Pitchers and Catchers Report. What Do these beautiful four words mean?
I asked Pepe Yniguez (Dodger Spanish Broadcaster for the last 18 years) what does it mean to him “Pitchers and Catchers report” He said “To me it means that It’s time for Dodger Baseball! That the 2015 season is around First Base”
To me it marks the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. It means palm trees and the sound of batted baseballs. It means sun screens. It means mornings of hearing from beat writers about workouts on dewy grass outfields. It means batting cages and practice mounds. It means we finally will start getting baseball news everyday!
Getting daily baseball news about Pitchers and Catchers reporting brings me such freshets of pleasure.
We baseball fans await with much anticipation baseball news and that special sense of the upcoming season that feed our eternal hopes every Spring. We soak-up all the quotes from our grizzled Pitchers and Catchers.
I can more or less go into a cave during the Winter but I come out all giddy with excitement when I hear those words “Pitchers and Catcher report.”
Mike Scioscia with Roy Campanella. Pic by Jon SooHoo.
El Niño de Oro, Clayton Kershaw is off the disabled list and back on the mound today against the Nationals. It was 1:21 A.M. when the game was over this morning at the Capital where the Dodgers were shutout 4-0 in a long rain delay
Dodgers are 4-3 on this road trip and 5-5 in the last 10.
Then Nationals are sending Right Handed Treinen.
Good luck Kershaw!
the skipper Kevin Kennedy is doing the radio game with Rick Monday today and tomorrow.
And Kershaw starts with a K. He retires the Nationals on 12 pitches. I am listening to the game.
I miss my boys in blue. I miss Dodger Stadium but they return home on Thursday for a seven game homestand. I don’t particular like four game series but the Dodgers will host the Giants for four and then the fishes come to town.
Thursday is Inflatable chair giveaway. First time the Dodgers do this. Saturday is the Old-timers game. OMG! I just saw the Dodgers tweet that Koufax will be at the Old-Timers game. Also, Fernando, Orel Hershiser & Gagne.
Here is the info:
2014 Old-timers Game and Pennant
Join the Dodgers on Saturday, May 10th for the Old-Timers Game, presented by Security Benefit. Take in a day of baseball as the Dodgers play the Giants at 1:10pm and following the game, your favorite Dodger alumni will show off their timeless skills. The first 40,000 fans in attendance will also receive a throwback pennant, compliment of Security Benefit.
The Dodgers game will start at 1:10pm.Admission to the Old-Timers Game is free with a purchase of a ticket to the Dodgers game on May 10th. The game will take place shortly after the final out of the game.
Interested in bringing a group out to the game? Learn more about group tickets here or call 323-224-1421.
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS FOR OLD-TIMERS GAME*
- Dusty Baker OF
- Tim Wallach 3B
- Mickey Hatcher SS/OF
- Steve Sax 2B
- Mike Marshall 1B
- Reggie Smith OF/1B
- Steve Yeager C
- Raul Mondesi OF
- Davey Lopes 2B
- Darryl Strawberry 1B/OF
- Ron Cey 3B
- Eric Gagne P
- Fernando Valenzuela P
- Shawn Green OF
- Derrel Thomas 2B/C
- Bill Russell SS
- Ken Landreaux OF
- Eric Karros 1B
- Rick Monday OF
- Nomar Garciaparra 3B
- Maury Wills SS
- Steve Finley OF
- Orel Hershiser P
- Rick Honeycutt P
* Participants in Old-Timers game subject to change.
Remember back in March of this year when Clayton Kershaw was on the cover of Sports illustrated this year?
some fans thought it would be bad luck. I remember back in March hunting down for the magazine. Some had a different cover but I found copies in Northridge for myself, Lorena and Rosie. Well it was not bad luck for Kershaw to be on the cover. With a record of 16-9, and an ERA of 1.83, he won the National League Cy Young Award. Congratulations Mr. Sunshine.
When Kershaw won the award in 2011, he had a record of 21-5 with an ERA of 2.28. After the announcement in 2011, the Dodgers invited Season Ticket holders to join in the celebration on the field. I had taken the train to work but when I got the email, I borrowed the work company car and I went to the event. What a fun day at the stadium that was! Don Newcombe & Fernando Valenzuela were also there.
Only Sandy Koufax and Kershaw have won more than one Cy Young award with the Dodgers. Sandy did it in 1963, 1965 & 1966.
The first recipient of the Cy Young award was Don Newcombe in 1956. For the first eleven years (1956 – 1966) only one winner from Major League Baseball was selected.
Don Newcombe went 27-7 with a 3.06 ERA in 1956 to capture the Cy Young
Ref: MLB, Dodgers, LA Times, ESPN, SABR
I have been very busy that I have not updated my blog lately. I hope to get back on track. I may not be posting as often but I am always thinking Blue and following any baseball news. I am currently reading the book “It Pays to Steal” by Mauy Wills.
I drove to work Monday because the traffic was going to be lighter on Veterans Day and because I had made an appointment to cut my hair and color it. Since I was going to be there a little longer than just getting a haircut, I took the book with me. Well, I forgot the book there. I had rented the book from the Los Angeles Central library. I had to drive the following day (I usually take the train to work) to go pick up the book.
On my way home I was thinking… They don’t know I am a big Dodger fan and a baseball fan. I don’t think they follow the game. What did they think when they read the book title “It Pays to Steal.” I know I had the bookmark on chapter 9 “Formula for success”…. Maybe when I go back I will ask Carmen what they thought when they read the title.
I am dressed and ready to head to OLOCR (Our Lady of Chavez Ravine) I got my Mission October shirt, my Sandy Koufax jersey and I will take my Dodger poncho to wear later. I can’t wait to be there!
Julio Teheran goes for the Braves,
Dodgers sent rookie Hyun-jin Ryu. Game
Fernando Valenzuela will be thrown out the first pitch and Sandy Koufax is scheduled to be there tonight and tomorrow night.
The calm before the storm at Dodger Stadium
Take a look at Stephen Seemayer’s painting for today
We brandish our torches! Ilumina los valientes!… (Let blue balls fly.)
For more paintings, go to www.labluebum.com
Rosie, Lorena and I had a great time at Arizona. Thank ladies! Thank you Lore for driving!
Here are some pictures!
Cochito Luiz Cruz
Andre Ethier looking happy
Clayton Kershaw! Javy Guerra!
Niño De Oro
Cuidado con su curva
Es Clayton Kershaw
Tommy Lasorda in uniform
Me taking a picture of the reflection with the Mafia girls in the back.
Broke up when Koufax showed up
At Camelback Ranch!
Sandy Koufax. Came close to getting his autograph. Lots of pushing and shoving.
At Summit Mountain
The Mafia ladies
Update: Se me olvido la foto de Summit Mountain. I had forgotten the picture from Summit Mountain. The sunset from there is beautiful.
I know everyone will have the list but I like to have it handy here so I know where to find it.
The Dodgers Promotional Schedule for 2013 has been released! I am loving the Old Timers Game! and that Jaime Jarrin will finally get a bobblehead! I love the t-shirt last year too with his iconic homerun saying “La Pelota se va se va y despidala con un beso” “The ball is going going and you can kiss it goodbye!”
Sandy koufax & Vin Scully will get another bobblehead! I just hope this time Sandy Koufax will acknowledge the fans at least from the Vin Scully Press Box if not the field throwing out the first pitch.
I see we will also get a Magic Johnson bobblehead and a t-shirt.
Here is the list:
|Mon, Apr 1 TBD||Giants|
|Wed, Apr 3 TBD||Giants|
|Fri, Apr 5 TBD||Pirates|
|Sun, Apr 7 TBD||Pirates|
|Mon, Apr 15 TBD||Padres|
|Wed, Apr 17 TBD||Padres|
|Fri, Apr 26 TBD||Brewers|
|Sat, Apr 27 TBD||Brewers|
|Sun, Apr 28 TBD||Brewers|
|Tue, Apr 30 TBD||Rockies|
|Tue, May 7 TBD||D-backs|
|Fri, May 10 TBD||Marlins|
|Sat, May 11 TBD||Marlins|
|Sun, May 12 TBD||Marlins|
|Tue, May 14 TBD||Nationals|
|Fri, May 24 TBD||Cardinals|
|Sat, May 25 TBD||Cardinals|
|Sun, May 26 TBD||Cardinals|
|Mon, May 27 TBD||Angels|
|Tue, May 28 TBD||Angels|
|Tue, Jun 4 TBD||Padres|
|Thu, Jun 6 TBD||Braves|
|Fri, Jun 7 TBD||Braves|
|Sat, Jun 8 TBD||Braves|
|Sun, Jun 9 TBD||Braves|
|Tue, Jun 11 TBD||D-backs|
|Tue, Jun 25 TBD||Giants|
|Thu, Jun 27 TBD||Phillies|
|Fri, Jun 28 TBD||Phillies|
|Sat, Jun 29 TBD||Phillies|
|Sun, Jun 30 TBD||Phillies|
|Thu, Jul 11 TBD||Rockies|
|Fri, Jul 12 TBD||Rockies|
|Sun, Jul 14 TBD||Rockies|
|Thu, Jul 25 TBD||Reds|
|Fri, Jul 26 TBD||Reds|
|Sun, Jul 28 TBD||Reds|
|Mon, Sep 9 TBD||D-backs|
|Thu, Sep 12 TBD||Giants|
|Fri, Sep 13 TBD||Giants|
|Sat, Sep 14 TBD||Giants|
|Sun, Sep 15 TBD||Giants|
|Fri, Sep 27 TBD||Rockies|
|Sat, Sep 28 TBD||Rockies|
|Sun, Sep 29 TBD||Rockies|
Getting to the stadium early for batting practice you meet a lot of fans. Last night on Sandy Koufax bobblehead night, after the 7th inning stretch we noticed Michael who we usually see during BP, was standing behind us. He was asking “Who did I miss during BP? We told him “Maury Wills was signing” He has gotten Maury Wills autograph before. We also told him Sandy Koufax did not appear to be at the stadium that night. He then started telling us why he was late. Here is his story:
“I got to the stadium early today (8/7) because it was not just a bobble head game, but the Sandy Koufax bobble head game. The most popular bobble head, right up there with the upcoming Vin Scully bobble head.
I was able to park on Stadium Way in front of the Barlow Hospital, and around 4:40pm, walked over to wait with the other fans at the Elysian Park entrance, where we would be let in at 5:10pm.
I saw three boys petting and playing with a young kitten who was just laying on the sidewalk just inside the Dodger Stadium parking gate. I asked if it was their kitten and they said no, they had just found it there. One of the boys was able to pick the kitten up and it seemed pretty tame. I picked the kitten up, and it appeared to be a boy and about eight weeks old. I went to the front of the line with the kitten and told the security guard about it. I said I wanted to take the kitten home, but wondered if someone at Dodger Stadium could keep it somewhere until the end of the game. The security officer said probably not, and pointed me to the main parking hut, where the security guards let people into the stadium. I told them my story, and they said they couldn’t help, but did offer me some water for the kitten.
My options seemed to be to have security call animal services and pick up the kitten, or leave the kitten in my car until the game was over some five or six hours later.
Neither opinion seemed reasonable, as I didn’t want the kitten taken to the pound, nor did I want to leave it in a car for hours when it was about 90 degrees out. I also didn’t think leaving the kitten where it was found was very safe, as it was next to the 10 lanes of traffic where people drive in and out of Dodger Stadium.
While my daughter Dianna kept the kitten company in the car, I went to the Barlow Hospital but they couldn’t help either. I called the Dodger Fan Assistance line and they also could not help me.
I ended up calling my wife Donna, and she drove from Sherman Oaks, while I drove to back to Griffith Park, so we could meet half way at the zoo parking lot, and I passed the kitten over to her so she could take him home.
We ended up making it back to the game and getting our bobble heads, but missed batting practice and the chance to get autographs. A small price to pay for saving a life. The kitten is doing fine. We’re going to call him “Koufax.”
I have not created a new post since November 2nd when I posted about our three Dodgers -Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw winning Gold gloves.
What a happy day in Los Angeles yesterday when it was announced that Clayton Kershaw had won the NL Cy Young Award! I was anxiously waiting for the results on Thursday. I was busy with a Webinar at work with phone and computer busy but I was keeping an eye on my droid. Sure enough it started beeping with the good news. But in addition to the good news there was an email from the Dodgers inviting us season ticket holders to attend the conference on the field of Dodger Stadium. What was I to do when I had taken the train to work and I was still in the middle of the webinar? Good thing it ended promptly at noon and there were no further questions.
the email said the conference was to start promptly at 1:30 p.m and that fans could start arriving at 12:30 p.m. I called to see if the company car was available. I was lucky! It was available! I then headed to see my boss and told him I had an emergency and had to leave but would be back later on.
What a great day being back at Dodger Stadium! Clayton Kershaw was there with his wife Ellen. Matt Kemp and James Loney were also there. Maury Wills was also there. Prior CY Young award winners Don Newcombe & Fernando Valenzuela were also there. Dodgers who have won the Cy Young: Don Newcombe (1986) Don Drysdale (1962), Sandy Koufax (1963, ’65. ’66), Mike Marshall (1974), Fernando Valenzuel (1981), Orel Hershiser (1988), Eric Gagne (2003) and Clayton Kershaw (2011).
Congratulations Clayton Kershaw!
The event was put together to benefit the Torre’s Safe At Home Foundation to combat domestic abuse.
I will never forget this night! Thank you Sandy! Thank you Torre, Thank you Simers and all that made the event posible!
I got home after the event and throughly enjoyed watching the playback!
“It gave me goosebumps,” Torre said of the sold-out crowd of 7,100 at Nokia Theater, which included the likes of Ron Howard, Billy Crystal, Penny Marshall and Jon Lovitz and raised more than $750,000.
LA Times sportwriter T.J. Simers started his questions with “Where’d you go,” “I went home,” Koufax said, later explaining that it was something his grandfather taught him that has kept him out of the limelight.
“Your most precious asset is time,” Koufax said. “Spend your money foolishly, spend your time wisely.”
And the reason he came back?
“Joe Torre,” Koufax said.
“It’s about friendship, a very special friendship,” said Torre, 69, of Koufax, even though the two were never teammates
Simers finally asked if it bugged Koufax that people perceived him as “soft.”
“Oh … no,” said Koufax. “That didn’t bug me at all.”
“Then what did bug you?” asked Simers.
“Sportswriters like you,” replied Koufax to a thunderous ovation
At the John Wooden and Vin Scully, a kid was picked so that John Wooden would show him how to put his socks. Mr. Wooden was very particular that no creases should be left from his players put on their socks before the shoes. Well Simers wanted something similar to be done with Koufax. So he said the crowd had been scanned and a tall skinny kid was spotted so he was summond to go up the podium.
The Kid? 21 year old Clayton Kershaw!
Here is Koufax showing Kershaw how to throw the curball. Kershaw said “OK, I’ll give it a try.”
Look at the size of Koufax’s hand in comparison to Kershaw!
Here is Mattingly after Simers said Donnie Baseball showed up because he thought Torre was announcing his reti
Tommy Davis and Sweet Lou Johnson. Sweet Lou got the only hit in Koufax perfecto. and got two homeruns in the 1965 World Series. Koufax said Sweet Lou was a breath of fresh air.
Peter O’Malley got the biggest standing ovation after Koufax and Torre.
When Simers asked Koufax about the two homeruns that Torre hit off of him. His response was “We Brooklyn kids stick together.”
“This man has been very special to me,” said Torre about Koufax. “We have never been teammates. We have played together on All-Star teams, but my first World Series, in 1996, when I walked into my office at Yankee Stadium, his was the first message on top, wishing me luck.”
“When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he was just about the first guy who called me.
When I got off the plane after saying goodbye to the Yankees, he was the first guy to call. It has been a very special relationship and one that we don’t have to talk to each other every day.
“It’s something that I treasure, and I’m so touched, and my wife, Ali, is very touched, and our foundation certainly thanks you for being here.”
With that, the two friends for almost 50 years walked off the stage together to another ovation.
There I am in wearing blue and with my White and Blue Dodger bag(third row from the left). In the next aisle to my left is my friend Amber who is a ticket checker at Dodger stadium.
Back in 2008, a friend from the InsidetheDodgers blog asked me if I knew if Sweet Lou Johnson had recovered his World Series Ring.
I’ll tell you all about the ring, but first let me give you a little history on Sweet Lou.
Sweet Lou Johnson was born September 22, 1935 in Lexington, Kentucky.
He played in the Negro Leagues in 1955 with the Indianapolis Clowns and The Kansas City Monarchs.
Sweet Lou was a journeyman outfielder, promoted from the Dodgers triple-A Spokane at the age of 30, only when Tommy Davis broke his ankle early in the 1965 season.
1965 Sweet Lou and Koufax.
- He hit the decisive home run in Game 7 of the World Series against the Minnesota Twins with Koufax on the mound.
- he collected the only hit in the 1-0 perfect game thrown by Dodger ace Sandy Koufax on September 9, 1965.
- He hit only 12 home runs that year–but that was enough to tie for the team lead!
He played three more seasons but never equaled the magic of 1965.
Losing and Recovering his World Series Ring.
Two years after he retired in 1969, desperate for a cocaine fix, Johnson gave his World Series ring to a Seattle drug dealer as collateral.
He drove across town for the money
When he returned two hours later, the drug dealer and the ring were gone.
One day in 1980, Johnson had two phone numbers written on a piece of paper. One belonged to Don Newcombe.
Johnson intended to dial the other number but, under the influence, mistakenly called Newcombe, who had kicked his own alcohol problems and was working for the Dodgers as a counselor.
Newcombe arranged for Johnson to attend, at the Dodgers’ expense, a treatment center. Johnson became clean on Nov. 9, 1980, and after he completed the program, Newcombe arranged for him a job in the organization.
For the past 30 years, Johnson has worked in community relations, speaking to schoolchildren about his experiences and acting as a goodwill ambassador for the team.
And he hasn’t slipped once.
Here is Sweet Lou working with kids from Sober College in Woodland Hills, CA.
“Don Newcombe told me, ‘If you ever take another drink, I’ll break your legs,’ and they ain’t broke yet,” Johnson said with a laugh. “What the Dodgers did was they put some pride back in my life.”
They also got his ring back. It was discovered in an unclaimed safety deposit box and was being auctioned on the Internet. Johnson didn’t have the $3,500 to buy it, so the Dodgers bought it for him.
The ring made Johnson complete again when it was returned in 2001, 30 years after he lost it, an act that further indebted Johnson to a Dodgers organization he credits for saving his life.
Sweet Lou: You are very dear to us Dodger Fans!
Ref: Daily News (los Angeles), Bill Plaschke of the LA Times.