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Preview: Blue Heaven

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: 2018-01-19T10:04:16.080-08:00

 



Blog Kiosk: 1/18/2018 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

2018-01-18T10:16:27.850-08:00

Here's another fantastic action photo of a play at the plate. Featured is an July 8, 1949 International News press photo (eBay auction link) of Roy Campanella tagging Giants pinch-hitter Joe Lafata. Per the descriptor on the reverse:NO GIANT SCORE HERE---Brooklyn, New York.....Lafata, of Giants, is tagged out at home on Lockman's grounder in 9th frame of Giants-Dodgers game at Ebbets Field tonight. Hodges to Campanella for the out. Umpire Descoli calls the play.  The Dodgers beat the Giants 4 to 3.Below are more links to check out:This Day in Dodgers History: In 2011 the Dodgers signed veteran free agent outfielder Gabe Kapler as a non-roster invitee.  Unfortunately, he didn't make the team and would subsequently be released at the end of March.  As you know, he would soon retire and make his mark in the Baseball front office.Happy Birthday, Zeke Wrigley, Eddie Moore, Len Koenecke, Billy Grabarkewitz, Brian Falkenborg & Mike Lieberthal!I had missed this story. Per David Kagan at Hardball Times; "The Physics of Carry at Dodger Stadium." (Hat Tip: Reddit u/DrBubs)Via Houston Mitchell at the LA Times; "Dodgers Dugout: Looking at the Dodgers’ top 10 prospects."Per Ron Cervenka at Think Blue LA; "Dodger Stadium makes Top-10 in 2017 ‘Best Stadium’ rankings."Per Mike Ray at the Auburn Journal; "(Scott) Alexander ready to don Dodgers blue."“Yes, I guess you could say it’s been an exciting off season,” said Alexander by phone from his home in Phoenix this week. “To be married and traded to a World Series contender within a couple months is pretty big.”Via Debbie L. Sklar at MyLA.com; "Ex-Dodgers pitcher Tommy John a candidate for baseball’s ‘Shrine of The Eternals’"Via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com; "Bellinger bulks up for sophomore season: NL Rookie of the Year gains 15 pounds as he hopes to avoid letdown.""I'm 100 percent taking it seriously," Bellinger said. "I think when you have some success, you're living the dream, and you want to have more success. For me, obviously the sophomore slump is going to be there, people will say it, and I just want to put my body and mind in the best position to succeed."Bellinger said he's been able to look back on the 2017 season, both his accomplishments and those of the team. "The World Series was a tough one to swallow," he said. "Two good teams get to the World Series. For us to go to Game 7, it is an accomplishment. Obviously, you want to win. But I've had an opportunity to go back and reflect on the kind of year it was.* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes ** Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook ** Dodgers Blue Heaven home page * [...]



Dodgers FanFest Details are Now Here

2018-01-18T09:29:04.497-08:00

We finally have some details for the Dodgers sixth annual FanFest at Dodger Stadium. It is set for Saturday, January 27th, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. As always, a full slate of autograph guest and VIP experiences will be available for fans. Go here to check it all out. Admission is free.I've attended the past five FanFest's and shared a bunch of photos from those days (these post also include numerous links to post from other bloggers).  Check out the below links to check them out.  Below that are details about the player autograph sessions.2017 Fan Fest2016 Fan Fest2015 Fan Fest2014 Fan Fest2013 Fan Fest---------------------------------First of all, FanFest tickets are free. So, go here to get them. Also, you must download the MLB.com Ballpark app in order to get those free admission tickets digitally. Parking gates (A, C & E) will open at 9:30 AM and it will be free, as well. You will enter the event either through the left or right field plaza gates at 10:00 AM.The LA Dodger Foundations (LADF) will host its fourth annual Yard Sale with one-of-a-kind Dodger items for budgets of all sizes; including jerseys, T-shirts and more. There will also be a Mystery Bag Fundraiser where fans can purchase an official Major League baseball autographed by a current or former Dodger.  All Proceeds benefit the programs and charitable giving of LADF.FanFest autograph tickets officially go on sale on Monday, January 22 at 2:00 PM PST. You will need to go here (www.dodgers.com/fanfest) to get those tickets. This is also where you will go to get tickets for the various VIP Experiences; such as meet and greets, Q&A sessions, pitching lessons, batting lessons, tours, etc. Prices for autograph ticket vouchers has not been release yet. BTW, voucher cost $25.00 last year, so you should figure on them being around that much.Also, the Dodgers are setting up a free autograph session for kids (14 years old or younger) at the Jr. Dodger Autograph tent in Lot G of the parking lot. Autographs are not guaranteed and players will not be named in advance. An autograph card will be provided to each child to present to the signers. No personal items will be signed at this activation.* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes ** Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook ** Dodgers Blue Heaven home page * [...]



Blog Kiosk: 12/28/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

2018-01-17T10:37:39.372-08:00

You do not often see a vintage action photo featured Tommy Lasorda as a player, so when you do it's worthy of sharing. Featured above is a June 1955 press photo that was formerly a part of "The George Michael Collection". Per the descriptor on the reverse (eBay auction link):Cards Wally Moon safe at home on passed ball. Dodgers Pitcher Tommy Lasorda spoke on the play left the game. Umpire Augie Donatelli. Cards won 1st game 9-4, Dodgers 2nd 10-6.Below are more links to check out:This Day in Dodgers History: In 1953 the Brooklyn Dodgers traded Andy Pafko to the Milwaukee Braves for Roy Hartsfield. Happy Birthday, Tyler Houston, Scott Mullen, Harry Pattee & Don Zimmer!Per Eric Edwards at Dodger Insider; "LADF: 2017 season results in $1.5 million in grants to local organizations."The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) today announced 2017 cumulative grant donations of over $1.5 million to 66 local nonprofit organizations, which impacted one million underserved youth in some of the most challenged neighborhoods of Los Angeles.Per Blowout Buzz, "Topps reveals who gets Rookie Card nods in 2018 Topps Series 1 packs." Two Dodgers are included on the list -- Walker Buehler and Alex Verdugo.Via Amalie Benjamin at NHL.com; "O'Ree making impact 60 years after breaking NHL color barrier: First black player in League living example of how game is open to everyone.""I took the train up to Montreal, met the team, met Milt Schmidt the coach, and we sat down," said O'Ree, now 82 years old. "He said, 'Willie, we brought you up because you could add a little something to the team.' He said, 'Don't worry about anything else. The Bruins organization is behind you 100 percent. Just go out and play your game.'"O'Ree did. He played the game he grew up playing and loving, obsessing over it as the youngest of 13 children growing up in Fredricton, New Brunswick. He started dreaming of playing hockey professionally at 14, but it wasn't until later that the NHL had entered his mind, not until after multiple coaches told him he had the skill and talent to move up to the highest ranks, though, they warned, there had never been a black player. Not yet."I was thrilled," said O'Ree, who added that he didn't think about breaking the color barrier until he read about it in the newspaper the next day. "I had played against the Montreal Canadiens in exhibition games. They played in the Forum. I had played against the Montreal Junior Canadiens in the Forum. I played against the pro team in Montreal, the Montreal Royals, in the Forum. Per Dieter Ruehle on twitter:From yesterday's @lakings pregame organ set, #Linger. Dieter Ruehle Cranberries Tribute https://t.co/pXVwqzsaVp via @YouTube— Dieter Ruehle (@DieterRuehle) January 17, 2018* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes ** Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook ** Dodgers Blue Heaven home page * [...]



Blog Kiosk: 12/26/2017 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

2017-12-26T11:01:12.652-08:00

Here are three Hall of Famers - all of which are joining the Dodgers for the first time - hanging out in Clearwater, FL during Spring Training, circa 1932. This pic recently sold at RMY Auction at $169. (auction link) Per the descriptor on the reverse:Waite Hoyt, former star of the New York Yankees and who rounded out last season as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics, with Hack Wilson, heavy slugger of the National League who served last season with the Chicago Cubs, demonstrating to Max Carey, new pilot (manager) of the "Robins," how they expect to contribute to a large extent with their batting and pitching in bringing the National League Pennant to Brooklyn this season. The boys are rather modest and had nothing to say as to how they expect to fare in the World Series. But the pennant and the World's Series are both far off for the boys are just about shaking off the winter kinks at the Robins Spring Training camp at Clearwater, FLA.Unfortunately, the addition of these three greats did little to change the Dodgers fortunes. They finished the season in third place -- nine games behind the Cubs. Below are more links to check out:This Day in Dodgers History: In 1934 the Dodgers traded Johnny Frederick, Art Herring and cash to the Sacramento Senators of the PCL for outfielder Frenchy Bordagaray. Frenchy would play two seasons on Brooklyn, slashing .297/.332/.389/.721, before being traded to the Cardinals. He would then come back to the Dodgers in 1942 and play an additional four season. Also on this day Commissioner Judge Landis denied the Dodgers' claim to eventual back-to-back no-hit hurler Johnny Vander Meer. The club had signed Johnny in 1933 as an 18-year old, but quickly gave up on him. By the next year, though, he had turned things around. So, the Dodgers filed a grievance claiming he was their property, but Judge Landis disagreed; stating that they only showed renewed interest once he starting throwing better.Happy Birthday, Frank Hansford, Andy Rush & Bonnie Hollingsworth!Audio: Chris Taylor joined David Vassegh last week in the latest edition of Dodger Talk (audio link)Per Jim Allen at Kyodo News; "Former All-Star Saito eagerly watching Ohtani's challenge."Instead of going to San Diego, which has a large Japanese presence in its front office, Ohtani chose the Los Angeles Angels."It was a disappointment. I didn't imagine (him picking the Angels)," Saito told Kyodo News at the baseball winter meetings in Florida. "But it was his choice. We have to focus on our next opportunity." Ohtani is news not only because he is the first player to both bat and pitch in Japan at an elite level but because he aims to do both in the majors -- something no one has done since Babe Ruth in 1918. "He's actually aspiring to do both," Saito said. "They're going to let him try it, and then it's up to him. He did it in Japan, but that was Japan. In America it's going to be harder."Blowout Buzz shares a bunch of preview pics from the 2018 Topps Finest set slated to come out on June 6th next year. Go here to check those pics out. To the right is an Cody Bellinger card.Here's an old friend alert. Former Dodger prospect and Baseball lifer O'Koyea Dickson has been signed by the Rakuten Eagles of the NPB in Japan. (link here) (Hat Tip: r/slowbitc)MLB's Baseball Savant website recently put up an interactive 2018 MLB season schedule map that shows that the Dodgers will be the 9th most traveled team this coming season. They are scheduled to fly 35,967 miles in 2018. The Mariners are first with 40,783 scheduled next season. As you might expect, teams located in the central part of the country will fly the least amount of miles.* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes ** Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook ** Dodgers Blue Heaven home page * [...]



Welcome to the Blue, Henry Owens!

2017-12-22T12:42:56.738-08:00

The Dodgers have made another move. They have claimed prospect left-handed pitcher Henry Owens from the Arizona Diamondbacks -- who had failed to protect him on their 40-man roster. Owens, originally from Edison High School in Huntington Beach, had been drafted by and played six years within the Boston Red Sox organization. Then, he was placed on outright waivers in early December and immediately claimed by Arizona. Now, he is a Dodger.You can follow Henry on twitter here: @henryowensz.For those who don't know, Henry Owens was, at one time, considered one of the game's best prospects. He's a 6' 6" lefty who initially impressed scouts with his ability miss bats. Additionally, there were concerns about control, but most felt he would get a handle on that as time went bye. Unfortunately, that did not happen for him. Instead, his walk rate increased dramatically as his velocity started to fall. Soon, the can't miss middle-of-the-rotation starter was on the outs. Per Steve Owens at MLB Trade Rumors:Owens was once considered to be one of the game’s best overall prospects. However, he’s managed just a 5.19 ERA with 7.5 K/9 against 4.7 BB/9 in 85 big league innings and saw his control of the strike zone, which has long been an issue for him, utterly evaporate in 2017 when he walked 115 batters, hit 17 more and threw 17 wild pitches in 126 Triple-A innings this season.No doubt, the Dodgers are hoping they can rekindle that spark that made Owens stand out. There's no word yet if he'll continue as a starter or re-position him as a reliever. What we do know is that Owens has a minor league option remaining, so they can send him to Triple-A Oklahoma City and do some work to figure that out.Below are some articles about Henry Owens worth checking out. They mostly cover his falling prospect status within the Red Sox organization:Per Tracy Katzke at Bosox Injection; "Red Sox: Henry Owens a “can’t miss” prospect that likely will."Owens’ Walk Rate has dramatically increased over the last three years, while his Strikeout Rate has dramatically decreased. I would suspect that a large portion of the blame for this trend is a substantial drop in his four-seam fastball velocity.Via Rick McNair at Bosox Injection; "A sad tale of two promising Red Sox prospects – Blake Swihart and Henry Owens."Via Matt Collins at Over the Monster; "Red Sox place Henry Owens on outright waivers: The Owens era in Boston may be coming to a close."This is a bit of sad news, though it’s not entirely unexpected. As most remember, it wasn’t really all that long ago that Owens was one of the top prospects in the system and someone the Red Sox liked a whole lot. He has always flashed some impressive stuff, but his control never really came along as hoped. In fact, things have seemingly gone down in recent years. This past season was a new low for Owens, as the southpaw started the year by walking just under eight batters per nine innings in Triple-A. From there, he was demoted to Double-A where he walked over eight batters per nine before reducing that rate to 5.5 per nine in the Arizona Fall League. He was, to be fair, adjusting his arm slot over the course of the year, but it was discouraging to say the least.In celebration of Henry's ascension to into the Dodger Blue ranks I made the above two fantasy baseball cards of him.* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes ** Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook ** Dodgers Blue Heaven home page * [...]