Monday, December 30, 2019

Blog Kiosk: 12/30/2019 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Happy Birthday, Sandy! He turns 84 today.

Featured above is a October 6, 1963 UPI telephoto of Sandy Koufax celebrating the Dodgers World Series sweep of the New York Yankees (eBay auction link). Per the description:
Los Angeles Dodgers star southpaw pitcher Sandy Koufax hoists a champagne toast in dressing room here 10/6, after the Dodgers won the 4th Series game in a row to give them the title. The Dodgers handed New York its first 4-game shutout in 28 trips to the classic.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1958 the Dodgers officially released soon-to-be Hall of Famer Pee Wee Reese. He would then become a Dodgers coach for the 1959 season, then enter broadcasting as a color-man for CBS from 1960 to 1965. In 2015 the Dodgers signed free agent starter Scott Kazmir to a three-year, $48 million contract. He would have a decent first season -- going 10-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 26 starts -- but would end the season on the DL due to hip issues and would not pitch again.
  • Happy Birthday, Jose MoralesSandy Koufax!

Friday, December 27, 2019

2019 Topps On-Demand Set #23 -- Rookie Review -- The Will Smith Card

The newest Topps On-Demand set has been delivered to collectors and it features the 50 top rookies/youngsters in the game today. It is called the "Rookie Review" set and the only Dodger available is phenom catcher Will Smith. Go here for a complete checklist. The total print run is 861 sets. There is both a Smith base card and autographed card available. See them both below.


#22 Will Smith

Blog Kiosk: 12/27/2019 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Campy and Yogi exchange notes in the March 30, 1956 Associates Press wirephoto shown above (eBay auction link). It says:
St. Petersburg, Fla., March 30th, Most Valuable Talk - The American League's Most Valuable Player Yankees' Yogi Berra, left, and the National League's most Most Valuable Player Brooklyn Dodgers' Roy Campanella meet before yesterday's game. Campanella has the injured finger showing out of his mitt. The injury has kept him out of some exhibition games.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1981 Fernando Valenzela is named the Southern California Athlete of the Year by the sports editors of the Southlands major newspapers. This caps off a fantastic season where he was an All-Star, wins the Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, Silver Slugger and a World Series ring for the Dodgers. He also won a Sporting News triple crown -- named the winner of the Major League Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year and Rookie Pitcher of the Year Awards.
  • Happy Birthday, Ernie KruegerNorm LarkerGary WeissJim LeyritzJason RepkoDylan Floro!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Blog Kiosk: 12/23/2019 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

In honor of today's Festivus Day I bring to you a letter written by Tommy Lasorda to George Castanza, of Seinfeld fame, that attempts to recruit him for the Dodgers (Hat Tip: u/WoodyPecker on Reddit). It says:
Congratulations on a great career with the Yankees! You lasted than any of Steinbrenner's managers! 
Everyone know that the Yankees hadn't won for years until you joined them. Their batters couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat! But you get there and they win a World Series championship. Now, I want you to do the same for the Dodgers. 
We're looking for your bhig ideas. Like the cotton uniforms, for example... BRILLIANT! They'll be great in LA. I got my order from the very top, George. Now that you're a FREE AGENT, we'll do whatever it takes to get you in Dodger Blue. All the Slim Fast you'll ever need, if that's what it takes.
Below are more links to check out:

Friday, December 20, 2019

2019 Bowman’s Best -- All the Dodgers Cards

Bowman's Best, a prospect-centered Topps brand, was released this week for collectors to hoard. It once again features some of the top youngsters in the game today, and includes on-card autographs that have been so popular with collectors. Overall, there are five Dodgers' available in the 'Veterans and Rookies" part of the base set, but no Dodgers' highlighted in the 'Top Prospects' portion. There are, however, five Dodgers' prospect autographed cards to chase after. Go here for a complete checklist.


#11 Hyun-Jin Ryu              #14 Clayton Kershaw

Blog Kiosk: 12/20/2019 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Check out this fantastic September 22,1946 action shot of Pee Wee Reese (eBay auction link).
Safe at Third -- Pee Wee Reese of the Brooklyn Dodgers is sale at third base when Dodgers catcher Bruce Edwards bunted to Braves pitcher Johnny Sain in the third inning of the first game between the Dodgers and the Braves at Braves Field. Sain's throw to Nanny Fernandez Braves third sacker was too late.
The Dodgers would unfortunately lose this first game of a doubleheader, 4-2, but take the nightcap, 8-1. Below are more links to check out:

Thursday, December 19, 2019

2019 Bowman Next Top 2020 Prospects - Online Exclusive - Gavin Lux

I've been wondering if Topps would add Gavin Lux to this set.

Over the past several weeks Topps has been releasing individual cards, on a daily basis, of a new online exclusive set that they are calling 2019 Bowman Next - a set featuring the Top-20 prospects of 2020. It began with Tigers outfield prospect Riley Green, and has included other notable youngsters like Bobby Witt Jr. of the Royals, Jo Adell of the Angels and Brendon Rodgers of the Rockies. Now, it includes the Dodger top-dog, Gavin Lux. Go here to check it out and order. You can also see a complete checklist here. Below is what's written on the back of the card:
Gavin Lux quickly rose through the Minor League ranks, raking at each level of the Minors before reaching the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019. The slugging infielder posted an incredible .347  batting average with 26 home runs and 76 RBI before joining the MLB club.
The description above doesn't quite explain what a fantastic year Lux had in 2019. He began the season with the Double-A Tulsa Drillers and slashed a sold .313/.375/.521/.896 in 64 games. He would then advance to the Oklahoma City Dodgers -- their Triple A club -- and absolutely demolished PCL pitching. In 49 games he slashed .392/.478/.719/1.197 with 13 home runs, 39 RBI and committed just four errors on the field. For that he was named to the mid-season Texas League All-Star Game, the All-Star Futures Game and was Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year. The Dodgers also named him their minor league player of the year for the second consecutive season. Per Alden Gonzalez at ESPN:

Blog Kiosk: 12/19/2019 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

What the heck?

Check out the above undated (likely 1950's) vintage photograph featuring the Dodgers pitching staff being directed by backstop Roy Campanella (eBay link). What Campy is doing exactly, I do not know. He's got his hands cupped over his ears, like he's expecting a loud sound.

As for the pitchers in the photo, I can clearly see Don Newcombe (third on the left), and according the a notation on the back Ralph Branca is there too. Unfortunately, I can't quite place Branca. I think he might be just to the right of Newcombe. I also think Johnny Podres is the second person to the left of Newcombe.

Below are more links to check out:

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

2019-20 Topps 582 Montgomery Club Set #1 -- All the Dodger Cards

The first exclusive set, as part of the 2019-20 Topps 582 Montgomery Club, is now in collectors hands, I've got pics of the two Dodgers available -- Max Muncy and Will Smith. See them below. Go here for a complete checklist.


#8 Will Smith                  #14 Max Muncy

Blog Kiosk: 12/18/2019 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Check out this fantastic 1934 International News press photo featuring the famed "Babe" Didrikson with A's slugger Jimmie Foxx following a Spring Training event (Memory Lane auction). As you'll see in the descriptor below, she had faced off against the Dodgers.
Fort Myers, Fla... This little Florida community witnessed what might be an epic of baseball on the afternoon of March 19, 1934, when the miracle woman athlete of the Lone Star State, "Babe" Didrikson, marched to the pitcher's mound for the Philadelphia Athletics, and treated the opposing batsmen of the Brooklyn Dodgers to an exhibition of hurling, a la feminine. It looked as if it was going to be a very unpleasant exhibition for the lady, when the first two men who faced her got on the paths, but her debut became an auspicious event when one of the playboys from New York's borough of homes slammed the ball into a triple play, to retire his side. Then Miss Didrikson retired from the game too, and the Dodgers went on to win from the Quaker City aggregation by a 4-2 score. Here we see "Babe" Didrikson and the Athletics' star first sacker, Jimmy Foxx, holding a post mortem on the "Babe's" baseball debut. 
At the time, Didrikson has signed-on to play for the House of David travelling barnstorming ballclub and was in the midst of a big promotion tour. As for which Dodgers' she faced, I ran into a great post at the The J.G. Preston Experience that provides some detail. First up was outfielder Danny Taylor, who walked, then Johnny Frederick, who got hit with a pitch. The triple play was hit by infielder Joe Stripp.
Miss Didrikson, who pitches with a graceful, easy delivery that would do credit to any hurler, undoubtedly profited a bit from the chivalry of Danny Taylor and Johnny Frederick, but the triple play was an honest one. 
Danny and Johnny both swung lustily at a pair of strikes each, missing the ball by wide margins, but Babe walked Danny and nicked Frederick with a pitched ball. Then, with first and second occupied, Joe Stripp lined a hard one to Dib Williams and the triple killing was completed, Williams to Warstler to Foxx.
Below are more links to check out:

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

2019 Topps X Vlad Jr. “The Legend” Curated Set - The Joc Pederson Card

The most recent curated set was put together with the help of Toronto super-prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and it includes only one Dodger in the mix. It is of Joc Pederson and it makes note of his efforts during the 2019 All-Star Game Home Run Derby. Go here for a complete checklist.

As you'll recall. Vladimir faced off against Pete Alonso in the finals for the Derby crown, but fell just short of defeating the eventually league leader in homers. BTW, he faced off against Joc Pederson in the semifinals -- defeating him 40 to 39.


Home Run Derby Moments
#9 Joc Pederson

Blog Kiosk: 12/17/2019 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Here's a play we are likely to never see again.
Charley Neal of the Dodgers retires Cubs' Dale Long at second base in the sixth inning. Long's barrel roll slows relay of ball (arrow) enough to avoid double play on Bobby Thomson's grounder to Pee Ree Reese.
BTW, Long's slide allowed a run to score on the play -- to make it 4-2 Dodgers (dated August 6, 1958) (eBay auction link). Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1999, in what would be his final Major League season, the Dodgers signed free agent hurler and legendary pitcher Orel Hershiser to a one-year $2 million contract. He would not last the year, and be released on June 27th after going 1-5 with an 13.14 ERA. Overall, Hershiser would compile a 135-107 record in 13 years as a Dodger, with an 3.12 ERA, 24 shutouts, 65 complete games, 1456 strikeouts, an 116 ERA+, a 3.28 FIP and an 39.8 WAR. In 2004 Adrián Beltré leaves the Dodgers, after spending the first seven years of his career with the club, to sign a five-year $64 million free agent contract with the Mariners.
  • Happy Birthday, Josh SborzBob Ojeda & Chase Utley!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Blog Kiosk: 12/16/2019 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Clayton Kershaw, Alex Verdugo and Matt Beaty visited Dodger Stadium on Friday to give some local kids the time of their lives -- as a part of their annual children’s holiday party. Per Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider:
“For these kids, their families, they’re from LA so their families are big Dodger fans, it’s like they grow into it,” Verdugo said. “The fact that they can come out here, have fun, be kids, be themselves and get to hang out with us, they get a little bit of that personal, ‘Oh man, I got to hang out with Alex, I got to hang out with Clayton — any little memory we can kind of put in their minds and have them cherish growing up, it’s special to me and I’m happy to be part of it all.”
Photo above via Dodger Insider on twitter (Josh Barber/Los Angeles Dodgers). Pic on the right via @Dodgers on twitter. Below are more links to check out:

Friday, December 13, 2019

Blog Kiosk: 12/13/2019 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Just three Brooklyn Dodgers' having some fun as they prepare for the 1952 season in Vero Beach (eBay auction link).
Vero Beach, Fla., March 5 -- On the Ball -- Three Brooklyn Dodger batters who accounted for a total of 103 home runs last season set their sights for the 1952 season during Brooklyn training camp session here yesterday. Left to right: Andy Pafko, former Chicago Cubs outfielder who had 30 homers in 1951; first baseman Gil Hodges, who led the Dodgers with 40; and catcher Roy Campanella, who clouted 33 homers.
Below are more links to check out:

Thursday, December 12, 2019

This Vintage 1950's Era Baseball Cap is Fire


I love this hat.

Check out this circa 1950's children's Baseball cap featuring the names of all the National League teams, at the time. It also includes game-action graphics, a flat red brim, and a red squatchee on top. (eBay auction link)

I have no idea where this vintage headdress comes from, but I'd imagine it's from a comic, candy or gum giveaway. Heck, maybe it's a prize you could've won at a carnival. I dunno.

2019 Panini Elite Extra Edition -- All the Dodger Cards

Panini's Elite Extra Edition Baseball set is out and it's filled with a bunch of Dodger prospects -- including one ballplayer who's getting his very first card, Ryan Pepiot. Go here to see a complete checklist.

Overall, there are nine Dodger youngsters in the 200 card base set, and all of them have autographed base parallels available to chase after. There are also insert cards of Gavin Lux and Keivert Ruiz.

BTW, Ryan Pepiot is an interesting ballplayer who I'll be keeping keeping an eye on. He was drafted in the third round this past June and recently completed his first year of professional play. Via Brian Crawford at Baseball Essential:
His ability to strikeout batters transitioned nicely to the pro game, as Pepiot racked up 31 strikeouts in 23.1 pro innings split between the AZL Dodgers and the low-A Great Lakes Loons. 
Pepiot records strikeouts regularly thanks to the feel that he has of his four-pitch mix. 
“I throw four pitches. I throw a fastball, a slider, a curveball, and a changeup,” explained Pepiot. “When I’m on the mound, I try to get ahead of hitters early with my fastball. When I’m able to do that, I can mix in my off-speed pitches to keep hitters off-balance.”
He also says that he's comfortable enough in his changeup to throw it in any count, and that's something you love hearing from a prospect.


#25 Kody Hoese

Blog Kiosk: 12/12/2019 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

All the hot stove stuff has me yearning for some Baseball. Featured above is a March 6, 1949 AP press photograph from that springs first game intra-squad game (eBay auction link). I love the backdrop -- seeing all the youngsters in the makeshift dugout and the Dodgertown barracks that house all the ballplayers.
WHITMAN FLIES OUT IN INTRA-SQUAD GAME.  Dick Whitman, Dodger outfielder, flies put in first inning of the first intra-squad game for the Brooklyn club at their Vero Beach, Fla., training camp.  Catcher Lembo and umpire Andrews watch the ball sail to the outfield."
Below are more links to check out:

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Welcome to the Blue, Blake Treinen!

As they say, "we are now on the board."

After watching several topflight free agents get signed, it's nice to finally have a deal under our belt. Sure... It ain't the signing we were hoping for, but beggars can't be choosers. The Dodgers are at least doing something. And that something is a new reliever to put in the bullpen. According to Jeff Passan on twitter, the Dodgers have signed right-handed relief pitcher Blake Treinen:

The best part is that it's only a one-year deal.

2019 Topps Advent Calendar & All-MLB First Team Sets with Cody Bellinger

With Christmas quickly approaching, Topps has been releasing holiday Advent Calendar cards as a online exclusive product. Starting a couple of weeks ago, Topps has been selling one Advent card a day, and the Cody Bellinger's card has finally reared its beautiful Christmas bow-wrapped head. Check it out above. You have until tomorrow to place an order for it. Go here to do that. To the bottom right is a look at the reverse of the card. It says:

Blog Kiosk: 12/11/2019 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Here is Duke Snider running out a grounder during a spring game in 1956 (eBay auction link). As you may know, Snider would have one of the finest season of his career in 1956 -- leading the league in homers (43), walks (99), OBP (.399), Slugging (.598) and OPS (.997).
3/11/56 - Miami, Fla: Duke Snider, Dodgers, out at 1st during 2nd inning action, Dodgers-Red Sox exhibition game. Norm Zauchin, Red Sox first baseman stretches for ball (just out of glove). United Press Telephoto.
Below are more links to check out:

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

2019 Bowman Draft -- All the Dodger Cards

2019 Bowman Draft Baseball cards are now in stores and it's filled with some of the top up-'n-comin' Dodger prospects in the minors. Go here for a complete set checklist.

Overall, there are seven Dodgers' in the 200 card base set; including the very first Topps-produced cards of Brandon Lewis, Jack Little and Michael Busch. Notably, five of the seven Dodgers here are listed (according to MLB Prospect Watch) in their top-30 rankings. Check that listing out below:
#5 Jeter Downs
#7 Kody Hoese
#8 Michael Bucsh
#19 Jimmy Lewis
#23 Christian Santana


Base                                Base Chrome
#BD-40 Brandon Lewis     #BDC40 Brandon Lewis

Blog Kiosk: 12/10/2019 - Dodgers & News - Some Odds and Ends

I just can't wait for Spring, so when I come across a press photo showing some Dodgers' preparing for the upcoming season I have to share it here. Featured above is Brooklyn catcher Bruce Edwards with youngster Tom Tatum, dated 2/24/1947 (eBay auction link). Per the descriptor on the reverse:
Bat Selection. Bruce Edwards (left), Brooklyn Dodger catcher, looks over some bats with rookie Tom Tatum at the Dodger training area at Havana, Cuba, Feb. 21. Tatum came to the Dodgers from Montreal in the International League where he hit .319 in the 1946 season. Edwards' home is in Sacramento, Calif, and Tatum lives in Nashville, Tenn.
BTW, Tom Tatum had a short career in Brooklyn, but made an impact nonetheless -- and it wasn't for his play on the diamond. Instead, he (like George Shuba the year before in Montreal) is recognized for extending a handshake to Jackie Robinson as he crossed home plate following his first career home run on April 18, 1947. You can see a photo of it on the right. Obviously, this kind of action shouldn't seen as unusual or surprising, but such was the times. On another note, both Tatum and Robinson were teammates on the 1946 Montreal Royals, so this wasn't a big deal for either of them.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1919 the National League officially banned the spitball. The American league would follow the next season. Current spitballers would be grandfathered and be allowed to continue throwing the pitch -- including future Dodger Hall of Famer Burleigh Grimes, who would eventually be the last legal spitballer in the game. In 1986 the Dodgers trade first baseman Greg Brock to Milwaukee for reliever Tim Crews and starter Tim Leary -- both of whom would play important roles during their 1988 World Championship run two years later. In 2012 the Dodgers signed free agent starter Zack Greinke to a six-year $147 million contract that includes an opt-out clause after its third season.
  • Happy BirthdayJimmy JohnstonJake HehlTed MartinezGil Reyes & Mel Rojas!

Monday, December 09, 2019

2019 Topps Cyber Week Promo Set - The Cody Bellinger Card

Over the recently past Thanksgiving holiday Topps released limited edition cards as a purchase incentive for those who ordered direct online. A total eight cards were made available -- one for each day from November 25 to December 2 -- and they had a limited print run of 1,000 each. Below is a checklist. Go here for more information.
11/25 - Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
11/26 - Aaron Judge
11/27 - Juan Soto
11/28 - Pete Alonso
11/29 - Mike Trout
11/30 - Cody Bellinger
12/1 - Shohei Ohtani
12/2 - Fernando Tatis Jr.
Below is the lone Dodger available -- Cody Bellinger.

11/30 - #6 of 8 - Cody Bellinger

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

2019 Flawless Baseball - All the Dodger Cards

A few weeks back Panini America released their Flawless Baseball card brand, and I've gathered up a bunch of Dodger cards to share here. As you may know, this is Panini's hieh-end Baseball card set -- costing $1,250 for one box of ten cards. Each box consist of seven autographs, two relic cards and a diamond insert card. Go here for a complete checklist.

It is notable that Panini has issued another Vin Scully autographed card. It is the third Vin Scully card issued by Panini this year - the others coming from their Diamond Kings and National treasures brands. Two examples of this card have recently sold for $380 to $450.

Base Gems

#14 Cody Bellinger

Friday, December 06, 2019

Blog Kiosk: 12/6/2019 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Baseball is a game of peaks and valleys.

Above is a 1949 AP wirephoto (eBay auction link) that celebrates the efforts of a little known reliever named Jack Banta. On this day, he would lead the Dodgers to a pennant clinching victory on the last day of the season, but just a few days back he lost a game in spectacular fashion. Such are the trials of the game. Per the descriptor on the photo:
Philadelphia, Oct. 3--VICTORY SMILES--Brooklyn Dodger Manager Burt Shotton (right) hugs Jack Banta, rookie right hander, after the latter had pitched four and a third innings of relief to give the Dodgers a 9 to 7 ten-inning victory over the Philadelphia Phillies and the National League pennant, yesterday.  Banta's was a "goat last week, a hero this week" role.  Seven days earlier, he relieved also against the Phillies, gave up four runs and lost the ball game.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1960 actor Gene Autry is awarded an American League Los Angeles franchise that would be known as the Angels -- using a team name that once played in the PCL in Los Angeles and was subsequently purchased by O'Malley when he moved the Dodgers West. In 1973 the Dodgers traded Claude Osteen and Dave Culpepper to the Astros for outfielder Jim Wynn. Wynn would go on to have a stellar year the following season in Los Angeles. He slashed .271/.387/.497/.884 with 32 homers and 108 RBI's, and would come in fifth place in MVP voting. In 2006 the Dodgers signed free agent pitcher Jason SchmidtIn 2007 signed free agent outfielder Andruw Jones.
  • Happy Birthday, Tony LazzeriTommy Brown & Dodgers broadcaster Joe Davis!

Thursday, December 05, 2019

REA has a Bunch of Dodger Collectibles

Robert Edwards Auctions current 2019 Fall Auction is just days away from closing, so I figured I should take a moment to point out some of my favorite Dodgers memorabilia in it.

At the very top is a Roy Campanella worn warm-up Dodgers jacket, dated to the 1953 season -- the year he won his second MVP award (Auction Link). It was originally attained at a 1986 charity auction held by the Dodgers 65 Roses Club. For those who don't know, this charity focuses on cystic fibrosis.

Weekend Autograph Opportunity: Dodger Prospects Gavin Lux and Jacob Amaya

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.


Two Dodger prospects will be signing autographs for fans this coming Saturday, December 7th, at the Sports Authentics USA store at the Puente Hills Mall. Star infield prospects Gavin Lux and Jacob Amaya will be there. Go here or here for more information. Per a note on their facebook page: "Today (Thursday) is the last day that you can purchase advance tickets at our website . Additional tickets will be available for sale at our store day of event ...until we sell out."

Jacob Amaya from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Gavin Lux from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Sports Authentics USA
Puent Hills Mall
1600 South Azusa Avenue, Suite 518
City of Industry, CA, 91748

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