Tuesday, July 21, 2015

When We Weren't so PC

I always feel a certain sense of astonishment when I look at vintage sports collectibles.

And I'm not talking about holding something that is decades old or the pure historical nature an object may possess - although, there's a bit of that.

It's just that I find it weird how different those times were.

For instance, check out the circa 1940's Brooklyn Dodger pennant above that is currently for sale at Hunt Auctions (auction link here).  It features an old Dodger mascot who I am sure most of you have heard of and seen.  It is of the Dodger "Bum" created originally by newspaper editorial cartoonist Willard Mullin and popularized further by the clown Emmett Kelly in Brooklyn. 

From what I understand, Brooklynites often referred to the Dodger team/players as "their bums" - not because they were despised, but because they had became so loved.  Players were just guys from the neighborhood, so fans took them on as one of their own.  And as you know, when you become family you have to endure a certain amount of ribbing.  Over time the moniker became a cultural icon for the era and city.

Today, a nickname like the "Bums" would receive scorn from every corner of the country - much like what the Redskins football club (and to a lesser extant the Cleveland Indians Chief Wahoo) faces today.  There would be protest and marches.  Editorials would scream about the perceived lack of sensitivity.  And they'd be right. 

I think it's a good thing for people to be involved and to care as much as they seem to.  It's just that I find it amazing.  We had gone from a society that openly, and quite vocally, threw around disparaging remarks like it was going out of style to a world that can be just as vociferous when playing the part of PC police.   

Sometimes I think it's just more of the same... But this time the shoe is on the other foot.  And maybe that's the crux. 

I dunno. 

Fortunately, the Dodgers old nickname is not as controversial, if at all, compared to what Washington or Cleveland fans have to go through.  It would be tough being a fan/collector of either of those clubs.

BTW, this same Hunt Auction includes a very cool 1980 game jersey of Dodger Mickey Hatcher.  See pic below.  It includes an 1980 Dodger Stadium All-Star Game patch.  Check that auction out here.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Blog Kiosk: 7/21/2015 - Dodger Links - Greinke, Greinke and Greinke

A bunch of the boys got together before yesterday's game for a friendly game of dice.  Although, who knows?  Maybe a good-natured wager was placed prior to emergence of the prying eye of Jon's camera.  After all, isn't clear that Scott Van Slyke and JP Howell have a vested interest?  they're staring intently at the dice and Joc Pederson like pit boss' on the look out for a cheat.  Yasiel Puig, on the other hand, can't contain his joy - having wrangled the young rookie with a suckers bet.  Justin Tuner just seems happy to be playing banker. 

Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015Go here to see more photos of yesterday's game from Jon.  Below are some links to check out:
  • Awesome!  GCRL shares a bunch of his pics from the Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.  Take a look at some fan photos from this historic day here.
  • Via Chris Hughes at CSNWahington.com, "Harper on Greinke's historic stretch: 'I don't think he was very tough'"
"I think he was okay. When you're getting five to six inches off of the plate, you better win the game," Harper said. "For me, I don't think he was very tough. He's a great pitcher, he does what he does, but when you're getting six inches off the plate it's pretty tough to face him."
Greinke is one of those constant tinkerers. That’s neither a good thing nor a bad thing. That’s a necessary thing in order to remain successful. The league is always adjusting, and good players always need to be able to adjust right back. Every player is a work in progress, but some of Greinke’s adjustments have been more widely publicized. He’s referred to himself as maybe the most changed player in baseball in the past 10 years. Regardless of whether that’s true, Greinke will openly admit he never feels settled.
“I’m just going to learn as much as I can while I’m here,” said Spitzbarth. “It’s crazy … Jack McDowell is my manager. My dad (Thomas) says he remembers watching him pitch and he’s a nice, down to earth guy … I want to move up the organization slowly and learn as much as I can along the way.”
  • Congrats, Boys!  Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw share National League Co-Players of the Week for July 17-19.  Via a press release:
Fresh off of his first career All-Star Game start, Greinke was dominant on Sunday, tossing 8.0 scoreless innings and fanning 11 while allowing just three hits and one walk in a 5-0 win at Washington. With the 8.0 shutout frames, the right-handed hurler extended his scoreless innings streak to 43.2, marking the longest such streak by a Major League pitcher since Orel Hershiser’s record of 59.0 consecutive shutout innings in 1988.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other pitchers with streaks as long as Greinke’s during the expansion era (since 1961) are Hershiser, Don Drysdale (58.0 innings in 1968) and Bob Gibson (47.0 innings in 1968). With his sixth consecutive scoreless outing (dating back to June 18th), Greinke joined Drysdale and Hershiser as the only pitchers in Major League history to not allow a run in six straight starts (Elias Sports Bureau). With the outing, he improved to 9-2 on the season with a Major League-best 1.30 ERA. This is his first career weekly honor in the NL after winning twice as a member of the Kansas City Royals (last: August 31, 2009).

Kershaw also dazzled in his first start following the Midsummer Classic. The reigning NL Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner tossed 8.0 scoreless innings on Saturday, allowing just three hits and no walks while recording a season-high 14 strikeouts en route to a 4-2 victory at Washington. The southpaw improved to 7-6 on the season with the outing, which was his second consecutive scoreless game with doubledigit strikeouts. On July 8th, he fired a complete-game shutout with 13 strikeouts in a 5-0 win over Philadelphia. Kershaw’s 174 strikeouts are the most in the Majors this year. This is his seventh career NL Player of the Week honor, having won most recently for June 1-7, 2015.

    * Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
    * Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *