An annual tradition in this blog is to update the list of Brooklyn Dodger players alive.
In 2014, we lost the following Brooklyn Dodgers: Charlie Osgood, Charlie kress, Don Zimmer, Dick Teed, George Shuba, Pat McGlothin and John Pierre Roy.
We now have 31 surviving Broklyn Dodger players. Mike Sandlock is the oldest one. He will turn 100 on October 17. The youngest one is now Bob Aspromonte who will turn 76 on June 19. I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Aspromonte at the SABR convention in Houston in 2014.
Here is the list of the 31 surviving Brooklyn Dodger players:
|Mike Sandlock||Old Greenwich, CT||10/17/1915||1, 4|
|Ray Hathaway||Grinville, OH||10/13/1916||22|
|Lee Pfund||Oakpark, IL||10/10/1919||14|
|Luis Olmo||Puerto Rico||10/11/1919||21|
|Marv Rackley||Seneca, SC||7/25/1921||35|
|Eddie Basinksi||Buffalo, NY||11/4/1922||3|
|Tim Thompson||Coalport, PA||3/1/1924||21|
|Johnny Rutherford||Ontario, CN.||5/5/1925||15|
|Wayne Terwilliger||Clare, Mi.||6/27/1925||34|
|Chris Haughey||Astoria, NY.||10/3/1925||14|
|Ralph Branca||Mount Vernon, NY||1/6/1926||13,20,28|
|Bob Borkowski||Dayton, OH||1/27/1926||27|
|Randy Jackson||Little Rock, AR||2/10/1926||2|
|Don Newcombe||Madison, NJ||6/14/1926||36|
|Bobby Morgan||Oklahoma city. OK||6/29/1926||2|
|Carl Erskine||Anderson, IN||12/13/1926||17|
|Rocky Bridges||Refugio, TX||8/7/1927||9|
|Tommy Lasorda||Norristown, PA||9/22/1927||2,27,29|
|Tommy Brown||Brooklyn, NY||12/6/1927||9|
|Joe Landrum||Columbia, SC||12/13/1928||19|
|Joe Pignatano||Brooklyn, NY||8/4/1929||58|
|Roger Craig||Durham, NC||2/17/1930||38|
|Ron Negray||Akron, OH||2/26/1930||38|
|Glenn Mickens||Wilman, CA||7/26/1930||46|
|Ed Roebuck||East Millboro, PA.||7/3/1931||37|
|Fred Kipp||Iqua, KS||10/1/1931||26|
|Jim Gentile||San Francisco, CA||6/3/1934||38|
|Don Demeter||Oklahoma City. OK||6/25/1935||2|
|Sandy Koufax||Brooklyn, NY||12/30/1935||32|
|Bob Aspromonte||Brooklyn, NY||6/19/1938||28. 34|
Gentlemen: May you have a healthy 2015!
I am way behind in doing this post on the SABR44 convention in Houston. I did posted pictures from the event on Tweeter, IG and Facebook but I did not do a blog post.
I had a marvelous time in Houston. Weather was not too bad either. The hotel was away from Downtown but it all worked out. I am sorry that I missed going to see the minor league team “the Sugarland Skeeters”
This year I debated whether to go to the convention because I’ve known for a few months now that I will be out of job soon, but I am glad I did go. Once you go to one of the SABR conventions, it is hard to stay away. It is always a big pleasure seeing fellow SABR members and meeting new ones. Also of course I enjoy the lineup of speakers, going to see an MLB and a minor league game if possible. Also I try to attend as many baseball sessions as possible realizing that it is impossible to attend all.
The local chapters always do a great job of hosting and organizing the convention. In Houston it was hosted by the Larry DierkerChapter and greatly assisted by the Horsny Chapter.
This was my fourth convention in a row. I enjoyed every one of them. My first one was the Long Beach convention where I volunteered with our local Chapter, the Allan Roth Chapter. Hopefully I can make it next year to Chicago for SABR45.
Here are some pictures from the SABR convention:
panel of former Astros players Alan Ashby, Larry Dierker and Art Howe
Eddie Robinson, longtime player, general manager and baseball executive;
Bob Aspromonte signing my baseball. Picture from RyanPollack.com
Marie “Red” Mahoney. The only women from Houston to play in the AAGPBL.
It was great chatting with Larry Dierker prior to the panel discussion.
Lesley Heaphy selected as Bob Davis award winner!
A SABR member was so nice giving me this baseball card so that Enos could sign it for me.
A kid took this picture of Jose Cruz and myself. It is a little blury.
Dodgers Jim Wynn and Bob Aspromonte signed my baseball.
Buck Martinez, broadcaster of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Max Kates dressed like Charlie Finley, had a presentation titled “The Bikers Beat the Boys Scouts”: Facial Hair and the 1972 World Series. I think his dress attire helped him get Roger Clemens to sign his book.
Selfies with Roger Clemens in the background.
The Toy Cannon, Jim Wynn.
Brooklyn Dodger Bob Aspromonte. Also a Colt .45 .
We got this huge book free.
Vivian L Smith, statue on the outside of the Astrodome. The plaque reads “She loved the Astros”
Jose Cruz and Enos Cabell
Art Howe. I talked with both Jose Cruz and Art Howe on how debasted I was that Monday extra playoff game in 1980 between the Dodgers and Astros. I told him I cried that Monday. Art (or was it Jose) said “Better you than us.”
I can’t read this signature. Hmm. Roger Clemens?
Selfie at Minute Maid Park with Astro in the background.
Since SABR42 in Minnesota, we (Norm, Kent, Abby and I) have been taking a picture at a stadium with the team’s mickey mouse. This year Abby could not make it so we invited Evelyn to post with us.
These are only a part of the pictures I took at SABR44. It is always so much fun attending the convention. I hope to make it to SABR45.
Sidenote: Today Wednesday, September 24, I can’t wait to head to Dodger Stadium to see Clayton Kershaw go for win #21 against the Giants and clinch the National League West! Go Dodgers!
SABR Day is an annual event that brings together SABR members and friends on the same day, regardless of where they live. The fifth annual SABR Day is scheduled for January 25, 2014.
I know I missed last year”s SABR Day because the date was same date as the Dodgers first FanFest at Dodger Stadium. This year the date coincides with the King s and Ducks breaking the ice at Dodger Stadium. Update: I am going to SABR day but now realized I could have gone to both events. The hockey game is not until 6:30 but I did not get a ticket 😦
Here is a map from www.sabr.org on the locations where they are having SABR Day:
The red marks (Seattle and San Francisco) are holding theirs on Sunday January 26. In addition, some chapters are holding their SABR Day meetings on other days because of conflicts with team FanFests or availability of preferred venues.
The Allan Roth Chapter in Los Angeles will hold SABR day at the La Habra library.
Below are prior year highlights found at the SABR.org page for the Allan Roth Chapter:
Los Angeles, California (Allan Roth Chapter): 24 members and guests convened at the La Habra Library for SABR Day. Ed Hart discussed his brief career as the general manager of the Fullerton Flyers of the Golden League. He mentioned the difficulty and expense of starting a team from scratch and gave us nine rules for success. Finding players was the easy part. He enjoyed working in baseball and maintains a continuing friendship with manager Garry Templeton. Dick Beverage auctioned off a box of Bob McConnell’s books, raising $70 for the chapter. Rick Smith presented a challenging trivia quiz entitled “Little Known Facts About Hall of Famers.” Don Zminda had the high score. We each filled out a Hall of Fame ballot, and there were no blank ballots. Mike Piazza and Craig Biggo were “elected”, and no one else came close. Ron Selter presented a detailed talk about Negro League Ballparks. Barry Mednick reviewed 2012 Outliers. — Barry Mednick
2012 LOS ANGELES, California (Allan Roth Chapter): 46 members and guests convened at the La Habra Library as Milwaukee Braves All-Star catcher Del Crandall (see picture at right) entertained for an hour with stories about his teammates and his career. We heard about spitballs, managerial moves, how Crandall aided Robin Yount’s career, and Crandall’s home run in Game 7 of the 1957 World Series. Crandall was a most engaging and delightful speaker. Chuck Polizzi described “The Big Game”, a movie he is working on, about the actual 1929 confrontation between the 12 Fredrickson brothers of Eidswold, Minnesota, and the House of David touring team. Daryl Grigsby challenged us with trivia from his book, Celebrating Ourselves: African Americans and the Promise of Baseball. High school coach Eddie Alvarez talked about the problems he faced trying to implement sabermetric concepts into the staid world of high school baseball.
2011. LOS ANGELES, California (Allan Roth Chapter): 1969 Mets outfielder Rod Gaspar spoke to about 30 people at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Orange County, and host Robert Wright recorded members talking about their most memorable baseball moments. (note to me: I never did hear the recording . I remember I got a little emotional while Robert recorded me. Having problem accessing the link)
1969 Mets outfield Rod Gaspar talks to SABR members at the Allan Roth Chapter’s SABR Day gathering at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County (California) on January 29.
I was looking for pictures from pior SABR Days I have attended but I got to dig further. I did find these pictures from a meeting last year in June.
june 2013 meeting George Genovese, the scout who first recommended Donnels, discussed his brief major league career with the Senators and his preference for the Pacific Coast League. He talked about how he had saved the careers of Jesus Alou and Bobby Bonds by assuring the Giants that these players had the talent to play.
Check out the SABR website and try to attend a SABR Day.
Here are more pictures from my visit to the Los Angeles Sport museum where the SABR local chapter had a meeting:
1981 World Series Tri-MVP’s Ron Cey, Steve Yeager & Pedro Guerrero
Fernando Valenzuela with a mustache. Jijiji.
Who remembers when we used to get a TV guide in the newspaper? This from the Los Angeles Daily News in 1981.
movie poster Whistling in Brooklyn.
I never knew these records existed from Union 76.
Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela & Orel Hershiser
Orel Hershiser memorabilia
Dodgers Mini World Series trophies.
I love this picture. the fan’s shirt says “LA Fan Support”
Union 76 pins. I used to collect these. Other Dodger memorabilia.
Duke Snider wall.
Ebbets Field ticket prices. bench made of bats.
Another view of Brooklyn Dodger memorabilia & Jackie.
I love this scorecard. The Dodgers used to sell individual scorecards. Now they don’t but see them at other stadiums. I wish they would bring this back.
Dodger Stadium and the retired Dodger numbers. Oops! sorry Drysdale, I cut out part of your 53 number.
Isn;t this Dodger apron great? It says “The Heck with Housework. Let’s see the Dodgers Play!” Yep, that is what I say…;-)
Dodger Stadium replica. A Red Sox jacket to the right.
I love this picture. On top it says “The proverbial Brideman”
Dodgers band Sym-Phony. Jackie Robinson signing his contract. Leo Durocher in the picture.
Dodgers Take me Out to the Ballgame.
The Dodger collection wall going up the stairs.
The other side of the above Dodger collection wall.
Joe’s final uni and the Babe pointing
Jay Johnston SABR speaker that Saturday.
Jay Johnston speaking with a Yankees memorabilia in the background.
It was a great event. Jay Johnstone made us laugh. He had his book signed available for $20 including a picture of him signed and authenticated. Funds went to a charity . I already had his book but I bought another copy.
Andy McCue had a great presentation that day on the history of the Angels and Dodgers when the Angels were the Dodgers tenants at Dodger Stadium.
Rick followed with a presentation of his top baseball movies and also Barry’s top 10. Also a comparison of actors and the baseball players they were portraying on how close they resembled the players. After both presentation we only had an additional 30 minutes to view the museum. I had a great time that day. I only wished I had more time to spend at the museum. If you have chance, check it out but it is a private museum. For more info go to http://www.sportsmuseumla.com/ For more information on SABR go to http://sabr.org/
What a great opportunity to visit the Sport Museum in Los Angeles when the SABR Allan Roth Chapter scheduled the October 26 meeting there! I invited Lorena and Rosie to come along. The first words I heard Lorena say was “WOW!” Yeah, my sentiments too. What a great museum! I had seen part of Gary Cypres collection at Dodger Stadium and also at the Folks museum when both the SABR local chapter and the Baseball Reliquary had meeting events there last year, but to see the 30,000 square foot warehouse that is home to the is amazing.
Gary Cypres. I did not see him at the museum but I had met him at the Dodger FanFest back in January when Mark Langill, Dodger Historian introduced me to him.
Gary Cypres, Mark Langill & Emma Amaya
I did not have time to completely see all the collection but here are a small portion of pictures from the Sport Museum:
Jackie Robinson collection
Part of the Babe collection. There was way more than I took pictures
Babe Ruth’s 1938 uniform
I think I will do a 2nd part of this post. Still got more pictures and I have run out of time. I also want to talk about our speaker Jay Johnson and the two presentations we had that day. I had a great time at the SABR meeting and checking out the museuum.
Ralph Branca then
Ralph Theodore Joseph Branca was born on January 6, 1926 in Mount Vernon. He was the fifteenth of seventeen children. He was signed by the Dodgers after a local tryout.
Ralph’s father, John Branca, came to America from Italy. Ralph’s mother, Katherine Berger, was born in Hungary. Ralph married Ann Mulvey in 1951. Her parents owned a share of the Dodgers, and her maternal grandfather had been president of the Brooklyn Club.
The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Branca out of the New York University in 1943, when he was just seventeen years old.
In 1947 the twenty-one-year-old Branca became the second-youngest National Leaguer to win 20 games.
Branca was involved in two of the biggest moments in baseball history. One was the integration of baseball by Jackie Robinson in 1947, and the other was as the man who threw the pitch hit for a home run by Bobby Thompson that won the 1951 National League pennant for the New York Giants.
In January 2001, joshua Praeger, a reporter for the Wall Street journal published the details of a sign-stealing scheme the Giants rigged in the Polo Grounds. The scheme involved a telescope from windows in the center-field clubhouse, a buzzer rigged under dirt in the bullpen, and a reserve catcher positioning his body and equipment to tip-off the batter as to which pitch was coming.
Branca said his friendship with Jackie Robinson continued after baseball. They played golf together when they worked in Manhattan and saw each other a lot while Jackie was with Chock Full of Nuts.
Ralph Branca now
Check out Ralph’s website at http://www.ralphbranca.com/ and his book:
Ref: SABR.org, book: ‘The Team that forever Changed Baseball and America The 1947 Brooklyn dodgers” Note: I am loving this book!
Luis Olmo Then
Jackie Robinson, Senate president of Puerto Rico, Luis Munoz Marin and Luis Olmo.
|Luis Olmo||10/11/1919||Puerto Rico||21|
I googled Luis Olmo and noticed I had an old post where I dedicated the post to Luis Olmo because my blog came in at #21 and in addition to Olmo wearing #21 it was his birthday that day. I had posted the above picture.
Luis Francisco Rodríguez Olmo known as El Jíbaro – The Hillbilly, was the second Puerto Rico to play in the Major Leagues. The first one was Hiram Bithorn who played with the Cubs in 1942.
El Jibaro played for the Dodgers from 1943 to 1945 then again in 1949. Luis Olmo became the first Puerto Rican to play in a World Series, during which he hit a home run and three hits in one game
Olmo lead the National League in triples in 1945. On May 18 of that year he hit a grand slam home run and a bases loaded triple in the same game. No other player accomplished that feat in the 20th century.
Olmo jumped to the Mexican League in 1946 because one Mexican team owner offered a higher salary than what Branch Rickey Sr. was offering. Olmo and several other jumpers were banned by MLB Commissioner Happy Chandler for going to the Mexican League. For Olmo the suspension lasted three years. Olmo returned to the Dodgers in 1949.
From the SABR bioproject by Rory Costello:
After his return in late June, Olmo got into 38 games for Brooklyn, batting .305/1/14 in 105 at-bats as he backed up Tommy Brown and Duke Snider. He got off to a hot start, getting 12 hits in his first 27 at-bats (.444), capped by a game-ending homer at Ebbets Field on July 17. Yet perhaps his most memorable contribution to the 1949 pennant winners was a sensational catch that he made at Ebbets on August 24 against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Brooklyn was up 2-0 in the fifth inning, but St. Louis had the tying runs in scoring position, and at the plate was the feared batter whom Ebbets fans dubbed “The Man” – Stan Musial. Olmo, always known as a fine outfielder, needed every foot of the old ballpark’s cozy dimensions, including the extra afforded by the corrugated exit gate in left field. He leaped and made the catch, snuffing out the rally, and the Dodgers went on to win, drawing to within one game of first. Brooklyn did not overtake St. Louis until late September, but the complexion of the race might have changed if the Cards had won that day. Baseball Digest wrote up the play in August 1961, and as late as 2009, it earned an entry in a book devoted to great outfield catches, Going, Going . . . Caught!
Olmo played for the Boston Braves in 1950 & 1951. In ’51 he only played in 21 games before being sent to the Triple-A Milwaukee Brewers. There he concluded his US career.
He joined Licey of the Dominican League. The remainder of Olmo’s playin career consisted of four Winter season in Puerto Rico. He was also scouting for the Braves. He was manager for several teams in Puerto Rico. The PRWL named him Manager of the year seven times.
Luis Olmo now:
Luis Rodriguez Olmo celebrating 90 years.
from SABR biography by Rory Costello:
Olmo began playing golf since 1968 and in 2011 still got out on the links twice a week, one of the reasons he remained so fit in his 90s. At one point, though, he was carrying more weight than was good for him – he dropped 50 pounds on doctor’s orders. In August 2009, after SABR’s Puerto Rican chapter and the Museum of Sports of Guaynabo celebrated his 90th birthday, Olmo said, “I just turned 90. I hoped to reach 80 and that has passed. I am playing extra innings. And I recall as if it were yesterday when I arrived in the majors. The baseball of today is the same as what I played. The only thing that has changed is the salaries.” Four days after his 92nd birthday, I asked Luis to what he attributes his long life. He said simply, with a little chuckle, “I been lucky. Living good.”
ref: pic, Colleccion Luiz Munoz Marin, baseball-fever, http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/a26bda17