Monday, July 25, 2016

You Might Have Missed This One

Aloha, everybody,

As you know, Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this past weekend. Sure, that was a big deal, and I would have loved to be there, but living far from Cooperstown, there was just no way I could hope to attend the ceremonies. 

As baseball luck would have it, the weekend before that, I had the opportunity to attend a slightly different induction. Legendary Dodger Don Newcombe, legendary athlete Bo Jackson, and some sportswriter were being inducted into the Shrine of The Eternals. 

 My plan was to get a scoop for my LA DodgersReport website and catch Newk for an LADR exclusive interview. Like I said, that was the plan. Things didn't exactly work out that way, but I did walk away with a story. 

It turned out the sportswriter was the legendary Arnold Hano. You may know him from such writing exploits as his book A Day in the Bleachers, which immortalized The Catch, made by Willie Mays. 

 Spoiler Alert: I never did get that Newcombe interview, but nevertheless, it was an auspicious baseball day, that I did not see coming. You can check that story out here

I'll get ya next time, Newk!




Saturday, July 23, 2016

Celebrating Don Drysdale's Birthday With Cardboard

Aloha, everybody,

While checking my Twitter feed this morning, I discovered something very cool. 

Fellow dyed-in-blue Dodgers fan and friend, Clyle (@clylealt), reminded us all that today is Don Drysdale's birthday. Big D.

For the first few years after the Dodgers arrived in LA from Brooklyn, that New York feeling was very strong. Almost all of the players hailed back to the Brooklyn club and old Ebbets Field. 

Drysdale was instrumental in helping the Dodgers form their first baseball identity in Los Angeles. 

Is that old time Wrigley Field ivy lurking in the card above? 
He paired up with Sandy Koufax to form a solid one, two punch at the top of the Dodgers' pitching rotation. Think Kershaw and Greinke and you'll get the idea. 

What's a birthday without some floating heads?

Drysdale and Koufax exploited the layout of early Dodger Stadium and dominated early 60's pitching. 

 Big D and Sandy also made their mark on player's salaries and contracts when they played hardball with the Dodgers by simultaneously holding out for record-breaking compensation.

 Big D owned that plate. If you thought otherwise and leaned in a bit too far, Drysdale was not shy about letting you know who that plate belongs to. 

 Drysdale held the MLB most shutout innings pitched record at 58 2/3 innings before it was broken by Bulldog Hershiser twenty years later, at 59. 

 After retirement Drysdale became the Dodgers' TV announcer. I may be hated for saying this, but I always found Drysdale's baseball announcing work to be boring. I used to call him Dull Drysdale. 

Whether he was an exciting announcer or not, he was an exciting player, and one of the last connections from Brooklyn to LA. 


Thursday, July 14, 2016

My First Twitter Trade Was With a Lady and a Southpaw - Awesome!

Aloha, everybody, 

Once again, I'm just about the last person in the collecting world to get in on something - this time it's trading with someone from Twitter. 

Trading with a person you met on Twitter is different from what we collector/bloggers are accustomed to, as it requires a bit more trust in the deal. I would liken it to a blogger trading with a reader. 

Bloggers build reputations through their blogs, and readers build reps - and relationships - through commenting on those blogs. There's the rub, it's about relationships. 

 Speaking of relationships, do you Dodger fans remember when these two were teammates, and winning awards together? It seems like that was a hundred years ago.

I've seen people on Twitter who talk about trades, but those are usually centered around trading big-ticket items, and I also get the feeling most of those folks can't wait to sell their new cards for top dollar as soon as they arrive in the mail. That's really not my bag. 

I blog, collect and trade because I'm working on building a humble collection of cards that I love. Take that above Jackie Robinson tribute card for example. The big money collectors would laugh at that card being included in a deal. Not me. Gimme more Jackie cardboard, because I collect what I love, not what I think I can sell. 

Which brings me to the person I chose to make my first Twitter trade with, Lady Deadpool. We follow each other on Twitter, and over time, we gained a feel for each others "Twitter-minds", and collecting habits. 

Here's a blast from the past - Andre Ethier with an All-Star Rookie Cup. 

Through reading Lady Southpaw's tweets, I saw she was a collector very much like me, loyal to her teams and favorite super heroes, and best of all, she was not focused on her collection as a for-profit enterprise. 

Ever since I wrote that post on Duke Snider cards, more have been dropping into my lap. That was good mojo. 
Poor Yimi didn't have so much good mojo. He's shown flashes of  substance in a few games, but he's now on the 60-day DL, so it will be a while before we see ol' Yimi again. 

Lady Deadpool's Twitter handle is @agentsouthpaw. In talking with her, I learned that's because like me, she's left-handed. We also both collect the Dodgers' southpaw ace, Clayton Kershaw. Which means more Kershaw cardboard for me! 

This one features a very deep 3-D effect. Coolness! 

Shiny Kershaw on an All-Star tribute card...

And one more new Kershaw for my collection...

 Justin Turner isn't the first Dodger to sport a beard at third base. 

 She even dropped some vintage on me, complete with old-timey batting helmets, a mystery arm patch, and some lurking Dodger Stadium. How cool is that?

Miss Deadpool wasn't done. In addition to a great fistful of Dodgers cardboard, she also tossed in a pack of Opening Day. 
Is this where I would find the big money card that most Twitter trades are made of?

Well, I pulled one "yuck!" card. It's the Mets celebrating...

But as we know, one persons yuck, is another's trade bait, so this Mets card will end up heading to a Mets fan. 

Finally, a card that I just can't decide whether or not to keep or trade away...

It's still a little strange for me to see Kemp making his signature home run eyes-to-the-sky pose in a Padre uni. I think I'll hold onto this one for a bit. 

Those were just the highlights from the package that Lady Deadpool sent to me, which makes my first Twitter trade a cardboard success. 

Thanks for the fun trade, Lady Deadpool. I'm looking forward to more trades with you in the future. 

So who wants to be my second Twitter trade partner? 


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Sending Cardboard Love for Hyun-Jin Ryu's Return to the Mound

Aloha, everybody, 

2014 NLDS, Dodgers vs Cardinals. This man was on the bump for the boys in blue...

Ryu went six innings, only giving up one run on five hits. He struck out four. 

That was the last time Ryu pitched for the Dodgers. The Korean southpaw has been on the long-term DL ever since.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is one of my favorite pitchers when he's active in the rotation. I tend to favor southpaws, and I like the big man's fun personality. Did you know Juan Uribe was one of his closest friends back when he was with the team? 

 Perhaps Uribe had to go because the Dodgers couldn't afford to feed both of those guys on a daily basis. 

 Here's some sparkly red...(magenta?)

Ryu faces the Padres tonight; a team that he pitches well against. Also in his favor, is getting his first start at friendly Chavez Ravine, wearing the home whites. 

And the blue parallel...

A Bowman Chrome beauty...

Finally, another recycled photo on the regular issue Bowman...

Good luck to the lefty tonight!