RIP Tommy Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda was born September 22, 1927. He was a hardcore baseball lifer, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954 and 1955 and for the Kansas City Athletics in 1956. After retiring from playing, Lasorda worked as a scout for the Dodgers and eventually worked his way into coaching. He coached for the Dodgers from 1973 through 1976 before taking over as manager of the club.  Lasorda led the Dodgers to four NL pennants and two World Series championships during his tenure. Upon retiring from the managerial position in 1996, he continued to work for the Dodgers in a variety of roles for the rest of his life.

Lasorda was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 as a manager in his first year of eligibility. He died January 7, 2021 from a cardiopulmonary arrest in Fullerton, California at the age of 93.

Rest in peace.

Lasorda-Gnome

LA Dodgers


This day in baseball: Alston named manager of the Dodgers

On November 24, 1953, Dodger owner Walter O’Malley announced that Walter Alston would be the new manager of the Brooklyn team, replacing Chuck Dressen. The announcement came as a shock to reporters, as the leading candidate for the job had been the fan-favorite Pee Wee Reese. Alston would go on to win seven pennants and four World Series during his 23 years with the team.

Walter_Alston_1954 - Wikipedia

Wikipedia


Dodgers win the Series

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Dodgers on their World Series victory! It is a very well deserved championship, to say the least. It’s a been a strange season, and I’m genuinely impressed it made it all the way to the end.

Dodgers 2020 World Series - Business World

BusinessWorld


World Series 2020 schedule

Welp, the 2020 World Series matchup is set: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays. I honestly don’t have a dog in this fight, but the way the ALCS and the NLCS both played out, this should be a very entertaining World Series. Here is the tentative schedule for this year’s matchup:

Tuesday, Oct. 20
• World Series Game 1, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX

Wednesday, Oct. 21
• World Series Game 2, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX

Thursday, Oct. 22
OFF-DAY

Friday, Oct. 23
• World Series Game 3, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX

Saturday, Oct. 24
• World Series Game 4, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX

Sunday, Oct. 25
• World Series Game 5, LAD vs. TB, 8 p.m., FOX

Monday, Oct. 26
OFF-DAY

Tuesday, Oct. 27
• World Series Game 6, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX

Wednesday, Oct. 28
• World Series, Game 7, TB vs. LAD, 8 p.m., FOX

See the source image

This day in baseball: Maury Wills named MVP

Dodger shortstop Maury Wills was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player on November 23, 1962.  Wills stole a record 104 bases during the season, leading Los Angeles to 102 victories.  Unfortunately, the Dodgers fell short of the pennant in a three-game tie-breaker series against San Francisco, losing two games to one.

Maury Wills

Maury Wills (California Historical Society)


“Destiny, Ah Fate, Mighty Reggie has Struck Out!”, by Jules Loh

The 1978 World Series pitted the defending champion New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a rematch of the previous year’s World Series.  Although the Dodgers won the first two games of the Series, the Yankees swept the next four, winning in six games to repeat as champions.

The Series featured some memorable confrontations between Dodgers rookie pitcher Bob Welch and Reggie Jackson of the Yankees.  In Game 2, Welch struck Jackson out in the top of the ninth with two outs and the tying and go-ahead runs on base to end the game.  In Game 4, Jackson avenged the strikeout when he singled off Welch to advance Roy White to second, allowing White to eventually score the game winning run on a Lou Piniella single.  In Game 6, Jackson hit a two-run homer off Welch in the seventh inning to increase the Yankees’ lead to 7–2 and solidify the Yankees’ victory to win the Series.

The poem below was written by AP correspondent Jules Loh.  In a tribute to the famous “Casey At the Bat” verse, Loh writes about Jackson’s Game 2 strikeout to Welch to end the game.

*

The outlook wasn’t brilliant
for the Yankees in L.A.
The score stood 4-3, two out,
one inning left to play.
But when Dent slid safe at second
and Blair got on at first
Every screaming Dodger fan had
cause to fear the worst.
For there before the multitude —
Ah destiny! Ah fate!
Reggie Jackson, mighty Reggie,
was advancing to the plate.
Reggie, whose three home runs
had won the year before,
Reggie, whose big bat tonight
fetched every Yankee score.
On the mound to face him
stood the rookie, young Bob Welch.
A kid with a red hot fastball —
Reggie’s pitch — and nothing else.
Fifty-thousand voices cheered
as Welch gripped ball in mitt.
One hundred thousand eyes watched Reggie rub his bat and spit.
“Throw your best pitch, kid, and duck,” Reggie seemed to say.
The kid just glared. He must have
known this wasn’t Reggie’s day.
His fist pitch was a blazer.
Reggie missed it clean
Fifty-thousand throats responded
with a Dodger scream.
They squared off, Reggie and the kid, each knew what he must do.
And seven fastballs later,
the count was three and two.
No shootout on a dusty street
out here in the Far West
Could match the scene:
A famous bat,
a kid put to the test.
One final pitch. The kid reared back
and let a fastball fly.
Fifty-thousand Dodger fans
gave forth one final cry…
Ah, the lights still shine on Broadway,
but there isn’t any doubt
The Big Apple has no joy left.
Mighty Reggie has struck out.


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