Tagged: Branch Rickey

Yasiel Puig and George Genovese

I am reading the book about George Genovese titled  “A Scout’s Report.   My 70 Years in Baseball”. It is written with Dan Taylor.  I had a chance to hear Mr. Genovese at a SABR event a few years back, then a couple a few weeks ago I went to his talk/book signing event at South Pasadena.  It was an honor to hear him and his author. Mark Langill presented him. In attendance were Fred Claire who was a member of the Dodgers’ front office for 30 years And John Young who played for the Tigers in 1971 and founded RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities). These two men along with some other people in the audience were there to pay tribute to Mr. Genovese based on what they had to say when they put their hand up. They did not ask a question, they praised Mr. Genovese.

I am fascinated with the book. What a trajectory!  What a life!  From his playing days in the minor league to playing with the Senators to managing in the minor league under the wings of Branch Rickey when Mr. Rickey was with the Cardinals and the Pirates, to when Mr. Rickey sent him to Mexico to managing in the Texas league for the Giants to being asked to scout in California because his eye for talent was unmatched, to working for the Dodgers.

From Peter Mancuso, Chairman of the Nineteen Century Committee, Society for American Research:

“this book is not just a biography, it is a Masters Degree in Baseball, from how to play, manage, coach, inspire, understand, evaluate and enjoy our great National Pastime..”

I ran into an article from the LA Times When George Genovese was at Dodger Stadium. This part caught my attention:

” The ball soars into center field and Puig, flashing his speed, makes the catch. It reminds Genovese of a young Jose Cardenal or maybe Roberto Clemente starting out in Puerto Rico.

“The kid is so gifted” he says of Puig.”

I value the opinion of a man that has played, managed and still coaches, inspires, understands, evaluates and enjoys our great National Pastime.

George Genovese

“42” Movie Review

I have been so busy that I have not updated  my blog in a long time.  I had part of this short review of  the movie “42” in draft so I finally had a chance to finish it

A group of us (Lorena, Amanda Rosie, Josie, Elisa, my brother Vic and I) went to see the movie “42” on Saturday April 13.    We went to a theater in Pasadena .  I loved the movie but I was left with “is that the end?”   It could have been longer as far as I was concern.  It was too short.

Harrison Ford does an excellent job of portraying Branch Rickey.   Ben Chapman got under my skin so he was doing his part acting.  Chadwick Boseman portrays a quiet dignity like his character, Jackie while at the same time showing that he is controlling his anger.    Nicole Behaire was delightful as Rachel Robinson.  Boseman and Behaire played a cute on-screen couple.

If the movie makes you read more about this era, about  Jackie Robinson who died so young, about Baseball pioneer, Branch Rickey then is doing its job.    I for one, pulled two books I had purchased from libraries that were marked “discarded”  They are “Opening Day the story of Jackie Robinson first season”

and “The Story of Branch Rickey”

Another book is

from Branch Rickey’s Little Blue Book:

Luck Is the Residue of Design – Branch Rickey.

I took my brother to see the plaque in front where Jackie Robinson’s mom moved with her kids in Pasadena.  The house is no longer there but there is a plaque there.

I also took my brother to see the sculptures in front of the Pasadena City Hall of Jackie and his brother.

Jackie Robinson sculpture in front of the Pasadena City Hall.   You can see Mack Robinson sculpture in the picture too.  Mack is facing the City Hall, while Jackie is facing Brooklyn.

I hope that you too went out to the library or bookstore to read more about Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey and about this era in Baseball history.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change “42”

I was looking at my pictures for inspiration to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge:  Change.  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/04/12/weekly-photo-challenge-change/  When I saw a photo of Jackie  Robinson, I said Yes!  what better picture for me to represent Change than Jackie Robinson

This picture where Jackie Robinson is agreeing to the terms of then Brooklyn Dodgers president and general Manager Branch Rickey signifies not only a change in Baseball but a change in America.  

Branch Rickey had a long conversation with Jackie wanting to know if he would be able to take the racial abuse he was sure to be subjected to without fighting back. “Are you looking for a Negro who is afraid to fight back?” Jackie asked.  Rickey replied that he was looking for someone “with guts enough not to fight back.” Jackie agreed and Rickey signed him to a contract for $600 a month.

“There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.” -Jackie Robinson

After his baseball career ended Robinson continued to work as a civil rights activist working tirelessly for equality. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.   said that Jackie was “a legend and a symbol in his own time”, and that he “challenged the dark skies of intolerance and frustration.” (Dr. King was still a college student when Jackie took the field on April 15, 1947).

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” -Jackie Robinson


Movie 42. Play 42 Baseball

As I was looking for a hotel at Camelback Ranch I saw this


You Could Win a Trip to LA for the 42 Premiere Screening!

And step up to the plate every day for a chance to win tickets to 42!

Each swing of the bat gives you one or more chances to see 42: The True Story of an American Legend. Each day, we’ll give away a pair of movie tickets, and one lucky player will win the grand prize—a trip to L.A. for the premiere screening! Click below to connect to Facebook and get started!Play ball!

naturally I entered the contest.

Afterwards I saw the preview of the movie.

Man! I am going to need some kleenex when I go see the movie!

We can never thank Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey enough.

Go Dodgers!  Heading to Camelback Ranch this weekend.

Brooklyn Dodgers. Where are they now. Eddie Basinski

Eddie Basinski then

Basinski was born on 11/4/1922 in Buffalo, NY.  He wore uniform #3 for the Dodgers.

Eddie was signed after a tryout by the Dodgers out of the University of Buffalo even though he hadn’t played baseball in either high school or College. 

Eddie debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1944.  He was the Dodgers regular shortstop while Pee Wee Reese was in the military in 1945 but lost his job when World War II ended an Reese returned. 

According to Baseball-Refernces:

He made a prototypical rookie mistake when first coming up to the National League: hitting .389 after two weeks, he told a reporter that “Any man who can’t hit .300 in this league ought to go get a lunch bucket.” Opposing pitchers never let him live down those words.

Eddie spent the off-season as a violinist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Eddie Basinksi now

Here is a video of Portland Baseball history with Eddie Basinski and Vince Peski.  Eddie tells some wonderful stories that had me cracking up.

Ad here is a another video.  A wonderful interview of Eddie Baskinksi by KrisPorterSports.  In there he talks about Branch Richie & Leo Durocher. 

Ref:  NewYorkTimes.com, Oregonlives.com, KrisPorterSports

Brooklyn Dodgers. Where are they now. Ray Hathaway

Ray Hathaway Then

Name DOB Birthplace Uniform #
Ray Hathaway 10/13/1916 Grinville, OH 22

Ray Wilson Hathaway wore uniform #22 like our young Clayton Kershaw.

After three years in the minors and three more with Uncle Sam, Hathaway got his chance in the big leagues in 1945, when many players were still in the service.

 His debut came April 20 at the Polo Grounds, when he threw one inning.  He gave up a two-run homer to Phil Weintraub and retired Mel Ott on a grounder to second baseman Eddie Stanky.
After sitting for 37 days, he got his only major league start May 28 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.  In front of a crowd of just 3,709, Hathaway got off to a fast start.  “Stan Hack was the first man I faced, and he grounded out to me,”he said.  “I thought to myself, ‘(Heck), this is easy.’ But then all (heck) broke loose.”
 An error, a couple of walks and wild pitch helped the Cubs get three first-inning runs. Hathaway finished with five-plus innings, eight hits, two earned runs, five walks and the only three strikeouts he would record in the major leagues.
“My biggest (major league) thrill was walking into Ebbets Field (for the first time),”he said.

“We could get spaghetti for 19 cents, 29 cents with meatballs,” Hathaway said with a smile. “We lived on pasta.”

He pitched two other times in relief before being sent down to Montreal.   Of Jackie Robinson, Hathaway said “”He was an outstanding player.”   “After I saw him play the first game, I knew he was going to be a star. He fielded well, ran well and hit well.  I thought he was ready.  I thought he would be up in Brooklyn before the season was over.”

From Baseballhappening:

Of himself, he did not foresee a return to the major leagues.  “I had already been there, and I had arm trouble.  I saw the writing on the wall.”   At the end of Spring Training in 1947, he approached Branch Rickey about becoming a manager.   “We went to a game in Cuba.  Mr. Rickey was there.  I asked to speak to him.  About the 5th inning, he asked, “What’s on your mind?”  I told him I would like to manage.  He (Rickey) asked, “How do I know you can manage?”  I said “You don’t and neither do I.  All I can promise is that we’ll work.”  Rickey’s response was “If you are going to manage a team for me, be on my plane.  I’m leaving in the morning for Miami.”

Hathaway spent his early seasons as a player/manager  for the minor league affiliates of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  After 1952, Hathaway took himself out of the rotation to focus primarily on running the ballclub.  “The only time I pitched after that  (1952) was if the pitching staff was getting their butt beat.  I tried to save them.”

Hathaway managed many legends including Hall of Famers Dick Williams, Willie Stargell and Bill Sharman.

Here is this from MLB.com:

Ray Hathaway

Ray Hathaway was the manager of the 1961 Asheville Tourists, champions of the South Atlantic League with an 87-50 record and considered to be the best team in Asheville history. Hathaway’s managerial career started in 1947, when he guided the Santa Barbara Dodgers to the California League Championship Series, losing to the Stockton Ports. He won the Ohio-Indiana League title as skipper of the Zanesville Dodgers in 1948. His other managerial stints include the Pueblo Dodgers in the Western League (1949-50, 1956-57), Asheville Tourists in the Tri-State League (1951, 1953-54), Newport News Dodgers in the Piedmont League (1953), Elmira Pioneers in the Eastern League (1955), Tri-City Braves in the Northwest League (1958), Columbus/Gastonia Pirates in the South Atlantic League (1959), Savannah Pirates in the South Atlantic League (1960), Asheville Tourists in the South Atlantic League (1961-64), Gastonia in the Western Carolinas League (second half of 1964), Raleigh Cardinals in the Carolina League (1965), Lewiston Broncs in the Northwest League (1967), Arkansas Travelers in the Texas League (1969), Savannah Indians in the Southern League (1970), Jacksonville Suns in the Dixie Association (1971), Portland Beavers in the Pacific Coast League (1972) and the Wilson Pennants in the Carolina League (1973). Throughout his 25-year managerial career, Hathaway won 1,441 games.

Hathaway retired as a manager in 1973, settled in Asheville and worked construction.

Ray Hathaway Now
Mr Hathaway still enjoys watching  baseball on TV and marvels at the money players now receive.
And he savors his time in the game, even 36 years after he took off the uniform for the last time.

“I saw a lot, got to do a lot because of baseball,” he said with a wink.

Mr. Hathaway  lives in Weaverville. NC

ref:  Sportspool.com, citizen-times.com, Baseballhappening.com, Fairviewtowncrier.com, MLB

Ernie Harwell, the Dodgers and a trade.

During last night’s broacasting, Vin Scully was telling us a little story about Ernie Harwell.      Vin said that back in 1948, when Red Barber was rushed to the hospital.  Connie Desmond took over.  

Branch Rickey, the renowened executive who ran the Brooklyn Dodgers called Atlanta Crackers President Earl Mann that he needed an announcer.  Mann in turn told him “I need a catcher.”   So to get Harwell’s services, Rickey traded minor league catcher Cliff Dapper to Atlanta. 

Thus, thanks to perhaps the only broadcaster-player trade in baseball history, Ernie Harwell broke into the majors as a broadcaster in August 1948 with the Dodgers.

Harwell was the No. 3 announcer on the Dodgers’ broadcasts. After he spent a year in that role in 1949, he became the No. 2 announcer with the crosstown New York Giants. To replace Harwell, the Dodgers hired a young announcer recently out of Fordham University, Vin Scully.

Rest in peace Ernie Harwell. 


Dodgers at Coors Field with the Rockies 3 games back

Critical games in Colorado for both teams.  With the Dodgers leading the NL West by 3  games and the Rockies leading the Wild Card, this is really a penant race.  is time for the Dodgers to put more ground between them and the Rockies.  

Dodgers get to visit their old manager Jim Tracy.  Jim managed the Dodgers from 2001 to 2005 and won a division title in 2004. 

Only four current Dodgers played for Tracy — Weaver, Guillermo Mota, Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo. The latter two played for Tracy only in brief callups. 

Going to the Rockies website, I found this

 The Rockies’ fans’ feelings for the Dodgers certainly are strong. After the Rockies’ improbable 14-inning, 6-4 victory over the Giants — brought home by Ryan Spilborghs’ grand slam — fans broke into a heartfelt “Beat L.A.” chant. The Rockies enter Tuesday’s opener of a three-game showdown trailing the Dodgers by three games in the National League West. The Rockies have a four-game cushion in the Wild Card standings.

What is the obsession of teams emphasizing the other team instead of their own team?   I know, I know, everyone wants to beat L.A.    I like Oldbrooklynfan (some might remember him from the article written about him making his first trip to Dodger Stadium) from the ITD blog where he changed that to say Beaten by L.A.  

Upcoming Game (08/25)


  • Clayton Kershaw 8-7

  • Jason Hammel 8-7

I like games on the West Coast because I get to listen to Vin Scully!   I can’t wait to hear him say those magic words “Is Time for Dodger Baseball!” 
Here is a picture from Colorado from last year.  It sure was cold when we went!  In fact it snowed the night before and we did not get our luggage until we got to the hotel. The poncho in the picture was in my luggage and so was the hat.      

The Player Statue from Colorado.jpg

The 9-foot, 6-inch tall statue is entitled “The Player.” it was donated by the Rotary club of Denver. It’s the same figure that it awarded, in a much smaller size, to the recipient of the Branch Rickey Award, which honors the Major League player who best exemplifies the Rotary’s motto of “service over self.” 

The nominees from each team for 2009 have already been announced.  You can check them and also past winners here >>.