Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Cey, Ruggiano, Schebler and Kiké Hernandez

Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.


Ron Cey will be at Cardboard Legends in Van Nuys on Thursday, October 1st from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM to sign autographs.  Go here for information.  Prices are: $19. balls, flats & minis: $29. bobbleheads, equipment, helmets, bats & jerseys: $39. inscriptions: $20. Tickets on Sale Now Phone: 909.592.1357 to reserve.
Cardboard Legends
17218 Saticoy St
Van Nuys, Ca 91406


Several of the young Dodger stars will be at Frank & Sons this coming Saturday, October 3rd.  Go here for information.  Check out the flyers below.  Click to embiggen.
Frank & Son Collectible Show
19649 San Jose Ave
City of Industry, CA 91748

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Dodgers' Celebrate on Social Media

You gotta love how the world today brings about an instant connection with your favorite team and players.  It's like we're enjoying the moment right with them.  So, take a second to check out some of my favorite tweets, instagrams and whatnot's from your Los Angeles Dodgers.

To start, check out the fantastic selfie above taken by Justin Turner and shared on instagram.  Clayton looks downright mortified.  It's like he can't believe what's going on.  AJ Ellis, on the other hand, does his best Miley Cyrus impression.

2015 Topps Supreme - All the Dodger Cards

Here is another high-end product currently available at a hobby store near you that promises two autographed cards per box.  Heck, those are the only two card you'll get in the box.  Prices range from $60 to $70 each, and you'll get a single pack with two autograph cards within it.  The set is called 2015 Topps Supreme and this is its third year as a brand for Topps.  It initially started out as an Asia only release, but proves so popular they had to bring it stateside.  Go here to see a complete checklist.  Below are pics of most of the Dodger cards available.  Of special note, there are several cool looking Mike Piazza cards as a Dodger available; including a booklet card that has die-cut windows that allow you to see the relic piece hidden in the middle.


#SA-CKW Clayton Kershaw               #SA-FV Fernando Valenzuela

Blog Kiosk: 9/30/2015 - Dodger Links - Clinched & #RESPECTTHERIVALRY

Celebration!  Photo above via AM 570 on twitterGo here to check out a bunch of great pics by Jon SooHoo of the Dodgers' celebrating last night.

I've got mad respect for this.  Via a tweet by Brodie Brazil, check out the San Francisco scoreboard after the Dodgers clinched.

Below are more links to check out:
"I like this team a lot better," (Adrian Gonzalez) said Tuesday. "It has veteran leadership, guys that have been there, guys who go hard every day. I think we've got the right nucleus of guys."
"A lot more professional this year," Mattingly said. "Our guys get ready to play. I never really worried about them being ready to play. I could trust them. They got down to business on the field, and that was a good feeling for me."
  • After the AC/DC concert at Dodger Stadium the other night, Dodger Stadium is on its way back towards being in playing shape, via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider.  He shares some great photos of the concert and its aftermath.
  • Via Ken Gurnick at, "Puig sees progress, but return still a question."
"Yasiel's news actually has been pretty good," the Dodgers manager said Tuesday. "He was able to do things yesterday and today that are pretty encouraging. He actually played in some kind of game. He's getting at-bats, continuing to do some things."
  • You can now get your NL West Division Championship gear now.  Per a Dodgers press release:
Fans can purchase official NL West championship and 2015 postseason merchandise (images attached) online at and at the Top of the Park store at Dodger Stadium, starting tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Store hours through Thursday are 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m and the stadium can be accessed through the Sunset Gate at the corner of Stadium Way and Elysian Park Avenue. The Dodgers return home on Friday to begin the final regular-season homestand with the San Diego Padres and store hours will be from 9:00 a.m. until the end of each game through the weekend.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Woo Hoo!! Dodgers Win the National League West!

What a momentous day.  What a fabulous game.  What an incredible celebration!

For the first time in the history of the franchise the Dodgers won their third straight division championship, and they did it with their ace on the home-mound of their most hated enemy.

Clayton Kershaw was fantastic.  He started the evening by striking out two of the first three batters he faced, and set a tone that would endure for the rest of the night.  This game was his, and no team dressed in Halloween colors would deter him from finishing his task.  On 103 pitches he completed the game, struck out thirteen and allowed only one hit.  ONE HIT!

As for the Dodgers offense, they did not disappoint.  They got on the board early when they scored a run off a Giants miscue in the first inning.  Then added some power from some unlikely bats. Kike Hernandez, Justin Ruggiano and AJ Ellis hit solo home runs to make the score 4-1.  To put a cherry on top of the cake, they rest of the boys nearly batted around in the 8th inning to add another four runs.

And with that all the fretting and hand-wringing felt by Dodger fans everywhere is over.  It's now time to sit back and enjoy the rest of the week in peace.

Photo above via David Vassegh on twitter.

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2015 Topps Heritage High Number - The Dodgers Insert Cards

Below are pics of most of the Dodger insert cards available in packs of 2015 Heritage High Number.  Go here to check out my previous post on this set.

Real One Autographs

#ROAH-CK Clayton Kershaw                   #ROAH-JPE Joc Pederson

Blog Kiosk: 9/29/2015 - Dodger Links - Pederson, Greinke and Kiké Hernandez

Kiké Hernandez looked fantastic at the plate and on the field last night after spending way too much time rehabbing a hamstring strain he suffered in late-August.  He recorded two singles after coming in late to play centerfield.  Then he made a fantastic grab on a whistling liner that wanted to sail like a salmon evading the clutches of an hungry bear.  Hernandez was electric out there, and I suspect he'll find himself on tonight's starting roster in hopes his enthusiasm is contagious.  No doubt the Dodgers will need his energy to climb over that last bump on the road towards the playoffs.

Unfortunately, the Dodgers were unable to walk away with a victory last night - having lost in twelve innings on a walkoff sacrifice fly.  Don't fret, though.  I think the Dodgers' state of mind is right where it needs to be.  Via a Mark Saxon report at ESPN:
"We played really good today. We played poor in Colorado, but besides that, I feel like we've played well," Greinke said. "Everyone wants to get another win, but we're playing as well as we can and we're playing really focused baseball. Maybe that's the key."
Mattingly appears to agree:
"I felt like we played a little bit [tight] in Colorado, trying to finish it," Mattingly said. "As this game went on, I felt a little bit better about all that."
The photo above via Jon SooHoo on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
The Dodgers, who have moved aggressively this year toward video scouting of opponents, have not renewed the contracts of veteran advance scouts Willie Fraser and Gary Pellant, according to a baseball source.
Joc is the one hitting home runs in the major leagues, but he finds inspiration in Champ.

“It’s just being around him — how happy and passionate he is, his positive attitude and outlook on life,” Joc said in a recent phone interview. “You don’t get to choose the cards you get.”
  • Here is a fantastic read about the MLBAM's recent use of DMCA takedown notices on users of social media, via Matt Goldman at Beyond the Boxscore: "MLBAM strikes out in marketing baseball."
MLBAM does not track down every tweet or every account that posts a gif of something baseball related. That's more than likely because they simply don't have the resources to do so. Yet, they do step in when something becomes incredibly popular. At this point, taking down something popular, something that is spreading enjoyment of the game, is not in MLBAM's best interests.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

2015 Topps Heritage High Number - The Dodger Base Cards

Last week I commented about the inclusion of a Trevor Cahill Dodger card in Topps newest set - 2015 Heritage High Numbers.  Now, take a look at all the Dodger base cards that are available.  I've included the one known variation (Jimmy Rollins) and several of the parallels.  Go here to check out a complete checklist.

Base Set

#585 Yasmani Grandal                                 #595 Trevor Cahill

Branch Rickey's Christmas Message at the End of WWII

Here is an interesting letter I recently discovered when rummaging through eBay.  It features a letter, dated December 20, 1945, from Dodgers President Branch Rickey to a prospective ballplayer named Richard T. Foley. 

The letter is both poignant and reflective; while at the same time self serving - considering Rickey was interested in retaining Foley for the Dodgers.  Nevertheless, I found Rickey's words to be inspiring and heartfelt.  The "war to end all wars" had just concluded months before, so the time for reflection was no doubt high in most people's minds.  He states in the letter:
Surely this Christmas means more to most of us than any Christmas we have ever known.  The war is over and "Peace on Earth, Good will to Men", again becomes something to think about, and to hope for, and to work for, too.
I don't think I could have said it any better.

Unfortunately, I was unable to nail down specific information about this player, but did find two separate references: one of a Trenton fellow who was in the Red Sox organization and served in both WWII and the Korean War (here) and another at Baseball Reference without much information at all (here).  Considering the address referenced in the letter it appears the latter link is the right Foley.  If you happen to have any information about this player please pass it along.  In the meantime, I've reproduced the entire letter below.
Dear Richard,

Surely this Christmas means more to most of us than any Christmas we have ever known.  The war is over and "Peace on Earth, Good will to Men", again becomes something to think about, and to hope for, and to work for, too.

For many who went from the Brooklyn organization into our country's service, Christmas, 1945 means homecoming, a return to families and friends.  For others, still in the service, it holds promise of happier days to come and very soon.

To all of you -- those who have served, and those still serving, -once again on behalf of the entire Brooklyn organization I send my most sincere good wishes.

I am sending a token of our continuing interest and regard, - two tokens, I believe.  One is a copy of Frank Graham's book, "The Brooklyn Dodgers".  The other is a lighter.  If you don't smoke, give it to your dad, or some other member of your family, or a friend who does.

Anyhow, a Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year, and I hope to see you in a baseball uniform this spring.

Cordially yours,
Branch Rickey, President

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Blog Kiosk: 9/29/2015 - Dodger Links - Hazing the Rookies

Although the Dodgers were unable to clinch the NL Western Division over the weekend they still found a way to have some fun.  Continuing a tradition that goes back several years, the Dodgers dressed up their rookies in ridiculous outfits as they headed out on their roadtrip to San Francisco.  As you can see they used a professional wrestling theme.  In the photo above, tweeted by Alanna Rizzo, are Corey Seager and Scott Schebler.  Check out Sons of Steve Garvey (here and here) for more pics.  Also, David Vassegh shares a selfie with Seager here.  Below is a group photo as they are about to board the plane, via Dodgers on instagram.

BTW, the Dodgers "Magic Number" remains at 2.  With the Dodger playing San Francisco any win will clinch the division.  Below are more links to check out:
  • Brett Anderson channels the ire heard from some fans regarding the rookie hazing event on twitter:
  • Via Mark Saxon at ESPN, "Dodgers eying NLCS for Yasiel Puig's return."
  • Via Ron Cervenka at Think Blue LA,"Dodgers new bullpen motto is working."
    During a recent one-on-one interview with Dodgers bullpen coach Chuck Crim, he shared a little secret about the Dodgers bullpen – his bullpen – they have adopted a new motto.

    “Our motto now in the bullpen is ‘Hey, nobody scores – nobody scores,’” said Crim. “I’ve got Avi (Luis Avilan) to the point where I say ‘Tell it to me… tell it to me.’ When he leaves the pen I’ll tell him ‘Hey man, nobody scores.’ It’s kind of funny but we instill it in their brains, I don’t care if it’s bases loaded and nobody out, nobody scores.”
  • Via Mark Saxon at ESPN, "Brett Anderson says he's interested in returning in 2016."
    "It's been a good fit," Anderson said a few days ago. "It fits my personality here. With [Clayton] Kershaw the top guy, I can just go about my business and kind of pitch in the shadows. It's been gratifying to stay healthy and help win with these guys."
  • Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, "Josh Byrnes reportedly interviews for Angels GM position."

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Blog Kiosk: 9/26/2015 - Dodger Links - AGon, Seager and Rollins

Relaxed, chillin' and just shooting the breeze.

Check out the boys hangin' out in the dugout before yesterday's opening game in Colorado.  With the division championship within reach, they definitely look like they're having fun.

Case in point, during a game where the Dodgers got shelled for seven runs Jimmy Rollins was still able to have a laugh by doing a Bumgarner on Joe West.  He mocked the Giants starter by staring intently into the eyes of the umpire.  Watch a clip of it below via CBS Sports on twitter:

The photo at the very top via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015Go here to see more photo by Jon from yesterday's game.  Below are more links to check out:
"That's over," Mattingly said before Friday's 7-4 loss to the Rockies. "I talked to him in the weight room today."

Mattingly reiterated that removing Kershaw was a game decision and was not motivated by trying to limit innings so Kershaw would be stronger during the playoffs.

"I wasn't trying to shave innings," Mattingly said. "I was trying to win a game, period. I told you that [Thusday]. Clayton's awesome. Clayton's the last of my worries."
  • Via Ron Cervenka at Think Blue LA, "Seager’s leg soreness said to be minor."
    “I just wanted to be cautious [on Friday]. I’m going to need him to play shortstop in this series,” Mattingly said. “He was just heavy-legged the other day and I’d seen him shaking his legs out. It’s one of those things where I just wanted to stay away from [using] him.”

    Although “heavy-legged” is certainly subject to interpretation, Seager gave no indication of any health issues whatsoever when asked how he felt on Thursday afternoon.

    “I feel good,” Seager answered.
  • Via Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times, "Adrian Gonzalez back in Dodgers lineup, wants to stay there for duration."
    While categorizing his back problem as "a nick," the All-Star first baseman acknowledged it's been the source of some discomfort over the last week. A disk in the lower part of his back is pinching a nerve, affecting his left leg.

    "My whole left side — my hamstring, my calf, my quad — everything feels weak and kind of dead, in a sense," he said. "When I'm hitting, I feel like I have no backside. When I'm running, I feel like I can't really push off my left leg."
  • Jared Massey at Dodgers Nation puts together hisDodger Minor League Awards for 2015, "Bellinger, De Leon Receive Top Honors."
  • Check out this Fox Sports Quiz: Which MLB Manager are you?  Apparently, I'm like Bruce Bochy - which makes a little sad and happy at the same time.
  • Ben Henry at the Baseball Card blog made a fantastic 1965 Topps fantasy card featuring Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax.  Check it out here.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

WTF - Trevor Cahill has a Baseball Card as a Dodger in the Heritage High Number Set


I'm scratching my head wondering what was Topps thinking?  The guy never put on Dodger Blue, and didn't look to be very high on the totem pole.

I get that there is a certain amount of lead-time required from when they start planning this set - to when they actually start printing it  - to its release.  Still, there had to be more worthy Dodgers' who should have been considered first.

Just off the top of my head, they should have made a regular issue card for Joc Pederson.  He had to share his card with a Phillies prospect in the March release of the set. For that matter, Carlos Frias and Yimi Garcia could have been considered for the same reason.

Or how about Mike Bolsinger?  He pitched very well for the Dodgers as the 5th starter during the early part of the season.

Chris Hatcher would have also been a good choice.  Although, I'm sure there were some doubts at the Topps offices in New York about whether he'd still be around considering his horrid start to the season.

Heck, I would have been ecstatic if they made a Chin-Hui Tsao card - just because it would have been oddly strange and cool at the same time.

I dunno.  Sometimes the card selection Topps makes just baffles me.

BTW, I'll have pics of the other Dodger cards in this set next week.  So stay tuned.

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Much Ado About Nothing - Kershaw and Mattingly are Fine

Move on... Nothing to See Here... Just go back to what you were doing.

It appears that the Baseball world is yapping about the public argument between Clayton Kershaw and Don Mattingly during yesterday's game, and I can't help but think... So what!

Kershaw is a competitor, and like all competitors he wants to finish every game he starts.  So, to see him question Mattingly's move to remove him after just 80 pitches was something to be expected.  Heck, if he didn't come out lashing I would have been worried.  Via Matthew Moreno at Dodgers Nation:
“I’ve seen him like that before. I’ve talked about it numerous times with different guys. It never bothers me,” Mattingly said. “Those guys are being competitive, wanting to stay in the game. That never bothers me, at all. I have to make that decision. He can not like it. We’ll be able to talk about it later, it’s no big deal. I don’t get offended by what went on today at all.”
Kershaw added, via Steve Bourbon at
"I'm not going to talk about that at all. If you guys want to talk about the game, I'm more than happy to talk about it," Kershaw said.

When asked about his emotions in regards to the argument, Kershaw responded simply: "Do you have a baseball question?"

When asked what people will infer from watching the situation and Kershaw refusing to elaborate, the ace held firm.

"Make it up then, that's fine," Kershaw said. "It's between Donnie and I. No one else needs to know."
This type of thing is just the nature of sports... And sure, Kershaw was less than open about the exchange... But, I wouldn't read too much into it.

This being said, though, if Mattingly were to get the boot at seasons end I would expect all the talking heads to point to this and incidents like this as a major factor - "noting" that there must have been dissension within the ranks.... That he didn't have the respect of the clubhouse... That his decisions, many of which have been criticized in ad nauseam throughout the web, had caused all this.

And all the while I'll be shaking my head.  I believe all of these excuses would be red herring arguments.  At the end of the day, any change in the staff by the front office will be based on their desire to place their final stamp on the team.  Like the recent firings within the minor league staffs (10 and counting), they will be wanting to do the same with the big club.  Considering the recent changes, I think it's inevitable and that the only thing that may save Donnie is a World Series victory.

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2015 Topps Triple Threads - The Dodger Deca Cards and Other Scarcities

Here is my final post on Topps 2015 Triple Threads set.  Featured below are pics and a checklist of all the Deca, All-Star and scarce relic cards.  Go here to check out all of my past post on this set.

The Deca cards below feature ten game-used relic pieces in a large booklet card. The best of the bunch are clearly the multiple player cards that consist of five different panels attached together. 

10th Anniversary Deca Relics

#DR-AG Adrian Gonzalez

Blog Kiosk: 9/25/2015 - Dodger Links - Heisey, Hernandez and Ismael Valdez


Chris Heisey sure did make the most of his opportunities yesterday afternoon.  With the Dodgers still down by a run in the 5th inning he came up to bat with the bases full, and unloaded to deep left for a grand slam.  His homer would give the club a four run cushion and more than enough runs to end the homestand with a victory.  You can watch his home run here.

Considering the roller coaster season he's had it's nice to see him contribute in a big way.  No doubt he's ecstatic that the front office decided to bring him back from Toronto after being released by the Dodgers in mid-August.  Per Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider:
“I had a tough year, up and down, haven’t played like I wanted, but it’s nice to help the team get a win, especially when we need wins to clinch a playoff berth,” Heisey said. “I know Clayton didn’t want to come out of the game. He pitched well, gave up a few runs, but I felt he was in pretty good control. He was a little frustrated coming out, but it was great to get him the win, like I said, and get the team the win.”
Kershaw had this to say about Heisey, via Mark Saxon at ESPN:
“For those guys to step up like that. … Heisey, he’s such a gamer, I love Heis, for him to do that after the kind of year he’s had, it’s unbelievable. I’m thankful, honestly.”
Photo above of Chris Heisey being greeted at home plate by Tuner and Kendrick via @Dodgers on twitterGo here to check out a bunch of great pics from Jon SooHoo and Jill Weisleder from yesterday's game.  BTW, the "Magic Number is now at 3 games.  Below are more links to check out:
  • Via Steve Bourbon at, "Hernandez progressing toward return to Dodgers."
    "Kiké for me, 100 percent, he's going to play this season. Unless he has a setback in these next few days," Mattingly said. "He's been running at full speed -- or really close to it -- three or four times and bounced back and recovered every time."
    Puig, on the other hand, is a work in progress.  He may not be back before the end of the season
    "Yasiel, the most I've seen on a report is 70 percent. He's still having problems running," Mattingly said.
  • There will probably be a bunch of cards like this coming directly from Topps over the coming months.  Available now are limited edition tribute posters that use the vintage 1952 Baseball design of Corey Seager.  They measure 10"x14", are numbered to 99 copies and can be purchased for $29.99.  Check it out here, and a pic is on the right.  The "1 of 1" edition is already sold out.
  • Former Dodger pitcher Ismael Valdez has been busy in his native Mexico working to promote and develop Baseball in the country, via, "Unidos CONADE e Ismael Valdez por el impulso del beisbol."  With CONADE (Mexico's National Commission for Physical Culture and Sport) Valdez spoke with over 50 kids and their parents on the importance of teamwork.
  • I thought this was worth listening to if you hadn't already.  Below, Vin Scully talks a bit about the passing of Baseball legend Yogi Berra.

Video Link:

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax Auravision Records - Listen to the Interviews

I thought I'd add to the growing checklist I've been compiling of vintage Dodger cards by talking a bit about an unusual card set that doubles as a 33 1/3 RPM record.  It is known in the hobby as the 1964 Auravision set.  It was a premium item that were originally available to fans and collectors as a mail-in offer on the boxes of Milk Duds.  There are 16 records/cards available, they measure 6 3/4" x 6 3/4" and feature a five-minute interview conducted by broadcaster Marty Glickman -- who did pre- and post-game shows for the Brooklyn Dodgers for 22 years. 

As you may know, Glickman is famous in his own right.  He was a world class sprinter on the 1936 US Track & Field Olympic team, but was replaced on the US 400-meter relay (along with another athlete) in the last-minute.  The reason for this appears to be rather nefarious.  You see, Glickman is Jewish and so was the other sprinter who was replaced.  With the Olympics being held in Adolph Hitler's Germany that year many believed they were removed in order to not embarrass the antisemitic leader. 

As for the Auravision set, there are two Dodger players in it: Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax.  The Drysdale card is above and the Koufax is below.  Click on any pic to embiggen.

Fortunately, a helpful collector provided a recording of the interviews of the Dodger legends on youtube, so check that out below.

BTW, Sports Collectors Digest shares a fascinating story about these cards.  Check that out here.  Apparently, a former ballplayer has thousands of these hidden away, and he claims to have gotten them from a man connected to the mob.  As veteran collectors know, this set is far from rare.  They are plentiful and can be purchased at very affordable levels.  On eBay you can purchase a Drysdale or Koufax record for as little as $10 a piece.

Here is a recording of both the Koufax and Drysdale records.  A big thanks to Mr. Wide World of Zombies (I love your name) for sharing these.

Video Link:

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2015 Topps Triple Threads - The Dodgers Autograph Triple Relic Cards

Take a look at all of the Dodger triple relic cards below.  Several of them include relic pieces spelled out in creative ways.  I think my favorite of the bunch below is the Nomar Garciaparra card that says, "HBP HBP HBP" - which is strange 'cause he didn't exactly lead the league in that category.  Although, getting plunked 59 times in a 14 year career is a healthy number.  Go here to check out all of my past post on this set.  Click on any pic to embiggen.

Autographed Relics (#/18)

#TTAR-AG1 Adrian Gonzalez

Blog Kiosk: 9/24/2015 - Dodger Links - Scully, Ellis and Chase Utley

Chase Utley had quite a game. 

He got off to a fast start, by leading off for the Dodgers with a home run, and never let let off the gas.  Then drove in the go-ahead run in the 8th inning with a double.  Via Steve Bourbon at
"I'd like to be in the lineup anywhere," Utley said. "Just try to have good at-bats wherever you are in the lineup."
Utley definitely contributed with his play in last night's game, but as Don Mattingly notes he's been an even bigger force in the clubhouse.  Via Mark Saxon at ESPN:
"Chase has made a big difference for us since he came -- his tone, the way he plays, his preparation," Mattingly said. "It's been an addition in attitude and the way you go about your business, for sure. Sometimes, you can't measure everything. You look at batting average or whatever with guys; some of it's coming from different areas that are important to your ball club."
Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015.  You can see more pics from yesterday's game by Jon on his blog here.  BTW, the Dodgers "Magic Number" is now at 5!  Below are more links to check out:
During pregame ceremonies at Wednesday’s game at Dodger Stadium, the Hall of Fame broadcaster was given a surprise presentation by Guinness World Records recognizing him for the longest career as a sports broadcaster for a single team. The record stands at 65 years, 5 months and 22 days, which dates back to April 1, 1950.
  • Want to know what's it like to catch two aces?  AJ Ellis lets us know.  Via Ellis at the Players' Tribune, "Catching Aces."  This is a must read.  Awesome stuff!
On Kershaw: He pulled me aside and said, “Hey, you’re going to catch Clayton in these starts. We want you to work with him, and mentor and shepherd him.”

I was an older guy for that level, already 26. I think that’s what my role was in the Dodgers organization at the time: helping pitchers develop. Coaches trusted the work I did. Clayton didn’t have a slider yet, and they wanted him to develop a changeup, too. I remember he was warming up before his first start, working on that changeup. It was a very inconsistent pitch for him, and he was having trouble throwing it, missing high and away.

On Greinke: I learned quickly what’s important to Zack and not to waste his time with trivial stuff. We have a mutual love for how the game works and how decisions are made. He is interested on an intellectual level in game management and pitch sequencing. He loves the deeper-level analytics and is really involved in our defensive shifting. It’s also a question of reading Zack and knowing when he wants some space and when he’s ready to engage.
  • Rachel Robinson, wife of Jackie, extended her condolences to the Berra Family on facebook:
"My family and I very much mourn the passing of Yogi Berra. We of course admired Yogi’s contribution to the game. And Yogi and his beloved Carmen and I enjoyed a lasting relationship -- often greeting each other through the years with a humorous exchange of “He was out”/ “He was safe” related to that first game of the 1955 World Series. I extend my love and deepest sympathy to Dale, Tim and Larry and their families. Farewell, dear Yogi." 
Exec I most admire: MLB Senior VP/Baseball Operations KIM NG. Being a female minority in a typically male-dominated industry, the fact that she’s been able to be an Assistant GM for two teams and now with the league, I’ve always admired her business and political acumen and being able to navigate all those challenges. She’s been a great source of support for me. 

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    Wednesday, September 23, 2015

    Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Wes Parker and Andy McCue to Discuss LA Dodger History

    Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.


    This isn't quite an autograph appearance, but promises to be so much more.  The Institute for Baseball Studies at Whittier College is presenting a discussion session featuring author Andy McCue and former Dodger first Baseman Wes Parker titled, "The Dodgers Come to Los Angeles: Politics and Pennants in Paradise." 

    No doubt this should be an interesting evening.  The event starts at 7:00PM.  Also the Institute for Baseball Studies will open their doors from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM.  Check out the flyer below for more information, or go to this link.  Admission is free.

    BTW, McCue's book titled "Mover & Shaker" is an absolutely fantastic book.  It's one of the more detailed studies on Walter O'Malley and the Dodgers I've ever read.  I consider it a must read for fans who want to have a better understanding of Dodger history.
    Whittier College, Villalobos Hall
    13507 Earlham Dr.
    Whittier, California

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    2015 Topps Triple Threads - The Dodgers' Unity Cards

    Below are all of the Dodger Unity insert cards found in 2015 Topps Triple Threads.  They feature jumbo sized game-used uniform pieces, and a couple are signed.  Go here to check out all of my past post on this set.

    Unity Single Jumbo Relics (#/36)

    #UJR-AGN Adrian Gonzalez                #UJR-AGO Adrian Gonzalez

    Blog Kiosk: 9/23/2015 - Dodger Links - RIP, Yogi Berra

    RIP, Yogi Berra.

    He was an incredible opponent and an even better person.  Roundly beloved by just about everyone, Yogi Berra will be sorely missed.  For sure, his "Yogism's" will live on forever in folklore - told by one generation to another for the next thousand years or more.

    In honor of him I dug up the above press photo from the 1951 All-Star Game.  It originally comes from eBay.  As you can see, Yogi is sliding home as the ball sails past the bewildered Dodger legend Roy Campanella.

    You should also check out Mark Langill's story at Dodger Insider about the famous steal of home by Jackie Robinson on Berra during the 1955 World Series, here.  Below are more links to check out:
    • Dodger writer Howard Cole shares his fantastic story.  Via Howard Cole at CNN iReport, "A 25-year Transplant Survivor Shares His Story, and His Gratitude for the Gift of Life."
    • Via Ken Gurnick at, "Dodgers hopeful for return to full health." 
    "I definitely would like to play with a full boat, a full complement of players healthy with some type of rhythm and swinging the bat well," (Mattingly) said. "Unfortunately, we've got a few guys banged up, and we're not a lot different than a lot of other teams. We're heading toward 180, 190 games including Spring Training. That's a lot of baseball, and everybody is a little banged up right now."
    After sitting out two games, the 30-year-old underwent an MRI and discussed the results. The MRI showed tendinitis and a bone bruise in his knee. Based on that, Turner believes he will be back in the starting lineup in a couple days. He was happy with what the examination showed. “This was pretty much the best case we could’ve had,” he said. “But, there’s not really a whole lot medicine-wise to speed it up. So, it’s kind of a good-case, bad-case thing.” 
    • I would prefer they not use him in Colorado - if it can be helped.  After all, I see no reason to risk anything now.  Via Mark Saxon at ESPN, "Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen expects to be available to pitch at Coors Field."
    Jansen's history of health scares in Colorado could be a problem considering he is far and away their most effective reliever and the Dodgers are hoping to clinch the NL West title there this weekend to make next week's four-game series in San Francisco an afterthought. Jansen said he will be ready if called upon at Coors.

    "I'm good to go," Jansen said. "It's not an issue for me there any more."
    • ICYMI:  The Dodgers have added Adam Liberatore to the active roster.  Per a Dodger press release:
    Liberatore has gone 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA in 35 games with the Dodgers this year, last appearing on July 20 at Atlanta. After making his big league debut on April 17, Liberatore opened his career with nine consecutive scoreless appearances and, overall, he has limited opposing hitters to a .222 batting average with 26 strikeouts in 26.0 innings in the Majors this year. He did not allow a run in his last five appearances with Oklahoma City, last pitching in a postseason game against Round Rock on Sept. 11, and went 0-1 with three saves and a 3.74 ERA in 19 Triple-A games.
    • I thought I would pass this link on.  For a bunch of great memorabilia photographs from the recent National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago go to the Sports Antique website, here.  There are hundred of great pics to go through.
    • Here is something fun.  Check out a custom made Lego build of Dodger Stadium available for sale at Stadium, here.  It consist of over 2,500 bricks.  

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    Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Chatting with AGon on the Tweet Seat #AGonChat

    In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month Adrian Gonzalez sat behind the computer this afternoon to talk directly with fans on twitter. As you can imagine, he received hundreds of questions, but only had enough time to answer a few.  Check some of my favorite exchanges below.

    BTW, the Dodgers have put together a "Tweet Seat" session with either a player or someone from behind the scenes numerous times over the past three years.  Go here to check out my past post about them.  Previous guest include Farhan Zaidi, Vin Scully and Corey Seager.


    Adrian Gonzalez started promptly by letting us know what his backup plan was had a career in Baseball not work out.   
    Have you ever wondered what's going through his head before a game.  His tweet below provides a small glimpse.

    Topps First Pitch Cards of Jessica Alba and Elle Fanning

    One of my favorite inserts from this season is Topps "First Pitch" set, so imagine my delight when some new cards came to light.  Check out the Jessica Alba and Elle Fanning cards below.

    I ran into these cards while perusing eBay and I'm now scratching my head wondering where the heck they came from.  I now for a fact they have yet to be included into Topps flagship sets, but based on their existence it seems likely they'll be in the upcoming "Update" set coming out next month.

    For the moment, the Alba and Fanning cards are available only as 5"x7" jumbo cards and are limited in number, so they must have come directly from Topps online.  Over the past year Topps has been selling limited edition 5x7 cards to collectors.  Oftentimes, they are larger size versions of cards already found in packs, but sometimes they offer entirely new and unique sets.

    With regards to the "First Pitch" set they recreated the 25 card set found in Topps Series 1 & 2 in 5x7 form, and have them for sale right now (check them out here).  As you know, first pitches featured at Dodger Stadium in Series 1 & 2 include Jeff Bridges, Jermaine Jones, Suzy, Kelsey Grammer and Melissa McCarthy, but no Alba or Fanning.  So, what gives?

    Are these cards a part of that set Topps is currently selling, or was there a second set of cards Topps created that is no longer listed on their website?  Since the checklist provided at Topps doesn't include either of these actors I hesitate to assume they are a part of that set.  If you happen to know where these come from please let me know.

    In the meantime, take a gander at these ladies throwing the ball.

    2015 Topps Heritage Minor League - All the Dodgers Cards

    Here is another new Baseball card set from Topps.  It is a part of their Heritage brand and focuses on minor league prospects.  Go here for a complete checklist.

    Called Topps Heritage Minor League it features the best and brightest young stars in the game.  Both Julio Urias and Corey Seager are included.  Unfortunately, autographed cards of either of them are not available.  As you can see, its design is based on the vintage 1966 Topps Baseball set.  Check out all of the Dodger cards available in packs below.

    Of note is the Corey Seager Base Short Print card.  That Oklahoma City Dodgers uniform he's wearing is sharp looking.

    Base Set

    #1 Julio Urias                                       #9 Jose De Leon

    Blog Kiosk: 9/22/2015 - Dodger Links - Anderson, Jansen and Jaime Jarrin

    Brett Anderson got knocked around pretty good last night.  He went 4.2 innings, giving up ten hits, five runs and two round-trippers.  Anderson struck out only one batter.  It was not his best game and an worrisome loss as we head towards the end of the season.  Hopefully, this is just a minor speed bump.  Per Ken Gurnick at
    "My stuff was fine," he said, rejecting a suggestion that he is fatiguing. "They were swinging early in the count and just hit me. Only a handful of times I feel I just got beat and today was one of those times. They had a good game plan, like they were angry at the baseball or something, hitting rockets. It was just a bad outing. I only have a couple more and I expect to pitch better."

    He also wants to pitch regularly. While management has been trying to give him extra days of rest, especially after he suffered a calf cramp three starts ago, Anderson feels whatever benefit is negated by messing with routine.

    "I would like to be on normal rest to get back in the rhythm," Anderson said. "It's tough, trying to get me extra rest. I'm in uncharted territory with starts and stuff; still, I'd like to get in a normal routine. That's when I was pitching the best, every four or five days and knowing what I'm doing day in and day out."
    Photo of Anderson above via @SportsNet LA on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
    • Dustin Nosler at Dodgers Digest shares his "2015 Dodgers All-Prospect Team."
    • ICYMI: Jaime Jarrin has signed a three-year deal to remain the voice of the Dodgers in Spanish.  He is currently 79-years old and in his 57th year with the franchise.  Per a Dodger press release:
      “I’ve been so blessed,” said Jarrín of his tenure with the Dodgers and his broadcasting career.  “It has been such a special time sharing the broadcasts with our fans and having my son, Jorge, join me in the booth.  I started thinking about the number 60 in my mind this season.  I sat down with the Dodgers and agreed on three more years to get to my 60th year and then we’ll see about the future at that time.  I’m still having a great time and I love what I am doing.  And the Dodgers and our fans have been very supportive.”
    • Kenley Jansen has been fantastic.  Via Owen Watson at Just a Bit Outside, "When one pitch is all you need."
    And so we have Jansen. We know he’s great. He’s been great for a few years now; with his almost sole use of a hard cutter, it’s easy and fun to compare him to a version of Mariano Rivera. With that lofty comparison made, it might not be surprising that he’s putting together a very unique, special season.

    Consider this fact: Jansen went the first month and a half of his season without walking a batter. He was injured for April, but after he debuted in mid-May, he didn’t issue a walk until June 28th. During that time, he struck out 26 batters in 15.2 innings. That’s a mind-boggling mix of dominance and control, and it’s formed the basis of what Jansen has become in 2015.
    • I totally missed this.  Via Jason Foster at the Sporting News, "Dodgers owner Magic Johnson doesn't know what time his team plays."
    • Even though this is the Pittsburgh Pirates enjoying themselves at Dodger Stadium I though I should pass it along.  Via Extra Mustard on Sports Illustrated, "Pirates dressed up like superheroes after beating Dodgers."  There are some fun pictures to enjoy.

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