Friday, January 24, 2020

2020 Dodgers Spring Training Caps Leaked


Here's a sneak peek at the Dodgers 2020 Spring Training cap. As you can see, it includes a jazzy Arizona spring patch on the reverse - likely a plastic patch. The front has a Dodgers logo patch emblazoned with the Dodgers script within the "LA" lettering.

The photo originally leaked through an Instagram account: beastmode_la -- apparently they are a merchandiser who also happens to put together fan road-trips.

Overall, I like the new hat. I don't believe I've ever seen them intermingle both the Dodgers script and logo, so I give them points for creativity. I suspect I'll be adding this to my little hat collection soon.

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

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 1/23/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Yesterday the Dodgers held their annual Pet Family Photo Day caravan event, and both Joc Pederson and Matt Beaty were in attendance. They spent their time with some canine fans. Photo above via @Dodgers on twitter.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day In Dodgers HistoryIn 1932 the Brooklyn Dodgers traded for future Hall of Famer Hack Wilson (during the tail end of his career) from the Cardinals for a minor leaguer and some cash. In 1962 Jackie Robinson, along with Bob Feller, are selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame in their first years of eligibility. In 2017 the Dodgers traded pitching prospect Jose De Leon to the Tampa Bay Rays for infielder Logan Forsythe.  
  • Happy BirthdayJoey Amalfitano (a former Dodgers pitching coach) & Billy Mullen!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 1/22/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


I know I've shared this photo before, but it's so great it's worth another look. This vintage 8/16/1938 ACME press photo is available at RMY Auctions. Per the descriptor on the reverse:
Dodgers' Quartette Eludes the Heat with Song -- New York City -- Despite the broiling sun, this Brooklyn Dodgers' quartette burst into song and fogot about the heat as they relaxed at the Polo Grounds, August 16th, where the Dodgers beat the Giants, 7-3. Left to Right: Tuck Stainback, Buddy Hassett, Kiki Cuyler and Babe Ruth.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1988 seven ballplayers are declared free agents as a result of an Players Association's 1985 collusion lawsuit against the owners. Kirk Gibson is one of those players, and this event would eventually lead to him signing with the Dodgers seven days later. The rest, as they say, is history. In 2007 the Dodgers signed amateur free agent Pedro Báez as a 19-year old third baseman out of the Dominican Republic. He would eventually convert to a relief pitcher in 2013.
  • Happy BirthdayJay HughesJeff TreadwayChone FigginsWayne Kirby Carlos Ruiz!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

2019 Topps 52-Card Kenny Mayne Baseball Game -- All the Dodger Cards


Before the end of 2019 Topps unveiled something different. Instead of a new card set for collectors to add to their binders, they decided to introduce us to a game based on a deck of playing cards that was developed by noted ESPN broadcaster Kenny Mayne -- Mr. dry humor himself. Go here to check it out and order. A complete checklist is available here. It cost $19.99 for a complete set, plus two bonus booster cards. Below is a note from Kenny Mayne about his game:
Remember back when you didn’t have electronics or smart phones and you invented games and played them for hours and hours with your uncle? Probably not. But then you never met my uncle Bud and didn’t live right where I did. 
 Too often these days we’re all a little guilty of being in the same room with friends and family and engaging only with a device we hold in our hands. This game is different. It’s a chance to connect with the people in our lives and the sport many of us love. 
It’s 52-Card Baseball. Uncle Bud and I just kind of made it up one day. We didn’t have electronics. We had one television. It was black and white. Man I’m old. The rules are pretty simple. You split a deck of cards in half. Then you flip them one by one. High card prevails. Prevails is probably the biggest word we’re going to use right here. We’re all for simple. It’s just you and your uncle or you and your friend (or you by yourself if you’re really bored). No electronics needed.
A total of six Dodgers are available in the main-base set of 52 cards. There are also an additional two booster cards available to chase after. See them all below.

Base Set

#Q Clayton Kershaw           #J Cody Bellinger

Blog Kiosk: 1/21/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


One of the unheralded heroes of any Baseball staff is the team doctor. For the Dodgers, during the Golden Years of the franchise, it was Harold W. Wendler, or Doc Wendler, who kept the players healthy and in tip top condition. Featured above is a 1956 Spring Training press photo taken by noted photographer Herb Scharfman featuring Doc tending to Sandy Amaros (eBay auction link). Per the descriptor on the reverse:
Looking For a Break -- Miami, FLA... Doc Wendler looks for a possible fracture on the left ankle of Dodger outfielder Sandy Amaros, who was hit by a pitched ball in the third inning od an exhibition game with the Boston Red Sox today. sandy was able to walk to the dugout unaided. The Red Sox walloped the World Champions, 17-5. 
Below are more links to check out:

Monday, January 20, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 1/20/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Sandy got a ticket. This is hilarious. Per a descriptor on the reverse (eBay auction link):
Sand Koufax lifts a parking ticket from the windshield of the car which was given him for being outstanding player in recent World Series. Sandy appeared at a downtown restaurant in New York Tuesday to get his prize and the car was driven up on the sidewalk for the benefit of photographers. When Sandy came out he found a decoration -- which cost $15 -- on his windshield. (10/9/1963)
Below are more links to check out:

Friday, January 17, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 1/17/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Welcome the newest Dodger -- Cooper Ellis Kershaw.

Photo above via @Dodgers on twitter. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1953 the Brooklyn Dodgers traded Andy Pafko to the Milwaukee Braves for Roy HartsfieldIn 1976 Dodger great Tommy Davis is released by the KC Royals, ending an 18-year MLB career. He played eight seasons as a Dodger; slashing .304/.338/.441/.779 with an 117 OPS+, 16.2 WAR, two batting crowns and two All-Star appearances.
  • Happy BirthdayTyler HoustonScott MullenHarry Pattee & Don Zimmer!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Current and Former Dodgers' are Starting to Speak -- On Twitter

On Monday the Dodgers released what is likely to be their only statement related to the current scandal rocking the game. They said:
“All clubs have been asked by Major League Baseball not to comment on today’s punishment of the Houston Astros as it’s inappropriate to comment on discipline imposed on another club. The Dodgers have also been asked not to comment on any wrongdoing during the 2017 World Series and will have no further comment at this time.”
Clearly, we shouldn't expect to hear anything more from the ownership (and I assume the coaching staff) about the sign-stealing mess. That said, this edict does not extend to the players. Several current and former Dodgers' are raising their voice on twitter and it's worth making note of it.

Blog Kiosk: 1/16/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - FanFest Tickets On Sale Now!


FanFest tickets are now for sale to the general public. Go here to check it out. From a Dodgers press release:
Due to construction, this year’s event will be held in Dodger Stadium Parking Lots P and N (outside of Top Deck and Right Field Reserve). FanFest is free and open to the public, but digital tickets are required and can only be claimed at Dodgers.com/FanFest. Fans must also download the MLB.com Ballpark App on their smart phones, which is the exclusive way of presenting their digital tickets for admission. Parking is free, and parking gates will open for the event at 9:30 a.m. 
FanFest features appearances and autograph opportunities from Dodger players, coaches and alumni in addition to a live stage program, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation’s Mystery Bag Fundraiser and ‘Yard Sale’ – featuring past promotional items, t-shirts and more - and family-friendly activities such as batting cages, game inflatables, a rock wall, carnival games, video games, live music, photo opportunities, food and beverages. In addition, season tickets, premium tickets, individual and group tickets will be on sale during the event.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1936 the Brooklyn Dodgers signed future Hall of Famer Freddie Lindstrom. This would be his final season of Major League ball. As a Dodger he got into only 26 games, slashing .264/.297/.302/.599. In 1996 interleague play is approved by Major League Baseball's executive council.
  • Happy BirthdayFerdie SchuppBob Ramazzotti & Rod Miller!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Welcome Back to the Blue, Alex Wood!


As I'm sure you know by now, the Dodgers have re-signed Alex Wood to a one-year free agent contract, and this Dodger fan is happy to have him back. Apparently, he feels the same way, via Wood's twitter:
BTW, according to Ken Rosenthal his contract is for $4 million, with incentives that could reach a potential $10 million value. As you may recall, Alex Wood was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, along with Yasiel Puig, before the 2019 season, but pitched in only seven games due to back issues. Per Anthony Franco at MLB Trade Rumors:
He didn’t make his season debut until July 28, and only once did he exceed six innings in a start. Never an extremely hard thrower, Wood’s 89.98 MPH average sinker velocity last season, per Brooks Baseball, was down over two MPH from his career-best 2017 effort.

Blog Kiosk: 1/15/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


I wonder what is on Campanella's mind in the photo above.
Watches Old Teammate -- Vero Beach, FLA: Probably recalling the no-hit games of 1952 and 1956 when they were batter-mates, Roy Campanella watches pitcher Carl Erskine warm up during a training session here. Campanella is now a special coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers. 3/4/59.
Photo above available on auction on eBay. Below are more links to check out:

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

I Just Got My Jackie Robinson Grail -- And It's Not a Baseball Card


I finally pulled the trigger on this one.

For years... No, two decades.... I've been wanting to added this specialty item to my collection, but rarely saw it for sale. As you can see, it is not a Baseball card, but it does include a version of Jackie Robinson's 1948 Leaf rookie card on it.

Featured is a leather Letterman-styled jacket originally released by the Donruss company in 1997 to honor MLB's retirement of Jackie Robinson's number (#42) throughout the league.

Blog Kiosk: 1/14/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Check out this fantastic 1947 pic taken by Cuban photographer Sanchez Y. Cabredo of Jackie Robinson wearing a Montreal Royals uniform during a spring match in Havana against the Dodgers. He is seen scoring after hitting a home run off of a Brooklyn Dodger pitcher (soon-to-be teammate). This photo is currently available at RMY Auctions.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1994 the Dodgers signed Korean starting pitcher Chan Ho Park out of Hanyang University in Seoul. He would pitch nine season in Los Angeles -- going 84-58 with an 3.77 ERA, 4.23 FIP and an ERA+ of 108. In 2006 the Dodgers, with closer Eric Gagne on the DL due to Tommy John surgery, traded starting pitcher Edwin Jackson and minor league pitcher Chuck Tiffany to Tampa Bay for relievers Danys Baez and Lance CarterEdwin Jackson, who won his first Major League game by out-dueling Randy Johnson of the DBacks, would go on to play for 14 different ballclubs -- and he is expected to play for another team in 2020. In 2006 the Dodgers also signed free agent starting pitcher Aaron Sele to a one-year contract. He would go 8-6 with a 4.53 ERA, 4.36 FIP and an ERA+ of 100.
  • Happy Birthday, Adam KolarekArt DecaturDerrel ThomasTerry ForsterTroy Brohawn & Logan Forsythe!

Friday, January 10, 2020

2020 Dodgers FanFest is Coming - Some Details Available Now


Brief details are now available for the Dodgers 2020 FanFest. As you know, over the past five years the team has celebrated the upcoming baseball season by holding their annual FanFest event within the confines of Dodgers Stadium. This season, however they are forced to do something a little different.

Due to construction in preparation for the upcoming All-Star Game the Dodgers will hold their annual FanFest in parking Lots P and N (outside of Top Deck and Right Field Reserve) -- an area where they held their second FanFest in 2014.

The event will be held on Saturday, January 25th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and as always admission is free. All you have to do is download a free ticket, here. At this time, exact details regarding autograph guest and VIP events is not yet available, so I'll post up that information once it is released. In the meantime, you should get your free admission ticket now. You can go here for more information about the event.

BTW, most of the same events you experienced in past years will still be happening - regardless of the construction. There will still be a main stage featuring player interviews, interactive games, Dodger Foundation Yard Sale and Mystery Bags, Free Jr Dodger Autograph sessions and all kinds of VIP events -- including autographs, meet-and-greets and stadium tours.

Also, Autograph Sessions & VIP Experiences will go on sale to the public Thursday, January 16 at 10:00 AM PT.

I've been fortunate to have attended all seven previous FanFest's, and subsequently shared a bunch of pics from each one. I even included links from other bloggers who shared their experience from the event. Below are links to all of my previous post.


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

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 1/9/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Check out who made it to a Kings game last night. Rams running back Todd Gurley III is wearing the Kings jersey in the middle. To his left is Gavin Lux, Matt Beaty and Dodger prospect Kody Hoese (on the bottom right). I believe the guys to the right of Gurley are also Rams players, but I'm not all that familiar with the team. Photo via @Dodgers on twitter.

Unfortunately, these guys couldn't help the Kings on the ice. They were defeated by the Dallas Stars, 2-1 -- their third loss in a row.

Below are more links to check out:

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 1/8/22020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Check out this fantastic action photo of Jackie Robinson manning his position at second base (eBay link). Per the descriptor on the reverse:
Chicago Cubs Gene Hermanski lies flat for the slide on a second frame force as Dodgers second sacker Jackie Robinson fires to Gil Hodges at first for a double play, Aug. 25, at Ebbets Field. Bruce Edwards rolled to third sacker Billy Cox who flipped to Robinson for the play. 8/25/51.
Unfortunately, the Dodgers would not prevail in this game. They would lose, 5-1. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1956 Jackie Robinson is awarded the prestigious Spingarn Medal by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for his strong support of civil rights initiatives. Martin Luther King Jr. was given the honor the prior year. In 2011 tragedy struck. In Tucson, AZ US Rep. Gabby Giffords is shot and severely injured in an assassination attempt during a constituent meeting held in a supermarket parking lot. She would survive, but others did not. Christina-Taylor Green, 9-year old daughter of Dodgers scout John Green (also grand daughter of former ballplayer Dallas Green), is killed -- along with five other folks. Please check out this fantastic story from late-2018 by Katrina Bland at AZ Central -- "Christina-Taylor Green (who had mad baseball skills) is still surprising her parents." 
  • Happy BirthdayBreyvic Valera, Chauncey FisherBrian Johnson Derek Thompson!

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Welcome to the Blue, Jimmy Nelson!


Right on the heels of new revelations that the Dodgers may have been cheated out of a consecutive World Series championships (link here, via Jeff Todd at MLB Trade Rumors) comes news that the Dodgers have added more depth to their 2020 roster. Per a tweet from Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times we find out that the Dodgers are signing 30-year old right-handed pitcher Jimmy Nelson.
BTW, you can follow Jimmy on both twitter and instagram (here and here). He is also a gamer with a twitch channel, here. Apparently, he is a #PlayStationAmbassador who actively plays MLB THE SHOW 19.

Say it Ain't So, Alex Cora!


Alex Cora, I am ashamed of you.

There was a time, not too long ago, when I thought highly of how you played the game. Heck, I still recall fondly your 18-pitch at-bat that one May-day in 2004 when you wowed the Dodger Stadium crowd. You were gamer who exemplified everything that was great - you hustled, you focused on the fundamentals and you certainly didn't cheat.

Now, as a middle aged man, I realize that was all folly.

Are there any heroes in this game anymore?

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

Monday, January 06, 2020

2019 Bowman Heritage -- All the Dodger cards

The 2019 Bowman Heritage cards are finally arriving in collectors' mailboxes. Apparently, there was a several week delay due to the inability of some ballplayers to sign their cards on time. As you can see, this set pays homage to the 1953 Bowman Baseball card design -- which basically consist of a color photo, a white/off-white border and no other identifying marks on the front of the card. So, it's kind-of a boring looking set. Go here for a complete checklist.

Additionally, boxes of this brand were initially pre-sold to 2019-20 Topps 582 Montgomery Club members online, but should now be available at your local hobby shop. Check out all the Dodger cards below.

Base

Veterans / Rookies
#53VR-60 Clayton Kershaw    #53VR-101 Cody Bellinger

Blog Kiosk: 1/6/2020 - Dodgers News & Links - Some Odds and Ends


Above is a 1947 press photo (eBay link) featuring today's birthday boy, Ralph Branca. Per the descriptor:
Yankee Stadium, Sept. 30 -- Opposing Pitchers -- Yankees Frank Shea (left) and Dodgers Ralph Branca, World Series opening game pitcher's shake hands before start of game here today.
As you may know, the Dodgers would not prevail. They would lose to the Yankees, 5-3, and eventually lose the series in seven games.

Below are links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1997 Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley publicly announces that the Dodgers are for sale. The O'Malley family had been in control of the franchise since 1950. As you know, the club would eventually be sold to the Fox Entertainment Group for $311 million -- at the time, the most ever paid for a professional sports franchise.
  • Happy Birthday, George ShochJohn CorridenLee Walls, Ralph BrancaMarlon Anderson!

Friday, January 03, 2020

Topps Living Set -- #274 -- Kenley Jansen


The 13th Dodger found in Topps Living Set is now available and it is of closer Kenley Jansen. As you know, this is an online exclusive set that has no end and is not tied to any specific season or era. Instead, it's a cross-generational brand that will issue cards on a weekly basis and will include both current and retired ballplayer.  Go here to check it out and order. You can see a complete checklist of the set here. Below is what's written on the reverse of the Jansen card:
Kenley Jansen has been among the best closers in Baseball since taking the reigns as the go-to end-game option for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012. The right-hander has 301 saves and a sterling 2.35 career ERA due, in large part, to an extraordinary 903 strikeouts in 605 career appearances.

Blog Kiosk: 1/3/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Check out the above vintage spring training press photo, dated Mar 15, 1943, above (eBay auction link). Per the description on the reverse:
DODGER PITCHERS WARM UP.  West Point, N.Y.....Pitchers Freddy Fitzsimmons, Kirby Higbe, Curt Davis and Bob Chipman (l-r) are shown loosening up at their first spring training practice held indoors today, at the Army Field House on the West Point Military Reservation.
As you know, America was embroiled in WWII, so precautions were made to insure the safety of ballplayers and fans by having teams train in more inland locales. After all, nazi submarines were known to cruise the American east coast to sink all ships. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 2005 the trade that sends outfielder Shawn Green from the Dodgers to the Diamondbacks and includes $8 million changing hands is approved by the Commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig. The trade would officially be consummated eight days later. In 2006 the Dodgers signed free agent starting pitcher Brett Tomko to a two year/$8.7 million contract.  
  • Happy BirthdayFrenchy Bordagaray & Chris Van Cuyk!