Tagged: Maury Wills

LA Times Book Club “Boys of Summer” Event at UCLA

This weekend I will be in San Diego but if I was not, I would definitely go to this event. From the back of the sport section of the LA Times:

LA Times Book Club names ‘Boys of Summer’ as its next selection

To celebrate this book, the joy of baseball, and our own Dodgers, we will be hosting an event at Jackie Robinson’s alma mater, UCLA, in their prestigious Hall of Fame on Sunday, April 26.  Author Roger Kahn, Dodger great Maury Wills, LA Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke and Dodger alumni will be there in person for a great conversation about baseball in our community.  Mickey Kantor, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and avid baseball fan, will moderate the conversation.

It looks to be a great event.   Roger Kahn’s book about the Brooklyn Dodgers back when he covered the team was the second baseball book I read.   It is one of my favorites

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Dodgers 2013 Holiday Tour

The Dodgers Holiday tour starts Saturday November 16! Woohoo! The closest locations to me are the Santa Anita mall & the West Covina mall.

Here is the Dodgers Press Release:

The Los Angeles Dodgers Holiday Tour starts Saturday, November 16 at Westfield Culver City with Steve Yeager and Maury Wills

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers Holiday Tour will be visiting Southern California malls for the second consecutive year in order to encourage fans to give the gift of Dodger baseball. Starting Saturday, November 16 at Westfield Culver City, Dodger alumni Steve Yeager (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) and Maury Wills (2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.) will be on hand for a meet-and-greet and autograph session. Westfield Culver City is located at 6000 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, 90230. Complete details and the most up to date information on the Los Angeles Dodgers Holiday Tour can be found by visiting http://www.dodgers.com/malltour.

The Los Angeles Dodgers Holiday Tour featuring Dodger alumni, will continue on Black Friday, November 29 (Westfield Promenade Woodland Hills), November 30 (Westfield West Covina), December 7 (Westfield Santa Anita), December 14 (Westfield Century City) and December 21 (Del Amo). Dodger alumni scheduled to participate: Steve Sax (November 29), Steve Garvey (November 29, November 30, December 7) and Fernando Valenzuela (December 7).

The Dodgers will be on site at each location from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Autograph session timings will vary and will be announced prior to each stop. All appearances are subject to change. There will also be crafts for kids and other family friendly activities.

Holiday gifts including 2014 mini plans and season tickets starting at just $5 per seat per game will be available for purchase. Information can be found at http://www.dodgers.com/seasontickets or by calling 323-DODGERS. Fans that purchase a mini plan or season tickets will receive a gift with purchase

Jim Gilliam and the number 19

In the MLB fan blogs, my blog came in at

I dedicate it to Jim Gilliam.

Jim Gilliam made his major league debut in 1953.
Quoting Jim Murray: They broke him in easy. All he had to do the first year was replace Jackie Robinson.

He proved capable, batting .278 with a team-leading 125 runs for the NL champions. His 17 triples led the NL, and remain the most by a Dodger since 1920; he was second in the league (behind Stan Musial) with 100 walks, and third in the NL with 21 stolen bases.

For his excellent season he earned NL Rookie of the Year honors, as well as The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award.

Gilliam played his entire 14 year career (1953 -1966) in a Dodger uniform

Junior was part of the first all switch hitting infield in Major League history, with Maury Wills, Wes Parker, and Jim Lefebvre.

Gilliam hit behind Maury Wills when he launched the modern stolen base era with 104 in 1962. He was the ultimate team player sacrificing himself for the good of the team.

Gilliam taught Jim Lefebvre how to bat behind a base stealer, as Lefebvre did behind Lou Brock in 1974, when he stole 118

Gilliam contributed to four World Series clubs and seven pennant winners.

His glove is on display in Cooperstown.

The Dodgers used him at every position in the field except for pitcher and catcher.

In 1965 he was replaced at third base and became a first base coach but after injuries and dismal hitting average at third, the Dodgers activated Gilliam who went on to contribute with his hitting.

Jim Gilliam passed away prior to the start of the 1978 World Series at which time his number was retired and the Dodgers wore a commemorative patch on their sleeve in his honor.

Los Angeles Times sports columnist Jim Murray penned a tribute for Gilliam, the versatile non-star. His effort to describe Jim’s end began with these words:

“I guess my all-time favorite athlete was Jim Gilliam. He always thought he was lucky to be a Dodger. I thought it was the other way around.”

I love reading old columns from Jim Murray.

In Colorado: Dodgers stop the losing streak by winning 6-2!

ref: SABR, Jim Murray’s columns, Truebluela, pics from Sport Illustrated & google

Dodgers were robbed at Milwaukee

With the bases loaded and one out in the 10th inning, Ryan Braun hit a shallow flyball.  Kemp could have thrown the baseball better as it bounced twice. BUT    

Nyjer Morgan was out. 

Guerrier took the loss.  Kameron Loes earns the  win.   

Dodgers now need to avoid the sweep.   Early game tomorrow at 10:10 AM Pacific Time.  Aaron Harang goes for the Dodgers against Ex Dodger Randy Wolf.   I hope the Dodgers play better against the Brewers.  

Dodgers then head to Houston for the weekend.  

The next Dodger homestand brings the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals.   Tuesday 4/24 will be

 Sleeved Blanket night.  Javy Guerra doing the commercial. 

Saturday 4/28 will be Don Drysdale and Maury Wills bobblehead.

Sunday 4/29 will be Kids Clayton Kershaw replica jersey.  Wish I could get one.  I could get into the XL. 

Ran into this billboard close to my house, one of many Dodger billboards this year with Dodgers celebrating 50 years.

Una Tradicion de LA solo en KTNQ (Fernando Valenzuela, Jaime Jarrin & Pepe Yniguez)

Twitter:  Tomorrow at 2pm is the 1st #DodgersChat!  Use #DodgerChats to ask Dodgers Team Historian Mark Langill any questions about Dodgers history at Dodger Stadium.   Hmmm…  what am I going to ask???

Dodger Stadium Turns 50

Dodger Stadium turns 50 this year!   It was April 10, 1962: Opening Day  when Dodger Stadium opened its door for the first game.   They hosted the Red.  Dodgers lost the opener to the Reds 6-3.   The first home run in Dodger Stadium was hit on Opening Day by Wally Post of the Cincinnati Reds. Box Score here:  http://www.baseball-almanac.com/box-scores/boxscore.php?boxid=196204100LAN

Opening Day 2012 will on Tuesday April 10th.   April 10, 1962 was also a Tuesday.

Back when Dodger Stadium used to have a gas station inside.  Note the gas price is 1.99 cheaper.  Now days is approaching $5.

A portion of the Left Field Pavilion

Ahhh I miss watching the sunset from Dodger Stadium

World famous Dodger Dogs!

Opening Day 1962

Old Union 76 sign.  Look at the hills

Look at the final between Philadelphia & Chicago

I love this picture with Sandy Koufax.  Look at a young Maury Wills

Look at DonDrysdale in the bullpen

Found this picture and what a surprise to find me there Top Deck against the wall, top right corner is my brother Vic then me. 

The view of Downtown LA as we exit

Love the Opening Day 1962 ticket. 

from 2008

Don’t you just love the colors in this picture.  The guy reading the program, the old style glass. Yes, is 1962!  Opening Day

View from the Top Deck

Can’t wait to be back at our Blue Heaven on Earth, Dodger Stadium

The exterior honoring past players.  This changes from year to year

Umpires room 🙂

Victory song

Getting ready for Fireworks after the game

Vin Scully Press box

Sunset view from Dodger Stadium

The view from our seats

Beauty all around.

Happy Birthday our beloved Dodger Stadium!

Ref; Baseball fever.

Dedicating #22 from the January 2011 MLB Fan Blog Leaders

When I think of #22, I automatically think of Clayton Kershaw.   He was my choice last time I got #22 in the MLB Fan blog  leaders.      

When I told my friend Erik about it last time, he said  “Emma, next time you get #22, let me be a host in your blog  so that I can dedicate it to a particular player?.”    

BTW, This is the second time Erik is hosted here.  The first time, he wrote a touching post on how Erik, Lorena and I met. 

I am blessed to call Erik and Lorena my friends and that we met because of the Dodgers.  Here is his old post. 

Metro Bus #4, next stop, Opening Day 2010

 

Here is Erik’s post for today: 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ever since CrzBlue told me about the tradition of dedicating a post to a former player whose jersey # matches your ranking for the month, I told her that when she earns #22, she must dedicate her page to Elgin Baylor. Yes, Elgin Baylor, the Laker. She found this kind of odd too.


elgin_baylor.jpgI first became fascinated by Elgin Baylor back in the late 1980s.  At that time I followed the Lakers and the NBA pretty closely.  I soon realized that whenever people talk about great players from before the 1980s, those conversations center on West, Russell and Chamberlin. Now, those are some great players, and I don’t mean to take anything away from t
hem, but I wish fans would include Baylor among those greats. In Los Angeles, I feel like whenever people think of Elgin Baylor, they automatically think of his tenure as an executive with the Los Angeles Clippers. He gets no love in L.A. My hope is that after reading this post you will realize that he is one of the NBA’s greatest players.

Please don’t try to argue that he could never be dominating in today’s game. That’s an anachronism and can’t be used in a valid argument. All you can do is look at his numbers, see how they compared to his day and see where they place him in NBA history. Elgin is one of those greats who never won a scoring title, and never won a Ring.  Two reasons: Chamberlin and the Celtics.

 Let’s just talk about Elgin now. In his 14-year career, he averaged 27.4 PPG, with 13.5 rebounds per game. At one time he held the NBA record for most points in a regular season game, and most points in a playoff game.  Lakers fans may remember that it was Elgin Baylor’s record of 71 points in a single game that Kobe Bryant broke in 2006 with his 81 point game. In that game, Elgin also had 25 rebounds. Yeah, yeah, I know, Chamberlin had 100 points in a game.


Elgin Baylor with.jpgIn 1958, Elgin was the overall #1 draft pick, signed by the Lakers for $20,000. As a rookie Elgin earned every penny, finishing the season 4th in scoring (24.9) and 3rd in rebounding (15)–leading the Lakers in assists with 4.1 per game. Between 1960 and 1963, Elgin averaged 35.7 ppg. In his career, he was named to the All Star team 11 times, and led the Lakers to the Finals eight times.  Unfortunately, we can only read and hear about what he did. There is not a whole lot of video that captures Elgin at the height of his greatness.  I don’t think there’s even video of his 71 point magic. Sad. I would love to see that game!

Imagine this, during the 61-62 season, Elgin and Jerry West averaged a combined 70 points, respectively 38.3 and 30.8.  In 62-63, Elgin was second in scoring with 34 ppg. In that same season, Elgin was the first player to finish in the top 5 in 4 categories–ppg, rpg, assists, free-throw %.  Even in his second to last season, Elgin came in a close second in scoring with 26 ppg (Dave Bing had 27.1 ppg). In his last full season, Elgin averaged 24.8 ppg.


elgin baylor color.jpgIn 1977, Elgin was elected to Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He’s a man who didn’t do well enough academically to make it into college without a friend pulling some strings. He’s a man who served his country at Fort Lewis, Washington. He’s a man who is a basketball great, and one of Los Angeles’ greatest athletes. When I see the #22, I think of Mister Elgin Gay Baylor!

P.S., T.J (Simers) if you’re reading this, a discussion with Elgin Baylor and Maury Wills, two L.A. greats from the 1960s would nice. You’d get a lot of fans for that, both basketball and baseball. 

 

 

Black History Month: Maury Wills

February is Black History Month so I thought I honored a few Dodgers for their contribution on the field and off the field. 

Let’s start with Maury Wills. 

His perceverence paid off!  Maury emerged from the Washington D.C. projects.  He was one of 13 siblings, he went without shoes for much of his childhood.  He spent eight years in the minors before joining the Major Leauge club.  He’d go on to win an MVP award, two Gold Gloves,be named to five All-Star Games and lead the NL insteals six times

Go! Go! Go!   In September 23, 1962, Dodger shortstop Maury Wills broke Ty cobb’s record of 96 stolen bases in one season.  Dodger Stadium would erupt in 
maury-wills 2.jpg
chant  of “Go! Go!’ whenever h
e was on the basepaths.  The exciting Wills ended up with 104 bases swipes and woudl go on to win the National League MVP

Maury became the manager of the Mariners but after he got fired in 1981,  he turned to alcohol and drugs.

Maury credits God, and the Dodgers, for saving his life. His personal angel was another Dodger legend, Don Newcombe. Alcohol had ruined Newcombe’s brilliant career 20 years earlier. When he got sober, Newk set about saving others.


Thumbnail image for Maury 049.jpgMaury continues to work with the Dodgers spending time as an instructor for the Dodgers and their minor leaguers in spring training and during the season.

He contributes not only to baseball but to help others make that cross to sobriety.  

Last year I attended the RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities)dinner where Maury Wills was given   the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 

At the dinner, my friend Erik and I chanted “Go! Go! Go!  when Maury’s name was announced!   Larry King commented “There is your fan club Maury!”. 

 

I do wish his number would be retired at Dodger Stadium.   We Love you Maury! 

ref: maurywills.com, dodgers.com

Next: Don Newcombe