Thursday, August 07, 2014

Some Great Vintage Baseball Items from SCP - Part of the Helms Athletic Foundation/LA84 Collection

Earlier in the week I featured a bunch of Dodgers related memorabilia available for sale at SCP's current auction.  Check that post out here.

I had indicated that SCP was selling  memorabilia that belonged to the Helms Athletic Foundation/LA84 Collection, and I wanted to take a moment to point out some of the more interesting Baseball items in that collection.  As you may know, the Helms Athletic Foundation was an LA based sports group founded in 1936 that collected memorabilia to honor athletes in just about every sport imaginable.  They are considered one of the first "Hall of Fame" museums every conceived.  Learn more about them here

Below are some more Baseball related memorabilia at the Helms Athletic Foundation/LA84 Collection that stuck out to me.

Here is a cabinet photo of the 1903 Pacific Coast League Champion Los Angeles Angels. This was the clubs inaugural season.  There are 14 players and their manager all dressed in original Angels uniforms.  Pictured are: Joe Corbett, Doc Newton, Ed Hurlburt, Pop Dillon, Rusty Hall, Jud Smith, Vianello Drinkwater, Dolly Gray, Gavvy Cravath, Jas. F. Morley (Mgr.), Harry Spies, George Wheeler, Art Ross, Jimmy Toman, and Dummy Hoy.

Dummy Hoy is a notable player on this team.  He was a deaf ballplayer who went on to play for several Major League clubs over a stellar 14-year Major League career prior to joining the Angels in 1903.  At one time he held Major League records for games played in centerfield, career putouts and total chances as an outfielder.   He was also a speedster on the basepaths.  Hoy stole 596 total bases in his career and scored 1429 runs.  Some historians believe that he is the reason Baseball uses signals for safe and out calls.

BTW, he was nicknamed "Dummy" because during this time period the term was in reference to a person who could not speak and not related to intelligence.  Hence, all deaf folks were typically referred to as "Dummy". 
(Auction Link)

Get a look at this.

Below is a 1906 World Series game-used Baseball.  Wow!  Better yet, it has been signed by Hall of Famer Ed Walsh and southpaw Mordecai “Three-Fingered” Brown. Per the auction description:
It would mark the first National League pennant for the record-breaking, 116-36 Cubs, while the White Sox won the AL pennant with a 93-58 record, just two games ahead of the New York Highlanders. Entering game 6, the White Sox led the series three games to two and were determined to win the title on their home field. Led by the clutch hitting of George Davis and Jiggs Donahue, with three runs batted in apiece, the South Side sluggers prevailed, 8-3. This official Reach-branded, horsehide American League baseball is from that Series-deciding Game 6. Dark and discolored by more than a century’s worth of time, the game-used gem boasts signatures in black from both Walsh and Brown, the latter’s just to the right of the sweet spot, with a special inscription, in an unknown hand, that reads: “1906 World Series Final Ball Sox Win.” Although not documented as such, we believe this historic ball was part of a donation of significant early baseball items given to the museum by Joe E. Brown. Joe E. Brown was among the biggest stars of stage, film, radio, and television in the 1920’s and 30’s. He was also a tremendous sports fan, co-owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and a passionate collector of sports memorabilia.
(Auction Link)

I've been fascinated by the House of David since I first learned of them in the Baseball documentary by Ken Burns.  Below is a circa 1930's game-used jersey.  Check out some vintage postcards of the House of David in my collection here.  I had written this previously:
The House of David also did much to help integrate the country.  When they barnstormed they would often play doubleheaders with a Negro League team (who traveled with them) as the opening bill.  Then, that evening they would dine at a local restaurant and sleep in a local hotel with the Negro League players right beside them.  It was their belief that the color of someone's skin was meaningless, and they would not allow those who traveled with them to be treated any differently then themselves.
(Auction Link)

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

Some New Andy LaRoche Auto'd Cards Added to the Collection

Sometimes I just can't help it.  Andy LaRoche was suppose to be our power bat at 3rd base.  He was the guy who was suppose to help us forget about Adrian Beltre.  Instead, he was a spectacular bust.  Still, I find it necessary to add more autographed cards of him to my collection.  Heck, a couple of the cards (as seen below) have been on a personal want-list for a long time.

Featured above is 2007 Upper Deck SP Rookie Edition autographed card of Andy LaRoche.  Below is a 2007 Upper Deck Sweet Beginnings Signature embedded helmet card and a 2007 Upper Deck Black "Pride of the Nation" American flag patch autographed card.

It's hard to say what exactly happened to Andy LaRoche.  Was it a case of our eyes being bigger than our stomachs, or was it the thumb injury he sustained while with the Dodgers in 2008 that sapped his power?  Who knows, and we are likely to never find out.

All I know is that it's an cautionary tale all Baseball fans learn very quickly.  A young ballplayer with all the potential talent in the world is still just prospect. 

On the other hand, sometimes it's better to unwrap that present yourself than to see someone else do it in your stead.

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

Welcome to the Blue, Roberto Hernandez!

It has just been announced that the Dodgers have added a new starting pitcher to their stock.  They have picked up veteran Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Roberto Hernandez (formerly known as Fausto Carmona) in exchange for two players to be named later or cash considerations.

Roberto isn't great, but he is decent as back-of-the-rotation pitchers go.  Hernandez has appeared in 20 games as a starter this season; going 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA.  He has 75 strike outs to go along with 55 walks in 121 innings.  In his last start on Friday against the Nationals he went eight strong innings by spraying 5 hits and giving up one unearned run in a victory.  In fact, of late he has been quite good.  Since July 9th (his past four starts) he is 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA.  Opponents are batting just .170 during that time period, so maybe we got him on an upswing.  Roberto throws a hard sinker, slider and change-up, and has added a fastball that can get into the mid-90's.  He is more known, though, as a control pitcher who records outs by coaxing batters to ground out with his sinker.

This pickup makes me wonder if there might be some issues with a starter; namely Josh Beckett.  He's been suffering from various ailments of late, and is the most likely candidate to sit out a start or go on the DL.
UPDATE:  And the shoe has dropped.  Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Matt Gelb informs us on twitter that Roberto will pitch on Friday in place of Josh Beckett.  There is no word yet on who will be sent down, or if Beckett is going on the DL yet.

Per a Jon Weisman report on Dodger Insider:
“Roberto provides us with another big league starting pitcher, who has pitched well this year, particularly the last seven starts,” said Dodger general manager Ned Colletti. “He has postseason experience and helps fortify the rotation down the stretch.”
Obviously, the brass has little confidence in some of the young starting arms in the minors right now. 

BTW, the Fausto Carmona crack has to do with a past assumed identity Roberto once took.  He's one of those foreign born players who faked his age to get a better chance of making it big.  Under the name of Fausto Carmona he was three years younger and regarded as a rising talent within the Cleveland Indians rotation.  Once folks realized he was much older, those opinions started to wane.  He has bounced around since 2013.

In celebration of Roberto officially becoming a Dodger, I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used an AP photo grabbed from an story and the 1987 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are his career statistics, via Baseball Reference:

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

Blog Kiosk: 8/7/2014 - Dodger Links - Masterful Haren and Lasorda with the Navy

Tommy Lasorda visited the USS Anchorage docked in San Pedro yesterday in celebration of Navy Days-LA.  This event is dedicated to the importance of sea power to U.S. national security and promotes the growth and education of the Navy League Pacific Southwest Region’s 24 Navy League Councils and their membership.  Tommy is shown above with Navy personnel, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014Go here to check out more pics by Jon of Tommy's visit here.
“It is truly an honor to have Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda as a guest on board the USS Anchorage,” said Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Pete Santos. “Our Sailors and Marines are motivated, dedicated professionals, with virtues of selfless service and devotion to duty.  For them to have some down time and meet a baseball legend such as Mr. Lasorda is motivational and inspiring for these young men and women.”
(pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)
As for last night's game... Wow!  What a doozy.

Dan Haren... DAN HAREN!... was fantastic.  After going through a stretch of over a month of bad games, he came out and pitched a gem.  Heck, it was so perfect he was perfect for over five innings.  Haren was efficient, he kept the hitters guessing and pitched with the kind of finesse he has always been known for.  If he can continue to stick with whatever gameplan he had last night for the remainder of the season, then we should be just fine going down the stretch.  Overall, he went 7.1 innings, gave up just three hits, struck out 4 and walked nobody. 

The bullpen was a little shaky, but that's OK.  At the end, they were able to maintain the lead for Haren's ninth win of the season.  BTW, Kenley Jansen was filthy again.  He started out with some minor control issues, but when he finally figured out his issues he became unhittable.  Jansen finished the game, with the entire stadium standing, by striking out Trout, forcing Pujols to fly out and then striking out Hamilton.  Not too shabby, eh?

Now, here are some more Dodger links to check out.
  • ICYMI: Chone Figgins has been DFA's (designated for assignment).  This effectively removes him from the Dodgers 40-man roster.  Figgins can refuse the assignment and become a free agent, or stay in AAA.  He seemed to be a good mentor, especially for Dee Gordon, so maybe the Dodgers can find a way to keep in the family.  Could coaching be in his future?
  • Huh.  So, there actually was some kind of ban of the Dodger Bubble Machine, via Chad Moriyama at Dodgers Digest.  And just when I thought that my stupid little post about it yesterday was all just fun and games I find out that it was actually for real... For Reals!?!
  • Kent M at Thirty or Something writes, "Searching For Scully."  It's all about his seach for the Vin Scully replica microphone.
Not only does it look cool, the microphone plays Vin-isms at the press of a button.  It is the greatest Dodger tchotchke in the history of Dodger tchotchkies, and as an ardent collector of such tchotchkies, I must have one.
A 98 mph cutter that moves more like a slider is not supposed to be possible. And yet here we are. 
  • GCRL writes, "There should have been managerial cards in 1994 topps because there were members of the 1978 topps dodgers managing."  GCRL made a bunch of great 1994 fantasy Baseball cards featuring several former Dodgers as managers.  Check it out here.
  • Baseball America put together a list of the ballplayers with the best Major League tools in 2014; per a survey of every big league manager.  Check it out here.
  • Dre at the It's Always A Good Dre in L.A. Blog shares his birthday tour of Dodger Stadium with all of us.  He also shares photos from his visit to the Dodgers: Brotherhood of the Game exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo.
  • Ron Cervenka at Think Blue LA writes about, "Deep Left – The Senior Statesman of the Left Field Pavilion."
“I was definitely at the Coliseum the first year the Dodgers were here because my dad loved going,” said Cooper. “I was 12 so I do have good memories of riding in the car to the Coliseum, although I couldn’t tell you what the first game might have been. I also have a memory of the Roy Campanella night with the matches or the lighters, I remember being there and being awed by the lighters or matches.”

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