Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Full-Squad Workout #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.
(Home plate at Camelback Ranch, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

LONG TIME COMING: It’s now less than a week away from the Dodgers 2014 Cactus League opener against the D-backs at Salt River Fields - Talking Stick. Today, the squad hit the fields at Camelback Ranch – Glendale for their seventh full-squad workout.
  • Just a couple of Dodger pitchers tossed to live batters today as Paco Rodriguez and Jamey Wright worked to a group of minor leaguers on Field 6. In addition to those hurlers, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Matt Magill, Pedro Baez, Jarret Martin and Carlos Frias threw regular bullpens.
  • Dodger left-hander Paul Maholm threw on flat ground today and is likely to throw a ‘pen in the next couple of days according to Dodger Manager Don Mattingly. Maholm has been experiencing some tenderness around the elbow and is being slowed down for precautionary reasons.
  • Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig was held out of action today after fouling a ball off his right leg yesterday. Puig will not undergo any further testing at this time and he is expected to be a full participant in tomorrow’s workout.
THE GAMES BEHIND THE GAMES: The Dodgers will play two intra-squad games on Sunday, Feb. 23 and Monday, Feb. 24 on the back fields of Camelback Ranch - Glendale. Pitchers scheduled to throw on Sunday include Matt Magill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Perez, Brian Wilson, Kenley Jansen and J.P. Howell. On Monday, Stephen Fife, Dan Haren, Chris Reed, Paco Rodriguez and Jamey Wright each will pitch.
(Kenley Jansen vs. Yasiel Puig, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

NEW SEASON SEAT OPPORTUNITIES: Two new Dodger season-seat opportunities on the club level are among the limited season seats still available. Among the new improvements for the upcoming season is a newly-renovated executive club bar and food service located on the left-field side.  Club Level season seat holders will receive in-seat food and beverage service for the first time and they’ll also be greeted with a new menu.  The renovated food stand will include a full service bar and for the first time ever, the Dodgers also will offer season seats in the Stadium Club on the Front Row rail and the Loge Party boxes.  The Stadium Club rail seats feature unlimited food and non-alcoholic beverages and are priced at $150 per game. The Loge Party boxes seating six, eight or 10 and located between the bases offer dedicated wait staff and an option of adding in-seat food and beverage service.  For more information, contact a Season Ticket  Representative at 323-DODGERS.
(Smile Hanley, pic via @Sportsnet LA on twitter)

SAY CHEESE! (OVER AND OVER): Today, the Dodgers held their annual Photo Day, which ran from 7-10:00 a.m. Players, coaches and staff took hundreds and hundreds of photos for a variety of media outlets, including a special shoot for SportsNet LA, the club’s brand new television network., USA Today, Baseball Digest, Topps and Getty were also on hand.
  • Tomorrow, the Dodgers will welcome the gang from MLB Productions, here to shoot interviews with Dodger players, coaches and legends for a variety of shows.

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A GIF of Jackie Robinson Stealing Home - From 1952

As I was writing the previous post last night, I suddenly realized that I could make a GIF of one of Jackie Robinson's steals of home plate.  Check it out above.

The series of photos is a part of the personal collection of famed sports broadcaster George Michael and is currently for sale through Legendary Auctions.  Check out the auction here.  Below are the press photos used to make the GIF above.

As you may know, vintage "Type I" press photos of Jackie stealing home plate are rare and difficult to find.

These photographs are from a Sunday, May 18, 1952 game versus the Cubs.  Dodgers hurler Preacher Roe is at the plate in the bottom of the 4th inning, with Jackie on third base.  On the fifth pitch of a 3-1 count, Jackie heads for home and steals it.  Pitching for the Cubs is Willie Ramsdell and catching is Johnny Pramesa.  Jackie's steal makes the score 4 to 0.
(auction link)
(auction link)

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Some Vintage Sliding Photos of Jackie Robinson from the Collection of George Michael of the Sports Machine at Legendary Auctions

I was a sports obsessed teen in the 80's.  ESPN was luxury that I didn't enjoy until college in the early-90's.  There was no up-to-the-minute highlights at my fingertips.  Instead, I was at the mercy of the general television media.

One source that I religiously watched on Sunday evenings was The George Michael Sports Machine.  Other than the nightly news sport reports, my only opportunity to see the highlights I wanted to see was through this quirky weekly show.

If you've never heard of it, check out the opening of the show below.  George Michael would play around with a computer-like device to share the weeks biggest sports moments.  He was like ESPN Sportcenter for most of the country.

Video Link:

Well, not only was he the nations main source for sports highlights, he was also an avid collector of sports photography.  In fact, he specialized in photos of ballplayers sliding.  From a 1999 SABR article:
One Sunday morning in September of 1947 I was awoken by my Mom in order to show me a great picture in the St. Louis Globe…from the previous day’s game of the Cardinals' Marty Marion sliding into home with the ball bouncing to Dodger catcher Bruce Edwards…I know I was clipping pictures from the paper before I ever started school. For the following fifteen years or so I cut out every sliding picture from the newspapers and put them in carefully protected scrapbooks…The photos I saved had to be clear pictures of a player sliding into second, third or home. The positions of the players and the quality of the actual photo would determine if it was good enough to be saved. Collisions, rough double plays, post homerun photos, posed shots—these were never acceptable. It had to be a clean photo of a player sliding…My Mom died when I was young and my father discarded all the scrapbooks as junk. I decided in 1968 that I would try to find every picture that I had clipped as a kid.
At Legendary Auctions they are selling a large portion of his collection, and it includes many great sliding-action photographs of Jackie Robinson.  Check some out below.  BTW, Michael spent a lifetime seeking out a complete set of 19 Jackie Robinson steals of home photographs, and almost succeeded before dying in 2009.

Below is Jackie Robinson sliding hard into cubs catcher Rob Scheffing in 1947.
(auction link)

Jackie is caught sliding at home by Pirates pitcher Preacher Roe, and called out.  Hilariously, Roe tags him with the glove when he clearly has the ball in his left hand.
(auction link)

In this 1948 International News photograph taken by Anthony Bernato, Jackie is safe at third.  From the photo caption.
"Jackie Robinson hits the dirt in the fourth inning of today's game between the Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds, and makes third base well ahead of a wild throw that trickled through third baseman Corbitt's legs. The Brooklyn Flash couldn't travel any farther because Lamanno was backing up the third baseman for the visiting club. Jacky went all the way from first to third on Carl Furillo's two-bagger."
(auction link)

Here's a Spring Training 1947 La Presse photograph from Cuba of Jackie in a Montreal Royals uniform.
(auction link)

This Jackie photo is from 1946 and features jim in a Montreal Royals uniform.
(auction link)

Jackie is tagged out at home by Philadelphia catcher Andy Seminick.  From the photo caption:
 "Catcher Andy Seminick of the Philadelphia Phillies makes a diving tag as he puts Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn first baseman, out at the plate in the 6th inning of the Brooklyn-Philadelphia game at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York, April 22. Robinson was thrown out when he attempted to score from third base on teammate Gene Hermanski's foul fly to Ron Northey, Phillies' right fielder. Dodgers won, 1-0."
(auction link)

Jackie attempts to steal home in the photo below.  He was not successful.  From the photo caption:
"Cubs catcher Rube Walker cuddles the plate, which he defended successfully against hard-sliding Jackie Robinson on his attempted steal home in the eighth inning of the Chicago-Brooklyn game, May 17. Walker appears overcome at having tagged the Dodger second baseman."
(auction link)

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The Dodgers Second Full-time Home -- Eastern Park -- The Birthplace of the Name Trolley Dodgers

Following up on my past two post featuring the former home fields of the Brooklyn Dodgers (Washington Park I and Ridgewood Park), I now take a look at Eastern Park.  Go here to take a look at my past stories.
As a point of reference, below is a quick guide of past Dodger home fields:
  • 1883-1891 -- Washington Park I
  • 1886 -- Grauer's Ridgewood Park
  • 1887-1889 -- Wallace's Ridgewood Park
  • 1891-1897 -- Eastern Park
  • 1898-1912 -- Washington Park II
  • 1913-1956 1957 -- Ebbets Field
*Please note that the dates above may not be exactly correct.  Various sources I found conflicted on this, so consider it approximate.  Also, it appears that the team played at several different ballparks during some seasons.
(pic via

Located in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, Eastern Park became the home park of the Brooklyn Dodgers franchise from 1891-1897.   It is bounded by Eastern Parkway (later renamed Pitkin Avenue); the Long Island Railroad and Vesta Avenue (later renamed Van Sinderen Street); Sutter Avenue to the south; and Powell Street to the west.

It was originally built in 1890 for the Brooklyn Ward's Wonders of the Players' League, but they survived for only one season as the league went belly-up.  Ward's Wonders was then shut down and merged with the Brooklyn Dodger franchise; thereby inheriting such players as future Hall of Famer Monte Ward, Tom Kinslow, and Con Daily.  Charlie Byrne (the Dodgers owner) also inherited the lease at Eastern Park.

Eastern Park, as the name suggest was in the far-eastern reaches of Brooklyn.  It was popular for a nice breeze coming off of Jamaica Bay, but eventually proved to be too far east for most fans. Attendance suffered during the Dodgers 7-year stay.

The ballpark had double-decker grandstand with cone shaped spires at the corners (see the photo below to see what I mean), and held 12,000 patrons.  In 1892, Charlie Byrne took the old grand stands from Washington Park I and move them to the first base side at Eastern Park.
(Opening Day 1894, pic via Wikimedia Commons)
Via Brooklyn
Byrne again oversaw substantial renovations at Eastern Park before the 1892 season. Most of the old grand stand from Washington Park was moved, and rebuilt as a shaded pavilion opposite first base. The bleachers near third base were enlarged and elevated for a better view, and renamed "field seats" with a new price of 25 cents, half the old rate. Pavilion seats cost 50 cents, and grand stand seats 75 cents. According to the Eagle, the three price system "worked to a charm." Not all the grand stand seats were profitable, however - a system of patronage was in place where a great many politicians demanded complimentary annual passes, and, as Chadwick wrote in the Eagle, "the majority of the political passes in question get into the hands of too rough an element to please the class of grand stand patrons who support the club by their money."
There are several reasons why Eastern Park is notable in both Sports, Baseball and Dodgers history. 
  • Eastern Park was the location of an infamous football game that featured Yale versus Princeton on Thanksgiving Day, 1890.  At an over-packed stadium, a temporary seating section collapsed under its own weight; causing numerous injuries.  Fortunately, no deaths were recorded.
  • During a July 14, 1890 game, Eastern Park saw the very first professional ballgame to feature four umpires on the field.  This was during a Players' League game featuring the Brooklyn Ward's Wonders.
  • Foreshadowing what would be a staple at Ebbets Field, located at deep centerfield was a Brooklyn Daily Eagle sign that offered to pay $10.00 to any player who could hit it.  Only one player did - Brooklyn catcher Tom Kinslow.
  • Eastern Park is said to be the birthplace of the famous Dodger name.  It is believed that this is the stadium where the nickname "Trolley Dodgers" came about.  The trolley and rail lines, that were located directly to the east of the stadium, were a constant hazard to fans attending games.  Frankly, this last item was a surprise to me as I began my research on this stadium.  I had always thought that Ebbets Field was where it originated, but that appears to not be the case.
Below are some pics showing how the stadium was situated. Other than the photo above, I am not aware of any other verifiable photographs of the stadium.
(pic via East New York Project)
(pic via Heritage Uniforms and Jerseys)
(pic via Brooklyn

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Blog Kiosk: 2/20/20014 - Dodgers Links - Can Kemp Reclaim the Inside Half, a Patient Billingsley and a Second Base Platoon

Juan Uribe and Alexander Guerrero walk past as Manny Mota looks on.  Pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.
  • Via David Golebiewski at Daily Gammons, "Can Kemp reclaim inner part of the plate?"
Last year, though? Kemp admitted he couldn’t do a lot of things while his body betrayed him. One of those things he couldn’t do was drive inside pitches: he didn’t hit a single home run on an inner-third pitch while slugging .290. Among the 249 hitters seeing at least 350 inside pitches last season, Kemp ranked 225th in slugging. A couple years ago, he did more damage than Miguel Cabrera when pitches challenged him inside. Last season, he inflicted less pain than Jose Tabata and Gregor Blanco.
“I talked to Chris Capuano, because he’s gone through two,” Billingsley said. “He said, ‘Don’t try to rush it whatsoever,’ because when you first start throwing in August and you get a few weeks into it ... you feel like you can throw harder. But no, stay back. The idea is to be patient with it and don’t try to do too much. When you start rushing, you pop it.”

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