Vin Scully’s Ford C. Frick Award acceptance speech

Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully received the Ford Frick Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.  This video does a much better job of introducing him and describing Scully’s background than I ever could do in writing, so I’ll just let you hit play and take in his speech as well as the biographical bit that follows.


Don Drysdale’s Hall of Fame induction speech

Don Drysdale emphasizes the strain and sacrifices that come with the demanding schedule of a professional ballplayer — especially on the side of that ballplayer’s family.  A right-handed pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers for his entire career, Drysdale won the 1962 Cy Young Award, and in 1968, he set a Major League record by pitching six consecutive shutouts and ​58 2⁄3 consecutive scoreless innings.  Drysdale ended his career with 209 wins, 2,486 strikeouts, 167 complete games and 49 shutouts. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.


“Be A Believer in Giant/Dodger/Philly Fever,” The Paid Attendance

I came across these somewhat randomly this weekend: three songs by a group called The Paid Attendance.  So far as I have been able to tell, these are the only three songs by this group, and I have only been able to find audio for two of them.  That being said, I suppose it’s not really a big deal that I cannot find audio for the third, as it would likely just fall in line with the other two songs.  First off, here’s “Be A Believer in Giant Fever,” released in 1978.

The group must have had a thing for New-York-teams-gone-California, because in 1979, they put one out for the Dodgers.

The third song, for which I have not been able to find audio online, appears to be the same song with a Philly twist: “Be A Believer in Philly Fever.”

I am curious as to whether the original intention was to put out a version for each team in the majors.  If so, they didn’t get very far into the process.  Whatever the intention, I did find the Giants and Dodgers versions fun to listen to.  It’s the kind of song that makes you want to do a little jig while you brush your teeth in the morning.


This day in baseball: Dodger car accident

Attempting to beat a 12:30 a.m. curfew on March 5, 1958, the Dodgers’ Duke Snider, Johnny Podres, and Don Zimmer sustained minor injuries in a car accident in Vero Beach, Florida.  This automobile mishap was the third involving the Dodgers within the last two months, with prior crashes involving Roy Campanella and Jim Gilliam.

Snider Podres Zimmer auto accident


The Sandlot: Heading Home

A few days ago, I was looking for a fun baseball movie to take in.  I had heard that there was a Sandlot 2, though I didn’t know much about it.  I figured it was as good a time as any to check it out, except that I ran into the tiny issue of the local public library not carrying it.  I did find another movie along those lines, however: The Sandlot: Heading Home.

A sequel movie to the original Sandlot (I’m guessing this is a part three? It’s hard to tell without having seen part two), this installment features an older Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez as well as bringing back Michael “Squints” Palledorous.  When the movie begins, we learn that Benny Rodriguez goes on to become manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the plot of the film actually revolves around one of his players, centerfielder Tommy “Santa” Santorelli.

sandlot heading homeTommy Santorelli is a successful, but exceedingly arrogant, Major League ballplayer who has bounced from team to team in search of more money, more fame, and more success.  During batting practice one day, Tommy gets hit in the face by a pitch, knocking him out cold.  When he wakes up, he discovers that he is twelve years old again and the year is 1976.  Tommy is back at the sandlot where he first started playing baseball during his childhood.

Tommy hesitates to join the sandlot team at first, unable to stop thinking of them as a bunch of kids, in spite of the fact that he is now a kid again himself.  He finally does so, however, as it offers him an opportunity to get back at the town bully, EJ Needman.  EJ also happens to be the son of a wealthy real estate agent who wants to buy the sandlot and develop the land for financial gain.

The sale of the sandlot is a contentious issue throughout town, with the vote split at an even fifty-fifty.  The real estate agent, Earl Needman, proposes the issue be resolved by the all-city championship game, which is set to be played between Needman’s team and the sandlot team.

*Spoiler alert*  (Not that the outcome of this movie would be any kind of surprise, but you know, just in case.)  Of course, Needman’s proposal comes after he has already gone out of his way to speak to Tommy Santorelli, offering to put in a good word for him with a preparatory school with a good baseball program in exchange for switching teams.  Tommy, thinking his entire future hinges on getting into the prep school, agrees to join Needman’s team.

The sandlot team is understandably upset by the betrayal.  Before the championship game even begins, however, Tommy realizes his mistake, and he decides that the friendships he’s developed with the sandlot boys are more important than the fame and fortune his future would have held for him.  He changes sides again, rejoining the sandlot team and helping them on their way to victory.  After another mishap in which he gets hit in the head by yet another baseball, Tommy wakes up as an adult once again.  Predictably, he’s a completely different man from the arrogant prima donna from the beginning of the film.

Overall, while this installment of the Sandlot series offers a nice twist via the time travel plot device, it remains quite formulaic.  All the same, The Sandlot: Heading Home is still a fun baseball film, and heaven knows I can’t help but enjoy a decent baseball film.


The 2018 World Series begins

See the source image

The World Series begins tonight!  I think this will be an interesting one, featuring two old, old franchises currently located at opposite ends of the country.  There’s going to be a lot of flying going on during this Series.

It could be an interesting Halloween night in Boston if this thing goes to Game Seven.

Full World Series schedule

Game Date Day TV Time Location
Game 1 Oct. 23 Tuesday Fox 8:09 p.m. Boston
Game 2 Oct. 24 Wednesday Fox 8:09 p.m. Boston
Game 3 Oct. 26 Friday Fox 8:09 p.m. LA
Game 4 Oct. 27 Saturday Fox 8:09 p.m. LA
Game 5* Oct. 28 Sunday Fox 8:15 p.m. LA
Game 6* Oct. 30 Tuesday Fox 8:09 p.m. Boston
Game 7* Oct. 31 Wednesday Fox 8:09 p.m. Boston

*If necessary.


“A Change of Heart,” by Barbara Feeney

This poem, published by the New York Daily News in 1958, was written from the perspective of a Dodgers fan.  Understandably, she’s feeling a bit conflicted about the team’s move to the west coast.

*

The Bums are gone; good, I’m
glad!
O’Malley used to make me
mad.
Those old short fences, ciggie
ads
And bright beer signs were
passing fads.
That winning spirit couldn’t
last
When Robby’s playing days
were past.
The ecstacy of
’55
When Podres kept our hopes
alive
Are locked with scorecards,
photographs
Forgotten — with the million
laughs
Of bleacher days. But who
cares now?
I’ll never miss them,
anyhow.

But, then — a bulletin comes
through
A flash from
WNEW
It’s Campanella! And they
say
That Roy was nearly
killed today.
Paralysis! The tragic
end
Of Campy’s ever-winning
bend.
Who can forget the impish
grin
Accompanying every Dodger
win?
The ever-crouching
“39”
Assuring fans that all is
fine
Thrice MVP, the catching
ace
Who figured in each pennant
race
Was loved by each and every
fan
Who rooted for that Brooklyn
clan.
And now, the world has tumbled
down,
The prayers of a united
town
Today are flooding heaven’s
gate
For Brooklyn’s favorite
battery mate.

We never thought we’d feel this
way
When first they took out for
LA
But Campy’s crash has taught
us all
We’re Dodger fans still,
Spring to Fall.
No matter where they choose to
roam,
The hearts of Brooklyn are
their home.