March 2013

Brooklyn Dodgers. Where Are They Now: George Shuba

George Shuba then

Shuba, the youngest of 10 children, grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, in a family of Czechoslovakian descent. He developed a love for baseball at six years old. Instead of playing in an organized little league, he and the neighbor kids played ball right in the street.

He attended Catholic grammar school at Holy Name Elementary in Youngstown. He recalls the nuns being very strict, which helped him become disciplined at a young age. His brother was a priest, so he was constantly surrounded by Catholic influences.

George Shuba now

George Shuba in 2007 with his book

Before every meal, Shuba and his family would recite a Slovak prayer — a tradition started by his mother and brother. He continued to say this prayer each day during his baseball career and still carries on the tradition to this day.

In the mid-1940s when young men were being shipped around the globe during World War II, Shuba was dealt a different hand. He sustained an ear injury while being disciplined by one of his teachers as a child, so he was unable to enter the U.S. Army. Instead, Shuba attended an open Dodgers’ tryout in 1943 at age 17, after finding out about it from his friends on the street.

“They said, ‘George, you should go try out at Borts Field (Youngstown). You’re good enough.’” Shuba said. “I really didn’t think I was, but I went and hit a few out of bounds and a couple of fouls out of the park.”

Though Shuba signed with the Dodgers following his tryout, his father, Jan, was not on board with the decision to pursue a lofty career path. Jan worked at the mills in Youngstown, a steel-manufacturing town.

“He (Jan) wanted me to work at the mills where I could have a steady job,” Shuba said. “But I had dreams of being a professional ball player. I really believed I could.”

Shuba worked on his swing every night by hanging a rope from his ceiling and tying knots to represent the strike zone.

“I would swing a 44-ounce bat 500 times a night between the knots,” Shuba said. “When it came to batting practice the next day, I was already ready!”

Shuba gained a reputation for hitting hard line drives all over the field. According to Roger Kahn in his book, The Boys of Summer, the nickname “Shotgun” evolved from Shuba’s “spraying line drives with a swing so compact that it appeared as natural as a smile.”

Check out George “Shotgun”Shuba website at http://www.georgeshuba.com/bookcover.shtml

Ref: http://thetablet.org/faith-inspires-shotgun-shubas-baseball-dream/ OOTdevelopments’s first picture.

Clayton Kershaw on the cover of Sport Illustrated

Clayton Kershaw is on the cover of Sport Illustrated! Good thing the local newstand had the correct cover :-)

Our Niño de Oro” Golden Boy, Clayton Kershaw will be on the mound for the Dodger Opener on Monday!  I can’t wait for that but in the meantime the Freeway Series will continue tonight at Dodger Stadium.   Dodgers won the first game at Anaheim 3-0. Excited to see all the changes at Dodger Stadium. Let’s Go Dodgers! Let’s Go!!

 

Dodger Stadium: A Whole New Blue

Five days till Opening Day!

From Tony Cuccinello 2 Cookie Lavagetto 2 Carl Furillo 2 Sandy Amoros 2 Lefebvre 2 Hee-Seop Choi 2 Nomah and yes, to Juan Uribe have put on uniform #5. Five more days to wait till Opening Day but I get to see Dodger Stadium this Friday when the Dodgers play the Angels. I can’t wait!

I don’t know about everyone else but this Spring Training seems like it has dragged longer.  Is time for the Boys in Blue to come back to Our Lady of Chavez Ravine _Dodger Stadium.   There are a whole lot of changes there that I am looking forward to seeing it all.

It’s a whole new blue!

5 ft tall Retired numbers going somewhere in the Top Deck concourse

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Very large  autographed baseballs featuring Dodger greats going to their new home on the Reserved level concourse.
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Janet Marie Smith begins a tour for Antonio Villaraigosa

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa testing the playground

A tribute to the Dodgers past.  One of the many new murals at Dodger Stadium.  I love it!

Large size bobbleheads have arrived!

Vin Scully!  Was he put to work?


From Gil Hodges to Clayton Kershaw the Gold gloves are showcased in the Dugout club.

A whole New Blue!

Ref:  Dodger pictures

Brooklyn Dodgers. Where are they now. Tim Thompson

Getting back to my project of doing a post on all the surviving Brooklyn Dodgers.

This one is #12 of 42 going from oldest to youngest.

Tim Thompson then

Charles Lemoine Thompson (Tim) was a catcher. He was born in Coalport, PA on March 1, 1924. His debut was on April 20, 1954 and his final Game April 27, 1958. He wore uniform #21.

Thompson was finally called up to Ebbets Field with the Dodgers for the first time at age 30 in 1954. He talked about his big league debut. “My first game was the only time I ever played in the outfield. It was in St. Louis. Dick Williams was ejected, and I was the only one left on the bench. Steve Bilko lined a single and I thought I nailed Dick Schofield at the plate with a good throw, but he slid between Roy Campanella’s legs to score. I kidded Campy that if he had blocked the plate I would have been a hero.”

Tim, who had just two base hits in 13 at-bats for the Dodgers would spend the rest of the year with the Montreal Royals hitting .305 in 75 games. He spent 1955 with the St. Paul Saints of the American Association, hitting .313 and catching 121 games. This got him traded to the Kansas City Athletics on April 16, 1956 for Tom Saffell, Lee Wheat and cash. Thompson spent 1956 and 1957 with the Kansas City Athletics and would finish out his major league run with he Detroit Tigers in 1958 with a career .238 batting average in 187 games. He also finished with a fine fielding percentage of .990.

Thompson would spend the remainder of his active baseball career with the AAA Toronto Maple Leafs retiring from active play after 1962 with a 14 year minor league career .293 batting average in 1,426 games and a fielding percentage of .991.

 

 

Tim Thompson now

Following a few years as a player-coach and manager at Toronto, he was a scout and later a supervisor of scouting for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1964 to 1994. He spent the rest of the 1990s in the Dodgers organization as a scout and since 2000 he has worked in the same capacity for the Baltimore Orioles. As of last notice he was residing in Lewiston, Pennsylvania. Note: I could not find a current picture of Mr. Thompson.

Ref: Baseball-reference.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime at work

me: “Quick! Do the Weekly Photo Challenge from WordPress before Friday!”
Here is the link to the Weekly Photo Challenge: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/photo-challenge-lunchtime/#comment-165232

I took this picture last Friday before I devoured the fish tacos.

Fish tacos with orange and jicama slaw. One co-worker came back complaining that they had run out of the fish tacos. I will definitely make the orange jicama slaw.

Today I had a spinach salad with quinoa, carrots, cranberries, chick peas, edamame, pumpkin seeds and carrot ginger miso dressing. It was yummy! I bought it from Trader Joe’s. I love that place.

Enjoying my spinach salad while I check some facts in the 2012 Dodgers guide.

First picture I had it on Instagram and I was having dificulty copying it.  The second picture I had uploaded it to Twitter.

 

Dodgers Spring Training St Patrick’s Day & Traditions

Last year I went to Camelback Ranch for the St Patrick’s weekend with friends Lorena and Elisa.

This year the three of us headed that way again.   Lore and I talked that we should make it a tradition to spend St Patrick’s Day watching the Dodgers every year.

  We ran into Dee!

After we ran into Pat and Norma.   I seem like I always ran into them on the road.

We ran into Cochito!  haha, a different cochito

After we ran into Pat and Norma.   I seem like I always ran into them on the road.

Looking for a pic of the birthday girl Margie  but I could not find one.  Also of Randy from Let’s Talk Dodgers and Mary and Art from our Top Deck family.

Relaxing at the game

Elisa’s beautiful panoramic pictures.  She showed me how to take them too.  That is me walking with my Trayvon Robinson green jersey and my floppy hat

I like this picture with Lore and I walking

Elisa titled this picture “the person behind the  hat, Crzblue”  Yeah, me and my floppy hats.  I forgot the blue one that I purchased a year ago on St Patrick’s Day so I took that one that I purchased a month before when we were in Arizona for the Dodgers workouts.

Speaking of traditions, I was disappointed that Jaime Jarrin, Pepe Yniguez & Fernando Valenzuela were not broadcasting the game in Spanish for St Patrick’s Day.  Our Irish poet Vin Scully was there so why not our Spanish poet Jaime?   I asked Mr. Jarrin when was the last time he missed a St Patrick’s game.  He said:

@crzblue Emmita: nunca perdí un S.Patricio desde 59 hasta el 2008. En ùltimos 6 años he perdido uno en camelback Ranch. Abrazos.

translation:  “emmita: I never missed a St Patrick since 59 to 2008.  In the last six years I have missed one at Camelback Ranch.  Hugs”
Is a shame that this year the broadcasting transmissions are less.

ref;  Dee’s picture, Elisa’s panoramic pictures,  Lorena’s pictures and mines.

Movie 42. Play 42 Baseball

As I was looking for a hotel at Camelback Ranch I saw this

https://www.marriottrewards42.com/

You Could Win a Trip to LA for the 42 Premiere Screening!

And step up to the plate every day for a chance to win tickets to 42!

Each swing of the bat gives you one or more chances to see 42: The True Story of an American Legend. Each day, we’ll give away a pair of movie tickets, and one lucky player will win the grand prize—a trip to L.A. for the premiere screening! Click below to connect to Facebook and get started!Play ball!

naturally I entered the contest.

Afterwards I saw the preview of the movie.

Man! I am going to need some kleenex when I go see the movie!

We can never thank Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey enough.

Go Dodgers!  Heading to Camelback Ranch this weekend.

Photo Challenge: Phoneography Challenge: My Neighborhood

I am a little late posting for this week’s photo challenge http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/my-neighborhood/ but here it is.   I decided to do this based on my 45 mile commute to work.   It is basically my two neighborhoods traveling from the San Gabriel valley to the other valley, the San Fernando Valley.

All pictures taken with my Iphone and I will start from work to home because in the morning I am always rushing to get to work.

 Photo by crzblue

Chatsworth, CA train station.  My Metrolink train #118 is arriving on time.   Lots of Western movies were filmed in Chatsworth.

Rainbow picture taken from the train thru the window at the Northridge train stop.

Photo by crzblue
As I exit the train at Union Station, I can see the Los Angeles City Hall.  This is where the old Chinatown used to be.

 
Photo by crzblue

Final destination:  El Monte station.  Note the Lions theme at the top.

 
Photo by crzblue

El Monte was the home of the Gay’s lion Farm.  The infamous  MGM lion shown at the beginning of MGM movies made in that era was kept here along with lions in Tarzan movies.  Also one of the lions was also in Charlie Chaplin’s movie “The Circus.”

Funny that I have driven past this intersection numerous times and I have never noticed the bronze statue.  When I found out about it today I missed again and only saw it on my way back.   Thanks to the photo challenge I learned more about my neighborhood.

Baseball related.  Tony Malinosky who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers was a resident of El Monte and attended El Monte High School.  Also Fred Lynn went to El Monte High School.  Both Tony and Fred were born in Illinois.

crzblue:

Awesome! I can’t wait to see the movie!

Originally posted on Dodgers Photog Blog:

MATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY Trey Hillman and familyMATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY Jose Vizcaino,Franklin Stubbs, Maury Wills and Rick EhodenMATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY Dodgers players, staff and family at private screeningMATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY Jose Vizcaino loads upMATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY Don MattinglyMATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORYSTEVE BRENER!!!!!!

MATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORYMATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY KempMATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY Moylan and KempMATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY MATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY Maury Wills and KempMATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY Kemp and PuigMATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY Kemp visitsMATT KEMP HOSTS THE PRIVATE SHOWING OF 42-THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORYKemp speaks before the private screening

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Dodgers: Be the first MLB team in the US to have a Jackie Robinson statue

I received an email from SABR Chapter titled “Statues” What an incredible work this is! Here is part of what the email said:

World’s first database of baseball’s statues compiled by UK researchers

The first ever database of statues commemorating baseball’s biggest stars has been compiled by researchers from the University of Sheffield, UK.

From ballparks to sports bars, museums to city squares and schools to cemeteries, life-size bronze depictions of men, women and children enjoying the national pastime can be found all across the US and Canada.

The striking database, at http://www.sportingstatues.com, records over 200 baseball statues currently across the continent, featuring information on when the statues were unveiled, who sculpted them and the inscriptions on plinths or plaques, as well as images of each statue and links to location maps. 35 US states feature a baseball statue, with 70 per cent of statues located at or close to a major or minor league ballpark.

Dr Chris Stride, a statistician from the Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield and Ffion Thomas, a graduate student from the University of Central Lancashire, have worked on the project for the past 18 months.

Checking the website, Jackie Robinsoon has been commemorated in five states and Canada with seven statues, the most of any player.

Robinson, Jackie 27/4/1985 Ellis, Richard Jackie Robinson Stadium, UCLA, CA

Jackie Robinson statue, Olympic Stadium

Robinson, Jackie 16/5/1987 Lasalle, Jules Parc Olympique, Montreal, Canada

Robinson, Jackie 15/9/1990 Lasalle, Jules Jackie Robinson Ballpark, Daytona, FL

Robinson, Jackie 25/2/1998 Wagner, Susan Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ

Robinson, Jackie 15/10/1999 Jeffries, Maceo Jackie Robinson Memorial Park, Stamford, CT

Robinson, Jackie 1/11/2005 Behrends, William Brooklyn Cyclones, Cyclone Park, Brooklyn, NY

Robinson, Jackie 1/11/2008 Bleifeld, Stanley National Baseball HOF Museum, Cooperstown, NY

I have only seen two of these statues, the one at UCLA and the one in Brooklyn.    I hope someday to see the rest and that some day the Dodgers will have one at Dodger Stadium.

This awesome site also has a interactive map.  Check out the website.  I know I will be back to check more statues.

ref: http://www.sportingstatues.com,

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