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!
- Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider; "Great Dodger Moment Coins promotional series unveiled."
- WooHoo! It's is now official. The Dodgers have signed Kenley Jansen to a five-year contract. Per a Dodger press release:
Jansen, 29, was named the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year and earned the first All-Star selection of his career in 2016, going 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA and a career-high 47 saves (T-2nd, MLB) in 53 opportunities. He led the Majors in opponents’ batting average (.150) and WHIP (0.67), while ranking among the National League relief leaders in ERA (1.83, 2nd), strikeouts (104, 5th) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (9.45, 1st). The Curacao native tossed scoreless relief in six of seven postseason appearances, while turning in several dominant multi-inning outings and successfully converting all three saves opportunities.
In an ancillary move, the Dodgers DFA'd infielder Micah Johnson in order to make room for Jansen on the 40-man roster. This one move makes me wonder if the Dodgers are now officially out of the Brian Dozier race. It seems obvious that the delay in announcing this signing is directly related to a hope than a future trade would naturally open up a roster spot (thereby, not risking a loss of a player). Now that those trade rumors have cooled off there is no reason to delay the Jansen signing, and the Dodgers now face the risk of losing Micah to another team. BTW, Kenley's contract includes an opt-out clause after the 2019 season, via Doug Padilla at ESPN.
- Via Chris Anders at Beyond the Boxscore; "Don’t sleep on Alex Wood: An injury disrupted his 2016, but Alex Wood should not be an afterthought among the Dodgers’ starting pitchers."
- David Hood at True Blue LA takes a closer look at; "Dodgers 2017 top prospects: No. 13, Josh Sborz."
- Via John Sickels at Minor League Ball; "Grant Dayton is for real."
Dayton's fastball topped out at 95 in the majors with an average reading of 92. It plays up because of his command. He relies primarily on the fastball but his secondary pitches are solid enough, with a curve in the 70-80 MPH range and a change-up in the 80s. He can hit any velocity marker between 69 and 95 MPH, giving him a lot of options. He's had no trouble with platoon splits and gets right-handers out as well as lefties.
At age 29, he is not a classic prospect age-wise. But he's also not exactly a "pop up out of nowhere" guy. He has always been an effective pitcher.
- Ruitts at SABR Baseball Cards writes about the; "Bell Brand Sandy Koufax Cards: All That And A Bag Of Chips." This Koufax collector tells us all about this early 60's regional Dodgers set.
- I couldn't agree with this more. Via Tom Verducci at FoxSports; "What I’m voting for with my Hall of Fame ballot, and why steroid users don’t belong."
I’m talking about the hundreds of clean players who had their livelihoods compromised by steroid users. These are the voices I hear every time I fill out a Hall of Fame ballot. I know how bastardized the game was back then. The inspiration for the 2002 story I wrote on steroids in baseball, which began the public pressure that eventually led to the union dropping its iron-clad resistance to drug testing, were the many clean players who volunteered to me over the 2000 and '01 seasons how the game was horribly twisted. They told me their dilemma: Either you put yourself at a disadvantage by playing the game clean, or you were forced to risk your health, conscience and legal standing to keep up with the cheats. One clean player I know competed three times with three different teams for a starting job. All three times he lost the job to a steroid user. He never made big money.
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