I am sad to hear that another one of our Brooklyn Dodgers passed away. Mr. Don Lund passed away of natural causes Tuesday December 10, 2013. He was 90.
Mr. Lund played for the St Louis Browns and the Detroit Tigers. The SABR chapter in Michigan is named The Don Lund Chapter.
Here is what I posted earlier this year on Mr. Lund
Rest in peace Mr. Lund.
Ref: Detroitnews.com, Baseball Players passing group, pictures: Brooklynvisualheritage.org, Mvictors.com
Reading the LA Times newspaper this morning on the train, the obituary of Diane Disney Miller, daughter of Walt Disney.caught my attention. She played a major role in the completion of the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. RIP Diane.
I noticed Diane’s husband’s name is Ron Miller. This made me think of Rod Miller, the Brooklyn Dodger that had only one at bat with the Dodgers. Also I thought , the youngest Brooklyn Dodger alive. After reading the newspaper, I moved to my Iphone to catch up with more news. That is when I ran into the obituary of Rod Miller. Rod passed away on November 8, 2013, he was 73. Rest in peace Mr. Miller.
Here is the obituary http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/rgj/obituary.aspx?n=Rod-Miller&pid=168087199#
The 17 year-old Miller was signed by the Dodgers out of Lynwood HS in SoCal on June 26, 1957. He was brought up to Brooklyn in September. He appeared in only one game facing the Philadelphia Phillies on September 28. Rodney Carter “Rod” Miller went swinging on his only major league at bat in 1957.
“Walter Alston was the classiest human being I’ve ever known giving me a chance to bat. That one at-bat opened more doors for me than I could ever have imagined.” – Miller in “Once Around the Bases”
Rest in peace Mr. Rodney Miller
With the passing of Rod Miller, the youngest Brooklyn Dodger alive is Bob Aspromonte at 75, followed by Sandy Koufax who will be 78 on December 30.
Ref: Baseball Reference.
Ralph Branca then
Ralph Theodore Joseph Branca was born on January 6, 1926 in Mount Vernon. He was the fifteenth of seventeen children. He was signed by the Dodgers after a local tryout.
Ralph’s father, John Branca, came to America from Italy. Ralph’s mother, Katherine Berger, was born in Hungary. Ralph married Ann Mulvey in 1951. Her parents owned a share of the Dodgers, and her maternal grandfather had been president of the Brooklyn Club.
The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Branca out of the New York University in 1943, when he was just seventeen years old.
In 1947 the twenty-one-year-old Branca became the second-youngest National Leaguer to win 20 games.
Branca was involved in two of the biggest moments in baseball history. One was the integration of baseball by Jackie Robinson in 1947, and the other was as the man who threw the pitch hit for a home run by Bobby Thompson that won the 1951 National League pennant for the New York Giants.
In January 2001, joshua Praeger, a reporter for the Wall Street journal published the details of a sign-stealing scheme the Giants rigged in the Polo Grounds. The scheme involved a telescope from windows in the center-field clubhouse, a buzzer rigged under dirt in the bullpen, and a reserve catcher positioning his body and equipment to tip-off the batter as to which pitch was coming.
Branca said his friendship with Jackie Robinson continued after baseball. They played golf together when they worked in Manhattan and saw each other a lot while Jackie was with Chock Full of Nuts.
Ralph Branca now
Check out Ralph’s website at http://www.ralphbranca.com/ and his book:
Ref: SABR.org, book: ‘The Team that forever Changed Baseball and America The 1947 Brooklyn dodgers” Note: I am loving this book!
Chris Haughey Then
Chris Haughey was born in Astoria, New York on October 3, 1925. he was pitching in the Queens CYO League when the Dodgers signed him midway through the 1943 season.
Without throwing a ball in the minors, Haughey made his major league debut on October 3, 1943 against the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field – the last day of the season and Haughey’s 18th birthday. He hurled seven innings in the 6-1 loss but only three of those runs were earned.
Before the start of the next season, on February 15, 1944, Haughey entered military service with the Army. Here is this from Baseballinwartimes.com:
He was assigned to a Cavalry Replacement Company at Fort Riley, Kansas, but a dispute with a commanding officer ruined his chances of playing with other professional players on the base team. For the next three years, Haughey was a communications instructor, training radio operators.
When he was discharged from the Army in 1946, Haughey was out of practice and his arm was out of shape. He was assigned to Montreal of the International League but released to Asheville of the Tri-State League in May where he was 0-2.
Chris Haughey Now
Haughey later obtained a degree in engineering from FordhamUniversity and worked as an operations manager for a New York oil company. He later spent 20 years as part owner of a men’s clothing store in Salinas, California before moving to Fremont where he continues to live.
I could not find a current picture.
Ref: Baseballinwartime.com, Baseball-fever.com, Baseball Prospectus
Wayne Terwilliger then and now.
Wayne Terwilliger then.
I love that picture with Maury Wills!
He signed his first professional baseball contract, with the Cubs, in September, 1948, one month after Babe Ruth died. He reported to Des Moines Cubs.
In 1949, Twig reported to spring training with the Los Angeles Cubs of the Triple A Pacific Coast League. By August he was the Chicago Cubs starting second baseman.
Terwilliger played nine seasons with five major league teams, mostly as a second baseman. He also played for six minor league teams, and managed 11 minor league teams. During his 12 years as a coach in the majors, he received World Series rings from the Minnesota Twins in 1987 and 1991.
When Terwilliger was 18, he saw action with the Marines in the Pacific during World War II.
Wayne Terwilliger now
Wayne Terwilliger now (as of 2005)
In 2005, Twig became the second man ever to manage at age 80, led the Ft Worth Cats to a league championship, posted a franchise record for wins, was Manager of the Year, got an earring (really?), and published his autobiography “Terwilliger Bunts One”
Player: Cubs (1949-51), Dodgers (1951), Senators (1953-54), Giants (1955-56), KC Athletics (1959-60), and 6 teams in the minors. DETAILS
Coach: Senators (1969-71), Rangers (1972, 1981-85), Twins (1986-94), St. Paul Saints (1995-2002), Ft. Worth Cats (2006-2010). DETAILS
Manager: Managed 12 minor-league teams; 1,224-1,089 record including 2005 Central League championship
As with all the living Brooklyn Dodger players that I have been researching and writing the Then and Now, this was also lots of fun reading about Twig. At the same time I learning about our Boys of Summer.
Twig make a pact with Jim Hollars -the Cats’ chaplain, that if they won the championship, they’d both have their ears pierced. Well Jim’s wife said “Not on your life” but Twig said his wife (Lin) had always joked about him getting his ear pierced.
If you like to get his book look on online or for an autographed copy, send $20 to Terwilliger Bunts One, 1909 Clear Creek Drive, Weatherford, TX 76087
ref: New York Times, www.terwilliger.com
I’ve been working on updating the living Brooklyn Dodgers players list. I am adding some additional data as a request from a commenter but I am having some difficulty now that I added an additional column to the Excel worksheet. It is not copying correctly to WordPress. Anyway, when adding addtional data to the list, -see list here http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/2013/01/02/honoring-the-brooklyn-dodgers-players-alive-in-2013/ _ I noticed one player that played with the Angels.
Can you name him?
It might be an easy question for some of you. Maybe I should give a prize…hmmm.
Dodgers at Angel Stadium.
I went to Angel Stadium last night. It is a long way from work in the San Fernando valley to Anaheim. Anyway, I went there
Weaver was dealing but at the end the Dodgers made it a close game losing 4-3. Dodgers took the first two games at Dodger Stadium so lets hope Dodgers can win tonight. Ted Lilly will be looking for his first win against Vargas.
Getting back to my project of doing a post on all the surviving Brooklyn Dodgers.
This one is #12 of 42 going from oldest to youngest.
Tim Thompson then
Charles Lemoine Thompson (Tim) was a catcher. He was born in Coalport, PA on March 1, 1924. His debut was on April 20, 1954 and his final Game April 27, 1958. He wore uniform #21.
Thompson was finally called up to Ebbets Field with the Dodgers for the first time at age 30 in 1954. He talked about his big league debut. “My first game was the only time I ever played in the outfield. It was in St. Louis. Dick Williams was ejected, and I was the only one left on the bench. Steve Bilko lined a single and I thought I nailed Dick Schofield at the plate with a good throw, but he slid between Roy Campanella’s legs to score. I kidded Campy that if he had blocked the plate I would have been a hero.”
Tim, who had just two base hits in 13 at-bats for the Dodgers would spend the rest of the year with the Montreal Royals hitting .305 in 75 games. He spent 1955 with the St. Paul Saints of the American Association, hitting .313 and catching 121 games. This got him traded to the Kansas City Athletics on April 16, 1956 for Tom Saffell, Lee Wheat and cash. Thompson spent 1956 and 1957 with the Kansas City Athletics and would finish out his major league run with he Detroit Tigers in 1958 with a career .238 batting average in 187 games. He also finished with a fine fielding percentage of .990.
Thompson would spend the remainder of his active baseball career with the AAA Toronto Maple Leafs retiring from active play after 1962 with a 14 year minor league career .293 batting average in 1,426 games and a fielding percentage of .991.
Tim Thompson now
Following a few years as a player-coach and manager at Toronto, he was a scout and later a supervisor of scouting for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1964 to 1994. He spent the rest of the 1990s in the Dodgers organization as a scout and since 2000 he has worked in the same capacity for the Baltimore Orioles. As of last notice he was residing in Lewiston, Pennsylvania. Note: I could not find a current picture of Mr. Thompson.