Friday, November 25, 2011

Player Appearance: Blake Griffin

Last Saturday I went on a journey that landed me not one, not two, but three autographs. That first auto was from Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn and I had to drive 150 miles away to San Diego to get it. I got the next two in Downtown LA on my way home. LA Clippers All-Star Forward Blake Griffin and Skateboarder Rob Dyrdek both were signing at the Los Angeles Auto show at the Convention Center.

Tony Gwynn's appearance was scheduled for 9:00 am and my friends and I were at the front of the line. Tony began signing right away so we were able to leave San Diego at 9:30. We still had a chance to get to LA for the 1:00pm Blake Griffin appearance. While on the freeway heading home, we were getting updates from my buddy Alex who was already at the Convention Center waiting in line for Griffin. He told us there were only 10 people in line. Things were looking good.

It took us about two and a half hours to get to the Convention Center. When we arrived, we were about twentieth in line and it was an hour before the signing. The four of us got wristbands and we were told Blake wouldn't sign any outside items but he would take a picture with us. Kia Motors was giving away 8x10 pictures for him to sign, plus certificates of authenticity from Panini.

Once 1:00 rolled around, we were told Blake was running late. He finally showed up at 1:15 and started signing right away. When I got to the front of the line he signed the Kia picture for me and posed for a pic. He asked me if I was having a good time at the auto show and I moved on.

While we there we saw Jesse from Los Angeles Inspiration, and he informed us that Skateboarder and "Fantasy Factory" star Rob Dyrdek was signing at the Chevy booth. We all headed over there and got that auto as well.

Overall I'd say I had a great day. I got one HOFers auto, one NBA superstar's auto and a third auto from a pretty famous skateboarder. Not bad if you ask me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Updating The Dodger Stadium SGA List

Via @Dodgers
On Monday the Dodgers released their 2012 promotional schedule, which includes 10 bobbleheads. These bobbleheads will feature players and personalities who have been part of Dodger Stadium's 50 year history. Except for the eighth bobblehead Sandy Koufax, they haven't told us who the other nine will be, but they have given us the dates of those giveaway nights. 

I've updated the bobblehead list in the sidebar of the blog, which includes all 39 Dodger Stadium bobbleheads from  2001 to 2011 with dates, names and links to my posts. And now I've added the ten upcoming 2012 bobbleheads. The list will remain in the sidebar and I'll update it as the we discover who those bobbleheads are. 

Here's the complete list:

  • April 28, 2012 - 2012 Bobblehead #1
  • May 15, 2012 - 2012 Bobblehead #2
  • May 29, 2012 - 2012 Bobblehead #3
  • June 12, 2012 - 2012 Bobblehead #4
  • June 28, 2012 - 2012 Bobblehead #5
  • July 14, 2012 - 2012 Bobblehead #6
  • July 31, 2012 - 2012 Bobblehead #7
  • August 7, 2012 - Sandy Koufax
  • August 21, 2012 - 2012 Bobblehead #9
  • August 30, 2012 - 2012 Bobblehead #10

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2011 Topps Tier One Dee Gordon Auto

When I first saw the 2011 Topps Tier One design, I knew I had to get my hands on some of the Dodgers cards. My first target was one of my favorite youngsters on the team, Devaris Strange Gordon. This is my third Dee Gordon auto, and I don't think it's gonna be my last, as I've decided to start collecting Dee's cards. 

On-card blue signatures always look great on Dodger cards, and this is no exception.

Dee's "On The Rise" card is numbered 457/999.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dodgers To Give Away 10 Bobbleheads in 2012, Including A Sandy Koufax Bobble!

The Dodgers just released their 2012 promotional schedule, and there's TEN...yes TEN bobleheads being given away, including a Sandy Koufax bobblehead! For a rundown of the entire promotional list, go to Here's a list of the ten bobblehead dates:

#1 Saturday, April 28 vs Washington

#2 Tuesday, May 15 vs Arizona

#3 Tuesday, May 29 vs Milwaukee

#4 Tuesday, June 12 vs Anaheim

#5 Thursday, June 28 vs NYM

#6 Saturday, July 14 vs San Diego

#7 Tuesday, July 31 vs Arizona

#8 Tuesday, August 7 vs Colorado - Sandy Koufax Bobblehead

#9 Tuesday, August 21 vs San Francisco

#10 Thursday, August 30 vs Arizona

The team is also offering a 10 game Dodger Stadium Greats mini ticket plan.

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium with the Dodger Stadium Greats Bobblehead Series! This planincludes all ten bobblehead giveaways for 2012, featuring Dodger players and personalities who have been a part of Dodger Stadium history.

To purchase the mini plan, click here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Player Appearance: Tony Gwynn

Yesterday I had one of those rare days where I went from one location to another and got more than one autograph. I actually was able to get three autographs yesterday.  The first one I got was 150 miles away in San Diego from Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. The other two, Clippers Forward Blake Griffin and Skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, were at the Los Angeles Auto Show. I'll share my experience with Mr. Gwynn today and move onto Griffin and Dyrdek later.

Former San Diego Padres All-Star and Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn made an appearance yesterday at El Cajon  Ford. He was scheduled to meet fans and sign autographs from 9-10:00 am. 

I made my 150 mile journey from the San Fernando Valley down to El Cajon with three friends early Saturday morning. It took us about 2 hours to get down there. Surprisingly, there were only two other people waiting in line when we arrived.

While we were there, my buddy Alex was giving me updates from the Los Angeles Convention Center where Blake Griffin was scheduled to sign at 1:00pm. That too was a surprisingly short line.

Mr. Gwynn arrived about 15 minutes early and started signing right at 9:00. I had heard some horror stories about Tony being snappy at past events. When I got to the signing table he was very friendly, autographing my baseball and was even joking around. But sure enough, the guy behind me got him upset. The gentleman behind me had a picture of Tony in a San Diego State basketball uniform and Tony wanted to know where he got it. The guy said he bought it from someone in line and before you knew it, Tony was out of his seat wondering who the guy was. After this person was pointed out, Tony made it clear he didn't want any of his pictures sold there because it was theft. The General Manager at the dealership even announced it over the loudspeaker. The whole ordeal had us all laughing.

When we left the Ford dealership, I got another update from Alex at the Convention Center, and there were just five people there in line. Maybe we had a chance to get Blake Griffin's auto too? So we got on the freeway and hauled ass to Downtown LA. As I already mentioned, we did get Blake's autograph, but I'll save that for another day.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Justin Sellers Appearance Rescheduled

The Justin Sellers appearance at Valley Sports Cards has been rescheduled. The new date is Sunday, December 11, 2011 from 1:00-2:30 pm. The autograph will be $20 and that's on any single item. The autograph will also include FREE authentication.

The original November 12 date was cancelled when the Dodgers asked Justin to play Winter ball in the Dominican Republic. 

Valley Sports Cards is located at:
19640 Ventura Boulevard
Tarzana, CA 91356

For more information:(818) 705-2255

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Congrats Kersh!


Congratulations to Clayton Kershaw on winning the NL Cy Young Award today. The lefty took 27 of the 32 first place votes and becomes the youngest winner since Dwight Gooden in 1985. This marks the tenth time a Dodger pitcher has won the award.

I don't think there's any surprise here at all. I'm just shocked Clayton didn't get all the first place votes.  


 Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw capped off his historic 2011 season by winning the National League Cy Young Award today in voting conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Kershaw earned 207 overall points and appeared in the Top-3 on every ballot, garnering 27 first-place votes, three second-place and two third place votes out of the possible 32 votes.
The 23-year-old is the second-youngest Dodger to be honored with a Cy Young Award behind Fernando Valenzuela (20, 1981) and the youngest National Leaguer to win since Dwight Gooden, who won the award in 1985 at the age of 20 with the Mets.
“I'm extremely thankful and humbled by this award,” said Kershaw. “The company that I'm in now... just to be mentioned with some of those guys. I'm just in awe.  I never thought I'd be here.
Kershaw is the eighth different Dodger pitcher to win the Cy Young Award and a Dodger has now won the award 10 times, both of which are the most among Major League teams. He becomes the first Los Angeles pitcher to win the award since Eric Gagné in 2003 and the first Dodger starter to take home the Cy Young since Orel Hershiser in 1988. The Dodgers’ previous Cy Young Award winners were Valenzuela (1981), Mike Marshall (1974), Sandy Koufax (1963, 1965, 1966), Don Drysdale (1962) and Don Newcombe, who won the inaugural award in 1956.
Kershaw has already been recognized this offseason by earning the Players Choice Award as the National League’s Outstanding Pitcher, capturing a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, being selected as a Sporting News NL All-Star and winning the Warren Spahn Award as the game’s best left-handed pitcher. Kershaw was also a finalist for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet for his charitable work off the field.
In 2011, the Dallas native became just the 16th National League pitcher to win the league’s Triple Crown since 1900. Kershaw led the Majors with a 2.28 ERA, tied with Arizona’s Ian Kennedy for the N.L. lead with 21 wins and ranked first in the league with 248 strikeouts. He became just the third different Dodger pitcher to achieve the feat, joining Dazzy Vance (1924) and Sandy Koufax (1963, 1965 and 1966). The last National League pitcher to capture the Triple Crown was Jake Peavy in 2007.
The left-hander ranked among the N.L. leaders in opponents’ batting average (.207, 1st), winning percentage (.808, 21-5, 2nd), innings pitched (233.1, 3rd), complete games (5, 3rd), shutouts (2, T-2nd), WHIP (0.98, 1st) and pickoffs (9, 1st).
This past season was just Kershaw’s third complete season at the Major League level as he became the youngest Major Leaguer to win more than 20 games in a season since Gooden went 24-4 for the 1985 Mets and the youngest Dodger to win 20 since a 21-year-old Ralph Branca went 21-12 for Brooklyn in 1947. Kershaw became one of just four pitchers since 1970 to reach the 20-win plateau with 240 or more strikeouts in a single season while under the age of 24, joining Gooden (24 wins, 268 strikeouts in 1985), Bert Blyleven (20 W, 258 SO in 1973) and Vida Blue (24 W, 301 SO in 1971).
Following his offseason trip to Zambia, Kershaw along with his wife, Ellen, started the Kershaw’s Challenge program ( and this past season donated $100 for each of his league-leading 248 strikeouts to Arise Africa, an organization that helps to build orphanages in the African nation. The couple has been writing a book, Arise, about their life together and charitable endeavors in Africa and it will release in January 2012 after they return from their second trip to Zambia.
Kershaw earned his spot in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ single-season record books, ranking among team leaders in wins (T-7th), winning percentage (6th), ERA (11th), strikeouts (6th) and opponents’ batting average (11th). His 21 victories and 2.28 ERA were the best marks since Orel Hershiser went 23-8 with a 2.26 ERA in 1988 and his strikeout total was the highest for a Dodger since Sandy Koufax struck out 317 in 1966.
The seventh overall pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft earned his first All-Star selection in 2011 and was voted in to the Midsummer Classic via Player Ballot. In the game, he tossed a scoreless inning and needed just eight pitches to set down the side in order by striking out David Ortiz and retiring Robinson Cano and Alex Avila on infield grounders.
Kershaw was twice tabbed for National League Awards during the season, winning N.L. Pitcher of the Month in July and earning the league’s Player of the Week honor for the period of June 20-26.  He went 4-1 with a 2.02 ERA in five July starts, tying for the N.L. lead in wins and ranking third in ERA. For his weekly honor, Kershaw went a perfect 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA (2 ER/18.0 IP), a two-hit shutout of the Tigers on June 20 and a complete game victory over the Angels on June 26.
Kershaw made his first Opening Day start this season, becoming the fifth-youngest Opening Day starter in L.A. Dodger history at 23 years and 12 days. Fernando Valenzuela was younger in 1981 (20, 159) and 1983 (22, 155) and Don Drysdale was younger in 1958 (21, 266) and 1959 (22, 262).
It was such a pleasure watching the kid pitch this year. You expect a Dodger win every time he takes the mound.

I cannot wait for the 2012 season to start. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dodgers Sign Mark Ellis And Matt Treanor

After agreeing in principle to an eight-year extension with Matt Kemp yesterday, and making every Dodger fan happy as hell, Uncle Ned is back to his old ways, adding two more veterans to the roster.  

This morning they announced the signing of second baseman Mark Ellis. The deal is for two years and $8.75 million and an option for a third year. With Jamey Carroll now playing in Minnesota, Ellis basically takes his place. I honestly didn't see this one coming. I really thought the Dodgers would go cheap at 2B in '12, playing Ivan DeJesus and Justin Sellers. Wrong. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced that they have signed second baseman Mark Ellis to a two-year contract with a club option for a third year in 2014. Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.
"Mark brings a veteran presence to our lineup and he knows how to handle the bat," said Colletti. "On defense, he's been one of the most dependable second basemen in baseball over the course of his career."
Ellis, 34, batted .248 with seven home runs, 41 RBI and a career high-tying 14 stolen bases in 132 combined games with Oakland and Colorado last season. After being acquired by Colorado on July 1, he finished the season by hitting .274 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 70 games as the Rockies' everyday second baseman.
Ellis led Major League second baseman with a .995 fielding percentage last season and has posted the top fielding percentage at the position three times in the last six years after also doing so in 2006 and 2008. The 2011 season marked Ellis' seventh consecutive season with a .990 or better fielding percentage and his .991 career fielding percentage as a second baseman is the second-best all-time (min. 750 games) behind only Placido Polanco's .993 mark. In 2006, Ellis posted a .997 fielding percentage, which was then a Major League record for a second baseman, and followed it up by setting an Athletics franchise record for second baseman with a 102-game errorless streak from May 14-Sept. 10, 2007.
The 10-year Major League veteran owns a .266 career batting average in 1,126 games with Oakland (2002-11) and Colorado (2011) and his 90 career home runs as a second baseman (92 total career homers) rank ninth among active Major Leaguers. Ellis is Oakland's all-time home run leader as a second baseman with 84 roundtrippers and overall ranks eighth on Oakland's all-time doubles list with 204 in 1,056 games with the A's.
Ellis has twice led Oakland in batting average, hitting a career-high .316 in 2005 and .291 in 2010, and established career bests in 2007 with 161 hits, 33 doubles, 19 homers and 76 RBI in 150 games.
The South Dakota native has been active off the field throughout his career and was honored as the 2007 recipient of the Dave Stewart Community Service Award, which is given annually to an Athletics player for outstanding work in the community. Ellis is also a two-time winner of Oakland's Catfish Hunter Award, which is presented annually to the Athletics player whose play on the field and conduct in the clubhouse best exemplifies the courageous, competitive and inspirational spirit demonstrated by the late Hall of Fame pitcher. The award is voted upon by Oakland A's players, coaches and staff.
Ellis was originally selected by Kansas City in the ninth round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Florida and traded to Oakland in 2001 as a part of a three-team, seven-player deal. He resides in Scottsdale, AZ with his wife, Sarah, and three children, Adelaide, Briggs and Dylan.
Then, tonight they announced the signing of catcher Matt Treanor to a one-year $850,000 deal with an option for 2013. The 36 year-old Treanor will replace Rod Barajas who left for Pittsburgh and is thought of as a defensive-minded catcher.

This is another one one I'm a little surprised at, but I really shouldn't be. I thought Barajas would be brought back. Since he wasn't, Ned had to go out and get a veteran catcher to replace him. There's no way he could go into 2012 with just  AJ Ellis and Tim Federowicz.

The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced that they have signed catcher Matt Treanor to a one-year contract with a club option for 2013. Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.
The Garden Grove, CA native has started 50 or more games in five of the past six seasons and thrown out 22.1% of basestealers throughout his career, including a career-best 41.9 caught stealing percentage in 2006 with the Marlins (13-of-31).
Treanor, 35, caught a team-high 81 games (52-29, .642) for the Rangers in 2010 and played a big role in Texas' postseason run, catching all four of C.J. Wilson's starts and homering in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees.
The eight-year Major League veteran is a .225 career hitter and has suited up in the big leagues with Florida (2004-08), Detroit (2009), Texas (2010-2011) and Kansas City (2011). In 2011, he hit a combined .214 with three homers and 22 RBI in 72 games, including 64 starts, with the Royals and Rangers.
Treanor was originally selected by Kansas City in the fourth round of the 1994 First-Year Player Draft out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA. He is married to two-time Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor and resides in Coral Springs, FL.
So what's next for Ned Colletti? Well, he said he isn't going after a big bat. The Dodgers still need at least one more starting pitcher. Could we see Hiroki Kuroda back? That's one veteran I wouldn't mind seeing in Dodger blue next year.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Dodgers, Bison Close To Long-Term Deal

It's been a while since I posted anything. As a matter of fact, I was planning on ending, but some great new has sucked me back into the blogosphere. This great news I speak of is the long-term contract the Dodgers are about to sign with Matt Kemp.

According to Ken Gurnick, the team is close to signing an 8-year, $160 extension with the MVP candidate.  From

The Dodgers and outfielder Matt Kemp have reached a preliminary agreement on a franchise-record eight-year, $160 million contract extension pending the passing of a physical exam, according to a baseball source.
The deal would be the biggest in franchise history, eclipsing the seven-year, $105 million deal signed by right-hander Kevin Brown in 1998.
However, at a Dodgers Dream Foundation event Monday in Compton, Calif., Kemp was mum on the subject, unwilling to make anything official just yet.
Kemp, a contender for the National League Most Valuable Player Award after winning a Rawlings NL Gold Glove Award and an NL Silver Slugger Award, just finished a two-year, $11.1 million deal. He is eligible for one more arbitration season before hitting free agency.The Dodgers under general manager Ned Colletti have not given a contract beyond Juan Pierre's five-year deal.
Colletti has said that locking up Kemp would be an offseason priority, and the center fielder has been the club's focus, even though Andre Ethier also has one season of arbitration eligibility remaining before he's able to be a free agent.
Kemp, 27, batted .324 (third in the NL) with 39 home runs and 126 RBIs in 2011, leading the NL in homers, RBIs, runs scored (115) and total bases (353). The 2011 NL All-Star also finished among the league leaders in multihit games (57, tied for first), hits (195, second), slugging percentage (.586, second), extra-base hits (76, second), stolen bases (40, tied for second), on-base percentage (.399, fourth) and walks (74, tied for eighth).
Kemp became the seventh player in Major League history to finish the season ranked in the top three in homers, batting average, RBIs and stolen bases in his respective league, joining Hall of Famers Ty Cobb (1907, '09-11), Honus Wagner ('08), George Sisler ('20), Chuck Klein ('32), Willie Mays ('55) and Hank Aaron ('63).
In addition, Kemp was the first Dodgers player to lead the NL in home runs and RBIs since Dolph Camilli in 1941 and the first player in Dodgers history to lead the NL in homers, RBIs and runs scored. He is one of five players all time to eclipse 30 homers, 35 stolen bases, 100 RBIs and a .310 average, joining Ken Williams ('22), Barry Bonds ('92), Alex Rodriguez ('98) and Vladimir Guerrero (2002).
This year, Kemp was voted by his teammates as the winner of the Roy Campanella Award, which goes to the Dodgers player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Famer; he's received the Hank Aaron Award, as the most outstanding offensive player in the NL; the Baseball America Player of the Year; the NL Stan Musial Award, presented by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance; been named a finalist for the Players Choice Outstanding Player in the NL; and named to The Sporting News NL All-Star team.
If all this is true, I have to give some major props to Ned Colletti for getting this deal done. I honestly didn't think he could pull it off.  Losing Kemp to free agency after the 2012 season is something the franchise couldn't let happen. Now, it looks like he'll be manning the Dodger Stadium outfield for the next eight years.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Player Appearance: Jerry West

Laker legend Jerry West made an appearance this past Wednesday at the ESPN Zone in Downtown Los Angeles. He was there promoting his new book "West By West: My Charmed, Tormented Life". This appearance was supposed to be part of the NBA's opening day festivities, but sadly the lockout was still in effect.

Mr. West was scheduled to appear from 6-7 pm. He would sign one book and one outside item per person. My buddy Tom and I arrived an hour early. We were about 75 people from the front. After us, only a few more people showed up. I'd say there was about 100 people there.

When 6 o'clock rolled around, we were told Jerry West was running 15 minutes late. Once he did arrive, he went straight to the media and did interviews. He didn't start signing until 7:00. The line moved very slowly.When we got into the signing area, we noticed he was chatting with people and taking pictures.

At around 8:00 we finally got to the table. Mr. Clutch was very nice. I thanked him for everything he's done for Laker Nation. He signed my book and one basketball card.

Thanks to Jerry West and the ESPN Zone.