Hometown hero!

In the afterglow of Thursday’s comeback in Game 2 of the Division Series, a guest in the Dodger offices posed this unique question: “What were you thinking when Mark Loretta was in the batter’s box?” Standing on the top deck and taking photos of a towel-waving crowd at sunset, the obvious hope was for Loretta to drive in a run, which he did with a single to cap a 3-2 victory.

But during his at-bat, I remembered the afternoon of February 28 in Arizona when Loretta introduced himself to broadcaster Vin Scully in the lunch room of the Camelback Ranch spring training facility. Scully arrived a day early to prepare for the telecast of the team’s first exhibition game. Individual players and coaches stopped by with their greetings.

When Loretta approached, Scully stood and offered a welcoming handshake. Loretta said, “My aunt met you …” and Scully happily picked up the story from an offseason charity event in which Scully was being honored. While escorting the award recipient to the stage to a backdrop of applause, the hostess whispered to Scully, “My nephew is Mark Loretta, the new Dodger.”

For a local product who grew up in Arcadia and attended St. Francis High School in La Canada, the 15th season of his Major League career was a chance to play for the hometown Dodgers. He batted .232 in 107 games as a reserve, but with one swing of the bat in October, Loretta suddenly took his place alongside other Dodgers whose hits have won playoff games, including Cookie Lavagetto (1947), Carl Furillo (1959), Bill Russell (1978) and Kirk Gibson (1988).

— Mark Langill 


  1. selltheteam

    The Cards can complain all they want about how they lost the game on a bad break, lost the ball in the lights (which is the truth, nothing to do with towels), yada yada yada. But the great thing about last night?s victory was that the Dodgers capitalized on the Holiday Nuts Gift. First it was the gritty Beard drawing a walk after many pitches. Then Jelly Belly (my new favorite player, but only after Kemp & Ethier) with his awesome hit.
    As DodgerEric has taught us, this year?s edition of the Dodgers can never be counted out, especially in a close game. We?ve almost come to expect Every Day ?Dre to deliver in the bottom of the ninth, but I knew that wouldn?t happen, because he had no opportunity to get a walk-off hit. The way that the bottom of the lineup did the job, the victory was all the more special.

  2. thinkingblue

    MARK thanks for the Vin-Loretta story…nice one! I’m glad Loretta got a moment to shine…he is a Dodger at Heart! WOOOOHOOOO LORETTA!
    Last nights game was awsome….CHAMPS IN THE MAKING! OMG….we thought fo’ sure the game was over when Loney popped the ball, but thanks to Holliday..(HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU ALL…LOL!)..our hopes went up. I do feel bad for Holliday the Cards don’t want him anymore….he is probably thinking that he should of sign with the Dodgers.
    “I GOT IT, I GOT IT”, said Holliday in a deep strong voice
    “@#$&* I DON’T GOT IT”, said Holliday in a quiet squeaky voice.
    Later all!

  3. thinkingblue

    I did CHAD…I am disturbed about the way those Dodger Fan’s were acting. The girl should of just ignore them but hey too much alcohol makes you do stupid stuff.

  4. cpompe1

    Good afternoon ITD boys and girls!!!
    WOW!!! What a game last night!!! We were sitting WAY in LF, just inside the foul pole. Matt Holliday was right in front of us, and I thought for sure he was going to catch that ball. But he didn’t, and I said, “Thx for the gift Holliday!” But of course that wasn’t the entire end of the game. If any of the guys after Loney’s ball, at best the game would go into extra inning or at worst, we still would’ve lost. It was just soooo fun last night!


  5. cpompe1

    And Shad, that video was just disgusting. But I must say something. As much as I can sit here at my computer and look at a video like that and say, ?Oh, Dodger fans should never act like that?? there was an occasion earlier this year that happened, right in front of me. We were playing the Cubs and there were a couple of guys sitting in the seats right in front of me, trash talking Cub fans in the area. I was saying to myself the same thing, ?Oh, Dodger fans should never act like that?? But when they REALLY got out of hand, were standing up and being REALLY abusive (the Cub fans were in the aisle directly across the stairs), I thought of getting up and telling them to shut their pie hole, but I didn?t. I was afraid. I was afraid for myself. And yes, my husband and his friend were there, wearing their Cubs? jerseys, and no, they weren?t the ones being abused. I wanted SO MUCH to shut the guys up, but I couldn?t. Now, if it were my husband or my friend being abused, I would?ve stepped in immediately. No one talks to my husband that way. I?m really sorry to the Cub fans that were verbally abused; I REALLY wanted to say something, but I couldn?t pull the string. But it?s disgusting nonetheless?

  6. cpompe1

    Oh, and Emma, thx for the picture! It was great seeing you!

    And Truebluewill, I know you?re on a plane back east right now, but it was a great pleasure to meet you too yesterday!!!

  7. shad80

    PHOENIX (AP)?The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired infielder Tony Abreu(notes) from the Dodgers to complete a trade that sent pitcher Jon Garland(notes) to Los Angeles.

    The teams made the move Friday, finishing off the deal from Aug. 31.

    The 24-year-old Abreu is a switch-hitter. He played in four games for Los Angeles this season. He spent most of his time in Triple-A and Double-A, hitting .312 with 11 home runs and 53 RBIs.

    Abreu played career 65 games in the majors for the Dodgers, batting .270.

    To make room on the 40-man roster for Abreu, the Diamondbacks designated right-handed pitcher Bobby Korecky(notes) for assignment.

  8. dodgereric

    LMAO shad!!! But the circumstances were a little different!

    You know, crap like that has been going on for years. So has the abuse of alcohol at games. What seems to be new to me, at least at Dodger Stadium, has been a shift from good-natured bantering to trash-talkin’, health-threatening, gang-bangin’ violence between fans of the Dodgers and the other team.

    I’ve had the pleasure (or just bad luck) to sit next to fans of the other teams many times, just as I’m sure most all of you have. With only one exception (OK, two) they’ve always been fun because it never got personal. We’ve always shaken hands after the game and wished each other good luck. Without getting way too psychological about it, our society seems to have turned an ugly corner.

    Who was the one among us last year who had the miserable experience? Was it Crash?

  9. cpompe1

    Trumom – We both had the same answers at the same time! Well, if you count the same “time warp” time…

  10. nellyjune

    I apologize for Michael being your second experience Dodgereric – LOL!!!!! (jk, jk, jk) I know………………….I know………………..I know it wasn’t him………. my bad – LOL!!!!!! ………and yes, I will confirm with CP and tru it was Collie who had the bad experience.

    I have been to both AT&T Park and Dodger Stadium this season, and to be honest, as a whole, the Giants fans treated the Dodger fans better at AT&T Park then the Dodger fans treated the Giants fans at Dodger Stadium. When we were at the game with the Monson family, our fans were just booing the Giants fans for getting up out of their seats to get some food or use the bathroom. That didn’t happen at AT&T Park, and we got up often. We had some idiot behind us calling our Dodgers all kinds of awful names, but he wasn’t aiming the comments to us, the fans. He was just being an obnoxious Giants fan. +That was still better than our fans taunting the Giants fans everytime they got up out of their seats.

  11. cpompe1

    I forgot something on that little story. After the game (the Dodgers won) we all walked up to the top of the stairs. Then my husband asked me if I had my jacket; I didn?t. I left it on the chair. So I went back down and got it. Jim and his friend Judy stood up top (again, in their Cubs jerseys). When I got back upstairs, Jim told me that there was one Dodger fan that saw them, and ran right up to each of their faces and said, well, I?m not going to repeat it here; you can well imagine. Jim and Judy just stared at him as he went off. And I said, ?You mean I missed the chance to shoo off the abusive yokels like that?? I still think that Dodger Stadium needs to do something. Didn?t we get a new person in charge of security? If we did, I still don?t see many changes. Very sad…

  12. trublu4ever

    I’m doing great, CPO. And you?
    I get very embarassed when so-called fans abuse fans from the other team. I say so-called fans because I don’t think they are regular fans. I would never do that to anybody and believe me I’ve had my chances during the Giants games.

  13. cpompe1

    Hey Trumom!
    I?m doing fine. And I too get very embarrassed at these ?so-called fans.? I mean, it?s not like PARADES of Dodger fans descend on Petco every chance they get ? enough so to call Petco ?Dodger Stadium, South.? But people like this are nothing but jerks. And what?s worse yet is that ?fans? like these are not only trash talking on ?enemy? fans (of course, they are not real fans) but they are also trashing REAL Dodger fans like you and I and everyone else here on ITD. I don?t need to trash talk other fans (nor, would I have even the slightest inclination to do so). It?s sad. I don?t do it all the time, but there have been times that if I do post on another team?s blog (especially if it?s a team that just beat us in a big series), I do so with the utmost respect and congratulate them. In my small way, I want fans from other teams to know that not every Dodger fan is abusive like the yokels everyone sees on YouTube?

  14. shad80

    Ejected Phils fan stole World Series rings
    3 hours, 42 minutes ago

    PHILADELPHIA (AP)?A masked fan ejected from a Phillies playoff game is charged with stealing three World Series rings from a ballpark office.

    The Phillies have now had four such rings stolen since winning the title last year.

    Police say 22-year-old Matthew Mervine of Berlin, N.J., was videotaped taking the rings Thursday. They say he had also left his contact information on a job application.

    The purloined rings are cheaper models of the $11,000 rings given to players. They are worth about $1,100 and intended for scouts.

    Police found them at Mervine?s home when he was arrested on theft charges. He does not have a listed phone number and it?s not clear if he has a lawyer.

    A ballpark janitor is charged with stealing a team executive?s diamond championship ring left in a restroom last month.

  15. sparkleplenty_1

    Just to add my 2 cents – I’ve been on the receiving end of abuse at games many times, most recently at Anaheim Stadium when I saw the Dodgers play the Angels in June. It was awful! The Angel fans were, to put it lightly, not the best of hosts and they make the Angels look bad, too. But it doesn’t seem that they have any kind of system in place to prevent or curb this from happening. We DO have it at Dodger Stadium. They have that phone number posted on the scoreboard whereby people can report problems. I would not hesitate for a second to use it if anyone around me was being abusive to anyone. Abuse totally detracts from a great experience. Ok, so I’m preaching to the choir, I know šŸ™‚ Catch up to ya all later!

  16. crzblue2

    Quick post as I got to go.
    What is not shown in the video is the girl hit the guy, and the guy just put is hands infront and she felt down. We saw it from our seats. Still I cannot condone those Dodger fans. It is ashamed. Me if I am visiting another stadium I am respectul and are not going to be arguing using the F word

  17. selltheteam

    NSB – Regarding the final scores – I did a double take when you first posted this. It’s definitely a sign.
    Go Dodgers! Seal the deal tomorrow!

  18. Dodger4life

    Good Evening ITD,Dodger Faithful and Our Beloved Boy’s in Blue Blue …………………………..
    JOE PIERRE ~ YOU GOTTA BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    TBW……..I know you were awake at the end…..LOL!!!!!
    Shad and North nice post’s šŸ™‚
    Collie’s famous beachball incident I believe?
    GO DODGERS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    BRING THR RING TO L.A. IN 2009!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  19. shad80

    Wow you’ve gotta be kidding me. I was watching Kcal and they was showing the old great western forum and it now tied.

  20. bluecrewgirl

    Hey everyone. It’s sad to hear about the bad experiences opposing fans have had at Dodger Stadium. I’m all for bantering back and forth, but when it gets ugly or nasty, there’s just no excuse for it and hopefully the Dodgers will make changes to improve things without going overboard in the other direction. I’ve been to a Dodger game at Petco and 2 Charger games (I was rooting for the Chargers, so I wasn’t on the opposing side) and I have to say that from my experience the sports fans in San Diego are very cool. On opening day at Petco, though I’m sure they were annoyed to see so many Dodger fans, I didn’t see any abusive treatment and no one bothered me or my friend at all. I was very impressed.

  21. jhallwally

    Hello gang!!! Nice post Collie!!! It is ashame. There is almost always one common denominater when these incidences occur, Alcohol!! They’re not going to discourage alcohol sales when they sell you 50 cents worth of beer for $8.00. They’re cleaning up. Alot of ballparks have family sections that don’t sell alcohol. Also, these problems seem to be predominate in the upper decks and cheaper seats. I’m hoping we get this wrapped up Saturday gang. Still some work to do!!!!!

  22. colliethec

    Good evening all!
    Great couple of games. I haven’t posted because of the time warp thing just get’s to annoying & I’m so focused on the game.
    Yes it was Wifey & I with beach ball issues last year. It was ugly for us and the response of security wasn’t very good.
    They need to identify these idiots early on in the 1st few of innings and boot them. Then document who they are and after a couple of incidents, trespass them for the season or life. That would get rid of these losers and in time turn it into a family friendly place instead of a place to go, get drunk, and pick fights.
    You can see it going on before it gets physical. There shouldn’t any swearing at other fans and when it starts, they should be booted. Zero tolerance… I go and see someone who has had to much to drink & is acting like a putz. If he gets warned by security then maybe he’ll stop. If then he starts swearing or worse then he is gone.
    The problem is security doesn’t identify the problems early on. I know they have the security phone # posted but when I went it was posted before the game & I didn’t realize I needed to write it down or have it as a programmed # in my cell.
    That & I want to enjoy the game, not call on all the drunks. That to me is security’s job to keep me & my family safe & provide a nice family place to be.
    My whole point is that they need to hire extra security for a few years and get a good computer system that tracks idiots and document them. Then keep them out.
    Yes it will eliminate some fans that buy beer. But in the long run it will mean more $$$ as more people with families will go to the game. More kids will grow up watching the game & they in turn will bring their kids to the game. It will become generational and a tradition which is what McCourt wants. Right???
    As for me I was all excited today, because I’m going to Vegas on the 21st. I’ll be hitting a club on the 22nd, U2 concert on the 23rd and flying to LA on the 24th to go to the U2 concert on the 25th! Then I saw the schedule & there is Game #7 in LA on the 24th. So I could see 2 U2 concerts & a game #7 of the NLCS in 3 straight days! Wow!!!
    I e-mailed my friend who we are going to the concert/staying with in LA to see if they want to go to the game.
    However after seeing that video and another one yesterday I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want my Wife & friends & their 11 year old to have to put up with that crap. I really want to go to the game. But…
    That’s 5 tickets not sold due to idiots.
    Josh we talked about this last year. They really have to get this fixed. It’s more important than getting the blog fixed & winning a WS.

  23. cpompe1

    Hey BCG! I hope you didn?t take my ?Petco? remark above to lump YOU into ?that group.? I just mean that those ?so-called? Dodger ?fans? that verbally abuse fans of another team are probably the same ones that go Petco (or any other stadium the Dodgers are playing at) and expect to be treated well. But fans of other teams visiting DS, oh, no, those jerks hate it and get verbally abusive. I?m sorry if you thought I was lumping you in that group. And if I did, I?m sorry. And in the same vein of what you were saying, I?ve worn my Dodger jersey to Petco, Coors Field and Chase Field. I?ve never gotten any abuse either. It?s just too bad that a few jerks have to ruin OUR reputation.

    Boy Collie, you and Wifey are going to be VERY BUSY INDEED!!! It is too bad that you, Wifey and your friends won?t be going to DS ? very sad indeed. But I?m afraid that as long as the Dodgers ?cater? to ?Manny fans? (i.e. Mannywood, 2 different Manny bobbleheads, Manny paraphernalia, etc.) then I don?t see much hope. Are they going to start selling, um, Casey Blake replica beards? No. Manny is the ?BIG ONE? that gets so many butts in the seats; no matter what kind of person is attached to said butts.

    ***Note to Josh***
    The Dodgers certainly can?t do anything about 2009, but are the Dodgers planning on bringing back the Mannywood section next year? I?ve gotten A LOT of questions like that since the September. I sure hope not. Baseball is a TEAM sport (I don?t have to tell you that). No one should be afforded any more attention than any other player. You can?t control the outside media still that says, ?it?s Manny?s team.? It isn?t, and we all know it. But the Dodgers CAN control what THEY do. I think it would be best for all concerned to STOP CATERING TO JUST ONE PLAYER!!!

  24. crzblue2

    There are many many many places where you could sit and you won’t have problems. Don’t let one problem in 52,000 people there stop you from enjoying a game. For me that was the first I’ve seen this year in 77 games I was there. I have the number that they post on the Dodger vision on speed dial and in all the years I’ve been attending I never had to use it for anything close to me. That was about 4 to 5 ailes away and I did not glance that way until it was almost over when I saw the lady try to punch the guy and she fell instead. I was keeping score, listening to the game and watching the game. I wish I would have recorded when I saw the lady try to punch the guy. What was she thinking trying to hit a guy and being that close to the rail.
    Work sold Thursday’s tickets (field seats)to employees at face but I did not buy them since I already had my tix.

  25. crzblue2

    Contratulations to all the Dodgers that fought hard to come back to take game 2 and to our unlike hometown hero Mark Loretta! Very proud that he is a local boy.
    Back in February when the Dodgers had the Caravan at Canter’s Deli, I talked to him about growing up in Arcadia going to St. Francis H.S. I love that in one of his interviews he asked “What did Vin Say about me?”
    Anyone knows a place in the San Gabriel Valley or L.A. area where my friends and I can watch the game?

  26. cpompe1

    Hey Emma!
    Again, thx for the picture! It looks great! I was in the car earlier today and was listening to the Yankees? game on ESPN radio. In between innings, the announcer said something about watching the Dodgers? game at some place in Alhambra. I know that helps; I?m sure there are A LOT of ?places? in Alhambra. But I do remember the city name. I?m hoping some other ITDer will know what I?m talking about and will know the name of the place!!!

  27. cpompe1

    And I?m going to repeat myself (I just said this on your blog) but Emma, you didn?t post THAT picture, huh? LOL!

  28. colliethec

    Hello Wally!
    Right after I made my post my friend from LA replied to my earlier e-mail saying she would want to go if we could.
    So after that and Emma’s encouragement I might give it a try.
    We’ll see if it works out.
    Go Blue!!
    Bring the Ring to LA in 2009!!!

  29. crzblue2

    As you saw, I did post that pic. If you don’t want it, I’ll take it off so let me know. Alhambra is close to me. I used to live in Monterey Park so I am very familiar with Alhambra. I’ll try to find online where it is.
    I am also looking for a local place where we can watch the soccer match between U.S. and Honduras. I know is closed caption.

  30. bluecrewgirl

    Hey, CP! Hope you are doing well. No worries. I didn’t take offense to your remark at all. I agree they need to do somethng about fans that cross the line. Looks like it’s going to be crappy weather for the guys in St. Louis. They need to win tomorrow and get back to the great baseball weather we’ve been having.

  31. crzblue2

    //”I GOT IT, I GOT IT”, said Holliday in a deep strong voice
    “@#$&* I DON’T GOT IT”, said Holliday in a quiet squeaky voice.//
    LOL Rosie!

  32. shad80

    Are you kidding me? I’m watching the news right now and they said when the bus came the woman just left the boy at the bus stop? That’s just crazy and I bet that his mother.

  33. cpompe1

    No Emma, don?t take it down. I was just kidding! But it was great seeing both you and Will yesterday!

    I?m glad BCG! I was afraid that I had inadvertently offended you with my Petco remark! Yes, it looks like crappy weather in St. Louis, but I?d much rather be there than in Coors Field! Isn?t it supposed to snow tomorrow?

  34. nellyjune

    Well, I am mixed about the AL teams right now. They all have their benefits if we should play them in the World Series, but they all have their bad sides too. Boy, this is shaping up to be some baseball in October, isn’t it?

  35. colliethec

    Sorry… I’m just in a funnin mood…

  36. knouffbrock@frontiernet.net

    The fan fight video is pretty disgusting and more than a little disturbing. Plenty of bad behavior all around. Where was security during all this? Like cpomp I’ve worn my Dodger gear to Coors and Chase and never gotten a bad time. But the time I came out to LA last time the Yankees were there, there was some pretty poor behavior from some Dodger fans. Security really ought to be beefed up. As pointed out, the alcohol really contributes to this and because of the profit margin beer will not go away any time soon. But they make enough off the stuff to hire a few more people to help keep the bad stuff under control.
    And right now, I’d like nothing better than putting away the Cards tonight.

  37. nellyjune



    9:09am pst (for time warp purposes only)

  38. shad80

    0-2 Division Series deficits
    Only four teams have ever come back from an 0-2 deficit to win a Division Series, none from the National League. Year Team Opponent
    1995 Mariners Yankees
    1999 Red Sox Indians
    2001 Yankees A’s
    2003 Red Sox A’s

  39. shad80

    Albert Pujols and Manny Ramirez will have all eyes on them in Game 3, as each star slugger tries to bust out of a power slump. Pujols, who led the Majors with 47 homers this season, has gone 85 consecutive at-bats without a homer. His last homer was on Sept. 9. As for Ramirez, his swing has not been the same in a while. He has gone 43 at-bats without a homer, dating back to Sept. 18 at San Francisco, and was 0-for-4 in Game 2. The best contact he had so far in this series might have been with Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina’s helmet on Thursday.

  40. kpookiemon

    Padilla, a free agent, says he’d like to return to the Dodgers next season. OK, Vicente, today is your first job interview!!!

  41. crzblue2

    grrr, I am at the library in Monrovia and a Angel fan just went by. they are having a book sale and there is a Art festival outside at the Park.
    Scott: Have you checked the new Monrovia library? It is very nice. I also like the Arcadia one. I bought too many books, but I did not find one sport book.
    Just got a text with an invite to a “Carne Asada” in Ontario or L.A. Live to watch the game.

  42. shad80

    I didn’t even realize we had a 3rd set of bday together. We already know Wolf and Weaver was born in the same exact day on Aug 22, 1976 and than Pierre and Lorreta on Aug 14 but I didn’t even realize that Padilla and Garland having the same bday together also on Sept 27 and not like the other 4 names that each players batting and pitching on the opposite hand but Garland and Padilla the only 2 that bat and throw right handed.

  43. trublu4ever

    According to ESPN…..here’s our lineup:
    GO DODGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. trublu4ever

    32&53 ~ I know what you mean. Don’t you think most of the trouble makers at the ball games aren’t even fans? They just happen to be there. Real Dodger fans don’t behave like that.
    And, kudos to you for punching the guy out! My hubby would have hit the guy too! Come to think of it, it my youth, I probably would have hit him too!!!

  45. 32and53fan

    I watched the video of the fight in the top deck with disgust. For some unknown psychological reason, bullies and disrespectful people REALLY push my buttons. I can’t even stand watching teenage high school movies because the story is always about a nice, but nerdy kid being harassed by a handsome but nasty bully. Once, when I was about ten years old, I was sitting in a movie theater and some guy behind me kept bothering me in an attempt to show his friends how cool he was. After several warnings I gave him to stop it to no affect, I finally just got out of my seat, walked back to his row, and smashed him in his face with my fist.
    He did not bother me after that.
    I sent the link to T.J. Simers. Maybe he will come up with a column on the subject. Or maybe he will just blow me off as a wussy fan who can’t stand to see red-blooded aggressive American men display their first amendment rights while buzzed on Bud.

  46. oldbrooklynfan

    Hi ITD
    Thursday’s game is still going on in my head, wow, what finish, it’s still hard to believe, for me.
    Now it’s St Louis a place where our team has never won a post season game, so our old friend “The law of averages” should be lurking around somewhere.
    GO BUMS GO!!!!

  47. 32and53fan

    Hi OBF,
    It is going to be an exciting game. The Cards 10th man, the fans, really know how to pump it up. The sea of red is unbelievable. But the Dodgers can just focus on executing their game plan.

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