Thursday, April 28, 2011

Auto Collection: Steve Finley Diamond Kings

LinkI will never forget his walk-off grand slam against the Giants in the second to last game of the season to clinch the NL West. It was monumental. Glorious. Astounding. Heck, it was breathtaking. I remember sitting at the edge of my seat, with my palms clinched like a schoolboy praying with all his might, wishing for one final hit to bring home the victory. No, strike that... the bases where loaded and the game was tied 3 to 3 with only one out. All Finley needed to do was loft a flyball to score the winning run on a sacrifice. I thought to myself, "that's not too much to ask, is it?" Well, as soon as he hit it the entire the stadium leapt up with a collective roar. We all knew it would be deep enough, but to see it leave the field was some else. Steve Finley had closed it out in the most spectacular of fashions. If you want to relive that moment go here to see a video.

Here is a very scarce 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings autograph card of Steve Finley. It is numbered 1 out of 5.

Oscar Charleston as a Dodger?

This is from a current auction available from American Memorabilia and is stated as being a photo taken by famed photographer Teenie Harris in 1945. It's not an original vintage pic, but is a modern photo taken from an original negative.

Teenie Harris worked for the Pittsburgh Courier, one of America's leading African-American newspapers. He had made it his mission to photograph African-American life from the 1930's to 1970's, so it makes sense that he would cover Negro League Baseball- especially considering the popularity and fame of the Pittsburgh Crawford ball team. A large group of his negatives (80,000) currently reside at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Now, you are probably wondering, what is Negro League star and Baseball Hall of Famer Oscar Charleston doing in a Dodgers uniform? After all, he was way too old to play by the time integration came around. Well, this isn't the Brooklyn Dodgers that we know well, but is instead the Brooklyn Brown Dodgers- a Negro League team created by Branch Rickey for a newly created Negro League called the United States League in 1945. This was, of course, just a smoke screen by Rickey. He had to be able to scout the Negro League without having the gaze of the segregated Baseball getting a whiff of his plans. He needed to find the perfect player, and this rouse allowed him to send his top scouts out to find him. As we all know, Jackie Robinson is who ultimately became the ground breaker. Interestingly, in the background is Jackie Robinson himself. At least, I think that's him.

(Auction Link)

Some ToppsVault Dodgers

I haven't checked out ToppsVault in some time, so I thought I would cruise over there to see if there was some cool Dodgers to gaze at. Well, I wasn't disappointed. BTW, ToppsVault is Topps own eBay store where they sell off some rarities from their archives. Anyway, below is a 1984 Color Transparency/ negative of Orel Hershiser.

The next two items are 1960 color transparency/ negatives of Maury Wills.

Below is a 1987 Topps sticker photo of Mike Scioscia.

This is probably the most interesting item they have for sale right now. It's an original player contract between Topps and Dusty Baker from 1979. It doesn't say what the amount of the original contract was, but states that this 2 year extension made Dusty a whopping $75.00.