I received an email from SABR Chapter titled “Statues” What an incredible work this is! Here is part of what the email said:
World’s first database of baseball’s statues compiled by UK researchers
The first ever database of statues commemorating baseball’s biggest stars has been compiled by researchers from the University of Sheffield, UK.
From ballparks to sports bars, museums to city squares and schools to cemeteries, life-size bronze depictions of men, women and children enjoying the national pastime can be found all across the US and Canada.
The striking database, at http://www.sportingstatues.com, records over 200 baseball statues currently across the continent, featuring information on when the statues were unveiled, who sculpted them and the inscriptions on plinths or plaques, as well as images of each statue and links to location maps. 35 US states feature a baseball statue, with 70 per cent of statues located at or close to a major or minor league ballpark.
Dr Chris Stride, a statistician from the Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield and Ffion Thomas, a graduate student from the University of Central Lancashire, have worked on the project for the past 18 months.
Checking the website, Jackie Robinsoon has been commemorated in five states and Canada with seven statues, the most of any player.
Robinson, Jackie 27/4/1985 Ellis, Richard Jackie Robinson Stadium, UCLA, CA
Robinson, Jackie 16/5/1987 Lasalle, Jules Parc Olympique, Montreal, Canada
Robinson, Jackie 15/9/1990 Lasalle, Jules Jackie Robinson Ballpark, Daytona, FL
Robinson, Jackie 25/2/1998 Wagner, Susan Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ
Robinson, Jackie 15/10/1999 Jeffries, Maceo Jackie Robinson Memorial Park, Stamford, CT
Robinson, Jackie 1/11/2005 Behrends, William Brooklyn Cyclones, Cyclone Park, Brooklyn, NY
Robinson, Jackie 1/11/2008 Bleifeld, Stanley National Baseball HOF Museum, Cooperstown, NY
I have only seen two of these statues, the one at UCLA and the one in Brooklyn. I hope someday to see the rest and that some day the Dodgers will have one at Dodger Stadium.
This awesome site also has a interactive map. Check out the website. I know I will be back to check more statues.
Marvin E. Rackley then
|Marv Rackley||07/25/1921||Seneca, SC||35|
At age 19, Marv Rackley was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1941. He played for the Valdosta Trojans, the Durham Bulls and the Dayton Ducks.
On October 5, 1942, Rackley entered the military service with the Army Air Force at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He spent the next three years in service.
Sergeant Rackley returned to the Dodgers organization in 1946. He joined the Montreal Royals where he played alongside Jackie Robinson. Rackley batted .305 with the Royals and was in the Dodgers line-up for the second game of the season in 1947. In 18 games as a pinch-hitter and runner he batted .222 before joining the St. Paul Saints where he batted .316.
In 1948, Rackley played 88 games with the Dodgers, batted .327, but with Hermanski, Reiser, Furillo, Snider, Shuba and Whitman all vying for outfield positions there was little room for him.
On May 18, 1949, Rackley was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for first baseman/outfielder Johnny Hopp plus $25,000. Rackley reported to the Pirates with a sore throwing arm. Pirates complained they had traded for a player who was unfit. Hopp was returned to the Pirates and Rackley went back to the Dodgers (wonder what happened to the 25K) where he played in 54 games, batted .291 and appeared in two World Series games against the Yankees.
Gene Hermanski, Pee Wee Reese, Marv Rackley and Jackie Robinson, the Dodgers base stealers of 1948
In October 1949, the 28-year-old was purchased by the Reds for $60,000 but appeared in just five games the following season, spending most of the year with the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League. He spent most of 1952 with the Birmingham Barons and joined the Baltimore Orioles of the International League in 1952. 1953 he batted .320 in 111 games with the Orioles. 1954 he batted .328 with the Richmond Virginians. He ended his career with the Atlanta Crackers in 1955 when he also managed for part of the year.
Marv Rackley now
Marv Rackley still lives in his native South Carolina. I could not find a current picture of Marv Rackley.
I just noticed this is my blog post #500 !!
I got excited when I opened Google and saw the google doodle with Jackie’s picture
Happy 94th birthday Mr. Robinson
At Citi Field in 2011. Picture taken by Abby.
Gerry Goran: What Happened to his Jackie Robinson autograph?
Here is a video I recorded of Gerry where he explains what happened to his Jackie Robinson autograph. Jerry, his son James and James kids, Stew and William sit in the Top Deck. You can see a little of James in the video.
The first thing I noticed when I got to Dodger Stadium were the incredible long lines. I said “If that is the line I need to get in I am leaving” but I was told there was another line to get into the Fanfest. That line was much smaller. I got in line and started talking to the fans around me when one told me that if you are a season ticket holder you can walk right in, “Ahhh”, I thought “much better” Still the lines inside to get autograph were already long so I walked around chit chatting with friends
Afterwards I looked for the food trucks. I ordered a
a pupusa stuffed with chicken, cheese and spinach that was very good. I washed that down with a mango drink with boba (tapioca balls).
I had not heard from Lorena and I could not find Rosie so I was contemplating leaving to SABR day at the La Habra library. I was actually mapping how to get there when I heard from Lorena. I was so glad to see her! I had not seen her since our last game where Lorena, Rosie and I sat in the dugout seats for the last game at Dodger Stadium. Afterwards Amanda showed up then I ran into Char who is also a member of the Baseball Reliquary. She is a big fan of Wes Parker so I turned around and said “look at this”
Char was telling me about the baseball exhibition at the end so we all walked there. I had seen Gary Cypres exhibition at the Folk Art museum twice before so I left them there to go see and listen to Vin Scully.
They caught up with me and we listened to Matt Kemp. I told them that I was going back to the baseball exhibition. I started taking some pictures when I saw Dodgers Historian Mark Langill. He introduced to the two men he was talking to, Randy Tivens of Let’s talk Dodgers and Gary Cypres, owner Sports Museum of Los Angeles.
Randy Tivens, Mark Langill and Gary Cypres.
These three gentlemen made the day more enjoyable talking baseball and a little football was mixed in there too. It was such a long chat that Mark was afraid he was going to faint. I offered Mark one of the rice crispies they had at the Fanfest with the JCPenney logo made of sugar with sprinkles. He was eating that when Jorge Martin stopped to say Hi. I told Jorge “I almost did not recognize Jorge, you look like a regular fan. Mark said “he is!” 🙂
Jorge Martin, Emma and Mark Langilll. pic by Randy.
From there Mark went to get something to eat and Randy and I went to have our first Cool-A-Coo of 2013!
From Gary Cypres collection:
1910 Chicago Cubs field sweater
1920’s New York Yankees field sweater
1920’s St Luis outer jacket
Movie 42 at Dodger Stadium
Randy, Mark, Gary and I were talking about the upcoming movie 42, Jackie Robinson, Harrison Ford and Branch Rickey. I told Mark “they should show the movie at Dodger Stadium” to which he responded “We are” 🙂 Randy said “there you go Emma, exclusive!. haha.
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.
|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 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
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 .
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.
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 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
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.