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.
When I review my Dodger pictures, what I remember from the 00 decades are the thrill of victories, the friends that I have made because of baseball and or the Dodgers, the friends that I continue to have, the sadness for departed players, the pain by the beloved players that have used PEDs, the way I have learned to accept that we can’t win every game but still the frustration of some of those winnable games, my beloved Dodger Stadium, the road trips, Vero Beach, Camelback Ranch, the game at the Coliseum, the Dodger float at the Rose Parade, the Bluetopia movie, the Dodger Star in Hollywood Walk of fame, my family and non-baseball friends accepting and understanding for my love for the Dodgers.
Dodgers Most Remembered during this 00 Decade.
Vin Scully. Hearing Vin Scully on the radio or TV or when I ride the elevator at the stadium brings a big smile to my face. He is the reason I carry a radio to the stadium.
Adrian Beltre. My first and last player’s jersey. After his departure, I vowed not to get a current player’s jersey. My next jersey was a Jackie Robinson jersey.
Paul Lo Duca. He lingered in the minor league for a while. From 2001 to 2004, he hit .288 and hit 55 homers and 286 RBIs. I cried when I heard him crying when he found out he got traded to the Marlins.
Eric Gagne. Oh, how electrifying it was to listen to “Welcome to the Jungle” when he exit the bullpen gate. There was such energy from the entire stadium with the anticipation of him coming into the game.
Paul Lo Duca and Eric Gagne: How dissapointed I was when I read the Mitchell report.
Shawn Green He hit 91 homers in a two-year span, including four of them in a single game at Milwaukee on May 23, 2002. Shawn just went quietly about his business. He was such a nice guy.
Here is a picture of Shawn Green with Sandy Koufax:
Jeff Kent. He was the Dodgers’ best offensive player for the bulk of his four seasons with the club. He got a raw deal with a writer from the L.A. Times. I am glad that he got to host the WIN Baseball clinic for four years so that we, the fans that attended those events and others he attended got to see a more approachable and friendly Jeff Kent.
Derek Lowe. Reliable, never been on the disabled list. At times, I felt bad for the lack of run support. I made it a point to go by the bullpen after his starts to praise his starts when he lost. He was nice and friendly with the fans. He helped Jeff Kent at one of the WIN baseball games
Manny Ramirez. He energized the team when he was traded during the July 2008 tradeline. His production dropped off after his return from his suspension but one must also remember that he got hit on the wrist after coming back. Likable and friendly when my friends and I met him by coincidence in the parking lot during Spring Training.
Andre Ethier. There was no other player I’d like to see when the game was on the line than Andre. He lead the majors with six walk-off hits in 2009 and a total of nine walk-off hits in 2008 and 2009 combined, with five of those hits home runs. What an incredible year he had in 2009.
I am a little late with this post but.. got to do it.
Woohoo! Finally! The Great Big Dodger in the sky has answered the prayers of the faithfull Dodger fans!!!
The Dodgers are the NL West Champions! I think it tasted much sweeeter with all the waiting
During the 8th inning of Saturday’s game with a confortable lead and while in my seat in the Top Deck, I told my friends and my brother “I want to go to the field level” My friend LTD23 just looked a me like saying “No,” but then said “Ok, Emma, go if they let you.”. Well, I did make it to the field level!
After moving several times, I made it to the seats close enough that I got sprayed with champagne on my face, glasses and on my jacket. When I looked who was around me, I found friends of mine so we hugged, we high-fived! It was AWESOME!!!
Here are some pictures from the celebration
Players with the NL West Championship shirts!
Kershaw who was the moral winner in the NL West clincher. What a job this kid did. Shades of Koufax, I kept hearing from my friends. You can see Kemp to the left.
Andre Ethier and his cute baby shown on Dodger Diamond vision. See part of the retired numbers under the overhang of the left side Pavilion where my friends Erik, Gary, Tony and Jose have season tickets.
Matt Kemp celebratin in the clubhouse. My camera’s batteries went dead so I only took this with my cellphone from the postgame celebration that I watched on tv when I got home.
the Dynamic Duo of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Notice how Matt is carrying Andre!
Juan Pierre, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier!
I’ve been recharging my body’s batteries to get ready for Wednesday!!!!
Let’s go Dodgers!!!! Let’s go!!!
I am ready for October Baseball!!!