Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Top Ten Moments Of The Dodgers' Season


Here's my latest article at Lasorda's Lair. 

 Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy. Thanks!

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Night Owl Big Box O' Cards - The 90's

Aloha readers and trade partners, 

Speaking of trade partners, the champion of sending me the most Dodger cards in terms of sheer volume is Night Owl. Earlier this month Night Owl sent a big box of Dodger Blue cardboard, and I've been showing off my favorites from this massive, awesome gift. 

Last week Night Owl featured a post that paid homage to Dodger cards of the one who was traded away - Paul Konerko. I feel Night Owl's pain involving Konerko being traded away. I still remember cursing under my breath at Tommy Lasorda when he pulled that one off.

Just as N.O., I love Konerko cards from his time as a Dodger, and this newest card for my collection is a good starting place for the best cards from the 90's.

 This is an awesome Konerko card, but what the heck is going on behind him? Is that a close up of the moon? A cell of ebola virus?

 E.K. holds the record for most home runs by an L.A. Dodger. I'm of the belief the record is a bit padded and misleading because Karros hit a ton of homers in Colorado, and he seemed to hit a lot of his homers in games with lopsided scores. 

That said, I definitely dig old-timey Bakersfield Dodgers cards. 

Lots of Dodger fans silently suffer when current catcher A.J. Ellis comes to bat, as he's pretty much an automatic out. When was the last time we had an easy-out catcher?  It was this guy...

 But he's got a beautiful card. 

"Yeah, I'm on a Cap'n Crunch card. Whataboutit?"

 The best Japanese pitcher the Dodgers ever had...

 Before Pedro, there was the great Ramon...

Martinez looks like an amputee here, but that's what happens to these 90's shiny cards when they get scanned.

 I love these Ovation cards, but I rarely see them floating around. If you've got any of these with Dodgers on 'em, I'll be happy to take them off your hands. 

These 3-D cards are a great example of 90's shininess. They look horrible on a scan, but great in person. 

 Then again, who needs shiny gimmicks when you've got beautiful simplicity on cardboard...

The unluckiest Japanese Dodger pitcher...

I've got a fistful of Piazza cards. Too many? No way. 

One more Mondy card with a beautiful bat barrel shot for Nick to enjoy...
 Finally, another bat barrel card that takes us from the thrill of a sharp line drive to the frustration of strike three...

Be sure to catch the next post folks, when we cover cardboard from the 21st century. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dodger Nation Gettin' Our Celebrate On!

Aloha readers and trade partners,

What a beautiful day it is when you wake up and your team is on the top of the heap! 


Granted, it's a smaller peak on the way to the top of the highest baseball mountain, but it's an accomplishment that only a few teams earn. 

This morning Dodger bloggers and twitterheads are posting their favorite moments from last night's Dodger celebration. I found mine courtesy of Dodger fan Molly Knight.

It's a brief, wonderful moment from inside the locker room. A great shot of the kid who escaped Cuba and found the American Dream.

Presenting Puig being Puig

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hot Off The Press: My New Post At Lasorda's Lair

Just in time for tonight's final, electricity charged match up between the best pitcher on Earth and the hated Giants. Read it here:

ATBATT's Recommended Blog Post Of The Day

It's been a while, but I've got one here that definitely meets the ATBATT criteria...

Because: Dodgers vs. Giants 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Night Owl Box O' Dodgers - The 70's And 80's


Continuing on with the highlights from the box of Dodgers cards sent to me from the biggest Dodger fan on the East coast, Night Owl. 

Today we cover cards from the 70's and 80's...

 Leading off is the best third baseman the L.A. Dodgers ever had. The Penguin is a World Series MVP, a genuinely friendly person, and can still be found walking around Dodger Stadium today. 

Below is my favorite of all Ron Cey's cards...



 Manny Mota's card rocks because of the fantastic old-time Dodger Stadium background. We get the legendary palm trees known as The Three Sisters and those multi-colored pavilion benches. 

Derrel Thomas wasn't a superstar, but was very solid for a couple of seasons. 

Speaking of solid, below are a couple of past Dodger mashers...

Dusty pre-toothpick days
Next time - The 90's and 00's.

Monday, September 22, 2014

My New Post At Lasorda's Lair

Aloha everyone,

Just a newsflash that I've posted a new story over at Lasorda's Lair.

"The Betrayals Of Chavez Ravine And Los Angeles Dodger Fans"

 The topic is the betrayal of baseball fans by the Dodger - Time Warner Cable TV contract that created the Great Dodger Blackout of 2014.  The story is linked here.

Thanks in advance for stopping by and reading! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Dodgers Score Bunches Of Runs And I Score Bunches Of Cards

I've been hinting at it, and here's the first in a series of posts about an absolutely fantastic box o' Dodger cards that I recently received from good ol' Night Owl. 

See that box above? It's chock full of Dodger cards. If I were in one of those movies where the bad guys rob a bank or knock off an armored car, I would have tossed all the cards in the air and showered myself with them. That's how I felt about this awesome cardboard score.

There were so many cards I can't show them all to you, so I'll be dividing the posts into sections - even then, I've had to limit myself to only showing my favorites. First up is the vintage group. 

Remember when Dodger managers were wise field tacticians?  *sigh*

You'll notice that most of these are written on - or as we sometimes say, "well loved". That's just fine with me, as many of these are new additions to my collection, and I do so love vintage Dodgers.

 Jeez! Who was this kid???? The utter tragedy of defacing a Podres card!

Perranoski was long-time pitching coach under Tommy Lasorda.
 Here's my theory on the W's and the R's on the cards. I think they belonged to two brothers. Each brother marked his cards with his initial.  Do you have any back story on these cards, N.O.? 

These next two got me closer to finishing the Dodgers 1960 set, but I've still got a looooooong way to go...

 How about a batting helmet with no ear flap?  I remember getting helmets like this at the giveaway nights when I was a kid.

The great Tommy Davis. Another card that belong to William, or Wally, or Westmoreland. 

Finally, a great World Series card from 1968 Topps...

The back of the card says Reynolds got the win for the Yanks after Don Newcombe pitched 8 shutout innings and lost to a lone Yankee home run in the ninth.  Some things never change for the Dodgers. 

That's it for Part One of the Night Owl Box. 
See you all again for Part Two.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Some Good News And Some Bad News (Depending On Where You Sit)

Aloha readers and trade partners,

Today brings us a couple of firsts. This is the first day in what feels like forever that the temperature in LA is normal. The recent week or so had Los Angeles absolutely baking inside of a climate oven. I hadn't felt oppressive heat and humidity like that since I was in the central jungle of Taiwan. Man, it was hot, but today is quite nice. Whew!

The other first combines the good/bad news that I mentioned in the post title. The good news is I've been welcomed aboard the Dodger-centric site "Lasorda's Lair" as a staff writer.  I'm happy to say my first article, Grading The Dodgers As They Approach The Playoffs was posted today. Stop by and have a read if you've got the time. 

That feeds into other good news which applies in case you're a card blogger purist who might feel that posts about team performances don't belong on a site dedicated to card collecting. Since I regularly posted my Dodger opinions on ATBATT, it's pretty clear I don't buy into that theory, but I can understand those who feel like that.

Our blogosphere's big bopper, Night Owl, recently posted about the changes taking place in the card collecting blogosphere in very interesting post here. His post got me to thinking about ATBATT and how I regularly post my opinions about the Dodgers.  Recently I posted about net neutrality and ice bucket challenges and so on.  None of those posts centered around our collective love of cardboard. 

As I said, I don't think my humble little blog must only talk about cards, but I certainly don't want to alienate any of my readers who visit ATBATT because they want to read only about our hobby. So if you're a card blog purist, the good news is, my Dodger opinion posts will now be found elsewhere...

...which is also the not-so-good news. If you enjoyed reading my rants about Mattingly or the TV blackout of my team, or the praises of Adrian Gonzalez and the cold war with Arizona, you'll have to click over to another site for all of that.  Hopefully that won't be too much of a hassle and you'll read my posts at my new site. 

And now - something for the purists!

 I chose this cardboard gem for two reasons. First, it's a preview card from that awesome box o' cardboard I received recently, and will be the focus of my next series of posts for ATBATT. 

Second, the pen scratches of "second base, third base" symbolize today's post and my new reality of existence in two corners of the webosphere. Versitality and fluidity are the words of the day. 



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Blogger Ice Bucket Challenge Main Page

Aloha readers, trade partners, and IBC participants,

Welcome to the central hub for showing our progress with the Ice Bucket Challenge, and for viewing our awesome photos and vids from our challenges. 

I first proposed the IBC on a post here.
It's worth noting that I'm not requiring anyone to donate any money, as a simple act of passing on kindness to another will do. 

If challenged, I'm asking that you use the comments section below to mention any act you did related to the challenge, or to post links to photos or vids of yourself taking the ice bucket part of the challenge. 

One person accepted my challenge - Jim, a long-time Dodger fan from the fun and informative blog Garvey Cey Russel Lopes.
Jim will be donating to the ALS Association and challenging others through a post at his blog, so be sure to keep reading GCRL and check out if you're one of the next to be challenged. 

The ATBATT Ice Bucket Challenge Scorecard

First run scored: 

2 runs:
Jim from Garvey Cey Russel Lopes
Jim is donating to the ALS Association. 

Please link any photos, vids or actions taken in comments below...
Thanks in advance to everyone who participates.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Did My Tweet Inspire Matt Kemp?

Last night saw the first game of a three-game series between the Dodgers and Giants, in a battle for the top of the NL West. The Dodgers came into Frisco holding a slim 2-game lead, so this weekend series was going to be very important. 

Game One was horrible for Dodger fans, as the evil Giants beat us 9-0. It was a rough punch to the face.

That meant everything was going to be ramped up even further for tonight's game.  As Tommy Lasorda always said, every Dodger was going to have to get on the same side of the rope and pull. I did my part for the Blue and sent out this tweet to Matt Kemp...

 Dodger Nation was mad! Dodger Nation needed revenge! We needed some get back! Tonight called for:

Of course I don't know if Mr. Kemp read my tweet, but it sure seemed like he did, as he led the Dodgers in an absolute Frisco Bay booty-whuppin'. 

Kemp didn't finish the game, as he fouled a pitch off his foot and left early, but he did some serious damage in Toy Car Stadium. Kemp had two doubles and a single, scored three runs and knocked in three more.  

For icing on top the Dodgers' big dish of baseball revenge, he threw out Angel Pagan at home plate, while in the midst of blowing a bubble with his gum! 

 The Bison may not know karate - but he sure knows ca-ray-zaayyy!!

 I shoulda known everything was going to be just fine in Dodgerlandia because of the way the day began.  I woke up to this wonderful box (not package - BOX!) in the mail....

 This was easily the BIGGEST haul of cards I've EVER received. More on this windfall of Dodger Blue in a later post. I'm still sorting these babies! 

Tonight may have been wonderful for the Dodgers, but I suspect not everyone in Blue was thrilled. Poor Andre Ethier went missing yet again. In a 17-0 blowout, Ethier still couldn't get in the game! Say what?

It was 17-0 and scrub time. Guys named Bernadina were playing for the Dodgers, but Ethier was still collecting splinters.

Did the guy get Mattingly's daughter pregnant? Did he feed chocolate to Ned Colletti's dog? He's getting the serious Al Davis vs. Marcus Allen treatment. 

You heard it here first - he may get left off of the playoff roster.

Sure, 17-0 makes an exciting headline, but I suspect what's happening with Ethier is the real story. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Won A Royal Contest, And That Aint Random

Aloha readers and trade partners,

It's another sweltering, sunny day in L.A. The Dodgers are up in the bay - no, not Ebay! - Frisco bay, to battle the Giants and defend their position at the top of the N.L. West, and I'm getting ready for first pitch with a cold beer and my winnings from a contest held over at Royals and Randoms

As Josh reminded me in his note (seen below), the contest was held a few months back. I totally forgot I was a winner, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because my prize cards arrived more or less Randomly, which made them a very Royal surprise. 

Since I totally forgot what the "Baseball Sheep" were, I went over to Royals and Randoms and rediscovered what a fun contest it was. 

In it, Josh asked a series of baseball and card collecting survey/opinion questions. He tallied the answers and awarded prizes according to who had the highest points. It was fun to participate and see everyone's answers. The contest Q & A can be found here.

Josh, you mentioned possibly running a contest like that again in the future, and I hope you do. That was a fun one. 

Although I didn't win first prize, I took third place behind The Lost Collector by just one point!   

Let's check out my great prizes... 

Leading off is an autograph! Gorecki pitched one year each for LA and Tampa Bay back in the 90's.  He left behind a record of 2-2 with an ERA over 7.  Well, he did better than I ever would have. 

The second card carried the winnings envelope the way he wanted his bat to carry the Dodgers.  Before we had Matt Kemp and his giant ego patrolling the outfields of Chavez Ravine, we had another big ego with a big bat to match in this guy...

 This is quite an attractive, but simple card. The card features a nice shot of Sheffield wig-wagging his bat, paired with a slice of bat adorned with the LA logo. 

I was a fan of Sheffield when he played here, but unfortunately his ego and mouth got him traded away. We've also got a foul ball that Sheff hit.  My son came out from under a pile of fans with that one. 

Dodger fans might also remember we got Sheffield in the dark, black trade that the Fox idiots put together sending Mike Piazza away forever. Score one for the bad baseball memories pile.

THANKS for the cool cards, Josh. They're great! 

One hour to go for the battle of First Place up in the bay.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Speed Should Never Have A Slump

Dee Gordon is tearing up the basepaths this season and has more stolen bases than anyone in the majors.  So today, Dee and his cards will stand as my symbol for speed. 

Some of you out there might be wondering about that "spinning wheel of death" that you first see when ATBATT's page loads.  

I've joined in the fight for Net Neutrality - and believe me, it's a fight that needs all of us to participate in - because it will definitely affect the future for all of us. 

The FCC is going to rule this month on whether or not internet providers can separate the net into fast lanes, slow lanes, and super slow lanes.  The internet corporations will charge more for access to the fast lanes, in effect creating toll booths for internet access.

If you can afford to pay, your website will receive preferential speed.  If not, good luck to your audience.  They'll just have to pour a cup of coffee and wait for your site to load. 

Make no mistake, this is going to create a "Walmartization" of the net.  Huge corporations will thrive, while smaller outlets will wither and die on the vine.  

If the internet providers get their wish and the FCC allows them to create fast lanes, I fear the internet corporations will then create slower lanes for sites that represent direct competition to their interests. We saw the roots of this when Comcast slowed the internet speed of Netflix. 

Many of us started our blogs here on Blogger because it offers us free access to build a little niche on the web. If Blogger has to pay for access, do you think it will remain free for us? 

If all free blogging sites were super slow, would you use one of those sites? If you had to pay, would you have started blogging? How many other blogs or websites would never be born because of a payola system?

It starts with starving out competition for the dollar, and may well expand to slower speeds for sites with views the corporates don't agree withAre slower speeds based on political views OK with you ?  Or whether or not your site shows the occasional pretty girl in a bikini?

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled corporations are people. Bloggers are people too! Voice your opinion to the FCC and don't allow the corporations to leap over the rest of us. Aloha!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

It's The Ice Bucket Challenge - Blogger Stylee

Aloha readers and trade partners,

Well, it had to happen sooner or later - and I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner. The world-viral sensation known as the Ice Bucket Challenge is coming to a card blog near you!  

In a nutshell, the challenge is meant to raise awareness of ALS - famously known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Of course, the other part of the challenge is to raise donations toward the defeat of ALS.  Since Lou Gehrig is a baseball hero and cardboard icon, I'm surprised our slice of the blogosphere hasn't been involved yet. 

ALS was the only thing that could stop the Iron Horse

When challenged, a person is to be filmed with a bucket of ice water being dumped onto his or her head.That person then challenges others (usually three) to do the same. 

There are other details and "rules" involved but I like to keep things open, so while I'm starting up the challenge here for all of us in the card blogosphere, I'm not insisting anyone donate to the ALS charities. I'm not asking anyone to donate money to anything - as some of us just don't have the extra bread to spread around.  I should know, I'm that guy.

I am however, asking that if challenged, please do something kind for someone who needs it. Especially someone who has a physical or mental limitation that you were lucky enough to not have yourself. Do something nice for a wounded veteran or someone who is always giving, and not on the receiving end often enough. You define the action - that's your private thing. 

However, there is one part that we all wanna know about and we all definitely wanna see. That bucket 'o' water splashing on your head! 

Since this is my idea, I'll throw out the first pitch and undergo the bucket challenge myself. 

WOW! That was invigorating! 

While there were a few bloggers I considered for the initial challenge, I reckoned since the Dodgers are in First Place,  I'm nominating the Dodger bloggers out there to have first ups. Dodger Nation has bloggers all across the USA, so I'm choosing one from the west coast, one from the east coast, and one from mid-country. 

I hereby nominate:

1. Sir Night Owl from Night Owl Cards

I sincerely hope you three will participate - and here's how:
Step 1. Best case scenario is you take the ice bucket challenge and post the video for all of us to see.  

Of course you'll post your challenge video on your blog, but I'll make one central page here on ATBATT for us to post up our videos or links to videos. That way we can get a feel for the success of this endeavor, and have access to all of the videos in one central point. Then...

Step 2. Donate any amount to any charity, or donate some kindness and love to someone in need. We don't have to know what you did, but if you choose to say, I know we'd all love to hear about it. Then...

Step 3. Issue the challenge to three more members of our blogosphere. It's totally open to include bloggers or readers. Of course your family and friends are welcome as well. 

What if you want to participate, but you want to keep your anonymity? No problem, film it from behind, or wear a catchers mask. Heck, I'm hoping you folks out there will get really creative and show the many ways we card bloggers roll. 

BTW - If  challenged here, but you've done it previously, no need to dump another bucket of cold water on yourself, just post the video here for us to see. 

This might blow up large, or it might flop colossally.  I have no idea, but I'm willing to take this chance.  We often talk about the generosity of the blogosphere, so I'm proposing we honor the Iron Horse and spread our generosity a little further. 

THANKS in advance, N.O., Greg and Jim.  Please join me in representing for Dodger Nation!


Monday, September 8, 2014

ATBATT Plank Pimpology

Aloha readers and trade partners,

I don't always pimp contests, but when I do, it's because 

a) I haven't been asked to do it in order to gain a contest entry, and
b) the contest is cool enough to have earned the extra pimping,

So, without further ado, let the pimpage begin...

Good ol' Matt, who runs the blog "Bob Walk The Plank" is running a very cool contest.  It's super easy to join and the prize pool is fan-tastic. 

The contest is currently sitting at 43 entrants, and if we get that number up to 50, Matt's gonna kick the contest into an even higher gear.  Thus, pimpology is called for. 

Get on over to that Pirate fan's blog and join the contest here.

As I said, it's super easy to join; all you gotta do is leave a short and sweet comment.  

Git on over there....

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Adrian Bomb-zalez To D-Backs: "Wear This!" As The LA-AZ War Rages On

Aloha everybody,

Yeah, yeah, it's Week One for the NFL, but the big news for me today was El Jaguar, Adrian Gonzalez, blasting two big home runs against the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

In back-to-back innings Gonzalez went yard and he ended the day with 6 RBI's, matching his career high.  He did it once before - also at Dodger Stadium - but he was playing for San Diego back then. 

Sixth inning for Bombzalez, with Dee Gordon and Han Ram on base - 

BOOM!!!! 3-run home run

 Next inning, again with Gordon and Ramirez on base - 

BLAMMO !!!! Another 3 run bomb

 The next batter up was this guy...

KA - BLAM !!!!  Solo Blast! Another homer.

Next up was the man who's gone missing this season, who is now listed behind September call-up Joc Pederson, now standing as LA's sixth outfielder, Andre Ethier.  

Ethier better be do something spectacular, or he may not even make the playoffs roster.

There was a boom on his at bat, but it was the sound of Arizona intentionally drilling Andre Ethier.

BLAM! Sneak attack on Ethier's ribs.
 Is it me, or do those Diamondbacks just love to throw at batters?

Dodger Stadium erupted in boos, the umpires warned both benches, Mattingly argued vehemently with the umps without getting thrown out (amazingly), and then (equally amazingly) this guy got thrown out for yelling from the dugout...

Ya think Kid K has a time bomb waiting for the D-Backs for next season?

What a game! 

One last note - Lots of folks out here are pushing for Kershaw to win the NL MVP award, but my vote goes out to Bombzalez, who was unconscious at the start of the season, hitting home runs left and right, then slowly but surely knocked in runs for the Dodgers all season, and is definitely heating up again at the right time.