Monday, July 21, 2014

1982 Union Oil Dodger Player Portraits - The Complete Set

It occurred to me recently that I had never bothered to scan and share this set on this blog - which kind of puzzles me.  After all, it's probably a set most Dodger fans in their late-30's or older remember the most, and in my opinion it is the one set all Dodger collectors should own.  Featured here (finally) are scans of the 1982 Union Oil Dodger Player Portraits featuring artwork by Nicholas Volpe.

As you may know, Volpe had lent his work to the Dodgers for several 1960's portrait photo sets, so this promotional item was meant to reintroduce the artist to the teams newest fans.  Check out my previous post on a couple of those sets here (1962 & 1969).  The set consist of 26 sheets and features a player portrait against a black background.  They measure 8.5" x 11", has a reverse filled with all kinds of biographical information (as seen below) and were distributed by Union 76 gas stations throughout the Southland.  If I remember right, you received a free portrait for every 8 gallon fill-up.  The set is very plentiful in the collectors market, so it shouldn't cost much to purchase.  My price guide indicates $15.00 for the set, but that's from over 10 years ago.  Still, I don't expect it to sell for much more than that today.

As you can see, the set I have has been autographed by every member of the team; including Vin Scully.  As you can imagine, this set is a favorite in my collection.

Below is the rest of the set. Click any pic to embiggen.  Go below the fold to check them all out.

Blog Kiosk: 7/21/2014 - Dodger Links - Sending a Message with a Pitch to the Backside

So, this happened.  This weekends series against the Cardinals was a hit-by-pitch marathon.  Now, I'm not saying it was all purposeful, but some of it was reckless.  As Jerry Hairston Jr. mentioned on twitter, the Cardinals have reputation for hitting batters.  They want to intimidate by throwing up-'n-in, but they need (as Clayton Kershaw said) to have a better idea about where the ball's going. Obviously, that's something they lack.

Kershaw, in retaliation, threw an obvious purpose pitch against the buttocks of Matt Holliday.  He didn't throw anything dangerous.  It wasn't anywhere near the guys face.  The ball had the luxury of landing on the part of the body that would do the least damage, so it didn't hurt.  No x-rays were needed.  The pitch was just a message that their pitchers need to get their ship in order... And, you know what?  I don't have a problem with that.

Maybe it's the hockey fan in me, but I do believe there is a time and place for purpose pitches to get a message across.  This game is such that a reckless play can get someone really hurt, and if a player doesn't stay cognizant of that then I feel it's important for the opposition to remind them.  That's what Kershaw did.  He is just politely reminding them to be more conscious of what they are doing.  If you want to throw up-'n-in then you better have the ability to do so.  Heck, if this was hockey there'd be a few hard checks, a couple slashes to the skate or a fight instead.  So, the Cardinals should feel lucky.

BTW, the photo above is of Matt Holliday jawing with AJ Ellis after being plunked in the rear-end, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.  That baby should just stop whining.  He got off easy.
  • The Cardinals must hate Hanley Ramirez.  What did he ever do to you?  As you likely know Hanley was hit twice by the Cardinals last night; once on his left hand.  He eventually left the game and had x-rays.  LA Times reporter Dylan Hernandez let us know on twitter that they were negative, so he should be ready to play tomorrow against the Pirates.  Hanley had this to say on twitter:

Dodgers ace and two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw had seen enough. It wasn’t that Ramirez was hit by Martinez’s pitch, it was that the pitch just missed Hanley’s head. Reminiscent of the good ol’ Don Drysdale days, Kershaw hit leadoff hitter Matt Holliday “on the wallet”, as Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully would have said if he were calling the game.
  • Via Kim Tae-Jong at Korea Times, "Farewell for Park Chan-Ho."  Park was honored at the Korean Baseball League All-Star Game this weekend.
"I will never forget this graceful moment," Park said on the mound after the ceremonial pitch at the Champion's Field stadium in Gwangju. "Since I retired in 2012, I have dreamed of standing on the mound again, and I have really wanted to pitch again."
Don Mattingly prefers Joc Pederson in center field, but he’s not yet on the active roster. In Pederson’s favor, there’s little doubt that he’s the best defensive option. Some within the organization worry about his minor league strikeout rate, and believe he’ll benefit from further seasoning. If Mattingly gets his way, the Dodgers outfield will become even more crowded, further increasing the likelihood of a trade.
The last act by the former players in attendance was for each to drop a yellow rose at the pitcher's mound, where a large No. 35 had been etched into the dirt. That was Bob Welch's number. The popular starting pitcher died June 9 at age 57.

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