Saturday, April 30, 2016

Blog Kiosk: 4/30/2016 - Dodgers Links - Gordon, Goff and Gabe Kapler

Matt Kemp gained some measure of revenge as he belted a go-ahead three-run home run to propel the Padres over the Dodgers last night.  Unfortunately, the Dodgers 5-1 loss came at the expense of an brilliant outing by starter Alex Wood - who went seven innings, struck out nine and allowed just one run. 

If only the Dodgers offense could put some runs on the board.  As it were, they couldn't.  The team floundered, and so it seems that their closed door meeting before the game had not yet set in.  Per Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider:
“You just got to get back to the fundamentals and trying to play clean, crisp baseball and play every pitch,” Roberts said. “I think that there are signs of that. … Whether we’re winning games or not winning games, I still think there’s a process that needs to be in place, and you just don’t want things to get away from you. So right now, it’s kind of hit the reset button a little bit.”

Among other issues, Roberts has the sense that Dodger batters are pressing at the plate.

“You know, it’s funny — I think it’s just guys are trying too hard,” he said. “And you hear it all the time when guys aren’t swinging well, that guys want to do it so bad, it’s a little bit, ‘Try a little less hard.’ Because guys just start swinging the bat, and you start coming out of the strike zone.”
This all strikes me as a minor blip on the road.  This team is too good to disappear into oblivion, and I suspect it'll be something we'll remember as an molehill.

Photo above via SportsNet LA on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1940 Dodgers pitcher James 'Tex' Carleton throws a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds.  It is the teams ninth straight victory to start the season.

Friday, April 29, 2016

2016 Bowman Baseball - All the Dodgers Insert Cards

Now that you've seen the base cards, here is everything else.  Shown below are the various Dodgers inserts and autograph cards that are available.  Note that the Kenta Maeda auto'd cards are available only through a redemption card.

Chrome Prospect Autographs

#CPA-JC Jharel Cotton

Blog Kiosk: 4/29/2016 - Dodgers Links - Outfield Analytics and Dee Gordon is Suspended

Here's a great pic of two old Dodgers, Don Newcombe and Manny Mota.  Photo via @Dodgers on twitter.

As for the game... Well, I don't really wanna talk about it.  Maeda was good until he ran out of gas in the seventh inning.  Pedro Baez couldn't get an out when he needed it.  Heck, the schlub balked in a run.  Then to make matters worse, the Dodgers offense continues to press.  They could only muster three runs in the loss.

Oh well, we get swept by a team managed by our old skipper, and that's got to make him feel pretty good.  Via Ken Gurnick at
"We just got outplayed," manager Dave Roberts said, and not by just any team, but the one managed by his predecessor as Dodgers manager, Don Mattingly. It was the first series sweep in Los Angeles in Marlins history.
Of course, last nights game wasn't the biggest news of the evening.  What really got folks talking was the revelation that Dee Gordon, a man so beloved even after being traded to Miami, has tested positive for PED's and is suspended for 80 games.  Wha...?
To make matters worse, he likely failed testing weeks ago (maybe during spring training) and was in the midst of an appeal that he only dropped right after last nights game.  That certainly adds insult to injury.
He claims that he did not knowingly ingest the illegal substances (per his recent statement), but the damage is done.  He's just a case of another false (failed) hero.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 2005 Eric Gagne, who was on the DL, is suspended and fined for two games.  He had heckled home plate umpire Bill Hohn; in violation of a rule saying that an DL'd player may not take part in any activity during the game.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Congrats, Jared Goff!... Boo, Jared Goff!

Take a look at the #1 pick of the 2016 NFL Draft and presumed quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams.

Yeah, the guy's a Giants fan.

Don't believe me?

Check out some of the stuff he's tweeted in the past.
(Tweet Link)

OK.  Bumgarner's a great pitcher.  You don't need to be a Giants to recognize that.  But, how about this:
(Tweet Link)


He also grabbed a souvenir Baseball at a ballgame between the Giants and Braves - which is pretty cool.  It came from a ground rule double off the bat of Brandon Crawford in May of 2015. (Tweet link here and here)  That's Jared holding the ball while sitting in the bleachers in the pic on the left.

But then there's this classy tweet:
(Tweet Link)

I don't know what to say.

Photo above grabbed from Goff's Instagram.

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

Padres Series Starts Friday - Scheduled Autograph Sessions, Pregame Info and Other Stuff!

The next homestand starts tomorrow against the San Diego Padres, and several former Dodgers are scheduled for an autograph session with fans.  Below are the scheduled autograph opportunities and other odds and ends for this upcoming homestand.

Friday, April 29th at 7:10 PM
RHP Cesar Vargas vs. LHP Alex Wood
SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

Tonight's game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:10 PM.  It is Friday Night Fireworks, so fans will be able to go down onto the field after the game to watch the spectacle.  The evenings fireworks theme will be set to Prince’s greatest hits.

DJ Adam will provide musical entertainment in the right-field plaza and Hair Feathers will be in the left-field plaza from 5:00 PM. to 7:00 PM.  Also, Orel Hershiser will greet fans in the left-field pavilion from 6:40 PM to 7:00 PM (via twitter).

Casting for a Dodgers Superfan

This seems like fun.... So, I figured... Why not post it here.

I received an email just a bit ago, and now I'm sharing it with you.

Liz Lewis Casting is looking for a fanatic Dodger fan for something... What it is exactly, I dunno... Maybe an commercial...  It seems like fun, though.

Check out the flyer they sent me below.

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

2016 Bowman Baseball - The Dodgers Base Cards

Bowman Baseball cards are now official on the market.  This is a prospect driven set, and as you might expect it's filled with some of the best and brightest the Dodgers have in their minor league system.  In fact, the prospect portion of the base set includes a couple players who are getting their first official licensed cards.  They are pitcher Yadier Alvarez and outfielder Starling Heredia.  Check them all out below.  Go here for a complete checklist.

Yadier Alvarez is an 19 year old pitcher from Matanzas, Cuba.  He had signed an $16 million bonus with the Dodgers last year.  Starling Heredia is from the Dominican Republic, and he signed a reported $2.6 million bonus last year, as well.  He was just 16 years old.

Base Set

The Adrian Gonzalez card is a red parallel and the Trayce Thompson is a silver parallel card.

#40 Clayton Kershaw                            #46 Adrian Gonzalez

Blog Kiosk: 4/28/2016 - Dodgers Links - Neutered Dodgers Lose 2 to 0

The Dodgers have just provided an early peak at the 1981 World Series Tri-MVP bobblehead that they'll be giving out on Saturday, July 2nd.  It features Pedro Guerrero, Steve Yeager and Ron Cey.  Go here to see the Dodgers entire promotional schedule.

As for last nights game, the Dodgers got stymied.  Scott Kazmir was solid in his seven innings of work.  He had gotten bitten early in the first inning, allowing four hits that resulted in two early runs.  Then, Kazmir settled down and scattered three hits over the next six.  Per Jack Baer and Joe Frisaro at
"The cutter was good, the fastball command was good," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said about Kazmir. "He started throwing his change later and that was good as well. It was down. He gave us 110 pitches, something like that. He gave us some length tonight, which we needed.
The Dodgers offense, on the other hand, was not good.  They continued to be befuddled by the Marlins.  Per Doug Padilla at ESPN:
“You could see guys pressing a little bit,” manager Dave Roberts said. “You could see some hard contact out there, but when (hits) aren’t falling, you start looking at your last three, four games. Some guys are looking at their average and not getting hits. When I feel like you need to get a hit, it gets tougher. I think guys are coming out of the strike zone a little bit more than they used to.”
All they could muster were two hits, and the only potential rally came on three walks in the eighth inning that could not be cashed in.  With the bases loaded, Yasiel Puig struck out and Adrian Gonzalez flied to right to end their only threat.  The Dodgers went out with a whimper; losing 2-0.  Below are more links to check out:
  • Corey Seager is now on twitter.  Follow him here: @coreyseager_5.  His very first tweet was a photo of socks.  
  • Via Cut4, "Let's watch Corey and Kyle Seager express their sibling rivalry through R.B.I. Baseball 16."  This is awesome.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

It was the 75th Anniversary of the First Organ Appearing at an MLB Game

There's really no rhyme or reason for this post other than to share some information tweeted out by Dodgers organist Dieter Ruehle yesterday afternoon.  It was the 75th anniversary of the day when an organ first appeared at a Major League Baseball game.  This happened on Sunday, April 26, 1941 at Wrigley Field in Chicago in a game between the Cubs and Cardinals.  It is assumed that a gentleman by the name of Roy Nelson maned the keys that day.

As for the Dodgers, their first maestro at the ballpark was Gladys Goodding in 1942.  Since that time there have only been six other organist for the franchise.  Dieter, who became the Dodgers seventh official organ player just this season, helpfully tweeted out a list of all those who had come before him.  See it below:

I also thought I would point to an fantastic paper written by Dr. Matthew Mihalka at University of Arkansas entitled "From Town Hall to “Play Ball!”: The Origins of the Baseball Organ."  (Link Here) It was originally presented at a meeting of the American Musicological Society in 2012.  In it he writes a bit about Gladys Goodding:

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Ceballos, Forsch, Garvey and Shawn Green

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 is a very busy Thursday for autograph collectors.

Blog Kiosk: 4/27/2016 - Dodgers Links - Piazza, Oaks and the Kings Came for a Visit

With the Kings now out of the playoffs (boo!) several of them made their way to Dodger Stadium yesterday afternoon for some batting practice.  Photo above via @Dodgers on twitter: from L to R: Luke Schenn, Tyler Toffoli, Milan Lucic, Matt Greene, Andy Andreoff, Jhonas Enroth and Brayden McNabb.

As for the game last night, it was both  a gem and a stinker.  Clayton Kershaw was his usual self through the first five innings - giving up only one hit and striking out eight Marlins batters.  Then the sixth came around and everything fell apart.  Five consecutive hits, climaxing with an three-run bomb by Giancarlo Stanton, scored five runs, and spelled an end to the ace's unbeaten record this season.  The Dodgers lost the game 6-3.  Via Joe Frisaro and Ken Gurnick at
"That's a tough one to let get away," said Kershaw. "We had a 3-0 lead. My job is to keep it, and I didn't do my job there. Got to do a better job limiting the damage. I obviously missed my spot with Stanton, and that's what he does, makes you pay for stuff like that. And I gave up some two-strike hits. Everything you're not supposed to do, I kind of did that inning."
Below are more links to check out:
  • This day in Dodger History:  In 2004, as a Met, Mike Piazza would tie the all-time mark for career home runs by a catcher at 351 at Dodger Stadium. It was hit against Hideo Nomo.
  • Happy Birthday, Corey Seager!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2016 Onyx Authenticated Platinum Elite - The Lone Dodger Card

Onyx is back with another prospect laden offering.  It is called Onyx Authenticated Platinum Elite and it includes 21 different high-flyers from throughout the game.  The lone Dodger representative in the set is 2014 second-round draft pick Alex Verdugo.  Go here for a complete checklist.  Other top prospects include Dansby Swanson and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 

Like with nearly every card set in existence, there are numerous parallels available.  Below, I only show the basic Verdugo card in the set below.  On the top right is a look at an black parallel to the card.  BTW, every card available is autographed, and there are no logos to be seen.  This is an unlicensed card set.

 #AV-PEA16 Alex Verdugo

Black Limited

#AV-LTD16 Alex Verdugo

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

A Checklist of Tommy Lasorda Cards from his Playing Days

Continuing with my current obsession with cataloging and sharing pics of cards featuring noteworthy Dodger players, below is a Tommy Lasorda listing of collectibles from his playing days.  Of note, I do not include cards from his days as a manager.  Although, I may at a later point do that. 

As always, this may not be entirely complete, so if I missed anything please let me know.

#45 - 1950 Big League Stars (V362) - Blank Back

This cards, measuring 3 1/4" x 2 5/8", was issued by World Wide Gum of Quebec.  They were an subsidiary of Goudey Gum in America.  The 48-card set includes ballplayers from the International League.  Lasorda is the only Hall of Famer in the set.  Also, former Dodger and soon-to-be Hollywood star Chuck Connors is also in the set.

Blog Kiosk: 4/26/2016 - Dodgers Links - Vin Scully, Don Mattingly and Rick Monday's Day

Yesterday's pregame activities included a ceremony celebrating Rick Monday's fantastic save of an American flag on that date in 1976.  Listen to Vin Scully talk about it hereYou can also go here to check out a bunch of photos from the evening.  Per Tracy Ringolsby at
"They were going to put the match to the flag, and it was soaked in lighter fluid," remember Monday. "My attitude was if they don't have it, they can't light it, so I scooped the flag up and kept running. I didn't know if it was on fire or not, but I did know one of the guys was not a [baseball prospect]. He threw the can of lighter fluid at me, but he didn't have a good enough arm to hit me."
Featured above is a photo, via Bill Shaikin on twitter, of Monday and his wife Barbaralee with that flag.

The story about Rick Monday's deed is well known and roundly celebrated throughout the country - as it should be.  What isn't well known, however, is the circumstances surrounding the two protestors who attempted to burn that flag.  In fact, no one really knows much about them, but Vice reporter David Davis does his best to uncover the story.  Unfortunately, we don't really know much more than what we already know (which isn't much):
With their disappearance, with their refusal to address the past, they leave behind questions that seem likely to remain unanswered: What pain and rage led them out on to the field that day, and what did it have to do with that mental institution in Missouri? Why burn an American flag as a method of protest, and why at Dodger Stadium? And, why did a father use his 11-year-old son as an accomplice? In the long silence that followed the moment, there are surely other questions—questions of regret, questions about what it has been like to live with this for 40 years.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 2008 Vin Scully received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Pepperdine University.  He would later give an stirring commencement speech to the graduating Class of Seaver College at Peppederine that you can watch a snippet of here.  Also, during that evenings game in Colorado Brad Penny would hurl an 93-mph fastball that is missed by catcher Russell Martin and knocks out homeplate umpire Kerwin Danley.  He would be stretchered off the field.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Weird Vintage Dodgers Pennant of Sandy Koufax

I'm not much of an pennant collector, but this particular item I saw on eBay over the weekend is just too great to overlook.  Featured here is a unique vintage pennant, measuring just 18", that features Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax. 

As you can see, it's a bit faded and smaller than the typical pennant you can buy in stores today.  What's also unusual about it is that it includes a Koufax postcard that has been embedded within it.  My trusted Sandy Koufax checklist tells me that the postcard is from 1966, so we can date the piece to that season, and that season only.  This was Sandy's last year in the Majors.

I am unsure what something like this would sell for, but based on the current value it is garnering on eBay it must be scarce.  As the time of this posting it is at $52.99 with nearly two days remaining.

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

Cable Merger Getting Over the Hump - Will Charter Sell SportsNet LA to Direct TV?

A major hurdle to the merger between Charter and Time Warner has now been crossed.  Per Diane Bartz at Reuters, "Justice Dept approves Charter’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable with conditions."
The U.S. Justice Department on Monday approved Charter Communications Inc's proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc and Bright House networks, which would create the second-largest broadband provider and third-largest video-provider.

Following the deal, the merged company will be called New Charter. Under terms, New Charter agreed to refrain from telling its content providers that they cannot also sell shows online, the Justice Department said in a statement.
Furthermore, we learned today, via Meg James at the LA Times, that the FCC has recommended approval of the deal.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has recommended approval of Charter Communications' $78-billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, subject to several conditions aimed at increasing the number of homes with high-speed Internet connections.
The other hurdle is the California PUC - who also recommended approval a few weeks ago.  So, it seems likely that it's smooth sailing for the marriage.

As I've written before, once the merger closes I suspect we'll see some real movement to expand coverage of SportsNet LA, but there is one thing I didn't see coming.  Per a tweet by LA Times sports reporter Bill Shaikin, Charter might look to sell SportsNet LA to Direct TV:
I don't know if this is mere speculation or a rumor that is finally coming to light, but it is something I never considered.

As you may know, Direct TV, through its parent company AT&T, already directly controls several Regional Sports Networks (RSN).  Teams already under the finger of the company include the Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies and the Houston Astros.  So, adding the Dodgers could be a natural fit.  Unfortunately, several things might have to happen for this to come to fruition - like a bankruptcy filing. Although, maybe a discounted sale price to Direct TV is already fixed into the merger value, so Charter might not need to go through that process.  On the other hand, I think it's clear that the size of the contract the Dodgers received is way too high (as evidenced by a FanGraphs story today), and some renegotiation will be necessary.  Hence, a forced renegotiation of that contract through the bankruptcy courts.

Either way, the next few months should be interesting for Dodgers fans.  We will likely know very soon if we will all get the Dodgers on all our television sets before the end of the season.

UPDATE:  It has come to my attention that SportsNet LA isn't actually owned by Time Warner.  In fact, it's owned by the Dodgers under a company they formed called American Media Productions (press release here).
The Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group created American Media Productions, LLC (AMP) in December 2012 to launch a new Los Angeles Dodgers regional sports network. Today, AMP announced its plans for SportsNet LA, the new regional television home for the Los ngeles Dodgers beginning with the 2014 Major League Baseball season. In addition to being the exclusive local home for all of the Dodger games, SportsNet LA will provide comprehensive behind-the-scenes Dodger programming, featuring more insights, analysis and commentary about the team than ever available before.
Time Warner Cable (TWC) has agreed to be SportsNet LA’s charter distributor, and will carry the new network for its customers throughout Southern California and Hawaii under a long-term affiliation deal. In addition, in return for agreeing to make payments over the life of the deal, TWC will be the exclusive advertising and affiliate sales agent for the new network and will have certain branding and programing rights with respect to the network. TWC will also provide certain non-game production and technical services to AMP.
So, what Time Warner would be selling, if that's the route they choose to go, is the right to be the distributor of the network and the sales agent for advertising on the channel. 

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

Blog Kiosk: 4/25/2016 - Dodgers Links - Puig, Scully and Don Mattingley's Return

No doubt Yasiel Puig is having fun again after a tumultuous season last year.  After Saturdays victory against the Rockies he somehow found himself standing among a throng of teens in formal wear.  It is prom season in America and Puig, obviously curios about the occasion, joined the revelry had by the student of ChatfieldHigh School of Littleton, Colorado.  He had the crashed the party and fortunately shared a couple pics on twitter for us to enjoy.

Featured above some of the kids with Puig in the middle (twitter link here).  Below, he poses with members of the high school Baseball team (twitter link here).

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  On this day in 1976 Rick Monday saved the American flag from a couple of protesters in the outfield at Dodger Stadium.  The incident was immortalized in the photo seen on the right.
  • Happy Birthday, JP Howell!
  • Via Jacob Unruh at News OK, "OKC Dodgers: Herges talks talented pitching staff."

Sunday, April 24, 2016

2016 Topps Now - Kenta Maeda #35 - Makes History: 1 Earned Run in First 20 IP

What else can be said that already hasn't about Kenta Maeda?

So, instead of words Topps decided to offer another 2016 Topps Now card to highlight his achievements so far. A couple weeks ago they created their first Maeda Topps Now card, and now they have a second.  Check out pics of the front and the reverse of card #35 featuring Kenta making history in this post.  Since 1913 there have been 76 pitchers to start their MLB careers with four straight quality starts, but the Japanese star is the only one to have allowed just a single earned run during that stretch.  Go here to order.  You only have until tomorrow morning to add it to your collection.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Marlins Series Starts on Monday - Autograph Appearances, Pregame Info and Other Stuff!

The next homestand starts on Monday against the Miami Marlins.   Below are some odds and ends for this upcoming homestand. 

The Miami Cuban Dog will be available for this homestand at the Extreme Loaded Dog concession areas located on the field, loge and reserve levels. It features a quarter-pound, all-beef hot dog topped with smoked ham, pulled roasted pork, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard and pickle chips.

I will update this post with more information should it arrive.  So, be sure to check back.

The second 2016 issue of the new Dodger Insider magazine, featuring Justin Turner on the cover (see on right), will be available at Dodger Stadium. Beginning this year, the Dodgers merged their previously separate Playbill and Dodger Insider magazines into one publication (at least 80 pages per issue) with a new edition available each homestand and one in October, 13 issues total. It will be distributed at auto gates (one per vehicle) and via Fan Services for those who use alternate transportation. 

Monday, April 25th at 7:10 PM
 RHP Wei-Yin Chen vs. RHP Ross Stripling
SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

Monday's game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:10 PM.  The first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a Clayton Kershaw bobblehead.  See it on the left.

Dodger broadcaster Rick Monday will throw the ceremonial first pitch. It is the 40th anniversary of the iconic moment on April 25, 1976 at Dodger Stadium in which Monday, then a member of the Chicago Cubs, rescued an American flag that was about to be burned on the center field grass by protestors. Monday will have the flag from this day with him for pregame ceremonies. Kevin Massey will perform the national anthem. Massey is currently starring in the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” at the Ahmanson Theatre.

Blog Kiosk: 4/23/2016 - Dodgers Links - Puig's Magnificent Throw

Yasiel Puig's throw to nail Trevor Story at third base yesterday was so shocking these fans forgot how to spell his name, (watch it here if you haven't seen it yet) but the Cuban sensation had a different explanation for the flub.  He wrote on twitter:
What happened, guys? Too much cerveza? Hahaha I love my fans
As for the throw, Puig had this to say.  Via Ken Gurnick at
"If I can't do it with my bat and I can't do it with my glove, I'll do it with my arm," said Puig. "I have to do something to help my team. I just try to throw to the base and my teammates do the rest."
Photo above via Puig on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1958 Gil Hodges hit his 300th career home run and Pee Wee Reese played his 2000th career game. Also, in 1999 Cardinal third baseman Fernando Tatis hit two grand slams in the same game in one inning against the Dodgers - the first and only player to do it.  He hit both grand slams against Chan Ho Park.
  • YouTube: Get inspired listening to Steve Sax on Conrad's Corner.  (Link Here)

Friday, April 22, 2016

An Invitation Game to Circumvent Blue Laws - Let's Play Some Sunday Baseball

Once upon a time it was illegal to have any fun on Sundays.  It was the day of prayer and reverence, and folks throughout America were required to abstain from leisurely activity.  This even included a restriction on professional Baseball teams playing a game on that day. 

How crazy is that, right?

It's hard to imagine a Sunday afternoon in the middle of summer without Baseball.  They go hand in hand, and I dare say that if not for the melding of the two it would be that much harder to get up the next day for the start of the work week.  I think that we as a country and culture need Sunday Baseball, and from what I understand Baseball owners needed it too.

A Duke Snider Fantasy Card on Canvas

This is gorgeous.

Painted by noted sports artist Arthur K. Miller, featured above is a Duke Snider "Card that Never Was" showing him on a 1948 Leaf Baseball card design.  It is currently on auction at Heritage (Auction Link Here).

Duke Snider had spent a few months in Brooklyn in 1947, and if the card hobby was anything like what we have today he would have an Baseball card to call his own the following year.  Heck, collectors would have had some cardboard gold to put in their album when he first signed with the franchise.  As it were, fans had to wait another year for Bowman to put him in their 1949 set.

Since Leaf missed their opportunity to include the future Hall of Famer into their set Arthur K. Miller decided to do it for them.  Now if only I had enough scratch to put this on my wall.

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

Blog Kiosk: 4/22/2016 - Dodgers Links - Grandal, Kershaw and Joc Pederson

Yasmani Grandal is smokin' hot... Like, he's hittin' with the kind of magnificence we expect of a Roy Hobbs.

Yesterday afternoon Grandal came off the bench and proved to be a difference maker at the plate.  Having spelled Ellis in the 8th inning, he walked in his first at-bat.  It was in extra innings, though, where his presence was felt.  In the 10th inning and the game deadlocked at one run apiece, Yasmani slammed a double to deep left centerfield to drive in Hernandez (watch it here), who had singled just before.  Then, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen quickly shut to door in the bottom half of the inning to secure a 2-1 victory over Atlanta.

Since coming off the DL, Yasmani Grandal has been slashing an incredible .438/.609/.688/1.296.  In just 23 plate appearances he has tied the team lead in doubles (four) and walks (seven).  Watch him talk about this past game with Alanna Rizzo, here.  Pic above via Dodgers Blue on twitter.

BTW, Kershaw was far from being his best on the mound yesterday.  In eight innings of work he gave up ten hits and had to scramble quite a bit.  Still, he only gave up a single run to keep the Dodgers in the game.  Per Doug Padilla at ESPN:
“Weird day,” Kershaw said. “You give up a bunch of runs and give up 10 hits, you say you got shelled. You don’t give up a bunch of runs and you give up 10 hits, you scattered it, as they say. It was just a weird deal. Five hits in the first two innings, you just turn the page after that. You really look at it as two games almost.”
Go here to watch some highlights of him on the mound.  Also, Clayton commented about that weird pitch from the 4th inning that you can see below.  Here are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  Today is the 69th anniversary of the infamous game where Phillies manager Ben Chapman and his team hurled racist epitaphs at Jackie Robinson during the game - causing quite an uproar throughout the nation.  Chapman would eventually be forced to take the infamous photo on the right soon thereafter.
  • Happy Birthday, Dee Gordon!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Corey Seager's First Public Signing Coming in June

I don't normally make note of an autograph signing that is over month away, but I figured it'd be prudent to point this out.

Dodgers rookie Corey Seager is scheduled to have his first public autograph signing on Sunday, June 5th at Manuel's Original El Tepeyac Cafe in the City of Industry.  It is tentatively scheduled at 6:00 PM to 7:30PM, but is subject to change (likely based on when that afternoon's game ends).  Go here for information.  Ticket prices range from $99 to $199, and only 250 total tickets will be sold. Corey Seager is appearing c/o of Fanatics Authentic.
Manuel's Original El Tepeyac Cafe
13131 Crossroads Pkwy S
City of Industry, CA 91746

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

A Duke Snider Report from the Trenches of the Minor Leagues

After retiring from the game in 1964 Duke Snider rejoined the Dodgers franchise as a scout and manager in the minor leagues.  Tasked with leading the Class-A Tri-City Atoms of Pasco (but playing in Kennewick), Washington in 1966, he shares his utter dismay at the state of affairs with Dodgers GM Buzzie Bavasi in an letter featured in this post.  It is currently for sale through Heritage Auction.

In the letter Duke sends along his thoughts about a couple high-flying prospects he has and provides a report on the happenings at the clubs Class-AAA team in Spokane.

2016 Topps Museum Collection - The Dodgers Autograph Cards

Here's a final look at Topps 2016 Museum Baseball card set.  Below are most of the Dodgers autographed cards; with exception of many of the scarcer issues. Go here to check out all of my previous post on this set.

Archival Autographs

#AA-CK Clayton Kershaw                   #AA-CS Corey Seager

Blog Kiosk: 4/21/2016 - Dodgers Links - Maeda and Chase Utley

The old man can still play.

At 37 years of age, Chase Utley is proving that this dog still has some jump in his step.  He sparked a Dodger team by making key plays on the field and scoring the go ahead run in the 10th inning after singling and stealing second base to put him in scoring position.  Per Jon Cooper at
"George made us all aware that [Grilli] can be slow at times," Utley said. "That first pitch, he was pretty slow to the plate, and we took advantage of it."

Utley not only swiped the base, but he changed the tone of the inning. The former Braves closer walked the ensuing hitter, Corey Seager, on four pitches, and then he give up an RBI double to Justin Turner.

"It was huge," said Roberts, a prolific basestealer during his career. "Now Grilli's got to pitch Corey Seager really carefully, and then J.T. gets the double, and we just kept the line moving. So that stolen base changed the inning completely."
And the catalyst for all that was the man expected to play a backup role this year.  Instead, Utley has slashed .306/.370/.408/.779, and forced himself onto the everyday lineup.  Pic above via SportsNet LA on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History:  On this day in in 1967 the Dodgers experienced their very first rain out at Dodger Stadium against the Cardinals.  It snapped an 737 games streak of consecutive games at home.
  • Happy Birthday to Joc Pederson and Jesse Orosco!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Herschiser Error Highlights Topps Newest Jumbo Wall Art Cards

The 1987 Topps Baseball card design has always elicited mixed emotions with me.  When I first saw the set as a teen I hated the design.  It reminded me of the family wood-sided station-wagon we used to take on long arduous road trips.  With the passage of time, however, I've gained an appreciation for it.

Today, it is quirky and nostalgic.  Almost thirty years later I think fondly of not only ripping open pack after pack of this product, but also of those family jaunts to far off places.  They are memories that I cherish today, and to see the set come back as an tribute with current Dodgers makes me smile.

Featured here are pics of the complete ten card 1987 Tribute set release by Topps, and it is available online as either an 5" x 7" complete set or individually as much larger sized wall art.  Go here to take a look.

Of special note is the Orel Hershiser card - the only former Dodger in the set.  As you can see in the screengrab above, Topps messed up.  They have misspelled Orel's last name - adding a "c" where is doesn't belong.

I wonder if the printed cards contain this error.  I figure the pic in the Topps listing online is a digital representation of the set, so there's no guarantee that this is actually what you'll get.  What I do know, though, is that these cards are ready to ship within three to five days, so it's likely that they've already been printed.  Like many cards made in the 80's I suspect this will be an uncorrected error.

UPDATE:  I sent along this post to Topps and they have just informed me that the cards have yet to be printed, so they'll be making the appropriate changes.  Oh well, I was looking forward to seeing the error.

Now check out pics of the entire set below.