August 2013

Brooklyn Dodgers. Then and Now: Ralph Branca

Ralph Branca then

Ralph Theodore Joseph Branca was born on January 6, 1926 in Mount Vernon.   He was the fifteenth of seventeen children.   He was signed by the Dodgers after a local tryout.

Ralph’s  father, John Branca,  came to America from Italy.  Ralph’s mother, Katherine Berger, was born in Hungary.  Ralph married Ann Mulvey in 1951.  Her parents owned a share of the Dodgers, and her maternal grandfather had been president of the Brooklyn Club.

The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Branca out of the New York University in 1943, when he was just seventeen years old.

In 1947 the twenty-one-year-old Branca became the second-youngest National Leaguer to win 20 games.

Branca was involved in two of the biggest moments in baseball history.   One was the integration of baseball by Jackie Robinson in 1947, and the other was as the man who threw the pitch hit for a home run by Bobby Thompson that won the 1951 National League pennant for the New York Giants.

In January 2001, joshua Praeger, a reporter for the Wall Street journal published the details of a sign-stealing scheme the Giants rigged in the Polo Grounds.  The scheme involved a telescope from windows in the center-field clubhouse, a buzzer rigged under dirt in the bullpen, and a reserve catcher positioning his body and equipment to tip-off the batter as to which pitch was coming.

Branca said  his friendship with Jackie Robinson continued after baseball.  They played golf together when they worked in Manhattan and saw each other a lot while Jackie was with Chock Full of Nuts.

Ralph Branca now

Check out Ralph’s website at http://www.ralphbranca.com/  and his book:

Ref:  SABR.org, book:  ‘The Team that forever Changed Baseball and America  The 1947 Brooklyn dodgers”   Note:  I am loving this book!

Dodgers Reel in the Marlins

Dodgers reel in the Marlins with Clayton Kershaw on the mound today on an early game on Getaway day.  I am so glad that for a change the Dodgers played early today as the schedule has not been nice to them on getaway days.

Kershaw pitched eight scoreless innings striking out six.  Kershaw improved his record to 13-7 and lowered his ERA to 1.72!  Kershaw also lined a single to left field to bring in Yasiel Puig for the first run.

El barbudo de Brian Wilson made his Dodger debut in the ninth inning.

Funny picture from Mike Scioscia Tragic Illness blog.     I like the barba Azul.

With the Dodgers win and the D’Backs loss, the Dodgers magic number is

Among the Dodgers that have worn #27 are Pete Reiser, Clyde King, Carl Furillo, Gene Mauch, Tommy Lasorda, Bob Borkoswki, Don Demeter, Jim Gentile, Mike Sharperson, Kevin Brown, Jose Lima, James Loney, Matt Kemp.

Jose Lima.JPG

The boys should be getting home later on tonight to start the three game series with the Red Sox.  The Red Sox did not play today.  Tomorrow’s matchup is Lackey against Ricky Nolasko.

Here’s to you Dodgers!  See you at OLOCR (Our Lady of Chavez Ravine)!!!

Reggie Smith will throw out a ceremonial first pitch on Friday.

Dodgers Magic Number: 32

I have been missing in action.  I’ve busy as a bee but I want  to catch up here before the Dodgers return home.

Dodgers  have lost two in a row with the last one in Philadelphia and then the first in Miami when they faced rookie Jose Fernandez.   but with Arizona losing to Cincinnati the Dodgers magic number is..

The second game is Capuano against Turner.  Go Capuano!  Happy belated birthday! Go Dodgers!

Baseball Dreams: What I am waiting for

It has been a while since I have updated my blog.  I got the Hilda award from the Baseball Reliquary since then.  I still got to post about that and then there was the trip to the SABR convention in Philadelphia.  That was so much fun that I am ready for the next convention in Houston.

I was telling myself “I should post today before I return to Dodger Stadium” when I received email of Mark Newman’s latest blog post http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com/2013/08/09/what-are-you-waiting-for/  He titled it  “Baseball Dreams: One fan’s ultimate wish list”   He listed all he is waiting for then asked us ‘What are we waiting for?”

Apparently I was waiting for Mark so here goes.

On this Friday, after the Dodgers last road trip of 7-1, I am waiting for their return!  I am waiting to see my boys against the Rays!  I am waiting to see Dodger Stadium again, my home away from home.  I am waiting to applaud my beloved Dodgers for a job well done on road.

I am waiting to hear Nancy Bea at the organ.  I am waiting to hear el locuaz Pepe Yniguez,  Fernando Valenzuela and el Maestro Jaime Jarrin who will be a grand marshal at the Ecuadorian parade on Sunday that will end at Olvera Street.

I am waiting for the clock to say 4 p.m. so that I can leave work and head to Dodger Stadium.

I am waiting to see Tony Jackson return today to cover the Dodgers.  He no longer has the long hair.

I am waiting to see the ushers like Burnie, Cynthia, Raissa, JD, Margarita, Ernest, Leonard, Valerie and so many more.   I am waiting to see Loui to see if we are still going to go see Howie sing Jazzsinatra songs next Friday night.

I am waiting to see my friends at OLOCR (Our Lady of Chavez Ravine)  I am waiting to see my friend Lorena!.   I am waiting to meet Tom Jackson who is making a trip to Dodger Stadium with his teenage daughters and his girlfriend.

I am waiting to see Jon SooHoo, Jill, Juan, Jessica, Polo.  I am waiting to see my other boys in Blue that no longer play the game but still work for the Dodgers.

I am waiting to hear Adrian’s Gonzalez’s at bat song “El Mariachi Loco” so that Alan, Marta and any other friends around us can dance along.  We believe it helps Adrian bat better ;-)

I am waiting to see more sunsets at Dodger Stadium.

I am waiting to see Vin Scully and wish him a good night.  I am waiting for him to waive back and say in that so familiar tone “Good night”

I am waiting for the Think Cure weekend at Dodger Stadium and see what they have on the auction to help this great cause for the research of Cancer at City of Hope.

I am waiting for another road trip, this time to San Diego for the last Dodger games.  It is always a lot of fun to go see the Dodgers in San Diego.  I am waiting to see Ryu and Puig in their rookie hazing outfits.

I am waiting for October and playoffs.  It has been a while since we have seen the Dodgers in playoff games.  It has been longer (25 years) since we have seen them in a World Series.

It is a great time for Baseball for a lot of us fans with the Pirates playing well and in first place.  The Tigers and the Braves with a 10 game winning streak.  The Dodgers 8-2 in the last 10 games.  The Rangers 9-1 in the last 10 and going neck in neck with the Oakland A’s.

I am waiting for a fun October!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 874 other followers