Friday, August 1, 2014

I Make It To My First Game Of The Year - Bonus Aerosmith

It took more than half the season, but I finally got out to Dodger Stadium.  I was lured in by the above bobblehead featuring the four Dodgers who hit 30 (or more) homers back in 1977.  

The bobblehead is cool enough, but it seems Ron Cey might have a concussion, as one pupil is a bit larger than the other, and Reggie Smith looks perturbed to be hidden behind Cey. I really love the old time Dodger Stadium pavilion and scoreboard in the background.

The bobblehead was modeled after the photo below, which is featured on the box...

Here are some quick observances from last night's game - brought to you by Bad Camera Productions...

The game was a sellout, and it was a traffic nightmare trying to get into the stadium. I usually arrive early to avoid all of that drama, but we ran behind schedule, leaving me at the foot of the hill at 6:40 for a 7:10 start.  Ordinarily, that's not so bad, but last night, it held the potential to keep us bottle necked outside until the third inning.  

Luckily, I've been going to the stadium enough years to have a couple of "Plan B's" up my sleeve, and we walked into the stadium (clutching our precious new bobbleheads) just as Ace Kershaw was delivering the first pitch of the night. 

 It was an absolutely gorgeous night to be out at the Ravine, and with Beast Mode showing some stirrings of a resurgence, the Matt Kemp Marching and Chowder Society was out in full force. 

 Dodger Stadium is absolutely beautiful again this year, it was a beautiful warm summer evening, and there were plenty of beautiful gals attending the game.  

Victims of the traffic and parking lot jams were still arriving well into the fourth inning. 

Kershaw didn't exactly pitch a gem by his standards - giving up nine hits, but he struck out nine and pitched a complete game, which was fantastic.  I can't even remember the last time I saw a Dodger pitch a complete game. 

During the ninth inning chants of "MVP, MVP" started raining down on Kershaw, and it got me to thinking this team is becoming something special with a few legitimate candidates for MVP. 

Of course Kershaw should receive attention for that honor, but sparkplug Dee Gordon should also be considered.  While Kershaw gave up nine hits, he went into the ninth with a shutout, mainly thanks to Gordon's defense. 

Dee made four rally-killing defensive plays behind Kershaw with three double plays (one was unassisted), and a circus, basket catch.

Puig is another candidate for MVP chants. Last night he scored from first on a double by Jaguar Gonzalez.  He hesitated a bit at second, but has enough wild horse speed to still make it around and he gave us a dramatic, around-the-catcher slide at home plate to score the Dodgers' first run of the night.  Later he blasted a line drive shot into the left field pavilion for a solo home run, and hit a double. That kid is incredible.

Matt Kemp didn't contribute a lot last night as he was too eager in his first at bat, and later the Braves pitched around him. However, Beast Mode has been awakening, and if it's for real this time - look out! We might really have cause to shower Kemp with the ol' MVP chant that he used to hear, once again. 

 It took the Braves all nine innings to get to Kershaw, and above is a shot of them scoring their only run. Kid K lost the shutout, but stayed strong and got the final two outs along with the complete game win. He only needed 111 pitches to do it. 

Kershaw's win also sealed the Dodgers' longest winning streak of the year (6), and our second series sweep in a row.  

Afterward, we were off to my favorite post game eatin' joint...

 It was a great night, capped off by a delicious cheeseburger and chili fries.

BONUS - any Aerosmith fans out there? I saw Aerosmith two nights ago at the LA Forum, and all I can say is WOW!  They absolutely rocked the house with a setlist full of greatest hits and hidden gems. 

Steven Tyler has still got it as a front man, playing with and to the audience.  Joe Perry is burning up those guitars and you can just feel the energy shooting from between the band all the way out into the audience.  

They are giving it their all, and it packs quite a punch. If they're coming to your town, I highly recommend checking out this tour.
Aloha, everybody!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dodgers Sweep The Giants! Trades From C.R. and K.B. Sweep ATBATT!

Aloha is an interesting word inasmuch that it can be used to express "Hello" as well as "Goodbye".  

Aloha was the word of  the weekend as the Dodgers swept into the Frisco Bay in second place, and then swept first place back to where it belongs, in beautiful Dodger Stadium. 

That epic sweepage calls for a big post with a whole buncha new Dodger cards to be shown. These came to me from two great bloggers and trading partners, Alex over at Chavez Ravining and Kerry who gives us the always entertaining and educational Cards on Cards.

Let's start off with these fine First Place Dodgers cards from Kerry. First up are two of this weekend's Sweeping Stars.

At times this season I've knocked Kemp when I thought he deserved it.  Now I gotta give credit where it's called for. Since he was moved out of center field, he has slowly but surely been reigniting his hitting.  This weekend he was a vital part of the offense, piling onto several Dodger rallies as they - SWEPT THE GIANTS! 

And how about this kid below? He's the new Dodgers center fielder and he feels fine.  Wild Horse Puig exploded during this weekend's SWEEP OF THE GIANTS hitting three triples and a double in one game, and making an over the shoulder,  Willie Mays catch look easy in the Giant's own CF during today's game. 

 Kerry completed the package with some 90's gold foil goodness from two of my past favorite Dodgers. The home whites look magnificent on these '95 Scores, and I dig the circle LA logo. 

Thanks for the great cards, Kerry. 

Next up is the first time Alex or I have sent anything out to each other. I'll be the first to admit I haven't sent anything in return yet, but Alex - and a few more of you out there - rest assured that I have cards set aside for y'all, and I'll get them to the post office as soon as I'm able to block out the time to prepare all of the packages in one mad flurry of blue tape and labels. 

On to the cards from Chavez Ravining. We'll start again with cards from members of the squad who just SWEPT THE GIANTS!

Hanley seems like he's always injured - or being injured by other teams, but when he's in the lineup, he is always a force to be reckoned with.  Hanley was feeling good this weekend, and it showed as he regularly bopped the ball around and ran the bases like we need him to do.  

Next up is odd man out Either.  He played briefly as a late inning sub or pinch hitter, and it appears he's a pine rider for the coming days (at least until the surprise midnight trade of Matt Kemp).

 Golden Bowman coolness brings up the leadoff batter for the First Place Dodgers. Gordon scored a heads up, kinda steal of home when Buster Posey hurriedly threw to first to get lumbering tank, A-Gon.  Giants, why hurry the throw when the guy running to first isn't exactly doing what we would call "running"? 

And then the great second ace who gets forgotten under all of Kershaw's acheivments, who pitched brilliantly to win the second game of the DODGERS SWEEPING THE GIANTS!
This package didn't have any Kershaw cards, but it contained plenty of cardboard goodness of the next best Dodger lefty ace to have cards from...

 Whats more - it's die-cut Koufax! BOO-YAH!

Airbrushed Koufax...

Hey Giants fans, what does Sandy's circle text say?
 Horizontal Koufax....

Sweet Dodger Blue No-Hitter Koufax...

 And finally, one with Koufax looking like everybody in the Dodger Nation felt after we SWEPT THE GIANTS and reclaimed First Place!

 Great, great cards Alex and Kerry. They really hit the spot after this weekend's....well, you know.