Thursday, August 28, 2014

Joc is Our PCL MVP

Joc Pederson is having a season for the ages. 

Over the past week, Joc has been named to the All-PCL Team and won the Pacific Coast League Rookie of the Year award.  Today we learn that he can also add the Most Valuable Player Award to his mantle.  Per a Isotopes press release:
The 22-year-old outfielder received more than half of the votes from the 16 field managers as well as media representatives from across the league to be named the 78th PCL MVP in league history.

Pederson's MVP recognition is just another in his trophy case for the 2014 season. On Tuesday, he was named the PCL's Rookie of the Year, just one day after earning All-PCL Team honors. Last Saturday, Pederson became the first player in 80 years to record a 30-30 season in the PCL.

Ranked the Los Angeles Dodgers' top-overall prospect entering the season according to Baseball America, Pederson leads the PCL in home runs (33), on-base percentage (.434), runs scored (101), total bases (256) and walks (96). His .590 slugging percentage currently ranks second in the league. The outfielder's 96 walks and 101 runs scored are Isotopes single-season records.
Sure, his numbers might be aided a bit by a very hitter-friendly home ballpark, but who cares?  That's just a bunch of rabble from hater's who would rather spend their time knocking someone down.  Instead, let's cheer and clap our hands for the kid. 

Congrats, Joc!

The Isotope season is coming to a rapid close, so Albuquerqueans will have just one final chance to watch their MVP.  Their last homestand begins tonight against the Las Vegas 51's and ends on Monday.  Pederson is also expected to join the Dodgers for a September call-up.

Oh... And, on Friday one lucky fan will win Joc Pederson's car.  Yeah, that's right... Someone out there will drive away in Joc's hooptie - a 1994 Buick Century.  It is nicknamed "Little Chucky."  Go here for details about this contest.

In celebration of Joc's MVP trophy I made the two two fantasy cards for him (both above and below).  The card at the top uses a photo taken by a fan named Wrigley Gilkison (which might be the best name ever) and put up on Pinterest and I used the vintage 1971 Topps Baseball card design (template provided by Alex Markle at Chavez Ravining).  I made the below card just because I thought the photo taken by Tyler Maun / was fantastic.  BTW, you can check out other fantasy cards I made of Joc here and here.

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2014 Topps Factory Set Inserts - Sandy Koufax Chrome Refractor Cards

Since I've made it my mission to share pics of all of the new Dodger cards created for fans, I figured it was high time that I focus on a handful insert cards packaged exclusively into Topps factory complete sets.

This season, there are several different exclusive Factory Set Inserts available, but only one of them features a Dodger.  A Chrome Refractor Sandy Koufax Reprint card have been randomly inserted into marked sets (as you can see in the example above).  There are three different Koufax reprints available.  Check them out below.  They reprinted the 1956 Topps, 1957 Topps and 1958 Topps cards.  (BTW, the recently released 2014 Topps Chrome set includes a reprint of the 1955 Topps Sandy Koufax rookie card)

Just for reference purposes, I figured I'd provide a checklist of the other factory set inserts that are available.  Check that out below.

In addition to the Sandy Koufax reprints, Topps also made Ted Williams Chrome Refractor reprint cards.  That set includes reprints of the 1951 Bowman, 1954 Bowman & 1954 Topps cards.

There are also two different 5-card variation sets inserted into factory sets.  There is the All-Star Edition set and the Rookie Photo Variation set.  Below is a checklist for both.

All-Star Edition: #AS-1 Andrew McClutchen, #AS-2 Derek Jeter, #AS-3 Miguel Cabrera, #AS-4 Joe Mauer & #AS-5 Mike Trout

Rookie Photo Variations: #36 Billy Hamilton, #133 Xander Bogaerts, #195 Nick Castellanos, #496 Jose Abreu & #661 Masahiro Tanaka

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Blog Kiosk: 8/28/2014 - Dodger Links - Kershaw's League Leading Win and Ryu Ready to Pitch

What more can you say about Clayton Kershaw?  He's magnificent and virtually a lock for a win whenever he pitches - even on night's he said he had a bad start.  Last night he went eight innings versus the Diamondbacks; striking out 10, walking just two and allowing just one earned run (unearned).  His ERA falls to a minuscule 1.73, and he now leads the league with 16 wins on the season. 

As for the Dodgers offense for the evening, they did all of their damage in the third inning.  Matt Kemp played the hero again by driving in two wins on a double to right centerfield.  Scott Van Slyke added another run with a solo home run to left center.  BTW, Kenley Jansen recorded his 38th save of the season and 100th for his career.  To all those naysayers who doubted his role as the teams closer at the start of the season can now all just shut up - you are a bunch of reactionary know nothings.

The photo at the top is of Hello Kitty - who is not a cat.  Via Carolina A. Miranda at the LA Times,
"That's one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat. She's a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She's never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it's called Charmmy Kitty."
Who knew?  Pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.

The Dodgers 3 to 1 victory allowed them to maintain their 5.0 game lead ahead of the Giants.  Now, below are some links to check out:
(Via Ned Colletti) “It’s a function of how many teams are in the playoff hunt and our place in the order. We’ve claimed – what’s a good word, droves? Many? Very many? … We’ve claimed a lot of players and they never get to us.”
  • Children's Hospital Los Angeles was actively involved in ThinkCure! Weekend at Dodger Stadium and they just shared the story of a couple of their patients on their website.  Check that out here.  
  • Via Ken Gurnick at, "Ryu free of pain after sim game; return near."
Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu said he felt no pain while throwing a two-inning simulated game on Wednesday and could return to the starting rotation on Sunday or Monday.
  • Via Dustin Nosler at Dodgers Digest, "Stop it: Julio Urias isn’t making his MLB debut in 2014." 
  • An FYI, Monday, September 8th will be LA Kings Night at Dodger Stadium.  Go here for information.  I am uncertain if any King players will be in attendance, but fans attending through a special ticket package to sit in the all-you-can-eat right-field pavilion will get a cool little t-shirt (as seen on right).
  • Via Mike Oz at Big League Stew, "Dodgers fan gets hassled over T-shirt at D-backs game, but social media prevails."  Those fans (security & other staff members) in Arizona sure are a bunch of whiny little kids.  The only person there with any sort of rational understanding of things is Josh Rawitch - Diamondbacks VP of Communications.  Good job, Josh, on getting it figured out.
  • GCRL shares some more Steve Garvey oddball baseball cards.  Awesome!

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