Dedicating #22 from the January 2011 MLB Fan Blog Leaders

When I think of #22, I automatically think of Clayton Kershaw.   He was my choice last time I got #22 in the MLB Fan blog  leaders.      

When I told my friend Erik about it last time, he said  “Emma, next time you get #22, let me be a host in your blog  so that I can dedicate it to a particular player?.”    

BTW, This is the second time Erik is hosted here.  The first time, he wrote a touching post on how Erik, Lorena and I met. 

I am blessed to call Erik and Lorena my friends and that we met because of the Dodgers.  Here is his old post. 

Metro Bus #4, next stop, Opening Day 2010

 

Here is Erik’s post for today: 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ever since CrzBlue told me about the tradition of dedicating a post to a former player whose jersey # matches your ranking for the month, I told her that when she earns #22, she must dedicate her page to Elgin Baylor. Yes, Elgin Baylor, the Laker. She found this kind of odd too.


elgin_baylor.jpgI first became fascinated by Elgin Baylor back in the late 1980s.  At that time I followed the Lakers and the NBA pretty closely.  I soon realized that whenever people talk about great players from before the 1980s, those conversations center on West, Russell and Chamberlin. Now, those are some great players, and I don’t mean to take anything away from t
hem, but I wish fans would include Baylor among those greats. In Los Angeles, I feel like whenever people think of Elgin Baylor, they automatically think of his tenure as an executive with the Los Angeles Clippers. He gets no love in L.A. My hope is that after reading this post you will realize that he is one of the NBA’s greatest players.

Please don’t try to argue that he could never be dominating in today’s game. That’s an anachronism and can’t be used in a valid argument. All you can do is look at his numbers, see how they compared to his day and see where they place him in NBA history. Elgin is one of those greats who never won a scoring title, and never won a Ring.  Two reasons: Chamberlin and the Celtics.

 Let’s just talk about Elgin now. In his 14-year career, he averaged 27.4 PPG, with 13.5 rebounds per game. At one time he held the NBA record for most points in a regular season game, and most points in a playoff game.  Lakers fans may remember that it was Elgin Baylor’s record of 71 points in a single game that Kobe Bryant broke in 2006 with his 81 point game. In that game, Elgin also had 25 rebounds. Yeah, yeah, I know, Chamberlin had 100 points in a game.


Elgin Baylor with.jpgIn 1958, Elgin was the overall #1 draft pick, signed by the Lakers for $20,000. As a rookie Elgin earned every penny, finishing the season 4th in scoring (24.9) and 3rd in rebounding (15)–leading the Lakers in assists with 4.1 per game. Between 1960 and 1963, Elgin averaged 35.7 ppg. In his career, he was named to the All Star team 11 times, and led the Lakers to the Finals eight times.  Unfortunately, we can only read and hear about what he did. There is not a whole lot of video that captures Elgin at the height of his greatness.  I don’t think there’s even video of his 71 point magic. Sad. I would love to see that game!

Imagine this, during the 61-62 season, Elgin and Jerry West averaged a combined 70 points, respectively 38.3 and 30.8.  In 62-63, Elgin was second in scoring with 34 ppg. In that same season, Elgin was the first player to finish in the top 5 in 4 categories–ppg, rpg, assists, free-throw %.  Even in his second to last season, Elgin came in a close second in scoring with 26 ppg (Dave Bing had 27.1 ppg). In his last full season, Elgin averaged 24.8 ppg.


elgin baylor color.jpgIn 1977, Elgin was elected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He’s a man who didn’t do well enough academically to make it into college without a friend pulling some strings. He’s a man who served his country at Fort Lewis, Washington. He’s a man who is a basketball great, and one of Los Angeles’ greatest athletes. When I see the #22, I think of Mister Elgin Gay Baylor!

P.S., T.J (Simers) if you’re reading this, a discussion with Elgin Baylor and Maury Wills, two L.A. greats from the 1960s would nice. You’d get a lot of fans for that, both basketball and baseball. 

 

 

11 Comments

Sweet story on Elgin! Thanks for sharing, Erik!
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Great post and what a great idea of dedicating.

—Mark Gauthier

http://cubden.mlblogs.com/

Jeff,
I learn something from Erik reading his post. Thanks Erik!
.
Mark,
We used to do alot of dedication before. I forget who started it.

Erik – thanks for bring out some real basketball history from L.A. We often forget why Elgin remained in L.A. after years of playing for the Lakers (and, subsequently, GM of the Clippers). It brings back legacies for our hoop dreams when we were able to watch a game at the Forum for under $10 in the Colonnade seats.

And, Emma, you inspired me again….

– Randy
http://heirloom.mlblogs,com

Randy,
You made my day. I’ll pass the word to Erik. Thanks!

Emma,
Just goes to show what a kind heart you have…..
i am not sure I would of done the same myself, but I digress.
Now we just have to get Erik to start his own MLBlog and then you can be his guest blogger when he hits a certain number.

Still, great story about Elgin.

Rays Renegade
http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com
.

Very nice guest blog :O) I always love reading the dedications…makes feel younger I guess…lol

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Erik, you have convinced me about Elgin – great, passionate story!
Emma, congratulations again on #22! And it sounds like you have a great bunch of friends in the stands at Dodger Stadium.
Kristen
This is a very simple game…

Rays,
Erik talked about starting a blog before. I could never do as good a job as he does.
.
Jenn,
Because it always dedicated to players before your time? lol.
.
Yes it was a passionate post Kristen, Thanks Kristen.

I’m a big Basketball fan and he’s right when he says Elgin Baylor gets over-looked. The guy was great. The real fans recognize it though. Thanks for a tremendous guest post.
mike
http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

Mike,
Ill make sure to tell Erik. Thanks!

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