Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Welcome to the Blue, John Axford!

We all knew the Dodgers were looking to add a reliever. We just didn't expect it to be John Axford. As you likely know by now, in addition to the trade deadline deal that brought us Brian Dozer earlier today, we are also adding right-handed reliever John Axford from Toronto. In exchange we sent the Blue Jays a right-handed prospect named Corey Cropping.

Welcome to the Blue, Brian Dozier!

Here's a deadline deal no one expected.

At long last the Dodgers have gotten the infielder many fans had wished for a couple of years back. Unfortunately, he doesn't quite have the stock value he had back then. Today, he's an under-performing player who has a track record that suggest he could turn things around. Announced this afternoon is a trade that sends our second baseman Logan "Logie Bear" Forsythe, minor leaguers Luke Raley and Devin Smeltzer to the Twins for second baseman Brian Dozier.

Blog Kiosk: 7/31/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Last night's power outage hit both the Dodgers and Dodger Stadium. Per Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
"I haven't seen that one," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts after the game. "They got it resolved quick enough. It was pretty weird."
As for the game, the Dodgers could only round up five hits to score only two -- losing to the Brewers 5-2. At least we fans got to witness Machado's first home run at Dodger Stadium. Per Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider.
Machado gave the fans that stayed something to remember the night by with his ninth-inning homer, but that didn’t make him content in a 5–2 defeat. 
“I should’ve hit that a couple innings before,” Machado said. “I had runners in scoring position, got to tie the game up…we’re here to win games.”
The above pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2018 at Dodger Insider. Below are more links to check out:

Monday, July 30, 2018

2018 Topps Now -- #514 -- Kershaw's Remarkable Friday

Clayton Kershaw may not have the bat of a Shohei Ohtani, but he sure did show off a batting prowess unparalleled in todays modern game.

This past Friday Clayton Kershaw took the mound against the Braves and proceeded to puzzle Braves bats to the tune of eight strikeout and zero walks. At the same time, Kershaw also punished the opposing team with his bat  -- knocking in two runs with a single in the fourth inning and recording three walks. Per Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
"I was super late and got fortunate," said Kershaw. "Folty's throwing 100 mph, it seemed like. I just happened to stick my bat out there and got lucky. On the walks, it's not easy for relievers to face pitchers. They're not used to it."

Blog Kiosk: 7/30/2018 - Dodgers Links - Buy a #KCancer T-Shirt!

Over the weekend the Dodgers were witness to some lunacy. The hometown teams announcers complained about the Dodgers' pregame batting practice attire (see pic above via Sara Morton/MLB.com at Dodger Insider). Per Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider:
Joe Simpson: But if I were a Dodgers fan, I’d be embarrassed. And I don’t know how Major League Baseball allows such attire when the gates are open and the fans are watching. Chase Utley, I have nothing but respect for him, his whole career, thinking he’s a great player and I thought he always played the game the right way. That was an embarrassment what he had on today during practice.
So, he's angry that some of the players wore #KCancer t-shirts? Are you kidding me? BTW, you can purchase your own t's here. The sale of this t-shirt will benefit  San Juan Children’s Hospital and the Jason Motte FoundationBelow are more links to check out:

Brewers Series Starts on Monday - Stadium Giveaways, Pregame Info and Other Stuff!

The next homestand starts on Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Below are some odds and ends for this upcoming homestand; including autograph guest. Here are some important links:

Monday, July 30th at 7:10 PM
Kenta Maeda vs Freddy Peralta
TV: ESPN (out-of-market only), SportsNet LA, SNLA Spanish
Radio: AM 570 LA Sports, KTNQ 1020

Friday, July 27, 2018

I've Got a Andre Man Crush - New Custom Fantasy Cards

In advance of Andre Ethier's retirement ceremony next week I thought I'd share a bunch of new custom fantasy baseball cards I recently put together.

Blog Kiosk: 7/27/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Let's hope that Rich Hill is now back to his ol' self again after making some adjustments. Last night he hurled a three-hitter over seven scoreless innings against the Braves to win, 8-2. Per Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
"The changes were very minuscule, but huge overall," he said. "Looking back on it, absolutely, it was a good thing. Tonight was a good night. The ball came out really well, and I'm looking forward to continuing that. That's what the bullpen and the work are for in between starts, to keep that feel and make sure you stick with the mechanical changes we made and don't veer off." 
Hill said he dropped down sidearm more than usual on Thursday night with great success, helping to continue his career dominance over the Braves. He's 5-0 with a 1.74 ERA in nine games (seven starts) against them. This was his first start in Georgia since 2007.
Photo above of Rich Hill and Joc Pederson via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2018 at Dodger Insider. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1890 the Brooklyn Gladiators (the ballclub that replaced our beloved Brooklyn Bridgegrooms -- who had jumped to the National League) of the American Association found themselves with an 13-8 lead going into the eighth inning against the Columbus Salons when they ran out of baseballs to use. Brooklyn, since they were the home team, were forced to forfeit the game. This club would disband before the season ends. In 1918 Robins (Dodgers) starter Harry Heitman, in his major league debut, gave up four consecutive hits (all of whom eventually scored) and is then pulled for a reliever. He would never pitch in the majors again -- effectively ending his career with a career ERA of infinity. 
  • Happy Birthday, Charlie RobinsonJack DoscherZach TaylorJim FaulknerLeo DurocherBill SaylesTom Goodwin & Shea Hillenbrand!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Babe at the World's Fair Parade -- Just Prior to Becoming a Dodger Coach

I thought this would be a fun photo to share today. Featured above is a 1938 Underwood & Underwood press photo of the soon-to-be Dodger coach Babe Ruth that will soon be available through Memory Lane. He stands aboard a motorcade parade float promoting the New York World's Fair that will open the following year. (Auction Link)

Blog Kiosk: 7/26/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Ugh... I don't like losing. Per Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
"They beat us," said Roberts. "We got beat this series. I don't think we laid down. They got the big hits when they needed to. That's the difference in this series."
Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2018 at Dodger Insider. Below are more links to check out:

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Weekend Autograph Opportunity: Ferrara, Guerrero and Marshall

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.


Blog Kiosk: 7/25/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

I never thought we'd see this day. Last night, after 15 1/2 innings of grueling play, the Dodgers were left with only one option on the mound. Kiké Hernández would have to pitch.

The event was both glorious and sad. Kiké had often talked about this day coming, but I don't think he ever thought it would.

Clearly, he should have known better because he was woefully unprepared for the spotlight. Kiké looked like a deer staring down the largest damn lion he'd ever seen. Per Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
"Has anybody else gone 0-for-7 and given up a walk-off home run?" asked Hernandez, who had always hoped to add pitching to his laundry list of assignments, but never imagined it would turn out like this.
"I was thinking about my AB [popped out in the 16th] on the mound," he said. "Thinking we had another game in 11 hours and how I was 0-for-7. And this was my time to redeem myself and I didn't."
He got rocked by a walk-off three-run homer to take the loss, 7-4. Photo above of Kiké Hernández via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2018 at Dodger Insider. Below are more links to check out:

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Check Out Some Historic Dodgers Memorabilia at Lelands

Lelands 2018 Invitational auction is now open and hidden within its catalog are numerous Dodger items that I thought worth sharing here.

For instance, check out this watch.

2018 Topps Now - #490 - Phillies Legend Chase Utley Received Standing O

Chase Utley, known as "The Man" in Philadelphia or "Dad" to Los Angeles, received the greeting you'd expect from thankful fans. Last night the Phillies faithful stood and thanked their former field general with numerous standing ovations, and I have no doubt Chase appreciated the gesture. Per Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider:
“I’ve had so much support over the years, and there’s a lot of different tools that kind of help guys perform at this level,” Utley said at his initial retirement announcement. “One of those tools, in my opinion, was confidence. Philadelphia fans really brought that confidence out of me, regardless if I was 0-for-4 or 4-for-4. They were always cheering for me. They were always supporting me. That, to me, in my opinion, has really helped me become a better player.”

Blog Kiosk: 7/24/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

The Ultey retirement tour is in full swing. Per Todd Zolecki at MLB.com:
"I thought it was important to let the Philadelphia Phillies fans know that this is going to be the last time that I'm going to have the chance to play in this ballpark," Utley said Monday afternoon. "Whether I was going to continue to play another few years or not, this city was an experience that I'll never forget. Obviously, we had some great success here and the way this city supported this team over those years is pretty remarkable. I've said this a number of times over the years, but fans in this city really elevated our game and made us focus a little bit more. It added a little bit of intensity and adrenaline. In my opinion, those are things that can make a team better."
BTW, the Dodgers eked out a victory last night in Philadephia, 7-6, by smashing four homers and rallying in the ninth. Pic above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2018 at Dodger Insider. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1931 Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) outfielder Babe Herman hit for the cycle against the the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1939 the Brooklyn Dodgers selected Dixie Walker off waivers from the Detroit Tigers. He would go on to play nine season in Brooklyn; slashing .311/.386/.441/.827 for the Dodgers. In 1967 former Dodgers President Branch Rickey is posthumously inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1993 Mets outfielder Vince Coleman tossed a M-80 firecracker from his car as he was leaving the Dodger Stadium parking area. It is reported that three people are injured; including an 11-year old boy and a two-year old girl. Coleman eventually pleads guilty to one misdemeanor count of unlawful possession of an explosive device and is sentenced to 200 hours of community service. The incident, along with many others, leads the Mets to announced a month later that he would never play for the team again.
  • Happy BirthdayTommy McCarthyJoe WallJoe SchultzPreston WardNorihiro Nakamura & Scott Van Slyke!

Monday, July 23, 2018

2018 Allen & Ginter - Dodgers' Autographs, Relics and RIP Cards

Here's a final look at the Dodgers cards found in packs of 2018 Allen & Ginter. Featured below are all the autographed, game-used relic pieces and RIP cards (including a listing of Dodgers' mini exclusive cards found on in RIP's).

Framed Mini Non-Baseball Autographs

#MA-CP Champ Pederson

Blog Kiosk: 7/23/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

In honor of Pee Wee Reese' 100th Birthday today I thought I'd put up this fantastic portrait of him as an aspiring 21-year old infielder. This photo recently sold at RMY Auctions at $59.35. Per the description on the reverse:
Harold (Pee Wee) Reese, infielder brought up from Louisville who is expected to fill the shortstop position should manager Le Durocher stay on the bench, pictured at the Brooklyn Dodgers' Spring Training camp.
Below are more links to check out:

Saturday, July 21, 2018

2018 Topps Now - #476 - Manny Machado's First Dodgers Card

Here's a look at Manny Machado's first baseball cards as a Dodger. It is being issued by Topps Now in celebration of his debut in Blue on Friday in Milwaukee. Per Stephen Cohn at MLB.com:
"It was awesome," Machado said. "It was amazing to go out there and put on that uniform. Just happy to be here with these guys: a great group, great team, great leadership."

Friday, July 20, 2018

2018 Donruss Optic - All the Dodgers Cards

Panini America released their newest Baseball card set this week and I have pics of most of the Dodgers' cards found within packs. Go here for a complete checklist.

Overall, this is an extremely disappointing set. The images for the base cards are exact carbon copies of their 2018 Donruss set; with the exception being the two Rated Rookie players -Walker Buehler and Alex Verdugo. All they did was slap a different card design on the same pics. You can compare here. There are also a few insert cards that are exact copies from the Donruss set -- Longball Leaders, Mound Marvels and Out of This World. All they did was change the Donruss logo to an Optic logo.

Check out all the cards below.

Diamond Kings

#14 Clayton Kershaw

Blog Kiosk: 7/20/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

When Manny met Vinny.

BTW, Manny will wear #8 as a Dodger. Also, it appears that Andrew Toles will be sent down to Triple-A to make room for Machado (via a tweet from Ken Gurnick).

Photo above via @Dodgers on twitter. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1906 Brooklyn Superbas (Dodgers) pitcher Mal Eason no-hit the Cardinals in St. Louis, 2-0. In 1925 future Hall of Famer and Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Dazzy Vance struck out 17 Cubs to defeat Chicago 4-3 in 10 innings. In 1970 Dodger hurler Bill Singer no hit the Phillies at Dodger Stadium, 5-0. Singer struck out ten, walked none and committed two errors on the field.
  • Happy Birthday, Heinie ManushClaude Crocker & Charles Johnson!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

2018 Allen & Ginter - Dodgers Insert Cards

Now that you've seen the base cards here are some of the inserts. Featured are the Superstitions, Fantasy Goldmine, World Talent, Artist Originals and Box Loader Dodger cards found in packs of 2018 Allen & Ginter.

Of the grouping below I like the Kershaw Superstitions card the best. Although, what he's doing on the card isn't any sort of superstition -- it's a routine centered on keeping his arm healthy.


#MBS-10 Between-Inning Routine (Kershaw)

Blog Kiosk: 7/19/2019 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

You know the story about how Branch Rickey asked Jackie Robinson to hold his tongue when he joined the Dodgers and at the same time promised that those reigns would be let loose a few years later? Well, above is a 1949 Wide World Photos press photograph, that recently sold at RMY Auctions, showing Jackie Robinson free from those restrictions. Per the descriptor on the reverse:
Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers second baseman, is restrained by coach Clyde Sukeforth (15) during verbal tiff in ninth inning of first game of afternoon-night doubleheader with Cardinals today. Robinson returned to second base and ejected a short time later by umpire Bill Stewart for making a significant gesture. Umpire at right is Dusty Boggoss. Second from left is Cards catcher, Joe Gargiola and behind him is coach Tony Kaufman. 9/21/1949
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1977 Don Sutton took home All-Star Game MVP honors when the NL defeated the AL 7-5 at Yankee Stadium. As the starting pitcher, Sutton pitched three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, one walk and struk out four. Fellow teammate Steve Garvey hit a third inning solo home run. In 1993 outfielder Raul Mondesi made his Major League debut and recorded a single in his very first at-bat. 
  • Happy BirthdayBill HartErve BeckBen GeraghtyLuis Avilan & Rachel Robinson

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Welcome to the Blue, Manny Machado!

News is spreading fast that the deal is now done. Manny Machado is a Dodger.

In return the Dodgers had to give up some talent, but it appears the damage is not as bad as I initially feared. Going to Baltimore is outfielder Yusniel Diaz, third baseman Rylan Bannon, right-hander Dean Kremer, righty Zach Pop and second baseman Breyvic Valera. Diaz is the key prospect in this trade. He had walloped two home runs during the recent All-Star Futures Game this past weekend, and you should expect him to be very good going forward. Bannon and Kremer are ranked as the clubs #27th and #28th best prospects in the system, per MLB Pipeline. Pop could be a serviceable reliever in the future and you know Valera from his recent stints in LA.

Overall, I think the Dodger did very well here. After all, most of their top-end guys are still with us.

On another note, Manny Machado has an instagram account: @machados13.

2018 Allen & Ginter - The Dodgers Base Cards

It's Allen & Ginter day!

Featured below are the Dodger base cards to the 2018 Allen & Ginter set. This brand officially hits stores today. Go here for a complete checklist. The below listing does not include the Mini Exclusives found only in RIP cards. These cards are numbered as part of the base set, but are far more difficult to find. So, I'll share pics of those once they are all unearthed.

Notably, Joc's older brother, Champ, has his own Allen & Ginter card to call his own. It is my understanding thet the reverse of the card indicates that he's an "advocate and motivational speaker". There is also a mini autographed Champ Pederson card available, and I've included a pic of it on the right.


#6 Chris Taylor                #31 Joc Pederson

#42 Jackie Robinson              #43 Champ Pederson

Blog Kiosk: 7/18/2018 - Dodgers Links - Machado!

Is he, or is he not coming westward?

According to numerous scribes and prognosticators, the Manny Machado sweepstakes has been won by the Dodgers. He will be changing from the horrid orange to majestic Blue, and this Dodger fan cannot be more excited. Of course, it has yet to be confirmed by the league and the respective teams. Nevertheless, I'll take last night's "Selfie" moment as a sign. He's coming!

BTW, you should check out this fantastic photoshopped pic of the Selfie -- showing Machado in Blue -- here. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1939 the Dodgers receive shortstop Pee Wee Reese from the Red Sox in exchange for $35,000, three minor leaguers and a player to be named later. It is later discovered that a poor scouting report filled out by then current Boston shortstop Joe Cronin purposefully downplayed Reese's abilities for fear of losing his job. In 1949 Jackie Robinson testified in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities to express his disagreement with actor Paul Robeson's assertion that African-Americans would not fight a war against Russia due to America's history of racial animus. In 1957 Gil Hodges hit his 12th career grand slam to tie a National League record held by both Rogers Hornsby and Ralph Kiner.
  • Happy Birthday, Johnny Hopp!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

2018 Topps Now - All-Star Home Run Derby Relics - Max Muncy

Max Muncy must be having the time of his life. Not too long ago he was pondering whether he should continue his Baseball dream. Now, he is living that dream.

Yesterday, Muncy, a surprise entrant in the All-Star Home Run Derby, walloped 29 homers to advance one round, but couldn't get past eventual derby winner Bryce Harper. Nevertheless, it was awesome to see him get into that homer grove and it's even better that Topps has issued a series of relic cards to celebrate his evening. Featured here are five different numbered relic cards using a derby-worn sock.

That's right. It's his sock!

Directly above is a "1 of 1" relic (#HRD-19E) and it is available at $999.99. Go here to check it out. As of this posting it is still available for purchase. Below are the remaining four Muncy relic cards.

2018 MLB FanFest Giveaways - Cody Bellinger and Matt Kemp

(Via Brian Gross on Twitter)
With the 2018 MLB FanFest concluding today I thought it would be a good time to point to a couple of Dodger promos and exclusive cards made available to fans.

The first item shown isn't an actual card. Instead, it's a newspaper pullout from this past Friday's edition of The Washington Post.

As you can see in the pic on the right, there are 18 cutouts and starting outfielder Matt Kemp is one of them. You can take a closer look at Kemp above.

The only Dodgers card made specially for the FanFest is connected to the All-Star Game Edition of the 2018 Topps Factory set.

Blog Kiosk: 7/17/2018 - Dodgers Links - Muncy!

Max Muncy did us proud last night. He walloped 17 homers to defeat Javier Baez in the first round of the derby. Unfortunately, he couldn't outlast hometown favorite Bryce Harper. No matter, though. It was a blast to watch. Per Richard Justice at MLB.com:
"It was incredible," Muncy said. "It's hard to explain. It was so much fun being out there with all the guys. It was unbelievable -- music going, guys out there cheering, fans are cheering. It was a great experience."
Photo above of Muncy and Baez via MLB at Dodger Insider. Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1954 the Dodgers field the very first starting nine that consist of a majority of black ballplayers for the first time in Major League history. In 1974 Dodger starter Tommy John suffers an arm injury on the mound against the Expos that would eventually lead to a revolutionary new surgery that would be widely known as "Tommy John" surgery -- to repair a torn ligament in the elbow by replacing it with a ligament taken from another part of the body. The surgery is performed by Dr. Frank Jobe. In 1976 Walter Alson wins his 2,000th game as a manager. His Dodgers defeat the Cubs in Los Angeles, 5-4. Alston would then leave the Dodgers at the end of this season -- finishing with a 2,040-1,613 lifetime mark as skipper.
  • Happy Birthday, Eddie Brown!