Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Dodgers Videos - UCLA, Dodgers in the All-Star Game and a Giants Fan Loses a Bet

Here are this Sunday's Dodgers' Videos.

Via Fox Sports, The Dodgers pay tribute to the UCLA baseball team after winning their first national championship. Hear from Bruins head coach John Savage.

Video Link:

Vote Dodgers for the 2013 All-Star Game! via Aaron Roberts at the MLB Fan Cave.

Video Link:

I found this video hilarious, and I even dry-heaved a bit.  From the video description: Just like the Giants and the Dodgers have forever been rivals, so are Jeff and Sef.  Jeff is with the Giants. Sef with the Dodgers. A challenge and a loss later for Jeff, he needed to wear the shameful blue color and eat pork tongues....

Video Link:

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Welcome to the Blue, Jose Dominguez! - Welcome Back, Withrow!

There have been some major moves to the Dodgers bullpen lately.  I guess Colletti figured it was time to shore up one of the more glaring problems with the team.  About time, eh?

Instead of making some trades for veteran relievers, they go young by calling up some of the kids in the minors.

Last night, the Dodgers brought up AAA reliever Jose Dominguez and optioned Peter Moylan to Albuquerque.  Per a Dodgers press release:
Dominguez, who will be making his Major League debut and will be wearing jersey number 60, has appeared in 22 total games between Triple-A Albuquerque and Double-A Chattanooga this season, posting a combined 2-0 record with five saves and a 1.79 ERA (5 ER/25.1 IP), while striking out 40 against 13 walks and limiting the opposition to a .108 batting average. The 22-year-old last pitched for the Isotopes on Thursday at Memphis and struck out two in a scoreless inning of relief, totaling eight scoreless relief appearances for Albuquerque (8.0 IP). Dominguez, a native of San Pedro de Maroris, Dominican Republic, was signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2007.
Dominguez is said to have a live arm with a fastball that hits 100-mph.  Per Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times:
“Last year, I was throwing 97, 98,” Dominguez said. “Occasionally, I’d touch 100. This year, I’ve been more consistent.”

The increased velocity has led to improved results. Dominguez didn’t give up any runs in eight appearances for Albuquerque. Earlier in the season, he posted 2.60 earned-run average in 14 appearances for double-A Chattanooga.
Then, news came down this morning indicating that another bullpen move has just been made.  Reliever Chris Withrow is back with Dodgers, and Matt Guerrier has been DFA'd. 

Withrow was called up earlier this month and pitched in 3 games.  In his last appearance against the Yankees he pitched 2 scoreless innings

*Photo used in fantasy card at very top via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013.

Below are minor league stats for Jose Dominguez, via Baseball Reference:

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Blog Kiosk: 6/29/2013 - Dodgers Links -

Yasiel Puig and Sandy Koufax meet in the Dodger dugout.  Pic via Instagram @PuigYasiel.
“I was just trying to get out of the inning as soon as I could,” Schumaker said.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Luis Cruz has Been DFA'd - Thank You, Cruz!

It has just been announced that the man who made 2012 so bearable has just been Designated For Assignment.  Luis Cruz is being sent down, and it is with some anguish that I relay the news.

Cruz was one of the few bright spots for the Dodgers last season.  He seemingly came out of nowhere to wrestle away the 3rd base job, and gave some measure of hope that we may have found a solution to a position on the infield that had been left so barren.

Unfortunately, as is often the case in Baseball, longevity is fleeting.  I do want to add that this post is in no way an indication that he will never again see MLB play.  No... Not at all... I believe this is just another bump on the road for Cruz, and I suspect he'll find a way to contribute - whether it's with us in the future or with another team - I do not know.

Luis Cruz toiled, fought and scraped.  He also had the kind of infectious joy we love to see in an underdog.  At the age of 17 he joined the Red Sox and for the next 11 years slowly rose up the circuit with various teams before finally being able to show the world that he had some tools.  When given the opportunity, he thrived, and this fan truly appreciates the effort he gave both on and off the field.

Once again, Thank You, Luis.

BTW, in his place, Scott Van Slyke has been reinstated to the team and will be joining the Dodgers once again.

I thought I would finish by passing along a highlight video reel I just saw on youtube that shares many of the great Cruz moments from last year.  Watch it below.

Video Link:

UPDATE:  I want to add that I'm sure there will be plenty of folks who will express a high level of joy with this announcement.  To those folks, all I can say is that schadenfreude does not become you. 

Pic Credit at Very Top: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013

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6 in a Row, Baby!

It's amazing how one little week can change how you look at the season.

All of the sudden, the Dodgers are rolling.  They're surging with the help of a tidal wave created by a monsoon named Puig.  With the help of once unhealthy weather fronts named Hanley and Kemp we've witnessed a perfect storm that looks to overtake the entire league.

This has been exciting to watch.

Onward and upward!

This is all I really wanted to say.  Besides, I needed an excuse to show a bunch of pics of folks with 6 fingers.  How creepy!

(pic via

And who could forget the most famous 6-fingered man?  Below is a pic of the hand of former MLB reliever Antonio Alfonseca.
(pic via

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2013 Topps Pro Debut Baseball - All the Dodgers' Cards

Topps' minor league Baseball set came out on Wednesday, and I've got pics of all the Dodgers' cards to share with you.  Well, I've got most of them.

The set is called Pro Debut and it includes several future Dodgers' stars in their minor league uniforms.  Check out the base cards below.  As you can see, Yasiel Puig is the most prominent name in the set.  He also has two different base cards, as well.  Directly below is the more common card.  There is also a short-printed variation card of him swinging the bat.  See that at bottom.

#35 Yasiel Puig                                         #55 Matt Magill

#103 Corey Seager                                        #135 Chris Reed

#196 Andres Santiago                                    #210 Joc Pederson

Below is the short-printed card of Yasiel Puig.  The print size is unknown at this time, and very few examples have shown up on eBay.  I suspect prices will be otherworldly in the early going.

SP Base Card Variations

#35 Yasiel Puig

The only autographed Dodgers card I could find was of Andres Santiago.

Autographed Cards

#PDA-AS Andres Santiago

These are manufactured logo cards and Puig is the biggest name in the bunch.  

Manufactured Hat Logo

#MP-MMG Matt Magill

#MP-YP Yasiel Puig

Game Used Jerseys

#MLM-CR Chris Reed

There is also a Chris Reed Jumbo Jersey card (#MLJ-CR Chris Reed), but I have to see an example online.

One of the coolest parts of this set is mascot patch cards.  From what I can tell two Dodger farm team mascots are represented.  See them below.

Minor League Mascot Patch Card

#MAS-L Looie                                        #MAS-LEL Lou E. Loon

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Blog Kiosk: 6/28/2013 - Dodgers Links - Kemp, Steiner & Puig - Oh My!

Yasiel Puig is goofing around with the College World Series Championship team from UCLA.  Pic via twitter @Dodgers.
"Huge frustration more than anything else," he said. "And he was dropping his hands. He's always done that somewhat, but to me, more than it needed to be. He's still a little rusty. He needs to play games, recognize pitches and he'll do fine. Will he hit a lot of home runs? I can't answer that. I told him it will be a little while, but it will come back."
  • Via a Dodgers Press Release: "Charley Steiner to be inducted into National Radio Hall of Fame".  The ceremony is on November 9th.  Go here for more information.
  • A young and attractive Dodger fan is becoming a bit famous on r/Dodgers Reddit.  They are calling her the good luck charm that helped propel the Dodgers to victory.  She was prominently shown on television just before Yasiel Puig knocked in the go ahead runs, yesterday.
  • Via Mark Saxon at ESPN, "Matt Kemp finds Puig's energy infectious".
  • Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts, "If he keeps playing like this, Yasiel Puig will earn much more than $42 million". 
  • If you are in New York then you've got to check this out.  600+ deadball era Baseball cards from the famed Jefferson Burdick collection (the father of card collecting) will be on display at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Ar.  Sports Collectors Daily has the story.
  • The Chicago Blackhawks are pure class.  Via, "Chicago Blackhawks ad in Boston Globe salutes city’s ‘gracious spirit’".

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My Search is Over - Check Out the 1997 Dodgers Police/LAPD Set

Sometimes all it takes is a little help from a friend.  In this case, a reader who happened to have an extra set laying around.

Late last year, I finished sharing scans of every Dodgers Police/LAPD set made from 1981 to 2002 that I had in my collection.  (I'm fairly certain that 2002 was the last year the Dodgers made these sets, but if you know otherwise please let me know.) 

Unfortunately, there was one exception.  I had yet to get my hands on the 1997 Dodgers Police set.  I had searched periodically over the years, but for whatever reason it had eluded me.  Considering the use of white borders for this particular season, it had become my proverbial "white whale". 

Well, a wonderful reader came to my rescue and passed along a complete set.  THANK YOU, SO MUCH!

My search is over, and I can rest in peace. 

Check out scans of the complete set in this post.  Also, directly below (in homage to Nomo's upcoming bobblehead) is a scan of an example of what the reverse looks like.  See all of the Dodgers Police/LAPD sets here.

Here is the rest of the set.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blog Kiosk: 6/27/2013 - Dodgers Links -

Sweep, baby!  Pic via Dodgers on Tumblr.
  • This is a great idea.  If you haven't seen the Jackie Robinson movie (#42) yet then the Saturday, July 13th home game against the Rockies might be the perfect time.  After that afternoon's game they will screen the movie on their new video screens for all to watch.  Buy tickets here.
  • Via Chris Olds at Beckett, Yasiel Puig will have a autographed Allen & Ginter card this year.  See a sample to the right.
  • Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, "MLB All-Star Game 2013: Joc Pederson named to U.S. roster for Futures Game".
  • This is the kind of research only a card collecting nerd could love.  Over on the Net54 message board a couple of members are researching the Jackie Robinson D302 1947 Bond Bread set.  They are trying to figure the real date of issue, and they are on to something.  There are some great photos there.
  • Dodger Penguin does some sleuthing and captures a pic of the Hideo Nomo bobblehead being given out on August 10th.
  • Via Mark Saxon at ESPN, "Brandon League won't be pitching 'stressful' innings".  It's about time!
  • Lyle Spencer at, "Hanley coming to life, leading Dodgers' charge: Mattingly calls shortstop, who has nine-game hit streak, 'a special talent'".
"Hanley's really good," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He can really hit. None of that stuff surprises me. I'm watching him tonight and thinking about Manny [Ramirez]. That's a special talent."

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    O'Malley Exhibit at Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Tokyo

    If only I could get across the Pacific with ease, I would be here in a New York minute.

    This coming Saturday, June 29th at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Tokyo former Dodger owner Peter O'Malley will, along with Nippon Professional Baseball Commissioner Ryozo Kato, have an official ribbon-cutting ceremony to open up a new exhibit featuring numerous memorabilia items from the O'Malley family.

    Fourteen artifacts from the Peter O’Malley collection will be featured in a special exhibition called: “Baseball in Japan and the O’Malley Family: A Lasting Friendship”.
    (pic via Walter O'

    As for the items that will be on display, one of them is the above featured porcelain hand-painted Noritake plate with Mt. Fuji in the background. It had been signed during the Dodgers’ 1956 Goodwill Tour to Japan and includes 40 autographs.
    “We are honored and delighted that the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Japan asked us for significant items to display in a unique exhibit about our family’s long-time friendship in Japan,” said Peter O’Malley. “We have enjoyed making many friends through baseball in Japan since our first goodwill trip in 1956. All of our memories are special.”
    Other memorabilia items include a collection of eight autographed baseballs representing each of the participating countries from the 1984 Olympic Games exhibition tournament at Dodger Stadium, Hideo Nomo memorabilia, 1988 Dodger World Championship ring, and a jersey worn by Akihiro “Ike” Ikuhara (an assistant to Dodger President O’Malley who was hired in 1965).
    The O’Malley family arranged for three Dodger friendship tours to Japan: 1956, 1966 and 1993. During the 1966 trip, Walter O’Malley was presented at the Prime Minister’s office with the Order of the Sacred Treasure Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, a high honor for a non-Japanese, in recognition of fostering United States-Japan friendship through professional baseball. The medal, conferred by Emperor Hirohito, will be part of the exhibit. In addition, three different Happi coats presented to the Dodger traveling party during the 1966 Goodwill Tour will be displayed.  On one colorful coat, the Japanese wording reads, “Welcome, World Peace, Dodgers”.
    You can get more information at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Tokyo, Japan website, here.  Walter O' also has information about this exhibit, here.

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    Wednesday, June 26, 2013

    Blog Kiosk: 6/26/2013 - Dodgers Links - A Puig Promotion Night, Paco's Celebration & Druken "Fall"ies in Korea

    The Dodgers have added a new promotional game to their schedule.  On Sunday, July 14 (a game against Colorado) they will be giving out the above Yasiel Puig T-shirt to the first 40,000 fans.  They will be available in two sizes, medium and extra large.
    • Congratulations to UCLA for winning the College World Series!

    It took Hanley Ramirez about one second to answer the question, "When was the last time you felt this good at the plate?"

    "Um, 2009, when I was the batting champion," Ramirez said. 
    • Infectious Joy!  .gif below of Paco's celebration via Dodgers tumblr.
    • Via Stephen Bailey at the LA Times, "Matt Kemp begs manager to play, backs it up with game-saving grab".
    • Via Brandon Lennox at True Blue LA, "Dodgers 6/25/13 minor league report - Top 2013 picks Chris Anderson, Tom Windle in debut with Loons".
    • This might be the second greatest tradition in sports.  After the Blackhawks Stanley Cup victory the other night, fans went to their coach's home, Joel Quenneville, at TP'd it.  The pics are a sight to behold.  Via Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy.
    • Has this ever happened in a Major League game?

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    Hunt Auctions at the All Star FanFest - Rare Jackie Robinson Memorabilia Related to Debut as a Dodger

    This seasons All-Star game in New York will not only feature the best Baseball players in the league, but will also host an auction by Hunt Auctions at its FanFest.  It's a huge offering that includes 826 different lots; including items from the collections of Warren Spahn and former MLB umpire Artie Gore.

    In fact, there is one item within the Artie Gore collection that I thought was too great not to share here.  Featured below is an actual game used Baseball from Artie's very first game he ever umpired, April 15, 1947 at Ebbets Field, which happens to coincide with Jackie Robinson's very first Major League Baseball game.  So, this is a game used Baseball from Jackie's first Major League game.  Artie Gore manned third base as umpire and Jackie played first base for the Dodgers.

    The memento was given to Gore to commemorate his first game, and was a present to his wife Millie for her many years of dealing with her husbands years of toil as a Minor League umpire.  Artie Gore was 39 when he finally made the Majors.  The ball has been signed by Hall of Fame umpire Al Barlick and fellow umpire "Babe" Pinelli.  The ball has also been inscribed with particulars from the game:
    Brooklyn - 5
    Boston - 3
    Opening game 
    Brooklyn + Boston
    15, April - 1947
    By remarkable coincidence, Artie Gore also was the home plate umpire when Jackie Robinson debuted in the Minor Leagues in 1946 as a member of the Montreal Royals.  Gore would eventually umpire in the Majors for 10 years in 1,464 games.
    (Auction Link)

    Below is another item related to Jackie Robinson's debut as a Dodger.  It is a letter writted by Jackie to a fan in Kentucky named Charles.  It is dated just 17 days after his first game as a Dodger, May 2, 1947. 
    Dear Charles, 
    I want to thank you and the others for your really nice letter.  I am really glad to have received just such a letter. No I was not surprised to receive a letter from the South because there are many more Southerners who share the same feelings you have and I am sure that it will be fellows like yourselves that will go a long way in furthering the democratic way of life most of us want.  As for my treatment in Louisville last year, it was overshadowed by some very nice letters I received from residence of Louisville.
    Thanks again for your letter and I might add there is a lot of encouragement in every line.
    Sincerely, Jackie Robinson.
    I think it's fair to say that Jackie's exploits had created a fan, and that it in turn helped change the world for the better.
    (Auction Link)

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    Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Guerrier, AGon, Kenley, Mike Marshall and a Dodger Fest at Frank & Sons (Puig, Kemp and More)

    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.

    This is a very busy Saturday for Dodger Autograph collectors.  There are 4 different events happening on Saturday, and 2 of them are free for fans!  There are 12 different current and former Dodgers' signing.  On top of that, Kenley Jansen is signing this afternoon on La Cienega.  Wow!

    Kenley Jansen will be at a T-Mobile store on La Cienega in Los Angeles on this afternoon, Wednesday, June 26th from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM.  This is a free event for fans.  More information is here.
    T-Mobile store
    350 S. La Cienega Blvd.
    Los Angeles, 90048

    Adrian Gonzalez will be at a T-Mobile store in Huntington Park on Saturday, June 29th from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  This is a free event for fans. 
    T-Mobile store 
    6900 Pacific Blvd.
    Huntington Park, 90255

    Matt Guerrier will be meeting with fans and signing autographs at the Sports Authority in Burbank on Saturday, June 29th from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM.  This is a free event for fans.  More information is here.
    Sports Authority
    1900 W. Empire Ave. Ste R12 
    Burbank, CA 91504 

    Former Dodger Mike Marshall will be in Whitter on Saturday, June 29th from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at Harry's Dugout.  Go here for more information.  This is a pay event.
    Harry's Dugout
    10701 W Beverly Blvd
    Whittier, Ca 90601
    This weekend is a Dodger weekend at Frank & Sons.  Nine Dodgers will be in attendance to sign for fans.  Check out the below flyers for information, or go here.  Click on any flyer to embiggen.

    Scott Van Slyke is on rehab assignments in Albuquerque, but is expected to be back in LA before the weekend.  I suspect if those plans change and he remains on rehab with the Isotopes, then his appearance at Frank & Sons will be postponed.
    Frank & Son Collectible Show
    19649 E. San Jose Ave.
    City of Industry, CA 91748

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    Tuesday, June 25, 2013

    Blog Kiosk: 6/25/2013 - Dodgers Links -

    Shawn Green was in the house last night.  Pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013.
    • If you are so inclined, please check out my blogs Facebook page and "like it".
    • ICYMI:  Check out my post from yesterday about the Nick Punto Song.  After Punto's clutch double in the 8th inning of yesterdays game to start the rally I thought we should all sing his praises by singing his song.
    • Check out my post from earlier today on a couple of Brooklyn Dodger Carl Erskine no-hitter memorabilia items.
    • Via Mike Oz at Big League Stew, "Andre Ethier, this is your life now that Yasiel Puig is around".
    • Mike Oz also writes, "Young Dodger fan pledges to give money from viral video to injured Giants fan Bryan Stow".
    • John Brenkus at ESPN breaks down Yasiel Puig's swing.
    • Chad Moriyama may have noticed a small adjustment to Puig's swing.  Check out what he has to say.
    • Steve Dilbeck at the LA Times writes, "Does Yasiel Puig dream of electric sheep?"  Any time you see a story about the Dodgers that makes a Phillip K. Dick reference then it must be read.  The title of this story refers to a book by Dick that was made into a movie that you've probably seen - Blade Runner.  Awesome!
    Those are numbers Willie Mays could admire. They are unsustainable, which is not to say they’re not to be absolutely enjoyed as long as this ride continues.

    I don’t know if androids dream of electric sheep, but right now, Dodgers fans dream of Yasiel Puig.

    • Carl Crawford Cards shared a great video interview with Negro Leaguer Carl Long.  Just awesome!   I love it when little known blogs get a gem like this, and I firmly believe it's my duty to pass it along.

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    Yeah, Baby! 3 In a Row!

    It's a little hard to believe that last night was the first time the Dodgers recorded a winning streak of three games.  But as Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts noted, it is true.  UPDATE: strike that, this 3 game winning streak is actually the first 3 game game winning streak is 8 consecutive tries.  As a commenter on facebook noted, they won a 3 game set against Pittsburgh during the first roadtrip of the season.

    Hopefully they can keep it up and continue winning.

    Was it the offensive exploits of our newest stud outfielder that propelled us?  Not exactly. 

    Sure, Puig's bat has been a godsend, and his exuberance has certainly enlivened the team.  But, other than last nights 3 for 4 evening, he had no real part in the dodgers scoring runs during the first two Dodger wins.

    The real reasons for the Dodgers recent mini-streak has been the pitching and defence.  They have given up only a run in the last three games, and our relief corps appear to finally be waking up.  Thankfully, Kenley Jansen has taken to the closer role very nicely.  Furthermore, the Dodgers have not committed an error, save Puig's little mishap last night that could have been scored an error

    With last nights victory, the Dodgers pushed the Giants into 4th place in the Western Division, and they have an opportunity to push them even further down today. 

    For now, though it's great to savor our first winning streak of the year.. 

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    Congratulations, Chicago Blackhawks! The New Stanley Cup Champions!

    It is with bittersweet emotions that I congratulate the Chicago Blackhawks for their victory last night over the Boston Bruins.  I say bittersweet not only because the 'Hawks eliminated the Kings during the Conference Finals, but last night also marked the official end of the Kings reign as Stanley Cup Champions.

    The Blackhawks were just incredible this season.  They came out of the gate fast, and won consistently throughout the year.  Heck, they recorded points in 24 straight games to start the season, having only lost 3 games in overtime.  At the end of the lockout shortened season they finished with the best record in the league.

    Coming into these playoffs there was one team that worried me - the Blackhawks.  I knew how good they were and feared that they would be the only team that could stop the Kings from repeating as champions.  As you know, they did just that.  Now, they are Stanley Cup Champions, and I salute you.

    Congrats, Blackhawks!

    Pic Credit Above: twitter @keeperofthecup:

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