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Dodgers Blue Heaven

Rest, Relax And Put Your Blue On. Dodger Blue passion mixed in with an obsessive compulsive desire to scour the world for rare and interesting Dodgers and Baseball collectibles.

Updated: 2016-10-25T09:12:39.975-07:00


A Couple Vintage Dodgers Collectibles at Lelands Auctions -- The Sym-Phony Band and an Wrigley Flag


With our teams unceremonious exit from the 2016 postseason, I thought it would be fun to take one last look at the current Lelands Auction for some more vintage Dodgers memorabilia.  After all, there is no better way to get over the hump of another disappointing Baseball season then by seeking out the past for some guidance, and this auction is filled with stuff that could assist us.  For instance, last week I dived into this auction and shared pics of a couple of great vintage editorial cartoons featuring the Brooklyn Dodgers "Bum" (link here) -- which seems fairly apt considering how things ended for us.Now, I share something else that is somewhat similar.  Featured above is a vintage original Barney Stein photograph of the Brooklyn Dodgers "Sym-Phony" band taken in the early 50's.  (Auction Link)  As you may know, the oftentimes merry band of Dodger rooters spontaneously formed an fan-band to entertain the crowd at home games at Ebbets Field.  After all, years of futility required fans to funnel their sorrow into laughter.From what I understand, they appeared at every home game from 1939 to 1957.  At first, they had to sneak their instruments into the game, but soon they had the support of management.  And as a result, they would be allowed into the game for free.  In fact, they were given their own row in Section 8 (get it?) of the stadium, and affectionately called their area the "loco section".This group of merry melodic pranksters did everything from starting chants to making funny sounds during the game.  They even had an entire repertoire of songs they played depending upon what was going on in the game.  For instance, whenever they had enough of an umpire's blatantly bad calls they played, "Three Bling Mice".Lastly, the item below relates directly to the Dodgers and the team that beat us this weekend.  Below is a Dodgers banner that flew high on the roof of Wrigley Field in Chicago.  (Auction Link)  As you may know, Wrigley includes several flag poles that has team flags of every team in the league in the order of their placement within their division.  The flag directly below hung at the stadium during the 2015 season.* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes ** Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook ** Dodgers Blue Heaven home page * [...]

2016 Topps Gold Label - All the Dodgers Cards


Last week Topps released an old Baseball card brand that existed in the hobby in the late-90's and early naughts.  It is called 2016 Topps Gold Label, and it features an 100-card base set that includes three different versions of each base card.  Go here to check out a complete checklist.The Dodgers have seven players in the base set and eight different on-card autographed cards.  Unfortunately, four of the autograph subjects are only available through a redemption card.BTW, this set was last produced in 2002 -- a time period when I was still out of the hobby but on the verge of returning with gusto.  So this is a brand that I have very little knowledge of.#18 Kenta MaedaClass 1                                   Class 2                               Class 3 #22 Clayton Kershaw Class 1                                   Class 2                               Class 3 #31 Sandy KoufaxClass 1                                   Class 2                               Class 3 #62 Julio Urias Class 1                                   Class 2                               Class 3 #75 Corey Seager Class 1                                                     Class 2Class 3#90 Yasiel PuigClass 1                                   Class 2                               Class 3 #93 Adrian GonzalezClass 1                                   Class 2                               Class 3 Framed Autographs #GLFA-CK Clayton Kershaw -- Redemption Card#GLFA-SK Sandy Koufax -- Redemption Card   #GLFA-CS Corey Seager -- Redemption Card #GLFA-JUR Julio Urias -- Redemption Card #GLFA-FM Frankie Montas                 #GLFA-KM Kenta Maeda #GLFA-SGR Shawn Green                 #GLFA-TTO Trayce Thompson * Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes ** Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook ** Dodgers Blue Heaven home page * [...]

Blog Kiosk: 10/24/2016 - Dodgers Links - It Wasn't Meant to Be


The Dodgers got beat.  There's no way around it.  They got beat by the better team.  A team that did all the little things to win; including a surprise bunt single (just like Vic Davalillo for the Dodgers in 1977) in Game 4 that ended up being a huge spark for their offense. The Dodgers, on the other hand, were just not themselves in this series.  They committed seven errors in the six games; having only committed 80 errors all season long.  Worse yet, they recorded six of those errors in the last three games they played -- all loses.  Per a transcript of the Dave Roberts' press conference after the game:Yeah, it's a little bit of a sour taste. Obviously, if we play a clean three games in 4, 5, 6 there could have been a different outcome. And very uncharacteristic of our guys. When you make plays and pitch counts change and the next hitter that's coming up, the outs, everything changes.So, yeah, when you look back these last three games, to not play our best baseball, there's a little sour taste.I am constantly reminded that Baseball is as much about losing as it is about winning.  The game is meant to break your heart, and it's ultimate enduring lesson is the value of perseverance.   You must never give up, and always try again.  So it is with a hearty and optimistic growl that I yelp, "wait 'til next year!"Photo above of Clayton Kershaw and Joc Pederson via Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers.  Go here to check out a few more photos from Saturday's game by Jon.  Below are more links to check out:This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1972 barrier breaker, Dodgers great and Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson died of an heart attack at the age of 53 at his home in North Stamford, CT.  In 1986 Dodgers shortstop Bill Russell announced his retirement from the game after an 18-year Major League career.  Happy Birthday, Rafael Furcal!These would've look great on everybody.  Via Chris Creamer at; "Los Angeles Dodgers 2016 NL Phantom Champs Merchandise."  Chris shares pics and graphics of the designs that would have been sold had the Dodgers made it to the World Series.  I suppose any merchandise that was made will end up being donated to some far off land.Jon Heyman at Today's Knuckleball has some notes on a couple of pending Dodger free agents:– The Dodgers understand the value of the closer, so expect them to make a nice attempt to bring back Jansen. Don’t forget they had a deal in place to add Aroldis Chapman, too, last winter, before they backed out following the revelation of his domestic violence issue.– They love Justin Turner, too, but Dodgers people are very cognizant of age generally, so if someone blows him away, it’s no certainty they’ll match it. He does prefer to stay, however. I had totally missed this.  Via Michael Clair of Cut4; "Former Dodger Will Ferrell was spotted at Dodger Stadium wearing cult hero Vic Davalillo's jersey."Don't know who Davallio is? Don't feel too bad. While Davalillo carved out a lengthy career as a slap-hitting outfielder for a number of teams, he became a Dodgers cult icon when he returned to the Majors in 1977 at the age of 40, after being out of the Majors for two seasons.  The Sporting News announced their winners for both "Manager of the Year" and "Rookie of the Year."  Per Justin McGuire, they named Dave Roberts as the "NL Manager of the Year."  Per Ryan Fagan, they named Corey Seager the "NL Rookie of the Year."Baseball isn't entirely over for the Dodgers.  Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA; "Arizona Fall League: Tim Locastro has solid week, Cody Bellinger homers."Check out the Dodgers official "Thank You" to the fans following their lost this weekend to the Cubs. frameborder="0" height="224" src="" width="400">Your browser does not support iframes.Video Link:*[...]

Blog Kiosk: 10/22/2016 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends -- Game 6


Game 6 is now.  Above is today;s starting lineup.Graphic above via SportsNet LA on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1965 the Dodgers released Wall Moon, whose famed "Moon Shots" over the short left field wire fence at the Coliseum helped propel Los Angeles towards a championship in 1959.  Just a little bit of "due" for a man who some couldn't wait to see fired.  Via Doug Padilla at ESPN; "From Kershaw to Seager, Ned Colletti's stamp all over Dodgers."“I’m really pleased for everybody; I’m pleased for the players,” Colletti said. “All across the board, everybody here deserves a little bit of credit. It’s not easy to win. Winning is a lot harder than people think it is, and for this organization to win (the National League West) four times, it says a lot.“It says a lot that we are sitting in the NLCS again for the second time (in four years). But there is no one person that does everything. There is a long list of people that have all contributed to where the club sits today.”Via Ken Gurnick at; "Howell takes role as mentor seriously." "I try to lead by demeanor," he said. "I still pretend like I'm active, do my throwing routine, my workout, prepare as if I'm active. That might sound funny, but I think that's a motivator. I see [Clayton Kershaw] in the gym, he's my guy, he's my motivator. Now it's my turn. I'll talk to guys after every outing, and if I see something bad, I won't sugarcoat it, even if it hurts. Via JP Hoornstra at Inland Valley Daily Bulletin; "Dodgers’ organist Dieter Ruehle works overtime when Cubs take batting practice."The songs usually run the generational gamut. Among the hundreds of tunes in his repertoire, Ruehle began Thursday with a classic: “It’s a Beautiful Day For a Ballgame.” The song has been around since Dodger Stadium opened in 1962. He progressed to Pearl Jam, the Eagles, and Rodgers and Hammerstein before ending with “Green Onions,” the 19th song of the set.The soundtrack would have been familiar to anyone who’s attended a game this season, Ruehle’s first with the Dodgers. His predecessor, Nancy Bea Hefley, started in 1988 and retired after the 2015 season.The big difference Thursday was the length of his set. Ruehle usually plays 15 minutes or less before each game, then off and on for the next nine innings. So why was he playing throughout the Cubs’ batting practice this week?Said one denizen of the Dodger Stadium control room: “To ice the Cubs.”This weeks "ThrowBack Thursday" Topps online exclusive set includes Corey Seager on a 1974 Topps "Home Run King" design.  Go here to check it out and order.  Seager's card is seen on the right. Via Mike Oz at Big League Stew; "Bill Murray crashed the White House press briefing to hype up the Cubs."“Clayton Kershaw is a great, great pitcher, but we got too many sticks … And at home, our crowd, the weather. You get a little bit of autumn in Chicago. You don’t get that in Los Angeles. Trees just die, you know what I’m saying. In Illinois, they flourish.” Watch Guillermo, of the Jimmy Kimmel Live show, visiting the Dodgers and the Cubs at Dodger Stadium before Game 5. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" src="" width="500">Video Link:* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes ** Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook ** Dodgers Blue Heaven home page * [...]

2016 Topps Update Baseball - Team Franklin, Scouting Report and Fire Cards


Here is a look at some of the various Dodgers insert cards found in packs of 2016 Topps Update.  Featured below are the Team Franklin, Sporting Report autograph and Fire cards.  Go here to check out all of my post on this set.Team Franklin #TF-19 Josh Reddick Scouting Report Autographs #SRA-JU Julio Urias -- redemption #SRA-KM Kenta Maeda                  #SRA-MB Mike Bolsinger #SRA-RST Ross Stripling Fire #F-1 Kenta Maeda                                #F-7 Clayton Kershaw #F-11 Corey Seager Fire Autographs #FA-CS Corey Seager -- redemption#FA-CK Clayton Kershaw -- not yet seen#FA-KM Kenta Maeda * Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes ** Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook ** Dodgers Blue Heaven home page * [...]

Blog Kiosk: 10/21/2016 - Dodgers Links - Scully, Blanton, Turner and Kershaw


Once again, we leave the fate and destiny of the Dodger to the man above.  He'll be pitching for the Dodgers in Game 6 this coming Saturday evening.As you know, the Dodgers lost another big game last night, 8-4.  A culmination of Maeda's inability to go deep, a relief staff that is both overworked and shaky, a defense that has shown some holes and an offense that can't get a timely hit sunk the Dodgers in Game 5.  But have faith, the season isn't over with yet.  We've got our two best starters going in Game 6 and 7 (Kershaw and Hill).  Per Ken Gurnick and Carrie Muskat at"Obviously, our backs are against the wall, but we feel like we've been there all year, from Day One until the end," said Blanton. "We got down in Washington [in the NL Division Series], and everybody wrote us off then. I'm sure everybody is doing the same now, which is fine. That's maybe where we need to be."We lost Game 1 in Chicago and everybody probably wrote us off then, saying we were going to be swept, but we came back and won the next two. We fight. We showed that in the ninth, we put up some runs when we were down a whole bunch. That's the character of this team."Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2016.  Go here to check out a bunch of pics by Jon, Jill Weisleder and Juan Ocampo from yesterdays game.  Below are more links to check out:This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1968 former Dodgers player and team executive Fresco Thompson dies at the age of 65.  He played in Brooklyn from 1931-32, slashing .264/.350/.324/.674 in 209 plate appearances.  As an executive he was the Dodgers assistant farm director, executive vice president and general manager.  He presided over the 1968 draft, considered one of the best ever, that included Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Ron Cey, Bill Buckner, Bobby Valentine, Joe Ferguson and Doyle Alexander.Happy Birthday: Bill Russell, Franklin Stubbs and Zack Greinke!Video: Dave Roberts on Kenta Maeda’s performance in Game 5, starting Clayton Kershaw in Chicago, and more. (Link Here) Video: Alanna Rizzo caught up with Kenta Maeda after the Dodgers 8-4 loss to the Cubs in Game 5 of the NLCS.  (Link Here)Via ESPN; "Social reaction to Vin Scully's return to Dodger Stadium as spectator for NLCS Game 5."Vin Scully, the legendary Dodgers broadcaster who concluded his 67-year career on the final day of the regular season earlier this month, returned to Chavez Ravine purely as a spectator to see which team would take a 3-2 lead in the deadlocked series. Go here to watch a video of Vin repeating (likely for the last time this year) his immortal phrase: "It's Time For Dodger Baseball!" A small victory, I suppose.  Via Adam McCalvy at; "Turner breaks franchise playoff on-base record."Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner broke a 60-year-old franchise record in his team's 8-4 loss in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series on Thursday, when he reached safely in a 15th consecutive postseason game. Via Adam McCalvy at; "Kershaw ready for Wrigley in must-win.""Obviously, the fans [in Chicago] are pretty excited about their team this year, and rightfully so," Kershaw said. "They've been waiting a long time for them to win. ... Pitching on the road is obviously different, but you try and keep it the same as possible. D.C. was one of the louder environments that I've pitched into, so I've gotten to do that now a few times. I guess I'm as prepared as I'll ever be for that." Via Ken Gurnick at; "Blanton searches for fix to slider.""That's been my best pitch for probably a year and a half or so, and to hang it twice, both ahead in the count, and get beat on it twice. … Sometimes you get lucky when you hang it, and sometimes you don't," Blanton said of the slider. "The goal is not to hang it, especially in those counts, and that's what I'm doing right now." Via Joel Sherman at the New York [...]

New 2016 Topps Now Card is Available - Julio Urias' as Youngest Starter Ever - #609


Frankly... It's a bit depressing to see that this card will exist... Not that I have any disdain for the player portrayed on it... After all, Julio remains one of the more dynamic and highly-rated pitching prospects in the game today.Rather, its the resultant end that gives me heartburn.  Last nights record start by Urias, as the youngest starting pitcher in Postseason MLB history, while certainly notable, left me with a taste of something bitter.  We got destroyed last night, and one of the last things I was is to be reminded of it.  That's what this card does.Crap... Go here to check it out and order.   Per the description on the reverse:Twenty-year-old pitcher Julio Urias, who started Game 4 of the NLCS for the Los Angeles Dodgers, became the youngest pitcher to start a Postseason game in MLB history.  John Lackey -- who was three days shy of turning 38 years old -- started for the Chicago Cubs, posing quite the contrast in experience.  In the end, it was veteran savvy thaty prevailed, as the Cubs went on to a 10-2 win.  Urias did shine, however, as he tossed three shutout innings to start the night, before being relieved in the middle of the fourth inning.* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes ** Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook ** Dodgers Blue Heaven home page * [...]

Extraordinary Vintage Dodgers Drawings of Brooklyn "Bum" at Lelands Auctions


Lelands current auction is fantastic.  It's filled with a bunch of Dodgers-related memorabilia; including collectibles from the ever-impressive collection of Sal LaRocca (I'll write about some of those soon).  Featured here, though, do not come from Sal, but who cares?  When artwork featuring Baseball's most lovable clown shows up I should take a moment to take a look, and since you're here I figure you're interested in a peek too.  Shown here are two original drawings (one by Willard Mullin and another by NY Journal-American cartoonist Burris Jenkins) featuring the Brooklyn Dodgers "Bum".   At top is a classic drawing by famed NY artist and Dodgers muse Willard Mullin.  As you may know, he is the original creator of the Dodgers "Bum" in 1937.  (Auction Link)  As you can see above, Mullin's creation is having a heated and animated argument with an umpire.  Best yet, the drawing is in color -- a rarity for collectors.Below is an editorial cartoon by artist Burris Jenkins, and it features the Brooklyn "Bum" being strangled by the "Yankee Stadium Jinx".  (Auction Link)  As the auction description states, this drawing originally came out on the morning of October 8, 1956; which was on the day of Game 5 of the 1956 World Series between the Dodgers and Yankees.  Furthermore, on that day Yankee hurler Don Larson threw his "Perfect Game"; thereby confirming that the Dodgers were jinxed at the Bronx.  * Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes ** Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook ** Dodgers Blue Heaven home page * [...]

Blog Kiosk: 10/13/2016 - Dodgers Links - Game 5 is Tonight!


That didn't go quite as planned.For the first three innings things didn't look so bad.  Urias had gotten through the first twelve batters with four strike outs, two walks a no hits.  Then, the wheels just kinda fell off.  Per Ken Gurnick and Carrie Muskat at"I thought he had really good stuff," Roberts said of Urias. "Just that inning got away from us." That dreaded fourth inning.  Zobrist started it off with a bunt single, then four batters later the Cubs stood tall with a 4-0 lead.  Ugh!  After that, everything else is a blur.  It was like a bad nightmare that wouldn't stop.  The would eventually Dodgers record four errors on the evening.  Fortunately, I think Dave Roberts has the right frame of mind going into today's game.  Per Cary Osborne at Dodger Insider:“It happens and obviously it’s more magnified in the postseason, but we haven’t had a game like that in a long time,” said Dave Roberts. “It wasn’t to be. So I think for us it’s one of those things you have to brush off and get ready to go tomorrow.”The pic above of Julio Urias via @Dodgers on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:This Day in Dodgers History:  In 1988 the Dodgers defeated the A's in Game 5 of the World Series to win the championship at the Oakland Coliseum.  Orel Hershiser pitched a complete game, struck out nine and gave up four singles in the 5-2 victory.  He would also be named MVP of the series.  Mickey Hatcher hit a first inning two-run home run to start the offense for the Dodgers.Video: Hear from Dave Roberts after the Dodgers 10-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs in Game 4 of the NLCS. (Link Here)Video: Julio Urias addresses the media after his start last night.  (Link Here) Via Mike Oz at Big League Stew; "What Vin Scully did instead of attending NLCS Game 4 at Dodger Stadium."What’s he doing instead? That answer might surprise you. According to Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune, Vin is watching Game 3 of Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump.Shortly after first pitch on Wednesday night, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that Scully would be coming to Dodger Stadium again. For Game 5 on Thursday night. Adrian Gonzalez was fuming a bit after the game, via a tweet by him last night:Somehow this is an out. #NLCS Takeseries lead tomorrow! Got to do this. Us against the world.— Adrián González (@Adrian_ElTitan) October 20, 2016 Via Pedro Moura at the LA Times; "Joe Blanton continues to be the Dodgers' best reliever in NLDS."“I’m just happy for him that he’s kind of reinvented himself a little bit after the last few years,” said Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley, his Philadelphia teammate for four years. “He’s the ultimate competitor.” Via Mark Aubrey at Mark's Ephemera; "1989 Orel Hershiser Socko Tips set."  Here's an introduction to a set I've never seen or heard of before.Via LA Taco; "Preview: A Summoning of Dodger Spirits: New Work by Billy Kheel ~ Opens Tonight."His latest show, A Summoning of Dodger Spirits, opens tonight (Wednesday), and explores the relics, icons, saints, and figures of the mystical religion known as the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Via Billy Mitchell at Baseball America; "Dodgers Trio Shares Common Roots, And Goal."Dodgers prospects Cody Bellinger, Willie Calhoun and Alex Verdugo have a lot in common.Now preparing for the Arizona Fall League season as members of the Glendale Desert Dogs, they’ve each moved through the minor league system at a faster than normal pace. The trio spent the bulk of the 2016 season with Double-A Tulsa before earning promotions to Triple-A Oklahoma City in September. Being assigned to the AFL is a homecoming of sorts, as each played either high school or college ball in Arizona. * Please follow on twitter @ernestrey[...]

Chase Utley 2016 Topps Now NLDS Card - #574


Chase Utley saved our collective hides yesterday when he slapped a single through the right side of the infield to score the winning run for the Dodgers in the bottom of the eight inning.  It was both a moment of elation and relief, and I think it's fair to say that Utley's been quite a godsend since he decided to wear Dodger Blue to close-out his career.In commemoration of his base hit Topps has issued his very first 23016 Topps Now card.  Go here to check it out and order.  It says the following on the reverse:No stranger to the big stage of the Postseason over his 14-year career, Chase Utley provides the Dodgers lineup with a calming presence at the plate and in the field.  Trailing the Washington Nationals two games to one in the NLDS, Chase lived up to that billing in Game 4.  The second baseman singled in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth and then preserved the lead in the ninth with a spectacular glove flip to closer Kenley Jansen, who was covering first.UPDATE:  The print run for this card is 367. * Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes ** Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook ** Dodgers Blue Heaven home page * [...]

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Eric Karros, James Worthy and Marreese Speights


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.---------------------------This coming Saturday, October 15th former Dodgers first baseman Eric Karros will be signing free autographs at the Grand Opening of a Dick's Sporting Goods store in Thousand Oaks from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM.  Go here for information.Dick’s Sporting Goods176 West Hillcrest DriveThousand Oaks, CA 91360(Hat Tip: My Autograph Events)---------------------------Clippers forward Marreese Speights will be signing autographs at the Optometry Practice of Dr. Alex Corbin Liuon Saturday, October 15th from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  Go here for information.The Optometry Practice of Dr. Alex Corbin Liu 19735 E. Colima RoadRowland Heights, CA 91748---------------------------Hall of Famer and former Lakers great James Worthy will be signing free autographs at Total Wine & More in Woodland Hills on Monday, October 17th from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM.  Go here for more information.Total Wine & More6232 Topanga Canyon Blvd. #1380Woodland Hills, CA 91367* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes ** Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook ** Dodgers Blue Heaven home page * [...]