Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Sandy Koufax!

On this day in 1935 a Jewish child of imminent importance to Dodger history was born.  He was raised in Brooklyn's Borough Park, and would go on to be a part of 4 Dodgers World Championship teams.  As a reminder of his greatness, he gained entry into the Hall of Fame as its youngest ever member.

Sandy Koufax turns 78 today.  Happy Birthday, Sandy!

Beyond all of the accolades that he deserves, I thought this birthday message from Dodger outfielder Scott Van Slyke was the best... if not most hilarious.

Pic above via @Dodgers on twitter

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2013 Bowman Sterling Baseball - The Dodgers Autographed and Insert Cards

Take a look at the Dodgers autographed and insert cards available in 2013 Bowman Sterling Baseball packs.  Check out the Dodger base cards here.

Unfortunately, all of the Ryu and most of the Puig cards are available only through a redemption card.  Also, Topps produced "Asia Only" boxes that were only sold in the Far East, and they include 5 different Hyun-Jin Ryu refractor die-cut cards.  I've only seen 2 different styles, so far.

Also of note, this set includes the very first card of teenage sensation Julio Urias.

Prospect Autographed Cards

#BSAP-CA Chris Anderson                    #BSAP-JP Joc Pederson

#BSAP-JU Julio Urias                    #BSAP-TWN Tom Windle

Rookie Autographed Cards

#BSAR-YP Yasiel Puig

The Puig Showcase autographed card is only available through a redemption.  The card below is a preview mock-up.  Also, there is a Sterling Silver Autographed card (#SS-YP), but a photo is not available.

Sterling Showcase Autographs

#SAS-YP Yasiel Puig

The Ryu Sapphire Signings autographed card is only available through a redemption.  The card below is a preview mock-up.  Also, there is a Dual Autographed card with Yu Darvish (#SDA-RD), but a photo is not available.

Sterling Blue Sapphire Signings

#BSS-HR Hyun-Jin Ryu

Refractor Die Cut (Asia Only Boxes)

#RDC-5 Hyun-Jin Ryu (There are 5 different available, only 2 shown)

The Dual Insert Cards

#TD-BP Joc Pederson - Clayton Blackburn

Bowman Sapphire Reprints

#Yasiel Puig                                          #Jackie Robinson

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Baseball Bloggers Alliance Voters Recommend 3 New Hall of Fame Members

For the 5th consecutive year, the Baseball Blogger Alliance came together to vote on who they recommend should be enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  The BBA is a collection of approximately 240 Baseball writers and hardcore fans from throughout North America who blog - covering every team, the game's history and fantasy Baseball fanatics.  We are encouraged to use one another to deepen our understanding of the game and the teams that play it.  Go here to find more about this organization.

With such a large number of good candidates on this years eligible ballot, only three ballplayers made the cut for our choice to enter into the hallowed hall.  The BBA recommends Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas for this years class.

Not too shabby, eh?  If your going to overcome any controversy, why not just pick the cream of the crop.  After all, I don't think anybody questions the integrity of these fellows.

From a BBA press release:
December 30, 2013: The Baseball Bloggers Alliance today recommends three players from the official Hall of Fame ballot to be inducted into Cooperstown this summer.  Pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, most closely associated with the Atlanta Braves, and long-time Chicago White Sox first baseman/designated hitter Frank Thomas reached the 75% threshold when BBA members cast their ballots.

Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner for the Braves, pitched from 1986 to 2008 and won 355 games while posting a 3.16 ERA and striking out over 3,300 batters.  He had a career WHIP of 1.143 in just over 5,000 innings and an ERA+ of 132 over that span.  His best season was 1995, when he fashioned a 19-2 record with a 1.63 ERA, good for a bWAR of 9.7 that year.

Thomas played from 1990 to 2008, all but the last three season on the south side of Chicago.  He has a career slash line of .301/.419/.555 and fashioned an OPS+ of 156 during his playing days.  He put up his highest single-season bWAR in 1997, when his 1.067 OPS and 35 home runs played a large role in his mark of 7.3.

Glavine’s career spanned roughly the same time frame as Maddux’s, with Glavine starting in 1987.  He won the Cy Young in 1991 and 1998 and finished runner-up two other times.  His career ERA was 3.54 and he won 305 games during his tenure with the Braves and the New York Mets.  Glavine had a 1.314 WHIP for his career and an ERA+ of 118.

The voting of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance has often been close to what the baseball writers eventually decide, though the correlation is stronger with the year-end awards.  A quick look at the past few years:

In 2010, no player reached the 75% mark in BBA voting, while the writers inducted only Andre Dawson.

In 2011, the BBA selected Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven and both were inducted into Cooperstown that summer.

In 2012, Barry Larkin and Jeff Bagwell were selected by the BBA, but the writers only took Larkin.

Last year, the bloggers again picked Bagwell, while the writers could not agree on anyone to honor.

Bagwell lost support in this year’s voting, coming up roughly 10% shy of recommendation.  The final vote totals are as follows:
Greg Maddux 94.51%
Frank Thomas 80.22%
Tom Glavine 75.82%
Mike Piazza 72.53%
Craig Biggio 70.33%
Jeff Bagwell 64.84%
Barry Bonds 60.44%
Roger Clemens 59.34%
Tim Raines 54.95%
Edgar Martinez 41.76%
Curt Schilling 39.56%
Mike Mussina 32.97%
Alan Trammell 30.77%
Jack Morris 25.27%
Mark McGwire 21.98%
Larry Walker 17.58%
Jeff Kent 15.38%
Lee Smith 14.29%
Don Mattingly 9.89%
Fred McGriff 8.79%
Rafael Palmeiro 7.69%
Sammy Sosa 4.40%
Moises Alou 3.30%
Eric Gagne 2.20%
Luis Gonzalez 2.20%
Sean Casey 1.10%
Kenny Rogers 1.10%
Richie Sexson 1.10%
J.T. Snow 1.10%
Armando Benitez 0.00%
Ray Durham 0.00%
Jacque Jones 0.00%
Todd Jones 0.00%
Paul Lo Duca 0.00%
Hideo Nomo 0.00%
Mike Timlin 0.00%

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Dodger FanFest is Scheduled for Saturday, February 1st

For those of you wondering, the Dodgers have scheduled their annual FanFest for Saturday, February 1st, 2014.  Go here for more information.

This will be the opening event to usher in the 2014 Baseball season.  I would expect most of the Dodgers players to be on hand to sign autographs, and there will be numerous activities available for fans to participate in.  Check out my post from the 2013 FanFest right here.  I had spent most of that afternoon checking out the sights; including the Baseball museum put up by Gary Cypres of the Sports Museum of Los Angeles.

As for player autographs, I thought I would post the following guidelines as detailed by the Dodgers:
Due to circumstances beyond our control, not all players or coaches may be available on this date. Any player and coach present is subject to availability.

Event will be conducted on a first-in-line-first-served basis, we reserve the right to post and enforce line cut-offs. These postings will indicate that guests may not be guaranteed an autograph from a specific player or coach during a specific posted time if you are in line beyond the posting. These postings will be enforced at each station.
  • You may bring personal items for autographs. You are welcome to bring a photo, ball, and jersey, baseball bat or sports memorabilia to be autographed.
  • One autograph item per player or coach per station. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • In order for as many Dodger fans as possible to receive an autograph, no photos with players or coaches will be permitted.
  • Players will not be personalizing autographs.
  • If you choose to vacate your space in any line at any time during the autograph session or impede the lines' progress voluntarily, you will be removed from the line. This will be strictly enforced.
  • You may not have someone reserve a space in any autograph line. Cutting lines is not permitted and may result in dismissal from the event.
I would also suggest that if getting autographs is you main purpose for attending, then get there early - like really early!  The lines last year were horrendously long.  In fact, if you have season tickets or know someone with season tickets then your wait will be appreciably shorter.  Season Ticket holders get their own line.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Blog Kiosk: 12/30/2013 - Dodgers Links -

Take a look at the limited edition Vin Scully 2014 Rose Parade Grand Marshall pin, pic via @Dodgers on twitter.  Now, how do I get one of these?  UPDATE:  Via reader Bruce, he tells us that you can get the pins at sites around the parade and you can order online, here.  Thanks, Bruce!
  • Sons of Steve Garvey shares some recent photos from Dodger Stadium; including some construction work that will finally connect the outfield pavilion with the rest of the stadium.
  • Via Tom Hoffarth at the LA Daily News, "The Los Angeles Sports Person of the Year: Yasiel Puig is the real deal".  This announcement was the day before his arrest for speeding.  Maybe, he was so excited he just couldn't contain himself.
“I’m happy and proud to hear about this,” Puig said from Miami on Friday night. “I am happy that the fans of L.A. have supported me all the time, and supported the team, and I hope they do the same next year. Thank you to the fans and I will do the best I can for all of them next season.”
"He plays hard, he eats hard, he drives hard, he does everything hard," said Tim Bravo, a high school teacher who was employed by the Dodgers last summer to serve as Puig's full-time companion and mentor.
  • Via Bill Shaikin and Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times, "MLB asks Masahiro Tanaka's club for promise of no side deals".  There is some speculation that free agent Tanaka will be giving his former Japanese team a kickback to let him go to MLB.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *