Friday, February 28, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 2/28/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Today marks the anniversary of the greatest Baseball contract holdout in history. Thirty-two days later Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale ended it. Featured above is a 1966 UPI Telephoto of the dynamic duo board a plane to begin their spring workouts. Per the descriptor:
Dodgers pitchers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale wave goodbye as they board an airliner bound for Phoenix, Ariz. to join their teammates after a much celebrated and publicized 32-day holdout in which the pair asked for a million dollars combined salary over a three year period. They signed for a one year contract and and undisclosed salary.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1966 the great Koufax/Drysdale contract holdout commences. They are seeking a collective three year $1MM contract -- to be split evenly. In 2002 the Dodgers signed free agent Japanese starting pitcher Kaz Ishii after posting a $11.26 million bid to the Tokyo Yakult Swallows for the right to negotiate with him. He would eventually sign a four-year $12.3 million contract with the team.
  • Happy BirthdayAl HumphreyOrlando Alvarez & Trent Oeltjen!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

2020 Topps Heritage - All the Dodgers Base Cards

Here is a look at all the Dodger base cards found in packs of Topps 2020 Heritage Baseball card brand. There are 25 Dodger cards available -- including four "League Leaders" and two "Rookie Stars" cards. Go here for a complete checklist. I've also included pics of all the known variations (up until this point in time), as well, and checklist of all the Chrome, Mini and French parallel cards.


#10 Jedd Gyorko                #14 Matt Beaty

#30 Justin Turner             #36 Kenley Jansen

Blog Kiosk: 2/27/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

And the crowd goes wild!

Featured above is a April 30, 1945 International News press photo of slugger Dixie Walker avoiding the rush of fans after a Dodger victory. It's from a game played at Ebbets Field on April 29th (boxscore link). Below is what's written on the reverse:
"Young Brooklyn Dodger fans are chasing Dixie Walker as the "Peepul's Cherce: legs it for the dugout after the end of yesterday's game against the Giants. Walker added to his popularity with the flatbushers by striking the blow that humbled the New Yorkers 4-3. He belted out a homer that netted three runs in the 8th inning."
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1901 the NL Rules Committee declares that all foul balls would now count as strikes, except after two strikes. They do this in order to lower their cost of lost foul balls. In 1908 the sacrifice fly rule is adopted for the first time. In 2011 Dodger Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider dies of an undisclosed illness in Escondido. He was the last living Brooklyn Dodger who was on the field for the final out of the 1955 World Series.
  • Happy Birthday, Roy HutsonRube MeltonCarl WarwickHenry Cruz, Willie BanksCarlos Triunfel!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

2020 Topps Heritage - Some of the Dodger Inserts

As I'm sure you know, Topps officially released their Heritage Baseball brand today and this time it pays homage to the 1971 Topps flagship Baseball card set. This set is infamous for their black borders (that often chipped easily) and off-center cards. I suspect we won't have to worry about that issues in this throwback brand.

On the right is a look at the the wax box, which includes Cody Bellinger on the far left. Go here for a complete checklist.

I do not have pics of all the base cards to share yet, but I have several of the inserts ready to go. Below are all the Dodger cards found in the Clubhouse Collection Relics, Then and Now, 1971 Topps Greatest Moments and 1971 Topps Super insert sets.

Clubhouse Collection Relics

#CCR-CB Cody Bellinger       #CCR-CK Clayton Kershaw

Blog Kiosk: 2/26/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Check out this vintage, likely 1950's era, photograph featuring former Dodger and Negro League star Dan Bankhead, available via eBay (link here). As you may know, he was acquired by the Dodgers in 1947 from the Memphis Red Sox of the Negro American League in hopes he could perform some magic for the playoff bound Brooklyn Dodgers. Unfortunately, he was wild and ineffective.

Often compared to Bob Feller, Bankhead sported a blistering fastball with a good curve, but faced control issues when in the Majors. Overall, he played parts of three season for Brooklyn -- going 9-5 with a 6.52 ERA.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1952 Dodgers all-star pitcher Don Newcombe is sworn into the Army to serve in the Korean War. The 26-year old would miss the next two seasons, and struggle on the field his first year back in 1954. Then, he would go on to regain his old form over the next two seasons by winning a collective 47 games and leading the Dodgers to its first World Series championship in 1955. In 2001 the Dodgers traded outfielder Devon White to the Brewers for Marquis Grissom. In two seasons Grissom would slash .245/.281/.450/.731 with 38 homeruns, 120 RBI's and an OPS+ of 94.
  • Happy Birthday, Preacher Roe, Ron Negray & Matt Luke!

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

2020 Bowman NEXT – Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects - Wave 1

One of Topps newest online exclusive sets is called Bowman NEXT and it features the games top-ranked prospects in limited edition 15-card sets released on a weekly basis. Cards from the "1st Wave" have just arrived on collectors doorsteps, as Topps is currently selling sets from their "4th Wave" (which doesn't include any Dodger younglings) online. Sets cost $40 and you receive a the 15-card set and one autographed card.

There are two Dodgers available here -- Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray. As you know, both players were recently acquired from the Reds, as part of the Yasiel Puig trade. Additionally, Jeter Downs was traded a few weeks back to Boston, as part of the Mookie Betts / David Price trade. Go here for a complete checklist. BTW, a total of 770 set were created.

Wave 1 Base

#Jeter Downs                     #Josiah Gray

Blog Kiosk: 2/25/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Here are three custom fantasy Baseball cards I made featuring the Dodgers version of the "Killer B's" -- Mookie Betts, Walker Buhler and Cody Bellinger. All photos were taken by Jon SooHoo during Photo Day this spring. Go here to check out a bunch of pics from the day. Below are some notes from spring training, as provided by a Dodgers press release:
  • The Dodgers and the White Sox played to a tie Monday afternoon as Chicago rallied from a one run deficit to end the game in a 2-2 draw. The Dodgers had another impressive showing from All-Star Mookie Betts as the newly acquired outfielder went 2-for-3 with two put outs. Right-hander Ross Stripling made his Spring debut, firing one inning and striking out two. Dylan Floro, Adam Kolarek, Edubray Ramos, Kyle Lobstein, Edwin Uceta and Michael Boyle helped the cause tossing scoreless frames, while the offense was paced by solo homers from Cody Thomas and Omar Estévez.
  • Dodger left-hander Victor González will make his Spring Training debut and his first ever appearance in a Cactus League game this afternoon. González, 24, has been with the Dodgers’ organization since 2013 after signing with the organization at 17 years old from Tuxpan, Nayarit, Mexico. In six seasons with the organization, he has combined to go 17-27 with a 4.34 ERA (182 ER/377.0 IP) and 364 strikeouts against 138 walks. He put together his best campaign in 2019, going a combined 5-2 with a 2.31 ERA (23 ER/89.2 IP) and 93 strikeouts across three different levels. The lefty was added to the 40-man roster on October 31, 2019.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1994 former Dodger Leo Durocher is is elected by the Veterans Committee to the Hall of Fame. In 2002 84-year old broadcaster Ernie Harwell announced that this season would be his last as the Tiger's play-by-play man. As you may know, Harwell is the only announcer to have been traded for a ballplayer. Branch Rickey, in 1948, needed a substitute for an ailing Red Barber, so he traded catcher Cliff Dapper to the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association for his services. Ernie would broadcast in Brooklyn for two years.
  • Happy Birthday, Al HollingsworthAndy PafkoCesar Cedeno & Xavier Paul!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 2/21/2020 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

It was Photo Day at Camelback Ranch yesterday and fortunately Dodger Insider was kind enough to share a bunch of pics taken by Jon SooHoo. Featured here are David Price, Kiké Hernandez, Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger. Go here to check out more. Below are some notes about Spring Training, as provided by the Dodgers.
  • The Dodgers had 62 players report to camp including 25 infielders/outfielders (10 non-roster invitees), five catchers (two non-roster invitees) and 32 pitchers (10 non-roster invitees).
  • The former Vanderbilt Commodore Walker Buehler pitched in live action for the second time this Spring, tossing two simulated innings against teammates Corey Seager, Mookie Betts, Gavin Lux, Tyler White, Austin Barnes and Terrance Gore. Joining Buehler in throwing live bullpens today were Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Caleb Ferguson, Jordan Sheffield and Victor González.
  • The Los Angeles Sports Council will honor 2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger as the Los Angeles co-Sportsman of the Year alongside American League MVP Mike Trout.
  • On Thursday, May 7, 2020 at Dodger Stadium, Clayton and Ellen Kershaw will host their 8th Annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose benefiting their charity, Kershaw’s Challenge. Kershaw's Challenge was founded by Clayton and Ellen Kershaw in 2011 and has raised over 12 million dollars to support at-risk children and families around the globe.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1953 Tommy Lasorda is sold to the St. Louis Browns. He would then be returned to the Dodgers in late-March. In 1957 Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley traded minor league franchises with Phil Wrigley of the Cubs. Brooklyn traded the Ft. Worth club (Texas League) in return for the Los Angeles Angels (Pacific Coast League). In 1984 outfielder Dusty Baker is granted free agency. He played eight season in Los Angeles, slashing .281/.343/.437/.780 with 144 home runs and 586 RBI's. 
  • Happy BirthdayJack BillinghamFranklin GutierrezTed SavageSam Fletcher & Norman Plitt!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 2/20/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends


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

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Dodger Correspondence: 1934 Wilbert Robinson Handwritten Letter to Casey Stengel

Check out this fantastic hand-written letter by retired Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers manager Wilbert "Uncle Robbie" Robinson to old friend Casey Stengel that is currently on auction at Heritage (link here). Dated March 6, 1934, the letter expresses great fondness and admiration for Stengel -- adding that he's happy to know that he will be managing his old club.

As you may know, Uncle Robbie headed the Brooklyn ballclub from 1914 to 1931, and coached Casey when he was just a lad with the team from Flatbush. Below is an what's written (unfortunately, Robinson's handwriting is a little difficult to decipher, so it might not be entirely accurate). It says:
Dear Friend Casey: 
I am sure pleased you have the position as Manager of The Brooklyn Club. I know you will do well in fact better than any one I know of with the material you have. Mrs. Robinson joins me in wishing you success and good luck. 
I am glad you kept Otto. He is one hundred percent man at all times. I owe him a letter and will write him soon. 
I expect to drive down to some of the training camps the last of this month and if I do I will stop and see you in Orlando.  
Give them hell old boy and make a good showing.
Yours As Ever, 
Wilbert Robinson 
I believe Otto is in reference to Otto Miller -- who caught for Robinson for much of his time in Brooklyn and would later on become a coach.

BTW, Uncle Robbie would not survive the year. In August of 1934 he would fall and hit his head, while also breaking his arm in a hotel accident. He would soon utter these words,
"Don't worry about it, fellas. I'm an old Oriole. I'm too tough to die."
A few days later he would die of a brain hemorrhage -- just months after a Baltimore Orioles teammate and fellow legendary manager John McGraw passed away.

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

Blog Kiosk: 2/19/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Kershaw is excited for the season, regardless of the controversy currently embroiling the game. Via Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider:
“I think any time you add players of Mookie’s caliber, of David’s caliber, there’s a little bit added excitement for sure,” Kershaw said. “We’re fired up. We know we have a good team. Now we’ve just got to go play.”
“I love baseball,” Kershaw said. “I’m excited about it, and I’m just thinking about the 12-year-old kid at home that… here’s all this stuff. It’s hard to decipher. It’s just a lot of negative and negative and negative, and rightfully so. It’s a lot of stuff that’s going on that shouldn’t have happened, but at the same time, the season’s going to happen. We’re excited about it. This team is excited. There’s going to be a lot of great baseball, and I’m fired up for that.”
Photos above and on the right via @Dodgers on twitter. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1954 the Dodgers signed 19-year old Roberto Clemente to a one-year contract worth $5,000 with a $10,000 signing bonus. He was highly scouted by both the Yankees and Giants, but they all got outbid by the Dodgers. Unfortunately, they would lose Clemente's rights during the upcoming 1954 Rule V Draft to Pittsburgh... And guess who was the Pirates GM at the time -- Branch RickeyIn 1983 22-year old Dodger hurler Fernando Valenzuela becomes the first ballplayer awarded an $1,000,000 salary during arbitration. The Dodgers had countered with a salary of $750,000.
  • Happy BirthdayOscar RoettgerDick SiebertGail HopkinsDave StewartJosh Reddick & Fabio Castillo! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

2019 Leaf Ultimate Baseball -- All the Dodgers Cards

Leaf has recently issued a new Baseball set, but for whatever reason they continue to pretend it's a brand from 2019. Featured here are their 2019 Leaf Ultimate Baseball cards and it includes several Dodger prospects found within packs. They include Gavin Lux, Jimmy Lewis, Kody Hoese and Michael Busch. Go here for a complete checklist. Check out all the Dodger players below.

Rookie Signatures

#RS-GL1 Gavin Lux        #RS-JL1 Jimmy Lewis

Blog Kiosk: 2/18/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Betts is looking like a happy camper. Photos above via @Dodgers on twitter. Below are some notes from a Dodger press release regarding the Dodgers Spring.
  • Right-handed pitcher, Brusdar Graterol, threw his first bullpen session (on Monday), making his Dodger Spring Training debut. The Venezuelan born pitcher was a combined 19-6 with a 2.48 ERA (59 ER/214.0 IP) in 51 minor league games in the Twins’ organization last season. After making his Major League debut on Sept. 1, 2019, the 21-year old made 10 relief appearances for Minnesota to record a 1-1 record with a 4.66 ERA (5 ER/9.2 IP) with 10 strikeouts against two walks.
  • The Dodgers would like to welcome non-roster invitee Terrance Gore to camp. The outfielder spent last season between Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Kansas City. With Kansas City, he appeared in 37 games for a .275/.362/.353 slash line with two doubles and a triple. 
  • The first live batting practices of camp were thrown Monday by Walker Buehler and Tony Gonsolin.
Photo on the right via @Dodgers on twitter. Below are more links to check out:

Friday, February 14, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 2/14/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Welcome back, boys! I'm more excited for this season then I've ever been.

Photos above via @Dodgers on twitter (here & here). Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: This isn't exactly Dodgers news, but it is relevant and important. In 1957 the Georgia State Senate approved a bill, introduced by state senator Leon Butts, that prohibits blacks from playing baseball with whites except at religious gatherings -- ten years after MLB had integrated. 
      "Anything that tends to break down the bulwarks of segregation must be forcibly met by this general assembly. We have a situation in Georgia which has come about because of a national situation. I am referring to the Negroes in organized baseball in this state. It is unfortunate that some few people would participate in the destruction of our institutions for a few dollars."
    • Happy BirthdayMike Hechinger, Candy LaChanceTim JordanAbe KrugerLen Gabrielson & Takashi Saito!

    Thursday, February 13, 2020

    2020 Topps Now - #ST-1 - Dodgers Introduce David Price and Mookie Betts

    Here is card #1 from Topps 2020 Topps Now spring training edition of online exclusive cards, and it featured out two newest superstars -- David Price and Mookie Betts.

    Oh, boy! I am excited to see them in Dodger Blue. Per Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider:
    “We’ve had really talented teams in the past,” Friedman said. “I feel like this is quite possibly our most talented team, but also just a really good group of guys who we couldn’t feel more confident about them going out every night and competing and leaving it on the field.”
    Go here to check it out and order. Below is what's written on the reverse:
    David Price and Mookie Betts were introduced at Dodger Stadium as the enwest additions to the star-studded Los Angeles Dodgers. Price and Betts provide a wealth of experience to an already dominant Dodger team, both winning a World Series title with the Boston Red Sox in 2018.

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

    2019-20 Topps 582 Montgomery Club Set #2 -- 1968 Baseball Action Stickers Test Set

    The second 582 Montgomery Club Topps set has just been released and it borrows its design from the vintage 1968 Baseball Action Stickers test set. Two Dodgers are available -- Cody Bellinger and Gavin Lux. Go here for a complete checklist.

    As you may know, this is an online-only exclusive card club that includes six different card sets for members. Membership cost $250 per person, so you get a new set every couple of months. You also get some other perks, as well.

    Check out the Dodger cards below.


    #2 Cody Bellinger

    #13 Gavin Lux

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

    Blog Kiosk: 2/13/2020 - Dodgers Links & news - Pitchers & Catcher Report Day!


    Per Sarah Wexler at
    "To be able to jump on to a team like the Dodgers, a team that has had the amount of success they've had the last couple years, and then add a player like Mookie Betts, and then to be able to add myself to that mix as well?” Price said. “That's something special to be a part of, and we're both very excited for that.”
    Photo above via @Dodgers on twitter. Photo on the right via @Dodgers on twitter. Below are more links to check out:
    • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1968 the Dodgers completed a rare trade with the Giants. In fact, it would be 17 years before another trade is consummated between the two clubs. They shipped Ron Hunt and Nate Oliver to San Francisco for catcher Tom Haller and a minor leaguer. Haller would play four seasons in LA; slashing .276/.344/.393/.737. He would also garner MVP consideration his two first seasons in Blue -- coming in 22nd in '68 and 29th in '69.
    • Happy BirthdayWayne LeMasterGilly CampbellTodd WilliamsErnie RudolphEddie Pye & Nathan Eovaldi!

    Wednesday, February 12, 2020

    My 2020 FanFest Afternoon -- I Took a Tour of the Pavilion Construction

    It's been nearly three weeks since the Dodgers FanFest was held in the Dodgers parking lot, and I'm only now putting up some of my pics. So, I apologize for the delay.

    As you may know, the afternoon was filled with sunshine, plenty of Dodger fervor and lines galore... Like, there was a long line for everything. So long, in fact, I found myself wondering around rather than queuing up with the throng of masses. That said, I was able to check out a bunch of events -- including taking a stadium tour of the construction being done in the outfield pavilion. In fact, a majority of this post will feature photos from that tour.

    BTW, for a look back at my past post of this event check out the links below.  There are plenty of photos to look through, and links to other sites with their stories and photos.

    A Dodgers 2018 National League Championship Ring on Auction

    I know a consolation prize like a pennant winning championship ring is not what you want to see, but I'm going to show you it anyway.

    Featured here is a closer look at the Dodgers 2018 National League Championship ring, and it's currently on auction through Goldin Auctions (link here). At the time of this posting it is at $1,600, with 10 days to go.

    I like that it makes notes of the Dodgers slogan that season -- "LA Determined" -- and celebrates winning two consecutive pennants.

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

    Blog Kiosk: 2/12/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

    Check out the above 2020 Topps "Decades' Best" insert card featuring the Dodgers celebrating their 1963 World Series sweep of the Yankees. Do you notice something weird about it?

    It should jump out as plain as day.

    Well... If you don't see it, don't feel bad. I missed it too. Fortunately, bbcardz -- who writes the Stadium Fantasium Dodger blog -- caught it and let me know. (He wrote about it here)

    For whatever reason Topps chose to give the Dodgers celebrating in the photo red numbers on their backs.... Red? What a screw up!

    I figured I'd see if I could find an original copy of the photo and came across it on an RMY Auction from just a few weeks ago. It was taken by Larry Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times and is in B&W. So clearly, something went array as they were colorizing the photo, and some person behind a computer (likely figuring that since the Dodgers numbers on front are red, then so must the numbers on the back) messed it up.

    I wonder if Topps will make a corrected version of this error. Below are more links to check out:
    • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 2009 a $4.8MM civil lawsuit was filed against former Dodger infielder José Offerman by catcher John Nathans. As a member of the independent Long Island Ducks in 2007 he charged the pitcher with his bat in tow after being hit by a pitch. The pitcher suffered a broken finger and the catcher had a concussion (effectively ending his playing career) from the melee. Offerman is eventually found guilty and ordered to pay $940,000.
    • Happy BirthdaySweetbread BaileyEnzo HernándezDon Stanhouse & Dennis Springer!

    Tuesday, February 11, 2020

    2020 Dodger Spring Training Info - Facility, Schedule and Roster

    The Dodgers just released their 2020 Spring Training broadcast schedule, so I thought I would pass that along (see at very bottom). Thirty (30) spring training games will be televised on SportsNet LA, 18 games on AM 570 and an additional eight games on Spanish radio. Additionally, once the club releases their 2020 Spring Training player roster I will update this post with that information (I do currently have the list of non-roster invitees - at the very bottom). Above is a look at this season's Spring Training Dodger cap. Below are some pertinent dates to keep in mind:
    Thursday, February 13 - Pitchers and Catchers Report
    Friday, February 14 - Pitchers and Catchers 1st Workout
    Monday, February 17 - Position Players Report
    Tuesday, February 18 - First Full-Squad Workout
    Thursday, February 20 - Dodgers Photo Day (media related event only)
    Thursday, March 5 - All Minor League Players 1st Workout
    Here are the typical batting and field practice schedules for home games.

    2020 Topps Baseball Flagship, Series 1 -- The Rest of the Dodger Cards

    Here is a last look at the Dodger insert cards found in packs of Topps flagship Series 1 Baseball cards. This time we can see the Baseball Stars Autographs, Decades' Best, Postseason Performance, Topps Choice and the Medallion Manufactured Relics cards. Go here for a complete checklist.

    Baseball Stars Autographs

    • #BSA-CKE Clayton Kershaw -- Not Yet Seen
    #BSA-DM Dustin May

    Welcome to the Blue, Brusdar Graterol!

    The trade with the Twins is finally official. The Dodgers get a prospect reliever known for throwing 100 mph, while sending the much loved hurler Kenta Maeda to Minnesota -- effectively allowing him to become a regular starter on a competitive team. A win / win, no doubt... but sad since most Dodger fans will miss Maeda's professionalism and guile. Per a Dodgers tweet:
    So, who is Brusdar Graterol?