Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Matt Kemp on Big League Chew

For over 30 years Big League Chew has been a staple on little league ballfields throughout North America.  The distinctive packaging, made to look like a pouch of chewing tobacco, had always included a cartoon caricature of a beefy steroid-looking batter.  Now, for the first time, real ballplayers will adorn their packages, and our very own Matt Kemp is one of them.

From Darren Rovell at ESPN:
"This was uncharted territory for us," said Rob Nelson, who invented the product as a chewing-tobacco alternative along with Jim Bouton when the two were teammates on an independent baseball team in 1977.
"But these guys epitomize what is good about the game of baseball and the time is right."

PLB Sports, which has been the pre-eminent name in partnering athletes with food products, secured the players' deals and, like most of the products it sells, linked up a charity component.

Some proceeds from Kemp's cut of the deal, for example, will go to Kemp's Kids, which provides inner-city youth a chance to get into baseball and stay off the streets.
Slowly but surely, Matt Kemp is become a nationwide household name.

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Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 3/6/2013

Joe Torre is set to be Team USA's manager in the WBC.  Check out more pics from Dodgers' photographer Jon SooHoo from yesterday, here.
My blaster did not contain any "hits" worth mentioning.  That doesnt matter, in all of the thousands of packs I've opened, I've never pulled a card worth more then $50, anyway.  That was never the point of me ripping Heritage.

I loved ripping heritage because it was the closest thing to "old" cards that were on the market.  Todays players portrayed in classic old Topps designs.

In an age when people are all about the "shiny" and the "MOJO HITS", Topps Heritage Base Cards could be counted on for those of us that used to open packs when it was all about the gum, friends, and memories tied to the game we loved.
Mike Brito, who still wears a distinctive Panama hat and had been a fixture with his radar gun behind home plate until technology took over, is the scout who teamed with Mexican colleague Corito Verona to discover and help acquire Fernando Valenzuela in 1979.

Three decades later, Brito was the first Dodgers scout to see Yasiel Puig in a game at a junior tournament in Canada. That was 3 1/2 years ago and Puig's eventual signing for a staggering $42 million linked Brito with another budding Dodgers superstar.
  • Stephen A. Smith of ESPN is an idiot.  I agree with everything that Ryan Cowley writes at Rink Royalty.
As for Stephen A. Smith himself, he did miss one very important point: there are no ties in hockey. Working for the so-called “Worldwide leader in sports,” logic would suggest that he would know that, but evidently that’s not true. In reaction to hockey having ties, Smith said, “This ain’t soccer!”

You’re right, Stephen. Hockey ain’t soccer. In fact, if anything, basketball’s like soccer. Like soccer players, basketball players fall to the floor like pansies when they get slapped in the face, roll over when they fall on their feet after a shot (falling on their feet after jumping a few inches, how painful!) and bitch to the refs when they get pushed. Maybe Stephen A. would like to watch some hockey highlights. If he does, he should look no further than the Los Angeles Kings.
  • The reporter who first told us about Melky Cabrera's PED violation just said that Cano, ARod, Braun and Granderson are about to slapped with 50 game suspensions, via SportsGrid.
  • Just because I love this song.  Below is the song 'Start Wearing Purple' from Gogol Bordello.

Video Link:

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Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 12/ Home Game 7

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.
Split Squad Games

(twitter link: @Dodgers)

Team Mexico (0-1) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (4-5-2)
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 – 1:05 p.m. | Camelback Ranch - Glendale
RHP Stephen Fife (0-0, 5.40) vs. RHP Daniel Rodriguez (N/R, ---)
(twitter link: @Dodgers)

(pic link: Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2013)

VIVA LOS DODGERS!: In Glendale, The Dodgers will take on Luis Cruz, Javy Guerra, Adrian Gonzalez and Team Mexico as the WBC squad prepares for their first Pool D tournament game tomorrow against Team Italy at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Dodger Special Assistant, Player Personnel Juan Castro is a Team Mexico coach as is Fernando Valenzuela, who played a key role in connecting the Dodgers to the Los Angeles Latino community following his MLB debut in 1980 and the launch of Fernandomania in 1981. For all those wondering, Opening Day is just 26 days away!
  • In Goodyear, Hyun-Jin Ryu and a split-squad of Dodgers will play the Indians for the second and final time this spring after beating the Tribe, 5-1, at Camelback Ranch – Glendale. The Dodgers will return to Goodyear next Tuesday for a night game against the Reds.
  • The Dodgers and Giants have agreed to make the following pitchers available to Team Mexico today: LHP Edwin Escobar (SF), RHP Justin Fitzgerald (SF), RHP Jose Valdez (SF), LHP Geison Aguasviva (LAD), LHP Victor Garate (LAD) and RHP Ryan Acosta (LAD).
DOWNER: The Dodgers pounded out 11 hits, but fell for the fourth time in their last five games with a 7-3 loss to the Padres in Peoria. Matt Kemp played in the field for the first time with 4.0 innings in center field, but went 0-for-3 at the plate. Kevin Gregg ran his scoreless innings streak to 4.0 with 2.0 scoreless frames and has allowed just one baserunner this spring (1-for-12, .083). Clayton Kershaw made his third start of the spring, allowing four runs on seven hits in 3.0 innings and taking the loss to fall to 1-2.
  • Shawn Tolleson was removed from the game yesterday in the eighth inning due to left knee pain.  He was re-examined by a physician today and is listed as day to day.
FUTURE DODGERS!: Baseball America’s Top 5 Dodger prospects will be on display today as LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (No. 1), OF Yasiel Puig (No. 2) and OF Joc Pederson (No. 4) suit up against the Indians in Goodyear and IF Corey Seager (No. 3) and RHP Zach Lee (No. 5) come over from the minor league side to face Team Mexico. Puig is off to a hot start this spring, batting .400 with three doubles, a homer and five RBI in 10 games, while Pederson, the Dodgers’ 2012 Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year, will make his second appearance on the big league roster (March 1 vs. SD, 1-for-2). Seager, 18, was the Dodgers’ first round pick (18th overall) in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Northwest Cabarrus High School in North Carolina and batted .309 with eight home runs and 33 RBI in 46 games with Rookie-advanced Ogden last season. Lee has already made one appearance this spring, allowing two runs in 1.0 inning and taking the loss on Saturday against the Padres.
  • LHP Chris Reed, LHP Onelki Garcia, LHP Paco Rodriguez, RHP Matt Magill and RHP Ross Stripling round out Baseball America’s Top 10 Dodger prospects.
  • Today, Baseball America named Hyun-Jin Ryu as their top rookie heading into the 2013 season.
  • Speaking of future Dodgers, registration is now available for the 2013 Dodgers Youth Baseball Camp, benefiting the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, which will be held June 25-28 (Session 1) and August 9, 12-14 (Session 2) at Dodger Stadium. Register your child today at Camp will feature instruction by Dodger coaches and alumni with special visits by current Dodger players. Campers will learn about hitting, fielding, base running, throwing and pitching as well as team play, sportsmanship and conditioning. Enrollment is open to boys and girls, ages 7-12. Space is limited so please register your child today!

(pic link: Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2013)

HILLTOPPERS: RHP Zack Greinke had been scheduled to start, but was scratched due to illness.  Instead, RHP Stephen Fife will make his third appearance (first start) of the spring. In his last outing on Friday, Fife allowed two runs in 3.0 innings against the Padres. The Idaho native made five starts for the Dodgers last year for his first Major League action, going 0-2 with a 2.70 ERA.
  • RHP Brandon League will make his third appearance of the spring after allowing three runs (one earned) on two hits on Saturday against the Mariners in Peoria.
  • RHP Kenley Jansen made his only appearance of the spring on Feb. 26, firing a scoreless frame against the Giants.
  • LHP J.P. Howell struck out three in a scoreless inning on Saturday against the Mariners. Howell allowed two runs in 1.0 inning against the Giants on Feb. 26 in his first appearance of the spring.
CAMERA READY: Tomorrow, Javy Guerra (@JavyGuerra54) will take over the Dodgers Official Instagram account (@Dodgers) capturing a "Day in the Life" of a big league ballplayer.

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Jose Canseco and a Clipper

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.

Harry's Dugout is a new card shop located in Whittier.  So, if you're in the area go ahead and stop by.  Their website can be found here.  Also, the flyer above provides all of the details regarding the Jose Canseco signing happening this coming Saturday.

Also, I've been told that Dodger coach Tim Wallach is scheduled to appear for autograph signing on April 6th.  Furthermore, there are preliminary plans to have Pedro Guerrero in the store on May 5th, and Josh Riddick of the A's on July 6th.  I'll let you know as confirmation and details arrive for both Guerrero and Riddick.


Former Laker and current LA Clipper Lamar Odom will be in Cerritos to sign autographs and take photos with fans on Saturday, March 9th, 2013 from 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM at the Kia of Cerritos.

Kia of Cerritos
18201 Studebaker Rd
Cerritos, CA 90703
(562) 860-2424

Hat Tip: LA Inspiration

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2012 National Treasures Baseball - Dodgers' Booklet cards

Here is my last post featuring Dodgers' players included within Panini's 2012 National Treasures set. Check out some of the other Dodgers' 2012 National Treasures cards I've featured here.  Also, click any pic to embiggen.

The below cards represent nearly all of the booklet cards available.  At this point, only the Jackie Robinson booklet that includes a companion "cut" autographs has yet to show up. I also suspect that other variations of each card exist, as well.
Legends Cuts Jumbo Materials

#18 Jackie Robinson

#20 Burleigh Grimes /10

 #20 Burleigh Grimes /10

#24 Roy Campanella /1

 #38 Duke Snider /5

#38 Duke Snider /10

#41 Walter Alston /10

#41 Walter Alston /10

#45 Don Drysdale /10

#47 Pee Wee Reese /10

#47 Pee Wee Reese /10

#59 Leo Durocher /10

#59 Leo Durocher /10

Legends Jumbo Materials
#18 Jackie Robinson /10

#10 Jackie Robinson /25

#16 Willie Keeler /5

NT Star Jumbo
#7 Matt Kemp /10

#7 Matt Kemp /25

#7 Matt Kemp /99
NT Star Jumbo Signatures
#2 Adrian Gonzalez /5

#2 Adrian Gonzalez /10

#14 Don Mattingly /10

#15 Don Sutton /5

#17 Carl Furillo /10

#19 Pete Reiser /5

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