Monday, February 18, 2013

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Full-Squad Workout #3

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
(pic link: twitter @Dodgers)
INTO THE SWING OF THINGS: On the third day of full-squad workouts, left-hander Clayton Kershaw threw a live batting practice session, facing teammates Carl Crawford, Luis Cruz, Andre Ethier, Adrian Gonzalez, Jerry Hairston, Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe. In addition to Kershaw, Stephen Fife, Matt Guerrier, Matt Magill and Shawn Tolleson all threw their first live BP sessions of spring.

LISTEN CAREFULLY: Along with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, Sandy Koufax, who was sporting his class No. 32 Dodger BP jersey, spent time working with members of the Dodger pitching staff in the bullpen area, including an extended chat with Josh Beckett. After joining the club in late August, the right-hander posted a 2.93 ERA (14 ER/43.0 IP) in seven starts with Los Angeles.

BIRTHDAY BOYS: The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy birthday to coach Manny Mota (75) and assistant hitting coach John Valentin (46). Mota is entering 34th season as a coach with the Dodgers and 2013 marks his 44th year with Los Angeles after a playing career that spanned parts of 13 seasons with the club. The Santo Domingo, DR native will embark on his fourth season as a broadcaster for PRIME TICKET as a Spanish broadcaster. Valentin is entering his first season on the Major League staff and sixth season in the Dodger organization, after spending last year as the Triple-A Albuquerque hitting coach. Under Valentin’s tutelage last year, the Isotopes ranked among the Pacific Coast League team batting leaders in average (.298, T-1st), runs (842, 2nd), hits (1,495, 2nd), triples (58, T-1st), slugging percentage (1st, .471) and OPS (.832, 1st). Happy birthday, Manny and John!
  • Mota hit .304 during his 20-year Major League career with San Francisco (1962), Pittsburgh (1963-68), Montreal (1969) and the Dodgers (1969-80, 82) while becoming baseball’s all-time pinch-hit leader with 150, a mark since broken by Lenny Harris and Mark Sweeney.
  • Valentin played the majority of his career with the Boston Red Sox as a shortstop from 1992-2001. A veteran of 11 Major League seasons, Valentin is the only player in Major League history to complete an unassisted triple play (July 8, 1994 vs. Seattle Mariners) and hit for the cycle (June 6, 1996 vs. Chicago White Sox). He won the American League Silver Slugger award at shortstop in 1995 and belted three homers in the 1999 AL Division Series to lead Boston over the Cleveland Indians. He yielded the reigns of shortstop to former Los Angeles Dodger Nomar Garciaparra in 1997, converting to a second baseman and eventually shifting to third base after a season-ending injury to starter Tim Naehring. Valentin spent three more seasons with the Red Sox before ending his career with the Mets.
(pic link: twitter @Dodgers, Bad Boys III starring , and )

FOR THE CAUSE: Today and tomorrow, Dodger players and coaches will sign more than 400 jerseys, 32 bats, 120 dozen baseballs and hundreds of photos, which will be donated to various charities throughout the Los Angeles community.

THIS DAY IN DODGER HISTORY: On February 18, 1999, the United States Postal Service issues a second stamp commemorating the career and accomplishments Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson as part of the "Celebrating the Century" series. Robinson's stamp represents the 1940s when the infielder broke baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The first Robinson stamp was issued in 1982 as part of the Postal Service's Black Heritage series

COULD BE LEGENDARY: Dodger alumni Ron Cey, Tim Leary, Fernando Valenzuela, Maury Wills and Steve Yeager will help celebrate a new season of Cactus League play next weekend at Camelback Ranch - Glendale’s inaugural Legends Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 23-24. Former greats from both the Dodgers and White Sox franchises will be on hand to sign autographs and greet fans from 11:30 am-12:30 pm before being introduced in pregame ceremonies for the club’s first Cactus League game at Camelback Ranch – Glendale against the White Sox at 1:05 pm on Saturday, Feb. 23.  I previously posted about the Legends Weekend last week - check out that information here.

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Celebrating President's Day with the 1960 Golden Press US Presidents Trading Card Set

With today being President's Day, I thought it would be appropriate to share another vintage non-sport trading card set in my collection.  Featured here is my 1960 Golden Press US Presidents trading cards.  Better yet, my set remains uncut from the original book they were issued in.

Some collectors may already be familiar with the manufacturer.  They are more widely known for their production of a 1961 set featuring 33 Hall of Fame Baseball stars.  That set, like the President's set, was also originally made in book form, and the cards were perforated to allow for easy removal.

I have scanned both the front and reverse of each card.  As you can see, a short biography of each former President is on the back.  As always, click on any pic to embiggen.  Also, note that the pages at the very top is the front cover of the book, and the pics from the very bottom are the back cover of the book.  The cards on the covers are also perforated to allow for easy removal.


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Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 2/18/2013

It was photo day for the Dodgers yesterday.  Check out a bunch of pics at Zimbio.  The above pic is of Zack Greinke: Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America.
  • Josh at '9 Inning Know It All' shares a 2 part interview he conducted with Carl Erskine.  Part 1 and Part 2.
I’m going to name a few players, please describe them for us.
1. Pee Wee Reese- A solid professional, our Capt. He was an extension of the manager on the field. A little older than some of us and had already been in the league before us. We were freshman, he the senior. When Pee Wee died at age 81 a New York paper headlines read “this Pee Wee was a giant”
Of all the Dodgers, Furillo, in particular, didn’t like the Giants. He didn’t like Leo Durocher, their manager. He didn’t like Maglie, the Giants ace known as Sal the Barber for how his pitches shaved opposing batters’ chins.
  • Clayton Kershaw's wife, Ellen, is organizing a Dodgers Spring Training ping pong tournament.  As Clayton says, "Best Wife Ever!"
(twitter link)
Schematics of (top) old Dodgers clubhouse, (middle) new Dodgers clubhouse, (bottom) overlay of the two.
(twitter link: JP Hoornstra)
  • Sandy Koufax arrives at Spring Training, and discusses the Dodgers' pitching staff and the art of pitching in the video below, via

Video Link:

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A Couple of 1950's Brooklyn Dodgers Banks

'In The Park Collectibles' is currently running their Winter auction and it's filled with some great Dodger goodies.  As you may know, they had acquired a large estate collection of porcelain figurines from a now defunct business called the Gibbs-Connor Company several years ago, and have been slowly selling off those pieces.  From an old post written here over 4 years ago:      
Gibbs-Conner was a small manufacturer of porcelain products located in Cleveland Ohio. Although it was not their main source of income, in the late 40's/early 50's Gibbs-Conner produced several porcelain banks with the likeness of the Cleveland Indians mascot- Chief Wahoo. Their work rivaled that of their main competitor, Stanford Pottery (also based in the Cleveland area), although their workmanship has always been considered a touch below in quality. As far as we can tell, Gibbs-Conner closed their doors for business in the late 50's. The original banks were not produced in large quantities and are still very popular among figural collectors.
Also included in the estate sale were porcelain statues of other teams.  It was thought that they had plans to market figurines of other teams, but never quite got it off the ground.  Instead, various samples were made, and they were eventually stored away when the business went under.

Featured here are two different Brooklyn Dodger 'Bum' coin bank statues from that collection.  The first style celebrates the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers National League Pennant.  This bank stands at about 7" tall, and it is expected to sell in excess of $500.00.

Below is the second style variation of the Brooklyn Dodger coin bank.  This time, the bank says goodbye to Brooklyn.  It has 1957 (the last year they played in the borough) emblazoned on the porcelain Baseball, and the phrase 'So Long Brooklyn' on the base.  This coin bank is extremely rare, and is thought to be one of only two known to exist.  Considering the topic, it's would be hard to believe that there would be much of a market for this item back in the 50's.  After all, Brooklyn was heartbroken, and I doubt anybody from there would have put this on their mantle.  As of this posting, it is already up to $2,100.00 for this coin bank.

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