Monday, November 20, 2017

2017 Topps Luminaries - All the Dodgers Cards

A couple weeks ago Topps released a brand new card product called "Luminaries". It is a super-premium set that features no base cards, and includes only a single encapsulated on-card autographed card in each box for about $200. Go here for a complete checklist.

There are a bunch of different Corey Seager cards available to chase after. Check out most of them below.

Hit Kings Autographs

#HK-CS Corey Seager                #HK-CSE Corey Seager

Hit Kings Autograph Relics

#HKR-CS Corey Seager

2017 Topps High-Tek - All the Dodgers Insert Cards

Now that you've seen the 2017 Topps High-Tek Dodgers' base cards, here are the rest of 'em. FEatured below are all of the Dodgers' inserts you can find. Unfortunately, all Bellinger and Seager autographed cards come with a redemption. Also, there appears to be only one Dodgers base card "Clubhouse Image Variation" available and it is of Corey Seager. If any more pop up I will be sure to update this post.

Clubhouse Image Variations

#HT-CS Corey Seager

Blog Kiosk: 11/20/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

It was rivalry weekend here is Southern California. USC faced off against the UCLA on the gridiron and Joc Pederson was on-hand to root for the Trojans. In fact, he lead the team out of the tunnel onto the field. BTW, although Pederson did not go to USC his father did. So, he has a family connection to the university.

Photo above of Joc with Lynn Swann via USC Athletics on twitter. Below are more links to check out:

Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 Topps Archives Signature Series Postseason Edition - The Dodgers Cards

Following on the heals of Topps Archives Signature Series buyback cards release earlier this month is the "Postseason" edition of Archives Signature Series. It includes ballplayers who have played a significant part in postseason play. Go here for more information.

According to the supplied checklist there are eight players who once wore Dodger Blue that are available. So far, I've been able to track down signed Archives cards of seven of those eight Dodgers - the only missing piece being Rickey Henderson.

Below is just a sampling of known Dodger cards that are available in packs. There are no doubt more out there, so below is far from a complete checklist.

On a side note, I really hate that they made Andruw Jones Dodgers' cards. He was terrible for us and I'd rather forget about his short stay in Los Angeles. Furthermore, I gotta get that Jesse Orozco 1988 Topps card. He played such a huge role for the team - not only as a reliever, but as the man who basically help lit the fire under Kirk Gibson during Spring Training that season.

#Andruw Jones

Blog Kiosk: 11/17/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Sing and be merry was the theme in this original December 17, 1974 Sporting News press photo of Don Sutton with some young fans at the Dodgers annual Christmas party. (eBay link) Per the descriptor on the reverse:
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Sutton and Santa Claus lead youngsters in a singing of Christmas carols at the Dodgers' annual party for children on Tuesday at the Stadium Club. More than 200 youngsters were in attendance and Dodger players in attendance included Sutton, Ron Cey, Al Downing, Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes and Steve Yeager.
Those kids in the photo are likely at or near their 50's today. Does anyone recognize themselves? Below are more links to check out:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

2017 Topps High-Tek - The Dodgers Base Cards

Newly released this week is Topps 2017 High-Tek Baseball packs, and featured below are all six Dodgers' base cards. Go here to see a complete checklist.

As you know, this set has numerous base background pattern variations available for each player. From what I can tell, there are 16 different patterns and each player has eight different background pattern variations to chase after.


#HT-CK Clayton Kershaw        #HT-CBE Cody Bellinger

Blog Kiosk: 11/16/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Here is another original Willard Mullin drawing I ran into while pursuing the Heritage Auction catalog. (auction link) It dates to the 1956 season and prominently features mascots for the Dodgers, Giants, Braves and Reds.

The famed Brooklyn Dodger "Bum" is seen strutting his stuff while wearing a Sal Maglie button on his lapel. At the same time the NY Giants mascot is on the bottom right screaming "Sic Transit Gloria Fifty-One." In other words, our ol' foe is lamenting the prestige lost since their glorious 1951 season that saw Bobby Thomson hit a walk-off homer to win the pennant. After all, as the cartoon says, many of the players on that Giants team have now moved on -- Maglie to the Dodgers, Thomson to the Braves and starting pitcher Larry Jansen to the Reds.

Below are more links to check out:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2017 Panini National Treasures - All the Dodgers Insert Cards

At long last here are the Dodgers non-base cards found in packs of 2017 Panini National Treasures. Go here for a complete checklist.

All-Decade Relics

#5 Mike Piazza

2017 Topps Now - Cody Bellinger Wins the NL Rookie of the Year Award

Above is the 2017 Topps Now commemorative card celebrating Cody Bellinger's unanimous selection as the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year. Go here to check it out and order. You still have a few hours before they close its sale. As you can see, the reverse of the card includes only his 2017 statistics.

Blog Kiosk: 11/15/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Check out the 1991 Dodgers in the photo above. It was shared by Dodgers photograph Jon SooHoo on his blog yesterday, and it features a travelling contingent of Dodger players in Mexico for an exhibition series during Spring Training. In light of recent news that the Dodgers and Padres would be playing a series of games in Monterrey, Mexico next season, this photo is very timely.

As you may recall, the Dodgers headed south in 1991 to play a couple of exhibition games against the local club, Industriales de Monterrey, and the Milwaukee Brewers.

Notably, the game against the Brewers marks one of the last starts Fernando Valenzuela threw in Dodgers Blue, and he was magnificent that day. He went five innings, allowed only two hits, gave up one run, and even drove in a run on a single. Best yet, 27,000 of his countrymen came out to cheer, scream and whistle their appreciation for the Mexican born pitcher. Per Bill Plascke at the LA Times:
It was only an exhibition. But to those who understand Valenzuela's search for shreds of Fernandomania, it was much more. 
"We knew Fernando's importance to his country before we came down here, but to see it, to feel, to hear it . . . it was an extraordinary moment," said Peter O'Malley, the Dodger owner who had a front row seat at Estadia Monterrey. "This is one of the most exciting experiences I've had since I've been with the ballclub."
A couple of weeks later, with the regular season looming, Fernando Valenzuela would be released by the Dodgers. Below are more links to check out:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A $1 Million Jackie Robinson Jersey

I'm astounded by the recent sale values of vintage memorabilia. A Babe Ruth game jersey can sell for millions. The original rules for basketball written by James Naismith himself sold for over $4 million a few years ago. The owner of the Montreal Royals and Brooklyn Dodgers first-year contracts of Jack Robinson are expecting millions when it finally comes to bid. Above is another million dollar Robinson item that is currently available at Heritage. (auction link) Featured is Jackie Robinson's rookie jersey from the 1947 season. It is already valued at $1,250,000 with nine total bids and just five days to go.  Best yet, it comes with a letter of provenance from Mrs. Rachel Robinson:

2017 Topps Now - Puig and the Entire Dodgers Team Earn Wilson Defense Awards

Here is another group of Topps Nows cards released over this past weekend that I failed to post about. Featured are cards celebrating awards won by Yasiel Puig and the entire Dodgers team.

The card directly above honors Yasiel's much deserved 2017 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award in Right Field. Per Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider:
While committing just one error all year, Puig’s combination of range and arm strength made him a regular in the Dodger lineup regardless of how he was hitting during the season (though he also set career highs in home runs and RBI in 2017). 
He led all National League right fielders in ultimate zone rating (UZR — 12.1) and tied Jason Heyward for the most defensive runs saved (DRS) at the position in the NL (18). He also led all NL right fielders in FanGraphs’ defensive runs above average stat, which measures a player’s defensive value relative to league average.

Blog Kiosk: 11/14/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Check out this fantastic photo tweeted out by Alex Cheremeteff‏. Dated to 5/29/1953, it features several old-tyme Dodgers ushering in a new season for the Uptown Little League at Kennard Field, Pittsburgh. On the top row are (from L-R) Roy Campanella, Gair Allie, Jackie Robinson, Joe Black, Carlos Bernier, Sam Narron, and Ronald Gray holding shoes on left. Photo was taken by Pittsburgh photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris during his 40-year career with the Pittsburgh Courier. I also ran into another photo of Harris' from this day located in the archives of the Carnegie Museum of Art that you can check out on the right.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1979 the Dodgers signed free agent starting pitcher David Goltz to a six-year $3MM contract. The former eight-year Twins veteran went 9-19 with a 4.25 ERA in three season with the team before being release in 1982.
  • Happy Birthday, Harry HowellRed SheridanJim BrewerTim Hamulak!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Original Sandy Koufax - Nicholas Volpe 1964 Painting

I was really hoping this painting would fly under the radar.

Featured above is an original Nicholas Volpe painting of Sandy Koufax that was used to create his 1964 Union Oil player portrait. (auction link) As you may know, the Dodgers marketing partnership with Union Oil in the 1960's brought about numerous giveaways that were available at local gas stations throughout the Southland. One of the more popular of which were 8 1/2" x 11" player portraits.

These little works of art were created by Nicholas Volpe - a well regarded portrait artist who received a lifetime commission from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to create Oscar portraits.

You can check out the actual player portrait given out by Union Oil on the right. Also, this Koufax portrait was also used by Maruzen Oil in Japan for a limited edition promotion related to the Dodgers 'Tour of Japan' in 1966. You can see that here.

As I indicated above, I was hoping this painting would get overlooked at the Goldin Auction. With only a week or so left til the auctions close I decided to place a bid in hopes of adding it my my wall. At the time, there were no bids on the painting, so I figured there may a chance it gets overlooked by Koufax collectors. Unfortunately, a flurry of bids came in late, and it ended up selling for a little more than what I was willing to pay. It closed at $491 (including buyer premium). In retrospect, that price might be low.

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

2017 Topps Now - Bellinger is a NL Rookie of the Year Finalist

This newest Topps Now card of Cody Bellinger is superfluous. After all, we all know he's going to win the award - to be announced this evening. So, what's the point of a "finalist" card if it's reasonably assured he'll come away the victor?

Sales, baby!

It's all about the dollars and cents.

Available right now (for at least a few more hours) is the above card. Go here to check it out. As you may know, the official winner will be announced on the MLB Network this afternoon at 3:00 PM PST. Soon thereafter you should expect a Cody Bellinger "ROY" card to be available from Topps Now.

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

Blog Kiosk: 11/13/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Weekend Odds and Ends

Dodgers alumnus Ron Cey, Manny Mota, Billy Ashley and Dennis Powell came out to Dodger Stadium on Saturday to help train 300 active duty service members and veterans in honor of Veterans Day for an afternoon of batting practice. Per Ron Cervenka at Think Blue LA:
“To watch these families come in, we have over 300 families, they’re veterans and active military,” explains Dodgers vice president of external affairs and community relations Naomi Rodriguez. “But it’s not just the actual veteran or the military, it’s their mother, and their father, and their daughter, and their grandparents. Those are the people also that are supporting our military that serve our country. 
“So when I see them walk into the stadium, there’s this …  it’s like amazing feeling in their eyes. Kids are walking into Dodger Stadium, this beautiful stadium, on the field. How many people get to walk on the field and then enjoy it the way our players enjoy it? So that, for me, is just a great way to say ‘thank you’ to them, to honor their service, and I know they look forward to coming every year.”
Photos above via @Dodgers on twitter. Below are more links to check out:

Friday, November 10, 2017

2017 Topps Chrome Update Series - All the Dodgers Cards

Here is another retail exclusive Toops card brand that can currently be found only at Target stores. It is the Update version of the Topps Chrome set, and it includes All-Star cards and a rookie card of Dodgers phenom Cody Bellinger. Go here to see a complete checklist.

There are five Dodgers in the 100 card base set, and all five cards have an autographed version inserted into packs. Check them all out below. Unfortunately, it appears all the Bellinger autographed cards come only as a redemption.


#HMT10 Cody Bellinger RC

2017 Topps Now - Seager's Silver Slugger and Bellinger's Players Choice Award

I've got two new 2017 Topps Now Dodgers' cards here. Unfortunately, one of them is no longer available for order (it came out yesterday). The first one shown here can be ordered right now. Featured above is the shortstop Silver Slugger Award commemorative card showing Corey Seager and Francisco Lindor. Go here to check it out and order. Per the description on the reverse:
The Silver Slugger Awards honor the top hitter at each position for each league in Major League Baseball, as voted on by MLB managers and coaches, who could not vote for someone on their team. Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians won the award for shortstop in the American League while Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers took home the award for shortstop in the National League.

Blog Kiosk: 11/10/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Although this is far from the most artistic photograph you'll ever see, it is interesting. Featured here is a March 1943 ACME press photo (eBay auction link) of America's finest at West Point watching the Brooklyn Dodgers train. Per the descriptor on the reverse:
Dodgers Try Indoor Training Ground -- General Mud was a wartime stymie in the field of sport, today, He ousted the Dodgers from their Bear Mountain training camp and sent them scurrying to the safety of the West Point Academy Field House. Here, soldiers sneak a look through the net as the famous Bums get the kinks out of their batting arms.
Below are more links to check out:

Thursday, November 09, 2017

A Willard Mullin Brooklyn "Bum" Drawing at Hunt Auctions

As I've said many times before, I can't get enough of Willard Mullin's artwork.

Featured here is another one of his original drawings, circa 1950's, featuring the Brooklyn Dodgers "Bum" that is currently available at Hunt Auctions. (auction link)

As you can see, the rather befuddled Dodgers mascot is lamenting the good play of two of his rivals -- the Phildalphia Phillies "Whiz Kids" and the St. Louis Cardinals lead by Stan "The Man" himself. At the same time, he begs for the Braves to finally start winning -- no doubt hoping that the Dodgers will benefit.

Blog Kiosk: 11/9/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

This is the greatest thing ever!

It also saddens me that I am only hearing about this now.

Featured above is a fantastic mural found in a home now occupied by Lakers radio play-by-play man John Ireland. As you can see, it features a smiling Steve Sax playing some ball with the Three Stooges. According to  Whitney Mcintosh at SB Nation the home was once occupied by former Dodger second baseman Steve Sax, and she shares a fantastic interview with him to talk all about it. Check it out here.
Q: So when did you paint the mural? Was it after the World Series or had it been there for a while?
A: I bought this house … actually, I bought it when it was being constructed in 1984 and this was a game room I had upstairs and there wasn’t much to it other than that I was a big Three Stooges fan and it was a game room, a fun room. So I asked a guy to paint a mural of me and The Three Stooges together and he did.
Below are more links to check out:

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

2017 Panini National Treasures - The Dodgers Base Cards

Here are the Dodgers base cards found in packs of Panini's 2017 National Treasures Baseball card set. Go here for a complete checklist.

This brand hit store shelves a couple of weeks ago, but I am only now getting to it. As always, this set includes no team emblems or logos. The base set includes both relic and autographed cards (both Dodger signatures require a redemption card), and as you can see it's filled with a bunch of Brooklyn Dodgers. Although I'm not a huge fan of this set, it is refreshing that cards are still being made of some ol' time Dodgers'.


#3 Don Drysdale                    #9 Gil Hodges

Fantasy Cards Galore of Andre Ethier

Alright... I admit it!

I've got a little bit of a man-crush for Andre.

He's likely seen his last days in Dodger Blue -- considering the Dodgers declined their team option earlier this week. That said, a part of me that saw that wave of Dodger prospects make good a decade or so ago is sorry to see that era hit its twilight. The Dodgers had some great kids back then -- along with Ethier came Kemp, Loney, Billingsley, Broxton and Martin (just to name a few).

Amazingly, though, it was Andre Ethier who outlasted all of them. In honor of that I've made even more fantasy Baseball cards of him for you all to enjoy. On Monday, I shared some 50's era Ethier cards (link here). Today, here are some 1960's era Andre Ethier cards. BTW, I did not include a 1965 Topps version because my template sucks for that year. If you happen to have a good photoshop template of that card year please pass that along.

Blog Kiosk: 11/8/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

This photo has nothing to do with the Dodgers, but it is magnificent nonetheless. Featured is January 1942 photo by noted photojournalist Arthur Rothstein titled; "Saturday morning baseball game. Farm Security Administration camp in Robstown, Texas." It was shared by the Shorpy photo blog.

Below are more links to check out:

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

2017 Topps Now - Awards Finalist - Clayton Kershaw and Cody Bellinger

Topps Now is a good example that there is no rest for the weary.

Even after an intense race for the pennant and an even more exhaustive World Series, Topps Now does not stop. It goes on long after the season has seen its last pitch.

Featured here are two Dodgers' 2017 Topps Now cards that celebrate their inclusion as one of three finalist for the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards. At top is the Clayton Kershaw Cy Young finalist card. Go here to check it out and order.

Cody Bellinger Named to 2017 Topps MLB All-Star Rookie Cup Team

For most folks this honor bestowed by Topps is but a small highlight. For a collector like myself it's the ultimate sign of respect.

This morning Topps announced, through the MLB Network (twitter video link here), their All-Star Rookie Cup Team, and one Dodger made the cut.

Can you guess who it was?

2017 Topps Archives Signature Series - The Dodgers Cards

The Topps buy-back autograph brand, Archive Signature Series, is back and this time they focus strictly on currently active ballplayers. Last year this product featured former MLB All-Stars. BTW, a Postseason edition of this product is slated to be released later this week.

According to the available checklist only five Dodgers are available -- Adrian Gonzalez, Corey Seager, Julio Urias, Justin Turner and Kenta Maeda. Go here for a complete checklist.

Below is a listing of known (so far to me) Dodger cards. Unfortunately, all Seager cards come as an redemption. Also, although Justin Turner is on the checklist I have not yet seen one card available for sale. The list below is not likely to be complete.  There are no doubt numerous "1 of 1" cards and other scarcities still lurking in unopened boxes or in private collections.

Adrian Gonzalez

2014 Topps                   2015 Topps

Blog Kiosk: 11/7/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

"They're Signed with the Navy"

In wartime all must serve -- even ballplayers. Featured here are two Brooklyn Dodgers who have joined the Armed Forces. Check out Hugh Casey and Pee Wee Reese in the midst of putting on their Navy Baseball uniform. Per the description on the reverse:
They wear different uniforms now but Hugh Casey, (left), and Pee Wee Reese, former Brooklyn Dodgers' pitcher and shortstop respectively, are still playing ball -- but now, it's for Uncle Sam. They're batting 'em out at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk and are the nucleus of one of the best service team in the country.
Dated September 12, 1943, this vintage US Navy press photo from ACME was on auction at RMY, but did not sell. Check out the listing here. Below are more links to check out:

Monday, November 06, 2017

Thank You for Being Blue, Andre Ethier! -- Some Fantasy Baseball Cards

In light of this weekends news that longtime Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier's club option for the 2018 season has been declined by the team, I thought I would take some time to honor him by making a bunch of fantasy Baseball cards. Check them out.

As you know, Andre was the longest tenured Dodger on the team -- 12 years. He came to us originally via a trade that sent troubled outfielder Milton Bradley to the A's in late 2005. By May Andre was a regular in the Dodgers outfield, and he would be one of the first of several young farmhands to make an impact on the team. Other youngsters to come up at about this time include Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, James Loney, Jason Repko, Willy Aybar, Cody Ross, Hong-Chih Kuo, Jonathan Broxton and Chad Billingsley.

Overall, Andre Ethier slashed .285/.359/.463/.822 with 122 OPS+, two all-star appearances (2010 & 2011), a Silver Slugger (2009), and a Gold Glove (2011). Ethier also ranks first in franchise history for postseason games played (51), eighth in doubles (303), tied for 12th in homers (162), 13th in games played (1,455) and RBI's (687), and 17th in hits (1,367) and walks (519).

I've made Ethier cards using the Topps Bsseball designs from 1952 to 1959. Stay tuned, I think it is likely I'll continue making Ethier cards over the winter.

Blog Kiosk: 11/6/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

The Dodgers bought a full page ad in the Houston Chronicle's commemorative section of their paper on Sunday to congratulate the Houston Atros on winning the World Series. See the ad on the right.

Advertising graphic via Chronicle reporter Joseph Duarte on twitter. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: I'm really stretching for news here. In 2006 Dodger fan Charles Littleton, a 22-year old Saginaw Valley State University student is TASERed with 50,000 volts by Saginaw (MI) police when he refuses to remove his Dodger cap during a City Council meeting. He is there to receive extra credit for a sociology class. See a news report here. In 2014 the Dodgers officially hire Zaidi Farhan to be their new General Manager. He takes over a  position previously held by Ned Colletti.
  • Happy Birthday, Bob DarnellJohn CandelariaChad Curtis!