Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rest In Peace Duke Snider

Hall of Famer and Dodger legend Duke Snider passed away this morning. He was 84.

Dodger Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider passed away this morning at the age of 84 at the Valle Vista Convalescent Hospital in Escondido, Calif.

Born Edwin Donald Snider in Los Angeles, CA on Sept. 19, 1926, Snider was among the game's most feared hitters during his 16 seasons with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers (1947-1962), playing on a pair of World Championship teams (1955 and 1959) and in six World Series overall.

The seven-time All-Star center fielder ranks as the franchise's all-time leader in home runs (389) and runs batted in (1,271) and during the 1950s, he topped all Major Leaguers with 326 homers and 1,031 RBI. He slugged four home runs in both the 1952 and 1955 World Series.

Nicknamed "Duke" by his father at age five, he was a standout in football, baseball and basketball at Compton High School before signing with the Dodgers at age 17 in 1943. He briefly played in the low minors before entering the Navy.

He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980 and his Dodger uniform No. 4 was retired that year in Oldtimers Day ceremonies that featured Snider entering the ballpark from beyond the center field fence, accompanied by Joe DiMaggio and Willie Mays, two other great outfielders of Snider's time.

Following his playing career, Snider returned to the Dodger organization as a minor league manager. He later joined the Montreal Expos as a broadcaster and batting coach.

Dodger Owner and Chairman Frank McCourt: "Duke was one of the truly legendary Dodgers who made his mark first in Brooklyn and then in his hometown, Los Angeles. I had the pleasure of spending time with him on several occasions and he was a truly wonderful man. I'm so glad that we were able to keep him as an active part of the Dodger family over the past several years. The entire Dodger organization is deeply saddened by his loss and our heartfelt thoughts are with Beverly and his family."

Dodger Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda: "I was a Duke's teammate and looked up to him with respect. Duke was not only a great player but he was a great person too. He loved his family and loved the Dodgers. He was the true Dodger and represented the Dodgers to the highest degree of class, dignity and character. He was my teammate and friend and I will really miss him."

Dodger Hall of Fame broadcast Vin Scully: "He was an extremely gifted talent and his defensive abilities were often overlooked because of playing in a small ballpark, Ebbets Field. When he had a chance to run and move defensively, he had the grace and the abilities of DiMaggio and Mays and of course, he was a World Series hero that will forever be remembered in the borough of Brooklyn. Although it's ironic to say it, we have lost a giant. He's joining a great Dodger team that has moved on and I extend my sympathies to his entire family, especially to Bev."
It's a sad day in Dodgertown. The Duke will be missed.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Player Appearance: Orel Hershiser

Former Dodger pitcher Orel Hershiser made an appearance today at Living Spaces in Rancho Cucamonga. He was scheduled to sign from 10:00am to 12:00pm.

When I arrived at 9:30, I was about 300 people back. As usual, I met some great Dodger fans in line. Those of us at the back of the line were out in the cold, while the people in the front of the line were in the store. We noticed that Orel had arrived a bit early. We saw him signing at around 9:50.

The line moved at a snail's pace, and it was colder than Alaska out there, but I had a good time chatting with the people in line.  While waiting, Vic "The Brick" Jacobs, from 570am KLAC showed up. He took some pics with the Dodger fans.

Me and Vic "The Brick"

Finally, at around noon, I made it to the front of the line. I brought my Orel Hershiser Clinton Dodgers bobblehead to get signed. Orel was very nice. He shook my hand and said he liked the bobblehead. I handed him the bobble and silver sharpie, but I was worried that he wouldn't have enough room to sign his long name. He ended up signing the base of the bobblehead, and he did have enough room, although it looks like he squeezed the last few letters of his last name in. I'm happy with it.

Orel signing his bobblehead

I had a great time today. I need to thank Orel Hershiser, Gustavo from for the info on the appearance, Living Spaces in Rancho Cucamonga and 570 KLAC. Also, I want to give a shoutout to the people in line who made the two hours just fly by; Nathan, Daniel and Louis.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dodger Fans Choose 1940's Era Brooklyn Unis

On February 4, the Dodgers announced they would be wearing throwback Brooklyn uniforms for six games in 2011. Fans were given the opportunity to vote on which uniforms the team would wear. They had three uniforms to choose from; the 1911 road uniform, the 1931 road uniform, or the 1940s "Satin" road uniform.

With nearly 50,000 votes casted by Dodger fans, the results are in and the 1940s "Satin" road uniforms were chosen. From
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that the 1940s "satin" uniform was selected by Dodger fans as the winning "throwback" uniforms for six mid-week day games in 2011. Each of the games will feature half-price food and drink, including alcoholic beverages, for the first time ever at Dodger Stadium, with a special half-price six-game ticket plan available for fans who want to attend each of the games.

Nearly 50,000 votes were cast at with the winning uniform edging out the 1911 road uniform by less than 2,000 votes.

Though the original uniform worn in the 1940s was made of a highly reflective satin fabric to make it more visible under the lights for night games, the throwback jerseys will maintain a similar feel as those worn by the Dodgers throughout the 2011 season.

The Brooklyn jerseys will be available for purchase by fans at Dodger Stadium beginning on the first date they are worn, April 21 against the Atlanta Braves. That date marks the anniversary of the franchise's first victory, which also came against the Braves in 1890. The other five dates are May 4 (vs. Cubs), June 15 (vs. Reds), June 22 (vs. Tigers), August 10 (vs. Phillies) and August 31 (vs. Padres).

The special "Throwback Six-Pack Plan" includes half-price tickets for each of the half-price food and drink games. Details are available at Individual tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. at, by calling 866-DODGERS or by visiting the Dodger Stadium box office.

The last time the Dodgers wore a throwback uniform was June 23, 2007 in Tampa Bay as part of a "Turn Back the Clock Night" honoring former Dodger player and Rays coach Don Zimmer. That night, the Dodgers wore replica 1955 Brooklyn road uniforms.
I voted for the 1911 unis. Personally, I think these 1940's uniforms are ugly, but it's nice to see the team trying something different.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2006 Team Topps Don Zimmer Brooklyn Dodgers auto

Here's another autograph from the Dodger collection. This is a 2006 Team Topps Don Zimmer Brooklyn Dodgers auto, TT-DZ.

Zim played in the Dodgers organization from 1954-1959 and again in 1963. In those seven seasons he hit .228 with 43 homeruns and 161 rbi.  He is currently a senior baseball advisor for the Tampa Bay Rays and wears uniforms number 63 for his 63 years in baseball.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

NBA All-Star Jam Session: Day 3

Today I attended the NBA All-Star Jam at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, George Gervin, John Starks, Mitch Ritchmond, Detlef Schrempf, and Ron Harper were all scheduled to appear.

I arrived at 10:00 a.m. with one goal: to get Blake Griffin's autograph.  The first thing I did was buy a 2010-2011 All Star ball, then I headed to the line. When we got to the signing area, Russell Westbrook was there signing. I decided to jump in line and get Russell's autograph. The line moved smoothly. Russell was cranking out the signatures. Once I got to the front of the line, Russell signed, then I went directly to the line forming for Blake Griffin.

Russell Westbrook

Let me say how unorganized the whole event was. No one knew where to go. But everyone started getting in this line that had begun forming. By the time Westbrook finished signing, there were hundreds of people in a line waiting for Blake Griffin. No one knew if this was the official line for the signing. It turned out to be the official Blake Griffin line, but in the end it didn't matter. They had us move forward, counting us as we walked to the front. I was number 70 in line. I thought I was in good shape. Blake was scheduled to appear at 12:00.

Noon finally came, and no Griffin. 12:30, no Griffin. 12:45, no Griffin. Finally at 12:55, Griffin showed up. The crowd went crazy. The MC asked him a couple of questions, then brought him over to THE car he jumped over in the Slam Dunk contest. Blake signed the car, then headed over to the signing table. They started letting people in in groups of ten. After about 15 minutes, they decided to stop the signing. I was three people shy of getting his autograph. I can't begin to tell you how pissed I was.I wasn't the only one. There were hundreds of angry people behind me. I don't want to blame Blake Griffin for this, I know he is probably getting pulled in a million directions. I blame his PR people. They really fucked the whole thing up.

The picture they gave us.
Blake Griffin

The hood Griffin jumped over in the dunk contest

After Griffin left, the people working the event handed us a picture of him in the dunk contest and sent us on our way. I was so angry, I couldn't think straight. After walking around for a while, I decided to go to the John Starks line. While waiting for Griffin, I missed out on the George Gervin, Ron Harper, Detlef Schrempf, and the Mitch Richmond signings, so I figured I might as well get something before I left.

John Starks was scheduled to appear at 3:00, and he showed up on time. I was a huge Starks fan growing up, so this was a nice consolation prize. I forgot to bring something for Starks to sign, luckily he had some All-Star postcards at the table.

John Starks

I'm happy I got a chance to meet Russell Westbrook and John Starks today. I'm also upset I didn't meet Blake Griffin. He was probably the most popular player this All-Star weekend, so they should have known there would be many people trying to get his autograph. I really feel let down, but I also know there are no guarantees at these things.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Player Appearances: Eric Gordon, Eric Bledsoe, Robert Horry, Carmelo Anthony

With the NBA All-Star game in town this weekend, there have been player appearances all over the Los Angeles area. My buddy Tom and I planned on going to a Bill Walton appearance early then hitting a Tony Parker appearance. That all fell through once we found out Dwight Howard would be signing autographs at Foot Locker at Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

Eric Gordon

Eric Bledsoe

With Dwight Howard appearing at 2:45, we had time to hit some other signings. I couldn't make it to any early appearances, but Tom and his girlfriend Margaret did. Their first stop was to see Clippers Eric Gordon and Eric Bledsoe. There weren't a lot of people there, so they got me an autograph from both Clips.

Me and Big-Shot Rob

I finally was able to start hitting some of these signings, so I met Tom and Margaret at Westfield Shopping Center in Culver City. Inside the mall there was an All-Star Fan Jam. Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony were both scheduled for Q&A sessions at Foot Locker and former Laker Robert Horry was scheduled to sign autographs at JC Penney. We went to the Robert Horry appearance first. There were about 50 people ahead of us. Horry got there 20 minutes late, but he was very nice. He signed multiple items and took pictures with fans. I got a college basketball card and Lakers picture signed.

From there we decided to go to the Dwight Howard appearance. On my way there, I heard from Greg from Plaschke Thy Sweater Is Argyle, who told me we would need a wrist band for the Howard appearance. We decided to go down there anyways and take our chances. It was a mistake.

Dodgerbobble and Serge Ibaka

Matt Barnes

Once I got there, I started walking towards the Foot Locker. As I made my way there, I saw a small crowd gathering around a very tall man. I thought it was Howard, but it wasn't. It was actually Thunder Center Serge Ibaka. I took a picture with the guy, then got into the line for Howard. Even though we didn't have a wristband, we were told to wait there. While waiting, we saw Lakers forward Matt Barnes. We took some pics of Matt, then continued to wait. After about 2 hours, we were told they would only let people with wristbands in for autographs. It was a huge waste of time. I only have myself to blame. I should have called first to see if there would be wristbands being handed out.


From there we decided to go back to Culver City for the Carmelo Anthony Q&A. When I got to Foot Locker for Melo, I walked right in. I stood in front of the media pit. Carmelo showed up 10 minutes late. The place went crazy once he showed up. The Q&A dealt mostly with his Air Jordan line, but the trade issue came up and Carmelo didn't answer that question. He didn't sign anything either. It was a great experience though. I shot some video of the session with my phone. The audio sucks, but at around 7 minutes in, you can hear Carmelo saying he'd like to see what Blake Griffin can do in the Dunk Contest and he also thinks the West will win the All-Star game.

I am going to the NBA Jam Session at the LA Convention Center tomorrow. My goal is to meet Blake Griffin, who will be making an appearance. I hope I get a chance to see the newest Slam Dunk Champion.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bobblehead News

Some bobblehead news and notes:

Twins to give away Hrbek/Gant bobblehead. This might be the coolest idea for a bobblehead ever (unless you're a Braves fan). The Minnesota Twins will be giving away a bobblehead remembering Kent Hrbek lifting Ron Gant off first base during Game 2 of the 1991 World Series. For those that don't remember what happened:
Atlanta's Ron Gant ripped a single in the third and after rounding first retreated back to the bag. Pitcher Kevin Tapani threw the ball to first where Gant had appeared to make it in plenty of time. That was until Hrbek, under the guise of attempting to apply a tag, lifted Gant off the base. Umpire Drew Coble called him out. The Twins would end up winning by one (3-2, to take a 2-0 series lead).
The 2011 season marks the 20th anniversary of the 1991 World Series Champion Twins. The giveaway date for this bobblehead hasn't been announced yet.

Oakland A's to give away Rickey Henderson bobblehead. Last month I mentioned the A's were going to give away MC Hammer bobbleheads. Well the A's have put out their full promotional list, and another bobblehead they'll be giving away is Rickey Henderson on Saturday, April 30th. Rickey is one of my all-time favorite players, so I might make the trip to Oakland to pick this one up.

Diamondbacks to give away Kirk Gibson bobblehead. OK, so he's in a DBacks uniform, but it's still Gibby. This one will be given away on Saturday, August 6. Guess who the Diamondbacks will be playing that night. The Dodgers. No picture on this one yet.

Carmelo Anthony Bobblehead Conversion Kit. Kenny Be of Denver Westword shows Nuggets fans what they can do with their Carmello Anthony bobbleheads once he's traded. Funny stuff.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dodger Bloggers Take Part In Community Caravan

On Tuesday, I took part in the last stop of the Dodgers Community Caravan in Northridge, where the team dedicated the newest Dream Field. Other Dodger bloggers took part in the Caravan as well.

Roberto at Vin Scully Is My Homeboy made a couple stops on the caravan. He was part of the Santa Monica Beach cleanup and the Los Angeles River cleanup.

Emma at Crzblue's Dodger Blog also took part in the LA River cleanup.

Linda from LEAVes of Dodger Blue made that LA River stop as well.

Sons of Steve Garvey got a guest post from reader  "Beast Mode", who took part in the Santa Monica Beach Heal the Bay cleanup.

Finally, from, here's some video from the Caravan.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dodgers Community Caravan: Dodgers Dreamfield Dedication In Northridge

I attended the unveiling of the newest Dodgers Dreamfield today. The Dodgers Dream Foundation and LA84 Foundation dedicated the new Dodgers Dreamfield at Northridge Recreation Center. It was the last stop of the Dodgers' annual community caravan. The dedication ceremony was led by Dodger Owner and Chairman Frank McCourt, 12th District City Councilman Greig Smith, LA84 Foundation President Anita L. DeFrantz, LA84 Foundation Vice President of Grants and Programs Patrick Escobar and General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation Jon Kirk Mukri.

Dodger players in attendance included Rafael Furcal, Matt Kemp, Tony Gwynn Jr., Jay Gibbons and Gabe Kapler, as well as former Dodgers Fernando Valenzuela, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Derrel Thomas, "Sweet" Lou Johnson, Don Newcombe, Todd Zeile and Dodger broadcaster Charley Steiner.

The entire event was a lot of fun. It was nice to see all the little leaguers in attendance.

When the players first arrived, they headed straight to the field, and the fans were told not to ask for autographs until the event was over. People ignored this and started taking pictures with the players and asking for autographs. That was put to a stop quickly once the dedication ceremony began.

Charley Steiner started the ceremony. He introduced all the players and speakers. We heard from Greig Smith, Anita L. DeFrantz, then Frank McCourt. Frank gave a nice speech, then he got all the kids together to start a baseball clinic.

The clinic was separated into stations, and the kids would rotate every five minutes. It was a pleasure to watch.

When the clinic ended, a group picture was taken with all the kids and Dodger personnel. Afterwards, the players took pictures with the fans and signed some autographs. I was there with my Don Newcombe bobblehead hoping to get his autograph. That didn't happen. I had a terrible experience trying to get him to sign. I would love to tell this story, but I don't want to bad-mouth anyone. Maybe one day I'll actually get him to sign the bobble. Anyways, with all the time I wasted trying to get Newk's autograph, I missed out on some other opportunities. I did get to meet Steve Garvey, Fernando Valenzuela, Todd Zeile and Gabe Kapler though.

Dodgerbobble and Fernando

Dodgerbobble and Garv

Dodgerbobble and Todd Zeile

It's hard to see, but that's Gabe Kapler's autograph

Now I'm ready for baseball. First Spring Training then Opening Day. We're almost there.