Results tagged ‘ Jackie Robinson ’

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/

Fertilizer! My Top Deck row seats are being taken out at Dodger Stadium

So I just got a call from the Dodgers that my Top Deck row seats are being taken out at Dodger Stadium.   They say they will move me to a comparable location.   Section 1 or 5.   Yeah, I need to go to Select A Seat.   I don’t think I can take off time at work for my scheduled appointment on Thursday.  Maybe Friday but for sure Saturday.   I need to see what my friend Lorena is doing.  Is she moving?   Who else is moving?   They are disrupting our Top Deck family!     They are expanding the handicap area so we will see how it looks after.  NOTE:  I like my seats that are in the shade! 

World Series:  Giants and Tigers oh My!

I am still excited about the World Series!   Yeah, even if the Giants are in it.   Of course I am rooting for the Detroit Tigers!!  No respecting Dodger fan would root for the Giants.   Just like I expect no self respecting Giant fan to root for the Dodgers.  Go Tigers!!  Beat the Halloween team!

A well rested Justin Verlander takes the mound at San Francisco against Barry Zito.

Dodgers will go to Australia in 2014!?

Wow!   I got the message from my friend Rosie that the Dodgers might open 2014 in Australia! Start saving those dollars and vacation days.

Jackie Robinson died 40 years ago today. 

It was 40 years ago today that our beloved Jackie Robinson passed away.   I was reading in the LA Times everything related to baseball.  The only non-baseball article I read was the one from Chris Erskine “Golden moment for Wooden in bronze”  The bronze statue  will be unveiled on Friday at UCLA.   Erskine notes some of the other notable sports statues around Southern California.   I noticed the Jackie Robinson at UCLA

and at the Pasadena Civic Center where the sculptures of Mack and Jackie Robinson overlook the City Hall building.

Orange County Wedding Photographers - BP75 (8)

Like Erskine says  in the article “It’ll be interesting to see what the new Dodger owners do up the hill, though Vinny and Koufax seem like the surest of things.

Remembering how Jackie Robinson decided to retire instead of going to the Giants!  Go TIGERS!!

Have You Ever Seen The Sunset Boulevard Sidewalk plaques in Echo Park?

Have you ever noticed the Sunset Boulevard sidewalk plaques in Echo Park?

 

 I first noticed them a  few years back when I was meeting friends at Barragans on Sunset boulevard on a Sunday before the Dodger game.  

The plaques are all sports related.   I took pictures back then but never used them in a blog post.    I asked several people  at the stadium, and other people like Terry Cannon but no one could tell me anything about them.  

  When did they started appearing?   Who put them there?  

There are not all baseball.  Here is Elgin Baylor’s plaque

Sandy Koufax

Jesse Owens

Among others are Wyomia Tyus who won the Gold in 1964 and 1968 in the 100 meter dash. 

Others are Boxer Jimmy McLarmin, Rafer Johnson, Jack Kramer, Bob Seager, John Longden, Bill Shoemaker, Glen Davis, Ellsworth Vines, Joe Louis, Parry O’Brien,Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Billy Jean King, and many others. 

But who put this together?  

Then I found this plaque

L Andrew Castle?   A photographer!   

Talking with my friend Lorena about the sidewalk plaques, she found this article from the LA Timeson October 10, 1985:   http://articles.latimes.com/1985-10-10/news/gl-15921_1_echo-park

From the article:

Castle happened to be the owner of both a small camera shop and a big dream.

His dream was to improve the struggling commercial center of Echo Park along Sunset Boulevard, maybe even transform it into a tourist attraction. With Dodger Stadium just a 10-minute walk up the hill, what better way to do that, he thought, than to shine some reflected glory of sports heroes down on the relatively unglamorous street of shoe stores, banks, bakeries and restaurants?

So, at Castle’s urging, the City of Los Angeles in 1974 declared the 10 blocks of Sunset Boulevard between Elysian Park Boulevard and Alvarado Street to be the Avenue of the Athletes, allowing sidewalks to be dotted with tablets bearing the names of superstar jocks. Castle himself hardly fit that image: At the time, he was a short, slow-moving, elderly man.

Castle worked at Dodger Stadium!

Castle, who also worked as a photographer for the Dodgers, got the team and other local merchants to back the project financially. The first plaques were laid in concrete in 1976 during what was supposed to be an annual ceremony.

But Castle died two years later and the Avenue almost died with him. The ceremonies stopped and the designs for the plaques were even lost for a while. It was not until 1980 that the Echo Park Chamber of Commerce was able to revive the project, which even its biggest boosters concede has yet to fulfill Castle’s dream.

 Fred Claire is quoted in the article :

“The most important thing is whether you are really going to try to improve the area,” said Fred Claire, executive vice president of the Dodgers and a member of the plaque committee. “Andy Castle dreamed that it could be clean, that it could be free of crime. What the reality is, I don’t know for sure. But his dream lives on.”

Castle gets his plaque:

To symbolize that, a plaque bearing Castle’s name was laid in concrete last week in front of the store he used to own at Logan Street and Sunset,  Castle’s shows a camera.

Whom did Jackie Robinson replace when he broke the Major League color barrier with the Dodgers?

Whom did Jackie Robinson replace when he broke the Major League color barrier with the Dodgers?

?

 

Ed Stevens, a left-handed batter, and the right-handed Howie Schultz

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.

Howie Schultz, the other Dodger first baseman supplanted by Robinson, was 6 feet 6 inches. He later played on N.B.A. championship teams with the Minneapolis Lakers. He died in 2009.

 

Ed Stevens passed away Sunday July 22 in Houston at the age of 87. Rest in peace Ed Stevens

Dodgers are home after a 7-3 road trip! Great job guys!

 The Matchups against Kirk Gibson’s Diamond Backs:

Monday: 7/30 7:10 PM PT

AZ: Kahill (8-9 3.86) LAD: Harang (7-5 3.39)

Tuesday: 7/31 7:10 PM PT Kirk Gibson Bobblehead

Az: Miley (11-6 3.11) LAD: Capuano (10-6 3.13)

Wednesday 8/1 A Business Day special at 12:10 PM PT

AZ: Collmenter (3-2 4.13) LAD: Fife (0-0 1.46)

 

 Ref: New York Times, http:www.Examiner.com

Jim Gilliam and the number 19

In the MLB fan blogs, my blog came in at

I dedicate it to Jim Gilliam.

Jim Gilliam made his major league debut in 1953.
Quoting Jim Murray: They broke him in easy. All he had to do the first year was replace Jackie Robinson.

He proved capable, batting .278 with a team-leading 125 runs for the NL champions. His 17 triples led the NL, and remain the most by a Dodger since 1920; he was second in the league (behind Stan Musial) with 100 walks, and third in the NL with 21 stolen bases.

For his excellent season he earned NL Rookie of the Year honors, as well as The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award.

Gilliam played his entire 14 year career (1953 -1966) in a Dodger uniform

Junior was part of the first all switch hitting infield in Major League history, with Maury Wills, Wes Parker, and Jim Lefebvre.

Gilliam hit behind Maury Wills when he launched the modern stolen base era with 104 in 1962. He was the ultimate team player sacrificing himself for the good of the team.

Gilliam taught Jim Lefebvre how to bat behind a base stealer, as Lefebvre did behind Lou Brock in 1974, when he stole 118

Gilliam contributed to four World Series clubs and seven pennant winners.

His glove is on display in Cooperstown.

The Dodgers used him at every position in the field except for pitcher and catcher.

In 1965 he was replaced at third base and became a first base coach but after injuries and dismal hitting average at third, the Dodgers activated Gilliam who went on to contribute with his hitting.

Jim Gilliam passed away prior to the start of the 1978 World Series at which time his number was retired and the Dodgers wore a commemorative patch on their sleeve in his honor.

Los Angeles Times sports columnist Jim Murray penned a tribute for Gilliam, the versatile non-star. His effort to describe Jim’s end began with these words:

“I guess my all-time favorite athlete was Jim Gilliam. He always thought he was lucky to be a Dodger. I thought it was the other way around.”

I love reading old columns from Jim Murray.

In Colorado: Dodgers stop the losing streak by winning 6-2!

ref: SABR, Jim Murray’s columns, Truebluela, pics from Sport Illustrated & google

Happy Jackie Robinson Day! Dodgers 8-1 to start 2012. Vin Scully is back Today!!

Happy Jackie Robinson Day everyone!   Heading to Dodger Stadium soon.   Dodgers are 8-1 to start the 2012 season and I have not missed a game!   Dodgers are going on the road next (no, I am not going) to Milwaukee and Houston.  

Here is a Jackie Robinson picture when he was at Pasadena Junior College late 1930’s. 

And here is another one from Pasadena Junior College

Jackie Robinson at Pasadena City College

JAckie Robinon at UCLA.jpg

Jackie Robinson at UCLA

Extra special day as Vin Scully is due to go back to Dodger Stadium!   Welcome back Vin!!

Vin Scully& Crzblue

Quick post as I am heading to the Ravine where the Dodgers are going for the

Dodgers going for the sweep.

Love the Dodgers are now letting season ticket holders into the stadium earlier than the rest of the fans just like in some other stadiums. 

This is what you see as my footer when you receive an email from me

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jack Roosevelt Robinson.

 

 

Magic Johnson, Dodgers, Vin Scully, Sandy Koufax, & Jackie Robinson Legacy

The LA Times Sport section has an article this morning titled “Icon to Icon”   by Steve Dilbeck.  This brought a smile to my face knowing that Magic Johnson reached out to Vin Scully.  Quoting article “It was interesting,” Scully said.  “When the phone rang and I picked it up, I recognized that voice.  And, as I told him “If  it’s possible, I can hear your smile.”   Johnson tweeted on Thursday “Last night I reached out to Vin Scully & acted like an excited little kid speaking to the LA Icon.”    

Future team president Stan Kasten also called Vin Scully.   The next day Magic also tweeted this “Just spoke to legend & HOF Sandy Koufax.  Thank you so mch fo taking the time to share some of your vast baseball knowledge.”   IF I was part of a team buying the Dodgers, those two would have been on my list to call.  

Look at this cake that Magic Johnson posted on hisWhoSay page  on thursday 3/29/2012  saying “Thank you to AEG, Staples Center & the Lakers for this incredible Dodgers cake they made for me,” Magic Johnson

More good news as reported by Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:

Johnson has reached out to Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson. He has invited her to take an active role with the Dodgers’ new ownership group, a person familiar with the discussions said Friday. The details of how Rachel Robinson — and the Jackie Robinson Foundation — would be involved with the Dodgers remain under discussion, the person said.

This is a quick post as I am getting ready to go to Ventura.  I am meeting with friends  for a Girls night out.  We are staying Saturday night and coming back Sunday.  These are some of my non-baseball friends, well with one of them I used to have a Dodger mini package in the field level for two years.  In fact, after we stopped having the mini package and I started having season tickets, I would always invite her for Opening Day.  Last two years she has not been able to to go.  Anyway, they are understanding that once baseball starts I am not available.  I tell them “look at a Dodger schedule to see if I am available”  Even then, I might be on a road trip.   The last time they invited me to a get together for “Poker night” back in January, it happened to be the Saturday for “National SABR Day”   Looking forward to this trip and then get ready for the road trip to San Diego for the four game series!  

Nomar Garciaparra (5) days till Dodgers Opening Day in San Diego!

Ron Cey(10) days till Opening Day at Dodger Stadium!

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Jackie Robinson!

Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium Jackie RobinsonToday is Jackie Robinson’s birthday!
Here is my post two years ago on Jackie Robinson’s birthday:

http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/2010/01/30/happy-birthday-jackie-robinson-2/

Happy Birthday Jackie!
Read about the new Jackie Robinson movie in the works
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110601&content_id=19885520&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

I love the old game show “What Is My Line”  Here is  Jackie Robinson on “What is My Line.” can’t seem to be able youtube so I am just including the link. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvsSxxPoAHU&feature=player_embedded

 

Jackie Robinson Day

April 2011 021 Jackie Robinson 42.jpg

Today we honor Jackie Robinson! This is a day I always look forward to attending at Dodger Stadium. I am proudly wearing my Jackie Robinson jersey at work and aftewards I will head out to Dodger Stadium to honor Jackie!

Thank you Jackie! Your breakthrough had an effect not just on baseball but you paved the way for a change in American society.

At the bottom of my work emails, you always get:
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. -Jackie Robinson”

Today in honor of Jackie Robinson, make your life important by having a positive impact on the life of someone else.

Thumbnail image for April 2011 024 Jackie Robinson.jpg

Jackie Robinson billboard.jpg

I would like to see Tax Day moved from April 15th to the following day so that we can only associate April 15th with Jackie Robinson.

I am running a report on new hires at work. How appropriate that I am getting 42 new hires! Happy #42 Jackie Robinson Day!

I Love Andre (We Love Him)

My friend Erik is hosting my blog again!   I love the post!  I love Andre! 

Take it away Erik!

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dodgers april through may 3 2.JPGI was watching a rerun of Inning 5 of Ken Burns’ great documentary, Baseball, and I started wondering where the days went when baseball players would have song written about them? Think about it, that’s not done anymore.

Those are some great songs about some great players. Some include Less Brown’s song “Joltin’ Joe”, and perhaps the best of all, “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball ” by Buddy Johnson and Count Basie. It reminded me that I wrote (or modified) a song about my favorite player, Andre Ethier. It was penned during the fervor surrounding his home run-hitting prowess early last season. Yeah, I know, he didn’t keep it up, but, G-d willing, I have faith that he’ll get things back on track this season. At which point we’ll all be signing the song I offer. Well, maybe not you, but I’ll be belting it out, and I bet Crzblue will be right there with me. Here it is, sing along, you’ll recognize the tune. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBOQiMxwk1o&feature=related

I Love Andre (We Love Him)

 
Runnin’ down the 3rd base line
Big nasty homer out the right field side
Maggie Ethier looking hot in the Lodge
She is full of pride

Mow down the pitcher, put da Blue on top.
Crank up Vin Scully, baby
Don’t let the hitting stop
We’re gonna cheer him ’til we just can’t cheer him no more

From the Top Deck to the Pavilion
From the Stadium Club to the Dugout Club,
Everybody’s very happy
‘Cause the man is hitting all the time
Looks like another homer’s on the way

I love Andre (We love him)
I love Andre (We love him)

Look at that homer
Look at those doubles
Look at that catch out there, man
He’s down on his knees.
Look at those walk-offs
There ain’t nothin’ like ‘em nowhere.
St. Mary’s High School (We love him)
Chandler-Gilbert College (We love him)
Arizona State University (We love him)
Dodgertown (We love him, we love him)
We love him!
We love him!
We love Andre!

 

By Erik C.D. Belmal,
Adapted from Randy Newman. “I Love L.A. (We Love it).” 1983.

So, there!  Trust me, I know it doesn’t come close to the genius of the other songs I mentioned, but I hope you recognize the same spirit…the spirit of devotion to a player, and a game.  

 

Thanks again for the opportunity to post Crzblue.

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Thank you Erik! 

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