Monday, March 30, 2020

Vintage Dodger Photos on Auction -- Koufax, Ebbets and Ruth... Oh, My!


Even with the national shutdown in effect numerous auction houses continue to operate 'business as usual' -- which should come as no surprise. Items have already been cataloged, so why not have collectors do some bidding. Whether that's wise, considering a potential downturn in values, only time will tell. Thankfully, none of that really matters to us since we can use these auctions as a little respite to change-up the day.

Right now there are two auction houses I wanted to focus on here -- Love of the Game and Hunt Auctions. Both of these companies have some fantastic vintage photographs I wanted to point out to you.

For instance, check out the above Sandy Koufax photo.

How often do you see an action photo of Sandy taking a mighty swing? It was taken by noted photographer Bud Gray and is available through Love of the Game Auctions (Auction Link). Bud had began his career as a photographer for the Navy during WWII, then as a photojournalist for the Herald Examiner and UPI, and a still photographer for Universal.

To the right is another Sandy Koufax photograph. (Auction Link) This time he is photographed during his very first no-hitter, dated June 30, 1962. On this day he struck out 13 hapless Metropolitan batters.

2020 Topps Now - Bracket Challenge - Belli, Betts and Kershaw Advance


It started with five Dodgers (Bellinger, Betts, Buehler Kershaw and Lux). Then it was four. Now, only three remain.

As you may know, Topps is running the only game in town, and it's a Bracket Challenge (like March Madness) that pits ballplayer against ballplayer. It began with 64 of the best in the league and it has now been whittled down to a "Sweet 16."

The Dodgers' to make the cut are outfielders Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts and veteran starter Clayton Kershaw. In cepebration of their recent victories Topps has issued second round Topps Now cards for fans to add to their collection. You have about three days to order them.

The first Dodger available is Cody Bellinger (#BB2-2) and he ably beat Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu in the second round. Check out his card above. You can see the back of the card on the right. Go here to check it out and order.

Blog Kiosk: 3/30/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Wow! Check out this fantastic action shot taken by the United Press (dated 5/20/1956) of Gil Hodges making a fantastic grab of a foul pop-fly. Not only does it include a great catch, but also features the Ebbets Field rightfield wall in the background. (eBay auction link)
Dodger Scooper...
Dodger 1st base,am Gil Hodges charges close to the stands to scoop a pop fly out of the air with his big glove in the 7th inning of the 1st game of the Dodgers-Cubs double header here May 20th. The ball was hit by Cub centerfielder Pete Whisenant. The Dodgers swept both ends of the twin-bill from Chcago by indentical scores of 5-3.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1966 Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale end their legendary holdout when they signed contracts for $130,000 and $105,000, respectively. The holdout last 32 days. In 1981 the Dodgers traded Mickey Hatcher (and a couple other minor leaguers) to the Twins for Kenny LandreauxIn 1988 the Dodgers signed free agent veteran catcher Rick Dempsey.
  • Happy BirthdayNig Fuller!

Friday, March 27, 2020

2020 Topps Gypsy Queen -- All the Dodgers Cards

Earlier this week saw the release of Topps 2020 Gypsy Queen brand and I've got pics of most of the Dodger cards to share. Check them out below. Go here for a complete checklist.

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#21 Clayton Kershaw            #92 Justin Turner

Blog Kiosk: 3/27/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Poignant.

Here's a look at the upcoming cover of Sports Illustrated for April 2020. Pic via Stephen Canella at Sports Illustrated -- "Into the Great Big Emptiness."

Below are more links to check out:

Thursday, March 26, 2020

2020 Topps Now - Bracket Bonanza - Round 1 Winners - The Four Dodgers


For the past week or so Topps has been running a Bracket Challenge -- much like a March Madness bracket -- ranking 64 of the top ballplayers in the league. Collectors would vote online to decide who advances to the next round. The main twist here for Topps is that the winners of each bracket is then issued a 2020 Topps Now card acknowledging their bracket victory, and it would be available online for purchase. Print runs are determined by the number of orders. Go here for a complete checklist.

Out of the 64 contestants, five were Dodgers... And of those five, four won. The only loser was rookie Gavin Lux -- Why he was one the list I will never understand. Check out all four of the Dodger winners below.

2020 Topps Project 2020 -- Sandy Koufax and Jackie Robinson Cards


Topps mysterious collaboration teased a few weeks back was officially unveiled yesterday and begins with a doozy. Available for a couple of days is an online exclusive Sandy Koufax card created by Hip Hop/Street Culture artist and musician Jacob Rochester. As you can see, the card is an homage to Sandy's 1955 Topps Rookie card. To the right is a look at the reverse of the card.

Project 2020 is an artistic collaboration with 20 different artist and pop culture influencers, and each of them will reinterpreting 20 different legendary Topps Baseball cards to create a massive 400 card set.

This first offering includes the Koufax card above and an Ichiro card created by famed jeweler Ben Baller.

Blog Kiosk: 3/26/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


This just might be the best photo from the 1955 World Series - the Dodgers first World Championship. Featured are a group of Dodger wives (see Rachel Robinson on the far left) celebrating right after the victory, available via RMY Auction. This photo was taken by Barney Stein and it is a re-strike -- printed in 1980.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1953 the St. Louis Browns returned pitcher Tommy Lasorda to the Dodgers after having just purchased him a month prior. In 1984 Jackie Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan in a White House ceremony. Rachel Robinson accepted the award on her late husband's behalf. At the time, Jackie was just the third ballplayer to be given the distinction (Moe Berg and Joe DiMaggio were the others). You can watch the presentation hereIn 1991 the Dodgers sign free agent catcher and future Hall of Famer Gary Carter to a one-year $500,000 contract. 
  • Happy BirthdayJack McCarthyJoe KlugmannJosé Vizcaíno & Frank Lankford!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

2020 Topps Inception - All the Dodger Inserts

Now that you've seen the Dodger base cards found in packs of 2020 Topps Inception, here's a look at the inserts that are available. You'll notice that the inserts are prospect heavy -- featuring a bevy of youngsters like Gavin Lux, Dustin May and Will Smith.

Base Rookies & Emerging Stars Autographs

#RESA-DM Dustin May         #RESA-GL Gavin Lux

I Recently Bought some Nomo's -- Nike Air Max NM


I'm not much of a sneakerhead, but I do know what I like... And what I really like... No... What I'm really lovin' right now is a pair of pre-owned sneakers I recently snagged on eBay. Check it out above and below.

What you see is a pair of Air Max NM -- better known as the Air Nomo Max 1. These were specially branded training shoes made for former Dodgers starting pitcher and Japanese sensation Hideo Nomo starting in 1996 - a year after winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award. The pair I have is a retro version that was released in 2011 -- nearly ten years ago. They had also renamed the shoe from Air Nomo Max 1 to Air Max NM that year.

As you may have noticed, the design of the shoe is meant to reflect the nickname Hideo Nomo had -- The Tornado. The pattern on the upper has solid blue leather with numerous triangular cutouts on each side. This is meant to look like wind swirling around like a tornado.

Blog Kiosk: 3/24/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Check out these two old men above at Dodgertown, Vero Beach, FL in the press pic from Wide World Photo. As you can see, Duke Snider is having his knee checked out by Dodger skipper Walter Alston. It is dated 2/23/1959 (eBay auction link). Snider had experienced knee troubles last season that resulted in Duke playing in only 106 games.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1947 Leo Durocher had a four-hour hearing with Commissioner Happy Chandler, related to gambling. In this meeting he would admit to playing cards for money with Kirby Higbe. Durocher would soon be given a one-season suspension for "association with known gamblers." In 1959 an infamous photo is taken of Reds outfielder  Pete Whisenant during an exhibition game in Cuba against the Brooklyn Dodgers. He is seen holding Fidel Castor's machine gun. See it on the right. In 1982 Dodgers star hurler Fernando Valenzuela ends his contract holdout and reports to the Dodgers spring training. After winning the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards he sought a raise from $42,500 to $1 million. Instead, the Dodgers unilaterally renewed his contract for a reported $350,000. In 1984 the International Olympic Committee agreed to hold a six-team exhibition baseball tournament as part of the 1984 Summer Olympics to be held at Dodger Stadium.
  • Happy BirthdayJim McCauleyMike MowreyJim BucherDick EganWilson Alvarez & Jamie Arnold!

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Only Thing You Need to Listen to Today -- Vin Scully


I've been thinking about Vin Scully too, so yesterdays story from Bill Plaschke was nice to see. He gave Vin a call and shared his thoughts about what's been going on with all of us. (Story Link -- "Pull up a chair and hear Vin Scully give a message of hope and optimism")
“We’re like everybody else, we’re hunkered down,” says Scully, who is sheltering with wife Sandi in their Los Angeles home. “But for me, I’ve been hunkered down ever since we hung things up at the end of ‘16, I’m very accustomed to being at home …it’s that old line, if it wasn’t for doctor appointments we wouldn’t have a social life at all.”

Friday, March 20, 2020

2020 Topps Inception - The Dodgers Base Cards

Thank goodness new Baseball card sets are still finding their way into collectors arms. Without them, I think some folks would go a little crazy -- especially given how wild things have been.

Today is the official release date of Topps 2020 Inception Baseball card brand, and I've got pics of the six Dodger base cards found within packs. Check them all out below. Go here for a complete checklist.

This is one of the more colorful sets available. The player portraits have a look of a painting, with splashes of abstract color like a Pollock or Kandinsky in the background. A total of six different color backgrounds are available -- green, purple, magenta, red, orange and blue. A box will include one pack of seven cards, and it will cost you about $60 to $70 per box. You are guaranteed one autographed card per pack.

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#14 Edwin Rios                #21 Tony Gonsolin

Blog Kiosk: 3/20/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


This is just charming. Featured here is a vintage press photograpgh (P&A Photos) of former Dodger owner Charles Ebbets with his wife Grace (eBay auction link). Per the descriptor on the reverse:
"Squire" Ebbets, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers and his wife picking oranges at Clearwater, Fla., where his team is in training. The "Squire" has always been a shrewd business man and a judge of good baseball material. Here's hoping that he hasn't picked any "Lemons" on his team.
Below are more links to check out:

Thursday, March 19, 2020

2020 Topps Utz - Potato Chip Cards - All the Dodgers'

Are you stuck at home, sitting on the coach, munching on your favorite snack? Well, for the second year in a row, you can do all that and collect baseball cards at the same time. All you have to do is find some Utz potato chips. Unfortunately, they are a northeastern regional snack foods company, so you aren't likely to see their products in Southern California.

As you may recall, Utz and Topps teamed up last year to create a branded promotional set that were inserted into specially marked packs of Utz potato chips. This week I learned that they are doing it again this year.

Last season they used the same designs as the 2019 flagship Topps cards, but this time around they developed something different. For 2020 they have created their own unique design. Check out what I mean below.

Five Dodger players are available in the 100 card set. Go here for a complete checklist. Check out all the Dodgers below.

BTW, Cardboard Connection indicates that it appears these cards are showing up in, "specially marked 12-pack and 24-pack bags."

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#25 Dustin May           #35 Cody Bellinger

Blog Kiosk: 3/19/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Check out this fantastic vintage Acme press photo featuring Jackie Robinson's debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 14, 1947. He is shown both at-bat and covering first base, with a man on. You can check out this pic at Hunt Auctions, here.

Below are more links to check out:

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 3/18/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Here's a look at the Dodgers 2020 on-field cap. As you can see, it includes a patch for the upcoming All-Star Game. Pic above via New Era on twitter. BTW, below is a look at the St. Patrick's Day Dodger cap for this year, below (via Dodger Blue)

(Emmett Kelly by Art Rogers/LA Times)
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1942 two African-American ballplayers, Jackie Robinson and Nate Moreland, showed up at the White Sox spring training home at Brookside Park in Pasadena and requested a tryout. They met manager Jimmy Dykes and were allowed to hit the field, but as you know nothing would come of it. In 1958 famed clown Emmett Kelly, signed by the Dodgers to play the teams mascot in Brooklyn, announced that his contract had not been renewed to join the team in LA. The veteran circus performer believes the size of the Coliseum, the club's new home on the West Coast, is just "too big for one clown".
  • Happy BirthdayOscar WalkerJohnny CooneyGerónimo Berroa & Scott Podsednik!

Monday, March 16, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 3/16/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


I love this pic that I ran into on eBay (auction link). Per the descriptor:
Yankee Stadium - Oct 3 -- Celebrate Winning Ways -- Tommy Davis, left fielder; Johnny Podres, winning pitcher; and Bill Skowron, first baseman, left to right, are shown in Dodger dressing room at New York Yankees Stadium today after Dodgers second straight win over the New York Yankees in the 1963 World Series. Davis contributed two triples and Skowron, a homer in the Dodgers 4-1 victory.
Below are more links to check out:
“I like to believe the president saw the news and felt a little sadness,” his daughter, Kim, said in an hour-long service, “as did the mailman, the man at the doughnut shop, the drug addict downtown, and the 45-year-old who remembers the lightning speed of the 3 Dog.”
...
“He was the only man I’ve ever seen who, when he hit a ball in the gap, the opposing team watched him run,” (Lou) Johnson said.
...
“He was one of the most likable Dodgers,” O’Malley said. “The fans liked him. Members of the press liked him and respected him. Management liked him. He was just a likable person. He was the best, and I’m going to miss him.”

Friday, March 13, 2020

2020 Topps Opening Day -- Now the Rest of the Inserts

Here's a look at all the remaining Dodger insert cards found in packs of Topps 2020 Opening Day set.  I've also included pics of the two Dodger base variation cards of Max Muncy and Walker Buehler. Autograph versions of these two cards are also available, but I have yet to see any pics of them. Go here for a complete checklist.

Base Image Variation

#107 Max Muncy
Normal Base                   Photo Variation

Thursday, March 12, 2020

2020 Topps Opening Day - The "Walk this Way" Subset

With the postponement of Opening Day I figured the best thing for me to do is share more Dodger cards from Topps 2020 Opening Day Baseball card brand. This time, though I thought I would slow-play this by writing about one specific subset -- the "Walk this Way" set.

These cards appears to highlight walk-off hits, but unfortunately the cards do not specifically say this anywhere. I was hoping the reverse of the cards would have a description of the event being pictured, but all Topps does is use the back design from their flagship cards. That said, it's fair to assume that "walk-offs" are exactly what these cards are meant to highlight.

In this subset there are three Dodgers available to collect -- Max Muncy, Will Smith and Joc Pederson -- and I thought it would be fun to highlight their walk-offs during the 2019 season. As you know, the Dodgers recorded 12 walk-off victories last year - two each by Muncy and Smith, and one by Pederson.

Walk this Way! subset


#WW-2 Max Muncy

Blog Kiosk: 3/12/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


I feel ya, Jose!

How many of you folks remember this meme?

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1989 the Dodgers traded outfielder Mike Devereaux to Baltimore for starting pitcher Mike Morgan. Morgan would stay in LA for three seasons -- compiling a 33-36 record with an 3.06 ERA, 3.38 FIP and a 1.162 WHIP. In 2003 Mets catcher Mike Piazza charged the mound to go after Dodgers reliever Guillermo Mota during a spring training game at Thomas J. White Stadium in Port St. Lucie, FL. Mota plunked Piazza on the shoulder, so Piazza stormed after him -- even going so far as to enter the Dodgers clubhouse after the game. Both players would be suspended five games. Per Mike DiGiovanna at the LA Times:
"Where's Mota?" Piazza screamed, checking the trainer's room. "Where's Mota?" he yelled, walking through the clubhouse. Once he realized Dodger reliever Guillermo Mota had left, Piazza walked out the back door, got into his car and sped off.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

2020 Topps Opening Day - The Dodgers Base Cards

With Opening Day looming, Topps has released their annual Opening Day set, and I've got pics of all the Dodger base cards to share. This set officially released today. As you may know, this brand is almost a carbon-copy of the flagship set they released a couple of weeks ago -- the main difference being a smaller base set and an Opening Day graphic on the front of each card. Go here for a complete checklist.

We are also treated to a first look at what the flagship cards will look like for Corey Seager, Walker Buehler and Will Smith cards in either the Series 2 or Update sets when they come out later this season. All three of these players are not found in the Series 1 flagship base set.

BTW, there are a couple of variations available -- Max Muncy and Walker Buehler -- but I do not have photos of them yet. Check out the Dodgers' base cards below.

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#9 Joc Pederson               #14 Alex Verdugo

Blog Kiosk: 3/11/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Check out this vintage photograph I ran into while perusing eBay. It is a Barney Stein photo of the 1956 Brooklyn Dodger team at the Atomic Memorial in Hiroshima during their Tour of Japan series that fall (eBay link). I suspect it was originally found in one of those presentation photo albums the team made for the players and staff that headed for the Far East. You can also see this exact image at the Walter O'Malley.com website, where it says:
A bronze plaque from the Dodgers was presented at the Hiroshima stadium with the following legend: “We dedicate this visit in memory of those baseball fans and others who died by atomic action on August 6, 1945. May their souls rest in peace and with God’s help and man’s resolution peace will prevail, forever, amen.” Among those attending the presentation were Dodger President Walter O’Malley, manager Walter Alston, and Dodger players as Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, and Duke Snider.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1953 the very first spring game is played at the newly built Holman Stadium at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida. The Dodgers faced off against the A's and defeated then, 4-2. In 1972 Dodgers Hall of Fame legend Zach Wheat dies at the age of 83. He was a Brooklyn Dodgers for 18 seasons -- slashing .317/.367/.452/.819 with 131 home runs, 2,804 hits and a batting title in 1918.
  • Happy Birthday, Bill PoundsJoe DunnBobby AbreuRich HillPedro Baez!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

2020 Topps Black & White Baseball -- All the Dodgers Cards

Topps 2020 On-Demand set #4, called MLB Black & White Baseball, has been showing up on collectors doorsteps. As the name suggest, this online exclusive set features the top players in the game, both past and present, on cards using unique black & white photographs -- many of which I have never seen before. Go here for a complete checklist. A total of 2015 30-card packs were sold.

The best card is clearly the Duke Snider / Jackie Robinson Historic Duos insert card. It uses a photograph I have never seen before -- featuring both players crouching with bats at their shoulders and they are nicely framed by a couple of other bats. Check out this card below. Another favorite of mine is the Dustin May base card. This card is unusual in its framing. Using the Rule of Thirds, Topps places the right-handed hurler on the right side -- thereby leaving a giant blank open space to his left. In order to balance out this placement the bright lights of the stadium is seen on the top left -- causing a nice contract between light and dark. The artistic quality of this photo is something you rarely see on cardboard.

Lastly, I decided to include the cards made for Hyun-Jin Ryu and Mookie Betts -- even though they represent other teams on the card.

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#13 Walker Buehler

Blog Kiosk: 3/10/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Check out the cover of Sports Illustrated's Baseball Preview magazine above, via @MLB on twitter.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1983 longtime Dodger manager Walter Alston is elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee vote. Detroit infielder George Kell was also elected. In 2012 the Dodgers signed 27-year old former NFL defensive back Jarrad Page to a minor league contract after impressing scouts during an open tryout in Arizona. Page played six season in the NFL, but decided to tryout during the Dodgers spring camp when he realized his pro football career was coming to an end. 
  • Happy BirthdayGene DeMontrevilleArt Herring & Steve Howe!

Monday, March 09, 2020

2020 Donruss Baseball -- All the Dodgers Cards

Last week saw the release of Panini's flagship Baseball card brand, 2020 Donruss Baseball, and I've got pics of most of the Dodger cards to share with you. Go here for a complete checklist.

The featured Dodgers' Diamond King is MVP Cody Bellinger. Additionally, of the 30 Rated Rookies in the base set three of them are Dodger players -- Dustin May, Gavin Lux and Tony Gonsolin. This is unusual since historically every team is typically given one Rated Rookie in the set. Notably, Hyun-Jin Ryu has one Dodger card in the set -- as part of the Dominators insert set.

Check out all of the Dodger cards below.

Base

Diamond Kings
#3 Cody Bellinger

Blog Kiosk: 3/9/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


Just some Dodgers' having some fun at Camelback Ranch, pics via @Dodgers on twitter.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1943 the Brooklyn Dodgers received soon-to-be Hall of Fame centerfielder Lloyd "Little Poison" Waner and Al Glossop from the Phillies in exchange for veteran infielder Babe Dahlgren. Although, Waner did not join the club for the 1943 Baseball season. Instead, he asked to be placed on the voluntary retirement list and took a wartime job at the Douglas Aircraft plant in Oklahoma City. Lloyd would eventually join Brooklyn for the 1944 season (playing briefly with his brother Paul -- also a fellow Hall of Famer), but would eventually be released by mid-June -- He slashed .286/.412/.286/.697 in just 14 at-bats, primarily as a pinch hitter.
  • Happy Birthday, Rube YarrisonArky VaughanTerry MulhollandKoyie Hill, Daniel HudsonWilly Aybar!

Friday, March 06, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 3/6/2020 -- Dodgers Links & News -- Some Odds and Ends


Above is a peek at the Dodgers 2020 Yearbook. You can get a copy of the yearbook above here (heck, it's free with a subscription to Dodger Insider Magazine).

Below are more links to check out:

Thursday, March 05, 2020

2020 Bowman Next -- Wave 3 -- May, Gonsolin and Ruiz

Wave 3 from Topps 2020 Bowman Next online exclusive set is now available and there are three Dodger prospects found in the 15-card set. They are Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin and Kiebert Ruiz. Check their cards out below. Go here for a complete checklist.

Wave 3 Base

#T33 Dustin May