Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Navy Photo of Duke Snider at MEARS Auction

What a strapping young lad.

Featured above are several childhood photos of Dodger Hall of Famer Duke Snider that are currently available for sale through MEARS Auction.  Check it out here.

In one of the pics Snider is shown in his Naval uniform.  After spending his first season as a Dodger farmhand at the age of 17, Duke joined the military.  He served for 19 months.  Per an biography at Baseball in Wartime:
"They checked us just enough to make sure we were warm and upright," he explained in his autobiography The Duke of Flatbush, "and a guy handed me some papers I didn't want to know about and screamed 'NAVY!' in my face at the top of his lungs. I was headed for he high seas. I wondered why they took me if they thought I was deaf."

Snider served as a fireman, third class on the  submarine tender USS Sperry at Guam. Snider used to win bets against other sailors and servicemen by throwing a baseball the length of submarines that arrived at Guam, that's about 300 feet. "I'd throw the ball the length of their sub, my crewmates would win $300 or so, and I'd pick up my guarantee - $50," he recalls

“We played lots of baseball and basketball on Guam. Pee Wee Reese was stationed there, too, but I never bumped into him.” Snider moonlighted for the 2nd Marine Division team while on Guam as well as playing for the USS Sperry team.

In between playing baseball, Snider's main duty on the USS Sperry was dishwashing detail. "There was a porthole behind the sink and any time we came across a chipped glass or dish that wouldn't come clean in less than a second we fired the sucker into the Pacific Ocean."
Duke never found himself in combat during his service with the Navy. 

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Turmoil at Time Warner - SportsNet LA is No Closer to Full Coverage

On the television front, the Dodgers appear to be no closer to getting full coverage throughout the Southland.  SportsNet LA is still not being carried, and now we hear that David Rone, the architect and driving force behind TWC's sports RSN business, is leaving the company.  Via Meg James at the LA Times:
Rone will step down at the end of this week, but will serve as a consultant at least through December.

"David has accomplished what he set out to do here at TWC, including successfully launching three regional sports networks," Time Warner Cable spokesman Andrew Fegyveresi said late Monday.

"He feels that with this success, the pending acquisition and a strong bench of talented employees who have worked for him, it would be a good time to start exploring other opportunities," Fegyveresi said.
It's probably best to take everything said above with a grain of salt.  After all, it is widely believed that the SportsNet LA channel is hemorrhaging over $100 Million a year in losses.  Furthermore, the Lakers are playing some of the poorest basketball in their history, so viewership has to be getting hit as a result.  Needless to say, all is not exactly well there.

BTW, along with Rone leaving the channel is also cutting cost:
Time Warner Cable has been cutting expenses and laying off staff members within its El Segundo programming division. Last month, it canceled several programs, including "Dodgers Clubhouse" and "Larry King at Bat."
Worse yet, the newly proposed merger with Charter is now facing some regulatory hurdles.  A couple of weeks ago the National Association of Broadcasters petitioned the FCC to suspend the merger, DISH Network did the same and AT&T (while not opposing the merger) asked the FCC to "review the transaction carefully and consider the impact of cable consolidation and coordination on emerging competition."  

At this point, this merger is still likely to happen, but the potential delays inherent in a transaction of this size is certain to slow SportsNet LA reach into new markets. 

Heck, it could mean a third straight year of no Dodger Baseball in a majority of homes.... And that means that a majority of fans will not be able to enjoy Vin Scully's last year with the team.  This would be the biggest shame of all.

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Blog Kiosk: 10/27/2015 - Dodger Links - Mattingly, Grandal and Zack Greinke

Same as it ever was.

When the game gets out of hand the players can often get a bit short-tempered.  As evidenced by the Associated Press photo above, dated June 5, 1950, we are witness to a melee between the Dodgers and Cubs at Wrigley field.  The Dodgers were well on their way towards an embarrassing rout of the Cubbies when in the fourth inning outfielder Jim Russell took offense at an inside pitch from Chicago hurler Paul Minner.

So, Russell charged the mound.  A shove here... A punch there... Before you knew it a bunch of ballplayers were sprawled on the ground like some schoolkids playing tackle football.

No doubt, cooler heads eventually prevailed.  Russell was out of the game, and the Dodgers went on to score seven more runs to win 13 to 1.  I found the photo above on eBay.  Check that auction out here.

Below are more links to check out:

"We knew there was a chance that we might had to do the labrum. But obviously I didn't want to take longer to come back," Grandal said on Monday. "So I was very happy to hear that the labrum wasn't touched once I woke up from the surgery."
  • Joc Pederson came in fourth in the Sporting News National League Rookie of the Year polling of 167 current players (link here).  Andre Etheir came in fifth in the Sporting News National League Comeback Player of the Year polling of 198 current players (link here).
  • Via Mike Rosenbaum at MLB.com, "Dodgers' Farmer continues hot hitting in AFL."
"I worked hard in the offseason lifting weights and getting my lower half in shape," he said. "I also made a slight adjustment to my swing, and things have just taken off from there."

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