Friday, July 18, 2014

Paco's Back with the Big Club

They continue to shuffle their relief staff.  As you may recall, the Dodgers optioned reliever Pedro Baez back to Albuquerque this past Sunday before the All-Star break, so an addition to the Dodgers roster was due prior to their game this afternoon.  That move is to recall left-handed pitcher Paco Rodriguez.

Per a Dodger press release:
Rodriguez has gone 2-3 with one save and a 4.56 ERA (13 ER/25.2 IP) in 29 appearances with the Isotopes this year, limiting opponents to a .242 batting average with 34 strikeouts and 14 walks. He made the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster and allowed five runs in 7.0 innings (6.43 ERA) in 10 appearances during two previous stints with Los Angeles this season. The 23-year-old has a 3-5 career record with two saves and a 2.65 ERA in 97 big league games.
It'll be nice to have another lefty in the bullpen; especially against a Cardinals and Pirates team that sport some good left-handed bats.  Hopefully, Paco can reestablish himself as a key situational lefty who was so important to the team last season.

Pic at the very top via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.

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2014 Allen & Ginter Baseball - The Dodger Box Loader Cards

This promises to be my last post on Topps 2014 Allen & Ginter set.  Go here to check out all of my previous post on this set.  Featured below are the handful of Dodger Box-Loader cards that are available, and they are gorgeous.  They were bonus cards inserted into hobby boxes only.  They measure approximately 4.25" by 6.50". 

There is a Clayton Kershaw Autographed Relics card (#OBAR-CK) numbered to just 5 copies, but has not yet surfaced.  Also, a couple of Cabinet Relic cards, both "1 of 1's", have yet to be pulled.  They are the:
  • Cabinet Relics card (#/1) of #CR-YP Yasiel Puig
  • Cabinet Book Relics card (#/1) of #CBR-YC Yasiel Puig & Clayton Kershaw
If I'm not mistaken, the above two cards feature uniform nameplates.

Box Loader Inserts Set

#BL-06 Clayton Kershaw

Box Loader Relics Set (#/25)

#BLR-AG Adrian Gonzalez                      #BLR-YP Yasiel Puig

Box Loader Autographs Set (#/15)

#OBLA-CK Clayton Kershaw

They also made cabinet sized Box Loader cards of the base cards from the Allen & Ginter set.  So, they are just large sized reprints.  Only 3 Dodgers are a part of this subset.  Just for reference, check them out below.  As you'll notice they are exact replicas of their base card.

Over-sized Reprints Cabinet Box Loaders Set

#ORCBL-JR Jackie Robinson

#ORCBL-SK Sandy Koufax

#ORCBL-YP Yasiel Puig

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Dodgers Japanese Memorabilia at Prestige Collectibles Auction

As you know, Baseball is hugely popular in Japan.  It's a national pastime much in the same way it is here.  Children play it, fans go to games in large numbers and collectors go crazy for memorabilia just like we do.  So, it shouldn't be a surprise that Baseball cards of Japanese ballplayers have been available to collect for many decades.

For most American collectors these issues are largely unknown, but it is a growing genre.  Fans have started chasing cards of modern Japanese ballplayers like Ichiro, Tanaka and Darvish, and soon vintage cards will be all the rage.

Featured in this post are a couple of vintage Japanese issues featuring a couple of well known Dodger players currently available at Prestige Collectibles.  This auction house specializes in vintage Japanese Baseball cards.
(Auction Link)

Do you recognize the fellow above?

Did you even know that he played in Japan for a year?

Shown here is a 1962 JCM 57b Maruya Menko card of Dodger great Don Newcombe and it is very scarce.  According to some estimates only about 10 copies are thought to exist.

Don Newcombe joined the Chunichi Dragons on May 28, 1962 as a 36-year old 1st baseman and outfielder.  I'll say that again, Newcombe did not sign as a pitcher in Japan; although he did start one game.  Instead, he was a position player.  Considering that he was one of the best hitting pitchers the game has ever seen, this should not be a surprise.  In 81 games he batted .262/.316/.473 with 12 homers, 43 RBI's and 23 doubles in 279 at-bats.  Not too shabby for an old guy, eh?

Below is a reverse of the card featuring what looks like a grip for a 2-seam fastball.
(Auction Link)

I just love this next item.  It looks just like the Jackie Robinson comic released in America in 1950, but photo reversed.  Check out a pic of my American versions here.

Featured here is a 1950 Jackie Robinson Japanese Edition Comic Book.
(Auction Link)

As the auction description states, it was originally distributed as an insert in the June 1950 issue of Chugakusei no Tomo (Middle School Friend) magazine. It has 32 pages within it.  Check out some pics of the pages below.

One of these days I will scan the pages of the American version for all of you to see and enjoy.  I just need to get off my rear-end and do it.
(Auction Link)
(Auction Link)
(Auction Link)

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Blog Kiosk: 7/18/2014 - Dodger Links - Matt Kemp, a Couple No-Hitter Pins and Pederson's All-Star Experience

The Dodgers landed in St. Louis for their series against the Cardinals yesterday afternoon.  Shown above is traveling secretary Scott Akasaki and Juan Uribe in the photo above, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014. BTW, if you're wondering what Scott Akasaki does as the traveling secretary then watch this helpful video.
  • With the silly rumor season about to go into overdrive I think it's important to remember that 99% of all rumors you hear are a load of BS.  You are not hearing any special insight.  You are not getting "Inside Baseball" information.  You are not getting a peek at closely held negotiations.  I would suggest ignoring them all.  THEY MEAN NOTHING!  And, I assure you that most rumors are made up by bored reporters making unfounded assertions from innocent conversations so that they have something to write.
  • Via Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs, "Matt Kemp’s Wish is a Pitching Staff’s Nightmare."  Kemp wants to be an everyday centerfielder, but it seems clear that this isn't likely on the Dodgers.
Matt Kemp would one day like to return to center field. That’s almost certainly not going to happen in Los Angeles. And one hopes that’s almost certainly not going to happen anywhere else, either. Kemp wasn’t a very good center fielder even before having a major operation, and pretty soon there’s going to be a 3 in front of his age. It’s not even clear he’s a particularly capable corner outfielder, and though his bat remains sufficiently intriguing to justify a trade pursuit, Kemp should probably be traded to a team in the American League that down the road could slot him in at DH. That might not be what Kemp wants, and that might be a future obstacle, but what Kemp wants could drive a pitching staff crazy. What Kemp wants would make his baseball team worse.
  • Meanwhile, Jerry Hairston Jr. had an interesting take on comments made by Kemp's agent that lead to the story above, via a twitter conversation with a fan.

  • Last week, I mentioned that the Dodgers would be giving out commemorative no-hitter pins in September.  Now, Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider has mockups of what they will look like here.  They are definite must haves.  See them below:
“We’re all excited to share our passion of fantasy football to raise money for some great causes,” said Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis. “I’m looking forward to some good competition and a little trash talk in the Big Blue Fantasy Football League, but like all things I do, I’m playing to win, so bring your “A” game!”
“I think it was a pretty good experience,” Pederson said. “Any all-star game you go to is a special time. It’s an honor to represent the Isotopes and Dodgers in such an event.”

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