Thursday, October 22, 2015

Vintage Dodger Shot Glasses to Ease the Soul - At ITPC Auction

I could certainly use a little bit of drink in the above shot glasses right now.  Couldn't you?

After excitedly following the Dodgers all season long, I find that what transpired over the past several weeks to be more than deflating.  It was gut-wrenching, demoralizing and just plain awful.  Everything was looking great coming into October then the wheels fell off... The oven cooled... That phone number was suddenly disconnected.

The season ended with a thud, and now I'm left wondering what to make of the future.  Everything will be different next year, and the fear and uncertainty that comes with change will soon envelop everything.

So, I'm sitting here at my desk pondering what I should drink in the above vintage shot glasses that celebrates one of the six championships won by the franchise - 1963 to be exact.

What do you think, folks? 

Whisky, Taquila or Schnapps?

You decide. 

In the meantime, check out the Inside the Park Collectibles Auction where you can find this four-piece set seen above.  It is currently available for sale there.  I am uncertain how exactly these little glasses were originally distributed.  I had previously read that they were sold at Dodger Stadium the following season; which is certainly possible. 

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2015 Topps Update Baseball - The Dodger Variation Cards

Following up on yesterday's post featuring the Dodger base cards found in the 2015 Topps Update set, I now share the numerous variation cards that are available.  Check them all out below.

As you can see, there is one Dodger base photo variation card, two different sparkle cards and three sabermetric statistic cards.  You can see a complete checklist of variations available here.

Base Photo Variations

#US-309 Howie Kendrick
Normal Base                                           Variation Card

And He's Gone - Don Mattingly Decides It's Time to Go

The move that has been speculated about endlessly has finally happened.  After winning his third straight division championship - a first for the franchise - manager Don Mattingly and Dodgers have agreed to part ways.

I can't say that I'm surprised, but I hardly believe it to be warranted.  As I've written about plenty of times before, I like Donnie Baseball, and it seems clear to me that he had the respect of the clubhouse.  That said, maybe change was needed for the team, the new ownership, the front office and its fanbase.  Maybe it is just time.

Certainly, Don Mattingly felt it was time to go.  In a strange turn, it appears this decision to part ways was not initiated by the Dodgers front office.  Instead, according to Ramona Shelbourne at ESPN, it was Donnie who ultimately decided it was time to go.
Mattingly had one year remaining on his contract, and sources indicated to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that the Dodgers offered him an extension this past weekend. But after years of uncertainty about the Dodgers' long-term commitment to him -- Mattingly has worked under two ownership groups and two general managers -- he informed the team earlier this week that he preferred to move on.
So, assuming this is true, it appears it wasn't the front office who pushed for this conclusion.  Heck, they wanted him to stay.  After all, there aren't too many managers out there willing and able to juggle an ever-changing roster the way Mattingly did; while at the same time accepting and implementing the constant input (i.e. demands) of an stat orientated front office.  That's the kind of work a magician does.

Per a Dodgers press release:
Dodger President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, General Manager Farhan Zaidi and Senior Vice-President of Baseball Operations Josh Byrnes met and talked extensively with Mattingly for several days following the conclusion of the season.

“As our end of season process began, we discussed the past year, our future goals, necessary changes, roster needs and other matters relating to next year’s campaign,” said Dodger President, Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. “As the dialogue progressed daily, it evolved to a point where we all agreed that it might be best for both sides to start fresh. We decided to think about it for a couple of days and when we spoke again, we felt comfortable that this was the direction to go. I have the utmost respect for Donnie and thoroughly enjoyed working with him this past season. I want to thank him for his hard work and collaboration, as well as his accomplishments, including three consecutive National League West titles. I wish him nothing but success in the future.” 

“I’m honored and proud to have had the opportunity to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers,” said Mattingly. “I’ve enjoyed my experiences and relationships with the organization’s staff and players throughout my eight years in L.A. After meeting with Andrew, Farhan and Josh, we all felt that a fresh start would be good for both the organization and me. We talked about several scenarios, including my returning in 2016. However, I believe this is the right time and right move for both parties. I’m still very passionate about managing and hope to get the opportunity in the near future. In the meantime, I want to thank the Dodger organization, the city and our fans for the opportunity and wish the club well going forward.”
Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015.

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Blog Kiosk: 10/22/2015 - Dodger Links - Some Odds and Ends

Is it wrong for me to yearn for Spring?  The 2015 Baseball isn't even done yet.  Still, I can't wait for those gates at Camelback Ranch to open up again.  2016 figures on being something entirely new, and potentially exciting.  The Dodgers will be ushering in a new era - complete with a new manager - to go along with its new front office.  I'll have more on Mattingly's departure later on.

In the meantime, check out the above fantastic 1928 ACME press photo from an Brooklyn Dodgers/Robins Spring training camp in Clearwater, Florida.  Featured are Hall of Famers Wilbert Robinson and Dazzy Vance hashing out their plan for the upcoming season.  It is currently available for sale through RMY Auctions.  Check it out here.

Below are more links to check out:
Turner is just one of four Dodger players to OPS 1.300 or higher with a minimum of 15 plate appearances in a series.
  • ICYMI:  The Dodgers pick up some scraps in hopes of finding gold.  They claimed right-handed pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla from the Texas Rangers and placed the 25-year-old on the 60-day disabled list (recovery from April Tommy John surgery).  Per a Dodger press release:
    Bonilla missed the entire 2015 season due to injury after making his Major League debut in 2014 and going 3-0 with a 3.05 ERA in five games (three starts) with the Rangers. In 170 minor league games (43 starts) in six minor league seasons, Bonilla has posted a 27-20 record with 15 saves and a 3.17 ERA, while limiting opponents to a .232 batting average with 489 strikeouts in 429.0 innings. Bonilla, who was honored with a 2012 selection to the Futures Game, was originally signed by the Phillies in 2008 as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic and then traded to Texas in 2012.
  • Now that the minor league season is over, Baseball America takes a look at best and brightest of the 2015 Baseball draft by sharing their "Best Of" list that includes several Dodgers.  Check it out here.  38th Round pick Edwin Drexler was named the second best fastest runner, 11th round pick Imani Abdullah was named the third best late-round pick and 1st rounder Kyle Funkhauser was named the top draftee to get away.
  • Could Baseball return as an Olympic sport?  Via the Australian Baseball Digest, "BASEBALL/SOFTBALL SHORTLISTED FOR TOKYO 2020 OLYMPIC GAMES."
“Reinstatement back into the Olympic Games is an extensive process for the sport, so it is encouraging this evening to receive the news that Baseball/Softball has made it to the next step, and it is credit to the sports global movement”, said Baseball Australia President, David Hynes.

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