Monday, January 31, 2011

Dodgers Win 2010 NL Bobby Murcer Award

This past weekend was the 2010 "Going to Bat for B. A. T" Fundraising Dinner. As a part of the event the NL Bobby Mercer Award was awarded to the Dodgers- see the photo above as Steve Garvey accepts the award for the organization. See more pics here on Facebook. Below is a little bit about this prize out of Wikipedia.
Since 2003, members of B.A.T. have visited each team in Major League Baseball and solicit donations, all of which are given back to former players and members of the Baseball Family. The visits also educate the players to be the eyes and the ears of the B.A.T. organization by letting B.A.T. know about anyone who may be in need of assistance. The teams that donate the most money to aid others are honored each year with the Bobby Murcer Award. This year, the tour generated almost 2 million dollars in donations for the neediest members of the Baseball Family.

Goodwin Auctions: 19th Century Brooklynite Dan Foutz

Here is a great and truly vintage 19th century Baseball card currently available on auction from Goodwin & Company. It features do-it-all ballplayer Dave Foutz of the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (an early incarnation of the Dodgers). Foutz was decent with the bat, he could field multiple positions and he was a very accomplished pitcher... Heck, he even managed the Dodgers for a time. This guy was a Victorian Baseball renaissance man.

His numbers don't lie. As a pitcher, in 1886 he won 41 games while losing only 16 with a ERA of 2.11. That year he threw 504 innings, had 55 complete games and had a ERA+ of 164. As a batter a year later, 1887, he would hit .357 with a OPS of .901. In 1889 he stole 64 bases. His ability to do it all made it seem that he was destined to become a superstar. Unfortunately, he fell short of greatness, although Baseball Reference does compare his career quite favorably with that of Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean. It is said that Foutz suffered through asthma throughout his life and eventually succumbed to it at the age of 40 - only a year after leaving the game.

The card below is one of the scarcer Baseball cards out there. It was produced in 1895 by Mayo's Cut Plug.

Blog Kiosk: 1/29/2011

  • Shorpy does it again. Check out their great glass negative photo of old League Park in Cleveland from 1910- home of the Cleveland Naps. Check it out here. It's a view of the front of the stadium with fans decked out in suits waiting to get inside. This Cleveland team was filled with stars. You could watch soon-to-be Hall of Famers Nap Lajoie, Elmer Flick, Addie Joss and Cy Young there. More importantly, a young Shoeless Joe Jackson first came to the club in 1910.
  • Both DC and Archie Comics have recently stopped following the Comics Code. This is a long time coming.
  • If you are a Kings fan then you know what the Burger King Jersey is. Check out this great story from The Royal Half about its origins. If you don't know anything about it or don't care then just take a gander at it below and laugh with us all.
  • GCRL explores the Dodger career of Rafael Landestoy.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Auto Collection: Snider Fall Classic

I can never get enough of Duke Snider signed cards. Here is my 2003 Fleer Fall Classic "All American Collection" autographed card of "The Duke." It is numbered 91 out of 100. No Dodger collection is complete without one signed Snider item. Fortunately, he has been a very active signer over the years so his John Hancock shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg.

eBay: Dedicate This

I've been waiting forever to post up this photo from a closed eBay auction. Why? I dunno. I guess I was thinking that I would do some research to figure out the event. Unfortunately, there is no date associated with the pic, but it does have all of the hallmarks of a original Sporting News photo.

It features owner Walter O'Malley, Dodger manager Walter Alston and Hoboken, New Jersey Mayor John J. Grogan at a dedication ceremony. It seems likely it is from the opening of a park for little league teams or the opening of the little league season. The nicest part is the championship banner. I'm sure Brooklyn fans were happy to see it wherever they went.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 1/27/2011

Even though I might be a little pessimistic about the upcoming season, I am still excited about the prospects a new season ushers in. At this point, every team has a shot at the championship and that, in itself, brings me great hope.
  • Here is a must read for any Brooklyn Dodger fan. Check out Gary's great Karl Spooner card at The Infinite Baseball Card Set and his even better biography of this old-time Dodger.
  • OK! What is this? A Bottoms Up Beer Dispenser? Getting beer at a game may never be the same. Check out the Puck Daddy link for more info about this revolutionary invention. (Hat Tip: Puck Daddy)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Garvey Interview with ESPN NY Tonight with Daughtry

Check out this great interview with Steve Garvey from just a few days ago with ESPN NY Tonight with Bill Daughtry. He talks about the Hall, a bit about his a career, but most importantly about B.A.T- Baseball Assistance Team. Hear the interview here. As you may know, the group will be having their 22nd Annual Going to Bat for B.A.T. Dinner tomorrow night and Garvey is a member of its Board of Directors. Information is here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 1/20/2011

Have no fear folks, Baseball is around the corner.
  • If you are planning to tie that knot soon, then you gotta check this out. Topps is giving away a $10,000.00 diamond engagement ring away to one lucky couple as a part of their diamond 60th anniversary promotion. Get all the details right here.
  • At Baseball by the Letters, Norm Sherry shares a bit about hitting homers against Spahn.
  • Have you ever wanted to go to the Football Hall of Fame? Well, here's a chance to go for free. Hershey is running a contest that includes a free trip. You can also win a whole bevy of other prizes. Go here to check it out.
  • Gary at the always great Infinite Baseball Card Set has really outdone himself with an awesome card and biography on Major League Murderer Blackie Schwamb. Bringing back the past to fascinate us in the present.

Auto Collection: Beltre Showcase

Unfortunately, Beltre will be showcasing his defensive talents with another club. Fortunately, him going elsewhere means the Dodgers won't be on the hook for an outrageous sum. 6 years for $96Mil? Are you kidding me? Texas can have him! Anyway, here is a 2005 Fleer Showcase Legacy Autographed card of Adrian Beltre. It is numbered 116 out of 180.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blog Kiosk: 1/17/2011

  • Chris Jaffe puts together a list of the "15 worst endings ever to regular season games." As I'm sure you cam imagine, the Dodgers amply fill the list. 4 Dodgers games are recounted, and, surprisingly, only one led to a Dodger lost. Here is a sample of a win:
    Thanks to's Play Index, we know that only one game in the last 60 years ended on a walk-off catcher's interference play. I really don't know what Johnny Bench did with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th of a 4-4 game in 1971, but the ump ruled it catcher interference. Runners advance - game over.
  • Check out Julian Morrow's great story about Happy Felton and the Knott Hole Gang.
  • Marcus Thames- Almost a Dodger? Via, MLB Trade Rumor and Ken Gurnick.
  • Check out this really cool map of online communities, via The Big Picture.
  • Tom at Baseball by the Letters shares a letter he got from former Dodger Norm Sherry.
  • GCRL reminded me that today is Don Zimmer's Birthday. Happy Birthday Don!

SportsCardLink Auction: Some Great Vintage Dodger Pics

I can't get enough of these old photos. Here are some great Brooklyn related pictures from an auction house called Sports Card Link Auctions. This is the first time I've run into this company so I can't vouch for their services, but based on some of these items featured here I can certainly sing their praises for having some nice items up for auction.

Below is a cabinet sized team photo of 1913 Brooklyn Superbas. This year is noted since it was the first year the club played at Ebbets Field. Also, the auction states that this is the exact photo that adorns the T200 Fatima Cigarettes Brooklyn team card. Click on the pic below to enlarge it.
(click on the pic to enlarge)
(Auction Link)

Here is a great team photo cabinet card of the 1907 Brooklyn Superbas. Well, let me rephrase that. It includes many members of the 1907 team, but also includes a handful of non-Dodgers; including a chap from Fordham College. It is likely from their pre-season games in Florida or from a barnstorming tour of the same year. Either way, it's a nice pic featuring some old-time Dodgers.
(click on the pic to enlarge)
(Auction Link)

Here are some photos that really caught my eye. They are auctioning a lot of 11 vintage photo negatives featuring the 1955 Brooklyn Dodger NL Champions victory parade through the old borough. This happened on September 16th, 1955- a couple of weeks before the start of the World Series. I guess after years of a seemingly futile wait for their own World Series parade they decided that a pennant winning parade would be just fine. Little did they know that that victory parade would be earned the next month.
(click on the pic to enlarge)
(click on the pic to enlarge)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dodger Pride Night In the Midst of a Kings Slide

I was hoping that last nights Kings game would bring out a resurgent hockey club. After all, it would be Dodger Pride Night and I figured there would be no better way to bring back some of those good feelings to the LA fans than to share the moment with the areas great Baseball team. Unfortunately, we got a whole crap full of nothing as our current slide continues unabated. If you've been following the team this season then you know what I'm talking about. They have been on a roller coaster that has certainly given this fan the shakes. I've been on the verge of loosing my lunch as we rumble through the seasons course hoping that we reach the finish line in time to made another run into the playoffs.

Fortunately, the Kings have had some ups this season too, so all is not lost. They just need to get their act together. And soon!
Anyway, this years Dodger Pride event featured Billy Ashley signing autographs. He didn't have any pics available, but he did sign a Line Drive Magazine for me below. He was also kind enough to take a pic with me as you can see above.
Here are a couple more pics from the evening from the Kings website; including Mattingley dropping the opening puck.
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

1982 Dodgers Police Set

I've finally gotten around to scanning the next Dodger Police set. Here are pics of the entire 1982 Dodger Police set that celebrates the 1981 World Series Championship team. The first four cards below are definitely the best ones. Click any of the photos to enlarge.

I really love these cards. They are inexpensive to get and provide a really good look at the team that hit the field that year. The backs have a short biography.
(click any of the pics to enlarge)
(click any of the pics to enlarge)(click any of the pics to enlarge)(click any of the pics to enlarge)
(click any of the pics to enlarge)(click any of the pics to enlarge)
(click any of the pics to enlarge)

2010 Bowman Platinum Dodgers

Well, I guess this is the last Baseball card set of 2010. Apparently, retail packs have been available at your local Target and Walmart since December, but hobby boxes only came on line in the past week. Being a Bowman brand it focuses primarily on rookies and a handful of established stars. The base set consist of only 100 players and the Dodgers are represented by 3 of its stars: Kemp, Ethier and Kershaw. See them below. As is common with modern cards each base set has numerous parallels. The Kemp below is a refractor that is numbered to 999. The Etheir and Kershaw are the normal base card.

Matt Kemp #13

Andre Ethier #29

Clayton Kershaw #74

Here are the two Dodger future rookie stars in a insert set called Platinum Chrome. It consist of 50 different players with 28 being minor league players and the remaining 22 being Team USA players. Again, numerous parallels exist.

Jerry Sands #PP1

Chris Withrow #PP21 (Gold Parallel)

The only other remaining Dodger cards in the Bowman Platinum brand are these two autographed inserts of Jerry Sands and Allen Webster. I think the Sands is probably the key Dodger in this brand.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Auto Collection: Strawberry Absolute Ink

Here is a 2004 Donruss Playoff Absolute Ink auto/game used material card of Darryl Strawberry from my collection. It is not a very rare card, but is numbered 39 out of 100.

The Dodger Tray and Its Origins

Several months back I had received an email from a fan who had the above Dodger tray. As I had written back in September, I had never seen this item before. Well, after a long wait the emailer sent me a pic of the ticket stubs this tray came from and it provides some enlightening information. See the ticket stubs below.
The tray actually comes from a Dodger Stadium Dedication Ceremony (April 9, 1962) the day before the inaugural game at Dodger Stadium. I had communicated with Dodger Historian Mark Langill about the event and he helpfully pointed me to an article he wrote for Walter O' Of note, neither Mr. Langill or myself had ever seen the tray before.
An estimated 2,000 fans attended the outdoor luncheon as civic leaders and baseball officials celebrated the end of the project — at least its frantic final hours as Teddy Buckner’s Dixieland band played alongside the sounds of Yount’s construction crews.

“When O’Malley, Frick and the rest of the dedication committee arrived at the stadium for the ceremonies, workmen were still scurrying around all four tiers, hammering, welding, plastering and painting,” Sports Illustrated reported. “A huge orange crane stood in left field lifting sections of the electronic message board into place. The grass, which had been grown outside the stadium and then carted inside in squares a few weeks before, was uneven and splotchy. Half of it had been dyed a rich green, but the other half was an unhealthy yellow. Delivery boys raced wildly about with bunches of flowers asking ushers where such-and-such a place was. The ushers could only shrug. Even the Dodgers’ batting cage got lost, preventing the team from taking batting practice.”

When a reporter noticed misspelled stadium signs (“Lounge” instead of “Loge”; “Pavillon” instead of “Pavilion”), O’Malley roared with laughter. Those typos were mere blips on the radar screen as the cranes were lifting the final pieces of the scoreboard in place and furniture was being moved into vacant spaces.

“We’ll undoubtedly have a lot of glad moments in the new ballpark,” Snider said. “But we’ll probably have some sad ones, too.”

Snider suffered the season’s first injury on his way to the ceremonies. When the tailpipe on his car fell off in traffic, he picked up the loose piece of metal — not realizing it was still hot. Snider wore a golf glove over his hand to hide the burn during the ceremonies and keep himself in the next day’s starting lineup.
Awesome stuff. I also wanted to add that the emailer told me this about the picnic.
"She told me that fans could also buy tickets to an Opening Day Picnic and have a picnic lunch in the outfield before the game. I believe she said the served steak and salad. So I have the stubs to the picnic as well but the really cool item is the tray they served the meal on. She told me that the food was on the tray with plastic wrap covering the food."
So, I guess that's the end of the mystery of the Dodger tray. It seems likely that only about 2,000 of the trays were made and this particular one may be one of the few that has withstood the test of time. So, a big thanks to the emailer who shared this item with all of us.

BTW, the players on the tray shown above are (going clockwise starting with Johnny Podres on the top left): Johnny Podres, Don Drysdale, Maury Wills, John Roseboro, Willie Davis, Frank Howard, Sandy Koufax, Wally Moon and Duke Snider.

Branch Rickey-Jackie Robinson Week at Ohio Wesleyan University

Via Baseball Musings we find out that Ohio Wesleyan University is sponsoring a Branch Rickey-Jackie Robinson Week from Jan. 24-27, 2011. As you may know, Rickey was a 1904 graduate at the university. In fact, check out an old post of mine from 2007 featuring a team photo of Rickey as manager of the Ohio Wesleyan University Baseball team here and the photo below. (Rickey is the gentleman on the top right in the suit.)
Anyway, there are all kinds of events being planned; including the presentation of the Branch Rickey Award to Mrs. Rachel Robinson.
Rachel Robinson, widow of Major League Baseball legend Jackie Robinson and founder of The Jackie Robinson Foundation, is being honored with Ohio Wesleyan University’s Branch Rickey Award for her “exceptional personal contribution and commitment to the goal of full equality for all.”

Rachel Robinson is only the second person in history to receive Ohio Wesleyan’s Branch Rickey Award, with the inaugural award presented to tennis player Arthur Ashe in 1988. The award was created in memory of Rickey, a 1904 Ohio Wesleyan graduate who partnered with Jackie Robinson to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier. Their courage and vision helped to end racial segregation in professional sports and set the stage for the U.S. Civil Rights movement.

Go here for more information about the event. Information about the Branch Rickey Award can be found here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Memorial Fund in Honor of Christina Taylor Green

As many of you already know, the Dodgers lost a cherished member this past weekend. She wasn't a ballplayer or famous, but she was loved by all those who knew her. Christina Taylor Green was the 9 year old daughter of Dodger scout John Green. In her honor a memorial fund has been established. Below are details from the Dodger press release.

On a personal note, violence like what happened this past weekend can never be tolerated. Although I doubt a direct correlation in this instance between the vitriolic speech we often see and experience today and the actions of a madman exist, I do think it should all give us some pause. We should all learn to be more kind to one another.
In response to the overwhelming offers of support for the family of Los Angeles Dodgers scout John Green, the club today created an email address where family, friends and members of the community can share their thoughts and feelings on the tragic passing of Christina Taylor Green. Those memories, thoughts and condolences, which can be sent to, will be compiled in a memorial book for the family.

Letters can be sent via mail to: Dodger Stadium, c/o the Green Family, 1000 Elysian Park Ave., Los Angeles , CA 90090

John Green and his family have also created a charitable memorial fund to honor the life and memory of Christina, which will be held by the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona .

“Our family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for our sweet Christina,” said Green. “This memorial fund will ensure her legacy for the children in our community.”

Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Christina Taylor Green may do so by:

· Logging on to the website of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona at

and clicking on the link to the Christina Taylor Green Memorial Fund

· Contacting the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona by email at, or by calling (520) 545-0313.

· Checks may be sent to:

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona

In Memory of Christina Taylor Green

2250 E. Broadway Boulevard

Tucson, AZ 85719

A public memorial service for Christina is scheduled for this Thursday, January 13 at 1 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, which is located at 8650 N. Shannon Road in Tucson , AZ.

Dodgers Pride Night at the Kings Game: Billy Ashley to Sign

For those fans that will be in attendance for this coming Thursdays hockey game between the Kings and the St. Louis Blues be sure to say hi to former Dodger Billy Ashley. He will be signing autographs before and during the game in the main concourse in celebration of Dodgers Pride Night at Staples. Also, manager Don Mattingley will be on hand for the opening puck drop.

I had thought about getting a media pass for the game, but thought better of it. Since I am a regular at the stadium for Kings games already I rightfully decided that sitting in the cheap seats with the fans I love to scream and chant with would be far better than sitting in the press box. Go Kings Go!UPDATE: I just got a email asking this so I figure I should address it here. There is a special commemorative Dodger puck being given out, but not to everyone in attendance. I believe, only those fans who get tickets through their ticket deal for the game (or maybe VIP package) get the puck. I'm not exactly sure, but since I already have season tickets for the Kings I would not be eligible. Dammit! More information is available here.