Friday, February 23, 2018

A Peek at the Kirk Gibson Special Edition Bobblehead


As I'm sure you've heard, Opening Week at Dodger Stadium will feature a partnership between the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) and the Kirk Gibson Foundation to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s Disease. Proceeds from the 50-50 raffle and the silent auction will go towards this effort. Additionally, Dodger hero Kirk Gibson will be on-hand to throw the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day (Thursday, March 29th). Then the following evening (Friday, March 30th) the first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a special edition bobblehead that celebrates Gibson's walk-off home run during Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.  This bobble is in addition to the ten bobbleheads already slated to be released later on in the season.

To the right is a first look at this bobble. Per a Dodgers press release:
The Kirk Gibson Foundation (more information: KirkGibsonFoundation.org) is committed to raising money and awareness for Parkinson’s Research by promoting collaboration, cooperation and teamwork, and on Opening Day, the Dodgers and LADF will support that mission by donating the proceeds from the LADF 50-50 Raffle. LADF will also hold an online auction from April 9-30 for 88 limited-edition, Gibson-autographed bobbleheads and the Dodgers’ game-worn jerseys from the Friday, March 30 game with proceeds benefitting the Kirk Gibson Foundation. Gibson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2015. 
“I’d like to thank the Dodger organization, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and Dodger fans for their support of the Kirk Gibson Foundation and Parkinson’s Disease research. We’re going to be able to help a lot of people through the money raised during Opening week,” said Gibson. “I’m honored to help kick off the Dodgers’ 60th anniversary celebration, and am looking forward to re-living many magical moments at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day and on my bobblehead night.” 

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

Blog Kiosk: 2/23/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


It was photo day yesterday for the Dodgers at Camelback Ranch, and I think it's fair to say that all had a lot of fun. Folks were hamming it up and even kissing at every opportunity.

Photos above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2018 at Dodger Insider. Go here to check out more pics from yesterday. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1934 the Dodgers signed Casey Stengel, a coach for them at the time, to be their manager. In 1960 the demolition of Ebbets Field in Brooklyn begins. In 2009 the Dodgers signed free agent first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz to a minor league contract. He would make the Major League roster as a pinch hitter and appeared seven games before dislocating his shoulder in April. He would return again in September.
  • Happy Birthday, Ron HuntGrant ThatcherPhil HaugstadJohn ShelbyBobby Bonilla & Luke Prokopec!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Steve Sax on Saturday

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.

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Don Sutton was originally scheduled to appear, but is now unable to. In his place will be former Dodgers second baseman and fan favorite Steve Sax. He will be signing autographs at the Grand Opening of an Dick's Sporting Good store in Santa Maria on Saturday, February 24th from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM. Go here for more information.

**WRISTBAND REQUIRED! Free autograph signing at Grand Opening Event. Wristbands to be handed out upon store opening at 8am. You may leave and come back to enter the autograph line before the start of the signing.
DICK'S Sporting Goods - Enos Ranch
775 East Betteravia Road
Santa Maria, CA, 93454
(805)863-9065

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

2018 Topps Industry Conference - All the Dodgers Cards

This past weekend Topps held its first ever Topps Industry Conference in Arizona, and as you might expect hobby shop attendees where given special promotional cards. Thankfully, a checklist of those cards is now available, and as you can see there are numerous Dodger players available. Go here to check out a complete checklist. Below is a Dodger checklist. Unfortunately, I have only seen the Mike Piazza autograph and Kershaw autograph relic cards so far.

Autograph

  • #TSUM-AV Alex Verdugo
  • #TSUM-CK Clayton Kershaw
  • #TSUM-MP Mike Piazza
  • #TSUM-SK Sandy Koufax
#TSUM-MP Mike Piazza (#/3)    #TSUM-CK Clayton Kershaw (#/3)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Blog Kiosk: 2/20/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


I like this new motto.

This morning Dodger broadcaster Alanna Rizzo, via her twitter, shared the clubs motto for the upcoming season: "LA: Determined."

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1936 the Dodgers and Yankees complete their very first trade with each other. Brooklyn sent Buzz Boyle, Johnny McCarthy and $40,000 to the New York Yankees for Buddy HassettIn 1984 Pedro Guerrero signed a five-year $7MM contract to stay a Dodger. In 2017 the Dodgers signed free agent outfielder Franklin Gutierrez to a one-year $2.6MM contract. He would only get into 35 games (primarily as a pinch hitter) before shutting down in June due to an recurrence of ankylosing spondylitis.
  • Happy Birthday, Charlie BabbJack Bolling!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Blog Kiosk: 2/19/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


This is a good beginning.

Today is the first full squad workout for the Dodgers, and as you can see in the pic above (via @Dodgers on twitter) they began the morning huddled in the clubhouse like a team on a mission. Per Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider:
“I think it is a good sign,” (Dave) Roberts said. “It’s a good sign as far as those guys showing up wanting to work, and it’s our jobs as coaches to really understand we have a long way to go, so we’ve got to temper it a little bit. 
“It’s funny. Outside of the kind of normal pleasantries of seeing guys you hadn’t seen, it’s sort of business as usual, and I like that mindset here. It’s very workman-like, methodical, and that’s kind of what we want our ball club to be.”
Below are more links to check out:

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Blog Kiosk: 2/15/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


This is the cutest thing I've ever seen. Apparently, Clayton Kershaw has a new Valentine.

Photo above via Camelback Ranch on twitter. Go here to check out  a bunch of pics taken by Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo here. Below are more links to check out:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day in Fantasy Baseball Card Form


No Valentine's Day could possibly complete without a handful of fantasy Baseball cards to celebrate the occasion; especially considering that today also marks the very first full day of workouts for the Dodgers at Spring Training.

Naturally, I had to make a couple of cards featuring Puig and Ward's growing romance on the field. As we all know, Puig has had his struggles at the plate, so when batting coach Turner Ward righted his ship Yasiel was compelled to express gratitude. As a result, we fans are treated to an hilarious amount of hugging and smooching in the dugout. There is no doubt that Puig is the amorous sort.

My favorite, though, has to be the grainy 'black & white' pic used for the card on the bottom right. Featured are (L to R) Morganna Roberts, Wes Parker and Astros third sacker Doug Rader (dated 1/1/1970). For those of you too young to remember, Morganna -- better known as the Kissing Bandit -- was a huge fan favorite. For three decades, from 1969 to 1999, she would scramble onto the field and assault a ballplayer with a kiss. Fans, of course, cheered. Major League Baseball, on the other hand, was not too pleased. Nevertheless, she continued her antics and has a permanent place in the memories of millions of Baseball fans.

As for the specific scenario below, here is what the descriptor to the AP Press photo:
Morganna Roberts comes running out the stands to kiss Los Angeles Dodgers Wes Parker, who is being caught and held by Houston Astros third baseman Doug Rader on Tuesday July 1, 1970 in Los Angeles, Calif. 
That's quite a sandwich.

BTW, there's a little documentary available for viewing on YouTube here.

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

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Basketball Stars in Town for All-Star Game

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.

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Lakers legend Michael Cooper will be signing autograph photos to fans at the Pro Image Sports store in the Westfield Culver City Mall on Saturday, February 17th from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM. This event requires a qualifying purchase to get an autograph. Go here for more information.
Pro Image Sports Store
Westfield Culver City, Culver City, CA
6000 Sepulveda Boulevard, Suite #1577
Culver City CA 90230

Blog Kiosk: 2/14/2018 - Dodgers Links - Happy Valentine's Day!


The boys are back! Per Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
"The challenge is keeping guys sharp but rested," said Roberts, embarking on his third season as manager of a club that has won its division each of the last five years. "We'll cut guys short, give them more days off, back-field work, at-bats in Minor League games. But to sit in a Major League game for 2 1/2 hours to get two or three at-bats the first couple weeks doesn't make much sense." 
General manager Farhan Zaidi sounded the same cautionary tone. 
"Our responsibility is to monitor and make sure in April this group is not experiencing any physical effects from the long season," Zaidi said.
Photos above via @Dodgers on twitter - likely taken by Jon SooHoo. BTW, Jon SooHoo shared even more pictures from the first day of Spring Training, here. Below are more links to check out:

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Welcome Back to the Blue, Chase Utley!


To the surprise of no one, Chase Utley is coming to the Dodgers -- at least that's the unconfirmed report. Per a tweet by Jon Heyman:
Some folks might wonder, why? After all, Utley isn't the same player he was when he starred for the Phillies. Rather, he's a guy who's skill at the plate and on the field have diminished as the grey turns to white. Like a lot of things, though, it's that touch of grey that brings value to the club.

Blog Kiosk: 2/13/2018 - Dodgers Links - Pitcher's and Catcher's Report Day!


Today is the day when it all become real. Today is the official beginning of Spring Training for the Dodgers. All pitcher's and catcher's are scheduled to report to Camleback Ranch. Coincidentally, we also got our first look at the Dodgers 2018 yearbook. Check it out above. Per Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider:
A special cover story details how the Dodgers came to be in Los Angeles, the team’s impact on the city and the magical moments throughout the past 60 years of LA Dodger baseball, complete with photos, infographics and quotes from some of the unforgettable legends of the past six decades.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1968 the Dodgers completed a rare trade with the Giants. In fact, it would be 17 years before another trade is consummated between the two clubs. They shipped Ron Hunt and Nate Oliver to San Francisco for catcher Tom Haller and a minor leaguer. Haller would play four seasons in LA; slashing .276/.344/.393/.737. He would also garner MVP consideration his two first seasons in Blue -- coming in 22nd in '68 and 29th in '69.
  • Happy Birthday, Wayne LeMasterGilly CampbellTodd WilliamsErnie RudolphEddie Pye & Nathan Eovaldi!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Blog Kiosk: 2/12/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


This is just a spring training photo to help you get prepared for the week. As you know, Dodger pitchers and catchers are scheduled to officially report to Camelback Ranch tomorrow. Above is a 1960 spring training photo featuring veteran Gil Hodges showing 23-year old youngster Frank Howard how to man the base, via an eBay listing. Per the descriptor:
Frank Howard, right, Los Angeles rookie outfielder, who the Dodgers will tryout at first base at their spring training camp, watches veteran first baseman Gil Hodges whom he will try to oust at the workout today. The 6 foot 7 inch Howard was named minor league player of 1959, a year in which he clammed 44 home runs, 27 with Victoria, 16 with Spokane and one as a pinch hitter with the Dodgers.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 2009 a $4.8MM civil lawsuit was filed against former Dodger infielder José Offerman by catcher John Nathans. As a member of the independent Long Island Ducks in 2007 he charged the pitcher with his bat in tow after being hit by a pitch. The pitcher suffered a broken finger and the catcher had a concussion (effectively ending his playing career) from the melee. Offerman is eventually found guilty and ordered to pay $940,000.
  • Happy Birthday, Sweetbread BaileyEnzo HernándezDon StanhouseDennis Springer!

Friday, February 09, 2018

2018 Dodger Spring Training Info and Complete Roster


The Dodgers just released their entire 2018 Spring Training roster, so I thought I would pass that along (see at very bottom).  This should be a helpful guide for those of you attending games at Camelback Ranch.  After all, it just isn't reasonable for you to know everybody's number.  BTW, this list will likely adjust/change as Spring Training moves along.  I'll do my best to update this.  Below are some pertinent dates to keep in mind:
  • Tuesday, February 13 - Pitchers and Catchers Report 
  • Wednesday, February 14 - Pitchers and Catchers 1st Workout
  • Sunday, February 18 - Position Players Report 
  • Monday, February 19 - First Full-Squad Workout 
  • Thursday, February 22 - Dodgers Photo Day (media related event only) 
  • Wednesday, March 7 - All Minor League Players 1st Workout
Here are the typical batting and field practice schedules for home games.

Check Out this Vintage Dodger Pinstripes Uniform - 1933


For most folks the last thing to come to mind when thinking about the Dodgers is pinstripes, but here we are. Featured is a vintage 1933 Brooklyn Dodger uni that is currently on auction at Heritage (Heritage auction link), and as you can see it comes with something associated more closely associated with the Yankees. For those who do not know, the Dodgers wore pinstripes at various times throughout their early history -- lastly in 1936.

Blog Kiosk: 2/9/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


The Dodgers have now completed their annual Spring move to Camelback Ranch. On Wednesday the club packed up their stuff (see the photo on the top right), and then landed in Arizona and unpacked yesterday (see the photo on the top right). Pics above via @Dodgers and @CamelbackRanch on twitter.

Below are more links to check out:

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Blog Kiosk: 2/8/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


It's so close I can taste it!

Pitchers and catchers report on Tuesday. Graphic above of Rich Hill via @Dodgers on twitter.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1916 National League owners voted down a proposal by Dodgers owner Charles Ebbets that would impose a limit of 2,000 seats that a club can sell for 25 cents. In 1933 the Dodgers traded their soon-to-be Hall of Fame pitcher Dazzy Vance to the Cardinals for a couple of scrubs. In 1982 the Dodgers traded longtime second baseman Davey Lopes to the A's for a minor leaguer. This trade broke up the longest-playing infield in major league history. In 1995 the Dodgers signed Japanese free agent pitcher Hideo Nomo. He would have a fantastic rookie campaign -- going 13-6 with an 2.54 ERA, a league leading 236 strike outs and three shutouts.
  • Happy Birthday, Bruce CaldwellBert HaasCharlie Householder & Joe Black!

Saturday was Dodgers Night at the LA Kings Game -- Once Again I Did Not Win a Jersey


The only thing better than seeing the Kings win a game at home is to see them do on Dodgers Night.

This past Saturday they hosted their annual Dodgers Night event at the Staples Center, and this time every fan in attendance received a freebie. Check it out below. It's a co-branded drawstring backpack. In years past they would only give out a Dodger related gift to those who purchase a special ticket package for the game -- much like what they do at Dodger games for events like Star Wars Night.

This evening they faced off against the hated, and currently terrible, Arizona Coyotes, on the ice, but before they dropped the puck the Kings took their pregame skate wearing a special jersey that would be auctioned during the game in benefit of the Kings Care Foundation. Check out my pics from the skate below. Click on any pic to embiggen.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Blog Kiosk: 2/7/2018 - Dodgersw Links - Some Odds and Ends


After two seasons in Dodger Blue Kenta Maeda finally made it to a Lakers game. Here he is above with Dodger translator Will Ireton (wearing the Lakers Lucha Libre mask) and friend, via Maeda's Instagram. He wrote:
My first @lakers and NBA game was a success! Had a great time and it was even better with a Laker win! 
For the sake of the Lakers season I think he needs to go more often. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1958 the Dodgers officially became the Los Angeles Dodgers, Inc. In 2006 the Dodgers signed Japanese pitcher Takashi Saito to a free agent minor league contract. Saito made the Opening Day roster and would quickly become a fan favorite. That first season he would record 24 saves with an 2.07 ERA, 1.87 FIP and come in 8th place in Cy Young voting.
  • Happy Birthday, Tom Daly, Mel AlmadaCy MooreArt JonesJohnny Werhas & Burt "Happy" Hooton!

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

My 2018 Dodgers FanFest Recap - Photos and Links


I thought I would borrow the lyrics of a famous song and mutilate it.
"Lines, Lines, Everywhere there's Lines"
It was packed that Saturday. More packed than a can of sardines in the the middle of a pallet of canned sardines. Moving around from the concourse to the field and back to the concourse was an almost impossible task. Everywhere you went you ran into a line for this or that. In fact, it was so crowded I've heard rumblings that this was the least enjoyable of all the FanFests held thus far.

Nevertheless, I am certain that an majority thought differently. Most, it seemed, were just happy to be back at "Blue Heaven on Earth," and eager for the 2018 season to begin. I know, I am. BTW, there were over 35,000 Dodgers fans at the stadium -- a new record.

As for the event itself, it was set-up almost exactly as last year -- with the exception of the stage being relocated to behind second base. In prior years it had been placed along the right field line. Also, the area behind the pavilion seats (in the parking lot area) was expanded and enlarged.


Blog Kiosk 2/6/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds Ends


It's not often you see something like this on the ballfield today. Featured above is a vintage ACME press photo of a pregame ceremony at Ebbets Field in 1946. On this day the Dodger players presented their GM with a gift, and it wasn't a Timex.
Dodgers Give Present to Branch Rickey 9/25/46 -- Dodger Manager Leo Durocher, General Manager Branch Rickey and Dixie Walker (left to right). Dodgers presented a $5,100 boat cruiser to Rickey before the game with the Phillies at Ebbets Field Sept. 25. Walker, spokesman for the team, said "The Boys wanted to do something for the boss in appreciation for what he has done for us."
BTW, that $5,100 present would be worth $61,630 in today's dollars. The press photo above was on auction at RMY, but did not sell (auction link). Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 2014 the Dodgers signed a free agent minor league contract with third baseman Justin Turner.  He had just been released by the Mets, and was only given an invitation to spring training by the Dodgers.  To the surprise of many, Turner would have a breakout season and become an important leader in the clubhouse.
  • Happy Birthday, Andy SommervilleRube WardRed Downey & Glenn Wright!

Monday, February 05, 2018

2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball - The Rest of the Dodgers Insert Cards

Here is a last final look at the various Dodgers' insert cards that can be found in packs of 2018 Topps Series 1. Featured below are the "Legends in the Making", Cut Signatures, "In The Name" Relics, All-Star Medallions, MLB Awards, Opening Day, Spring Training Patches, Players Weekend, Home Run Challenge and original "1 of 1" Sketch cards.

BTW, all Bellinger autographed cards come as a redemption. Also, I've included the three known Dodgers' original "Sketch" cards, and will try to periodically updated this post should any more turn up. On another note, the Cody Belling original "Sketch" looks more like Kiké Hernández than Cody -- just my opinion.

Legends in the Making

#LTM-CB Cody Bellinger         #LTM-CE Corey Seager

Friday, February 02, 2018

2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball - More Dodger Insert Cards

Here is a second group of Dodgers' inserts available in packs of 2018 Topps Series 1 packs. Featured below are the Postseason Performance Relics, Superstar Sensation, Topps Now Top 10 and Topps Salute cards.

Notably, we get a first look at a 2018 card featuring Yu Darvish as a Dodger. Also, all of the Cody Bellinger autographed cards below only come with a redemption card.

Postseason Performance Relics

#PSP-CK Clayton Kershaw                #PSP-CS Corey Seager

Blog Kiosk: 2/2/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


Here's a look at Dodger veteran Pee Wee Reese on Camera Day at the LA Coliseum in April 1959 that is currently available at RMY Auction (auction link).

As nice as the above press photo is I think the photos being taken by those fans would be even cooler to see.

Below are more links to check out:

Thursday, February 01, 2018

2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball - The 1983 & Major League Materials Dodgers' Cards

Now that you've seen the Dodgers' base cards, here is a look at a couple insert set that are available. Featured below are the Dodger cards found in the 1983 Topps throwback-styled cards and the Major League Materials sets.

1983 Topps Baseball

#83-9 Alex Verdugo      #83-16 Clayton Kershaw

#83-20 Alex Wood             #83-25 Yu Darvish

Dodgers Gave Out GIF Cards at FanFest


I knew I would be missing out on these; especially considering how crowded it was.

First of all, I promise I'll have a post up featuring my pics from the 2018 FanFest at Dodger Stadium soon. In the meantime, check out some very limited GIF cards handed out by the Dodgers during the event.

From what I understand, the Dodgers announced, through their twitter, various GIF card freebies that were given out at a specific time and location during FanFest. They were limited to only the first 100 fans, so these might prove to be one of the more scarce memorabilia items given out by the team. Furthermore, I had been told that four different cards would be given away, but I could only find three online. So, if you happen to know who the fourth card is please let me know.

Blog Kiosk: 2/1/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


Here's something historical.

Featured above is an original Sporting News press photo, dated August 26, 1939, featuring an on-camera interview between Dodgers broadcaster Red Barber and Dodger rookie skipper Leo Durocher that is currently on auction at RMY Auction (auction link).

You might be wondering, "what's so important about this pic? After all, we see this scene play out multiple times a day on local sports television."

Well, this game, between the Dodgers and Reds at Ebbets Field, happens to be the very first Baseball game ever broadcast on television. So, the scene you see above is a first for everyone in the photo.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1919 the Dodgers trade Jake Daubert to the Reds for outfielder Tommy GriffithIn 1959 the ever-popular Brooklyn Dodgers outfielder Zach Wheat is unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. In 1976 East Lansing police arrest Dodgers reliever Mike Marshall for disobeying the orders set by the Michigan State University police prohibiting him from taking batting practice. MSU feared he would hit balls too far and injure students at an adjacent tennis court. Marshall protests that it is against his rights as an MSU instructor and files a lawsuit against the school.
  • Happy Birthday, Chuck ChurnElian HerreraJustin Sellers & Brett Anderson!