It is a huge loss for the entire Dodger organization and our hearts go out to his family. Buzzie was behind four of our six World Championships and though I only spoke with him a few times, he was always very gracious. His son, Bill, who is now the Mariners’ GM, was our farm director for a couple of years and one of the finest people I’ve met in the game.
Here is what a few Dodgers had to say about the former GM, who lived to be 93.
One of the amazing things I’ve found about the game of baseball is how cyclical it is, and I had received the following post from Scott Akasaki not long before getting the word about Buzzie. Just as one longtime baseball career was coming to a close, another is just beginning and Scott wrote about it for Inside the Dodgers:
“One of the best things about being the Traveling Secretary is that you are amongst the first to greet a player when he gets called up to the Major Leagues. It is difficult to duplicate the feeling of playing a little part in one man’s life-long journey to an ultimate objective — the fruition of a goal more than a decade in the making. This past week reminded me of why this job is one of the best gigs in the business.
Late Thursday night, our Assistant General Manager Kim Ng contacted me and said that we were calling up pitcher Cory Wade from AA Jacksonville. At the time, Cory was on crowded bus from Montgomery to Huntsville, having just finished a night game against the Montgomery Biscuits. After spending some phone time with our 24-hour travel service, I exchanged text messages with our Jacksonville trainer Carlos Olivas, who gave the travel itinerary to Cory.
Getting from Huntsville to Los Angeles is not exactly direct. We had to fly Cory from Huntsville to Cincinnati and then from Cincinnati to Los Angeles. Since we’re dealing with connecting flights and a the loss of time thanks to the time change, Cory did not arrive to Dodger Stadium till about 4:30 p.m. PST despite learning about his promotion around 2:30 a.m. CST.
Cory had no idea that his promotion to the Major Leagues was so close. In fact, even before departing on his AA road trip, he did not pack a sport coat and slacks, which is standard travel attire when promoted to the Major Leagues. Cory showed up in jeans, a t-shirt, and with some bleary eyes. I explained to him some team rules and when he walked into the home clubhouse, he was immediately stopped by the Dodgers’ local media.
Cory told the media about getting the word of his promotion, the unexpected nature of his call up, and how much everything had moved so fast for him. Cory talked about how he woke up his father and his fiancée upon hearing the news. Earlier this spring, Cory and his fiancée welcomed a new baby. Coupled with his call to Majors, the 2008 calendar year is certainly one that Cory and his family will never forget.”