Girls Academy at Dodger Stadium.  Also, Trayce Thompson will host a movie night at the Dodger Lexus Dugout Club for Cedars-Sinai’s pediatric patients and their families.

Photo above of Justin Turner and the crew from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in West Hollywood via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2017Go here to check out more pics by Jon and Jill Weisleder taken from Day 1 of the Dodgers community tour.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodger History:  In 1963 the Dodgers acquired Don Zimmer in a trade with the Reds for a minor leaguer.  This is Don's second stint with the team; having originally been signed by them as an amateur in 1949 and rising up their ranks.  In 2006 the Dodgers signed free agent reliever and soon-to-be legend Joe Beimel.  In 2014 the Dodgers signed free agent utilityman Chone Figgins. 
  • Happy Birthday, Neal Finn & Scott Kazmir!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Welcome to the Blue, Logan Forsythe!

Just when I thought, as many did, that the Dodgers were effectively done for the winter they go ahead to make a trade.  As you may have heard, the Dodgers have found a solution to their second base problem this coming season.  They have traded for Tampa Bay second baseman Logan Forsythe in exchange for top-flight right-handed pitching prospect Jose De Leon.  Per a Dodger press release:
Forsythe, 30, has combined to slug 57 doubles, 37 homers and drive in 120 runs in 280 games with Tampa Bay over the past two seasons, including batting .264 with 52 RBI and setting career-best marks with 20 home runs, four triples and 76 runs scored as the Rays’ primary leadoff hitter in 127 games last year. In 2015, batting in the middle of the Rays’ lineup, Forsythe led Tampa Bay qualifiers in batting average (.281), on-base percentage (.359) and slugging percentage (.444), while posting a .299/.373/.599 slashline against left-handers. His slugging percentage against lefties (.599) ranked third in the American League in 2015, behind only Nelson Cruz (.673) and Josh Donaldson (.632).

Blog Kiosk: 1/23/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

On Saturday both Dave Roberts and Corey Seager received their respective awards from the Writers Association of American annual dinner.  As you know Roberts was named the "Manager of the Year" and Seager won the "Rookie of the Year" awards.

As you may know, Dave Roberts battled cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, several years ago, so he made the point of talking about it.  Per Mark Newman at MLB.com:
"Jed Hoyer is here, and he's one of my very good friends," Roberts said of the Cubs general manager, sitting at a nearby table. "As I was going through cancer in 2010, he gave me a job as a Padres special assistant to him. Baseball got me through it. Jed, I really appreciate you giving me some off-days to go through chemo and get through it. We're here."
Photo above via @Dodgers on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1932 the Brooklyn Dodgers traded for future Hall of Famer Hack Wilson (during the tail end of his career) for a minor leaguer and some cash.  In 1962 Jackie Robinson, along with Bob Feller, are selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame in their first years of eligibility. 
  • Happy Birthday, Joey Amalfitano & Billy Mullen!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Blog Kiosk: 1/20/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

I love this photo.

Featured is some in-game action on an International News press photo taken by Arthur Sasse (known for his pic of Albert Einstein sticking his tongue out), dated October 4, 1952.  (eBay Auction Link)  Per the descriptor on the reverse:
Yankee left fielder Gene Woodling scrambles safely back to seconf as Dodger Billy Cox's throw to Hodges beats Hank Bauer in the second inning of the fourth World Series Game.  Cox took Bauer's grounder, bluffed Woodling back to second and the nipped Bauer.
Unfortunately, the Dodgers would lose this game, 2-0, and eventually lose the series in seven games to the Yanks.

Below are more links to check out:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Charles Fazzino Painted Baseballs of Clayton Kershaw and Sandy Koufax

If you follow this blog then you know that I love Dodgers related artwork.  You probably also know that I have an special appreciation for painted Baseballs. After all, is there a better way to meld art and the game then to draw on the thing that everyone on the field and in the stands focus on?

In the past I've had the pleasure of interviewing sports artist Monty Sheldon (link here) and have highlighted numerous balls painted by noted American folk artist George Sosnak (link here).  Today, I focus on a painted Baseball by New York based pop artist Charles Fazzino that I ran into when recently checking out SCP's current auction.  (SCP Auction Link)  Check it out above and directly below.

As you can see, the subject of this Baseball is Clayton Kershaw and it has been beautifully painted on all six panels, and even includes a signature by our ace.  As with all of Fazzino's work, this ball includes plenty of sparkles, bright bold colors and a 3D effect (check out the Dodgers logo above Clayton's signature in the pic above). 

Blog Kiosk: 1/19/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

With the Dodgers fanfest around the corner I thought that the above press photo from the New York Times would be appropriate.  It features throngs of Dodger fans celebrating in front of the Dodger Cafe on DeKalb Avenue in Brooklyn following the teams Game 7 victory over the Yankees in 1955.

BTW, autograph tickets and VIP experience tickets go on sale today at 1:00 PM for the general public.  Season ticket holders, as of this posting, are already placing their orders.  Go here for more information.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1972 Sandy Koufax was elected in the Baseball Hall of Fame -- become the youngest player to ever to be enshrined.   In 1983 the Dodgers traded popular third baseman Ron Cey to the Cubs for Vance Lovelace and a minor leaguer. 
  • Happy Birthday, Dolly Stark & Shawn Tolleson!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Dodgers FanFest Autograph Tickets Go on Sale Tomorrow - Thursday!

The Dodgers fifth annual 2017 FanFest is right around the corner and now you can properly plan for the day.  They have just announced a  full schedule for player autograph sessions and VIP experiences.  BTW, for the first time the Dodgers will be holding a free autograph session only for kids (14 years old or younger) at the Jr. Dodger Autograph tent in Lot G of the parking lot. 

FanFest will be on Saturday, January 28th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  You should have already downloaded a "FREE" admission ticket.  If you hadn't go here (link here) to do that.  Parking gates are likely to open at 9:30 AM and it will be free, as well.  You will enter either through the left or right field plaza gates at 10:00 AM.

There will be photo opportunities in the Dodger dugout and with the World Series trophy and Silver Sluffer award.  The LA Dodger Foundations (LADF) will host its third annual Yard Sale with one-of-a-kind Dodger items for budgets of all sizes; including jerseys, T-shirts and more. There will also be a Mystery Bag Fundraiser where fans can purchase an official Major League baseball autographed by a current or former Dodger.  All Proceeds benefit the programs and charitable giving of LADF.

I've attended the past four FanFest's and shared a bunch of photos from those days (these post also include numerous links of post from other bloggers).  Check out the below links to check them out.  Below that are details about the player autograph sessions.

Duke Snider Received a Presidential Pardon Yesterday

The 80's were a crazy time for many retired ballplayers; especially those with a collector following.  After all, for many decades these old-timers received a pittance in salary for their work on the diamond, and many of them found income opportunity rather scant after playing the game.  So, when the collector boom happened it proved to be a godsend.  Baseball players could now earn a good amount of cash traveling across the country meeting with fans and signing autographs.

Unfortunately, a few of them failed to report that income on their tax returns, and soon found themselves in trouble with the law.

Two of those ballplayers, Hall of Famers Willie McCovey and Duke Snider, received a Presidential Pardon yesterday as a part of President Obama's flurry of commutations and pardons (273 of them) during his last week in office.

Both men had pleased guilty to tax evasion charges in July 1995.  McCovey had failed to declare $70,000 in income.  Duke Snider failed to report $100,000 of income, and was given two years probation, paid $30,000 in back taxes and a $5,000 fine.

At the time Snider said, per Joseph Fried at the NY Times:
"We're in the world of choice, and I made the wrong choice."
His white mane seeming even whiter under the bright courtroom lights, Snider promised Korman that "it won't happen again." And in a written statement he submitted to the court, he expressed concern that "my conduct may have in some way tarnished the game" that had been "very good to me," and "hope that my fans, especially those in Brooklyn, can accept my apology."
Apology accepted, Duke.  And now the United States officially forgives you and Willie for these indiscretions.  Heck, I am fairly certain fans forgave them a long time ago.  Nevertheless, this act by the President is an awfully nice gesture.  I am sure the family of Duke Snider, who passed away in 2011, appreciates this.

(HAT TIP: Rich Mueller at SCD)

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

Blog Kiosk: 1/18/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

With Spring around the corner I can't help but be excited when I see a vintage spring training photograph like the one above.  (eBay Auction Link) Featured are five Dodger pitchers showing off for the camera while training at Dodgertown, dated February 25, 1953.  It was taken by noted International News and soon-to-be Sports Illustrated photographer Herb Scharfman.  Per the descriptor on the reverse:
Posing prettily here at the Brooklyn Dodgers Vero Beach camp are the five top flingers of the Dodgers/  In Front: Russ Meyer, latest acquisition; and Carl Erskine (right).  Rear: (from left) Joe Black, Billy Loes and Preacher Roe.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 2011 the Dodgers signed veteran free agent outfielder Gabe Kapler as a non-roster invitee.  Unfortunately, he didn't make the team and would subsequently be released at the end of March.  As you know, he would soon retire and make his mark in the Baseball front office.
  • Happy Birthday, Eddie Moore, Len Koenecke, Billy Grabarkewitz, Brian Falkenborg & Mike Lieberthal!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dodger Goodies at Goldin Auctions

Goldin is currently running their Winter Auction and it includes several notable Dodgers memorabilia items.  Check them out below.

Jackie Robinson was in the midst of having a whale of an rookie season in 1947.  Not only had he broken Baseball's color barrier, but he did it with poise -- even amidst all the vitriol he experienced.  So on Tuesday, September 23rd the fans organized a "Jackie Robinson Day" at Ebbets field, and featured above is an un-scored scorecard from that game.  (Auction Link)

Blog Kiosk: 1/17/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

By 1950 Jackie Robinson was on top of the world.  He had just been awarded the NL MVP, participated in his very first All-Star Game and recently wrapped up filming a movie about his life.  Now, as we can see in the photo above, he is seen checking out an autobiography about him that was just published.  (RMY Auction Link)

Below are more links to check out:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Blog Kiosk: 1/16/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

The 14th Annual Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation banquet was held this past Saturday at the Beverly Hilton, and among the many award recipients was Rachel Robinson, wife of Jackie, and Dave Roberts.

Rachel Robinson received the "Pioneer Award" ahead of the upcoming 70th anniversary of the breaking of Baseball's color barrier.  It was also announced that the Jackie Robinson Museum will open later this year in New York.  Read more about this and more via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider; "Pioneer Award for Rachel Robinson comes at appropriate — and pivotal — moment."  Dave Roberts was honored with the "Tom Lasorda Managerial Achievement Award", and presenting the award was Tommy himself.  Per Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
Lasorda first had to whisper something to the recipient when he reached the podium.

"I just got a talking to that I better win a championship," Roberts revealed.
Photo at the very top via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2017Go here to check out a bunch of great pics taken by Jon from the banquet.  Below are more links to check out:

Friday, January 13, 2017

2016 Panini National Treasures Baseball - The Dodgers Base Cards

Here is a final look at the Dodger cards found in packs of Panini's 2016 National Treasures.  This time we look at the base cards.  Unfortunately, I have yet to see the Jake Daubert or Max Carey cards.  I'll update this post when they pop up.  Go here to see all of my past post on this set.  Go here for a complete checklist.

BTW, there are five different Dodger "Base Variation" cards available.  You can check them all out below.  As you can see, the variation cards include a nickname or an distinguishing accomplishment by the player.

Base Set

#5 Jackie Robinson          #12 Don Drysdale

Blog Kiosk: 1/13/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

He's officially a Dodger now.

Featured above is a vintage International News press photograph showing the Dodgers manager helping newly signed Dodgers coach, Babe Ruth, into his uniform for the very first time.  (RMY Auction Listing) Per the descriptor on the reverse:
Into Uniform Once More... But Only To Coach:  Manager Burleigh Grimes of the Brooklyn Dodgers helps the one-time King of Swat to don his uniform.  Just before the Brooklyn team took to the field to engage in a double-header against the Chicago Cubs.  A few minutes later, the Bambino received a tremendous ovation from 25,000 fans when he made his debut as a Dodger coach.  The beloved ex-home run king spent an hour posing for the movies before the game, signing autographs and hitting fungoes to the outfield.  To top things off Ruth took a turn at bat and drove one of Grimes offerings out of the lot (dated 6/19/1938)
The Dodgers were no-hit by Reds hurler Johnny Vander Meer on June 15, 1938 -- the second of his two consecutive no-hitters that season.  Then the following day Ruth met with the team and officially signed a contract to be a coach for Brooklyn.  He would debut in the uniform on the 19th at Ebbets Field.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1988 Steve Garvey announced his retirement from the game of Baseball.
  • Happy Birthday, Jimmy Jordan & Elmer Dessens!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Writing to a Fan -- Brooklyn Dodgers Catcher Mickey Owens

Mickey Owens is one of a long line of fantastic defensive minded catchers to wear Dodger Blue, and if not for a bungled play during the 1941 World Series he might be considered the best ever.  Nevertheless, his miscue that Fall did little to sully his reputation.  He would go on to be an All-Star four times -- even though he would only slash .257/.316/.310/.627 during those season. 

Which brings me to the letter shown above.  Featured is correspondence written by Mickey from 1991 to a fan named Jim Forrest. (eBay Auction Link)  In it he writes:
I am in the eleventh year of my retirement.  When I retired in 1980 my wife had to handle all the check writing so I have no personal checks.

The clipping you sent me were right.  I paid $2500.00.  And I learned a lesson.  After retirement from Baseball I was elected sheriff of Greene Co., Missouri in the Ozark Mountains.  Served 16 years.  During those years I was stabbed and shot at by some of Missouri's meanest criminals.

When in danger act quickly and give no quarter.  It may save you from serious injury or your life.

2016 Panini National Treasures Baseball - Some of the Dodgers Inserts, Part 2

Here is a look at even more of the Dodger cards that can be found in packs of Panini's 2016 National Treasures Baseball.  These are the remaining inserts I have yet to show.  I hope to share the base cards tomorrow.  As you can see, there are still a bunch of cards I have yet to see.  Go here to see all of my past post on this set.  Go here for a complete checklist.

Leagues Best

#9 Duke Snider                #25 Don Drysdale

They Say Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

This morning I was prepared to enjoy my day knowing that both Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen would remain in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future.  What I didn't expect to discover was an incredulous feeling in the pit of my stomach when a certain logo of a team relocating to LA was unveiled.  As you certainly know by now, the San Diego Chargers officially announced that they are moving to that new stadium in Inglewood, and in concert with that announcement they released their new re-branded logo.  Check it out below.

Looks strangely familiar... don't it?

For some reason the Chargers believed it would be a good idea build a new fanbase in the city by bastardizing the already familiar and well-loved logo of the Dodgers.  As some might say, imitation is the sincerest form of flatter, but in this case it seems more like an unjust travesty.  As a fervent Dodger fan I don't like it.

Blog Kiosk: 1/12/2016 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Yesterday afternoon the Dodgers officially welcomed back both Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner during a press conference at Dodger Stadium. Per a Ken Gurnick story at MLB.com:
"[Ownership was] extremely supportive of bringing these guys back," said Friedman. "I think heading into an offseason where they're at the top of the list, in terms of players, coupled with who they are and how well we know them, I think gave everyone more confidence to stretch and be creative.

"Kenley, in our minds, is the best reliever in baseball. Justin represents so much of what we value in a player."
The takeaway from the event was that both players were fervent is their desire to stay, and vocal about wanting to a win a world championship for the fans in Los Angeles.  Watch them speak about that here and hereDoug Padilla at ESPN writes more about how they came up with their decision to stay during a haircut, here.
"Having conversations with these guys on my wedding weekend ... just to see them around meant so much to me," Jansen said. "It made a decision to leave even tougher after we sat down to talk about stuff while I was getting my haircut. When we were all together, it made it tough for me to make a decision to be in another uniform."
Photo at the very top via Jon SooHoo @Dodgers on twitterGo here to check out more pics by Jon from the press conference.  Below are more links to check out:
  • !!!! 2017 FanFest News !!!!  At 12:00 PM Noon today you can go to the Dodgers FanFest site (link here) to download a free ticket to the event.  As you know, FanFest will be held on Saturday, January 28th at Dodger Stadium.  Details regarding player autographs should be coming soon.
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1920 a plan developed by Charles Ebbets many years ago is finally adopted - the annual drafting of players from the minor leagues will be done in inverse order of the final standings.  In 2016 the Dodgers received Rob Segedin from the Yankees in exchange for Tyler Olson and Ronald Torreyes.  They also traded starting pitcher Joe Wieland to the Mariners for minor league infielder Erick Mejia.
  • Happy Birthday, Ed Swartwood, Tom Kinslow, Dan Daub, Ed Stevens, Terry Whitfield, Mike Marshall, Chris Hatcher & Alex Wood!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Robert Horry of the Lakers and Dustin Brown of the Kings

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.


Laker great Robert Horry will be signing autographs on Saturday, January 14th from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM at the Sports Authentic store in the Puente Hills Mall.  Go here or here for ordering information.
Sports Authentic
Puente Hills Mall
1600 S Azusa Ave
City of Industry, CA 91748

LA Kings winger Dustin Brown will be signing free autographs for fans Saturday, January 14th from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM at the Lucky Brand - The Point store in El Segundo.  Go here for information.  150 wristbands will be handed out for guaranteed autographs. More autographs will be allowed up until the 60 minutes has been completed. You will receive one autograph and one photo per person.
Lucky Brand - The Point 
850 South Sepulveda Boulevard 
El Segundo, CA, 90245 

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

2016 Panini National Treasures Baseball - Some of the Dodgers Inserts, Part 1

Here is a look at more of the Dodger cards that can be found in packs of Panini's 2016 National Treasures Baseball.  Go here to see all of my past post on this set.

I should note that you should ignore the numbering scheme for each individual card shown below.  The checklist provided by Panini does not provide accurate numbering, and I have also discovered several cards that are not even on their checklist.  Why do they do this?  I dunno.  It's clearly dumb and meant to confuse collectors.

Rookie Materials Signatures

  • #152 Corey Seager - redemption card
  • #167 Frankie Montas - redemption card
  • #209 Julio Urias - redemption card
#196 Ross Stripling                      #202 Trayce Thompson

Blog Kiosk: 1/11/2017 - Dodgers Links - Sborz, Wood, Dayton and Kenley Jansen

The handing over of an noteworthy home run ball to a player who hit it is apparently a tradition that has existed for some time, as evidenced by the above 1957 Associated Press photograph. (eBay Auction Link)  From the August 1st game, the above pic features Brooklyn first baseman Gil Hodges with the fan who caught the record breaking ball.  Per the descriptor on the reverse:
GIL HODGES gets ball he hit for record 13th grand slam yesterday from Robert Chilla, 28, who recovered it in left field bleachers.  Chilla got new ball in exchange.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1977 the Dodgers Bill Buckner and Iván de Jesus to the Cubs for Rick Monday and Mike Garman.  In 2005 the Dodgers signed free agent starting pitcher Derek Lowe to a four-year $36 million contract.  The Dodgers also traded Shawn Green to Arizona for Dioner Navarro and a bunch of scrubs.
  • Happy Birthday, Harry McIntire, Max Carey, Lou Rochelli & George Pinkney!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My Picks for the 10 Best Dodgers' Cards of 2016

With the new year upon us it is now time to share my picks for the ten best Dodgers' cards of 2016.  As you know, this is the fifth consecutive year I've put this together.  Check out my past list in the below links:
For this list I've tried stayed away from the glitzy and super-rare relic and autographed cards, and stuck to the more common and easily achievable base and insert cards found in packs.  There are some exceptions, of course, including some online exclusive cards.  Furthermore, at the very bottom I included some "Honorable Mentions" that barely missed the cut.


I begin this list by making note of an minor league insert card found in packs of Topps 2016 Pro Debut Baseball.  It is from the "Promo Night Uniform" insert set and it celebrates Hawaiian Shirt Night held by the Ogden Raptors -- a Dodgers Rookie League Affiliate.  As a man who has more of these shirts than I care to count I couldn't help but be drawn to this card. 

2016 Topps Pro Debut
Promo Night Uniform Insert
#PNU-8 Hawaiian Shirt-Ogden Raptors


There's nothing like a Baseball celebration -- except for a card that highlights a Baseball celebration.  Card #9 on my list features Joc Pederson and Adrian Gonzalez with arms entangled on a Topps 2016 Heritage High Numbers "Combo Card" insert card.

2016 Topps Heritage High Numbers
Combo Cards Insert
#CC-6 Adrian Gonzalez & Joc Pederson 
"Dodgers Duo"

Blog Kiosk: 1/10/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Dodgers third baseman Randy Jackson is seen scoring on an inside-the-park home run in the above August 11, 1956 International News press photo taken by Herb Scharfman - a noted Sports Illustrated photographer.  (eBay Auction Link) It was recorded against the Phillies at Ebbets Park and represent the fourth run to cross that plate that inning.  Per the descriptor on the reverse:
The First inning of the Dodger-Phillies game at Ebbets Field today was distinguished by an inside-the-park homer by Randy Jackson of the Dodgers.  It was one of those "almost lost" things as Richie Ashburn, Phillies centerfielder, "almost" got it.  The photo on the left shows (not seen above) Ashburn making his try as the ball hit the centerfield wall.  The photo on the right shows (photo above) Jackson hitting the plate to score on the clout. 
The Dodgers would win the game, 5-2, and it would provide Don Newcombe with his 18th win of the season.  He would record 27 victories that year and win both the Cy Young and MVP.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodger History:  In 1984 Don Drysdale is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame; along with Luis Aparicio and Harmon Killebrew.
  • Happy Birthday, Marty Hermann, Johnny Peacock & Adam Kennedy!