Friday, July 20, 2018

2018 Donruss Optic - All the Dodgers Cards

Panini America released their newest Baseball card set this week and I have pics of most of the Dodgers' cards found within packs. Go here for a complete checklist.

Overall, this is an extremely disappointing set. The images for the base cards are exact carbon copies of their 2018 Donruss set; with the exception being the two Rated Rookie players -Walker Buehler and Alex Verdugo. All they did was slap a different card design on the same pics. You can compare here. There are also a few insert cards that are exact copies from the Donruss set -- Longball Leaders, Mound Marvels and Out of This World. All they did was change the Donruss logo to an Optic logo.

Check out all the cards below.

Diamond Kings

#14 Clayton Kershaw

Blog Kiosk: 7/20/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


When Manny met Vinny.

BTW, Manny will wear #8 as a Dodger. Also, it appears that Andrew Toles will be sent down to Triple-A to make room for Machado (via a tweet from Ken Gurnick).

Photo above via @Dodgers on twitter. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1906 Brooklyn Superbas (Dodgers) pitcher Mal Eason no-hit the Cardinals in St. Louis, 2-0. In 1925 future Hall of Famer and Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Dazzy Vance struck out 17 Cubs to defeat Chicago 4-3 in 10 innings. In 1970 Dodger hurler Bill Singer no hit the Phillies at Dodger Stadium, 5-0. Singer struck out ten, walked none and committed two errors on the field.
  • Happy Birthday, Heinie ManushClaude Crocker & Charles Johnson!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

2018 Allen & Ginter - Dodgers Insert Cards

Now that you've seen the base cards here are some of the inserts. Featured are the Superstitions, Fantasy Goldmine, World Talent, Artist Originals and Box Loader Dodger cards found in packs of 2018 Allen & Ginter.

Of the grouping below I like the Kershaw Superstitions card the best. Although, what he's doing on the card isn't any sort of superstition -- it's a routine centered on keeping his arm healthy.

Superstitions

#MBS-10 Between-Inning Routine (Kershaw)

Blog Kiosk: 7/19/2019 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


You know the story about how Branch Rickey asked Jackie Robinson to hold his tongue when he joined the Dodgers and at the same time promised that those reigns would be let loose a few years later? Well, above is a 1949 Wide World Photos press photograph, that recently sold at RMY Auctions, showing Jackie Robinson free from those restrictions. Per the descriptor on the reverse:
Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers second baseman, is restrained by coach Clyde Sukeforth (15) during verbal tiff in ninth inning of first game of afternoon-night doubleheader with Cardinals today. Robinson returned to second base and ejected a short time later by umpire Bill Stewart for making a significant gesture. Umpire at right is Dusty Boggoss. Second from left is Cards catcher, Joe Gargiola and behind him is coach Tony Kaufman. 9/21/1949
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1977 Don Sutton took home All-Star Game MVP honors when the NL defeated the AL 7-5 at Yankee Stadium. As the starting pitcher, Sutton pitched three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, one walk and struk out four. Fellow teammate Steve Garvey hit a third inning solo home run. In 1993 outfielder Raul Mondesi made his Major League debut and recorded a single in his very first at-bat. 
  • Happy BirthdayBill HartErve BeckBen GeraghtyLuis Avilan & Rachel Robinson

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Welcome to the Blue, Manny Machado!


News is spreading fast that the deal is now done. Manny Machado is a Dodger.

In return the Dodgers had to give up some talent, but it appears the damage is not as bad as I initially feared. Going to Baltimore is outfielder Yusniel Diaz, third baseman Rylan Bannon, right-hander Dean Kremer, righty Zach Pop and second baseman Breyvic Valera. Diaz is the key prospect in this trade. He had walloped two home runs during the recent All-Star Futures Game this past weekend, and you should expect him to be very good going forward. Bannon and Kremer are ranked as the clubs #27th and #28th best prospects in the system, per MLB Pipeline. Pop could be a serviceable reliever in the future and you know Valera from his recent stints in LA.

Overall, I think the Dodger did very well here. After all, most of their top-end guys are still with us.

On another note, Manny Machado has an instagram account: @machados13.

2018 Allen & Ginter - The Dodgers Base Cards


It's Allen & Ginter day!

Featured below are the Dodger base cards to the 2018 Allen & Ginter set. This brand officially hits stores today. Go here for a complete checklist. The below listing does not include the Mini Exclusives found only in RIP cards. These cards are numbered as part of the base set, but are far more difficult to find. So, I'll share pics of those once they are all unearthed.

Notably, Joc's older brother, Champ, has his own Allen & Ginter card to call his own. It is my understanding thet the reverse of the card indicates that he's an "advocate and motivational speaker". There is also a mini autographed Champ Pederson card available, and I've included a pic of it on the right.

Base

#6 Chris Taylor                #31 Joc Pederson

#42 Jackie Robinson              #43 Champ Pederson

Blog Kiosk: 7/18/2018 - Dodgers Links - Machado!


Is he, or is he not coming westward?

According to numerous scribes and prognosticators, the Manny Machado sweepstakes has been won by the Dodgers. He will be changing from the horrid orange to majestic Blue, and this Dodger fan cannot be more excited. Of course, it has yet to be confirmed by the league and the respective teams. Nevertheless, I'll take last night's "Selfie" moment as a sign. He's coming!

BTW, you should check out this fantastic photoshopped pic of the Selfie -- showing Machado in Blue -- here. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1939 the Dodgers receive shortstop Pee Wee Reese from the Red Sox in exchange for $35,000, three minor leaguers and a player to be named later. It is later discovered that a poor scouting report filled out by then current Boston shortstop Joe Cronin purposefully downplayed Reese's abilities for fear of losing his job. In 1949 Jackie Robinson testified in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities to express his disagreement with actor Paul Robeson's assertion that African-Americans would not fight a war against Russia due to America's history of racial animus. In 1957 Gil Hodges hit his 12th career grand slam to tie a National League record held by both Rogers Hornsby and Ralph Kiner.
  • Happy Birthday, Johnny Hopp!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

2018 Topps Now - All-Star Home Run Derby Relics - Max Muncy


Max Muncy must be having the time of his life. Not too long ago he was pondering whether he should continue his Baseball dream. Now, he is living that dream.

Yesterday, Muncy, a surprise entrant in the All-Star Home Run Derby, walloped 29 homers to advance one round, but couldn't get past eventual derby winner Bryce Harper. Nevertheless, it was awesome to see him get into that homer grove and it's even better that Topps has issued a series of relic cards to celebrate his evening. Featured here are five different numbered relic cards using a derby-worn sock.

That's right. It's his sock!

Directly above is a "1 of 1" relic (#HRD-19E) and it is available at $999.99. Go here to check it out. As of this posting it is still available for purchase. Below are the remaining four Muncy relic cards.

2018 MLB FanFest Giveaways - Cody Bellinger and Matt Kemp


(Via Brian Gross on Twitter)
With the 2018 MLB FanFest concluding today I thought it would be a good time to point to a couple of Dodger promos and exclusive cards made available to fans.

The first item shown isn't an actual card. Instead, it's a newspaper pullout from this past Friday's edition of The Washington Post.

As you can see in the pic on the right, there are 18 cutouts and starting outfielder Matt Kemp is one of them. You can take a closer look at Kemp above.

The only Dodgers card made specially for the FanFest is connected to the All-Star Game Edition of the 2018 Topps Factory set.

Blog Kiosk: 7/17/2018 - Dodgers Links - Muncy!


Max Muncy did us proud last night. He walloped 17 homers to defeat Javier Baez in the first round of the derby. Unfortunately, he couldn't outlast hometown favorite Bryce Harper. No matter, though. It was a blast to watch. Per Richard Justice at MLB.com:
"It was incredible," Muncy said. "It's hard to explain. It was so much fun being out there with all the guys. It was unbelievable -- music going, guys out there cheering, fans are cheering. It was a great experience."
Photo above of Muncy and Baez via MLB at Dodger Insider. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1954 the Dodgers field the very first starting nine that consist of a majority of black ballplayers for the first time in Major League history. In 1974 Dodger starter Tommy John suffers an arm injury on the mound against the Expos that would eventually lead to a revolutionary new surgery that would be widely known as "Tommy John" surgery -- to repair a torn ligament in the elbow by replacing it with a ligament taken from another part of the body. The surgery is performed by Dr. Frank Jobe. In 1976 Walter Alson wins his 2,000th game as a manager. His Dodgers defeat the Cubs in Los Angeles, 5-4. Alston would then leave the Dodgers at the end of this season -- finishing with a 2,040-1,613 lifetime mark as skipper.
  • Happy Birthday, Eddie Brown!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Champ Pederson Will Have a 2018 Allen & Ginter Baseball Card!


There is a fantastic surprise in this years Allen & Ginter set. Not only will it be filled with the typical group of players, it will also include the older brother of a current Dodger. The 2018 Allen & Ginter base set includes Champ Pederson, and Topps was kind enough to forward along a mock-up of the card to share here (Thanks, Susan!). BTW, there are also autographed inserts of Champ available, as well. Check out the base card above.

2018 Topps Archives Signature - Active Player Edition - The Dodgers

Topps Archives Signature cards have proven so popular they decided to split it up into two distinctive card brands this year - an Active Player and Retied Player Editions. Last week they released the Active Player Edition, and three Dodgers' are available, with the possibility of a fourth that has not been unearthed yet.

I can confirm the existence of autographed Dodger cards of Adrian Beltre, Alex Wood and Joc Pederson. The checklist (go here to check that out) also includes former Dodgers prospect and current Phillies first baseman Carlos Santana, but I have yet to see any signed Dodger cards of him.

Below is a listing of known (so far to me) Dodger cards. If you know of any more please pass that information along.

Adrian Beltre

1998 Topps New Breed      1999 Bowman Chrome

A Couple of Fantasy Baseball Cards in Honor of Chase Utley


In light of the recent announcement that Chase Utley would retire at the end of this season, I made a couple of fantasy Baseball cards in his honor. I am sure that over the course of the next several months I will make more. So, stay tuned for that.

Per Eric Stephen at True Blue LA:
“I transitioned to a part-time player, something that was new for me, but I took it in stride. I really enjoyed that time,” Utley said. “I’m also a part-time strength coach, a part-time pitching coach, occasionally a part-time catching coach, as well as a part-time general manager. 
“The thing I’m having the most difficult time with is being a part-time dad. That’s really the reason I’m shutting it down, to be a full-time dad. It is a difficult decision, but one I’m comfortable with.”

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

Blog Kiosk: 7/16/2018 - Dodgers Links - The All-Star Break


(Pic via Jon SooHoo/Dodgers at Dodger Insider)
After all of the hand-wringing in April, the Dodgers end the first-half of the season in first place. Per Kaelen Jones at MLB.com:
"The one thing that I really like about this team is how we really figured it out," said Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who tied for the NL lead with his 27th save. "That kind of shows you the type of players that we have in this locker [room], that we've got to put stuff behind us and never panic."
The Dodgers have had plenty of reason to panic. A post-World Series hangover lingered into the start of the 2018 season as they opened 16-26. Their starting pitching has been ravaged by injuries. That includes Kershaw, who appears to be back to full health just in time. 
"I think we're playing a little bit more now like what we are," Kershaw said. "I don't think we're a 16-26 ballclub, obviously. Good for us to right the ship; good for us to right the ship that quickly."
For his part, Clayton went 6.2 innings, allowed six hits including a three-run homer, struck out eight and walked four to help the Dodgers defeat the Angels, 5-3. The photo above of our all-stars at the very top via Jon SooHoo/Dodgers at Dodger Insider. Below are more links to check out:

Friday, July 13, 2018

Dodgers Memorabilia at Hunt Auctions Available at All-Star FanFest

Once again Hunt Auctions is hosting a live memorabilia auction at the All-Star Game FanFest, and there are some great Dodger goodies to gawk over. Most notable is the below game-used Brooklyn cap with two composite shell plates sewn in as protection that was purportedly worn by Jackie Robinson. (Auction Link)

Last year a similar Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers cap came up for auction at Lelands (link here) that had excellent provenance. That cap came from Jackie's wife, Rachel, and sold for an unbelievable $590,994 -- breaking a record established in 2012 when David Wells paid $537,278 for a Babe Ruth cap.

Shot Heard 'Round The World Relic Available at Goldin Auction


Dodgers fans both young and old know this story well.

In 1951 the Brooklyn team held a 13.5 game lead over the New York Giants with 44 games left to play. Remarkably, this lead wasn't enough. The Giants would pull off a monumental run that saw them win 37 of their final 44 games to pull into a tie with Brooklyn at the end of the regular season.

Quickly, a three-game playoff series was scheduled to determine the pennant winner. The Dodgers would lose the first game at Ebbets Field, 1-3, then win game two at the Polo Grounds, 10-0. The third and deciding game, played in upper Manhattan, came down to the wire. With the Dodgers leading 4-1 in the ninth the Giants rallied to score four runs to win, 5-4 -- with the dagger to the heart coming on a walk-off three-run home run by Bobby Thompson off of Dodger hurler Ralph Branca.

With that the "Shot Heard 'Round The World" was born.

Blog Kiosk: 7/13/2018 - Dodgers Links - First Place!


(Pic via Campbell Dunn/MLB.com)
The Dodgers now sit alone in first place in the NL West after they defeated the Padres last night, 3-2. Per Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
"Beats being in second place," said manager Dave Roberts, who promised when his club was at its lowest that it would rebound as it has.
"Beats being in fourth place. This is what we expected. Made it a little tough on ourselves early, but we righted the ship. We've got a long way to go." 
The Dodgers are 8-3 in July and 35-17 since May 24. Their .676 winning percentage since June 1 is the best in the National League.
BTW, I made the above Cody Bellinger fantasy Baseball card after seeing his Moms Instagram post celebrating her son's 23rd birthday today. She posted a Cody toddler photo and I knew I had to do something with it. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1954 Brooklyn's rookie manager Walter Alston makes the first of a record nine appearances as National League manager in the annual All-Star Game. Unfortunately, the National League would lose this game to the American League, 11-9.
  • Happy Birthday, John O'BrienDaryl Spencer & Cody Bellinger!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Angels Freeway Series Starts on Friday - ThinkCure! Weekend - Pregame Info and Other Stuff!


The next homestand starts on Friday against the Anaheim Angels. Below are some odds and ends for this upcoming homestand. Here are some important links:
The 10th annual ThinkCure! Weekend will take place against the Angels -- July 14th and 15th. This effort will seek to raise funds to support innovative cancer research and breakthrough therapies, many of which were developed at City of Hope.

We'll be able to celebrate courageous cancer survivors and pay tribute to the physicians and researchers keeping them alive this weekend. Since its inception they have raised more than $2 million in research grants for City of Hope, a world-renowned independent cancer and treatment center, to develop therapies to treat conditions such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, as well breast, prostate, colon, pancreatic, lung and brain cancer. Although people will not be able to donate in person at Dodger Stadium, they can donate at City of Hope’s ThinkCure! website, CityofHope.org/thinkcure. In addition to donations, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) will host an auction where fans can bid on autographed Dodger memorabilia. The online auction will run from July 23 to Aug. 6 at Dodgers.com/auctions. Proceeds will go to ThinkCure!. LADF will also contribute $25,000 to ThinkCure!.

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2018 Topps Big League Baseball - All the Dodgers Cards


Topps newest attempt to create an affordable Baseball card brand geared to towards young collectors is here. It is called 2018 Big League Baseball, and 19 Dodgers' are available in the 400 card base set. Go here to check out a complete checklist.

Notably, there are two base variations available -- Corey Seager and Kenley Jansen -- and they are featured wearing 2017 Players Weekend uniforms.

Below is a look at most of the Dodger cards found in packs.

Base

#15 Cody Bellinger                   #36 Yasiel Puig

2018 Topps Now - Home Run Derby - #HRD-6 - Max Muncy's First Standalone Dodger Card


At long last, Max Muncy has a Dodgers Baseball card to call his own.

Since being called up in mid-April Max Muncy has has done everything and more. Seemingly out of nowhere, he has dominated National League pitching to the tune of 20 home runs (4th best in the NL), an offensive WAR of 3.1 (9th best in the NL), a .614 slugging percentage (2nd best in the NL) and an on-base percentage of 1.030 (1st in the NL). Now, he will participate in his first Home Run Derby next week during All-Star festivities. Per Anthony Castrovince and Andrew Simon at MLB.com:
"It's going to be a heck of an experience," Muncy said. "Be the first time I'll be on a stage like that. Not sure what to expect, but I'm going to have fun with it. I'm sure once I get there, there will be a ton of nerves."

2018 Bowman Platinum - All the Dodgers Insert Cards

Here is a look at most of the Dodgers' inserts found in packs of the Walmart exclusive 2018 Bowman Platinum Baseball brand. Go here to check out the Dodgers base cards.

Top Prospects

#TOP-18 Keibert Ruiz            #TOP-22 Gavin Lux

Blog Kiosk: 7/12/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


Maeda's changeup has been otherworldly. Via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
"I've been able to use it effectively and I'm getting a lot of punchouts with it," said Maeda, who struck out nine for the fourth consecutive start, allowing only one first-inning run and limiting the Padres to four hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Per Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider:
With the help of Maeda, Dodger starting pitchers lead the NL in ERA and K/9. Maeda struck out eight of the first 14 batters he faced Wednesday, the majority of which went down against a change-up that continues to baffle hitters as it drops down below the zone. 
“It’s been a game-changer for Kenta,” manager Dave Roberts said of the change-up. “Everything just plays up off of that.”
Photo above via Campbell Dunn/MLB.com at Dodger Insider. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1949 the All-Star Game arrived at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn for the first and only time. Furthermore, this was also the first All-Star Game to inlcude black ballplayers -- Roy CampanellaJackie RobinsonDon Newcombe and Larry Doby of the Indians. In 1966 Dodger shortstop Maury Wills hit a walk-off single off of Pete Richert of the Senators in the tenth inning of the All-Star Game in St. Louis to help the National League defeat the American League, 2-1. Other Dodger participants include Jim Lefebvre (who went 0-for-2 as the starter at second base) and Sandy Koufax (who made his only career All-Star start, threw three innings, struck out one, gave up one hit and allowed a single run). Dodger hurler Phil Regan did not pitch. 
  • This historical event has nothing to do with the Dodgers, but is worth mentioning. On this date in 1979 the Chicago White Sox hosted Disco Demolition Night. As you may know, Chicagoan's had turned on disco by this time and basically rioted on the filed at old Comisky Park. You can watch a little documentary on it here and here.
  • Happy BirthdayJim PastoriousRay MoweArtie DedeAl GlossopRon FairlyMike MunozKelly Wunsch & Howie Kendrick

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Welcome to the Blue, Zac Rosscup!


More relief pitching depth is never a bad thing.

Earlier today we got word that the Dodgers had claimed another pitcher - this time from the Colorado Rockies. His name is Zac Rosscup and he's a lefty. You can also follow him on twitter here: @zrosscup. To create room on their 40-man roster the Dodgers DFA's left-handed pitcher Edward Paredes. Per a Dodger press release:
Rosscup, 30, has made 10 relief appearances with Colorado’s Triple-A Albuquerque, giving up just one earned run over 8.1 innings (1.08 ERA) and limiting the opposition to a .133 average. The Oregon native was originally selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, and was acquired by the Cubs in 2011 before being traded to the Rockies in 2017. Over the course of his career, the southpaw has a 3-1 record, 5.30 ERA (32 ER/54.1 IP), 1.55 WHIP in 71 career big league games over five seasons. He has limited left-handed batters to a .136 batting average (12-for-88), the third-lowest batting average vs. left-handers among active pitchers (min. 100 batters faced). Rosscup started the season on the 60-day disabled list with a blister on the left middle finger and has yet to play in the Majors this season.

The Topps Living Set - #53 - Walker Buehler


The third Dodger to be included in Topps Living Baseball card set has just been released. It is of rookie hurler Walker Buehler. Go here to check it out and order.  It will only be available for direct online purchase from Topps over the next seven days.

Weekend Autograph Opportunity: Justin Turner (photos only) and Caleb Ferguson

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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Dodgers 60th Anniversary Sets - The 90's - #22 to #28

It's about time I finally put this up. Featured here are the seven cards from the Dodgers 2018 60th Anniversary Baseball card set focused on the 90's. Like prior sets, the first six cards highlight Bellinger, Turner, Seager, Jansen, Taylor and Utley. The seventh card honors Mike Piazza.

Of all the sets they could have used for the base design, I can't believe they chose 1994 Topps. It is easily one of my least liked designs of the decade. Furthermore, it's a travesty they overlooked the 1991 set -- one of my favorite designs of all time.

On a side note, I would like to extend a shout-out and a word of thanks to fellow blogger and fanatic Dodger fan Andy from the Stadium Fantasium blog. He was kind enough to pass along this set for my collection.

Take a look at the entire set below.


#LAD-22 Cody Bellinger