Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Duke Snider's Testy Letter to Buzzie Bavasi

The Dodgers 1956 Tour of Japan appears to be a major theme in SCP's current sports memorabilia auction.  Last week I shared a complete grouping of signed contracts for the tour.  Now that the auction is live I see that they also have an unique personal letter addressed to Dodger GM Buzzie Bavasi from Duke Snider regarding said trip.  And it's not exactly a friendly letter.

From what I understand, Snider received a promise from Bavasi that he be allowed to leave the trip early, but once there was unable to do so.  Obviously, this irked the future Hall of Famer.  Duke decided to put pen to paper, on Hotel New Nagoya letterhead no less, and made his feelings known right then and there.

An interesting little tidbit is found in the second paragraph were Snider mentions that Bavasi himself, Furillo and Maglie are the only smart ones - presumably for not going on the trip in the first place.  I wonder what that's all about. 

Check it out in full below.  You'll notice that I couldn't quite make out a couple of words.
Dear Buzzie -

Received your short but to the point letter the other day and believe me it left me with a real empty feeling.  I wish you hadn't even written the letter.  I don't want to even argue about the matter of my coming home early.  If you can't remember a promise then let's forget about it.  Someday I may promise something and be forgetful too.  I now find that getting home at the ball clubs earliest convenience is the second plane Nov 16.  So be it!

The Japanese people are very nice and the trip is a good one.  But I find the only wise people were you, Furillo and Maglie.

Not much news from here.  Give you family my best wishes -

Your Wandering Outfielder,

BTW, I'll feature more Dodger collectibles from this auction in the coming days.  So stay tuned.
(Auction Link)

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UPDATE! Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Jay Johnstone in Pico Rivera and Orel Hershiser in Phoenix

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.


If you're heading out to Phoenix this coming weekend to catch the series against the Diamondbacks then you might want to check this out.  Former Dodger pitcher Orel Hershiser is scheduled to make an autograph appearance at a Phoenix card show on Saturday, April 11 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM.  Go here for more information.

Baseball Cards $39
Any Other Item $49
Full Size Bats, Jersey, Helmets $69
Inscriptions $10 each - 88 NL Cy Young, 88 NLCS or 95 ALCS MVP, World Series MVP 88, World Champs 88, Gold Glove, etc.
North Phoenix Baptist Church
5757 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85012

The Dodger Sunday party at Iguana's in Pico Rivera begins this coming Sunday, and former Dodger Jay Johnstone will be on hand to sign autographs for fans.  Go here for information.  He will be signing from 1:00 PM top 4:00 PM, admission is free, and autographs and photo ops are free.  Additional autographs are $10.00.
Iguana's Bar
8528 Rosemead Blvd
Pico Rivera, CA 90660

I've just been notified that Tommy Lasorda will be at Matador Field before CSUN Baseball takes on UCSB at 1:00 p.m. in Northridge this coming Saturday, April 11th.  He will be signing copies of his book, "Tommy Lasorda: My Way” by Colin Gunderson. 

Matador Field
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91330
1:00 p.m. – “Tommy Lasorda: My Way” book signing
1:55 p.m. – Pregame ceremony honoring Lasorda and Gunderson
2:00 p.m. – CSUN vs. UCSB

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Blog Kiosk: 4/8/2015 - Dodger Links - Last Nights Spectacle, A Celebrity Photobomb and Ryu's Fantastic Rap (Video)

The Dodger ground crew had a lot on their plate last night as rain clouds swept in to threaten that evenings game.  (Check out a pic of them via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015)  At first it misted, then it drizzled and finally a nice rain fell from the skies.  Fortunately, this is Southern California, so it didn't last long - hence our current drought.  The game got underway, albeit a bit delayed, and we got to enjoy the second game of the season under a chill of dark clouds. 

Zack Greinke was his usual best on the mound - going six innings and allowing only two hits.  If not for a misplay by Carl Crawford in left he would have given up no runs.  Via a Ken Gurnick story at
"I had good command," Greinke said. "I located pretty well. I didn't throw many curves, but the other three pitches were pretty good and I mixed it up."
The defensive problems on the field, however, did not stop with Crawford.  Rollins recorded a couple errors; including a play that resulted in a game-tying score in the seventh inning.  (Watch it here) Frankly, I think that call was iffy.  Having to run back toward short centerfield to make a basket catch on a Texas Leaguer is not a gimme for an infielder.  It should not have been scored an error.

The real crux was an error by Yasmani Grandal in the ninth inning.  On a sacrifice bunt Grandal overran, reached back and threw the bunted ball awkwardly at the base.  It hit the runner and got away from the first baseman.  Soon, with two on and nobody out, the wheels fell off.  Four runs crossed the plate and the Dodgers suddenly found themselves facing the Padres newly acquired ace closer Craig Kimbrel - who struck out the side.

Oy Vey!  Hopefully we won't see many games like this again.  No worries though, with the season so young and long we are bound to have mystifying spectacles like this.  Baseball can be such a fun and aggravating game.

Go here to check out a bunch of great pics from Jon SooHoo from yesterdays game here.  Below are some more links to check out:
“A lot of different factors went into this game, what’s best for the whole situation,” Mattingly said. “Obviously we’re always going to take into consideration what Clayton prefers.”
  • Brad Utterstrom shared several of the original sketch cards he made for the 2015 Gypsy Queen set; including the Clayton Kershaw card on the right.  Go here to check out more from him.  (Hat Tip: Sports Card Info)
  • Ha Ha!  Via Rev Halofan at Halos Heaven, "MLB: Angels Officially Part Dodger Blue. WTF?"  Check out all of the other teams being represented by their colors on the Empire State Building here; including the Dodgers in glorious Dodger Blue.
  • Bob Lemke informs us of a new Jackie Robinson discovery to the Standard Catalog.  He shares a pic of a 1947 Champs Hat premium photo of Robinson.
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu is one fly guy.  He can strike you out with a deceptive change-up and rap/sing like a modern day pop star.  He's just awesome!  Below is a Korean commercial, and it's worth your time to watch.  (Hat Tip: Reddit u/YaketyMax)

    Video Link:

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