Quite an organization, quite a breakfast

This morning, I was fortunate enough to be one of several members of the Dodger organization to join Don Newcombe, "Sweet" Lou Johnson and Frank McCourt at the annual Los Angeles OIC Breakfast of Champions. Even if you’ve never heard of this organization, don’t stop reading. This was really cool.

The organization, whose slogan is Helping People Help Themselves, have named an award after Newk and the winner this year was Frank McCourt, who graciously accepted it on behalf of everyone at the Dodgers for the community efforts at the team. Sweet Lou, who introduced Frank, was nearly in tears on the dais because of everything, he said, that the organization and the McCourts have done for him. Frank’s speech was really very good, but the highlight probably wasn’t him or any of the high profile speakers like L.A. County Supervisor Yvonne Burke or Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

The final honoree was Eva Mae Tucker, a graduate of the LA OIC, which serves as a mentoring program for African-American and other minority youth in Los Angeles. Though probably only in her early 20s, her speech was incredible and I’ve asked her to send me a copy that I will post portions of to the blog when I get it. UPDATE: Here’s the file: Download Achievement.pdf

Anyway, while this isn’t baseball news, it’s an organization supported by the Dodgers and certainly worthy of your time if you’re looking for a way to give back to the community.


  1. euhlman@bwr.eastlink.ca

    Gary adding to your comment re:salary cap on previous post.Salary cap brought parity to the NHL in a hurry. It seems to me that the fans in every city should have the opportunity to have a WS winner. Under the present set up that is not too likely very often. The one reason is that they can’t afford to pay their young stars and have to lose them. In essence they become a farm team for the rich guys on the block. A very good example of that is the former Expos who could have really challenged if they could have kept their players. Gary your observation might be the next major development in the world of baseball now that it has become international. Something has to be done to rid the game of the insanity with unreasonable contracts and constant rotation of rosters. Owners alone can’t because they will be found guilty of collusion. Maybe it has to come with the assistance of the players as they did in the NHL with the Brendan Shanahan plan for fair play on the ice to make the game more fan friendly. I expect there would be problems with a cap as we know Mr. Steinbrenner would not follow it and agents would go out of their minds. Looks like Zito is going to cash in big time. We need good Ned, not big. Anxious to see what happens at those meetings. Go Ned!! Go Dodgers!!

  2. kssparkuhl@msn.com

    Harold… I remember while growing up in Los Angeles and during my early twenties in the 80’s that I could easily attend twenty or more games a season at Dodger Stadium. I’m making substantially more money these days, and two years ago I attended a Dodgers game and spent close to two hundred dollars in just that one game. I was like, “…how the heck did I do that?” There would be no way I could attend that many games these days… I just can’t imagine how anyone can attend that many games with this kind of economy. It’s nice if you’re rich, but even then it’s got to be a pinch on the wallet. There’s got to be something done so the “average” fan can attend more games. If I were still living in LA, I’d probably go to no more than five games a year.

  3. garysmith@glsmith.com

    Kevin, I split 4 Lodge seats behind home plate this past year with another family and I can tell you for a fact, it wasn’t worth the price. Long lines and cold dogs at the concessions etc… Don’t take me wrong, being at a game in Dodger Stadium is great. But strictly from a financial point of view I could have stayed home and watched every game I went to and saved at least $175 per game. My kids enjoyed every minute and for that it was worth every penny. Bottom line, baseball has already become too expensive for the average family and it all points to the player salaries. Change is coming, I’m just not sure in what way it will happen. My guess is some kind of lower division of some type, I think an International league.

    For the record, I’m not buying season tickets this year and when the kids and I want to take in a game we’ll go to one of a number of Minor league games here in So. Calif. I’m still a diehard Dodger fan from Orange County !!

    Go Ned !!

    Go Dodgers !!

  4. knouffbrock@frontiernet.net

    Can you tell me if Lou Johnson got his world championship ring back? Seems like I read at one time he was trying to find it again.

    Glad to see you are keeping the old timers involved.

  5. benny_the_jet_rodriguez@yahoo.com

    Garysmith, I’m from Orange County too. I’ll tell ya, there were always more dodger fans than the team in Anaheim. Before 2002, there were virtually zero Angel caps being worn.. But the Dodger Blue has always been on my head and a lot more people here in Orange County.

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