Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: A Couple of Dodger Old-Timers - Charlie Hough and Lee Lacy; UPDATE: Shawn Green and Paul LoDuca on Saturday

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.

Former Dodgers Charlie Hough and Lee Lacy will be at Manuel's El Tepeyac in the City of Industry on Sunday, October 13, 2013 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
Manuel's El Tepeyac
13131 Crossroads Pkwy South
City of Industry, CA 91746
(626) 488-9432

I am unsure if Shawn Green or Paul LoDuca will be signing autographs at this event on Saturday.  Go here for more information.

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Don't Be a Fool... Carpool! Free Parking at Playoffs for Carpoolers!

With the stadium filled to capacity for Dodger games this postseason it's only reasonable that the Dodgers do their level best to convince fans to group together in order to alleviate traffic congestion.  Heck, it has just been reported that on Monday the parking lot was so full hundreds of fans had to be turned away.

So, to mitigate future traffic congestion the Dodgers are offering free parking to fans who carpool to the game with 4 or more passengers in the car.  That's right, if you pack in your car with fans you get parking for FREE!

Per a Dodgers press release:
“We know we had a parking issue during our recent National League Division Series win against Atlanta,” said Renata Simril, Senior Vice-President, External Affairs.  “We parked more than 20,000 cars and several hundred fans were unable to park at Dodger Stadium last Monday night.  We reached our capacity and some fans without parking passes were directed off-site.  We were very sorry about inconveniencing these fans and felt we needed to do something to address this problem.
“We urge all of our fans to rideshare or carpool and examine all alternative transportation methods to do their part.  We hope our fans will take advantage of our free parking offer with four or more fans in a vehicle in hopes of reducing our traffic flow and the number of cars at Dodger Stadium.  We want our fans to have a memorable experience during the postseason.”
As Dodger Stadium will be at maximum capacity for all postseason games, fans are also urged to arrive earlier than ever to avoid traffic delays and parking concerns.  Parking gates and turnstiles will open three hours prior to ALL postseason game times. 
Earlier this season, the Dodgers partnered with LA Metro for the fourth consecutive year to offer the Dodger Stadium Express bus service.  This year the Dodgers added a dedicated bus lane on Sunset Boulevard from Union Station to Elysian Park Avenue, which further expedites the ride for fans. Dodger game day tickets will be honored as payment to ride the bus service and the shuttle will operate three hours before each postseason game until 90 minutes after each game.
Fans are encouraged to use the many transportation alternatives that serve Union Station and that will connect them to the new Dodger Stadium Express. For specific route and schedule information fans can visit or call 323.GO.METRO.

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2013 Panini Hometown Heroes - the Dodgers Base Cards

Panini America unveiled a brand new Baseball card set last week called Hometown Heroes.  They describe it as a set with:
old-school design quirks, timeless throwback collecting nuances and an abundance of good, old-fashioned fun.
See a complete checklist here.

Below are all of the Dodgers' base cards within the set.  There are 12 Dodgers out of 300 cards in the total set.  I'll show the Dodgers' insert cards tomorrow.  BTW, there are parallel cards that include both a Califronia state gold foil stamp and zip code stamp.  Examples of each are shown below.  Click any pic to embiggen.

#14 Yasiel Puig                   #49 Orel Hershiser

#54 Matt Kemp                 #63 Ron Cey

#82 Fernando Valenzuela            #117 Dusty Baker

#163 Rick Monday             #175 Bill Buckner

#192 Tommy Lasorda              #232 Davey Lopes

#251 Hyun-Jin Ryu          #253 Clayton Kershaw

Variation Sp

#261 Yasiel Puig                                     #284 Dave Stewart

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RIP, Andy Pafko - Handy Andy

Dodger nation and the Baseball world lost one of their own yesterday.  Andy Pafko, a one-time Cub and Milwaukee Brave, died in Michigan at the age of 92.

He wore Dodger Blue during the 1951 and 1952 Baseball seasons, and is notable for being the player stationed in left field when Bobby Thompson hit his game winning home run that has since been dubbed the "shot heard 'round the world" in 1951.  There is a famous photograph of him peering up the left field wall as the ball landed into the crowd.  See it on the right.

Andy Pafko also played for the PCL Los Angeles Angels in 1943.  At the time, the Angles was a farm club for the Chicago Cubs.  He quickly established himself as a top-flight prospect; winning the MVP in his only season in Los Angeles.  Pafko batted .356, with 18 home runs, 118 RBI's and a OPS of .941. 

Soon after, he was promoted to the Cubs and remaining in the show for 17 season.  Andy Pafko became a beloved Cubbie and was considered, for a time, to be one of the best outfielders in the National League.  He was noted for having a strong bat and for his great defensive prowess.  He would often make diving catches then rifle the ball back to the diamond with ease. 

(An auto'd ball from my collection)
Then, one summer afternoon in 1951 the Dodgers came to town and he was traded to Brooklyn in a 8-player deal at the trade deadline.  Cub nation was furious.  They had come to respect his mid-western work ethic.  For the Dodgers, they were able to slot him into the 6th hole behind Jackie Robinson and Gil Hodges to create a truly formidable lineup, and their outfield defense became one of the best in the league.

In 1953, he was traded to the recently moved Milwaukee Braves.  Being a Wisconsin native it was hoped that local fans would come out to watch him.  Pafko stayed a Brave for the remainder of his career, until he retired from playing in 1959.  It is notable that in 1955 he lost his starting outfielder job to Hank Aaron. 

For more background on Andy Pafko I would suggest checking out his SABR Biography written by Dale Voiss, here.  BTW, in the card collecting world his 1952 Topps card is famous.  See it at the very top.  It is considered one of the toughest cards in the set to get in good condition due to it's number placement as card #1.  At the time, kids would stack their cards in numbered order and wrap it with a rubber band.  As a result, his card always found itself on the top of the stack which would invariably cause a significant number of them to be in less than great condition.  Today, this card in excellent or better condition can sell for a large premium.

I thought I would finish this post by highlighting a delightful video of Andy Pafko singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in his home town of Boyceville, WI in 2007.

Video Link:

Below are his career stats, via Baseball Reference:

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Blog Kiosk: 10/9/2013 - Dodgers Links - Howell, Uribe and Kershaw

So, this happened on Monday.  Yeah... I'm still basking in that glow.  The above collage of photos via the @Dodgers on twitter.
J.P. Howell has been very effective out of the bullpen of late. The 30-year old left-hander may not be the flashiest pitcher on the squad, but J.P.’s consistent contributions this season shouldn’t go unnoticed. 
  • "Juan Uribe The Unlikely Postseason Hero, Again," via Wendy Thurm at FanGraphs.
  • "Broken Cameras Are TBS' Problem: Even If Puig's to Blame," via TMZ.  (Hat Tip: Jon Weisman on twitter)
  • This is a lesson for all of us.  If you want to be the best, then be like Clayton.  The day after their win on Monday, Kershaw was hard at work on Tuesday.

  • So, how good were the Dodgers at the plate against Atlanta?

  • Chris Olds at Beckett provides a sneak peek preview of the 2014 Topps Sticker Set card of Yasiel Puig.  See it on the right.
  • Panini unveiled a preview card from a set they are reviving after many years.  It will be called 2013 Select Baseball.  Check out the Yasiel Puig on the left.
  • Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers is a whiny little child.  Via Adam Green at Arizona Sports, "Arizona Diamondacks GM: 'It's going to be an eye for an eye'".
 Toward the end of the season, the L.A. Dodgers clubbed six home runs in an 8-1 drubbing of the D-backs, which was a game that saw the eventual NL West champs look a little too comfortable in the dugout.

"I was sitting behind home plate that game and when it showed up on the Diamondvision of stuffing bananas down their throats, I felt like we were a punching bag," Towers told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Tuesday. "Literally, if I would have had a carton of baseballs I would have fired them into the dugout from where I was sitting behind home plate. 
But just because we couldn't score enough runs, the Dodgers refuse to relinquish the title — and worse, they won't even discuss it. LA's stubborn refusal to even talk to us about reversing the results of this series is un-sportsmanlike and un-American.

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