Thursday, October 04, 2012

My Deepest Condolences to the Neshek's

Last night the Baseball world was dealt a terrible tragedy. 

On a day when the Oakland won the AL West division, A's reliever Pat Neshek was in the hospital by his wife's side as she gave birth to their first child.  It was a day that should have been a celebration.  The A's were heading to the playoffs as division winners and one of their own was about to grace the team with a playoff baby.

Unfortunately, everything didn't go as planned.
(twitter link)

Less than 24 hours later, little Gehrig John Neshek had passed away.

I cannot pretend to know the pain they are suffering through right now.  All I can do is send along my deepest condolences.  Rest in Peace, little Gehrig.

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Sellers and a Couple of Retired Angels

Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.


Justin Sellers will be signing autographs on October 6, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM at the Westfield Promenade Mall: All Star Collectibles.  It is $20.00 per autograph, or 2 for $25.00.
All Star Collectibles
6100 Topanga Canyon BLVD
2nd Floor Store # 2330
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
(818) 710-0513

A couple of former Angels will be in Huntington Beach signing free autographs at a Dick's Sporting Goods Store Grand Opening this weekend.  Go here for more information.

On Saturday, October 6 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Chuck Finley

On Sunday, October 7 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Tim Salmon
Dick's Sporting Goods
7542 Edinger Blvd
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Hat Tip: LA Inspiration

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Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 10/4/2012

I saw this on reddit, and had to share it.  Scully always has a great way of putting everything in perspective.
"They'll cut it open and see what's going on inside of there," Kemp said. "Hopefully, they just clean it up. If they need to do more, they'll do more, but I won't know anything until I wake up.
Falsone acknowledged an MRI exam Kershaw underwent this month revealed damage to the hip.

"There are plenty of guys walking around with shoulders that, if you did an MRI, would be messed up," Falsone said. "The MRI, you're always going to find something. You have to decide if that MRI correlates with the symptoms.

"You always have to remember to treat the person. The MRI gives us information. We don't treat off of it. He's feeling really good. All the muscles have calmed down. The inflammation's gone down. The injection worked. The therapy has worked. Things are going really well."
This is no ordinary bone spur or knee scope, either, this is a cardiac ablation designed to correct the arrhythmia that hospitalized Jansen in September and inadvertently cost him his job as the Dodgers' closer.
  • Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt writes a story at about the current state of player autographs.  This is why I love the guy.  He is actually concerned about the fan-player experience.
  • Joe Lucia at the Outside Corner puts together his list of the 10 most disappointing ball players this season, and a Dodger tops the list.
  • Remember Michelle Jenneke?  She's that Australian sprinter who does a tantalizing dance before every race on the race track.  Well, Sportress of Blogitude has 6 gifs of her dancing in the rain.  Yes, I said 6.
  • Below, the Dodgers thank the fans for a great 2012 season.

Video Link:

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2012 Topps Update Baseball Cards- Dodgers Short Prints

As has been custom with Topps, there are a bunch of short printed variation cards in the set.  Some are rarer than others.  The first two Dodger variations appear to be fairly common- as numerous examples are already showing up on eBay.  I will have pics of the normal Dodger base cards tomorrow, but wanted to share these variations with you right away.  They feature some great photos and players who were traded too late in the season to be included in the base set.

US52 Clayton Kershaw - Dodgers (With Matt Kemp At All-Star Game)

US133 Matt Kemp - Dodgers (In A Suit)
The card below is actually a CC Sabathia variation card, but it includes our very own Matt Kemp.

US62 CC Sabathia - Yankees - (With Matt Kemp At All-Star Game)

These next 4 Dodger cards may be the toughest to come by.  They are players that were traded late in the season, so there wasn't enough time to include them in the normal base set.  Instead, Topps short printed them and inserted them into packs.  I suspect they may be scarce, but be weary of current eBay prices.  They are likely to be priced way too high in the early going.  Heck, there is only one Adrian Gonzalez card on eBay and it has been initially priced in the hundreds- far too rich for my blood.  In fact, all of the cards below (at least in the early going) appear to be very limited.  Heck, a Carl Crawford has yet to show up - this is kind of funny since he has yet to even show up in a Dodgers uniform (UPDATE: Carl Crawford card is now included below).

US1 Adrian Gonzalez - Dodgers

US2 Carl Crawford - Dodgers 

US3 Josh Beckett - Dodgers

US4 Nick Punto - Dodgers

For old time sakes, here is James Loney variation card.

US5 James Loney - Red Sox

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Hooray For AJ Ellis, He Finally Has a MLB Baseball Card

Can I get a shout out for AJ Ellis?

Come on now, how about a big applause for our backstop.

What a revelation he has been.  In his first full Major League season he excelled beyond our expectations.  AJ handled a pitching staff that was best in the National League in hits per 9 innings.  They were third best in team ERA and runs allowed per game.  The Dodgers pitching staff was fourth best in ERA+ and strike outs.  They were fifth best in WHIP. 

On top of that, AJ proved that he could swing the bat.  Ellis finished the season with a solid .270 batting average, 13 home runs and a .786 OPS.  And Boy, did he have a knack for the big hit.  I count three walk-off wins due to a AJ Ellis at-bat.  He smacked a walk-off single against the Padres in extra innings, a walk-off home run against the Astros in May, and a walk-off walk a week before the homer against the Cardinals.  Check out all of those walk-off victories here.

So, it is with great joy that I share with you AJ Ellis' first official Major League Baseball card.

Yes!  they finally made one for him and I will be searching high and low to the ends of the earth to add one to my collection. 

His normal base card is above, and it celebrates his knack for some clutch hitting.  Ellis is about to be gang-tackled by his mates, or is that beaten up to a bloody pulp?  Come on, Dee!  A head lock, really?  Dee looks like he's about to perform some wicked wrestling move on AJ.  It is from the recently released 2012 Topps Update set.  BTW, there are a bunch of Dodgers in it, and I will be putting them up over the next few days for you folks to see. 

Below is a Ellis autographed insert card.  It has the words, "May" I Cut In at the top, but I have no idea why.  If you have any knowledge as to why those words are on the card, please let me know.

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MHCC: A Official Brooklyn Dodger Baseball

With the season at a close and the Dodgers looking in from the outside as the playoffs begin, I thought that this vintage Rawlings Baseball would be appropriate.  After all, it was in Brooklyn where the fans started saying, "Wait Till Next Year," and I suspect most Dodger fans are licking their chops at the prospects of some better seasons.

Featured here is a Official Brooklyn Dodgers labeled Baseball that has been stamped "Donated by Brooklyn Amateur Baseball Foundation."  This is a scarce collectible that includes its original box and is in unplayed-with condition.  It recently sold in a Mile High Card Company auction this week at $127.33.

(Auction Link)

(Auction Link)

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Dodgers, Thank You for a Unforgettable Year!

Regardless of how it ended up, I gotta say that this year has been one of the more unbelievable and memorable seasons I've ever experienced as a  Dodgers fan.  I certainly won't forget it.

We have so much to be thankful for.  No longer do we have to worry about supporting that owner we had a suspicious eye towards and grew to hate.  No longer will we ever have to see that wry grin from that northeastern parking lot attendant- at least I hope so.  No longer will our team have to suffer from the outsized ego and financial debauchery from that man. 

Our team can now operate as a Baseball team, not as a shell meant to solely enrich one man at the expense of the team. 

The Dodgers can now be players in the league.  They can compete with other large market teams for talent, while at the same time developing their own players from within.  They can spend, they will make trades and we can feel assured that no stone will go unturned.

Sure, they are liable to make mistakes- maybe over pay or hamstring us to a player that might not be the best fit.  But, at least, we know they are making the herculean effort to get better. 

And for that, I thank you Dodgers.  From player to management to ownership, I thank you!

What's that old sayin'?  "Wait Till Next Year!"  Well, I gotta tell ya that next year couldn't come soon enough because I suspect this team has some surprises in store for us.

Above is a team photo of the entire organization, via Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2012.

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