Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Heritage Auctions: 1956 Jackie Robinson Game Used Bat- His Last Gamer?

Heritage Auctions is not only auctioning off some choice items from the recently revealed attic find of vintage Baseball cards called the "Black Swamp Find" (see the Honus Wagner graded 10 card, here), but is also auctioning a spectacular game-used Jackie Robinson bat.

This is a 1956 Robinson gamer and is thought to be the very last bat he has ever used in the Major Leagues.  I'll let the auction description take it over from here.
Jackie's last bat? It's more than just a fair assumption. The sizeable stack of paperwork charting the provenance of this historic lumber tracks the tale back to that final day at Ebbets Field, October 10, 1956, and a New York priest and devout Brooklyn Dodgers fan named Father Jimmy O'Halloran. As the story was recounted by O'Halloran to a friend and fellow Dodgers fan named Ron Allen, the clergyman had begun to pester Robinson for a bat late in the 1956 season. On the final day, after falling to the Yankees by a tally of nine runs to none in Game Seven of the World Series, a dejected Robinson approached O'Halloran and handed him this bat. Touched by Robinson's generosity, Father Jimmy insisted he accept five dollars for the gift, which Robinson reluctantly accepted.
Apparently, a subsequent owner showed the bat to should-be-Hall-of-Famer Buck O'Neil.  Buck had this to say:
"When I placed the bat in Mr. O'Neil's hands, he took a step back and gently rubbed the entire bat. He kept saying 'Jackie Robinson' over and over, almost reverently. When I suggested that he swing the bat, he looked at me and said, 'Son, this bat belonged to the greatest, most courageous man that ever lived, Mister Jackie Robinson. Other than the good Lord himself, there's only been one man ever worthy enough to swing this bat, and that's Jackie. But thank you, son, holding it in my hands now is one of the highlights of my year."
I can picture the Wayne's World guys right now screaming, "We're Not Worthy!"

(Auction Link)

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 7/18/2012

Here's a nice view of Dee Gordon's thumb.  He had his cast taken off recently, pic via instagram.  Below is Gordon's cast- complete with signatures from a bunch of young Dodger fans.  Check out my short post about a young Dodger fan named Christian who signed Dee Gordon's cast this past Thursday at the open workout.

If you are looking to alter your experience through the use of a society-approved liquid drug, then the stadium is ready to provide. Their prices and sizes are very pocket-friendly: you can get a 24-ounce ‘tall boy’ domestic draft beer for $10.25, which is better value than most stadiums provide. These are large beers for a good price.
Ryan Dempster’s first choice is the Los Angeles Dodgers and his second is the Atlanta Braves, according to major-league sources.
Support for the guys in the locker room. It’s one of the key components LA’s hockey players claim helped them achieve success this season as well. During a rough first half and while steamrolling their way through the playoffs, players never turned on each other inside the Kings locker room.

“That’s the easiest thing to do during the season,” shared Ethier. “When you’re with a group that works so closely over the years, it’s easy to turn on each other. You get sick and tired of each other when you’re (together) for six months. So, it’s something where you can’t turn on each other. When things get tough, you just have to pull for each other even more than when things are going well. That’s something you have to remind yourself of and make sure you’re always available when teammates are struggling.”

Q: Tom, in the new book 'The Hall of Nearly Great', there's a brief mention of how a column that you wrote about Don Sutton, in which he was quoted as calling Reggie Smith the team's best player, in part contributed to a locker room fistfight between Sutton and Steve Garvey. Are there any details you can provide?
A: Sure. Sutton saved my career. I was a kid reporter. I quoted him accuracy in a feature on Smith, but the L.A. Times picked up a small part of my story and pushed two Sutton quotes together __making it look like one semi- controversial quote (knocking Garvey as not really the team leader). Garvey brought the L.A. Times story to Sutton's locker. They got in a REAL fight. Black eyes. Busted lips, bloody noses. That night, Howard Cosell __the jackass__ had them both on national TV (seperately), both looking like they'd gone 15 rounds with Ali, and "asked" Sutton, "Don, I've known you a long time. I know you would never say anything like that about Steve Garvey." (That's a paraphrase. Cosell was still a horse's ass.)
I think, "My career is over. Sutton will deny the quote __and he probably should because the LA Times screwed it up. Nobody will believe me. Everybody will believe Sutton, Cosell and the LA TImes."
Sutton looks into the camera: "I said it."
That defines a "standup guy."
There's a Dodger back story, of which I was blissfully unaware at the time, but I still can't tell that, I don't think. But Sutton was a champ in all respects.
  • All About Cards writes about the Topps employee cards randomly inserted within Allen & Ginter.  I need to work for Topps!
  • Ryan G at This Card is Cool shares some Baseball cards he got in Japan.
  • Via Guyism, check out the 24 beach volleyball teams to play in he 2012 Olympics in London.

2012 Allen & Ginter: Dodgers Autographs & Relics

Here are the "Big" Dodger hits that can be found in 2012 Allen & Ginter.  To see the Dodgers base cards or other inserts go here and here

There are a bunch of Dodger relics/ game-used memorabilia cards. See them all below.

AGR-CBI Chad Billingsley

AGR-JR Jackie Robinson

AGR-JL James Loney

AGR-MK Matt Kemp

AGR-SK Sandy Koufax

UPDATE:  Thanks to Greg at Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle I find out that the Russell Martin relic card also shows him as a Dodger.  I totally missed that.  Thanks Greg.  See it below.

AGR-RMA Russell Martin

Here is a look at the Autograph insert cards.  There is also a Kemp and Koufax autograph, but redemption cards are inserted instead of the actual card.

AGA-CK Clayton Kershaw

AGA-DG Dee Gordon

AGA-NE Nathan Eovaldi