Archive for the ‘ tribute ’ Category

Brooklyn Dodgers. Where are they now. Mike Sandlock

This year I decided to do a post for each of the Brooklyn Dodger players that are alive giving us a little history of their playing day and If possible, where they are now.

This is going to be fun and is a way for me to learn more about the Brooklyn Dodger players and at the same time pay tribute to them.

We will start with Mike Sandlock who is the oldest one at 97.

Name DOB Birthplace Uniform #
Mike Sandlock 10/17/1915 Old Greenwich,CT 1, 4

When I look at the uniform numbers Mr. Sandlock wore, I think of the retired numbers of #1, Pee Wee Reese & #4, Duke Snider.

Mike Sandlock Then

Mike Sandlock professional career began back in 1938 for the Huntington Bees of the Mountain State League. He spent 14 years in the minors and played parts of five seasons in the majors.

Mike made his major league debut as a September call-up for the Braves in 1942. He came in late in the game and collected his first big league hit, a single off of Giants reliever Bill McGee. Mike’s roommate in the Minors, Warren Spahn, was also called up that September.

In 1943 Mike missed the entire season due to his services in WW II.

On August 12, 1944, the Braves traded him to the Brooklyn Dodgers in exchange for minor league second baseman Frank Drews. Sandlock went back to the minors with their Triple-A affiliate in ST. Paul where he batted over .300 and added switch hitting to his offensive repertoire.

Sandlock, a catcher, was a shortstop early in the season, Pee Wee Reese was still in the Navy.  When Mickey Owen joined the service in May, the Dodgers were forced to use their backup catchers, but it wasn’t until July that they moved Sandlock back behind the plate and gave him regular playing time.

That 1945 season would end up being his best season in the majors. He played a career high 80 games, hitting .282 with 17 RBI’s in 195 at-bats.

His 1946 season would be his last in the majors for awhile.. He lasted with the Dodgers until July before he was sent to St Paul. Despite the fact he barely played and hit just .147 in 19 games, Sandlock has a funny story about that year. Here is the account as reported by John Dreker of http://blogs.piratesprospects.com:

The Dodgers had a young hard-throwing pitcher named Rex Barney at this time. He threw hard but it was anyone’s guess where the ball would go once it left his hands. Long after their retirement, Sandlock kidded Barney about how wild he was and Barney came back with “The reason the Dodgers got rid of you was because you couldn’t catch me.” Mike said that he couldn’t catch him because he never threw anything close to the plate. Yogi Berra once asked Mike what Barney threw, knowing he was his catcher for one season and Mike said ” I don’t know because I was never able to catch anything from him. I’ll let you know when I do.”

In 1947 Mike was the backup catcher for a young Roy Campanella, while playing for the Montreal Royals. He also met Jackie Robinson. They both shared a love for Golf.
With his time in Brooklyn done, Mike embarked on a career in the minor leagues that brought him to Hollywood for four years and many great memories.

Mike Sandlock joined the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League in 1949, spending four seasons with the team before his return trip to the Majors with the Pirates.
Mike Sandlock playing for the Hollywood Stars
Mike playing for the Hollywood Stars.

Two people were very influential in getting Mike back to the Majors: The team manager, Fred Haney and knuckelball pitcher Johnny Lindell.

Mike developed a reputation for being an excellent receiver of knuckleball pitchers.  When Johnny moved to the Majors so did Mike.

The Pirates had 3 to 4 pitchers who threw knuckleballs.   Mike shared catching duties with Joe Garagiola and Heisman Trophy Winner Vic Janowicz. Late in the season the Pirates sold Lindell to the Phillies. the following year Sandlock was a Phillie but it was not to be for Mike as he was involved in a home plate collision during a Spring Training game.   Phillies shipped him to San Diego. That 1954 was his final year of his baseball career.

Mike Sandlock Now

Mike Sandlock, Brooklyn Dodger

Here is a video from Nick of Examiner.com

Mike still follows the game. Recently he said ” The Mets guy(R.A. Dickey) now, throws his harder, but Lindell’s broke more.”

Sandlock offered this advice to catchers trying to contain the knuckler “You have to have good reflexes to be a knuckleball catcher. You can’t go reaching for it, you have to wait for it.” but even he was quick to admit it was a difficult task “It was like catching flies, I called it a butterfly.”

Sandlock feels the modern game moves too slowly compared to when he played.

He feels too much time is spent today with pitchers walking around the mound, the catcher going to the mound then the entire infield going to the mound and guys constantly adjusting their batting gloves and stepping out of the batter’s box.

He attended a Yankee game recently when Freddy Garcia was on the mound and said he could not wait to leave because of how long Garcia took to deliver each pitch.

“Do you see how slow he goes?” he asked. “He gets the ball, walks around the whole mound then throws a pitch, gets the ball back and it’s the same damn thing. There is no desire.”

Mr Sanlock was honored at Citi Field when the Dodgers were playing the Mets last July, 2012


Mike Sandlock with Don Mattingly at Citi Field.   Mr. Sandlock still lives in the place where he was born.  As of last year, Mike was still playing Golf once a week .

ref: http://Examiner.com,http://blogs.piratesprospects.com/, http://www.greenwichtime.com/sports/, http://baseballinwartime.blogspot.com/

A Tribute to the Dodger players that passed away in 2012

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/

Boyd Bartley, former Brooklyn Dodger shortstop passed away Friday at 92

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.

Honoring the Brooklyn Dodger players alive as of January 12, 2012

For the last three years I’ve been maintaining this list keeping track of our old Brooklyn Dodgers.   When I did last year’s post   http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/2011/01/09/honoring-the-brooklyn-dodger-players-alive-as-of-january-10th-2011/  on January 10, it started with a video of Duke Snider in the game show “What is my Line”    Sad that in 2011, we lost nine of these players including the Duke.

We have 44 surviving Brooklyn Dodger Players.  Let’s see how the list look using WordPress.  Before I had trouble copying an Excell worsheet into my blog.

Name Birthplace.  Other info Born
Mike Sandlock  Old Greenwich, CT.  Golfer 10/17/1915
Ray Hathaway  Grinville, OH.  Minor league manager 10/13/1916
Lee Pfund    ILL.  His son was manager of Miami Heats 10/10/1919
Luis Olmo       Puerto Rico.  Played for Mexico and Cuba 10/11/1919
Boyd Bartley   Chicago.  Played in nine games in 1949   2/11/1920
Jean-Pierre Roy Canada.  Commentator for the Expos 6/26/1920
Pat McGlothin  Coalfield, TN.  Ezra Mac was a pitcher 10/20/1920
Andy Pafko                    Boiceville, IL.  Lives in Mount Prospect, IL 2/25/1921
Marv Rackley                Seneca, SC.  Left fielder.   Debut: April 15, 1947.  7/25/1921
Chuck Kress                 Philadelphia.  Lefty first baseman. 12/9/1921
Eddie Basinski             Buffalo, NY.  Nickname:  The Fiddler, Bazzoka 11/4/1922
Don Lund       Detroit, Mi.  Part time Outfielder in 1945, 1947  5/18/1923
Tim Thompson   Coalport, PA.  Full name: Charles Lemoine Thompson.   3/1/1924
George Shuba  Youngstown, OH.  Nickname: shotgun.   12/13/1924
Ed Stevens    Gavelston, TX.  Coach for the Padres in 1981 1/12/1925
Johnny Rutherford  Ontario, CN.  Pitcher. Nickname: Doc  5/5/1925
 Wayne Terwilliger  Clare, Mi.  Coach under Ted Williams 6/27/1925
Chris Haughey   Astoria, NY.  Pitcher.  Appeared in one game at 18   10/3/1925
 Ralph Branca   Mount Vernon, NY.  http://ww.ralphbranca.com  1/6/1926
Bob Borkowski    Dayton, OH.  Traded for Joe Black 1/27/1926
Randy Jackson   Little Rock, AR.  Nickname:  “Handsome Ransom” 2/10/1926
Dick Teed    Springfield, MA.  One at bat in 1953 3/8/1926
Don Newcombe Madison, NJ.  Still working for the Dodgers 6/14/1926
 Bobby Morgan Oklahoma city.  Infielder for the Dodgers  6/29/1926
Charlie Osgood  Sommerville, MA  appeared in one game at 17 11/23/1926
Carl Erskine   Anderson, IN   http://www.carlerskine.com/ 12/13/1926
Preston Ward    Columbia, MO.  APF Cubs, Indians, Pirates & A. 7/24/1927
Rocky Bridges     Refugio, TX.  Infielder, coach & minor league mgr 8/7/1927
 Tommy Lasorda    Norristown, PA.  HOF.  61 years with the Dodgers 9/22/1927
 Tommy Brown       Brooklyn, NY.  Also played for Phillies & Cubs 12/6/1927
 Joe Landrum         Columbia, SC.  Pitcher. Given name: Joseph Butler   12/13/1928
 Joe Pignatano    Brooklyn, NY.  Catcher and coach 8/4/1929
Roger Craig          Durham, NC.  Pitcher, coach and manager 2/17/1930
 Ron Negray           Akron, OH.  Also played for the Phillies  2/26/1930
Glenn Mickens         Wilman, CA  Afterwards became coach for UCLA  7/26/1930
 Don Zimmer             Cincinnati, OH.  Currently working for the Rays 1/17/1931
 Ed Roebuck        East Millboro, PA.  relief pitcher and scout 7/3/1931
 Fred Kipp             Iqua, KS.  Also pitched for the Yankees        10/1/1931
 Chico Fernandez     Cuba. SS.  APF Phillies, Tigers and Mets  3/2/1932
Jim Gentile      San Francisco, CA.  Hitting coach for Flyers    6/3/1934
 Don Demeter     Oklahoma City.  CF.  Now a Baptist minister    6/25/1935
Sandy Koufax       Brooklyn, NY.  HOF Greatest Lefthander Pitcher  12/30/1935
Bob Aspromonte        Brooklyn, NY.  Resides in Houston, TX  6/19/1938
Rod Miller      Portland, OR.  He played in one game in 1957 1/16/1940

Here is to you guys!  May you have a healthy happy 2012 from the oldest Mike Sandlock at 96 to the youngest Rod Miller turning 72 on January 16th.   This Dodger fan salute you all!

A Tribute to the Dodger players that passed away in 2011

Nine ex Dodger players passed away in 2011.  Rest in peace to these Boys of Summer.

1.  Tony Malinosky.  He played in 35 games for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1937 as an infielder.   Born Oct 5, 1909 , in Collinsville, Ill., Malinosky moved to El Monte when he was in high school and attended Whittier College with future President Richard Nixon.  HE served in the Army during World War II  He passed away on Feb 8, 2011.  He was 101.

2.  Cliff Dapper.  Debuted April 19, 1942.  Mr. Dapper was involved in that unusual trade for announcer Ernie Harwell in 1948.  Mr. Dapper was born in Los Angeles on Jan 2, 1920  and played for the PCL Hollywood Stars.  He served in  World War II from 1943-1945.   He retired to Fallbrook, Ca, where, he and Snider had about 60 acres of ranch land.  He maintained it all, growing avocados and lemons and making a better living than he ever would have in baseball.  Debuted April 19, 1942.  Final game:  May 3, 1942.   He passed away Feb 8,  2011.  He was 91.

3.  Gino Cimoli.  A Dodger outfielder in Brooklyn and Los Angeles who was the first major league batter on the West Coast when the Dodgers and Giants moved to California in 1958.  Gino Struck out against Ruben Gomez (far right).   He also scored the Dodgers’ final run at Ebbets Field in a 2-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 24, 1957.

4.  Hall-of-Famer Duke Snider,.  The last surviving regular of the 1950’s “Boys of Summer” Dodgers.  Linda Wilson wrote this wonderful piece after the Duke passed away.  I highly recomend it.  http://behindblueyes.mlblogs.com/2011/03/05/from-compton-to-cooperstown/

5.  Bill Harris Born Dec 3, 1931.  He pitched in one game for the  Brooklyn Dodgers in 1957 and one game for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1959.  but both games were in late September pennant games.

6 .  Elmer Sexauer.  Born May 21, 1926 in St Louis County.  Sexauer made his MLB debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on September 6, 1948 and appeared in his final game on September 12, 1948.   Both games were crucial pennant race games.   Passed away on June 27, 2011.  He was 85.

7.   Dick Williams was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers’ organization out of high school in 1947. joined the Dodgers in 1951, saw little action as a rookie, then separated a shoulder diving for a fly ball in left field in August 1952.   The HOF took three teams to the World Series (The Red Sox, A’s & the Padres).    He passed away July 7, 2011.   He was 82.

8.  Cy Buker  Born Feb 5, 1919 in Greenwood, Wisconsin.   Buker hurled 87 1/3 innings spread over 42 games. By mid-July, one New York Times story called him “Durocher’s fireman.”   He passed away Oct 7, 2011.  He was 92.

9.  Johnny Schmitz.  Nicknamed “Bear Tracks”, he was a left-hander pitcher.  Born November 27,  1920 in Wausau, WI.   Mr. Schmitz played 13 seasons between 1941 and 1956, missing 1943 to 1945 due to serving time overseas in World War II.  He made the All-Star twice.   He passed away Oct 1, 2011.  He was 90.

ref:  LA Times, HardballTimes, SFGate, The Aodeadpool, NY times, SABR.Org, Baseball Reference, Hall of Fame memorabilia, Examiner, wikimedia

Feliz cumpleaños maestro Jaime Jarrin

Vin Scully is the Voice of the Dodgers and Jaime Jarrin es la Voz de Los Dodgers.  Jaime has been covering the Dodgers for the last 53 years!

Jaime Jarrin was born on December 10th, 1935 in  Ecuador.   Jaime Jarrin studied philosophy, letters, journalism and broadcasting at Central University of Ecuador in Quito in Ecuador.  He had been the announcer for the No. 1 program on HCJB, the ‘Voice of the Andes.’   Jaime recalls leaving for the U.S. in 1955 on a cargo boat loaded with 100,000 bunches of bananas.  When he came to Los Angeles on June 24, 1955, he had no job and he did not speak the language.   His first job was working putting together chain link fences.   He latched on at the only Spanish-language radio station in Los Angeles,  KWKW. He worked in a fence factory all day, then broadcasted boxing matches at the Olympic Auditorium at night.

At the time, he had never seen a baseball game but he was intrigued by the game seeing fans watching the World Series on TV and hearing it on the radio that he said ‘This must be a great sport.”   So over the next two years,  he attended as many Triple-A games as he could, seeing the Los Angeles Angels at old Wrigley Field in South L.A., or the Hollywood Stars at Gilmore Field, on the site of what is now Farmer’s Market and the Grove.

When the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to L.A., KWKW became the team’s Spanish-language station. Jarrin spent a year learning the game, then signed on as the play-by-play announcer in 1959. The Dodgers won the World Series that year and Jarrin has been in the team’s employ ever since. He never missed a game from 1962 to 1984, more than 4,000 in a row, and was the 1998 recipient of the Ford Frick award by the Hall of Fame.

To me, like Vin Scully, Jaime’s voice soothes me .  All is well listening to these two gentlemen.

Feliz Cumpleanos a nuestro maestro el senor Jaime Jarrin.  Que cumpla muchos pero muchos mas y que Dios nos lo conceda con mucha salud.   Muchas gracias por ser tan lindo con todos nosotros los aficionados!

Happy Birthday to our teacher Mr. Jaime Jarrin.  May you have many many birthdays and that God grant you plenty of health.  Thank you so much for always being so nice to us fans!

Happy 84th Birthday Vin Scully! WE LOVE YOU!!!

Happy 84th birthday Mr. Vin Scully!   Thank you for continuing to broadcast Dodger games!   I can’t to wait to hear you say  “Is Time for Dodger Baseball!”  and “Hi everybody & a very pleasant good evening (or good afternoon) to you where ever you may be…”

Love this quote from  Bloggingaboutbaseball.com :

“Scully doesn’t announce, he paints. Announcers sway, announcers yell, announcers do play-by-play. Scully uses smooth strokes to create a picture of a game that is unfolding before your eyes. Everything flows seemlessly, and if it won’t, Scully’s not afraid to be silent for a moment.”

Back in 2006 a thread was started in the Dodger forum titled ” Vin Scully’isms”

Here are some of those Vin  Scully’isms: 

As long as you live keep smiling because it brightens everybody’s day. Vin Scully (one of my favorites!) 

Good is not good when better is expected.

Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.

It’s a mere moment in a man’s life between the All-Star Game and an old timer’s game.

Football is to baseball as blackjack is to bridge. One is the quick jolt. The other the deliberate, slow-paced game of skill, but never was a sport more ideally suited to television than baseball.

The Dodgers are such a .500 team that if there was a way to split a three-game series, they’d find it.

Aaron Cook coming out of the game; the Dodgers hit him with four jabs, two to the left and two to the right side.

Jason takes his lead off second base, Sele’s pitch is a ground ball to Saenz. He looks the runner back. I guess you could say that’s keeping him at Bay. [Player was Jason Bay, of course]

The weather today is so humid that your roll-on would roll off.

That’s the kind of breaking ball you can throw around a corner. Whoa!

Earlier in the year, he had everybody talking. Now that he’s not hitting, he’s talking to himself.

Lugo is so thin that when he wears a black suit he looks like twelve o’clock.

Repko came by way of Pasadena and can’t make the play.

Matt Holiday takes a curve ball and straightens it out…you could’ve watched a movie on that flight.

Six innings are in the books, and so far Greg Maddux is the author.

It’s pretty hard to hit when a pitch looks like a Polaris missile coming up out of the ground.

The amazing Livan [Hernandez], throwing soap bubbles and he gets away with it.

They’re going to have to put an ad in the paper to get a run.

It was a change like a balloon, and Ethier hit it where the string broke.

Prince Fielder has two long home runs, but chop them up and they’re about 90 singles.

Andre Ethier draws the Dodgers even, and calling to the bullpen is Sweet Lou, who is bordering on the vinegar.

Chien-Ming Wang, who was the winning pitcher for the Yankees, was a high school buddy of Hong-Chih Kuo. Hong-Chih Kuo grew up playing with Chin-Hui Tsao, who’s on the D.L. Chin-Hui Tsao became the third player from Taiwan to appear in a game for the Dodgers, joining Hong-Chih Kuo and outfielder Chin-Feng Chen. But don’t ask me to read all that again. I can’t handle it.”

Bud Black is out to argue and to calm down his pitcher. The Dodgers have already stolen his wallet and are working on his watch.

That thing died of exhaustion on the way to short. I mean, you could lose a poodle in that stuff.

Juan Pierre is going steady with the left field pole.

Rowand fought the wall, and the wall won.

To oldtimers during the 2008  Opening Day ceremony: “There are three stages in life — youth, maturity, and ‘you-look-wonderful.’ Gentlemen, may I just say, you look wonderful.

Slow curve– I’m not sure if they had a speed gun or an egg timer on that one.

[Playoffs in 09] “Eighth inning, a 1-1 tie, 56,000 fans on their feet, and the deuces are as wild as they ever will be!

This is a heck of a time for me to be reading this one. The Dodgers invite you to hit, throw, run and swing for the fences–in other words, all the things the Dodgers are not doing tonight.

2011 Cy Young Award Winner: Dodgers Clayton Kershaw

I have not created a new post since November 2nd when I posted about our three Dodgers -Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw winning Gold gloves.

What a happy day in Los Angeles yesterday when it was announced that Clayton Kershaw had won the NL Cy Young Award! I was anxiously waiting for the results on Thursday. I was busy with a Webinar at work with phone and computer busy but I was keeping an eye on my droid.  Sure enough it started beeping with the good news. But in addition to the good news there was an email from the Dodgers inviting us season ticket holders to attend the conference on the field of Dodger Stadium. What was I to do when I had taken the train to work and I was still in the middle of the webinar?  Good thing it ended promptly at noon and there were no further questions.

the email said the conference was to start promptly at 1:30 p.m and that fans could start arriving at 12:30 p.m. I called to see if the company car was available. I was lucky! It was available!  I then headed to see my boss and told him I had an emergency and had to leave but would be back later on.

What a great day being back at Dodger Stadium! Clayton Kershaw was there with his wife Ellen. Matt Kemp and James Loney were also there.  Maury Wills was also there.  Prior CY Young award winners Don Newcombe & Fernando Valenzuela were also there.    Dodgers who have won the Cy Young:   Don Newcombe (1986) Don Drysdale (1962), Sandy Koufax (1963, ’65. ’66), Mike Marshall (1974), Fernando Valenzuel (1981), Orel Hershiser (1988), Eric Gagne (2003) and Clayton Kershaw (2011).

  Congratulations Clayton Kershaw!

More pictures:

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