Thursday, May 23, 2013

Old-Timers Game is Back and they are Giving Away a Replica Championship Ring

Holy Mackerel!  This is stupendous!  Marvelous!  Outstanding!

Not only is the Old-Timers Game coming back on Saturday, June 8, but the Dodgers are giving away a replica 1963 World Series Ring to the first 40,000 fans in attendance.


Go here for some additional information.

The Schedule of events is as follows:
4:10pm - Gates open to the public
5:20pm - Old-timers' Introductions
5:30pm - 6:45pm - Old-timers' Game
Below is a list of the former players expected to hit the field:
  • Bill Buckner
  • Ron Cey
  • Tommy Davis
  • Al Downing
  • Eric Gagne
  • Pedro Guerrero
  • Mickey Hatcher
  • Lou Johnson
  • Ken Landreaux
  • Tommy Lasorda
  • Davey Lopes
  • Rick Monday
  • Manny Mota
  • Don Newcombe
  • Jerry Reuss
  • Bill Russell
  • Dave Stewart
  • Darryl Strawberry
  • Fernando Valenzuela
  • Bob Welch
  • Maury Wills
  • Steve Yeager
  • Rick Cerone
  • Chris Chambliss
  • Ron Davis
  • Dwight Gooden
  • Goose Gossage
  • Rickey Henderson
  • Jay Johnstone
  • Graig Nettles
  • Bob Watson

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Go Kings Go!

Tonight is Game 5 of the playoff game between the San Jose Sharks and LA Kings.  The series is tied 2 to 2, so we effectively have dwindled this all down to a 3 game series.

I'll be in my normal section, Section 315, with my voice ready to go hoarse.

I'm excited and concerned - hopeful that the Kings can come out of the gates with the kind of energy they have been lacking the past couple of games.

I suspect we'll once again have a nail-biter on our hands, but I am certain the boys will leave everything on the ice.  And in doing so, will gain the appreciation of the fans.

Let's go, boys!

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: A Galaxy Signing Tomorrow

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.


LA Galaxy defender, former rookie of the year and MLS Cup MVP will be signing free autographs this coming Friday at AT&T in Carson, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  (310) 225-3028.
AT&T Retail Store
20810 Avalon Blvd.
Carson, CA 90746 
Hat Tip: LA Inspiration

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Lack of "Grit" and "Compete Level" has been an Issue for a Long Time

It occurred to me last night that the issue Mattingly spoke of yesterday has been a problem surrounding the Dodgers for quite a while.

Think back to when the last time the Dodgers where perennial playoff contenders.  It really wasn't too long ago.  Back then names like Kent, Garciaparra and Gonzo filled out our roster. They were veterans who had been through the grime and muck, only to came out as chiseled sages ready and willing to impart their knowledge.  No doubt, they were also willing to give everything they've got to win. 

Now, we stand here wondering what happened?  Did the kids on the team back then gain from their tutelage? 

That answer appears to be, no.

Let's take a quick look at some of things that were said back then.  Via Dylan Hernandez' reporting at the LA Times from September 2007, entitled "A Shot to Generation Gap".
Upon being swept in a four-game series in Colorado, Kent said he was "disappointed," "angry" and "perplexed." He spoke in vague terms of the "many things" responsible for the Dodgers' slide from playoff contention. When asked if that included Little's lineups and the coaching staff's strategy, he said, "Everything."

"We've got some good kids on the team," Kent said. "Don't get me wrong, please don't misinterpret my impressions. [But] it's hard to translate experience."

He said of the younger players: "I don't know why they don't get it."

Of what they don't get, Kent said, "A lot of things. Professionalism. How to manufacture a run. How to keep your emotions in it. There's just a lot of things that go on with playing 162 games."
My Translation: These kids lacked the "grit" & "compete level" it takes to win.
He added: "It's close to the end of the season. And a career for me too. I'm running out of time. A lot of kids in here, they don't understand that."
A sense of urgency can create an attitude that often leads to taking it up a notch.  Clearly, the kids didn't have it back then, and I am lead to believe it may still not exist in the clubhouse today.

How did the kids respond when told of Kent's criticism back in 2007?  Here's what Loney said:
Asked if it bothered him to be criticized by one of the team's leaders, Loney said of Kent, "Who said he was a leader?"
Kemp said:
"Having fun is part of the game," Kemp said. "If you came up here and you were serious all the time, that's not fun. Joking with your boys, that's fun. It helps you relax.
Now, let's look at what Ethier said yesterday.  Via Ken Gurnick at
"Yeah, I take offense to that, without approaching me first," said Ethier. "Other than that, I show up every day and find ways to compete, to work hard whether I'm going good or bad. Just like everyone here, I have to get a grip and a handle on what's gone on. We can never lose hope to get back on top of the division. That's my approach every day."
Wrong attitude.  There is nothing to be offended by what Mattingly said.  As a professional you have to take the criticism as an opportunity to be better.  That's it.  Saying you're offended has no meaning.  The rest of it sounds like a series of cliche's to me.

So, what's the solution?

I haven't the foggiest idea, but I think Chad Moriyama touched on it a bit in his post this morning.
Over the years, basically everybody I’ve talked to that’s been close to the team has not exactly come away with a glowing impression of Ethier, and it wasn’t Mattingly that tried to eat the contract of a recently-extended Ethier just this past winter.
Mike Petriello affirms the same general feeling about Ethier, as well as the trade aspect of it.
I don’t know what happened with Ethier behind the scenes, though anyone surprised that he’s got a reputation as being difficult hasn’t been paying attention — and yes, they did try to trade him over the winter.
So while I’m not all that sure what happened behind closed doors, and I’m not saying it’s absolutely justified, I am leaving open the possibility that this was a necessary action due to something that might be happening behind the scenes.
I would add that this is not to say that Ethier is the only problem.  Maybe something endemic has happened - a kind of culture has been allowed to permeate within the clubhouse and something needs to be done to change it.

Management, it's your move!


Yesterday evening, Left Field Pavilion posted up a couple of great graphics that I think perfectly encapsulates what I'm trying to say.  So, with apologies to him (for putting this up here) check out the first one that I thought was the best.

(pic link)

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Blog Kiosk: 5/23/2013

Panini provides an early look at their upcoming 2013 Cooperstown set.  It will be coming out in mid-August.  Check out a Jackie Robinson card above.
  • Via Ken Gurnick at, "Dodgers discussing Puig, Pederson to Majors."
  • Eric Stephen at True Blue LA lets us know that Matt Kemp has also made an additional charitable contribution to the Oklahoma relief efforts.
  • Fox Sports has a video featuring Don Mattingly and his harsh words.
  • Panini also released preview pics of their 2013 USA Baseball Champions set that comes out next week.  Check out some of the Dodgers shown below.  They also share other photos of former (and current) Dodgers like Garciaparra and McGwire.
  • Dave Cameron at FanGraphs writes, "Andre Ethier is Now Eminently Available."
  • Via Jeff Spiegel at Dodgers Nation, "Scott Van Slyke Continues Impressive Run in Wednesday’s Win."
  • Paul Lukas at ESPN introduces readers to the Jefferson Burdick collection of Baseball cards that reside at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  It's the second largest in the world.  The collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame is the largest.  Be sure to check out the video they have as they take a close look at some of the cards.

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2013 Topps Museum Baseball - Dodgers Inserts and Relics

This will likely be my final post on the Topps 2013 Museum Baseball card set.  Unless, of course, a rare bat nameplate card pops up.  Then, I'm probably going to go a little gaga over it.  Anyway, to check out my previous post on this set go here

Featured here are the various insert and relic cards that can be found in the set.  This grouping does not include examples of every possible card out there - just the ones that have made the light of day. 

Below is the Kershaw Canvas Collection card.

Canvas Collection Cards

#CC-18 Clayton Kershaw

Below is an original drawing of the card.

Canvas Collection Originals

#CCO-CK Clayton Kershaw

JUMBO Lumber Relics

#MMJLR-CK Clayton Kershaw          #MMJLR-DGO Dee Gordon

#MMJLR-HR Hanley Ramirez          #MMJLR-MK Matt Kemp

#MMJLR-SG Steve Garvey         #MMJLR-ZG Zack Greinke

Below is a jumbo relic book card of Kemp and Garvey.  Unfortunately, this is the only card I have run across.  Two other Dodger cards exist.  They are a Kershaw/ Mattingly card and a Kershaw/ Lincecum card.

Dual JUMBO Lumber Relics

#MMDJL-KG Steve Garvey - Matt Kemp

Momentous Material JUMBO Relics

#MMJR-AE Andre Ethier             #MMJR-AGO Adrian Gonzalez

#MMJR-CBI Chad Billingsley           #MMJR-CK Clayton Kershaw

#MMJR-HR Hanley Ramirez

A Jumbo Patch Relic cards of Ethier and Kershaw also exist to go along with the Billingsley card below.

Momentous Material JUMBO Patch Relics

#MMJPR-CBI Chad Billingsley

Momentous Material Dual JUMBO Relic

#MMDJR-KE Matt Kemp - Andre Ethier

#MMDJR-VK Justin Verlander - Clayton Kershaw

Primary Pieces Quad Relics

#PPQR-CB Chad Billingsley            #PPQR-CK Clayton Kershaw

#PPQR-DG Dee Gordon                  #PPQR-HR Hanley Ramirez

#PPQR-MK Matt Kemp

Primary Pieces Quad Legend Relics

#PPQRL-JR Jackie Robinson

Primary Pieces Quad Player Relics

#PPFQR-4 Sandy Koufax - Steve Garvey - Andre Ethier - Matt Kemp

#PPFQR-6 Jackie Robinson - Robinson Cano - Ian Kinsler - Dustin Pedroia

#PPFQR-14 Tim Lincecum - Sandy Koufax - Clayton Kershaw - Matt Cain

#PPFQR-17 Yonder Alonso - Tony Gwynn - Adrian Gonzalez - Andre Ethier

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