Friday, August 29, 2014

A Ralph Branca Topps Team Legends Auto'd Card for my Collection

I just absolutely love vintage looking Topps reprints autographed by olde-tyme Dodgers.  They are like flashbacks towards a more simple time, while at the same time incorporating the flare that is only found in modern Baseball card issues. 

For instance, take a look at this new card I just received from eBay.  It is a 2001 Topps Team Legends autographed card of Ralph Branca.  It uses the design from his 1952 Topps Baseball card, and has two different shiny gold foil stampings.  How fancy is that, eh? 

The reverse of the card is an exact recreation of the original 1952 card, save the copyright mark on the left corner and the hologram sticker proving the authenticity of Branca's autograph.

I do not quite know which Topps product this card originally came in.  From what I understand, Topps created "Team Topps Legends" autographed cards from 2001 to 2003, and inserted them in as many as fourteen different card brands.  In 2001, they could be found in six different card sets; including a non-sport heavy set called 2001 Topps American Pie.

Also, I came across a really great card while researching this set.  In 2001 Topps created a 50th Anniversary commemorative "The Shot Heard 'Round The World" buy-back card that was autographed by both Ralph Branca and Bobby Thomson.  The buy-back card was the 1991 Bowman "The Shot Heard 'Round The World" card #410, and were exclusively found only in packs of 2001 Topps Series 1 boxes.  I do not know how limited it is since it appears to be an unnumbered autograph insert card.  What I do know is that I have to find it for my collection.  I believe the card on the right is an example of it, but it is priced too high for my pocketbook. 

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Topps Asks You - Which Kershaw Photo Should they Use for his 2015 Baseball Card?

It is always great to get tips for this blog.  After all, I couldn't possibly see everything Dodger related that's out there.  Doubly so for the strange and interesting stuff found on the various social media outlets I have yet to start using.  So, imagine my joy when a Blue Heaven reader named Austin let me know about a Topps contest on Instagram that all Dodger fans should get in on.

A bit earlier today, Topps instagramed (is that the right term) a couple of Clayton Kershaw photos with the following caption:
#ToppsNation, it's time to start picking images for 2015 #ToppsBaseball, and we need your help! We have two images here of the potential #CyYoung and #MVP winner Clayton Ketshaw. Whichever one has the most likes by 6pm EST on September 2nd will be his 2015 Topps card.
(UPDATE:  I just noticed that Topps spelled his name wrong.  What tha....?)  Below are the two different Clayton Kershaw photos available to choose from.

And, be sure to keep in mind that it has to flow with the design Topps will be using for their 2015 flagship Baseball card set.  You can see that below.

You have until Tuesday, September 2nd to let your voice be heard.  Which photo do you want to see on Kershaw's 2015 Topps Baseball card?

Go here for the photo on the left, or here for the photo on the right.  Below are the embeds.


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Blog Kiosk: 8/29/2014 - Dodger Links - Dodger Prospects Threw Two No Hitters Yesterday

It was an amazing day for Dodger minor league pitchers yesterday.  Not only did their Arizona League (rookie class) Dodgers throw a combined four-pitcher no hitter in the afternoon, but Chattanooga Lookouts (AA affiliate) hurler Andres Santiago also threw a 1 to 0 no hitter against the Tennessee Smokies.  Holy Cow!

Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA:
Santiago struck out a season-high 12 on the night, and flirted with a perfect game. He retired the first 22 batters before Christian Villanueva walked with one out in the eighth inning. Two pitches before the walk, Villaneuva nearly had the first hit of the game for the Smokies, a roller up the third base line that went foul just before reaching the bag.
Andres Santiago is 24-years old and is from Catano, Puerto Rico.  He was drafted by the Dodgers in 2007 in the 16th Round, and has slowly risen up the ranks since then.  Santiago has spent the last three seasons in Chattanooga.  The photo above is of Santiago speaking to the crowd after his accomplishment, via the Chattanooga Lookouts on twitter.

The first no hitter of day was performed by the Dodgers rookie league affiliate Arizona Dodgers.  Via Teddy Cahill at
Left-hander Jairo Pacheco combined with three relievers -- Kam Uter, Yeuri Gonzalez and Harlan Richter -- for a no-hitter Thursday, and the Rookie-level Dodgers defeated the Brewers, 10-0.
Jon Wesiman at Dodger Insider shares a photo of the no hitter battery, here.

Who thought that 2014 would be the year of the no hitter for the Dodgers? On a side note, I wonder if any franchise has recorded four no hitters, from low minors to the Majors, in one season.  Anybody know?

Since the Giants won their Thursday afternoon game against the Rockies, the Dodgers lead over them shrinks slightly to 4.5 games.  Now, below are some links to check out:
"It's a pretty humbling award that I got to win," Pederson said of being PCL MVP. "I mean it's exciting, I've never won a player of the year award. It's my first, I feel good about it. It's kind of a relief for all the hard work I've put in. It's a nice cap at the end of the season."
“I don’t even know how you calculate [WAR] or what, exactly, it means,” Turner said. “I know sabermetrics is a big part of it nowadays and I know that’s a big sabermetric number, but I don’t really pay attention to it. Any time you have success, it’s gratifying, especially when you know how difficult the game is.”

It goes beyond those numbers, though. For the second time this season, Turner has filled in for one of the Dodgers’ most unsung players, Juan Uribe, and made his absence virtually invisible.

“Shoot, to be honest with you, I’m not sure where we’d be if he hadn’t been here,” Wallach said. 
De Leon uses a fastball that sits in the 91-94 MPH range and maxes out at 96 MPH. The thing that separates it from many other fastballs in the organization is the movement. It’s a running fastball that hasn’t yet correlated to a high ground ball rate, but it could. If nothing else, it has enough movement to get hitters to miss it or make weak contact with it.
  • Topps just released their 2014 Throwback Collection poster cards on their website and it includes a couple of Dodgers in the set: Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig.  Check them both out below.  The prints measure 10" x 14" and are printed on 16pt trading card stock.  Go here to check them out.  The Kershaw print on the left is limited to #/49 copies, and the Puig card on the right is the "Aqua Edition" limited to only #/10 copies.  The "1 of 1" parallel cards called the "Gold Edition" have already been sold.

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