Friday, December 28, 2018

2018 Leaf Metal Draft - All the Dodgers Cards

Here is the first Leaf product I've highlighted all year. Featured are the Dodger prospects found in packs of 2018 Leaf Metal Draft. Go here for a complete checklist.

Only three Dodger players are available -- DJ Peters, Keibert Ruiz and Michael Grove.

Base Autographs

#BA-DJP D.J. Peters

Blog Kiosk: 12/28/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Here's a fantastic 1957 International News Spring Training press photo, taken by the legendary Herb Scharfman, featuring a couple of Dodgers with some visiting Tokyo Giants' (eBay Link). Per the descriptor on the reverse:
Dodgers host to Tokyo Giants Players
Vero Beach, Florida... Brooklyn Dodger coach Joe Becker (third from left) and pitcher Don Newcombe (left), discuss pointers of the game with two visitors to the Dodger camp from Japan. They are Sho Horincho, pitcher with the Tokyo Giants (second from left) and Tokyo Giants' manager Shigeru Mizuhara (right). Dated 3-1-1957.
Below are more links to check out:

Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 Bowman’s Best - All the Dodgers Cards

Just before the Christmas holiday Topps released their 2018 Bowman’s Best brand, and I've got pics of most of the Dodgers' cards below. Go here for a complete checklist.

There are a ton of Dodger rookies available; including Walker Buehler and Keibert Ruiz, and likely the last card of Brian Dozier as a Dodger. Check them all out below.


#2 Walker Buehler                #8 Cody Bellinger

Friday, December 21, 2018

Welcome to the Blue, Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray!

The trade we all knew was coming finally got done -- and just in time for Christmas. As you surely know by now, the Dodgers traded Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Kyle Farmer and $7 million to the Cincinnati Reds for minor league prospects Jeter Downs, Josiah Gray and soon to be released Homer Bailey. Here are Dodger notes on our two new youngsters:
Jeter Downs
Downs, 20, was the Reds’ first-round pick (No. 32 overall) in the 2017 First-Year Player draft and last year spent his entire season at Single-A Dayton, where he hit .257 with 13 homers, 23 doubles, 47 RBI and 37 stolen bases in 120 games. Last season, Downs appeared in 73 games at second base (71 starts) and 43 at shortstop (41 starts). The native of Colombia played his high school baseball in Miami Gardens, FL.    
Josiah Gray
Gray, who turned 21 today, was Cincinnati’s second round selection (No. 72 overall) in last year’s draft. The right-hander spent his first year of professional baseball at Rookie-level Greenville in the Appalachian League and went 2-2 with a 2.58 ERA (15 ER/52.1 IP) in 12 starts. Gray struck out 59 batters and walked just 17 while posting a WHIP of 0.88. The New Rochelle, NY native attended LeMoyne college in Syracuse, NY.

2018 Topps Transcendent Collection - The Dodgers Cards

Topps highest of high-end card brands was released last week. It is called 2018 Topps Transcendent Collection, and I've got pics of most of the Dodgers' available. Check them out below. Go here for a complete check list.

Base Transcendent Icons (#/83)

#1 Sandy Koufax                #23 Clayton Kershaw

Matt Kemp - Yasiel Puig - Alex Wood - Kyle Farmer -- Thank You!

I think we all expected this kind of trade was coming. Now that it has actually happened I'm in a state of shock. This afternoon the Dodgers paired some salary and some talent for a couple of prospects and a player not likely to be around long. Per a Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired minor league infielder Jeter Downs, minor league right-handed pitcher Josiah Gray and right-handed pitcher Homer Bailey from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for catcher/infielder Kyle Farmer, outfielders Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, left-handed pitcher Alex Wood and cash considerations (said to be $7 Million).  

For the second time I get to say goodbye, good luck and thank you to Matt Kemp. He's been a great Dodger and I thoroughly enjoyed having him back in Los Angeles this season. As for Puig, I'll miss him. He's been a joy to watch, and I hope he finds continued success in Cincy. Alex Wood is someone I expect will pay off handsomely for the Reds. He'll be a frontline starter for that club. Kyle Farmer is likely to enjoy a long Major League career, and I suspect he'll beat us with a timely pinch hit a time-or-two over the coming years.

 Thank you, Boys! It's been an absolute pleasure!

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

Blog Kiosk: 12/21/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Folks have been complaining about 'juiced' baseballs for years. Per the descriptor on the reverse of the 1950 press photo above (eBay Auction Link):
Artful Dodgers-- Two of the Brooklyn boys, Campanella and Snider, examine the inside of the controversial pill. Liveliness of the ball is causing more debate on the diamonds than the possibility of flying saucers.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1982 beloved Dodger first baseman Steve Garvey signed a five-year free agent contract to play for the San Diego Padres. In 1989 the Dodgers signed veteran free agent outfielder Hubie Brooks and reliever Mike Maddux.  In 2001 the Dodgers re-signed free agent starting pitcher Hideo Nomo - he had been traded by the Dodgers in 1998.  
  • Happy BirthdayBuddy CarlyleHowie Reed & Roger McDowell!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Weekend Autograph Opportunity: A Tommy Lasorda Signing

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.


Here is one last Dodger autograph event before Christmas. Tommy Lasorda will be at Bobblemania Collectibles in Monterey Park on Saturday, December 22nd from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Go here for more information.
Bobblemania Collectibles
2332 S Atlantic Blvd,
Monterey Park, CA 91754

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

Blog Kiosk: 12/20/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

During his two terms as President, Dwight D. Eisenhower attended 13 Major League Baseball games -- all of which were at the Senators home field in Washington DC, with exception of just one time. To open the 1956 World Series he gracefully threw out a ceremonial first pitch at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. Featured above is a Osvaldo Salas photograph of the event, via the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. As you can see managers' Casey Stengel and Walter Alston were by his side.

On a side note, following the series loss for the Dodgers Ike spoke with Don Newcombe, saying:
"I think I know how much you wanted to win a World Series game. I for one was pulling for you, but I suggest that when you think over this past season you think of the twenty-seven games you won that were so important in bringing Brooklyn into the World Series."
Below are more links to check out:

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Blog Kiosk: 12/19/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends


Featured above is a vintage Associated Press photo of Duke Snider grasping his right elbow after being beaned. (eBay Auction Link)
THE DUKE IS FELLED.  Duke Snider, hard-hitting centerfielder of the Brooklyn Dodgers, holds his right elbow and falls to the ground after being hit by ball being pitched by Giant relief hurler Marv Grissom in tenth inning of game at Polo Grounds, New York, night of June 29.  An examination showed no break, but Snider could hardly lift his arm later.  Giants won, 4 to 3, in 13th inning.
Snider sat out the next two games nursing that elbow, and would prove to be just fine when he came in as a pinch hitter during the third game after this incident. He walloped a triple to drive in a run in the ninth inning -- bringing the Dodgers within one run of tying a game (game link).

Below are more links to check out:

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

2018 Topps Advent Calendar - #5 - Walker Buehler

The second Dodger found in Topps online exclusive 2018 Advent calendar Baseball card set is rookie sensation Walker Buehler. As you know, since the start of this month Topps has been selling/unveiling each individual card from this 20-card set daily. Card #19 was of Clayton Kershaw. Now we know that card #5 is of our future ace. Go here to check it out and order. It will only be available for sale over a 24 hour period.

2018 Topps Brooklyn Collection - The Lone Dodger Card

As you may know, several weeks back Topps introduced their 582 Montgomery Club to the collecting masses. It had been billed as an exclusive membership program that offers products inspired by their early days in Brooklyn. You get a handful of exclusive sets and an opportunity to buy exclusive new brands direct from Topps. Initial membership cost $199.99 and sold out rather quickly. I do not know how many members are in this initial group. BTW, I did not join these ranks.

Blog Kiosk: 12/18/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Check out this grizzled veteran. Featured above is 34-year old infielder Marty McManus in Brooklyn Dodger Blue, per a March 19, 1934 ACME press photo on eBay (auction link).

The longtime American Leaguer had signed a contract to play for the Dodgers in January and did very well during that Spring to show his worth -- batting .340 in exhibition games. Nevertheless, McManus would be sold to the Boston Braves in April; thereby ending a Dodger career that never really got started. Depending on which sources you read, McManus was either disgruntled and let go by rookie manager Casey Stengel (possibly fearing competition for his job), or sent to Boston to help a sinking ballclub. Either way, this old horse would play just one more season of pro ball, and then would quickly transition to be a minor league manager -- until his retirement in 1948.

Below are more links to check out:

Monday, December 17, 2018

2018 Bowman Draft Baseball - All the Dodgers Cards

Last week Topps released their prospect heavy 2018 Bowman Draft Baseball brand, and it includes two Dodger youngster on an officially licensed card for the first time. Go here for a complete checklist.

First, you can find the first card for infielder Devin Mann --  the Dodgers 2018 fifth round pick. He began is pro career in the Midwest League playing for the Great Lakes Loons - slashing .241/.348/.335/.683. The second Dodger rookie to appear for the first time on cardboard is right handed pitcher Braydon Fisher. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 draft and spent the year in the Arizona Rookie league. The 17-year old hurler threw 22 innings with an 2.05 ERA, 19 strikeouts and just 9 walks.

Unfortunately, there aren't any inserts, relics or autographed Dodger cards to chase after -- just the base cards. Check out the five Dodgers in the set below.

Bowman Base                  Bowman Chrome
#BD-15 Devin Mann      #BDC-15 Devin Mann

Blog Kiosk: 12/17/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Check out this great, circa 1950's, vintage photo showing the exterior facade of Ebbets Field and a Brooklyn bus/trolley -- complete with kids getting a free ride on the back of the bus. Pic above via Dugout Legends on twitter.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1999, in what would be his final Major League season, the Dodgers signed free agent hurler and legendary pitcher Orel Hershiser to a one-year $2 million contract. He would not last the year, and be released on June 27th after going 1-5 with an 13.14 ERA. Overall, Hershiser would compile a 135-107 record in 13 years as a Dodger, with an 3.12 ERA, 24 shutouts, 65 complete games, 1456 strikeouts, an 116 ERA+, a 3.28 FIP and an 39.8 WAR. In 2004 Adrián Beltré leaves the Dodgers, after spending the first seven years of his career with the club, to sign a five-year $64 million free agent contract with the Mariners.
  • Happy Birthday, Bob OjedaChase Utley!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Blog Kiosk: 12/14/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Here's a fun 1943 International Press photo featuring Dodger first baseman Dolf Camilli on the set of the movie Whistling in Brooklyn (eBay auction link). Per the descriptor o the reverse:
MAKING DOLF PURTY FOR THE MOVIES.  New York...Dolf Camilli, Brooklyn first baseman, has some makeup applied as he works out with the Dodgers.  He was photographed by a movie camera for a part in a new Red Skelton movie."
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1954 the Dodgers signed amateur free agent Sandy Koufax to a contract - a $6,000 salary and $14,000 bonus. This made Sandy a "bonus baby" (having a bonus over $4,000) and required the Dodgers to keep him on the Major League roster for two years. As a result, the Dodgers would option Tommy Lasorda to the Montreal Royals. In 1990 the Dodgers signed free agent outfielder Brett Butler to a four-year $13 million contract.
  • Happy BirthdayDeacon Van Buren, John AndersonCharlie HargreavesChris Heisey & Bill Buckner! 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

2018 Panini Elite Extra Edition - All the Dodgers Cards

Now available at your local hobby shop is Panini's 2018 Elite Extra Edition brand, and as always it features many of the top prospects in the game. Go here for a complete checklist.

Below are all of the Dodger players that are available; including our top catching prospect Keibert Ruiz. Also, one of our top sluggers, DJ Peters has five different cards available in this product. Check out all the Dodgers below.


#24 Diego Cartaya

#125 Keibert Ruiz                   #126 DJ Peters

Welcome to the Blue, Joe Kelly!

If you can't beat him... sign him!

As you all surely know by now, the Dodgers made their first real free agent signing of the winter, and it's a person we all know (and probably hate). After all, no pitcher did more to deflate Dodger bats during the World Series than this guy. Reliever Joe Kelly, the man responsible for throwing six scoreless innings when it counted, is now a Dodger.

Blog Kiosk: 12/13/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

The Dodgers held their annual Children's Holiday Party at Dodger Stadium yesterday, and as you can see fun was had by all. Featured above is Cody Bellinger getting pelted by a group of cheerful youngsters.

Photo above via @Dodgers on twitter. Below are more links to check out:

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

2018 Topps Dynasty - All the Dodgers Cards

Last week saw the release of Topps high-end Dynasty brand, and featured below are most of the signed Dodger cards I could track down. Go here for a complete checklist.

There are three Dodgers in the base Autograph Patch set, and typically each players has several different autographed cards available. From what I can tell, Clayton Kershaw has at least four different Dodger cards available, but there may be more. Mike Piazza and Rickey Henderson appear to only have one Dodger card a piece.

Autographed Patch

#Clayton Kershaw

#AP-CK1                                        #AP-CK2

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

At one point, Walter O'Malley had dreams about building a domed stadium in Brooklyn. Featured above is a May 11, 1957 AP press photo featuring O'Malley showing off his design (eBay Auction Link). Strangely, with him are New York Giants president Horace Stoneham, San Francisco Mayor George Christopher and SF County Cupervisor Francis McCarty. As you know, the Dodgers would soon announce their intention of leaving the Brooklyn borough for Los Angeles.

Below are more links to check out:

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Collecting Cards Gets Weird

Have you heard about a 1990 basketball card and how it intersects with one of the more infamous murders of the 80's?

Last week a redditor named u/Pirate_Redbeard shocked the hobby (and apparently much of the news reading public) when it was pointed out that a 1990-91 Hoops card of Mark Jackson also features two young murderous chaps enjoying courtside seats in the background.

Sitting behind Jackson are Lyle and Erik Menendez.

I kid you not!

Check out the bubble on the right. On the left is a close up view.

Furthermore, it was also mentioned that the photo was taken after the duo killed their parents, but before their eventual arrest several months later.


Al Campanis 1949 Brooklyn Eagle Printing Plate - Manager or Front Office?

In his early 30's it became clear that infielder Al Campanis would not be the star on the diamond that he had hoped. After graduating from New York University in 1940 he joined the Brooklyn club and rose up the ladder until his Major League debut as a 26-year old second baseman in 1943. Then the military came calling and Campanis would spend much of his "peak" years in the service of the US Navy during WWII. When he came back home Al continued with his Baseball dream, but his days at the plate were winding down. Fortunately for him, he was well on his way towards making a different kind of impact on the game.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Blog Kiosk: 12/10/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Check out this motley crew. As you may know, fan favorite Kiké Hernández officially tied the knot this weekend, and a whole bunch of his buds are in town to celebrate. Congrats!

Photo above via Yasiel Pui's Instagram. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1919 the National League officially banned the spitball. The American league would follow the next season. Current spitballers would be grandfathered and be allowed to continue throwing the pitch; including Dodger Hall of Famer Burleigh Grimes, who would eventually be the last legal spitballer in the game. In 1986 the Dodgers trade first baseman Greg Brock to Milwaukee for reliever Tim Crews and starter Tim Leary -- both of whom would play important parts during their 1988 World Championship run two years later. In 2012 the Dodgers signed free agent starter Zack Greinke to a six-year $147 million contract that includes an opt-out clause after its thrid season.
  • Happy Birthday, Jimmy JohnstonJake HehlTed MartinezGil ReyesMel Rojas!

Friday, December 07, 2018

A 1951 Brooklyn Daily Eagle Vintage Printing Press Plate of Tommy Brown

About a decade ago I came across a bunch of auctions on eBay featuring what was purported to be original vintage Brooklyn Daily Eagle printing press plates of various old-tyme Dodger players. As an avid oddball collector I was immediately smitten, and dutifully spent some time trying to track down an archive of the paper to verify their legitimacy. Thankfully, the printing plates themselves include dates on the reverse (as you can see on the right), so the research was easy to accomplish. As I came to realize, many of them were in fact actually used, so I made a bunch of bids and eventually came away with a healthy collection -- well over ten of them.

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

Here's an March 5, 1951 Acme Press Photo taken during Spring Training activities in Vero Beach featuring Dodgers outfielder Tommy Brown, alongside his father Bill Brown. (eBay Auction Link) Per the descriptor on the reverse:
A COUPLE OF CANDIDATES.  Vero Beach, Fla.:  Reversing the usual trend, Bill Brown has decided to follow in the spike-prints of his son Tommy.  Here he works out with the young Brooklyn slugger at the Dodgers spring training camp in Vero Beach.  Chuck Dressen: please take note.
Below are more links to checkout:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 2005 Grady Little is named the manager of the Dodgers. He would be the skipper the club for two seasons -- recording a 170-154 record. In 2013 the Dodgers signed free agent reliever Brian Wilson. Wilson would wear Dodger Blue for two seasons -- recording an overall 4-5 record in Los Angeles, 3.77 ERA, 3.79 FIP and one save as a middle reliever. In 2015 a trade between the Reds and Dodgers involving reliever Aroldis Chapman is held up after a police report is unearthed that details a gun incident at the pitchers home. As a result, Chapman faced possible suspension under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.
  • Happy BirthdayMike BaxterTom LovettRyan Theriot & Yasiel Puig!

Thursday, December 06, 2018

The Duke Snider 1957-59 Union 76 Sports Club Booklet

Here is something that I've recently added to my own collection. As you know, Union 76 has been putting out sports related memorabilia at their gas stations for decades. In the 60's and 80's they were know for their player portraits drawn by noted artist Nicholas Volpe, and for a scarce booklet set featuring Dodger players in 1960 and 1961. I had previously shared my 1961 Dodgers booklet set here.

Another booklet set they released from 1957 to 1959 is known as the Sports Club Booklets, and featured here is the lone Dodger player found in that set. It is of Duke Snider. As you can see, the booklet details the "Finer Points of Batting" and includes plenty of tips that any ballplayer can use to get better. I've included complete scans of the entire booklet below.

Check Out this Sandy Koufax Painted Ball by Charles Fazzino

I can't get enough of these painted balls. Over the years I've highlighted numerous works of art on Baseballs; including drawings done by George Sosnak, Monty Sheldon and Charles Fazzino. So, when I put my eyes on this newest Fazzino ball I knew I had to share it here. Featured is the second Charles Fazzino painted Baseball of Sandy Koufax that I've run across. It is on auction at VSA Auctions (link here), but closes later today (sorry about the late notice). You can check out the other Koufax Fazzino ball I wrote about in January of last year here.

As you can see, it includes Sandy's signature and is surrounded by color, sparkle and Fazzino's trademarked 3-D element. The Dodger logo (above the signature) floats above the ball to give it a three dimensional effect. Below are more pics of the other painted panels of this ball.

Blog Kiosk: 12/6/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

(Pic via Jennifer McGraw on twitter)
Fernando Valenzuela is now a member of the California Hall of Fame!

On Tuesday, Valenzuela, along with seven other distinguished persons that include Joan Baez and Robert Redford, were officially inducted in Sacramento. You can watch the entire ceremony here. Per Jennifer McGraw at
“Really, I was so excited and this moment is great,” said Fernando Valenzuela, beloved former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher and World Series winner.
Photo above via Joe McHugh/ Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1960 actor Gene Autry is awarded an American League Los Angeles franchise that would be known as the Angels -- using a team name that once played in the PCL in Los Angeles and subsequently purchased by O'Malley when he moved the Dodgers West. In 1973 the Dodgers traded Claude Osteen and Dave Culpepper to the Astros for outfielder Jim Wynn. Wynn would go on to have a stellar year the following season in Los Angeles. He slashed .271/.387/.497/.884 with 32 homers and 108 RBI's, and would come in at fifth place in MVP voting. In 2006 the Dodgers signed free agent pitcher Jason SchmidtIn 2007 signed free agent outfielder Andruw Jones.
  • Happy Birthday, Tony LazzeriTommy Brown & Dodgers broadcaster Joe Davis!

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

2018 Panini Black Friday & Cyber Monday - The Dodgers Cards

The recently passed Thanksgiving holiday saw two of the biggest shopping days of the year, and as you know Panini America jumped on the wagon to entice collectors to spend heavily. For Black Friday, they teamed up with various hobby shops throughout the country to pass out Black Friday packs to fans who bought their cards, and on Cyber Monday Panini gave special packs to case breakers for customers who bought slots for select Panini products.

Unfortunately, a complete and detailed checklist for both sets are not yet available, but I think I've got a fairly good handle on the Dodgers' who are available. As you'll see, both sets include a Manny Machado Dodger card. On a side note, I will do my best to updated this should any more Dodger players pop up. BTW, both sets include a multi-sport lineup -- baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and NASCAR. More details on the Black Friday set is here and the Cyber Monday set is here.

Black Friday Base

#30 Manny Machado

Blog Kiosk: 12/5/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

I'm fairly certain I've shared this pic in the past, but it's so good I figured it's worth another look. Featured above is a March 6, 1957 United Press photo of a contingent of Los Angeles politicians wooing Dodger owner Walter O'Malley at Vero Beach. (eBay Auction Link) As you can see, Duke Snider and the famed clown Emmett Kelly (the Dodger Bum) also joined them. Per the descriptor on the reverse:
It May Happen - Officials from the city of Los Angeles arrived at the Brooklyn Dodgers training camp here March 6th to confer with Dodger officials on the possibility of the team moving from Flatbush to the west coast city. Left to Right are: Kenneth Hahn, of the LA Board of Supervisors; LA Mayor Norris Poulson; Dodger slugging star Duke Snider; and Dodger President Walter O'Malley.
Below are more links to check out: