Tuesday, June 30, 2020

2020 Topps Now 'Turn Back the Clock' -- Sandy Koukax's First No-No

Today's Topps Turn Back the Clock online exclusive card should be of no surprise. It features a legendary Dodger doing something legendary.

On this date in 1962 Sandy Koufax threw his very first no-hitter. It was against the Mets, and from the get-go he dominated. What I mean by that is he let it be known during the first inning that he would be unhittable. Per Marc Z. Aaron at SABR:
Koufax (10-4, 2.48 ERA) did not waste any time in getting down to business. Nine pitches were all he needed to set down the first three Mets hitters — Richie Ashburn, Rod Kanehl, and Felix Mantilla — on strikes. Mantilla took his looking. You could have heard each of them muttering some expletives as they left the batter’s box. As Koufax walked to the dugout, he received a standing ovation from the fans behind the Dodgers dugout. Mets third-base coach Solly Hemus was good-naturedly needling Koufax, yelling, “It isn’t really that easy, is it?” Koufax could be heard responding, “No, it surely isn’t.”

2020 Topps Big League Baseball -- All the Dodger Cards

A couple of weeks back Topps released their Big League Baseball brand -- a less pricey alternative for cost conscious collectors. A box of 18 packs will run you about $30 to $40. Additionally, they have created a Collector Box that includes exclusive Super7 MLB figures (think Star Wars-like figurines) and only five packs of cards. Go here for a complete checklist.

The Super7 MLB figures might be the coolest innovation in years. They are basically action figures of your favorite ballplayers. The Dodgers' available are Clayton Kershaw and Cody Bellinger. You can see pics of them at the very bottom of this post.


#23 Walker Buehler          #43 Cody Bellinger

Blog Kiosk: 6/30/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Casey was always a ham. Per the UPI Telephoto descriptor (eBay auction link):
7/24/65 - New York: Casey Stengel, whose third love (behind wife, Edna, and Baseball) must be posing for photographers, gets off wink number umpteen during Old Timers Day festivities at Shea Stadium 7/24. He's wearing an old Brooklyn Dodgers cap for the occasion. Casey celebrates his 75th birthday 7/30.
Below are more links to check out:

Monday, June 29, 2020

2020 Topps Series 2 Baseball -- The Dodger Base Cards and Variations

Last week Topps released their second series of cards for their flagship Baseball card brand and I've got pics of all the Dodger base cards to share. Check them out below. I've also included all the known variations available. Go here for a complete checklist of the set.


#381 Kyle Garlick           #416 Chris Taylor

Blog Kiosk: 6/29/2020 - Dodgers Links & Mews - Some Odds and Ends

Here's a fantastic 1913 vintage photographs featuring a "Bloomer" girl -- a female ballplayer/team who would barnstorm around the country taking-on all competition. The photographs is via the Shorpy blog -- easily my favorite of all vintage photography websites. Check it out here.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1990 Fernando Valenzuela no-hit the Cardinals, 6-0, at Dodger Stadium. With 119 pitches he struck out seven and walked three. Also, on this same night, former Dodgers starter Dave Stewart threw a no-hitter against the Blue Jays -- thereby marking the first time in modern Baseball history that two no-hitters were thrown on the same day. In 1995 Hideo Nomo struck out thirteen Rockies to give him a then team record of 50 strike outs in four consecutive starts. In 1996 Mike Piazza hit three home runs against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. He became the fifth Dodger to hit three homers in a game. In 2012 the Dodgers signed amateur free agent Yasiel Puig. 
  • Happy BirthdayWilbert "Uncle Robbie" RobinsonFarmer SteelmanBobby MorganRick Honeycutt & Pedro Guerrero!

Friday, June 26, 2020

2020 Panini Stars & Stripes USA Baseball -- The Only Dodger

Several months back Panini released their Stars & Stripes USA Baseball card brand. As you know, this is a set that focuses solely on Team USA Baseball and it's players. It includes everything from a bunch of teenager still in high school to professionals, both current and retired, who had the honor to wear our country's colors.

As I searched through the checklist I didn't notice any Dodgers, with exception of one retired player who has been unfairly commandeered by another team. Sure... I get it. He gained legendary status during their World Series Championship run a few years back. But make no mistake. This guy was and always will be a Dodger to me.

The person I'm talking about is catcher David Ross, and as you surely know he was drafted, coached and instilled with Baseball knowledge by the Dodgers. Heck, the Dodgers even drafted him twice -- in 1995 and 1998.

Check out his lone card below. Go here for a complete checklist of this set.

40th Anniversary Signatures

#13 David Ross

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2020 Topps Finest -- All the Dodgers'

Topps Finest is now here and pics of all the Dodgers' to share. Check them all out below. Go here for a complete checklist.


#19 Brusdar Graterol              #29 Max Muncy

2020 Topps Pro Debut -- All the Dodger Prospects

Do you love Dodger prospects? Well, if you do then this set is for you.

Featured below are all the Dodgers' found in packs of Topps 2020 Pro Debut Baseball card brand. It includes everyone from Andy Pages (subject of trade rumors to the Angels over the winter) to Diego Cartaya (a catcher believed to have the highest ceiling in our system). Best yet, it includes the very first card of late-blooming slugging outfielder Zach Reks -- a guy who could very well be next in line to follow Justin Turner, Chris Taylor and Max Muncy as a ballplayer who came out of nowhere.

Go here for a complete checklist. Check out all the Dodger cards below.

Base & Chrome

#PD-9 Andy Pages - Ogden Raptors
Normal Base                                     Chrome Card

Blog Kiosk: 6/26/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Wow! What a fantastic photo.

The base-runner is coming in hard with a hook-slide, while sticking his arms out like Spitfire in attack mode. Best yet, Ted Cieslak of the Phillies has his tongue out --  no doubt concentrating on making sure he swipes the plate before being tagged out by Brooklyn Dodger backstop Mickey Owen. Per the descriptor on the reverse (eBay auction link):
Even Insults Don't Help --
New York... Ciedlak, of the Philadelphia Phillies, sticks his tongue out at catcher Owen of the Brooklyn Dodgers as he tries desperately to beat the ball to the sack in second inning of the secon game of today's Didger-Philly Double-Header at Ebbets Field. Peacock's hit to right field started the play. Right fielder Walker got the ball down to Owen in time for the out. The Dodgers won the first game 4 to 1. 
Interestingly, the International Press Photo above considers the tongue lashing by Cieslak to be an insult. Nowadays, it's almost considered an endearment.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1944 the Dodgers, Giants and Yankees play an exhibit charity game in front of 50,000 fans for the war bond movement dubbed the Tri-Cornered Baseball Game. The Dodgers won the contest: Dodgers 5, Yankees 1, Giants 0. Check out what I wrote about it hereNathalie Alonso at MLB.com wrote a story about it that came out last year. It's excellent. Check it out hereIn 1996 Tommy Lasorda undergoes an angioplasty after suffering a mild heart attack. Bill Russell is named Los Angeles' interim manager. In 1997 Tony Gwynn broke my heart. During the seventh-inning against the Dodgers, he hit a inside-the-park grand slam at Dodger Stadium to lead the Padres in victory, 9-7. The homer put Gwynn over the .400 mark.  In 1999 Dodgers catcher Todd Hundley hit a three-run game-winning home run off of Giants closer Robb Nen in the ninth inning to spark a come-from-behind victory at Candlestick Park, 7-6. 
  • Happy BirthdayJean-Pierre RoyHenry SchmidtRodney Myers & Babe Herman!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

2020 Topps On-Demand #8 - MLB The Show - Gamer Gavin Lux

It wasn't too long ago when Baseball fans were spending their days glued to the online play of a bunch of Major Leaguers. As you'll recall, a Players League was formed -- one ballplayer from each team -- to compete in head-to-head competition playing MLB The Show 20.

The Dodgers were represent by rookie phenom Gavin Lux, and if I remember correctly he ended up in the semi-finals.

To satisfy collectors, Topps dutifully created an online exclusive On-Demand set consisting of all the participants. Below is a look at the Gavin Lux card. Go here to check out a complete checklist. A total of 824 set were created.

As a side note, I really wish Topps used photos of the ballplayers actually playing the game -- ya know, wearing their comfy clothes at home while wearing headphones and holding a game controller.


#15 Gavin Lux

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2019-20 Topps 582 Montgomery Club - 1961 Topps Dice Game - Clayton Kershaw

The fourth exclusive 2019-20 Topps 582 Montgomery Club set is now out and it features the design from the 1961 Topps Dice Game -- one of the rarest test issues ever produced. As proof of it's scarcity, a Mickey Mantle card graded a PSA 1 -- that's right a one (1) -- sold through Robert Edwards Auction in April 2020 for $144,000.00 (link here). In fact, that card is the only one ever graded by either PSA or SGC.

These cards are obviously nowhere near as expensive or rare. This homage consist of 20 cards and one Dodger is represented -- Clayton Kershaw. See his card below. Go here to check out a complete checklist.

#2 Clayton Kershaw

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2020 Panini Prizm Baseball -- All the Dodger Cards

Last week saw the release of Panini America's Prizm Baseball card brand. Fetured below are most of the Dodgers' available. Go here to check out a complete checklist.


#27 Tony Gonsolin            #28 Cody Bellinger

Blog Kiosk: 6/25/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Featured is 1951 ACME press telephoto showing a bunch of fanatic Dodger fans lining up for tickets (eBay auction link). Below is what's written on the reverse:
10/1 - Brooklyn, NY, Brooklyn's Ebbets Field is besieged by determined baseball fans, who line up early to get tickets for the crucial National League playoff opener between the Dodgers and Giants.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1968 Giants rookie Bobby Bonds hit a grand slam against Dodger righty John Purdin in his third at-bat of his first major league game -- becoming only the second player to have ever done so. In 1984 infielder Bill Russell played his 1,953rd game to become the LA Dodgers' all-time leader in games played. He would finish his career in Blue with a total of 2,181 games played -- second best all time in Dodger history. Hall of Famer Zack Wheat best him with 2,322 games played as a Dodger.
  • Happy BirthdayBarney WhiteDon DemeterAlejandro PeñaAaron Sele Paul Maholm!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

2020 Topps Diamond Icons -- Check Out the Dodger Cards

Here is a look at most of the Dodger cards available in packs of Topps 2020 Diamond Icons brand. As you know, this is a high-end premium product that will cost you over $2,000 for a single box of ten packs -- guaranteeing you nine autographed cards. So, these packs are not for the weary. Go here for a complete checklist.


#AC-CKE Clayton Kershaw         #AC-GLU Gavin Lux

Blog Kiosk: 6/24/2020 - Dodgers Links & news - We're Back!

Baseball's back!

Featured above is a 9/29/1946 ACME press photo featuring the Ebbets Field granstands and a whole bunch of celebrating Brooklynites. Per the descriptor on the reverse (eBay auction link):
Futile Ray of Hope -- Brooklyn fans cheer at Ebbets Field as their team stops the Boston Braves momentarily. A few moments later, gloom descended again as the Braves went on to win the game, 4 to 0. Brooks are tied for first place in the National League with the St. Louis Cardinals, who lost to the Cubs, 8 to 3. 
On a side note, I am still not entirely convinced that this is really going to happen. Nevertheless, I will celebrate with all the optimism and hope the game tries to inspire.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1947 Jackie Robinson stole home plate for the first time in his career. It was against the Pirates at Forbes Field during the fifth inning to give the Dodgers a lead and it was the eventual winning run, 4-2In 1955 future Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax makes his Major League debut. He pitches in relief against the Milwaukee Braves and goes two innings -- allowing one hit, one walk and striking out two. In 1958 the Dodgers signed amateur free agent infielder/outfielder Ron Fairly out of USC. He would eventually play 12 seasons in Los Angeles -- slashing .260/.347/.385/.732 while helping the club capture three World Series titles. In 2018 the Dodgers tie a NL record when they collectively hit seven solo home runs during a single game. It was against the Met's at Citi Field, and it includes a game-winning homer by Justin Turner -- against his old club in the 12th inning, 8-7.
  • Happy Birthday, Jack Banta & Jason Romano!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

2020 Topps Project 2020 -- Sandy Koufax by Joshua Vides -- #125

The seventh Sandy Koufax Project 2020 card is now available and is was created by Southern California artist Joshua Vides. As you may know, he is known for his monochromatic hand-drawn line illustrations that have graced everything from sneakers to retail locations like Harrod's.

Go here to check it out and order the card from Topps online. A complete checklist of all the cards in the set can be found here. The reverse of the card is on the right. 

A few weeks back Topps released Vides' Jackie Robinson card. Directly below is a look at that card.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 6/19/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

I'm just as confused as Dodger coach Jake Pitler in the photo above, taken by Barney Stein (eBay auction link). It features skipper Walter Alston in the midst of digging a hole. Unfortunately, there isn't any background information describing the event.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1965 (OT) Union army general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to inform everyone that all people held as slaves in Texas are free. This event is celebrated as Juneteenth -- a celebration of emancipation within the confederacy. In 1938, a day after signing a contract with the club, Babe Ruth puts on a Dodger uniform for the first time. In 1952 Carl Erskine threw a no-hitter against the Cubs in the Dodgers' 5-0 victory at Ebbets Field. This is the first of two no-no's he would throw in his career. The only Cub to get on base was the opposing pitcher, via a walk. In 1973 Dodger outfielder Willie Davis collected his 2,000th career hit at Dodger Stadium when he two-run home run. In 1990 Dodgers catcher Gary Carter broke a National League record for career games caught at 1‚862. He passes former Dodger Al Lopez who set the record in 1946.
  • Happy BirthdayBill SwiftLarry MillerBob AspromonteJerry ReussButch DavisDoug Mientkiewicz & Claudio Vargas!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 6/18/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Here's a couple of old Dodgers' shaking hands after witnessing the Brooklyn clubs first World Series Championship in 1955. Featured is Dodger skipper Walter Alston and current Yankees/former Dodger manager Casey Stengel (eBay auction link). Per the descriptor on the reverse:
The Victor and The Loser -- New York: Yankees Manager Casey Stengel (right) congratulates a smiling Dodger Manager Walt Alston in the Brooklyn dressing room after the Dodgers won the rubber game of the World Series to win their first championship. The Dodgers whipped the Yankees, 2-0, to take the 7th and final game of the series at the Yankee Stadium Oct. 4th. 
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1938 the Dodgers sign their newest coach, Babe Ruth, to a contract. He hopes that he'll be installed as manager of the club the following season. As you know, that would not occur. Instead, it becomes clear that he is signed for publicity reasons -- he takes batting practice before the start of each game to guarantee high attendance. In 1988 the Dodgers signed amateur free agent Pedro MartínezIn 2014 Clayton Kershaw no-hit the Rockies at Dodger Stadium, 8-0. He recorded a career high 15 strike outs, no walks and missed a perfect game when Hanley Ramirez committed an error in the 7th inning. Watch Vin Scully's call here
  • Happy BirthdaySandy Alomar!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

2020 Bowman Mega Box Chrome - All the Dodgers'

Early June saw the release of Topps 2020 Bowman Mega Box Chrome -- available exclusively at Target stores both online and at their brick & mortar locations. As you know, these retail exclusive boxes feature 2020 Bowman cards as chromium parallels and includes "mojo" refractors collectors have been going mad over. Go here to see a complete checklist. Check out the Dodger cards below.

Base Chrome Mojo Refractor

#BCP-3 Jacob Amaya       #BCP-4 Kody Hoese

2020 Onyx Vintage Premium -- The Dodger Prospects: Lux, Rodriguez & Valera

A few weeks back Onyx released their 2020 Onyx Vintage brand of Baseball cards that featured three Dodger prospects -- including a kid the team signed in 2019 during the most recent international signing period. His name is Luis Rodriguez and he is thought to be the best player to come out of Venezuela last year. The other two prospects are current Dodger phenom Gavin Lux and Leonel Valera.

Following that, Onyx put out their 2020 Onyx Vintage Premium set and it is very similar in design to the "Vintage" brand. This new set also includes the very same Dodger prospect, as well. Check them all out below. Go here for a complete checklist.


#Gavin Lux                      #Leonel Valera

2020 Panini Diamond Kings -- All the Dodger Insert Cards

Last week I shared pics of all the Dodger base cards found in packs of Panini's 2020 Diamond Kings brand. Below are photos of all the various inserts that are available. Go here for a complete checklist.

DK Signatures

#DKS-TO Tony Gonsolin      #DKS-DM Dustin May

#DKS-BG Brusdar Graterol         #DKS-GL Gavin Lux

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Blog Kiosk: 6/16/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Check out the above champagne celebration featuring Fernando Valenzuela and Rick Monday, following the Dodgers capturing the 1981 National League pennant (eBay auction link). Per the descriptor:
10/19/1981 -- Montreal - Dodgers pitching ace Fernando Valenzuela (L) and game hero Rick Monday swig the champagne in the dressing room after Los Angeles downed the Montreal Expos in the fifth game to win the National League CHampionship.
Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers HistoryIn 1961 the Dodgers signed amateur free agent Roy Gleason. He would get a cup of coffee with the Dodgers in 1963 -- recording a double in his only at-bat and getting a World Series ring. Soon thereafter he would be drafted into the Army and be sent to Vietnam. Gleason would lose his World Series ring there, and becomes the only US Combat Veteran and former Major League Baseball player to receive "Special Congressional Recognition" for being awarded a "Purple Heart", a World Series Ring, and holding a "Perfect" Lifetime Major League Batting Average. In 1963 rookie pitcher Nick Willhite shut out the Cubs, 2-0, and become the first Los Angeles pitcher for throw a shutout in his Major League debut. In 1977 the Dodgers purchased right-handed reliever and Los Angeles native Bobby Castillo from the Kansas City Royals. 
  • Happy Birthday, Pete CoscarartStan Wall & Jonathan Broxton!

Monday, June 15, 2020

2020 Topps Total - Wave 3 - Kershaw, Urias & Smith

The third wave of 2020 Topps Total cards have been released and there are three Dodgers available to chase -- Kershaw, Urias and Will Smith. Go here for a complete checklist. You can see all of my previous post on this set here. Check out the three Dodgers below.

Wave 3

#203 Clayton Kershaw

Blog Kiosk: 6/15/2020 - Dodgers Links & News - Some Odds and Ends

Here's a fun International Press Photo featuring Jackie Robinson, Joe Black, Duke Snider, Don Zimmer, Walter Alston and Gil Hodges. In the background is a blackboard with the words, "The Bums Dood It 10 Straight." (eBay auction link)

Unfortunately, it is undated and the paper descriptor on the reverse has been torn off. Nevertheless, I am certain the eBay seller is correct in saying it's from the 1955 season. That year they had two - ten game winning streaks before winning their first World Series Championship.

Below are more links to check out:

Friday, June 12, 2020

2020 Topps Project 2020 -- Jackie Robinson by Efdot -- #114

Today we have the release of the sixth Jackie Robinson card made for the Topps Project 2020 set. It was created by Brooklyn-based artist/muralist Eric Friedensohn -- better known as Efdot. He is noted for illustrations and murals that are often colorful, simple and optomistic. In fact, his website uses the moniker "Art for Optomist" on the front page. Per an interview at Hypebeast:
Lastly, what’s the story behind your “Optimist” slogan? 
About four years ago, my whole apartment in Manhattan burned down and it was the most shocking experience that I’ve had and it made me realize what was important to me. One of the things that survived was a couple of pieces of art and one of them said “Optimist.” It was inside my scanner and half-melted. It was just a big sign for me and it made me remember why I’m doing what I do in the first place

Welcome to the Blue, Landon Knack!

The Dodgers first pick on the second day of the amateur draft, at 60th overall, is East Tennessee State right-handed hurler Landon Knack. From what I understand, he doesn't quite project as a starter in the big leagues. Rather, he is seen as more of a hard-throwing power relief pitcher. Of course, he could surprise and become a part of the rotation. As Dustin Nosler stated in his write-up, Knack "was a money-saving selection" -- who the Dodgers should be able to sign for under slot.

Landon Knack is 22-years old, stands at 6' 2" tall, and bats as a lefty. He had not been drafted previously. Knack is also the best fifth-year-college senior in a long time. Originally, he was a two-way player on the field, but suffered some shoulder injuries that forced him to focus on pitching only. After having done so, he experienced a velocity increase on the mound from between five to ten mph on his fastball.

Blog Kiosk: 6/12/2020 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

2020 Draft is over and we now have six new prospects to watch -- assuming they sign on the dotted line. On Wednesday they picked University of Louisville right-hander Bobby Miller. Then on Thursday they added five more players -- Landon Knack RHP 60th overall, Clayton Beeter RHP 66th overall, Jake Vogel OF 100th overall, Carson Taylor C 130th overall and Gavin Stone RHP 159th overall.

I made a handful of fantasy custom baseball cards for Knack, Beeter and Vogel. I hope to have more to share soon, so stay tuned.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1940 the Dodgers made one of the biggest trades in their history. They received 1937 Triple Crown winner Joe "Ducky" Medwick and pitcher Curt Davis from the Cardinals for outfielder Ernie Koy, pitcher Carl Doyle, two minor leaguers and $125k in cash (a huge sum in those days). The Dodgers would win the pennant the following season for the first time since 1920. In 1955 Don Newcombe, having won his first ten decisions of the season, lost his first game of the year when Brooklyn falls to the Cubs, 9-5. In 2005 first baseman Hee-Seop Choi hit home runs in his first three at-bats this evening against the Twins to propel the Dodgers over Minnesota, 4-3. Watch all three here. 
  • Happy Birthday, Jack O'BreinRoger Bernadina & Damon Hollins

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Check Out These Bobby Miller Baseball Cards

I thought I would take a little bit of time to see if our recent 1st round pick, Bobby Miller, has a Baseball cad yet, and I am happy to report that he does. In 2016, as a high schooler, he was a part of the Leaf Perfect Game National Showcase set. As you may know, Leaf has put out a bunch of different prep baseball prospect cards over the past several years. Check out both his base and autographed cards.

2016 Leaf Perfect Game


#292 Bobby Miller

Welcome to the Blue, Bobby Miller!

Last night the Dodgers added another arm to their stable of high-end pitching prospects when they drafted University of Louisville right-hander Bobby Miller with the 29th pick. He is 21-years-old, stands a tall 6' 5" and bats as a lefty. Miller had also been previously drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, out of high school (McHenry, IL), in the 38th round in 2017. Per a Dodger press release:
Miller, 21, made four starts for the Cardinals in 2020, going 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA (6 ER/23.1 IP) with 34 strikeouts against nine walks. He tallied three quality starts in four chances, striking out a career-high 12 batters over 6.2 innings on February 22 against Valparaiso University. 
In 2018, the McHenry, IL native earned Freshman All-America honors and was selected All-ACC Third Team and All-ACC Freshman Team after going 6-1 with a 2.97 ERA (22 ER/66.2 IP) and 55 strikeouts over 17 games (nine starts). In three seasons with Louisville, he recorded a 15-2 record with a 3.28 ERA (62 ER/170 IP) with 175 strikeouts in 41 appearances (25 games).