Monday, March 10, 2014

Hideo Nomo Makes Triumphant Return to Historic Dodgertown

After being elected, on the the first ballot, to the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame, Hideo Nomo returned to Vero Beach, Florida to check out Historic Dodgertown this past weekend.  As you may know, he joined former teammate Chan Ho Park and former Dodger owners Peter O'Malley and Terry O'Malley Seidler as Founding Partners of this new sports facility that was once home to the Dodgers during Spring Training.

From a recent press release:
When asked about Historic Dodgertown’s influence on his career, Nomo said,” This was the very first place that I was exposed to the Major Leagues upon joining the Dodgers.  Baseball was my life, it was everything to me at that time and I was so inspired to perform well because I felt the history and the atmosphere.  Historic Dodgertown was very important because much of my career was with the Dodgers, and with people like Peter O’Malley and Tommy Lasorda. “ 

Nomo was touring the facility as several high school and college Baseball athletes, along with a Junior College Women's Softball tournament, was in town at Historic Dodgertown.
“I wish for this to be a place where people can come back to see both what it was and also what it is now.  To preserve the history of a place that was home to people Jackie Robinson and Sandy Koufax is special, and I hope kids can feel the nostalgia while also creating new memories for themselves”, said Nomo.
I think it's great that these former Dodgers have decided to keep the place alive.  I fondly remember my trips to Dodgertown some 10 years ago, and miss it a great deal.  Dodgertown in Vero Beach had such homey feel to it.  It was like visiting a little league ballfield, and it had all of the quaint charm and nostalgia you would expect.

The best thing of all is that they still have the street signs at the facility, as evidenced by the photo below.  Hideo Nomo stands at Sand Koufax Lane.  Go here to learn more about Historic Dodgertown.

All photos above: Photo credit: Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Fla.

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Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 14/Home Game 8

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.
Oakland Athletics (6-4-3) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (4-6-3)
Monday, March 10, 2014 – 1:05 p.m. | Camelback Ranch - Glendale
LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (1-0, 3.00) vs. RHP Jarrod Parker (0-0, 13.50)
Spring Game 14/Home Game 8
Television: SNLA/None

(Ron Cey signing for fans, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

A CASE OF THE MONDAYS: The Dodgers will take on the Athletics this afternoon in the teams’ second and final contest of the 2014 Cactus League slate, after losing to Oakland in the first matchup, 7-3. The Dodgers are 9-16 all-time in the regular season against the A’s, last facing them in 2012, and have faced Oakland twice in the World Series, falling in five games in 1974 before downing the A’s, 4-1, in 1988.
  • In yesterday’s matinee contest against the Giants, the Dodgers fell 3-2. Starter LHP Clayton Kershaw posted his best outing of the spring, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out one in 5.0 innings. At the plate, both OF Yasiel Puig and IF Justin Turner stroked doubles in the losing effort.
  • Fans have only six chances (counting this afternoon) left to see the Boys in Blue at Camelback Ranch – Glendale before they take off to Sydney, Australia on Sunday: today, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday (two games) and Sunday.  
  • Minor league position players suiting up today include OF Jon Garcia (#88), OF Jacob Scavuzzo (#89), OF Trayvon Robinson (#90), RHP Blake Smith (#94) and RHP Juan Gonzalez (#95).
(Clayton Kershaw, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

BASE BANDIT: Leading off and playing second base for the Dodgers in today’s game is speedster Dee Gordon. The 25-year-old has had quite a spring on the base paths, as he leads all big leaguers in steals with eight (8-for-8 in SB attempts). Despite playing in only 181 games since 2011, Gordon ranks 16th in the NL with 66 steals and has been successful on 77.6% of his stolen base attempts in the big leagues (66-for-85).

KING OF THE HILL: Today’s starter, left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, takes the mound a day after being named as the starter for the second  game of the two-game 2014 Opening Series in Sydney, Australia. Ryu last pitched on Wednesday against the Reds in Goodyear and picked up the win, allowing two runs on four hits, while walking two and striking out three in 4.0 innings of work. In 2013, the Korean-born pitcher turned in an impressive first Major League season, going 14-8 with a 3.00 ERA in 30 starts, while ranking among the Dodger team leaders in wins (3rd), complete games (2, 2nd), innings (192.0, 2nd), strikeouts (154, 2nd) and starts (2nd).
  • Scheduled to make his fourth appearance of Cactus League play today is right-hander Kenley Jansen, who is yet to allow a run in 3.0 innings. In 2013, Jansen finished the campaign with a career-high 28 saves in 32 opportunities and ranked among the NL relief leaders in saves (T-11th), ERA (1.88, 6th), opponents’ batting average (.177, 7th), WHIP (0.86, 2nd) and strikeouts (111, 2nd).
  • Reliever RHP Brian Wilson has also tossed scoreless baseball in his previous three outings (3.0 IP) and is scheduled to pitch today against Oakland. Wilson did not allow a run in six postseason games in 2013, firing 6.0 scoreless innings of relief, while striking out eight and walking two.
  • Also scheduled to appear against the A’s today are RHP Chris Perez, LHP J.P. Howell and RHP Brandon League.
(Brian Wilson, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE!: The  Dodgers will open the 2014 season 12 days from today (!) against the D-backs in MLB’s Opening Series in Sydney, Australia. The historic Sydney Cricket Ground has been undergoing renovations to prepare for the first-ever MLB games to be played Down Under. The club will depart Arizona following its March 16 game against the Rockies and land in Sydney on March 18. Following a few days of workouts and sightseeing, the Dodgers will play Team Australia in an exhibition on March 20 and then take on the D-backs on March 22 and 23 to open the regular season.
  • It was announced yesterday that left-hander Clayton Kershaw will be the Opening Day starter for the first game against the D-backs in the 2014 Opening Series in Sydney, Australia. This will mark Kershaw’s fourth consecutive Opening Day start for the club and he has not allowed a run in his three previous outings (19.0 IP). The left-hander has racked up 19 strikeouts in his three Opening Day starts against the Giants (2013 – SHO, 2011 – 7.0 IP) and Padres (2012, 3.0 IP, exited game due to illness).

ALL-STAR TEACHERS: Major League Baseball, Target Corp and PEOPLE today announced the “Target Presents PEOPLE All-Star Teachers” campaign, which celebrates remarkable current and retired teachers who make an impact on the lives of their students and communities. All-Stars Adrian Gonzalez and Carlos Beltran will lend their support to the initiative by encouraging fans to nominate an outstanding teacher beginning today through May 6 at Nominees will have the chance to represent their favorite team and be honored during the pre-game ceremony of the 2014 MLB All-Star Game on July 15 on FOX. MLB, Target and PEOPLE will review nominations and select three teachers per MLB team, with the 90 finalists to be announced on June 5. From June 5 through June 29, fans will be encouraged to visit to read nominees’ submission stories and vote for their favorite teachers. All 30 winners, one representing each MLB Club, will be announced during All-Star Week.
(The crowd at Camelback Ranch, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

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2014 Topps Stickers - All the Dodgers Cards

Last week, Topps released their 2014 Baseball Sticker set and album.   Check out a complete checklist below.  On the right is card #156, which features the Dodger logo and is paired with card #136 of the Angels. Also, sticker #278 of Adrian Gonzalez is available as one of the free stickers located within the album.  Unfortunately, I do not have a pic of this card.  In total, there are 8 player stickers available in the packs.
#136 Angels/156 Dodgers Sticker
#274 Yasiel Puig
#275  Matt Kemp
#276  Hanley Ramirez
#277 Clayton Kershaw
#278 Adrian Gonzalez (free with the album)
#279 Carl Crawford
#280 Zack Greinke
#281 Hyun-Jin Ryu
#282 Jackie Robinson

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Blog Kiosk: 3/10/2014 - Dodgers Links - Kershaw and Ryu to Start in Australia

It's official.  Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu will be our starters for the Australian games against the Diamondbacks.  Pic above via Dodgers tumblr.
"The results were a little bit better," Kershaw said, comparing this game to earlier starts. "Still things I need to work on. For the most part, a positive step in the right direction."
"Assuming everything goes well the next couple of days, we'll make a decision about where he's going to pitch after that," Mattingly said.
  • For your daily laugh.  Watch Hanley Ramirez scare Juan Uribe.

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