Don Mattingly, John Wooden and Bob Knight

For an IU grad like myself, it’s been a cool week at Spring Training. On the first day of camp, Don Mattingly got asked about Bob Knight and spent a bunch of time talking about his respect for the Hoosiers’ former coach.

Then today, the late John Wooden’s name came up in the media session, as Donnie has read a lot of his books. Coach Wooden hailed from Martinsville, Indiana, which is near Bloomington.

Clearly those two are legends of the game, so it will be decades before Don could even potentially accomplish what they did as a manager/coach, but it’s still pretty neat to hear so much talk about Indiana.

Tack on Evansville’s Jamey Carroll and there’s no shortage of ties to the Hoosier state around here. Among the most well known Dodgers born there are Gil Hodges, Carl Erskine and Tommy John in addition to more recent Dodgers Eric Stults and Cory Wade.

Why is this relevant? Well, it’s not really. But hearing Donnie talk so much today about Wooden and Indiana made it somewhat noteworthy.

As for the only U.S. President from Indiana…well, that would be Benjamin Harrison, who was actually born in Ohio but spent most of his time in Indiana.

And with that, Happy President’s Day…



    Wow, mentioning Stults and Wade in the same breath as Hodges and Erskine opens up a wider gap than any that I know in Indiana. While we’re at it, could you give us the Dodger names for Delaware and Rhode Island? The Dakotas might be a lot of fun too.

  2. loraxtom

    Since the “IU grad like yourself” didn’t mention it, I thought I would at least point out that John Wooden went on from Martinsville to attend college at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) where he became a three-time All American and the 1932 player of the year! 😉

    Hail Purdue!

    PS I had a chance to get to know Coach Wooden a little and he was as genuine in person as he always seems in interviews. In my eyes, one of the greatest men to ever grace us (regardless of his college affiliation). Donny Baseball would do well to follow his “preaching”! One other note… Coach also frequently said that baseball was always his first love.

  3. crzblue2

    Nice way of tying up all to Presidents’s Day. I dont get it off but that is OK, I am getting ready to leave now and I know the traffic will be light.
    I was remembering the Vin Scully and John Wooden event at the Nokia two years ago.

  4. joeshlabotnik

    Although I can appreciate Coach Wooden’s immeasurable talents, what he brought to the game, I would prefer to think baseball as opposed to basketball. They may be successful coaches, but it is an entirely different animal.

    Too bad we do not have the great Rod Dedeaux around anymore for baseball comparisons.

    I spent Presidents Day at one of the two presidential libraries in Southern California, the Ronald Reagan Library.

  5. dodgereric

    Here’s a niiiiiice, looooooong article on Clayton.

    I just have one gripe about it. Wiseman says (more than once) stuff like this:
    “For all his improvement and excellence, Kershaw had at least one start go awry every month of last season.”

    And this: “Kershaw is going to have to become even more consistently excellent, avoiding the short start where the runs suddenly pour across in bunches.”

    From baseball-reference:
    4/13, 3 IP, 5 hits, 5 runs, 2 BBs
    5/5, 1.1IP, 4 hits, 4 runs, 1 BB
    7/18, 5 IP, 8 hits, 3 runs, 2 BBs
    8/17, 4.1 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 4BBs
    8/30, 2 IP, 4 hits, 6 runs, 3 BBs

    Evidence of Clayton’s weakness? No. Good thing guys like Weisman weren’t around while Koufax was on the mound. These stats are Sandy’s from 1966. The same season he went 27-9 with a 1.73 ERA. Twenty-seven complete games, 323 IP and 317 strikeouts. I’m sure you can look at any HOF pitcher in any season and cherry-pick a few bad outings.

    Give the kid some slack. They all get whacked around from time to time. That’s what they pay the hitters to do.

  6. enchantedbeaver

    Good stuff Eric.

    Can’t be any worse than the hatchet job Simers does on Brox and Kemp. C’mon, the whold damn team sucked the second half of last year, not just those two. Why not pound on Ned putting together a crappy team? Oh wait, that’s this year.


  7. dodgereric

    “enchantedbeaver” new name or……….?

    NEVERMIND. Don’t wanna know.

    Altogether it’s a nice article and very complimentary. Just an unrealistic demand is all.

    Agree on Simers. Usually I really like what he has to say, but as you say, let’s hear it about Ned and Honeydrip and Can’t He (Conte) and Furcal and Blake and, and, and,…..

    ……and I’m glad he doesn’t sit around and watch me work and write about it in the papers….


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