Friday, January 20, 2012

Blog Kiosk: 1/20/2012

Topps just release preview pics of their 2012 Tier One set. It is expected to be released on June 18th. Beckett has the info right here. Above is the Clayton Kershaw autographed card.
  • Clayton Kershaw overload. SoCal Sports Media interviews Clayton at the Barnes & Nobles during his recent book signing (Hat Tip: VSIMH), and here is another story and interview from Ken Gurnick at MLB.
  • Plenty of Dodgers Making the Cut on Bill James’ Top 100 Pitcher’s Duels, via Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness.
  • Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy provides an update on Gary Carter. We're all pulling for ya, Kid.
  • Should founding SI writer Robert Creamer be considered for the Hall of Fame? Via Baseball: Past and Present.
  • This is great news for the card collector. SCD lets us know that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will be digitizing the entire collection of Jefferson R. Burdick and making them available for viewing online. Burdick was the founder of the American Card Catalog who donated his collection of over 300,000 cards to the museum. SCD links to an interview with a curator in NY Magazine.
  • Gary Cieradkowski of the Infinite Card Set is featured in this nice ESPN article.
  • This is the hottest photo of Cameron Diaz I have ever seen, via If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger...
  • Am I bad man if this video makes me laugh uncontrollably? Check out Sad Packer Fan.
  • Etta James, RIP. From CNN.

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Motorcross Takes Over Dodger Stadium

As I'm sure you already know, Dodger Stadium is no Elysian Field today. It has been stripped bare of its beautiful glow. Gone are the meticulously tended to infield. Gone is the beautiful grass outfield. There is no warning track.

All that is left is what you see below- a giant pile of dirt. This coming Saturday is the 2nd annual AMA Supercross event at Dodger Stadium, and it pains me to see our second home looking like this. I must avert my eyes. Fortunately, the Dodgers crew did a great job of cleaning up the mess last year, so I shouldn't be too worried. I'm sure they know what they're doing.

Anyway, check out the transformation below. All pics taken from various tweets.

(Pic Link: Twitter twmxdotcom)

Softball Major Leaguers

I'm really grasping for straws here. The 2012 Baseball season is still over a couple of months away, and my lack of patience is starting to wear me down. Oh, what can I do to satisfy my Baseball thirst?

I know. I should check out some monumental softball home run by some Major League stars? Naturally. So, check out Raul Mondesi from 2009. He just crushes the ball. I can't help but think that this match up is just not fair.

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Jose Canseco was at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita last year and belts this monster homer to right field, and declares, "it might be as far as a softball might go."

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Now, here is the best softball video out there. It is of a long forgotten exhibition game between, then, current Major Leaguers playing softball. It is from 1991 and features only one inning of play. All I gotta add is that the catchers, Dave Parker and Joe Oliver, are absolutely fearless.

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Collection: Ethier Greatness

Greatness might be an overstatement, but he sure has had moments of brilliance. Remember those walk-off miracles from the past several years? Andre Ethier seems to have a flair for the dramatic. I only wish he could do better against left handed pitching.

This is a 2006 Upper deck Future Stars 'Clear Path to Greatness' autographed card in my collection. It is made of plastic and is slightly transparent.

eBay: Vintage Dodger Snapshots- Some Replacement Players

Sure, it's great to have a chance to enjoy vintage fan taken snapshots of a future Hall of Famer, but those guys tend to be who everyone takes photos of. How about the other fellows? Won't somebody give the role players some love?

Well, featured here are several snapshots of some unheralded Brooklyn Dodgers from the early 1940's.

Below is journeyman backup catcher Herman Franks from 1941. He was hardly a superstar, but became noteworthy nonetheless. Herman started out with the Hollywood Stars, played in Brooklyn from 1940 to 1941, befriended Leo Durocher in the meantime, went away to war for 3.5 years, and came back to became a player manager for the Dodgers AAA team in St. Paul. Then, he decided to get back on the field for the Phillies and Giants before retiring to be the right hand man behind Manager Durocher's Giants. As the story goes, it was Franks who sat in centerfield stealing catcher signs that may have lead to Bobby Thompson's 1951 home run shot.

So, Franks was a traitor, and a cheating SOB. As stated in Wikipedia:
Franks would poke his head into the Brooklyn clubhouse to taunt Furillo that Giant pitchers would throw at his head during that day's game. Furillo, whose hatred for Durocher was so intense that he would engage Durocher in a fistfight in the Giant dugout filled with enemy players, said of the Giants, in Peter Golenbock's book Bums, "They were dirty ballplayers ... They all wanted to be like Durocher, to copy Durocher. That Herman Franks, he was another one."

This is Newt Kimball. He was a right handed relief pitcher for the Dodgers from 1940 to 1943. This photo was taken in September of 1941. Unfortunately, I can't make out where the pic is from.

Larry French casually strolls through the home field of the Boston Braves in July 1942 in the photo below. Of the three players featured here, French had the longest career. He was a starting pitcher for most of his 14 years in the Majors- the last two with Brooklyn in 1941 to 1942. Here is a funny story about Larry from Wikipedia.
With his team leading the Braves 8-0 in the ninth inning, reliever Larry French of the 1933 Pirates figured he could duck out of the bullpen and hit the showers early. Little did he know as he was getting clean that the Braves had rallied to make the score 8-7. When the call came for French to pitch, he didn't even have time to rinse off. He put on his uniform and hustled out to the mound with soap trickling down his neck. He went on to pull off a win.
That would be like Griffey hitting a homer as a pinch hitter that one time he was found in the clubhouse sleeping during a game.