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 .
The Dodgers get the first cannon blow against the Pirates!
Shane Victorino went boom
Harang got the win and Jansen got save #24. Jansen is also in my baseball fantasy team, Los Locos Azules!
Let’s do it again! Let’s go Dodgers!
Got title idea from Efren Meza’s tweet. Efren is the Dodgers Spanish Radio Producer/Engineer. He started using twitter a few days ago. He is also responsible for teaching our Spanish announcers Jaime Jarrin & Pepe Yniguez how to to use Twitter. Their account are @trublu_Efren, @JaimeJarrinHOF @PepeYniguez . Efren says that Jaime & Pepe picked it up easily and are having fun. Thank you Efren!
Thank you Jaime & Pepe! Es un honor seguir su poesia Don Jaime y Pepe, no te quedas atras. Ya tuve que usar el Para Burros con dos palabras que no estaba segura el significado.
Welcome aboard Getlemen!
Efren who is in his first year with the Dodgers is visiting the stadiums for the first time. He is taking suggestions for things to do in Pittsburgh and Atlanta.
Here is a nice picture from Jon SooHoo of “El Patron y dos de sus sequaces” In order of pic, Pepe Yniguez, Jaime Jarrin and Efren Meza.
I went to the Little League game at San Bernardino. I saw Oregon beat the Idaho team. It was extremely hot but at one point there was a whirlwind that originated at first base.
I enjoyed watching the kids and the crowd. The kids put a lot of heart and enthusiasm into the game and the crowd are very supportive of their team no matter what the score is.
The plan was to watch the game and then head home to watch the Dodger game. I did not know there was a second game. Dodgers lost 7-3 . We should have stayed to watch Petaluma & Hawaii but we watched part of the game on ESPN.
Funny thing happened on the way home. We were caught in a rain & lighting storm by some mountains there. By the time I passed the storm I noticed a sign saying how many miles to Barstow. I said “WAIT A MINUTE! WE ARE APPROACHING VICTORVILLE” I needed gas so I got off the freeway, got gas and took the I-15 the right way this time. I travelled at least 50 miles extra.
Did I mention before that I do Pilates at work three days a week? We have an instructor come to work 3 days a week during lunch time. Today after the session, I headed to the bathroom closest to the exercise room. The two stalls were already taken so I changed close to one of the sinks. I put the clothes I was going to wear close to the sink when OOPS! MY CLOTHES DROPPED INTO THE SINK AND THERE GOES THE AUTOMATIC FAUCET! Too late, got my clothes wet! I had to put my top like that as I was not going to wear my exercise top back to work.
Dodgers at PNC for four games
Dodgers at PNC for four games. Dodgers and Pirates are coming off wins. Capuano had a great game yesterday against the Marlins where he took a no-hitter into the 7th. Cappy got his 11th win on a 5-0 shutout. Pirates scored 9 runs in the 4th off the Padres on four walks one error and six hits that included a grand slam.
The cuban Yasiel Puig is now close to Los Angeles! He has been promoted to Rancho Cucamonga. I see myself going to Rancho soon.
Jerry Hairston Jr. has been put on the DL and Herrera has been called back. Good luck Jerry and welcome back Herrera.
Congratulations to Andre on having a 30 game hitting streak. The hitting streak ended on the second game at Citi Field but Andre got back to hitting on Mother’s day when he belted his fourth homerun of the year. Andre also had a single so is nice that Andre is back to hitting. During the 30-game hitting streak, he had the other three homeruns.
The most important thing is that the Dodgers were able to salvage one game with the Mets. Is on to beautiful PNC Park now to play four with the Pirates. I’d like to go back to PNC again as the only time I was there, I was only able to watch one game, stay the night and fly back to LA the following morning. .
I have not been updating my blog as often and not visiting the blogs. We had a dead in the family. My dearest tia (aunt) Nena passed away with Cancer. May she rest in peace. Tia Nena was never a baseball fan. She would ask me how I had become such a fan when noone in my family was a baseball fan before. Another reason I have not updated my blog is I have not been feeling well but I am going to try to get back into the swing of things. I got to get ready for all the exciting upgrades to all the Fan MLB blogs. We have all seen it with the Pro blogs. Now is our turn!
During the last Dodgers homestand, I got to meet Steve Soboroff who is the Vice-Chairman of the Dodgers. . My friend Lorena had invited him to come and talk to season ticket holders in the Top Deck when she read that he was going to be viisting the Pavilions so he showed up with Drew McCourt.
In the picture, Drew, me, Gaby (Lore’s friend),David (we had a good laugh ’cause he snuck in the picture), Steve Soboroff and Lorena.
Steve and Drew asked us for stadium suggestions so we offered some suggestions and since they had to go, they asked us to email them suggestions.
The following day, during batting practice, we noticed a white hair gentleman that Deuce’s dad _William thought it was Tom Schieffer. Currently, Schieffer oversees the operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers on behalf of the Commissioner of Baseball. Sure enough it was him. His security guy was close by. We talked to him briefly and snapped this picture.
I was checking the scoresheet from my 1981 World Series program. Fernando Valenzuela pitched that game! it was game three at Dodger Stadium.
I had Jaime Jarrin sign it.
btw, the back of my shirt says Scully” and it has a mike.
The program cost me $3 back then.
the scoresheet. Jaime always signs with his HOF year (1998). Fernando signed above.
The final score was Dodgers 5, Yankees 4. I always note the attendance in my scoresheets. That day It was 56,236. .
The 1981 Yankees. Note the ‘staches and hair.
The 1981 Dodgers. Dave Stewart is here. He is now Matt Kemp’s agent.
The 1981 NL All-Stars. I miss the Expos and the Pirates unis. Very colorful picture. i counted six Dodgers and only one Giant (Vida Blue).
1981 AL All-Stars.
I can’t believe next year it will be 30th anniversary of that World Series. It was a nice trip down memory lane.
Wednesday when I went to Jury Duty in Downtown LA, I noticed that there is this Pittsburg Pirate Mickey Mouse at Union Station. I had seen one at Anaheim Stadium when I went there for the All-Star FanFest interview. I did not have my camera that day but Friday I made sure I had it with me.
After googleing about the the Mickey Mouse, I read that there are 36 varieties of statues including designs for all 30 clubs to celebrate the All-Star game here in Anaheim. I learned that there are three in the Los Angeles.
After work I made my rounds. First Union Station:
After taking a few pictures at Union Station, I walked to the Music Center in Dowtown. The walk is uphill. I should have taken a bus but it was worth it to see the DODGER Mickey Mouse !
In back of that fountain there was a huge group of people dancing with an instructor on stage teaching Indian (from India) dancing. Yep! I joined in!
Here is another picture of the Dodger Mickey Mouse
Here is the back of of the Dodger Mickey Mouse
OK, so after doing some dancing (or trying to follow the instructor with the dance moves), I headed to the third Mickey Mouse that is in LA.
ESPN LA Live has the Yankee Mickey Mouse
The LA Live is next to the Staple Center, home of the 2010 World Champion Lakers! A few blocks away from there is the Convention Center where they are having the Anime convention. I’ve never seen so many costumes! I took a picture with this guy
It was sad to read that the Red Sox Mickey Mouse that was somewhere in Anaheim, was vandalized. His arm is being repaired.
I’ll try to go take pictures of the ones that are in Hollywood sometime this weekend. They have Royals, Reds, Indians, Mariners and Phillies. I have pictures of the the Pirate and Yankee Mickey Mouses also if anyone likes me to post them, let me know.
Contratulations to Gibby on his first win as a manager. Now Dodgers go take the next two!
Let’s Go Dodgers!
Thank you all that read my blog and comment! I made #17! Woohoo! When I think of #17, I think of Carl Erskine! I admire Oisk! That is why a few years back I purchased a baseball with his signature at Dodger Stadium. On the baseball he wrote the date of his no-hitters.
Dodgers let the game get away on Sunday when they were leading by three runs in the 9th inning and Jonathan and errors gave the game to the Pirates.
Is Monday morning at 10:A.M. and I am listening to the game while at work. I want the Dodgers to wrap it today!
I am multi-tasking as I have lots to do and I will be at the last two games in San Diego. Although it would be so cool to watch them wrap it up in San Diego with Vin Scully at the mike, I rather they win today.
Dodgers losing 2-0 in the second inning and already three errors in the game! Two errors by the Pirates and one by the Dodgers. Dodgers already had some stooopid running blunders.
Magic number is our beloved Captain Pee Wee Reese
I love this statue of Pee Wee Reese putting his hand around Jackie Robinson! I hope someday to see it in person:
Oh oh, 4-0 Pirates. Make that 5-0. Oh brother.
Like Jaime Jarrin is saying right now. “No serian Los Dodgers si hicieran las cosas faciles” “They would not be Dodgers if they did things easy.”
See you in San Diego!