Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Jeff Torborg Collection at Hunt's MLB FanFest Auction - He Caught Koufax's Perfect Game

As promised, here is a look at some items within the Jeff Torborg Collection currently for sale through Hunt Auctions.  As you may know, Hunt's is running their annual All-Star Game FanFest Auction.  Yesterday, I shared some fun Dodgers related memorabilia that struck my eye.  Below, I pick out some of my favorite Dodgers related goodies from the Torborg Collection.

Jeff Torborg was originally signed by the Dodgers out of Rutgers University in 1963 and quickly rose through the ranks.  By the next year, he was catching backup to Johnny Roseboro in Los Angeles, and remained there for 7 years.  In that time, he had the opportunity to catch some historic Dodgers ballgames; including a no-hitter, a perfect game and a pitching streak that would last 20 years.  At the end of his playing career, Torborg joined the coaching ranks, and managed 5 different clubs from 1977 to 2003. 

Below is a charm bracelet that consist of numerous Torborg Baseball memories.  There are a couple pennant/flag on pole charms that celebrate the Dodgers 1965 World Championship and 1966 NL Pennant, a 1977 All-Star Game charm and a 1978 Yankees World Series press charm.
(Auction Link)

This is the first time I've seen these pins.  Below are 1966 LA Dodgers Goodwill Tour of Japan pins.  Awesome!
(Auction Link)

I guess the Dodgers gave out Rolex's.  Below is a watch celebrating the Dodgers 1966 NL Pennant.  This would look pretty sweet on my wrist.  It's too back I don't wear a watch.  Of course, I don;t think I would spend the thousands of dollars it would take to own this.
(Auction Link)

And now, here's the really good stuff.  As a coach with the Yankees in 1986, Don Sutton gave this to Jeff as a gift.  It is a 300 win game ball from June 18, 1986.  It is inscribed:
"To Jeff, Thanks for the big role you had in my chasing a dream. I really appreciate the friendship we have shared over the years. Good health, happiness, and a warm fire in the winter to you & yours, Don Sutton."
(Auction Link)

On July 20, 1970, Jeff Torborg sat behind the plate as Dodgers hurler Bill Singer threw a no-hitter.  Below is a game ball that Singer inscribed to Torborg.
"Great job Jeff, as usual Many thanks!"
(Auction Link)

Jeff Torborg also caught Don Drysdale's 5th straight shut out.  Below is a ball from that game inscribed by Don to Jeff.
"To Jeff- Thanks for the help. My Best Always, Don Drysdale."
(Auction Link)

And to cap it off, Jeff Torborg caught Sandy Koufax's Perfect game on September 9, 1965.  BTW, Torborg was just 23 years old at the time.  Below is a game ball inscribed by Sandy to Jeff.
"To Jeff, Best wishes + thanks for a good game"
(Auction Link)

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

Blog Kiosk: 7/1/2014 - Dodger Links - Some Dodger Leaked Trade Talks and Fire Department Not Happy with Hot Foot Prank

Recent call-up Clint Robinson ripped his first Major League hit last night, and it was a timely one.  With his pinch hit single he drove in Andre Ethier for the Dodgers only run of the evening to help them win the game, 1 to 0.  Graphic above via @Dodgers on twitter.  We now stand alone in first place in the West by half a game.  Go here to check out Jon SooHoo's pics from the day.
The whole thing made national news -- but Captain Jaime Moore from the L.A. City Fire Dept. tells us, "These guys are supposed to be role models and playing with fire is not a joke."
Is TMZ channeling The Onion?  I get that playing with fire is bad, but come on now!
[Stearns] talked with [Dodgers director of baseball contracts] Alex Tamin: LAD is looking to acquire some back end SP depth and up the middle infield depth. They believe they have depth in the pen and would be willing to deal from it (AT mentioned Belisario and Guerra). LAD also has four OF for three spots and would be willing to talk about Crawford
You should note that these communications are straight from the horses mouth, and since they have been verified as real I consider this information rock solid. 
None of the above should be a surprise for Dodger fans.  The team eventually added Dan Haren a few weeks later and Paul Maholm in February to provide SP depth.  They also ended up signing Justin Turner, Chone Figgins, Carlos Triunfel and Erisbel Arruebarrena during the off-season for infield depth after this date.  BTW, both Belisario and Guerra were allowed to leave the club for no compensation, so we were never able to find trading partners for them.  I do not believe that the mention of Belisario and Guerra means the team was confident in their relief situation - this is supported by the subsequent signings of Jamey Wright and Chris Perez that winter.  I just think the Dodgers realized that they both were not in their future plans.
It should also not be a surprise that the only outfielder the team would talk about at that time was Carl Crawford.  (In other words, all that reporter talk about the other outfielders being available might be bunk - which should come as no surprise)
What is strange is a note a week later, 11/13/2013:
[Alex Tamin] told [Stearns] that if we consider trading Barnes this off season we should let them know. They view him as a good reserve OF/depth piece.
Did we really need another outfielder?  Really?  What would be the purpose of adding Barnes as a potential 6th outfielder?  Or, was trading an outfielder closer to reality?  Or, is there that much lack of faith in Scott Van Slyke?
“Individual accolades are great within a team game,” said Caughel after learning of his award. “But without a doubt the most important thing is that our team has put together some incredible games these past 11 games. People are starting to take notice of the talent that’s on this team. The chemistry on our team is second to none and it’s been so much fun playing with these guys. Hopefully I can keep stringing together good starts to help the team win.”
  • Noooo!  Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, "Logan White interviews for Padres GM job."
  • Blue Skinny Fan shares his Sunday getting autographs from some Dodger legends.  Check out his story here.
  • Via Ryan G at Chaos and Kanji, "A Perfect Day for Korean Baseball: SK Wyverns Game at Munhak Stadium, Incheon, South Korea."  Ryan shares some great photos from a ballgame in Korea.
  • David shares some photos from an LA KISS game he attended (arena football).  Go here to check them out.  It's tough to take the sport seriously, but with ladies dancing in cages how can you not be entertained?

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