Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 Panini Hall of Fame 75th Anniversary Baseball - The Diamond Kings Dodger Insert Cards

Yesterday, I shared photos of the Crusade insert cards found in Panini's 2014 Hall of Fame 75th Anniversary Baseball card set.  Now, I share photos of the Diamond Kings inserts.  As you may know, this is popular and fabled set that dates to the very first Donruss Baseball set in 1981.  Unfortunately, the artwork today no longer features the drawing of Dick Perez or Frank and Peggy Steele.  Instead, it appears to include computer aided drawings of vintage photos.  Go here to check out all the previous post on this Hall of Fame set from Panini.

There are eight Dodgers in the 100 card Diamond Kings set.  I've tried to include pics of both the front and reverse of the cards.  As always, there are numerous parallels available: Red #/75, Blue #/50, Gold #/10, Green #/5, Black 1/1.

HOF Diamond Kings Set

#29 Zack Wheat

#31 Jackie Robinson (Red Parallel)

#33 Burleigh Grimes

#36 Roy Campanella

#52 Duke Snider (Red Parallel)

#57 Don Drysdale

#60 Pee Wee Reese

#75 Leo Durocher(Gold Parallel)

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So, What are they Saying about Andrew Friedman?

I'm kinda wondering, "so, what do we know about this guy anyway?"

Well, here are what some of the professionals are saying on twitter:

ESPN SportsTalk host Steve Mason had this to say.

Mason also adds the following:

This is via local Tampa Bay reporter Marc Topkin:

Based on Ben Badler's tweet I'd be willing to bet Friedman will get paid handsomely.

Molly Knight chimes in:

MLB columnist Scott Miller says:

And this is just a small sampling of views and opinions on the Andrew Friedman hire.  I suspect that over the coming days, weeks and months we'll hear a lot more about how this will impact the team.

For now, all I can say is HOLY MOLY!  I can't wait for the new season to begin.

Pic at the very top via @SI_Wire on twitter:

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Welcome to the Blue, Andrew Friedman - Dodgers Make Major Front Office Change

Considered one of the brightest minds in the game, the Dodger pull off a major cue by convincing Tampa Bay Rays GM Andrew Friedman to join the Dodgers front office.


Ramona Shelburne at ESPN has the full story here.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will name Tampa Bay Rays general manager Andrew Friedman as their new president of baseball operations, sources told ESPN.

Ned Colletti, who has been the Dodgers general manager since 2005, will remain with the club in a new role as senior advisor to the president and CEO of the Dodgers, Stan Kasten.

Sources said that Friedman, in his role as president of baseball operations, will have the ability to hire a general manager.
It appears likely that Don Mattingly stays as manager with Colletti being promoted to advisor status.  Andrew Friedman is essentially promoted to head all Baseball operations; which likely includes hiring a new GM and directing the future of the entire franchise.  

Ramona also adds this nice little nugget in her story:
Kasten has long believed a strong farm system is the key to organizational success. It's how he and John Scheurholtz built the Atlanta Braves in the 1990s. And Friedman's strengths in player development and scouting dovetail perfectly with Kasten's vision.

Ironically, sources say the Dodgers' failed pursuit of a trade for Price this summer only heightened their admiration of Friedman. Said one source: "They always asked for the right prospects. Not just the guys everybody knows, either."
I'd love to know what players those were.

In celebration of Friedman joining the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photograph grabbed from Jon Weisman's story on Dodger Insider/J. Meric/Getty Images and the 1987 Topps Baseball card design.

And here is the official announcement from the Dodgers:
Friedman, 37, previously served as the Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations of the Tampa Bay Rays, where, despite overseeing one of the league's lowest payrolls, he led the Rays to four postseason appearances, including two division titles (2008, 2010), in nine seasons from 2006-14. Under Friedman, the Rays posted the franchise's first winning season and won the American League pennant in 2008, when he was named Sporting News' Executive of the Year. After finishing below .500 in each of its first 10 years of existence, the Rays finished above the .500 mark in six consecutive seasons under Friedman from 2008-13.

"Andrew Friedman is one of the youngest and brightest minds in the game today and we are very fortunate to have him join our organization," said Dodger President & CEO Stan Kasten. "The success he has had over the past nine years in molding the Tampa Bay Rays team has been incredible."

Friedman joined the Rays in 2004 and spent two years serving as director of baseball development. His previous experience includes two years as an analyst with New York City-based investment firm Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc. and three years as an associate for the private equity firm MidMark Capital.

Friedman received a baseball scholarship to Tulane University, where he graduated with a bachelor of science in management with a concentration in finance. He played outfield for the Green Wave before injuring his shoulder. Andrew and his wife, Robin, reside in St. Petersburg with their two sons, Ethan Jack and Zachary Evan.
"Ned Colletti has played a major role in the success of the Los Angeles Dodgers over the last nine years and I'm thrilled that we are able to retain him as a special advisor to me," said Kasten. "Ned's knowledge and experience in the game covering 33 years will be a great asset to the club as we continue to add and build our player development system."

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All Puig, All the Time - At the Conga Room, a Childhood Photo and Trade/Click Bait

The Conga Room at LA Live in Downtown has been hosting a weekly Thursday-night Latin music series called “Latin Kings of Salsa,” and Yasiel Puig was on-hand recently to welcome Venezuelan salsa legend Oscar D’Leon.

No doubt he spent the evening feeling sad about the recent Dodger exit from the playoffs by hitting the dance floor to the sweet sounds of 'LlorarĂ¡s'. 

As you can see in the photo above (Photo Credit: Juju Andrade), he gave D’Leon a signed playoff bat.  BTW, Oscar D’Leon is the fellow with the huge mustache on the far left.  I'm not sure who the other guys are in the photo above (expect for Puig, of course), but I think the person in the middle is the Conga Room owner - Brad Gluckstein.

You can find out more about the Conga Room venue here.


BTW, if you haven't seen this already here is a childhood photo of Yasiel Puig.  This was tweeted out by Puig and MLBPA as a part of 'Throwback Thursday' promotion.


As you know, the big to-do surrounding the Dodger (other than the GM thing) since their unceremonious departure from the playoffs has been some incessant rumors about trading Yasiel Puig.  It all started with a quixotic tweet from Mercury News sports columnist Tim Kawakami the evening after the Dodgers playoff series loss.  He said:
"Late-night thought: Yasiel Puig might be somebody Billy Beane would secretly target for a surprise deal."
In other words, it was just him thinking 'out of the box' and imagining that the A's would be interested in him.  But then, things went into overdrive when Chicago sports radio anchor George Ofman threw in his two-cents with his own tweet.  He said:
"Are the Dodgers shopping Puig? You bet and the Cubs are one of several teams interested."
Soon, it became an honest-to-god rumor complete with folks believing that all of this was based on secret sources and valid insider discussions.  Being the cynic that I am, I find all of this rabble to be a big load of dung - like, a big emerald encrusted beetle covered with last nights chilli.  At this point, I'll believe it when I see it.

On the other hand, I do believe everyone (with exception of a few players - Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Jansen) could be traded if the right deal comes along; including Puig.  But, it would have to be similar to the kind of booty received during this past season tradeline trades - which means a lot of top prospects and solid players.  After all, Puig has a proven two year track record in the league and guys like Soler and Bryant of the Cubs haven't proven anything.


Oh, and if you want to read some click bait check out Tim Kawakami's follow-up article at the Mercury News explaining his initial tweet about trading for Puig, here.  It's a big load of crap.
You think Billy Beane wouldn’t see if he could get Puig for Jeff Samardzija? I’m pretty sure he would. Samaradzija’s only signed through next season, so he’s probably not the guy who gets you Puig, but I’m just offering that as a name to start.

Hey, knowing Beane, it wouldn’t shock me if he allowed that Sonny Gray, at some point, could be had for a mega-package. All A’s stars will get traded or will leave at some point, everybody has to understand this.
Besides, if the Dodgers are really looking to replace their GM, how in the world can they even contemplate a trade now?  You would think that the GM issue would get handled first before any big trade happens.

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Blog Kiosk: 10/14/2014 - Dodger Links - Some Odds and Ends

Check out this vintage press photo I ran across on eBay last night.  It appears to be a press photo, but doesn't have the type of markings on the reverse you would typically expect to see.  Still, it's a wonderful image of some olde-tyme Brooklyn Dodgers on the steps of their dugout.  Check out the eBay auction here.

The photo is clearly from 1942; as evidenced by the 'Health' patch on the players left shoulder.  From 1942 to 1945 MLB players wore patriotic patches like this for those four years during WWII.  This particular patch was only worn for one season, 1942, then was replaced with a similar looking patch - red stripes replaced the 'Health' lettering.

I'm fairly poor at photo identification, but I am certain that that fellow on the far left is Joe Medwick.  On his left is Billy Herman.  Then, Pee Wee Reese, Pete Reiser, Mickey Owen and Dixie Walker.  Let me know if you think otherwise.

Here are some links to check out:
Starting pitcher Stephen Fife cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City, the team confirmed. Fife is no longer on the 40-man roster.

Fife is likely out for all of 2015 after having Tommy John surgery on Aug. 13 to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
  • Are you ready for Halloween.  Well, MiLB on twitter is here to help you out.  They posted on a Vin Scully pumpkin template. Print out the PDF and carve your own Scully pumpkin.

  • The Topps 2014 Baseball Update Set comes out on Wednesday.  On twitter they have been released preview pics to collectors to check out.  On the right is a Clayton Kershaw All-Star Game Jumbo Patch Relic card.
  • BTW, Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle were named the 2014 Connie Mack Award winners today by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.  The Connie Mack Award recognizes those considered the top manager for the season. Not bad choices, eh?  I, on the other hand, had someone else mind for the NL winner.  Go here to see who were my picks for the BBA (Baseball Bloggers Alliance) Post Season Awards.

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