Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cards in the Media - Better Call Saul

I guess I should be happy that Baseball card collecting got any publicity at all.  Still, when a collector gets typecast on a popular national television show as an socially inept geek it does make me cringe.

I dunno.  Maybe I'm just sick of that tired old trope... You know what I mean?

Can't we just get past the idea that card collecting is the domain of pimple-faced dorks?

Some of us, I'll have you know, are quite well-adjusted.  Heck, many of us have jobs, even.  And some of us have good enough jobs that they can steal a bunch of pharmaceutical drugs from our employer to sell on the black market - just like Pryce in the recent episodes of "Better Call Saul."

For those who don't know the reference, Baseball card collecting was featured, front and center, during the past two recent episodes of the popular AMC show.  Pryce, who you can see in the screen grab below, had been illicitly selling drugs to a local dealer, and stupidly allowed said dealer to know more about him then he should have.  Soon, his home got ransacked, and along with his money his "Major Collection" of Baseball cards was stolen. 

Below is the state of his living room as the police came in to investigate. 

Frankly, I didn't mind so much that this character was such a dweeb.  After all, he had to be in order to show what a naive moron he is.  What did irk me was how he described his collection and what it eventually looked like when we saw it.

Pryce provided really good details.  The kind of detail that showed that the writers understood the subject matter.

The robbery victim explains that he lost a Topps Mickey Mantle rookie card; which we all know is the 1952 Topps #311 card that often sells in the thousands.  Heck, Pryce even says it's in mint condition - explaining its 60/40 on the front and 90/10 on the reverse (this has to do with centering for those who don't know).  So, this card alone could be six figures in value. 

Clearly, this is the kind of collection that a collector like myself would be proud of.  In fact, it's reasonable to believe that 100% of collectors out there would be sure to protect them behind some sort of plastic case, and if you listened carefully that's exactly what he said he kept them in.  Pryce said he kept them all in "top-loaders."

So, when we do actually get to see his collection guess what they show us?

Yeah, that's right.

They showed us several 2500 count boxes of modern day commons.


Come on, now. 

They just threw me for a loop.  For the remainder of the show, all I could think of was how bogus that scene was.  I just couldn't get over the fact that those card are clearly not what was described.  Heck, where are the top-loaders?


And then I realized... Ya know, I am kind of a dork.  Without the pimples.  Dorky, nerdy and proud!  I guess I am now one step closer to embracing my true self.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Pitchers & Catchers Workout #5

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.

(Kasten and Roberts, pic via Jon SooHoo on twitter)

WIND UP WEDNESDAY: Dodger pitchers and catchers held their fifth and final official workout of Spring Training today, with PFPs, bullpen sessions and batting practice as the club prepares to start their first full-squad workout of 2016 tomorrow.
  • A couple of special guests arrived at Camelback Ranch-Glendale today, including Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten and Dodger Executive Vice President and CMO Lon Rosen.
(Jamey Wright clubhouse intro, pic via Jon SooHoo on the Dodgers twitter)

WRIGHT BACK AT YA: Today, the Dodgers announced the signing of free-agent right-handed pitcher Jamey Wright to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training and he pitched his first official bullpen of the spring. The 19-year Major League veteran returns to Los Angeles after appearing in 127 games (one start) in two stints with the club in 2012 and 2014. Wright ranks first all-time among right-handed pitchers with 64 career pickoffs, while ranking ninth overall. He transitioned to a full-time role in the bullpen in 2008 and has compiled a 3.96 ERA in 494.1 IP since then, which is the seventh most relief innings in the majors in that span. He has posted a 97-130 career record with a 4.81 ERA in 719 games (248 starts) with Colorado (1996-99, 2004-05), Milwaukee (2000-02), St. Louis (2002), Kansas City (2003, 2009), San Francisco (2006), Texas (2007-08), Cleveland (2010), Seattle (2010-11), Tampa Bay (2013) and Los Angeles (2012, 2014).
  • Joining Wright and throwing their third official bullpens of the spring today were Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen, Joe Blanton, Ian Thomas, Chris Hatcher, Luis Avilan, Yimi Garcia, Carlos Frias, Adam Liberatore, Ross Stripling, Matt West, Zach Lee and Chase De Jong.
(Maddux with Anderson, pic via Jake Seiner on twitter)

BRINGING IN THE ARMS: The Dodgers would like to welcome back four-time National League Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux and 2003 National League Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne who were working with the pitchers today during the bullpen sessions. Maddux, who spent two seasons with the Dodgers (2006, 2008) and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014, was hired on February 2 as the special assistant to Dodgers’ President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman, along with Raul IbaƱez. Gagne, who spent eight years with the Dodgers and currently holds the all-time Dodgers’ saves record with 161 saves, will work with pitchers as a special instructor during Spring Training.

GOING TO BAT AGAINST CANCER: Yesterday, Major League Baseball launched the 2016 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, which will recognize one fan per MLB Club who has been affected by breast cancer and has demonstrated a commitment to battling the disease.  Dodger fans, ages 18 and older, can share stories about themselves or loved ones who are “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” by visiting for a chance to be recognized on-field by the Dodgers on Monday, May 9 against the New York Mets at Dodger Stadium. Entries can be submitted by breast cancer survivors, friends and family, advocates and/or supporters of the cause through April 14 at 1:59 p.m. PT. A panel of guest-judges, including Dodger pitcher Scott Kazmir, will help select the winning submissions based on the following criteria: originality, quality of writing, demonstration of commitment to breast cancer awareness and online fan votes.
(Pic via @Dodgers on twitter)

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2016 Topps Spring Fever - All the Dodgers Cards

Spring is in the air as Baseball gets underway in both Arizona and Florida.  Fans from throughout North American are flocking to these locales like birds nesting for the winter.  This time of year also marks the beginning of the Baseball card season.  Topps flagship set is already available in stores, and as an extra incentive they have just released a "Spring Fever" card set to excite the collecting masses.  Featured here are all of the Dodgers' players available.

This promotional set is only available at your local Baseball card shop, and if you didn't already know about it then it might be too late to get any unopened packs.  (You should check your local store for information)  Long story short, Topps sponsored an buyer incentive program for receipt of an redemption card good for an unopened pack of "Spring Fever" cards, and those packs are now available at that same store.  Go here or here for further information and a checklist.

There are three Dodger players in the base set, and only Clayton Kershaw has an autographed insert card available.  Check them all out below (except for the Kershaw auto).

#SF-16 Clayton Kershaw                   #SF-30 Adrian Gonzalez

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Kings and Ducks - Oh My!

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.


After last nights thrilling victory what could be better than an little autograph session that includes the hero of the game.  This afternoon, Wednesday, Feb. 24th from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the STAPLES – Mid Wilshire store will be Andy Andreoff & Luke Schenn signing for fans.  Schenn scored the game-winning goal in yesterdays game.  Autographs are free.  Go here for information.

STAPLES – Mid Wilshire 
5407 Wilshire Blvd. 
Los Angeles, CA. 90036 

Then on Friday Trevor Lewis and Marion Gaborik will be signing autographs at the Wells Fargo – Topanga Village in Woodland Hills on Friday, February 26th from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM.  Go here for information.
Wells Fargo – Topanga Village
6320 Topanga Canyon Road, Suite 1650
Woodland Hills

If your a fan of the that other hockey club then check out Ryan Garbutt & Nate Thompson at OC Sportscards in Anaheim on Saturday, February 27th from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM.  This is a pay event.  Go here for information.  This is a part of the stores "Customer Appreciation Day" event.  There will be drawings, pack wars, group box breaks, raffles and the Ducks autograph signing.  All autographs are $25 each.
The OC Dugout 
1515 S. Sunkist St, Suite G Anaheim, 
CA 92806 
Phone: (714) 761-6414

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Blog Kiosk: 2/24/2016 - Dodgers Links - Urias, Maeda and Corey Seager

The well loved Dodgers skipper Wilbert "Uncle Robbie" Robinson looks as happy as can be.  He is sporting Dodger pinstripes and a fantastic Brooklyn sweater to go along with his robust waist.  It is dated to the tail end of the 1916 season; a year the club won it's first National League pennant in sixteen years.  It is currently available at RMY Auctions.  BTW, the photo was found in the archives of Underwood and Underwood - a well regarded sports press photo shop at the time.

Below are more links to check out:
"My first choice would be to be here with the Dodgers and see if there is an opportunity for me here," Urias said in Spanish. "I prefer to be with the Dodgers. But at the same time, I would enjoy being with the Mexican team."
  • Via Cary Osborne at Dodger Insider, "Eager to go from Seager to Seager."  Cary speaks with Chris Woodward, the Dodgers' new third base coach, about Corey - after having spent so much time with his brother Kyle in Seattle.
“Kyle’s very humble, but he’s got a lot of confidence when he goes up there,” Woodward said. “Some guys are cocky, but then they’re hard to coach because they think they’re good enough. There’s so many dynamics to players, but Kyle was perfect in most ways. He said Corey’s the same way. Kyle said, ‘Corey’s the same way, but he’s better than I am.’ I said, ‘Wait a second. You’re a hundred million-dollar player who’s an All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, and you’re saying he’s better than you? OK.’ He said, ‘I’m not lying.’”
"I know about his fastball command and I've seen evidence of his slider and how devastating his slider can be, but I was impressed with his changeup and his ability to throw that today with the quality of depth he had with it and really command it in the middle of the plate," Ellis said. "We talked for a while afterwards about what an important weapon that can be for him this year."

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