Here is my annual post, a tribute to all the Dodgers that have passed away. I am glad that we do not have as many players as we had in 2011. (nine). Here is the post from last year:
Gary Carter (04-08-1954 – 02-16-2012) Nicknamed “The kid” A local Southern California kid. He was born in Culver City, CA. I saw him play with the Montreal Expos. He played for the Dodgers in 1991.
Ed Stevens (01-12-1925 – 07-12-2012) Played for the Dodgers 1945-1947)
From the New York Times:
Ed Stevens played first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946, hitting 10 home runs and driving in 60 runs, and he came to spring training the following year expecting to be one of the key figures in the lineup.
“I had no animosity toward Jackie,” Stevens wrote in his memoir, “The Other Side of the Jackie Robinson Story” (2009). “Branch Rickey was my object of anger.
Ed was a coach for the Padres in 1981.
Bill Skowron (12-31-1933 to 4/27/2012) The Yankees first baseman from 1955 to 1962. A World Series hero for the Yankees in 1958, came to the Dodgers in 1963 but he was not the slugger he was with the Yankees. Still the Dodgers won the World Series in 1963. He finished his career with a .282 average, 211 homers and 888 RBI.
Ken Rowe. Born December 31, 1933. Died November 22,2012. Ken Rowe played three seasons in the Major Leagues and worked in the Indians’ player development system for more than two decades.
Rowe made 26 career big league appearances from 1963-65, posting a 3.57 ERA in 45 1/3 innings. In all, Rowe coached for 35 years in the Appalachian League, Northern League, Minors and Majors.
Rowe spent over 50 years in the game of baseball. He pitched professionally for 15 seasons from 1953-1968 and spent time with the World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers in 1963 and the Baltimore Orioles in 1964 and 1965. In 1964 while with the Dodger’s Triple-A affiliate, he pitched in a then-record 94 games, finishing with a record of 17-11 as a relief. He missed the 1957 season while serving in the United States Army.
Boyd Bartley (02-11-1920 to 12-21-2012) He was 92. See my post on Boyd Bartley here: http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/2012/12/23/rest-in-peace-boyd-bartley/
You have gone to the Big Dodger in the Sky Boys of Summer but you are not forgotten. Rest in peace.
I compared all 76 major league players passed away in 2012 to double check who was a Dodger. From Howie Koplitz that passed away on 01/02/2012 to Ryan Freel on 12/22/2012. In alphabetical order from Herb Adams to Eddie Yost. From Frank Pastore who was killed very close to my house, two exits away on the 210 freeway. Mr. Pastore was riding his motorcycle on his way home from work.
There were four that passed away outside of the United States: Jack Pierce in Monterey, Mexico; John Kralick in Sinaloa, Mexico; Roberto Rodriguez in Maracay, Venezuela and Pascual Perez in the Dominican Republic.
Hope you all are playing a good game up there. Rest in peace.
ref: New York Times, Examiner.com LA Times, Basebal-reference, Deadball era, baseball almanac and my handy Dodger 2012 guide.
On this day December 30, 1935 Dodger left-hander Sanford Braun is born in Brooklyn.
In his 12-year career, lefty Sandy Koufax will compile a winning percentage of .655 (165-87), whiff 300 batters or more in three seasons and fan 18 to set a major league mark for Ks in a single game.
Happy 77th birthday to our great Dodger Icon and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax!
Here is a small collage of pictures I put together starting with the sidewalk plaque on Sunset boulevard close to Dodger Stadium to my Koufax statue and signed baseball!
Rest in peace Boyd Bartley.
Every year on New Years Day, I do a post paying tribute to all the Dodgers that have passed away during the year. Last night I was up until very late updating my list, checking the list of MLB players that have passed away and checking who were Dodgers. I told my brother Vic this morning “There are 75 players that have passed away with Ryan Freel” I was surprised by the high number and told him that I hoped it will not go up.
I had to come to work today. While at work I got a message from Nick of www.examiner.com with the bad news that Boyd Bartley had passed away last Friday. See his article here http://www.examiner.com/article/boyd-bartley-92-former-brooklyn-dodger-player-and-scout-signed-orel-hershiser
Boyd Barley (02-11-1920 to 12-21-2012) He was 92.
Here is part of the article:
Bartley was signed out of the University of Illinois in 1943 after receiving a bonus from the Dodgers to steer him away from his hometown Chicago Cubs. The young shortstop was heralded for his defensive prowess and received comparisons to then-Indians shortstop Lou Boudreau. The Dodgers wasted little time in testing Bartley’s skills, inserting him in to the lineup a day after he was signed, starting both games of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds
Sadly, Bartley never lived up to the comparison to the future Hall of Famer. Bartley made three errors in his first three games, shaking the confidence of manager Leo Durocher. He would last nine games in a week-and-a-half, batting 1-21, with his only hit coming ironically against the Chicago Cubs. Bartley was sent down to Montreal due to his lack of production, as the 37-year-old Durocher inserted himself into the shortstop role.
While serving with the Army in the Pacific, Bartley was operating a jeep when he encountered a Japanese patrol. In his attempt to escape the patrol, his vehicle flipped over and he injured his shoulder. His arm would never fully recover.
Starting in 1968 he became a scout for the Dodgers, holding the position for over 25 years. His most prized signing, Orel Hershiser. The prized Dodger pitcher fondly recalled Bartley’s courtship in his 2001 biography, “Between the Lines.”
“In a few weeks Boyd Bartley, a Dodger scout, came to our home in Detroit to present their offer. Because I wasn’t going to turn twenty–one for three more months, my dad had to be in the meeting. Mr. Bartley offered me ten thousand dollars, an assignment, and a dream. ‘We’ll send you to our Class A team in Clinton, Iowa. You’ll have the chance to grow and develop and work your way up the ladder to play in the big leagues. We want you to pitch in Dodger Stadium some day.’ I was awestruck by his words. My dream was about to come true. I was going to turn pro. After a short meeting in the kitchen with my dad and mom, I took the offer.”
Rest in peace Mr. Bartley. There are now 42 Brooklyn Dodger players alive.
Thanks Nick. Glad you made a trip to Dodger Stadium and I got to mee you and your girlfriend. Maybe I will see you at next year SABR convention.
Our fearless leader Mark was a month late sending us the October MLB Blog ranking. That is OK, Mark, we waited patiently, right? December 4th, Mark posted two blog posts with the latest MLB Blog leaders, one for October and one for November. I came in at #20 for both months!
The 20/20 rule is an easy way to remember:
- Chill White Wine in the the refrigerator and pull it out 20 minutes before serving.
- Put your Red Wine in the the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving.
I also found this
Haha, OK, enough of wine, let’s dedicate this post to two Dodgers that wore #20
#20 Don Sutton!
My! What big hears you have Mr. Sutton!
Don Sutton had 12 seasons with 15 or more wins, 20 seasons with 200+ innings, and 21 seasons with 100+ strikeouts. He was elected to the HOF in 1998 in his fifth year of eligibility.
#20 Charles Benjamin Osgood
Charles Osgood was born in Massachusetts on November 23, 1926. At the age of 17, he debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers on June 18, 1944 in a road doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies. He pitched three innings of relief in one of the games, allowing six baserunners but only one earned run.
OK, I have searched high and low for a picture of Charles Benjamin Osgood but I came up empty! Nada! I only find the other Charles Osgood.
Happy 85th birthday Vin Scully!
Last year my friend Abby, who I met two years ago at the SABR convention in Long Beach sent me this cool book
the photos are from Barney Stein the Dodgers Team photographer
Here is Vin with Barney.
Vin with Terry O’Malley
this is what Vin says about Terry:
Vin with aviator glasses
This is what Vin says about the aviator glasses
Vin in the radio booth. the hand holding papers and writing is Allan Roth
This is what Vin says about Allan Roth who was his “computer” for all information. This is part of what it says in there:
“As far as Allan (Roth) was concerned, Allan had a briefcase which equated with Mary Poppins’s bag. You’d turn and say something like, “how many double plays have they turned?’ or whatever, and he’d reach in and pull out something and come up with the answer. we were not as statistically minded as we are today. and of course, Allan was a hockey statistician who sold his ideas to Branch Rickey, who then hired him in Brooklyn.”
I love all the black and white pictures in this book.
In the words of Hilda Chester:
VIN SCULLY! I LOVE YOU!
What does Bob Feller, Tony Gwynn & Jim Gilliam have in common?
They all wore
And their team have retired their number.
A total of five teams have retired uniform #19.
The players, Team and date the number were retired are:
Bob Feller (HOF) – Indians – December 28, 1956
Billy Pierce - White Sox – July 25, 1987
Tony Gwynn (HOF)- Padres – September 4, 2004
Jim Gilliam – Dodgers – October 10, 1978
Robin Yount (HOF) - Brewers - May 29, 1994
I dedicate my August blog ranking at #19 to all these fine gentlemen!
Bob Feller (HOF)
Bob Feller family farm in Iowa is in the National Register of Historic Places. It would be so cool to visit this place.
Billy Pierce looks so skinny. His height and weight: 5’10″ 160 pounds.
During his 18-year Major League career, pitcher Billy Pierce tossed more than 3,300 innings. He won 211 games, and compiled a sterling 3.27 career ERA. He pitched for the Tigers, White Sox and Giants.
Pierce tossed 38 shutouts lifetime, 193 complete games and was All-Star seven times. I loved reading about his pitching days even if he pitched well against the Dodgers when he was a Giant.
Tony Gwynn (HOF)
I am glad I got to see Tony Gwynn play. He is the last hitter to get close to hitting .400.
I remember when Jim Gilliam passed away in October 1978, a few days shy of his 50th birthday.
I dedicated my post before to Jim Gilliam when my blog ranked #19 in May, 2012. Post here http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/2012/06/02/jim-gilliam-and-the-number-19/ Jim Gilliam is buried in the Inglewood Park cemetary. I was surprised to find many celebrities buried there.
Robin Yount (HOF)
Robyn Yount spent his entire 20 year baseball career withe the Milwaukee Brewers.
Very nice Q&A from Tom Hoffarth, columnist Inside SOCAL: http://www.dailynews.com/sports/ci_17047393
From the article:
Robin Yount’s family moved from Indiana to Woodland Hills when his dad took a new job at the Rockewell Rocketdyne plant. Robin Yount was a 1-year-old at the time.
The Taft High Class of ’73 grad was the third overall draft pick that year, and the next April, took over as the Milwaukee Brewer’s starting shortstop at age 18
From the article I like the last sentence of Yount’s response to one of Tom’s questions:
“My dad and grandfather were big Reds fans. And, as bad as this is going to sound, and I certainly went through my share of scuffles over it, but I was really a Giants fan. I don’t know why. Maybe I liked the color of their uniforms better. I remember Mays, Cepeda, Marichal - they were cool guys. Not that the Dodgers didn’t have them, but something attracted me to the Giants. Maybe I was too little to know better”
Yeah, I liked the last sentence. :-)
Dodgers at Arizona
Dodgers against the Diamond Backs at Phoenix. Kershaw & Kemp are back on this September 11th, a day that we will never forget.
ref: Baseballsavy, wikipedia, Baseball Almanac, deadball era. Insidesocal.com, Baseball.about.com
My aunt Nora calls me from Texas to tell me “I saw a young Vin Scully in the movie “Bachelor in Paradise,” I started googleing the movie. It was made in 1961 and It was shot in Woodland Hills, CA. Not too long from where I work. I love the picure above with the 50′s decor and the clothing. I can’t wait to see it. I also started gogleing what other movies Vin Scully has made appearances. I knew of “For the Love of the Game” but not many of the other ones. Here is the trailer:
Here is the list of movies where Vin Scully makes an appearance:
1. Wake me when is Over (1960) Ernie Kovacks, Don Knotts, Dick Shawn, Don Knotts.
2. Bachelor in Paradise (1961). Bob Hope, Lana Turner. With Bob Hope you know is a romantic comedy.
3. Experiment in Terror (1962) Glen Ford, Lee Remick, Stefanie Powers, Don Drysdale., Wally Moon
4. Zebra in the Kitchen (1965) Jay North, Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel.
5. Fireball 500 (1966) Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Fabian
6. The Party (1968) Peter Sellers, Gavin MacLeod
7. For Love of the Game (1999) Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, Steve Lyon. Jose Mota, Jim Colborn.
8. Game 6 (2005) Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Roger Clemens
9. The Bucket List (2007) Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman portray two terminally ill men on their road trip with a wish list of things to do before they “kick the bucket.”
I have only seen “For Love of the Game”, so I have a mission to see these movies in 2012.
Back in 2008, a friend from the InsidetheDodgers blog asked me if I knew if Sweet Lou Johnson had recovered his World Series Ring.
I’ll tell you all about the ring, but first let me give you a little history on Sweet Lou.
Sweet Lou Johnson was born September 22, 1935 in Lexington, Kentucky.
He played in the Negro Leagues in 1955 with the Indianapolis Clowns and The Kansas City Monarchs.
Sweet Lou was a journeyman outfielder, promoted from the Dodgers triple-A Spokane at the age of 30, only when Tommy Davis broke his ankle early in the 1965 season.
1965 Sweet Lou and Koufax.
- He hit the decisive home run in Game 7 of the World Series against the Minnesota Twins with Koufax on the mound.
- he collected the only hit in the 1-0 perfect game thrown by Dodger ace Sandy Koufax on September 9, 1965.
- He hit only 12 home runs that year–but that was enough to tie for the team lead!
He played three more seasons but never equaled the magic of 1965.
Losing and Recovering his World Series Ring.
Two years after he retired in 1969, desperate for a cocaine fix, Johnson gave his World Series ring to a Seattle drug dealer as collateral.
He drove across town for the money
When he returned two hours later, the drug dealer and the ring were gone.
One day in 1980, Johnson had two phone numbers written on a piece of paper. One belonged to Don Newcombe.
Johnson intended to dial the other number but, under the influence, mistakenly called Newcombe, who had kicked his own alcohol problems and was working for the Dodgers as a counselor.
Newcombe arranged for Johnson to attend, at the Dodgers’ expense, a treatment center. Johnson became clean on Nov. 9, 1980, and after he completed the program, Newcombe arranged for him a job in the organization.
For the past 30 years, Johnson has worked in community relations, speaking to schoolchildren about his experiences and acting as a goodwill ambassador for the team.
And he hasn’t slipped once.
Here is Sweet Lou working with kids from Sober College in Woodland Hills, CA.
“Don Newcombe told me, ‘If you ever take another drink, I’ll break your legs,’ and they ain’t broke yet,” Johnson said with a laugh. “What the Dodgers did was they put some pride back in my life.”
They also got his ring back. It was discovered in an unclaimed safety deposit box and was being auctioned on the Internet. Johnson didn’t have the $3,500 to buy it, so the Dodgers bought it for him.
The ring made Johnson complete again when it was returned in 2001, 30 years after he lost it, an act that further indebted Johnson to a Dodgers organization he credits for saving his life.
Sweet Lou: You are very dear to us Dodger Fans!
Ref: Daily News (los Angeles), Bill Plaschke of the LA Times.
On this picture: From left) King Tut with a huge mitt, manager Oscar Charleston and Connie Morgan.
Connie was born October 17, 1935 in Philadelphia. She died in 1996.
In addition to Baseball, Connie played basketball for a well known city-wide team, the Rockettes.
Morgan initiated the signing herself with the Indianapolis Clowns. When she read a newspaper article about women playing for the Clowns, she wrote Syd Pollack directly and asked for a try-out. When the Clowns went to Baltimore in 1954 to play an exhibition game with the Orioles, Pollack invited her to come down and show what she could do.
Pollack was impressed with Morgan’s ability and signed the nineteen year-old to a two year-contract.
The 5’4″ 135 pounds second baseman hit around .300 sharing second base duties with Ray Neil and batting third in the line-up.
Clown’s manager Oscar Charleston called her “one of the most sensational” female players he had ever seen.
The highlight of Connie Morgan’s careeer came on July 12, 1954 when she returned to her home town for a game with the Kansas City Monarchs in Phladelphia’s Connie Mack Stadium.
She was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.
I had fun reading about all the three women that played alongside the men in the Negro League.
Is still two more days till Pitchers and Catchers report to Spring Training for the Dodgers. The wait has been long, especially reading that alot of teams already reported. Hurry boys! We are starving for some news!
Here is another way to help Haiti
The link is also on the right side.
Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 5.5 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes (currently donating one pair every 9 seconds.) Last year alone, Americans discarded more than 300 million pairs of shoes. (eco side note: When these shoes break down in our landfills, the toxic glue that holds the shoes together can leak into our water supply and atmosphere.) Imagine if those shoes went to 300 million people in need of them. Start donating to Soles4Souls today kids, CLICK HERE, to find out a drop off location or HERE to learn how to start your own (company, school, community) shoe drive.
Where I work we have done the Souls4Souls and donated the shoes to a local school. This time we are doing the drive again to benefit Haiti but if you want to donate your slightly used shoes, click above where it says HERE and enter your zipcode.
She played for the Indianapolis Clowns from 1953 to 1955 and had a 33-8 W-L record.
Here is a cover of a children’s book titled: “A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie “Peanut Johnson by Michelle Y. Green. Grades 4-6.
Despise the hardship, there were memorable highlights for Johnson. The great LEROY SATCHEL PAIGE helped her perfect the curveball. Don’t squeeze the ball so tight, Paige told her. and let it break to the outside.
According to Johnson her most unforgettable moment came in a game between the Clowns and the Kansas City Monarchs. Facing off against third baseman Hank Bayliss with a runner on first, Johnson threw a called strike. the second ball was high and outside. Johnson’s third ball was another strike. According to Johnson, Bayliss then called out to her on the mound with a voice so loud, the crowd could hear him. “YOU’RE NOTHING BUT A PEANUT”, he alledgedly yelled. Johnson reared back and threw a third strike–gaining a strike out and a nickname at the same time!
After her baseball career ended, she was a nurse for 30 years, and also coached youth baseball. When she retired from nursing, she was the manager of a Negro Leagues memorabilia shop. She was also a guest lecturer at a Library of Congress symposium in October 2009.
Here is Mamie as a young girl and in uniform in 2007.
ref: African American Lives. Michelle Green’s book.