Friday, November 21, 2014

Blue Friday at Dodger Stadium - Turner, Ferrara and Leary Signing on 28th

More details for this winter's Holiday meet & greets are slowly being released.  In addition to the two mall events slated for early December at the Westfield Topanga and Glendale Gallerias, the Dodger will host a Black Friday event at Dodger Stadium on Friday, November 28th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Go here for information.
Shop for the holidays and receive 20% off select merchandise at the Top of the Park Store! Dodger dogs will be available for purchase, and fans can take pictures with the Dodgers bobblehead character. Renew your season ticket or mini plan at the ballpark, or sign up for the wait list!
Furthermore, there will be player appearances at Dodger Stadium, as well.
Justin Turner: 11am-1pm   
Al Ferrara: 1pm-3pm   
Tim Leary: 3pm-5pm

They also provided some updates regarding player appearance times for the two scheduled mall events at the Westfield Topanga and Glendale Gallerias on Sunday December 7th and Saturday December 13th, respectively.  Check them out below, or go here for information:
Westfield Topanga
6600 Topanga Canyon Boulevard
Canoga Park, CA 91303
Sunday, 12/7
Dodger Appearances:
Orel Hershiser: 11am-1pm
Justin Turner: 2pm-4pm

Glendale Galleria
100 West Broadway, Suite 700
Glendale, California 91210
Saturday, 12/13
Dodger Appearances:
Fernando Valenzuela: 11am-12pm
Nomar Garciaparra: 2pm-4pm

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A Look at the Vintage "Weirdo" Bobbleheads - 4 are on Auction at ITPC

I was reviewing Inside the Park Collectibles current auction and came across a group of comical vintage bobbleheads that I knew little about.  So naturally, I spent a little bit of time doing some research on them.

These bobbles are commonly referred to as "Weirdo" bobbleheads and they were produced in the mid-60's by a Los Angeles manufacturer called Kreiss & Co.  This company was known to have made other similar toys and trinkets for Disney and other gift shops throughout the country. 

As you can see in the photos below, the "Weirdo" name for these bobbles is very apt.  They are funny little toys that poke fun at the game and its characters.  Also, each bobble type came with a hanging tag featuring a funny phrase describing the bobblehead.

The auction house, Inside the Park Collectibles, has four of the seven (nine total if you include known variations) Dodger "Weirdo" bobbleheads known to exist.  By the way, "Weirdo" bobbles were also made for the San Francisco Giants and it's assumed an equal number of available bobble types were made for them, as well.  From what I understand, though, only a handful of the Giants bobbles are known to exist.

I also need to mention that these bobbleheads are extremely scarce.  So scarce, in fact, that one Dodger version had sold for $5,000 at auction, and that was one of only two known to exist.  Also, the bobble that was sold was found in the collection of Hall of Famer Andre Dawson - a noted bobblehead collector.  Anyway, check out the four "Weirdo" bobbleheads available on auction below, and I have included photos of the other three "Weirdo" types that are known to exist for your edification.  With regards to variations, two of the "Weirdo" types are known to have black face characters.  I make note of which ones in the descriptions below.

Of special note, much of the information attained for this post was found through an article written by Lou Criscione (an owner of Inside the Park Collectibles) at Collectibles Central and Warman's Bobbing Head Field Guide also written by Criscione.  Clearly, Lou and his company Inside the Park Collectibles are the experts in this collecting field.


The first bobblehead that Inside the Park Collectibles has on auction is commonly known as "Crybaby" - for obvious reasons.  Check out the auction here.  This bobble comes with the original hanging tag, which says,
"The Kids Back Home Usta Give Me Four Strikes!"
No doubt this guy feels entitled to another pitch and wants to make sure the entire world knows that.


This next available bobblehead is called "Grouchy."  Check out the auction for this bobble here.  This also comes with its original hanging tag; which says,
"Nice Guys Always Finish Last"
This is an obvious reference to Leo Durocher.  He is the originator of this famous phrase. 

Screw Ball

This next bobblehead is known as "Screw Ball," and as you can see it is the black face variation.  Check out the auction here.  So, two different "Screw Ball" bobbles are known to exist - the white face and black face variations.  This particular bobble does not include the original hanging tag, but it is known to say,
"No Wonder I Couldn't Hit It, He Threw Me A Screw Ball!"
Also note that the uniform number uses a fraction.

The Sweeper

This next bobblehead is called "The Sweeper," and it is known to also exist in black face.  The variation below is the white face version.  Check out the auction here.  This particular bobble does not include the original hanging tag, but it is known to say,
"I'm Ready For That Clean Up Spot, Boss!"
This is the last of available "Weirdo" bobbleheads available on auction through Inside the Park Collectibles. 

For reference sake I have included a brief description and a photo of the remaining three "Weirdo" types known to exist.  It could very well be that more exist but remain undiscovered.  So, this may not be a complete checklist.

Stealing Base

This next bobblehead is called "Stealing Base."  I do not know what the original hanging tag descriptor said.  If you happen to know please pass that along.


This next "Weirdo" bobblehead is called "Bather."  As I briefly mentioned above, this was the bobble that Lou Criscione indicated had once been a part of Andre Dawson's collection.  According to Lou, there are only two specimens known to exist today. Per his story at Collectible Central:
We got a lead on a small collection of dolls owned by now Hall of Fame Baseball star- Andre Dawson. Mr. Dawson had collected with his son while doing card shows and had a small but impressive collection that included all of the rare Major League Baseball Black Face dolls. As his son got older, he lost interest in the dolls and Mr. Dawson decided to downsize. We arranged to meet at his house. We were a little nervous, as we really had never dealt with any celebrities. Mr. Dawson could not have been more hospitable and gracious as we entered his home. We were brought into a hobby room that displayed all of his trophies and memorable bats & balls. The bobbing heads were laid out on a beautiful pool table, all neatly boxed. To our surprise, we opened a box and found a doll that shocked us both- another Dodger Weirdo- one with a grinning player holding a bathing beauty in his arms. We had bought and sold thousands of vintage dolls at that point and had never seen or heard of this doll.
This also comes with its original hanging tag; which says,
"I Got Her on a fielders choice"
BTW, the "Bather" bobblehead sold for over $5,000 and is highly sought after.

Fly Swatter

This next "Weirdo" bobblehead is also extremely rare.  It is called the "Fly Swatter" and features a bobble that nods at his waist.  The bobble is also described as holding a fly swatter in his right hand, but that is not visible in the photo below.  It is not known what the hanging tag descriptor says.  This photo was found via Lou Criscione at Collectibles Central.

Like I said, more "Weirdo" bobbleheads may still exist, so keep your eyes out for them.  You never know if you've come across a little gold mine.  The more common "Weirdo" bobbles (those found in the above mentioned auction) could sell in excess of $1,000, but have been known to be found at prices ranging from $500 to $1,000.  These are certainly must-haves for vintage bobble collectors. 

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2014 Topps Heritage High Number Baseball - All the Dodger Cards

On Wednesday Topps released their newest set.  Instead of rolling out boxes with randomly inserted packs of cards, they produced a 100-card complete set box that includes one random Real One Autographed card.  The set is called Topps Heritage High Number and an unopened box will cost about $90.  This is an companion set to their Heritage cards released in March.  Check out all of the Dodger cards below.  Go here for a complete checklist.

Base Set

#H502 Dee Gordon                                 #H530 Onelki Garcia

#H547 Alex Guerrero                           #H551 Erisbel Arruebarrena

Real One Autographs

#ROA-AG Alex Guerrero                    #ROA-EA Erisbel Arruebarrena

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Welcome to the Blue, Joel Peralta & Adam Liberatore!

Late last night, during the wee hours of the evening, the Dodgers announced their first real trade of the winter season.  As many had hoped, the Dodgers were not satisfied with just righting the ship by displacing their former General Manager with a troupe of egghead sophisticates regarded by many as the cream of the crop.  Oh no... They had business to attend to and after several weeks of debating, negotiating and studying they finally made their move.

Last night, the Dodgers consummated a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays, former home of recent hiree Andrew Friedman, and I like it.  We had a situation where two teams had a need to fill, so a deal got done.  For the Dodgers, they received veteran right-handed reliever and Bellflower product Joel Peralta and 27-year old AAA lefty reliever Adam Liberatore.  The Rays got fireball throwing righty Jose Dominguez and single-A prospect from Los Alamitos Greg Harris.

This move shores up a Dodger bullpen that was largely ineffective last year.  Peralta has been an able setup man the past few years and should slot in nicely behind closer Kenley Jansen.  The second piece in the deal, Adam Liberatore, is a bit of an unknown, but based on his recent stats in AAA he may turn out to be a diamond in the rough.  As a 27-year old lefty he recorded the best season of his career for the Durham Bulls last year.  He got into 54 games and struck out 86 batters while batters hit just .187 against him.

For the Rays, they made some room for some players they wanted to protect from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft while picking up the hard-throwing Jose Dominguez and a young prospect with some promise.  Per Schmitty at X-Rays Spex:
The Rays can’t protect everyone on their list, and if Liberatore was to be exposed, the thought process would be to get something else in return. Still, the lefty Liberatore had some shiny stats last year at Triple-A, including a 1.66 ERA and 1.65 FIP while striking out nearly 12/9. He takes the place of top-ten prospect Onelki Garcia, a southpaw reliever the Dodgers lost earlier today to the White Sox after designating from the 40-man. Dodgers fans are excited to have the Durham southpaw, and rightfully so.
Here are some other stories worth checking out about this trade:
On a side note, don't you find it strange that the trade that actually gets done is one that hasn't been bandied about the "hot stove/rumor mill" like some teenage gossip about who's dating who?  Strange, eh?  And increasingly awkward for those who think the 'hot stove' means anything.

In celebration of their arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy cards for them.  I used a photograph grabbed from a photo for the Peralta card from a Tampa Bay Times article and the 1974 Topps Baseball card design.  For the Liberatore card I grabbed a photo from MiLB article and the 1964 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are the career stats for Joel Peralta, via Baseball-Reference:

Below are the career stats for Adam Liberatore, via Baseball-Reference:

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Blog Kiosk: 11/21/2014 - Dodger Links - Vin Scully and Yasiel Puig

Dee Gordon and Cincinnati Reds speedster Billy Hamilton got together for a photoshoot yesterday for Under Armour.  Photo above via @BillyHamilton on twitter.

BTW, last night the Dodgers executed their first real trade of the winter.  I'll have more on that soon.

Below are some links to check out:
Yaroslavsky had made it known often that he craved Scully's job. Scully responds in an amusing video I'm told was recorded in one take with no script and no Teleprompter.
Which is not to say that Puig simply eliminated a hole. In working to get better against inside fastballs, Puig subsequently opened himself up a little more against fastballs away. It’s hard to protect against all pitch types in all pitch locations, and adjustments tend to have consequences. So now Puig has just changed the distribution of his weaker areas. But between years, he set his mind to getting better against something, and it appears he mostly pulled it off. That’s not something we often observe, which is what makes this so interesting. 
  • The Dodgers have lost reliever Onelki Garcia to the White Sox, via Jeff Todd at MLB Trade Rumors.
  • Sign-ups for the 2014 LA Dodgers Foundation Youth Camp for the weekend of December 20th are current ongoing.  Go here for information.  Steve Yeager and Mickey Hatcher are just a couple of former Dodgers who will be there to teach the kids.  Also, a current Dodger player will also make an appearance.  It is for boys and girls ages 7 to 12.
  • GCRL shares more Steve Garvey oddball cards; including a bunch of postcards.
  • Via Jerry Crasnick at, "MLB addresses pace of play in AFL."
"I tell people, 'It's more complex than just having the clock,'" Haines said. "All these variables come in, and baseball plays happen. I don't want to speculate for MLB, but I think it's hard to make it that black-and-white. I want the umpire's discretion involved. You don't want a game decided on a technicality."

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