Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training- Day 25

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.

San Francisco Giants (11-4-2) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (8-4-2)

Saturday, March 17, 2012 – 7:05 p.m., Camelback Ranch - Glendale

RHP Aaron Harang vs. LHP Brian Burres

Spring Game 15/Home Game 7

Todays Starting Lineup:
Dodgers: Sellers 3B, DeJesus 2B, Kemp CF, Rivera LF, Sands RF, Loney 1B, Cruz SS, Treanor C, Harang P, Scully announcer
Upcoming Spring Training Schedule:

  • CACTUS LEAGUE HEAVIES: Two of the Cactus League’s best will be on display tonight as a split-squad of Dodgers takes on a split-squad of Giants this evening at Camelback Ranch – Glendale. This will be the second of three meetings with the Giants this spring as the Dodgers will head to Scottsdale on Wednesday, March 28. During the regular season, the Giants and Dodgers clash 18 times, with the first series coming from May 7-9 at Dodger Stadium. The clubs meet six times in September, including the final three games at Chavez Ravine from Oct. 1-3.

  • HURLERS: Right-hander Aaron Harang takes the mound for his third start of the spring season today after firing 3.0 innings and allowing one run in a victory over the Angels in Tempe last Monday. Harang is coming off one of the best seasons of his 10-year big league career after leading the Padres with 14 wins and posting a career-low 3.64 ERA in 28 starts last season. Since 2004, Harang ranks among the National League leaders in wins (85, 7th), strikeouts (1,223, 3rd), innings pitched (1,467.2, 4th) and complete games (13, T-7th). He will be followed to the mound by:

    ● RHP Jamey Wright last pitched on Wednesday against the Reds, allowing an unearned run in 1.0 inning. The Texas native has given up three runs (two earned) in 4.0 Cactus League innings this spring.

    ● RHP Ramon Troncoso fired a scoreless inning last Tuesday vs. Colorado and has yielded just one run in three 2012 Spring Training appearances. Troncoso made the club’s Opening Day roster from 2008-10, but spent the majority of last year with Triple-A Albuquerque, going 2-4 with a 5.05 ERA in 35 relief appearances for the Isotopes.

    ● RHP Josh Lindblom last pitched on Wednesday in Goodyear and gave up just one hit in a scoreless frame. The right-hander out of Purdue went 1-0 with a 2.73 ERA (9 ER/29.2 IP) in 27 appearances for the Dodgers last year.

    ● LHP Matt Chico allowed one run on two hits last Tuesday vs. Colorado and has a 6.00 ERA (2 ER/3.0 IP) this spring. The 28-year-old pitched for USC and Palomar Community College.

(Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2012)

  • EARLIER TODAY: The Dodgers scored four runs in the ninth to tie the game, but lost to the Rockies in Scottsdale, 7-6, on a walk-off home run by Tim Wheeler. The Dodgers have now alternated wins and losses since beating the Angels on Monday. All-Star outfielder Andre Ethier was 2-for-2 with a double and now has seven extra-base hits in his nine games. On the mound, Nathan Eovaldi tossed 3.0 scoreless innings in his second Cactus League start while minor leaguer RHP Logan Bawcom (0-1) took the loss.

  • HOT TICKET!: The Dodgers’ home games at Camelback Ranch-Glendale tonight and tomorrow have sold out. Dodger Special Advisor to the Chairman Don Newcombe will throw a ceremonial first pitch prior to tonight’s game against the Giants, which will be followed by fireworks sponsored by Salt River Project. Weather permitting, the Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will face off at 1:05 p.m. tomorrow in front of another capacity crowd.

  • POT OF GOLD: The Dodgers enter today’s contests with the best Spring Training record among National League clubs at 8-3-2 and have the second-best team ERA with a 3.08 mark. Los Angeles has also produced at the plate with a .287 team batting average, third-best among NL clubs, and a league-best .365 on-base percentage.

  • AN IRISH GOODBYE: On this day in 2008, the Dodgers played their final Spring Training game in Vero Beach. “Dodgertown” was the Spring Training home of the Dodgers for 60 years.

    ● On March 17, 1946 in Daytona Beach, the Dodgers took the field against their minor league farm team, the Montreal Royals. With Jackie Robinson in the lineup for Montreal, the game marked the first appearance of an integrated team in organized baseball in this century. More than 40 years later, the field was renamed Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

(Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2012)

  • GOING GREEN: The Dodgers will wear green jerseys and hats in both of their games today in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Following the games, players will sign their jerseys to be auctioned off by the Dodgers Dream Foundation during the season.

  • IT’S TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL!: The Dodgers would like to welcome Hall of Famer broadcaster Vin Scully to Camelback Ranch – Glendale. Scully will call tonight’s game against the Giants on PRIME TICKET and tomorrow’s contest against the Angels on KCAL 9 as he kicks off his 63rd season broadcasting the Dodgers.

  • SURE TO KICK OFF A MANIA!: Fernando Valenzuela made his first appearance of the spring at Camelback Ranch yesterday and will join Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrin and Pepe Yniguez in the booth for Dodgers’ Spanish Radio broadcasts tonight and tomorrow. This weekend also marks the club’s fifth annual Mexican Media Weekend with representatives from ZETA, TV Azteca, Sintesis TV and Puro Beisbol making the trip to Glendale to cover the Dodgers.

  • ANOTHER REASON TO CELEBRATE: The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy 41st birthday to Special Assistant to the GM, Bill Mueller! The former AL batting champion enters his seventh season in the Dodger front office and sixth as a Special Assistant.

eBay: A Vintage Dodgers Patch

This post is probably more for my own reference than anything. Over the years I've run into numerous Dodgers collectibles that I had no idea about. For instance, check out the little patch below.

It is a vintage Dodgers patch shaped as a headstone measuring about 3" in length. For the longest time I figured it was a relatively modern piece (an early LA Dodgers memorabilia item), but I came across some information on eBay that shows otherwise. It provides some detail about its origins.

According to the auction it is from 1955 - far more vintage than I originally thought - and was given away in boxes of Post Cereal. Furthermore, a complete set of team patched could be purchased by sending in a couple of box tops. Along with a pic of the patch is an original sleeve used to house the patch in cereal boxes.

This particular item sold for an affordable $9.99. Now that I know a little more about it I'll have to put it on my wantlist.

Collection: Mauty Wills Greats of the Game Autograph

This is my 2000 Fleer "Greats of the Game" autographed card of Maury Wills.

I've already shown several Wills autographed cards on this blog with companion mini-biographies, so I don't have much more to add about how great a player he was. Instead, I'll include several quotes from him I really liked:
  • “I heard all the black people buzzing about this man in Brooklyn named Jackie Robinson. I asked who he was and they told me. Right then, I said, 'I want to play for the Dodgers someday.' That was my childhood dream.”
  • “We played in the Coliseum then, that had over 94,000 people. Prior to that, the biggest crowd I played in front of was about 1,500. And if you can imagine the sound of 94,000 people chanting 'Go, go, go Maury go,' I knew I had a home.”
  • "Bobby Bragan came along and taught me how to switch hit because I was strictly a right-handed hitter. I could do everything but I was afraid of the curve. Not being able to hit that curve ball was the thing that was keeping me from going to the major leagues. I never would have made it [without Bobby Bragan]."
  • "When I was 8 years old playing on the playgrounds and Priddy came by the sandlot and gave us a clinic, I was so impressed with him and the way he took a personal interest," Wills recalls. "He singled me out and said I had a chance to be a good ballplayer one day. It impressed me so much and I just became obsessed with wanting to be a major league player. I wanted to be like he was; and nice, too. I acquired a desire to be a nice person based on how that man was to me and my buddies.
  • "Anytime I get a chance to interact with kids, I have this feeling that maybe I can be their Jerry Priddy."
  • "I'm already so grateful, I live a life of gratitude. I'm grateful for what measure of success I've been able to realize. I know that all those good things that happened to me in my life didn't come just because of myself; maybe a lot of it came in spite of myself."

Vin Scully once said this of Wills:

"When he (Maury Wills) runs, it's all downhill."