Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blog Kiosk: 2/28/2012

Panini provides more early pics from their upcoming Prime Cuts Baseball, via Knights Lance. Check out the Matt Kemp signature card above.
  • The Albuquerque Isotopes are holding their own National Anthem auditions on March 3rd at Isotopes Park. Registration required. Go here for details. Remember, the Dodgers will have their auditions on March 31st.
  • Check out Tony Jackson's great story at ESPN about Todd Coffey.
    "It was all about the learning experience for me,'' Coffey said. "It was tough. People talk about how much money baseball players make, but a lot of people don't know about the hardships ballplayers have when they're in the low minors, trying to work their way up. You don't make a lot of money. And it's tough to get a job in the offseason because who is going to hire somebody when they know they have to leave after a few months?''
  • Tony Jackson unveils this seasons marketing slogan, via Twitter.
  • Nathan Eovaldi is the new meatball king, via Tommy Lasorda on Twitter.
  • Do not like, but will learn to accept. Hiroki Kuroda in pinstripes. Check it out here.
  • Earliest known Babe Ruth game-worn jersey to go on the auction block, via SCD. It may reach $1Mil in bidding.
  • Connie Marrero, MLB's oldest living player, finally receives his pension, via Peter Bjarkman.
    MLB’s Players Association has finally classified Marrero among a group of needy pre-1980 players who don’t qualify for standard pensions but deserve to be compensated nonetheless. The result will finally be the long overdue and considerable MLB financial compensation so desperately needed.
  • Dustin Palmateer at Baseball Prospectus "Sizes Up the CBA Again."
    In late November of 2011, Major League Baseball and the Players Association reached a new five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (PDF), guaranteeing 21 straight years of labor peace. The new CBA features some radical changes, however, and many fans, analysts, and executives are worried about how those changes might impact an already sizable gap between small- and large-market franchises.
  • My new favorite website: Bad Spring Training Twitpics.

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training- Day 7

Don Mattingly stands at the plate while Chris Capuano throws in his bullpen session (pic via twitter @Dodgers)

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.
  • EVERYDAY: Dodger Manager Don Mattingly addressed the full squad for the first time this morning and let each player know what his expectations were for the team. Mattingly’s mantra of “everyday” has carried over into his second year as Dodger skipper, following an 82-win rookie campaign. In addition to Mattingly, General Manager Ned Colletti, Director, Team Travel Scott Akasaki and bench coach Trey Hillman all spoke to the club. Also on hand were Dodger Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda and Dodger legends Maury Wills, Steve Yeager and Shawn Green. Los Angeles’ first Spring Training game is in six days on March 5 at 1:05 p.m. against the White Sox. The Dodgers’ first home game at Camelback Ranch will be the following day against the Giants.

  • DEALING NOT DONE: Dodger pitchers Mike MacDougal and Ted Lilly threw bullpens today, catching up with most of the other hurlers, who had a day off from throwing before they toss live batting practice on Thursday. MacDougal missed a side session a few days ago and Lilly was late to camp due to the birth of his daughter last week. Five pitchers did toss live batting practice today as LHP Wilfredo Ledezma, RHP Angel Guzman, RHP Fernando Nieve, RHP Ryan Tucker and LHP Scott Rice all took the mound.

(Mark Ellis in the batting cage, via FSWest picplz)

  • MASTER CLASS: This afternoon, first base coach Davey Lopes talked baserunning with all the position players in camp for more than 30 minutes. One could hear a pin drop as Lopes opined on the mental and situational aspects necessary to being a successful base runner. Lopes, entering his second year as a Dodger coach after wearing Dodger Blue for 10 seasons as a player,made an instant impact for Los Angeles in 2011 as the Dodgers’ stolen-base percentage of 75.9 was the second-best mark since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, trailing the 1962 club’s 82.2 mark. The Dodgers ranked fourth in the National League with 126 steals and had the circuit’s fifth-best stolen base percentage (126 SB/40 CS) in 2011. Both marks were significant improvements over the team’s 92 steals and 64.8% success rate in 2010.

  • LEAP OF FAITH: Tomorrow is February 29, or Leap Day, meaning that this year “Beastmode” will be 24/7, 366. The Dodgers have made the playoffs in four of the last six leap years (1988, 1996, 2004, 2008), including two straight.

  • OI OI OI!: The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy birthday to outfielder Trent Oeltjen, who turns 29 today. Oeltjen set career highs last season in games (61), at-bats (71), RBI (6), walks (13) and stolen bases (6) while the team went 38-23 when he appeared in a game. Oeltjen’s 99 career big league games rank fifth all-time for an Australian-born position player and he is the fourth Aussie to play for the Dodgers. Fellow countryman Shane Lindsay is vying to become the fifth, but the non-roster right-hander has yet to see action this spring due to a strained lat.

(Javy Guerra is getting scanned by MLBPA & Sony for inclusion in video games, pic via Twitter @Dodgers)

  • LOOK MOM, VIDEO GAMES!: The good people from Sony were at Camelback Ranch – Glendale early this morning, scanning the faces of several Dodgers for the various video games, including “MLB: The Show.” Those getting brought to life in video were Dodger Manager Don Mattingly, Tim Federowicz, Justin Sellers, Nathan Eovaldi, Rubby De La Rosa, Javy Guerra, Jerry Sands, Josh Lindblom and Shane Lindsay.

  • BRING YOUR SPIKES: On Thursday, the Dodgers will hold their annual open tryout here at Camelback Ranch – Glendale, hosted by the amateur scouting department. The tryout will take place from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and potential prospects can call 323-224-1512 for details and instructions.

Card Creations: I Made Some Homemade Dee Gordon Racing Cards

In my mind, Jon SooHoo has etched his name along side some of the greatest photographers to work for the Dodgers. He is easily on par with names like Herbie Scharfman and the great Barney Stein. He is that good. Heck, all you have to do is check out his photo blog to see his skills.

For Instance, yesterday he posted up some great photos featuring our new lead-off hitter Dee Gordon with a couple of great Dodger base stealers from the past, Maury Wills and Davey Lopes. In fact, the photos are so good I decided to create a handful of photoshopped card creations using some vintage racing card designs for everyone to enjoy. See them below.

I'm hardly a pro at making these, but as time goes by I get a little better. I can only hope they are half as good as SooHoo's work. Go here to check out my other Card Creations I've made in the past.

Below are the three speedsters on a 1991 Traks card.
I thought this 1991 Maxx card design was perfect for this Dee Gordon photo.

Dee Gordon at the starting line. I used a 1988 Maxx card design.

Legendary Auctions: More Vintage Dodger Photos

Following up on my post from last week, here are some more vintage Dodger photographs Legendary Auctions currently has available. Check them out below.

Here is a team photograph of the 1947 Dodgers that features rookie Jackie Robinson.
I'll let the auction description take it from here:
Something about the nighttime setting, the photographer's flashbulb and the dugout backdrop have crystallized into sheer photographic perfection here. You almost never see this level of fine detail and high resolution in news service photos. Yet every line on the players' faces and even the textured fabric of their garments is all acutely visible. There's practically a magical quality to the 8" x 10" photo, which captures Major League trailblazers Don Newcombe, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Larry Doby during a barnstorming game between the "Jackie Robinson All-Stars" and the Richmond Giants at Mooers Field on October 13, 1948.

This photo has amazing clarity. Pee Wee Reese crosses the plate after hitting one of his four home runs in the 1952 World Series.

The Dodgers are excited to play prior to the start of Game 1 of the 1956 World Series. The news caption on the reverse states,
"READY FOR PLAY BALL—Coming out of the Dodger dugout (left to right) are catcher Roy Campanella, rightfielder Carl Furillo, first baseman Gil Hodges, leftfielder Sandy Amoros, third baseman Jackie Robinson, centerfielder Duke Snider, shortstop Pee Wee Reese, second baseman Jim Gilliam obscured by pitcher Sal Maglie."

This is a photo by Herb Scharfman- one of Baseballs great post war photographers. He worked for International News, The New York Mirror and the Brooklyn Dodgers. His work also graced the pages of Sports Illustrated from its inception. The news caption on the reverse describes the event below.
"DODGERS MAKE IT DOUBLE IN SETTING HOME-RUN RECORD - Roy Campanella, left, and Duke Snider have reason for the broad grins as they pose with arm loads of bats in the Dodger clubhouse. Campy and the Duke are tied in homers with 41 apiece. They also score a 'first' for the Dodgers in marking the first time that two men on one team have tacked up 41 homers. And finally, Campanella and Snider topped by one home run the record set by Gil Hodges."

From the auction description,
Gathered here are all the key figures of Brooklyn's Game 1 triumph over the Yankees in the '52 World Series. Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider and Pee Wee Reese contributed home runs; Joe Black got the mound victory; and Chuck Dressen piloted the team to success.

Collection: Steve Garvey Donruss Signature

Here is my 2001 Donruss Signature Series Team Trademarks autographed card of Steve Garvey. It is numbered 82 out of 182.

You can never have too many Garvey autographed cards. This is 1 of 12 that I have in my collection.

2012 Topps Baseball- Jackie Robinson Golden Greats Set

This is definitely one of the nicest inserts available in 2012 Topps. Here is the five card Golden Greats insert set of Jackie Robinson. Click on any pic to enlarge.
I love the biographies on the reverse. Be sure to click on any pic to embiggen.