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College World Series Contest TIme!!

on May 25th, 2015 by zman40

It’s that time again! It is time for my sixth annual College World Series Contest.

Earlier today, the NCAA announced the 64 teams that will be competing for the 2015 College World Series championship. To commemorate it, I am holding the sixth annual College World Series contest here at Autographed Cards. It is going to be a couple of weeks before the main phase of the contest starts, but you can earn some bonus points here that could make a difference when the main portion gets going. All you have to do right now is pick the eight teams that are going to be playing in Omaha. Here are the teams to choose from.

Slot One
1. UCLA
1. UC Santa Barbara
2. Ole Miss
2. USC
3. Maryland
3. Virginia
4. Cal-Bakersfield
4. San Diego St

Slot Two
1. Oklahoma St
1. Missouri St
2. Arkansas
2. Iowa
3. Oral Roberts
3. Oregon
4. St. Johns
4. Canisius

Slot Three
1. Miami FL
1. Dallas Baptist
2. East Carolina
2. Oregon St
3. Columbia
3. Texas
4. FIU
4. VCU

Slot Four
1. Florida St
1. Florida
2. College of Charleston
2. Florida Atlantic
3. Auburn
3. South Florida
4. Mercer
4. Florida A&M

Slot Five
1. LSU
1. Houston
2. UNC Wilmington
2. Rice
3. Tulane
3. La-Lafayette
4. Lehigh
4. Houston Baptist

Slot Six
1. Texas A&M
1. TCU
2. Coastal Carolina
2. North Carolina St
3. Cal
3. Stony Brook
4. Texas Southern
4. Sacred Heart

Slot Seven
1. Illinois
1. Vanderbilt
2. Notre Dame
2. Radford
3. Wright St.
3. Indiana
4. Ohio
4. Lipscomb

Slot Eight
1. Cal St Fullerton
1. Louisville
2. Arizona St
2. Bradley
3. Clemson
3. Michigan
4. Pepperdine
4. Morehead St

All you have to do is pick one team from each slot for a total of eight teams. In the past, for every team that you picked that made it into the College World Series, you got one point. I mixed it up a bit last year and I am going to stick with that format. Now, any team you pick that makes it to Omaha gets as many points as their seed. So, if you make the safe bet and pick the one seed correctly, you get one point. But, if you pick the dark horse four seed and get lucky, you get four points for that pick. If you don’t feel like participating right now, that’s fine. You can enter the second phase without participating in the first, but you might have some ground to make up.

I haven’t figured out what the prizes are yet, but some of the prizes from the previous years include autographs from Hall of Famers Harmon Killebrew, Jim Rice, Rod Carew, and Bruce Sutter. I usually end up with some really good stuff at the College World Series. I just probably won’t know what they are until I get back from Omaha on the 14th of June. Last year, I gave away signed photos of Steve Carlton and Dennis Eckersly.

This blog has been in the doldrums of late since I am lucky to post a card twice a week. So, to get a few extra contestants in the contest, you can get one bonus point just by pimping this contest on your blog. Just leave a link in the comments and I will chalk you up a point.

Here is the format that your entry (comment) should look like

Slot one: Virginia
Slot two: Arkansas
Slot three: Texas
Slot four: Florida St
Slot five: Rice
Slot six: Stony Brook
Slot seven: Vanderbilt
Slot eight: Arizona St
Link to your blog (which can be left on a separate comment, but must be submitted by Thursday night).

Make sure you specify which school you want. For instance, slot one has a bunch of California schools and slot four has a bunch of Florida schools. Make it obvious who you are picking.

If you have any questions, ask in the comments or email me at zman40 at hotmail dot com. The deadline to enter the first phase of this contest is 11:00 am (central) Friday and the link must be posted twelve hours prior to that. Good luck and thanks for playing.

Keep in mind that the main portion of this contest is filling out a College World Series bracket when that field is determined in a couple of weeks. Every year, there are a couple of people that enter the first phase of the contest that never end up filling out a bracket. Those people have yet to win this contest.

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Upper Deck’s ’15 NSCC Wrapper Redemption Programs

on May 25th, 2015 by sportscardinfo

One of my favorite things to report on each year are the promotional programs that go on during the National.  Because who doesn’t love free stuff?  There are a few different ways you can look at the giveaways.  The first is straight and simple.  Its the National and they’re giving away stuff to those collectors […]

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Upper Deck Unveils 2015 NSCC VIP Set

on May 25th, 2015 by sportscardinfo

The 2015 National Sports Collectors Convention takes place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center this year in Chicago.  It runs from 7/29 to 8/2.  Upper Deck has already spilled the beans on some of the stuff they plan on doing. Upper Deck first released their Prominent Cuts product back in 2009.  Since then the brand […]

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What I’ve been doing with cards

on May 25th, 2015 by night owl

Note to Night Owl: Introspective posts don’t work when everyone is off at a cookout.OK, on with today’s rambling.Even though I’ve been pretty busy with my job this Memorial Day weekend, I have managed to squeeze in some card things here and there. So l…

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Barry Larkin Collection 368: 1996 Pinnacle – #90

on May 25th, 2015 by Nachos Grande

Barry LarkinYear:  1996Brand:  PinnacleCard number:  90Pinnacle is easily one of my least favorite brands of the 90s.  I know some people love the brand but for me Pinnacle never reached the apex of my collecting mountain (sorr…

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2015 TTM Tracker

on May 25th, 2015 by Daniel Wilson

These all got dropped off at the Post Office today, but since it’s a holiday I’ll consider them going out on 5/26/15.Henry Blanco (2)Rob Manfred (ball request)Chase Anderson (2)Chris Owings (3)Luis Gonzalez (3)Josh Collmenter (5)Patrick Corbin (5)Brad …

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Don Vidmar, To Work – 2578

on May 25th, 2015 by Steve78

Don Vidmar’s Palm Springs Angels did their part in this April 1991 game – they scored. Vidmar just went to work.By the time this front end of the day’s double header was done, Vidmar had himself a no-hitter. He struck out three and walked two, no-hitti…

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Flashback: Memorial Day and What’s Important

on May 25th, 2015 by James B. Anama

(This post was originally published on May 26, 2008.)So I had just finished scanning the 2007 Topps Distinguished Service Set so I could post it here, and then it occurred to me that I was doing something wrong. Here I was ready to post something about…

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Terry Abbott, Keep Going – 5

on May 25th, 2015 by Steve78

Originally published Nov. 12, 2012The Florida Marlins top 2009 pick Chad James started slowly two years later at high-A Jupiter. James actually started off 0-11.His pitching coach Terry Abbott had faith in the young hurler in his second pro season. The…

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Blog Kiosk: 5/25/2015 – Dodger Links – Ryu, Rally Banana’s and AJ Ellis

on May 25th, 2015 by Ernest Reyes

I love how sometimes social media can do some good – instead of being the terrible one-headed monster it always seems to be.  Above is the veritable “Dancing Man,” also known as Sean O’Brien, and he threw out the first pitch before yesterday’s game.  Go here to learn a little bit about him.

The above pic is via the @Dodgers on twitter.  Below are some links to check out:

  • Via Harry Pavlidis at ESPN, “Measuring MLB’s best game-callers.”  It’s always been tough finding a metric that appropriately values the defensive part of a catchers job.  Sure, there’s “pitch-framing,” but that’s just one small part of what a field general is suppose to do.  Another skill, something I would argue is the most important, is “game-calling.”  

Most experienced catchers will work closely with a starting pitcher in coming up with a game plan, and will be the principal person in charge of decided what pitches to throw at any time.  So, identifying those who are best at this is an important metric to develop.  Apparently, that metric has been found and it shows that AJ Ellis is the best “game-caller” in the league.

That Ellis is one of the best at this should not come as a surprise.  Dodger pitchers for years have been singing his graces. BTW, you can find out more about the methodology and math behind this new metric here and here.  Apparently, it’s derived from their DRA metric.

4. The guide to the best game caller of them all: little-known 34-year-old Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis

A.J. Ellis, in a vacuum, is a below-average catcher. His career batting average is .240. His career OPS is .689. He’s made 396 starts in eight seasons. The Dodgers, of course, know all this. But they also know that two of the game’s best hurlers, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, absolutely love pitching to him. Why? Because Ellis is the best game caller in the business, and now we can actually prove it. His game-calling alone saved the Dodgers 38 runs from 2012 to 2014, though he gave back 19 of those runs with everything else he did behind the plate . Does it hurt to be Ellis? At times, perhaps. But at least now, when that ninth foul tip slaps his once-unheralded (but now-appreciated) inner thigh, it might not sting quite so much.

But Ryu, his left arm in a sling during a Dodger Stadium news conference, said he was always able to pitch with it and figured he’d be able to again after it flared up in Spring Training.

“I wanted to try to do it without surgery. That was my main intention,” said the 28-year-old left-hander, who said he now intends to be healthy by next Spring Training, as doctors have indicated.

  • Via Steve Bourbon at MLB.com, “‘Rally banana’ does wonders for Dodgers.”  Kike Hernandez sure is a crazy guy.
“I said, ‘I’m on the bench, I’ve got to help my team somehow, we’ve got to come up with something,'” Hernandez said. “So I look around and the first thing I see is a banana and I said, ‘This banana is going to be a rally banana.'”

Despite his objective struggles behind the plate, the Dodgers adored Thomas’ effort.

“Show me another guy who could do what he did today,” Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda told Littwin. “I’ve been in baseball nearly all my life, and I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m so grateful to him. He’s a great athlete, but more than that, he’s courageous.”

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    * Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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    Phillies at Mets: May 25th to May 27th

    on May 25th, 2015 by Jim

    Monday 1:10, Tuesday 7:10, Wednesday 1:10Citi Field – Flushing, NYPhillies 19-27, 4th Place, 8 games behind the NationalsMets 24-21, 2nd Place, 2 1/2 games behind the NationalsPhillies Probables:  Severino Gonzalez (2-1, 7.11), Jerome Williams…

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    In Remembrance

    on May 25th, 2015 by Play at the Plate

    Because of men like this who came before us… and many men and women since, we enjoy the freedom to worship the way we want, say the things we want, and collect cards the way we want.Thank you to every person who ever served our country.  Yo…

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    a final word (for now) on memorials

    on May 25th, 2015 by gcrl

    first, let me take a moment to note that today is memorial day. hopefully, we all take some time out of our day to remember those whose service required the giving of their lives.  there have been too many.many of you know that one of my mini coll…

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    Hobby Archaeology: 1979-1983 Coral-Lee Postcards

    on May 25th, 2015 by Jason Presley

         The semi-recognized nature of the 1979-83 Coral-Lee Postcard set has bugged me for awhile. Mainly what bothered me was the seemingly random ordering of the checklist by Beckett. Oddly, Beckett no longer includes this set in their databas…

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    (Military Service)

    on May 25th, 2015 by Wrigley Wax

    George Altman’s card shows that he didn’t play ball in 1957.  Instead the card shows (Military Service).  You don’t see that on cards any more.But the Cubs have a pitcher names Danny Lewis in class A South Bend and he spent four years in the …

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    TWJ cards are getting “revamped” soon…

    on May 24th, 2015 by JT

    Kenny Rogers (the country music singer, not the pitcher) sang, “You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.” In the case of the 2015 TWJ card design, it’s time to fold ’em and walk away. It is dull and uninspiring, and I […]

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    2015 Bowman jumbo pack recap

    on May 24th, 2015 by Laurens

    #141 Nick Tropeano#98 Travis D’Arnaud#112 Yu Darvish#12 Adam Eaton#40 Oswaldo Arcia#83 Lorenzo Cain#73 Adrian Gonzalez#150 Javier Baez#90 Nick Castellanos#BCP 121 Gilbert Lara – Chrome#BCP 100 Kris Bryant – Chrome#BCP 73 Kyle Zimmer – Chrome#BCP 88 Ree…

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    Random Awesomeness (part 191)

    on May 24th, 2015 by JT

    Yes, They Did have Star Wars Spoilers back in 1978 [Retroist] Watch All Van Halen Appearances on David Letterman [Van Halen News Desk] A Complete Guide to the 1989 Upper Deck #1 Ken Griffey, Jr. Rookie Card [The Junior Junkie] 17 Amazing Facts About He-Man (Powered by Grayskull) [mental_floss] Local NKU Assistant Professor Photographs Every […]

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    Dave Ford, 1991 Crown/Coca-Cola All-Time Orioles #140

    on May 24th, 2015 by Kevin

    With all of the commotion about Brian Matusz last night, the second superlative start of Mike Wright’s young career may have gotten lost in the shuffle. The rookie from East Carolina University turned in seven more scoreless innings, limiting the Marli…

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    Achievers

    on May 24th, 2015 by NPB Card Guy

    The last of the recent box sets I got from Ryan a week or so ago were the Achievement sets for the Hawks, Buffaloes and Whales.  The Achievement sets a new series of box sets from BBM that have a retro feel to them.  The sets have a matte fin…

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    Richard Parker, Big Hit – 2581

    on May 24th, 2015 by Steve78

    Richard Parker picked up two hits for the Bend Bucks on this August 1989 night. One of those hits proved to be the difference in the game, according to The Bend Bulletin.Parker came up in the eighth inning with two runners on. He promptly hit the ball …

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    Wallet Card at the Big, Big Penny

    on May 24th, 2015 by Bo

    Back when I started doing the wallet card photos around Manhattan, I solicited requests (still open to any I get). Steve of The Greatest 21 Days suggested I check out a website called Roadside America. I did and found several interesting objects I was …

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    Card Of The Week May 24

    on May 24th, 2015 by NPB Card Guy

    Last week Ichiro Suzuki of the Miami Marlins got his 2,874th hit of him MLB career, passing Babe Ruth for 38th place for batters since 1900 (and 42nd for all time).  Ichiro now has 4,154 between NPB and MLB (including his hit in today’s game) whic…

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    Awesome night card, pt. 236 (feet first)

    on May 24th, 2015 by night owl

    I’m fairly certain that I have never slid head-first in a baseball game in my entire life.When I was learning to play baseball, the head-first slide wasn’t a thought. Almost nobody but Pete Rose did it back then. It wasn’t taught in youth baseball or b…

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    Sunday Night Baseball Rangers @ Yankees: Army Veteran Whitey Ford

    on May 24th, 2015 by deal

    It is Memorial Day Weekend and the Yankees are on Sunday Night Baseball.2012 Cooperstown Collection With Honors #8 Whitey FordBetween the vacations, barbecues and family get together it is a good time to remember the Veterans and servicemen and women w…

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    Welcome to LA, Austin Barnes!

    on May 24th, 2015 by Ernest Reyes

    As you surely know by now, the final player involved in the Dee Gordon trade is in the midst of his Dodger/Major League debut this afternoon.  Unfortunately, he hasn’t exactly been given a warm welcome by the Padres.  As I write this little blurb, the Dodgers are currently behind 9-0 to San Diego, and it doesn’t appear it’ll get any better.  So, instead of wasting away in front of the boob-tube I figured I’d formerly welcome Austin Barnes to Los Angeles by making a new fantasy Baseball card and sharing it here.  Check it out above.  I used a photograph taken by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015 during spring training and the 1974 Topps Baseball card design.  BTW, in today’s game Austin Barnes is wearing number #65.

    As you’ll recall, I had previously written about Barnes when the December trade sending Dee Gordon to Miami was originally made.  You can check that out here.  At the time, Austin was a multi-positional player, but it quickly became clear that he would be concentrating most of his efforts behind the dish for the Dodgers. 

    Per a Dodger press release:

    Barnes, 25, is making his first appearance on an active Major League roster after batting .290 with five doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI in 29 games at Triple-A. Barnes has drawn more walks (14) than strikeouts (13) this season, with a .390 on-base percentage, and has hit safely in his last eight games with Oklahoma City, including going 1-for-3 last night at Las Vegas. The Riverside native was acquired by the Dodgers in a seven-player trade with Miami on Dec. 10, 2014 and was originally selected by the Marlins in the ninth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Arizona State University.

    He was called up due to Yasmani Grandal’s recent concussion-related injury.  Hopefully Grandal will be OK, and it’s been suggested that he should be back with the Dodger shortly.  Unfortunately, as a hockey fan I’ve come to understand that you can’t put a timetable on concussion issues.  I am glad to know, though, that the Dodgers are taking this kind of injury seriously.  It wasn’t too long ago when Grandal would’ve been expected to get back out there right away. 

    Back to Barnes, Gabe Kapler posted up an interesting comment on twitter earlier today:

    Austin Barnes is about to make his ML debut for the @Dodgers. You don’t know him yet. You will…and you’ll like it.

    — gabe kapler (@gabekapler) May 24, 2015

    I hope he can become a solid backstop for the Dodgers, and I think this early cup-of-coffee for him can only add to his experience.  Heck, I think the shellacking he’s experiencing in today’s game will help build character.  It is now 10-0 Padres as I prepare to put up this post.

    Below are the career stats for Austin Barnes, via Baseball-Reference:

    Report Created on Baseball-Reference.com

    * Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
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    1934-1936 Batter-Up #38 Jimmie Wilson

    on May 24th, 2015 by Jim

    Nationals 4, Phillies 1Game 46 – Sunday Afternoon, May 24th in WashingtonRecord – 19-27, 4th Place, 8 games behind the NationalsOne Sentence Summary:  The Phillies hung in until the seventh when the bullpen combo of Justin De Fratus and Jake Diekm…

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    Signature Sundays – Liut x2 – Go Whalers!

    on May 24th, 2015 by shoeboxlegends

    Quick one today, as I’m focusing on enjoying the beautiful weather on this holiday weekend in New England.  Today’s post features a Whalers autograph from a recently released set that is actually not Ron Francis believe it or not.  It seems U…

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    Braves Series Starts Tomorrow – Scheduled Autograph Sessions, Pregame Info and Other Stuff!

    on May 24th, 2015 by Ernest Reyes

    The next homestand starts tomorrow against the Atlanta Braves, and several former Dodgers are scheduled for an autograph session with fans.  Below are the scheduled autograph opportunities and other odds and ends for this upcoming homestand.

    —————
    Monday, May 25th at 5:10 PM
    SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

    Monday’s game starts at 5:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 2:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 3:10 PM.  The first 40,000 fans will receive an Tommy Lasorda Garden Gnome.  See it on the left.

    Monday is Memorial Day and the Dodgers, along with all of MLB, will again participate in the National Moment of Remembrance during Memorial Day Weekend.  The Dodgers will wear specially-designed caps and jerseys Monday. All of MLB’s net proceeds from the sale of these caps and jerseys will be donated to the Welcome Back Veterans program, which provides grants to university hospitals throughout the country to treat veterans suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury.

    Memorial pre-game ceremonies will include a flyover by three heritage planes, a P15D Mustang, P63 Cobra and T28 Trojan, from the Palm Springs Air Museum. The U.S. Army will provide a color guard. Five representatives from each military branch of service, 25 Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy service men and women, will throw the ceremonial first pitch. Tuskegee Airman 95 year-old Lieutenant Colonel Robert Friend will officially start the game with “It’s time for Dodger baseball!” The U.S. Department of Defense will also have a Memorial Day PSA that will play on DodgerVision prior to the game. A POW/MIA chair dedication will take place and 300 military families from various military branches will be in attendance. Eight youngsters from military families will partake in Kids Take the Field Monday. The national anthem and will be performed by U.S. Army National Guard Sergeant Vicki Goulding, former U.S. Army Sergeant Victor Hurtado and Lisa Pratt, Operation Rising Star winner and military spouse.  Bank of America Executive Director of New Directions Gregory Scott will throw a first pitch.

    Dodger alumnus Al Downing will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion from 5:00 PM. to 7:00 PM.

    • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Army Captain Christopher Kahn of Clovis. Kahn enlisted in the Army 16 years ago, has served a deployment to Kuwait as part of Operation Desert Spring and to Baghdad, Iraq as part of Operation Thunder Run and with the 82nd Airborne Division as part of the OIF and Operation New Dawn. Kahn has served in South Korea the past two years where he was selected by the Army’s ACS program to attend graduate school.

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    Tuesday, May 26th at 7:10 PM
    SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

    Tuesday’s game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:10 PM. 

    Jerry Vivino, saxophonist in the house band for the Conan O’Brien show, will perform the national anthem.

    Dodger alumnus Tim Leary will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

    • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant E5 Ladarrius Robinson of Minden, Louisiana. Robinson attended Grambling State University in 2003 and enlisted in the Marines after graduation. He served a deployment to Fallujah, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III and served as part of the largest combat deployed battalion in Marine Corps history, 3rd Batallion 4th Marines. He also served deployments to Al-Qa’im, Iraqui and Anah Iraq with Weapons company mobile assault Platoons, Scout Snipers and Lima company in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

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    Wednesday, April 29th at 7:10 PM
    SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

    Wednesday’s game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:10 PM.  The first 40,000 fans will receive an Dodgers coaster set.  See it on the left.

    Saxophonist Michael Lington will perform the national anthem.  Los Angeles Chief of Police Charlie Beck and L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell will throw the ceremonial first pitch and will join the Dodgers in announcing the re-launch of a fan-favorite program where officers will distribute Dodger baseball cards to children and families while on patrol. In 2015, the program returns with the addition of L.A. County Sheriffs. In total, nearly 10,000 LAPD officers and 10,000 sheriff’s deputies will carry Dodgers baseball cards with them while on patrol this season.

    Dodger alumnus Lee Lacy will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

    • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Manuel Lopez of Compton. Lopez enlisted in 1998, served as an assault man for six years before being deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served in Operation Noble Eagle, an anti-terrorist force assigned to the west coast of the U.S. after September 11.

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    Brett Merriman, That Control – 2574

    on May 24th, 2015 by Steve78

    Brett Merriman came back from one near no-hitter in high school to finish the job in his next outing, his hometown Nevada Daily Mail wrote.

    His coach Matt Spencer could find little difference between the two performances, he told The Daily Mail.

    “It was equal as far as outings go,” Merriman told The Daily Mail afterward. “He had much better control. His fast ball is live and sawing the bat off their hands, so to speak.”

    Merriman went on to take his control on to an eight-season pro career. In two of those seasons, Merriman used that control in the majors.

    Merriman’s pro career began in 1988, taken by the Indians in the ninth round of the draft out of college. He played at Grand Canyon University and Mesa Community College.

    Merriman started at rookie Burlington. He got eight starts and had a 2.58 ERA. He moved to short-season Watertown and single-A Miami for 1989.

    Released during spring training 1990, Merriman signed on with the Angels and played that year between high-A Palm Springs and AA Midland.

    He stayed with the Angels system through 1992, making AAA Edmonton for 22 relief outings in 1992, posting a 1.42 ERA.

    Merriman arrived with the Twins for 1993, taken that off-season by the Rockies in the expansion draft and then traded. He debuted in Minnesota that April.

    He got into six games for the Twins that month. He then returned at the end of August and picked up his first major league win.

    The win came from three innings of scoreless relief – the 20th, 21st and 22nd innings of a marathon game against his old team, the Indians.

    Merriman gave up a few runs in his other outings that year, though. He went on to get 19 total appearances for the Twins that year, recording a 9.67 ERA.

    Merriman got into 15 more games in 1993, with a 6.35 ERA for the Twins. That was the extent of his big league career.

    He went on to play in two more minor league seasons, at AAA Salt Lake in 1994 and AAA Las Vegas for the Padres in 1995, ending his career.

    Years later, Merriman watched as his son Alec followed him into baseball at Mesa Community College.

    “The first things I held in my hands were a baseball signed by the Rockies and a glove,” Alec Merriman told the college’s Mesa Legend paper in 2012, “so it’s been my life since I was born … I have a lot of great stories and cool memories that I can look at and try to live up to. It is a lot to live up to, but it’s cool.”

    1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
    Players/Coaches Featured: 2,044
    Made the Majors: 906-44.3%-X
    Never Made Majors:1,138-55.7%
    5+ Seasons in the Majors: 386
    10+ Seasons in the Minors:221

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    One Page Of Frank Bolick

    on May 24th, 2015 by The Angels In Order

    This series will highlight “one page” at a time from my binder of correspondence and autographs from former Angels players.  Frank Bolick 1B, 3B, DH Anaheim Angels 1998

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    2015 Topps #10 Cole Hamels

    on May 24th, 2015 by Jim

    Phillies 8, Nationals 1Game 45 – Saturday Afternoon, May 23rd in WashingtonRecord – 19-26, 4th Place, 7 games behind the NationalsOne Sentence Summary:  Bolstered by home runs from Maikel Franco and Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels easily took care of the…

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    Facing Ted Williams, edited by Dave Heller

    on May 24th, 2015 by Section 36
    The greatest hitter that ever lived. Ted Williams is a legend among legends. What a privilege people who got the chance to watch him play had.  Unfortunately, since Ted retired over fifty years ago, there aren’t many of those privileged few left. Which is what made this book so intriguing. Even better than talking about people who got to see Williams play, this book focus on people who actually played against him. What was it like trying to get him out? Did you just assume you had no chance and hope to limit the damage? Did you actually think you could strike him out? How about fielders, did they play any differently with Ted at the plate? I couldn’t wait to dive into the book.
    Then, I hit a problem. This book relied on fresh interviews, as opposed to historical accounts. As I mentioned, Ted last played fifty years ago. Do the math, and even a 20 year old breaking in during Ted’s last season is pushing 75 years old. There aren’t a lot of players left who faced Ted personally. There also weren’t a lot of players who faced Ted very often. Again, if your career overlapped Ted’s by ten years, you’re at least 85 years old. So, the book had a high percentage of people I had never heard of. Bob Feller is the only name that sticks out as a name I knew, and as a player who had faced Ted quite often. It also meant that those players had faced Ted only once or twice. It didn’t make their stores less valid, but it did make them a bit less original. Every one of them, it seemed, was a wide-eyed rookie when Ted came to the plate. Their memories were all similar. Then came the second problem. Usually, their memories were all wrong. Whether it was the passage of time, or an exaggeration that crept in over the years, many of the stories were inaccurate. That left Heller with two choices. To ignore it, and let everyone tell about how they stuck Williams out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, or to point out the errors. I’m not sure which I would have done, but Heller chose the latter. In footnotes, he would correct the misremembering. That would have been fine, if it didn’t happen so often. Almost every time someone remembered something, there was a footnote correcting it. Made me wonder what I was reading…since it certainly didn’t seem to be anything like a story about facing Ted Williams. I wonder if Heller himself was a bit disappointed by what he ended up with when he saw the inaccuracies.

    I know I was.

    Rating: 1 base.

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    Dru Kosco, Improved Everyday – 13

    on May 24th, 2015 by Steve78

    Originally published Dec. 20, 2014Dru Kosco was hitting well at single-A San Bernardino in 1988 and he started looking ahead, according to The San Bernardino Sun.It was Kosco’s third season as a pro, first in the California League.”I feel that I’m impr…

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