They say it’s your birthday…

Four Dodgers who have left their marks on the organization were born on this date…

The youngest of those four turns 30 years old today and he’s the current “Dean of the Dodgers.” Remember that term from the 80s, which often referred to the player who was with the team the longest? Well, Hong-Chih Kuo is that guy, having been in the organization since he was drafted as an 18 year old in 1999. His perseverence through physical injuries and this year, mental anguish, have earned him the respect of hundreds of thousands of baseball fans around the globe and he couldn’t be a better representative of this team.

Eight years before Kuo entered the world in Taiwan, Nomar Garciaparra was born and raised here in Los Angeles. He got to play for his hometown team for several years and became an immediate fan favorite. Arguably his most memorable day as a Dodger was the “four-homer game” when the team trailed by four in the bottom of the ninth and hit four consecutive solo shots to tie it, only to lose the lead in the 10th and win it on a Nomar walk-off in the bottom half.

The other two are no longer with us, but far from forgotten.

Don Drysdale would have been 75 today. He won World Championships, set Major League records and reached the Hall of Fame, long before being known to another generation as a Dodger broadcaster. He passed away far too young, in 1993, while on the road with the team. Tonight, more than 50 of his family and friends (plus thousands of his admirers) will be on hand as we celebrate his career and life as a Dodger. His sons, D.J. and Darren, will throw out ceremonial first pitches and his wife (a legend in her own right) Ann Meyers Drysdale will also be on hand.

And coincidentally, another Hall of Famer and Dodger whose number is retired, Pee Wee Reese, was also born on this day in 1918. He played in the third-most games in franchise history (1,918), scored more runs than anyone who ever wore a Dodger uniform (1,338), had more hits than everyone other than Zach Wheat and will always be remembered as one of the original Boys of Summer. He passed away in 1999 and not only did he wear No. 1 on his jersey, but in so many people’s minds, he was No. 1 in their heart, too.

With all that’s gone wrong this season on and off the field, it’s important for us to take a moment and think about four Dodger All-Stars, all born on the same day, all accomplished in their own right, and all who wore (or wear) the uniform with dignity and pride.

39 Comments

Thanks for the new thread Josh. Happy Birthday Hong-Chih.
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Don was one of my all-time favorite Dodgers. I felt very honored to see him pitch. And, yes, I’m old enough to say I saw Pee-Wee play too!

Oops, almost forgot….Happy Birthday, Nomar.

Did any of you know that Drysdale led the Dodgers in hitting in 1966? He was the ONLY .300 hitter on the team that year. I was at the game where he set the scoreless inning streak. It was the first game I yelled myself hoarse. Wonderful memories . . . .

Just heard Vinny say that about his hitting. Amazing! How cool you gotn to see that game. I saw him pitch and loved him from that moment on ;-) A wonderful person and a fine Dodger.

I didn’t get to see Don Drysdale play because he was a tad before my time, but I made up for it in all the Dodger books, stories and articles I have read that pertained to or referenced him. I do remember him being in an episode of “The Brady Bunch” when I was a little kid – lol!!! It was a big deal to me back then – lol!!

I think he was on an episode of “The Rifleman” also.

Yea – I think you are right! I didn’t watch those as a kid, but I do know as an adult.

Don was also on Leave it to Beaver and The Brady Bunch

WOO-HOO….A WIN!

It’s nice to have a win :)

Now that is a very nice thread, Josh!
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I am old enough to have watched PeeWee and Don both, mostly at the old ballpark in Philadelphia where I was going to school. Many matchups between Drysdale and Robin Roberts, and Don usually came out on top. What memories!

Fun game last night even if it seemed to last forever. Had a little of everything except the long ball. The tribute to Drysdale at the beginning was quite touching. I estimated there were about 30,000 in attendance and for the most part, the crowd was into the game, except for all those folks who left after the 8th inning and missed an exciting finish. Nice to see Furcal have a good game both at the plate and in the field as he made a couple beautiful plays.

NSB mentioned Drysdale’s book in the previous thread, Once a Bum, Always a Dodger. I am proud to have an autographed copy of that book.

Nice to know you are now Les ;-)

LET’S GO, DODGERS, LET’S GO!!!!!

I was lucky enough to see Big D a couple of times. In a game against the Pirates, Fairly hit a solo shot right down the right field line and Drysdale made it stand up for the win. Cannot remember the circumstances, but I did see Drysdale pinch hit once.
He also appeared on the Donna Reed Show. Duke Snider and a couple of other Dodgers, I do not remember who, were on The Rifleman.

Wow! A nice win today – after Billz got through his troubles, he was awesome. Win streak!!!

Guerra has really stepped up & done a fantastic job closing!
Jonathan Who?

When will a Dodgers media expert tell Don Mattingly to quit touching his face during the post game interviews? It is very annoying to watch and distracts from what he is trying to say.

You are spot on! It’s driven me crazy in the past, as well!!!!!

Maybe the team should get a jar like they did for Loney. He would have to put a dollar in every time he touched his face or moved his hand from right side to chin to left side to soul patch. He would get a dollar for every interview he kept his hand out of camera view.

Wow that’s rare. Reese born on 1918 and played in 1,918 games.

Hi Everybody
Just passing through. Hoping for another Dodger victory, which are pretty seldom these days. I’ll try to look it in here more often.

Great to read you here, OBF! We’ve missed you. Hope all is well!

Let’s go Dodgers, let’s go…..how about three in a row?!

3 in a row would be sweet Tru!!

WAY TO GO ANDRE EVERETT ETHIER!!

I am always around. I was just text watching Michael’s game with the other moms at the game. I wasn’t at today’s game so they were updating me in the game. The won both games today, and were heading to the championship game tomorrow, but the other team protested and won. I wasn’t there, but from what the parents said, it’s something political. It sucks sometimes when you are dealing with opposing coaches that are assholes as one parent said, and won’t let the boys just play baseball.

Collie – I meant to reply to your comment on OTD – lol!!!

Dre with a bomb! Nice ab by Miles! Way to produce a couple of runs. Now for Ruby to settle down and stop overthrowing.

Nice shut down inning RDL!

Yes….let’s keep it going!

Nice play by James and RDL on the backside!

Hey Tru! Key double play there!

YAY….another run! Way to go…keep it up!

They are listening to you Tru!!!

A little too close for comfort in the 9th but, a win is a win! Way to go!

Well that was a little scary. Nice way to see the kid pull it out.

Just keep Honeybutt away from Javy.

Les,
that is great that you have the “Once A Bum, ALways a Dodger” book autographed! I found it at my local library bookstore. They had discarded it (probably they already had another copy) so I picked it up for 50 cents. It is stamped with the library name/address as discarded in the back and in the first page. I was happy to get a hold if it!
Happy belated birthday to all our Bums!

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