Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Welcome to the Blue, Felix Osorio and Jhoan Calderon!

Today is the start of the MLB International Signing Period.  This is when some of the best teenage prospects throughout the world can sign professional MLB contracts.

Via Jesse Sanchez at, this is how it works:
A 16-year-old international player is eligible to sign with a Major League team between July 2 through June 15 of next year if the prospect turns 17 before Sept. 1 of this year or by the completion of his first Minor League season. Additionally, any prospect who is already 17 or older and has not previously signed a Major or Minor League contract, resides outside the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and has not been enrolled in a high school or college in the U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico within the previous year is eligible to sign during the period.
Check out the rest of Jesse's story for more information about the dollars and cents.

Already, the Dodgers have signed up two kids to join the franchise.  They are Felix Osorio and Johan Calderon; both from the Dominican Republic.  I put together brief reports below on both of them, a fantasy Baseball card that I created and a running checklist of known cards available on the marketplace.


In honor of Felix's recent signing I made the above fantasy Baseball card for him.  I used a photo grabbed from the prospect page for Osorio and the vintage 1987 Topps Baseball card design.  According to Power-Showcase, Felix stands a tall and lean 6' 4" tall, is 200 lbs. and has some power.
He returns to PS classic after winning the 2012 DPL POWER SHOWCASE in DR. He dazzled the crowd with a total of 22-HR and 2-blast of more than 490ft that crossed the street outside of Temistocles Metz stadium in San Cristobal D.R. He hit 9 in the wood bat round and 13 in the aluminum round. 
Osorio is almost 18-years old (birth date: 11/16/1996), so he is older than some of the blue chip prospects receiving big dollars today.  Eric Stephen at True Blue LA has a brief report on him; including a video, and Eric Becker at Dodgers-Lowdown has his own report and additional video.

Osorio's signing was originally shared by reporter Jesse Sanchez on twitter:

BTW, the kid already has a several Baseball cards available on the market.  Leaf has created several teenage prospect card sets and Osorio is in two of them: 2013 Leaf Power Showcase and 2013 Leaf Perfect Game.  See them all below.

The card directly below is actually of unknown origin to me.  It appears to be a base card to the 2013 Leaf Power Showcase set, but from what I understand that set did not come with base cards.  So, I do not know if they were put into actual packs, come from another product or were given away at Power-Showcase live events.  All of the remaining cards below were placed in their respective packs for collectors to buy.

2013 Leaf Power Showcase World Classic Base Card

2013 Leaf Power Showcase Base Autograph

#PSA-FO1 Felix Osorio

2013 Leaf Power Showcase Relic Auto's

#PA-FO1 Felic Osorio                           #JA-FO1 Felix Osorio
Patch Auto                                               Jersey Auto

2013 Leaf Perfect Game

#74 Felix Osorio                                     #FO1 Felix Osorio


In honor of Johan's recent signing I made the above fantasy Baseball card for him.  I used a photo grabbed from the Eric's Dodgers-Lowdown blog and the vintage 1987 Topps Baseball card design.

From what I understand, Johan is an outfielder who played in the Dominican Prospect League.  He stands about 6' 3" and is 195 lbs.  According to Ben Badler at Baseball America, he received a $130,000 signing bonus from the Dodgers.  Check out Eric Stephen at True Blue LA who has a brief report on him; including a video, and Eric Becker at Dodgers-Lowdown has his own brief report. Also, there appears to be a slight discrepancy about Calderon's true first name.  A glance at the Dominican Prospect League website and the tweet shown below from Calderon's trainer appear to show his first name as Jhoan. UPDATE:  It's official.  His first name is Jhoan.

Here is a great photo of Calderon with his family, via trainer Franklin Ferreira on twitter:

BTW, Johan Calderon does not appear to have any Baseball card already made of him.  Boo!!!

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

Check out the 2014 Dodgers Topps 60th Anniversary Team Set

I came across something fantastic a few weeks ago and knew immediately that I had to have it.

This season, Topps decided to start up their old Baseball card printing presses in order to produce several authentically vintage looking cards to sell directly to collectors.  For the most part, they've been making large poster sized cards featuring modern ballplayers on vintage designs.  Check out some of these Dodger poster prints here.  Recently, they started reducing their size to 5" x 7" sized Baseball cards and putting them in classic wax wrappers to enhance their vintage appeal. 

So, having seen this I figured it was time to dive in and try out their newest creation - the 1955 Topps LA Dodgers 60th Anniversary Set.  And, oh boy!  Was I not disappointed.

As I said, they came in a large 5" x 7" sized wax pack... Just like the olden days, but larger.  Check out pics of the unopened pack above and below.  As you can clearly see, they used real wax to seal the pack. 

Peeling it open was awesome!

I felt like I was 10 years old again.  My fingers were feeling waxy like I had just let a candle drip on my fingers.  The only thing missing from the whole experience was the sweet smell of Topps super-stiff bubblegum and that white powdery substance that covered the gum.  Another difference was the inclusion of a blank card to protect from an inevitable wax stain.  All you old timers will remember the horror of seeing the card of your favorite player being ruined by that dark smudge stain.... Man, I hated that!

Within the pack were 5 Dodger cards in the style of the vintage 1955 Topps Baseball card set.  Check them all out below.  Something I didn't expect was that they are all blank-backed... BOOO!  Nevertheless, this is a great little set, and I'm happy to add it to my collection.  BTW, this set is numbered to only 99 copies, so they are somewhat limited.

My set is numbered #22.  Just like Clayton Kershaw.  WooHoo!

The card at the very bottom was the blank card to protect the set from a wax stain.  I'm not sure why I kept it, but I figured why not, eh?

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

2014 Bowman Inception Baseball - All the Dodger Cards

Last week, Topps released their 2014 Bowman Inception Baseball card set.  It is filled with the leagues top prospects and future stars; including young future ace Julio Urias.  This set is entirely autograph driven and it's pricey.  A box consist of only 1 pack of 5 autographed cards at a cost of about $90.00 each.  In other words, every card available (with exception of the 1989 Bowman Is Back Silver Diamond Refractors) are autographed.

Check out all of the Dodger cards available below.  Unfortunately, several of the scarcer Urias cards are only available through a redemption card; with exception of the base prospect autographed card directly below. 

Base Prospect Autographs

#PA-AG Alexander Guerrero                       #PA-CA Chris Anderson

#PA-JU Julio Urias

This subset is the only non-autographed cards in the set.  Below is the Clayton Kershaw card.  I do not believe this card counts as a part of the 5 cards in the pack - it's like a free throw in.  These cards are making an appearance in all Bowman branded sets this year.

1989 Bowman is Back Silver Diamond Refractors

#89BIB-CK Clayton Kershaw

This next card is a "1 of 1" card.  Unfortunately, the Joc Pederson (#AFP-JP) card has yet to make an appearance.  Since it's such an fantastic looking card I decided to include a pic of Diamondbacks prospect Archie Bradley card below to help you visualize how great these look.

Autograph ASG Futures Game Patch

Autographed MLB Silhouetted Batter Logo Patch

#ALP-CS Corey Seager

Autograph Letter Patch Book

#ALB-JP Joc Pederson

The next group of card have either not made an appearance yet, or are available only through a redmption.

Inceptioned Autographs

#IBA-JU Julio Urias

Silver Signings Autographs

#SS-JU Julio Urias

Unfortunately, the Alexander Guerrero Bowman Black Collection card (#BBC-AG) has yet to appear, so I do not know if they are seeded into packs or available only through a redemption card.  The Urias is only available through a redemption.

The Bowman Black Collection

#BBC-JU Julio Urias

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

Blog Kiosk: 7/2/2014 - Dodger Links - Bid on a Kershaw No-Hit Ball, Humble Robinson and a Replay Triple Play

Josh Beckett is seen chatting it up with his teammates before yesterday evenings game.  Unfortunately, he wasn't his typical self on the mound.  He gave up 5 earned runs in 5 innings of work.  The Dodgers are now a half game behind the Giants.  You didn't think winning the division was going to be a cake walk, did ya?  Pic above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.
"That was awesome," Indians right fielder David Murphy said. "I don't know if we'll ever see one like that again."
"Everybody wants to talk about being 29 years old and being in the Minor Leagues for eight years and all that, but I really enjoy my job," said Robinson after the Dodgers' 1-0 win over the Indians. "I still get paid to come to the ballpark every day and play baseball. Everybody says it's such a grind in the Minor Leagues, but it's something that I love to do, so just to get to come up here and contribute is icing on the cake for me."
  • Panini America's blog shares some early pics from their newest upcoming product, 2014 Golden Age Baseball, here.  The set officially goes live today.  Check out a Steve Yeager autographed card and some base cards below; including a Tommy Lasorda card.

Video Link:

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