Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 11/7/2012

Last week I featured the very first Baseball card sets to include the Dodgers newest wonderkid -- Yasiel Puig. Well, at that time the Leaf Valiant card was only available through a redemption card, and the actual card had yet to be seen.  Now, a copy of it is available for all to gawk over.  Above is an orange refractor parallel, numbered to only 99.
After a rumored oblique strain had sidelined the lefty until now, Garcia actually drew the start and continued his professional success by tossing a pair of scoreless frames. 
Desser estimates that a Dodgers-owned network -- a la the Yankees' YES -- could earn up to $425 million a year. If so, the team could pocket all revenue above the first $84 million without sharing, assuming MLB doesn't change its mind about the valuation. You can see where this is going.
  • CRZBlue writes a great report on the last LA Chapter of SABR where Tim Leary came in to speak.
  • Can you tell I miss hockey?  McFarlane Toys is making a figurine of Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings goalie and Playoff MVP Jonathan Quick; complete with a little Stanley Cup.  (Hat Tip: Life in Hockeywood)
  • Sad.  Former No. 1 draft pick Brien Taylor sentenced to prison for drug sales, via Houston Mitchell at the LA Times.  This guy was one of the hottest prospects in the early 90's.  Heck, I remember selling an autographed Topps gold card of his for hundreds of dollars back then.
  • If you are interested in Baseball history then you have to check out John Thorn's blog.  He is the official historian for MLB.  Today he writes, "On the Battlefront, the New York Game Takes Hold, 1861-1865."

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It's Official- McGwire Joins the Dodgers as their Hitting Coach

I am still on the fence with regards to this.  I just hate the steroid label his signing puts on us.  On the other hand, Mark McGwire will now be wearing Blue, so I am going to have to root for him anyway.

It is now official.  McGwire joins the ranks as our new hitting coach.  Per a Dodger press release:
“Mark has been able to translate his success as a big league hitter into his work as hitting coach with the Cardinals,” Colletti said. “He earned the respect of both veterans and young players while in St. Louis and the offensive numbers the Cardinals produced under his tutelage speak for themselves. We’re excited to have him join our coaching staff and anticipate great things from his work with our hitters in 2013 and beyond.”

McGwire served as the St. Louis hitting coach for the past three seasons from 2010-12, when the Cardinals led the NL in batting average (.269) and on-base percentage (.337), ranked second in runs (2,263), fourth in slugging percentage (.416) and third in OPS (.753). During his time as hitting coach, the Cardinals batted a National League-best .274 with runners in scoring position.  McGwire’s tenure in St. Louis was highlighted by the Cardinals’ 2011 season, when St. Louis led the NL in batting average (.273), on-base percentage (.341), slugging percentage (.425, T-1st), OPS (.766) and runs scored (762), while striking out a National League-low 978 times en route to a World Series title.

This past season, the Cardinals, who advanced to the National League Championship Series, led the league with a .338 on-base percentage and ranked among the Senior Circuit leaders in runs (765, 2nd), hits (1526, T-1st), batting average (.271, 2nd), slugging percentage (.421, 4th) and OPS (.759, 3rd). St. Louis hitters tied for second in the NL with a .264 batting average with runners in scoring position. In the three seasons preceding McGwire’s hiring (2007-09), the Cardinals ranked eighth in the NL in runs scored.
I will remain cautiously optimistic that he can help the Dodgers batters, and will have to bite my tongue when opposing fans start screaming "'roiders!"

Pic above via twitter @Dodgers Jon SooHoo Dodgers 2012

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Collection: A Bob Hall 3x5 autograph

I've wanted to share this for quite awhile- even though it has nothing to do with the Dodgers.

As a young lad, I would write to current and former ballplayers in search of their signature.  I religiously did this for weeks, but my interest soon waned as a year passed.  Over that time, I received a bunch of autographs through the mail and focused most of my endeavors on getting ballplayers to sign a 3x5 card.  For whatever reason, I found that to be more desirable than a baseball card.  Heck, it might have more to do with the fact that most of the folks I wrote to didn't have cards that I had easy access to.

Anyway, as time went bye I put my autographed cards away, but would pick up an autographed index card at a show or on auction from time to time. Below, is an index card I purchased in a large lot that really stuck out to me and I wanted to share it today.  See it below.

Bob Hall wasn't a Hall of Famer- far from it.  He spent only 3 years in the Major Leagues.  Of course, none of that matters since it is clear to me that he was a better man.  Check out what he wrote above.
Be kind and considerate to others- no matter what their race- Give of yourself; you'll be repaid many times over in many wonderful ways
That sounds like excellent advice.

Unfortunately, Bob Hall would die in Florida in 1983.  A drunk driver killed him as he was working at a construction site.  Sometimes life is filled with horrible ironies.  Still, I hope this post is a reminder of how wonderful Bob Hall really appeared to be.

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@Collect Auctions: A Vintage Dodgers Doll

This next item featured in this post is from an auction that closed almost two months ago.  For whatever reason, I just failed to write about it.

Check out this vintage Dodgers doll.

As a side note, I am certain I have one of these hidden away in a box somewhere.  Unfortunately, I'm not too eager to find it.  When I purchased my doll through eBay it mentioned that there was a bit of a "musky" smell to it.  Thinking it can't be that bad, I made a bid and won it for what I thought was a song and a dance- I don't exactly recall that price today.  When it arrived it was in great condition, but had an odor that would keep away the dead.  Today, it sits in a box, tied up in a bag, awaiting for me to figure out what to do with it.
(Auction Link)

The auction description speculates that this may be an early Brooklyn stadium giveaway, but I don't think so.  Let me know if I'm wrong, but I don't believe they had significant stadium giveaways back then- pins, at the most.  Instead, I think it's likely that it was sold by vendors just outside of the stadium. 

On top of that, this particular doll has been signed by a prominent Hall of Famer.
(Auction Link)

Notice the leg?  Stan "The Man" Musial has signed it, and a notation was made about his 300th home run on 6/3/1955.  The Brooklyn Dodgers drilled the Cardinals 12 to 5 that afternoon.
(Auction Link)

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Collection: Milton Bradley 2005 Leaf Autograph

Here is another 2005 Leaf Autographed Baseball card from my collection.  This time it features the enigmatic Milton Bradley.

When the Dodger attained Bradley, via a trade with Cleveland, I wanted to believe he could make a home in LA.  After all, he was born and raised in the south bay, and there was hope that all he needed was some hometown love.  Heck, in his last year with the tribe, Milton had transformed into a excellent sabermatric style batter.  He could get on base, and hit for moderate power.  So, he looked to be a possible steal.

Unfortunately, Milton Bradley had a lot of baggage that distracted him from the game.  I don't think I need to rehash all of the events that eventually lead to him being traded to Oakland.  I'm sure we all remember what a mess he had become.

At the end of the day, he was traded up north in what turned out to be one of the franchises best trades ever.  For Milton Bradley we received Andre Ethier.  I guess everything does turn out rosey in the end.

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