December 2010

Ozzie Guillen Answered my Question! Happy 75th Birthday Sandy Koufax!

A while back when the Dodgers got Uribe, I posted a question on Ozzie Guillen’s blog.   He responded!  Thanks Ozzie!   

 

Q: Since the Dodgers have Juan Uribe and he played for the White Sox, what can you tell us about him?

A: Uribe is awesome. He may look like a little Buddha, but he is an amazing baseball player. I think he is so good because he is not afraid of the moment. He really is fearless, maybe because he has no idea how big the moments actually are! (haha) I only kid with him because that’s my boy, and he will be great for the Dodgers. 


As I always say, keep the questions coming!

Until next time …

– Ozzie

Haha.  Ozzie is funny.  If you want to sent Ozzie any question, go to his blog at http://ozzie.mlblogs.com/

 

Happy Birthday Sandy Koufax!  Our Sandy turns 75 today December 30th?  

611tracykoufax.jpg

I have a friend who is a big Cardinal fan in town so I’ve been busy. 

Tuesday: We went to Portos in Burbank, Dodger Stadium, The San Antonio Winery, Philippes, Olvera Street, Union Station.  

Wednesday: The Equestrian Fest in Burbank, lunch at a Honduran restaurant (Lempiras) and the Griffith Observatory.

Thursday:  We are going to Santa Barbara with another Cardinal fan who has a blog here then coming back to Woodland Hills to go to Jeff Suppan’s restaurant “Soup’s Grill” 

Friday:   ???? Sandi:  What are we doing Friday?   Maybe help decorate a float and then ???     

Saturday:  The Rose Parade.    

 

Twas the Night Before Christmas at the MLB Blogs

Twas the Night Before Christmas and in every house
All good MLB bloggers and readers were clicking their mouse

They hung all their stockings, decorated their trees
and now it was time to sit down and see
What everyone posted on this Christmas Eve.

A nice break to read a bunch of good bloggers
Was just what they needed, but Oh no! the buggers!

When they went to the MLB site, none could be found.
“Oh no, we’re afraid Mark went out of town
Is the server down the reason we cannot read?
How could he do this in our time of need?

The bloggers all panicked, they shivered in fright,
They pined for their read/write and settled in for the night.

“Could we have misspelled the link? Did we hit the wrong key?
Did it go to LALA land?” Oh such misery!
And then in a flash, with a stroke of a key,
One by one, they discovered their Christmas Eve reads.

Their eyes how they twinkled, they laughed and smiled.
And they settled into the chair to read/write for a while.

Their hearts were delighted, they felt just like kids,
But it’s still such a mystery where the MLB links had hid.
Was it there all the time and they just didn’t see?
Or did Santa step in and do a good deed?

Good baseball fans are on Santa’s list
And good MLB bloggers and readers he vows never to miss.

It’s been a long night, time to climb into bed,
So they shut down their computers and laid down their heads.

But in a quiet of night, before things came to an end,
They heard “Thanks for reading and writing with me,
Its great to read and write with baseball friends!”

I wish you peace and joy!
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! 

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Building Dreams, Friends and Memories

“Building Dreams, Friends and Memories” is the theme of the Rose Parade for 2011.  

Congratulations to CPompe1 (Carol) for knowing that trivia in my prior post:  What do Gregory Peck, Lorne Greene, Arnold Palmer, Dr. William H. Pickering, E.L. Bob Barlett and Earl Warren have in common?  

They all served as GMs (Grand Marshals)  of the Rose Parade.   The years in order of names above: 1988, 1981, 1965, 1963, 1959 and 1955.   Those are the years the Dodgers won the World Series. 

Paula Deen was named the Grand Marshal for 2011 ya’ll   I wonder if she was the first choice. 

From the www.examiner.com:

Thumbnail image for Gregory Peck.jpg

Peck wasn’t the first choice, but he was a terrific one.  The first choice  that year, was Walter Cronkite.  Perfect, but Cronkite had a previous engagement.  The second, unnamed choice, bowed out at the last minute, just the before the programs went to press. 

Despite being third in line, Peck was one of the most enthusiastic Grand Marshals ever.  He had been attending Rose Parades with his father since he was a boy, and was thrilled to be riding along Colorado Blvd. in a vintage car.  He pulled some strings and got on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, the first Grand Marshal to appear in that bastion of late-night celebrities.

Baseball players as GMs:

1999 Jackie Robinson (posthumously)

1975 Henry L. “Hank” Aaron.

Anyone seen the add on the internet for the ’67 Rose parade hosted by Vin Scully with  Elizabeth Montgomery from Bewitched?  

 

For a list of other Rose Parade grand marshals go to http://www.tournamentofroses.com/the-rose-parade/history/grand-marshals

Here is to building dreams, friendship and memories! 

Trivia: What Do These People Have in Common?

OK, this trivia is way out there but I was looking for some information then I was wondering  here and there..  ..

What do these people have in common?  

Gregory Peck  Actor. Born in La Jolla, CA.  President Lyndon Johnson honored Peck with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 for his lifetime humanitarian efforts. 

Lorne Greene.  Canadian actor.  Television roles include Bonanza.    

Arnold Palmer.  World famous Golfer

Dr. William H. Pickering.  Scientist who headed Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for 22 years.

E.L. Bob Barlett.  Alaska’s Territorial Delegate to Congress from 1945-59 and senator until 1968.

Earl Warren.  14th Chief Justice of the United States.  Born in Los Angeles. 

 

This I don’t know so would appreciate some help. 

I took this picture at Dodger Stadium.  It is hanging on the dining area of Vin Scully Press Box but it had no name tag.    Who is this Brooklyn Dodger in this picture that is attempting to knit?    

 


Sept 2010 011 black and white pic of pic.jpg 

 Happy Friday!

 
Dodger Christmas stocking.jpg

#24 Walter Alston & a Jim Murray Column

Thank you all that visit my blog to read or for the pictures.   My blog ranked #24 in the latest MLB fan blog ranking.   This is only the second time I get a Dodger Hall of Famer number!

 

Walter Alston, Baseball, Brooklyn Dodgers 

Walter Alston was born on December 1st 1911.  Mr. Alston had only one at bat in the Major League (St Louis Cardinals) when he appeared as a substitute for the future Hall of Famer, Johnny Mize.   But after managing in the minor league for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Walter Alston went on to manage the Dodgers on one-year contracts for 23 seasons (1954-1976).  

During Walter (Smokey) Alston’s tenure, the Dodgers won seven National League Championships and four World Series Championships.    He amassed 2,040 wins, before retiring after the 1976 season.  During the offseason and after retiring, he was a high school teacher of science, physical education, and industrial arts teacher. 

The following is a reprint of a Jim Murray column that appeared at the top of page 22 in the Hamilton (Ohio) Journal-News on Friday, October 8, 1976. Mr. Murray had a 37 year career with the Los Angeles Times.   He was named “America’s Best Sportswriter” by the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters 14 times.   He won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his 1989 columns.

“Murray Bids Alston a Fond Farewell

All right, Miss Tulsa, put away those poison pen letters for a minute and take a letter to Walt Alston. Send it care of the Dodgers. I don’t think Darrtown has a post office yet. Mark it  “Unurgent” and sign it “Affectionately.”

Dear Walt,

See I told you it wouldn’t last. That O’Malley is a fickle character who changes skippers on a whim every 23 years.

I’m going to miss our little chats on the infield fly rule and the balk motion. I was just beginning to get the hang of it. I don’t think we ever once discussed anything that didn’t go on between those white lines out there. I don’t know whether you’re Republican or Democrat or Catholic or Protestant and I’ve known you for 18 years. I never heard you tell a lie, saw you take a drink or talk about anyone behind his back. I heard three generations of your players cut you up – usually after their third martini or while trying to impress the lady on the next bar stool.

I’ll never forget the time on the team bus a bunch of guys were discussing some bistros in New York and you said with a perfectly straight face, ‘What do people do in night clubs?’ They looked at each other for a moment but, when the answer came that they sit there and drink, you shook your head and said, ‘They could do that in their room – at no cover charge.’

I know you didn’t spend all your life making fudge and bobbing for apples – you could cuss like a ferryboat captain – but if you had any major hang-ups, I never saw it. You were testy with me on a few occasions, but that was before you came to appreciate the vast knowledge of baseball that I have accumulated. Let’s face it, Walt; you could never have won those pennants without me.

I’m going to miss our little jokes about Darrtown. You know. ‘We don’t have an airport, but we have a birdbath.’ ‘Darrtown’s international airport has ducks in it.’ ‘The train only stops here when it hits a cow.’ ‘We don’t have a street, but the trees are blazed.’ ‘Main Street is the ploughed field without corn in it.’ ‘We don’t have burlesque; but the widder Brown leaves her shades up.’ ‘They would have put a traffic light on Main Street, but the cows are color blind.’ ‘An energy crisis is when your mule dies.’

I never got the impression you were afraid of a damned thing. And that went for 220-pound left fielders or the job stealers the owner use to hire under you to put a little Broadway in the act. Next to you, they were showed up as the petty little back-alley schemers they were. It was like a bug biting an elephant.

You were a college graduate with a teacher’s degree, but you used to say ‘extry’ all the time. You were as Middle Western as a pitchfork. Black players who have a sure instinct for the closet bigot recognized immediately you didn’t know what prejudice was. You were as straight as John Brown’s body. There was no ‘side’ to Walter Alston. What you saw was what you got.

But, I guess the thing I’ll always remember is that you never had to worry about what sort of ‘mood’ Walter Alston was in. You were as approachable as a hunting dog. As long as I live, I will never forget theat dressing room in the playoff of 1962, when the Dodgers blew a 9th inning 4-2 lead and the pennant. The players locked themselves in and passed the bottle. You came out, dry-eyed… and dry throat and talked to us, then went over and congratulated the Giants and Alvin Dark. You had won a playoff, too, three years before.

I sat with you through 10-game losing streak in 1961 and never once say you bust up a locker or punch a newspaperman. That’s why, when you turned on a newsman this summer, I couldn’t have been more shocked if they caught St. Francis of Assisi poisoning bread crumbs.

Your life is summed up in Jack Tobin’s biography ‘One Year At A Time.’ I don’t know of anybody leaves his profession with more respect. You took a four-straight loss in the ’66 World Series with a shrug. You had won in four straight, too, three years before. You didn’t panic when they took your slugging team from a bandbox in Brooklyn to the Coliseum in L.A., which was about as suitable for baseball as a deck of an aircraft carrier. You won a pennant on that aircraft carrier the second year.

I used to laugh when someone would say, ‘Why shouldn’t Alston win with all that talent?’ and I’d say, ‘Yeah. Too bad he doesn’t have some better baseball players to go with that talent. I think you ran that wild animal act that was the Dodgers about as well as it could be run without a whip and a chair.

So, I’ll be seeing you, Walt. Give my regards to beautiful downtown Darrtown. I don’t know what time your stagecoach gets in; but, when the natives ask you where you have been for the past 23 years, tell ‘em you found seasonal work in Californy. But, don’t tell ‘em what happened to Custer.

The corner of the dugout is going to look funny without you there, next year. I only hope the Dodgers don’t, too.

Affectionately,

The Old Second Guesser”

To fully appreciate the significance of the kind words used by the Pulitzer Prize winning writer, Jim Murray, in his  “fond farewell” to Smokey Alston (at the left), one needs to understand the manner in which Jim Murray typically wrote and the acclaim that was bestowed upon him.

The following links provide background on Jim Murray:

From the Los Angeles Times:

“Jim Murray, Pulitzer-Winning Times Columnist Dies”

From the Tucson Weekly:

“The Legendary Sportwriter Made This Kid Want To Write”

From the New York Times:

“Jim Murray, 78, Sportwriter And Winner of Pulitzer Prize”

For a collection of Jim Murray quotes from the Los Angeles Times, see “Jim Murray, Pulitzer-Winning Times Columnist, Dies”

 

I’ve read a Jim Murray book but I never read the above column before so I am glad I ran into it.     


DO YOU KNOW?

18 of Smokey’s players went on to become major league managers – according to “
thebaseballpage.com,”

Move your cursor over this box, if you want to know their names.

1955 – “Smokey” Alston Visits with Darrtown Fans and Friends

In the fall of 1955, after leading the Brooklyn Dodgers to their first-ever World Series Championship, Walter “Smokey” Alston came home to Darrtown – just like he would after every season during his 23 year career as the Dodgers field manager. 

This particular year, honoring the wishes and requests of his Darrtown fans and friends, “Smokey” shared his memories of that eventful season by speaking to those assembled in the Darrtown Knights of Pythias Hall.

The image at the right, contributed by Paul and Janet (Bauman) Jewell captures a moment during Smokey’s address to the audience.

We can identify two others in this photograph. The young boy seated on the stage of the hall behind Smokey is Donnie Thomas. Seated beside Donnie, in the dark dress is Olive (McVicker) Hansel. The woman whose face is framed by the window at the left resembles Dorrie (McVicker) Thome – although we are not positive.

I like this quote by Jim Murray:

“Baseball is a game where a curve is an optical illusion, a screwball can be a pitch or a person, stealing is legal and you can spit anywhere you like except in the umpire’s eye or on the ball.”

 Jim Murray quote

Scott Boras at the SABR 2011 Conference and the Winter Meetings

 SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) 2011 Conference.

The 2011 SABR conference (#41) will be in Long Beach, California next year! the dates are July 6 to 10, 2011.

I went my first SABR meeting last Saturday with the purpose of volunteering . There were 15 guys at the meeting and me.   

Anyway, I found out that Scott Boras will be one of the speakers Also Arte Moreno for the Angels and THE speaker from the Dodgers is still pending. The player speakers will be announced at a later date.

The Dodgers and Angels are in town so the Dodger game that we will be attending from the conference will be Thursday July 7th when the Dodgers play the Mets.   This is also Andre Ethier Bobblehead night so It will be a popular night.  The Angel game will be on Saturday against the Mariners.  There will be much more added to the conference.  In the meantime,

Make Your Room Reservation for SABR 41 Now

SABR 41 is starting to take shape. The Long Beach Hilton is accepting reservations at the convention rate of $119/night.

 For more information visit the SABR website at http://www.sabr.org/

 

Hot Stove and Winter Meetings

Don’t you just love all the Hot Stove trade rumors coming out of the 2010 Winter Meetings?  My head spins on one direction then another with all the rumors.   Are the Dodgers going after a left fielder or Prince Fielder?   

In the meantime the Dodgers have signed Vicente Padilla for 2 Million.   I like this signing at this price.  Padilla must like it here in LA. 

 Note also that SABR will be at booth #1907 during the Baseball Trade Show at the Winter Meetings, December 6-8.  

The McCourt divorce.

And just to make things more …..interesting for the Dodgers, the judge has ruled in favor of Jaime McCourt so she owns 50% of the team.      These two have not played nice since the divorce started so what now?    Do we move into appeal hell now?  Does she get her office back?  Do they sell the team?  What does Selig have to say?  Stay tune for more of   “As The Dodgers turns”  

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