Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's Official. Welcome to the Blue, Skip "the Squirrel" Schumaker!

As has been discussed widely throughout the 'net, Skip Schumaker has been traded to the Dodgers for infield prospect Jake Lemmerman.  This deal is all about depth.  Skip can play a bit of 2nd base and the outfield while providing a good bat from the left side; especially against right-handed pitchers.  See his splits from 2012 below from Baseball Reference.

Another thing I wanted to note is that we should all call him "the squirrel."  Why's that, you ask? 

Well, Skip's one claim to cardboard fame is that he was once shared a Baseball card with a squirrel.  See it below.

If I remember correctly, during the 2011 NLDS match against the Phillies a squirrel came scurrying across the field towards Skip Schumaker, who was in the batter box.  Right at that moment, Roy Oswalt delivered a pitch, and the little squirrel ran across home plate.  Soon, that little guy would be called the "Rally Squirrel," and it quickly became a good luck charm for the Cardinals as they won their 11th World Series title.

Below is the press release announcing the trade below:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired infielder/outfielder Skip Schumaker from St. Louis in exchange for minor league infielder Jake Lemmerman. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.
The eight-year Major League veteran had spent his entire career with the Cardinals, compiling a .288 batting average with 23 home runs and 211 RBI in 810 big league games from 2005-2012. Schumaker, who bats left-handed, has a .305 career batting average against right-handed pitchers and has hit well in the clutch, batting .295 with runners in scoring position and hitting .359 with the bases loaded.
Schumaker has primarily split time between second base (412 games) and the outfield (389 games) in his career, appearing at all three outfield positions. Last season, he played 61 games at second base (.984 fielding percentage), 15 games in center field (1.000 fielding percentage), 10 games in right field (1.000 fielding percentage) and one game in left field (1.000 fielding percentage).
Schumaker has appeared in 22 career postseason games, batting .278 with three doubles and six RBI, and played for the Cardinals' World Series winning clubs in 2006 and 2011.
In 2012, the 32-year-old batted .276 with a homer and 28 RBI in 107 games, including a .295 batting average against right-handers and a .300 mark with runners in scoring position (21-for-70).
Schumaker, who was born in Torrance, attended Aliso Niguel High School (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) and the University of California, Santa Barbara before being selected by St. Louis in the fifth round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft. He and his wife, Lindsey, have a son, Brody, and a daughter, Presley.
Lemmerman, 23, batted .233 with seven home runs and 46 RBI in 116 games with Double-A Chattanooga last season. The Newport Beach, CA native was originally selected by the Dodgers in the fifth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Duke University.

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Celebrating the Number 12 on the Day of 12's

Isn't December 12, 2012 (12/12/2012) suppose to be one of those days that denotes the end of the world?  Was it Nostradamus, or was it the Mayans who predicted that?

I dunno.  All I do know is that this rare combination of numbers and dates on the calendar won't be happening again for like a thousand years, so you better enjoy the day.

With that in mind, I thought I would commemorate this fine Wednesday afternoon by going through the various Dodgers that have worn #12.  See that list below
Bobby Abreau 2012
Justin Sellers 2011-2012
Brad Ausmus 2009-2010
Jeff Kent 2005-2008
Steve Finley 2004
Mike Devereaux 1998
Jim Eisenreich 1998
Karim Garcia 1995-1997
Brett Butler 1995
Jeff Treadway 1994-1995
Dave Anderson 1992
Greg Smith 1991
Luis Lopez 1990
Willie Randolph 1989-1990
Danny Heep 1987-1988
Bill Madlock 1986-1987
Mariano Duncan 1985
Jay Johnstone 1985
Dusty Baker 1976-1983
Paul Powell 1975
Von Joshua 1969-1971, 1973-1974
Jim Fairey 1968
Bob Bailey 1967
Tommy Davis 1959-1966
Babe Birrer 1958
Frank Kellert 1955
Erv Palica 1948-1951, 1954
Ralph Branca 1952
Eddie Stanky 1944-1947
Bob Chipman 1942, 1944
Rex Barney 1943
Rube Melton 1943
Babe Dahlgren 1942
Luke Hamlin 1937-1943
Jimmy Jordan 1934-1936
Val Pacinich 1932-1933
Watty Clark 1931
37 different Dodger players have worn this number.  Of those 37, only one player has any chance of making the Hall of Fame.  Jeff "the grumpy one" Kent wore the number during his Dodger days.  Another notable #12 was Steve Finley, who belted a walk-off grand slam to win the pennant in 2004.  Two of the more popular Dodgers to ever wear the number are Dusty Baker and Tommy Davis.  Although they are unlikely to be enshrined in Cooperstown, I think it's fair to say that they are both stars in our eyes.

Strangely, in 1931 Baseball Reference indicates that only one player wore a number that season and that was Watty Clark with #12.  I wonder why that is?  Also, Ralph Branca, Brett Bulter and Dave Anderson were all longtime Dodgers known for wearing other numbers, but for a short time sported #12.

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Hunt Auctions: An Ebbets Field Brooklyn Bum Bank

After all of the excitement and hoopla surrounding the recent Dodgers signings, I love having the opportunity to take a moment to sit down and window shop current sports memorabilia auctions.  It is a happy diversion. 

This morning, I bring to you a small lot of Baseball treasures at Hunt Auctions.  It includes a circa 1910's Reach "Official Indoor Base Ball", a Nokona G57 Carl Erskine model Baseball glove signed by the former Dodgers, and an unusual little statue of a long-bearded fellow holding a Ebbets Field sign. 

The glove and ball are hardly remarkable; save the fact that they are vintage and would be great display pieces.  The statue, on the other hand, is quite unique.  At least to me, it's unique.  This is the first time I have seen this piece.  The auction description indicates that it is circa 1940's to 1950's and is actually a coin bank.  There isn't a photo of the reverse, but I imagine there is a coin slot on the back of his head.  It is indicated as being made by Norcrest China Company and is likely made of ceramic.  It may have also been originally made in Japan - Norcrest had exported much of their manufacturing to there.  Norcrest is noted for marketing giftware to gift shops and large retailers across the country.

Obviously, the character in the bank is meant to represent the Brooklyn Dodgers Bum. He looks like he's sitting on the side of the road waiting for a lift to the game. 
(auction link)

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Blog Kiosk: 12/12/2012

Meet your newest Dodgers!  Above is a pic tweeted by the @Dodgers featuring Zack and Ryu.
  • RIP, Jenni Rivera.  She was a frequent singer during Dodgers "Viva Los Dogers" days, via Jesse Sanchez at
  • There is already speculation that the Dodgers will start working to sign up Clayton Kershaw to a long term deal soon, via the Tracking Blog at SI.
  • Listen to Zack Greinke on the Petros and Money Show.
  • Via Katie Linendoll at ESPN, the #Dodgers was one of the top sports-related tweeting trends of 2012.
  • Matt Kemp is trying to keep it real.  He's obviously excited by the changes to the Dodgers, but realizes they still need top get the job done on the field.
(tweet link)

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