Monday, August 13, 2012

Did Upper Deck Do the Unthinkable, or am I Overreacting?

As most of you know, Upper Deck is about to officially release their 2012 Goodwin Champions set to the masses tomorrow.  As in the past, they have included innovative memorabilia cards.  These have included everything from bugs to dinosaur bones.  This year, they commemorate the American Civil War and have included various artifacts; including pins, buttons and pieces of Old Glory.

The last items that I stated above has me a little distressed.  Apparently, a vintage Civil War American flag (that apparently flew in the field of battle) has been cut up and placed within relic cards.  A photo of the flag they used is above and was provided on Upper Deck's blog, see that post here.

At first glance I found this offensive, but Upper Deck responded to my concern by saying this:
Yes, I had the same concerns! But as Chris said, the whole team at Upper Deck and I agreed that since the flag was already cut up, torn, and therefore incomplete and in several pieces, it would actually be a respectable way to preserve and honor a flag that was otherwise essentially destroyed.
Should that have assuaged my displeasure?

Keep in mind, I'm fairly liberal in my political leanings, and often side with the free speech advocates when it comes to speech related to the desecration of the flag.  That being said, this is hardly an act of free speech.

As you can see in the photo above the flag is obviously not in one piece.  You can see remnants of the red and white stripes that no longer exist on this flag.  So, I guess I shouldn't be so concerned since it has obviously not survived in one piece.  Nevertheless, it still makes my stomach turn just a little bit.

So, please let me know if my concerns are justified or not.  Am I overreacting?

BTW, I really like the Goodwin Champions set and find the inclusion of so many unusual relic cards over the past several years to be the most innovative development in the hobby.  I just wonder, though if this may be going too far.

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The Great FernandoMania Bobblehead Hunt

Are you ready for the 2012 FernandoMania Bobblehead Hunt?  Staring tomorrow, and for several days thereafter the Dodgers are running a kind of scavenger hunt for two free field level tickets to the September 29th Fernando Valenzuela bobblehead game against the Rockies.  You will also be able to participate in a "meet and greet" with Fernando prior to that game.  Check out an announcement the Dodgers made on twitter below.
(twitter link)

Go here for the rules
At approximately 10:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time ("PST") on each of August 14, 16, 18 and 20, 2012 (the “Promotion Dates”), the Dodgers will tweet, on the Dodgers’ Account, the specific location of a Fernando Valenzuela bobblehead (the “Bobblehead”).  Participants will need to travel to the location of the Bobblehead, take a photograph with the Bobblehead at such location, and tweet the photograph to the Dodgers’ Account with the hashtag “#Fernandomania.”  The first five (5) Participants that are verified by the Dodgers to have tweeted the photograph with the Bobblehead will win the Prize.
What if there's a tie?
In the event of a tie such that more than five Participants reach the location at the same time and simultaneously tweet the photograph to the Dodgers’ Account with the hashtag “#Fernandomania,” a Dodgers Trivia contest among those Participants who are tied will be conducted on-site by the authorized Dodgers’ representative to determine the Winner(s). 
(twitter link)

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RIP: Johnny Pesky

Johnny Pesky was neither a Dodger, nor a man with much history against the Brooklyn borough.  Nevertheless, I felt the need to honor him.  After all, there aren't too many guys who can claim to have a foul pole named after them.

Johnny Pesky, outstanding shortstop for the Red Sox, passed away today at the age of 92.  Like many players from his era, his most productive Baseball years were spent in the military during WWII.  Nevertheless, he still went on to bat a career .307 over 10 productive Baseball seasons.

He hit .331 in 1942, his rookie season, finishing second to Ted Williams in the batting title race and was third in most valuable player voting. An All-Star in 1946, he was a fine fielding shortstop, his primary position.
Be sure to check out for their excellent biography on his career.

Now on to some Fenway folklore.  The right field foul pole is named in his honor.  Per Wikipedia:
According to Pesky, former teammate and Sox broadcaster Mel Parnell named the pole after Pesky won a game for Parnell in 1948 with a home run down the short right field line, just around the pole. However, Pesky hit just one home run in a game pitched by Parnell, a two-run shot in the first inning of a game against Detroit played on June 11, 1950. The game was eventually won by the visiting Tigers in the 14th inning on a three-run shot by Tigers right fielder Vic Wertz and Parnell earned a no-decision that day
This is obviously the case of the story being better than the real thing.  Still, it's stories like this that makes Baseball so great.  In 2006 the Red Sox officially recognized the right field foul pole as Pesky's Pole. 

As you might be able to notice in the pic below, fans have been known to adorn the pole with a little bit of graffiti.
(pic link: Wikimedia Commons)

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Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 8/13/2012

The Dodgers stand in front of their team plane in Oct. 1957 as they make the official move from Brooklyn to LA, pic via twitter @si_vault.
“I’m not trying to do too many things,” he said. “If I do something wrong, I’m not going to disappoint the fans or the team. I have people here that tell me all the time, ‘Don’t try to be the hero; take it easy. Everybody here has your back.’ ”
"Everybody was asking me if I was going to stay for closing [ceremonies], but I wanted to go back and see my husband," May-Treanor said. "I wanted to get here because he's a big support system and he's one of my biggest fans. He really helped push me to be able to do this again, so I wanted to come see him right away."
  • Steven at Zim's Autographs was at Drew League semi-pro basketball league game and snagged a bunch of autos.  He has plenty of photographs; including a huge score.  His nephews got Metta World Peace's shoes signed by him.
  • Brandon Lennox at True Blue LA speculates that Dodgers prospect Yasiel Puig may be headed to Rancho Cucamonga.  The Cuban appears to be rising up the ladder rather fast, but don't expect him in LA this season.  That would be unreasonable.
  • For the codebreaker in you, check out how the 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter code was broken, via First Point of Aries
  • Here's another edition of how sports can take down barriers.  Pic via Arman2a on reddit.

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eBay: Dodgers Award Winners Press Photo

Here is another great vintage press photo from International News dated April 18, 1957 featuring Don Drysdale an Don Newcombe.  The descriptor on the reverse reads:
"DODGERS' AWARD WINNERS-----Brooklyn, N.Y........ Brooklyn Dodger pitchers Don Drysdale, (left) and Don Newcombe display awards they received before today's opener at Ebbets Field.  Drysdale received the "Harold C. Burr Award" as the outstanding Dodger rookie of 1956.  Newcombe received the "Cy Young Award", as baseball's best pitcher last season and the "Most Valuable Player Award" of the National League."
The MVP and Cy Young awards look incredible; whereas the Rookie of the Year Award look rinky-dinky in comparison.
(eBay Auction Link)

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