Yesterday marked the 55th anniversary of Tommy Lasorda’s Major League debut as a left-handed pitcher with the Brooklyn Dodgers. On Aug. 5, 1954, Lasorda pitched three innings in relief at Ebbets Field against the St. Louis Cardinals. The first base umpire that afternoon was Lon Warneke, a former pitcher from 1930-45 who became a Major League umpire in 1949.
Another future Dodger Hall of Fame manager, Walter Alston, crossed paths with Warneke in his only Major League plate appearance on Sept. 27, 1936. Alston was a former reserve first baseman for the Cardinals. Warneke was pitching for the Chicago Cubs when Alston stepped to the plate as a pinch-hitter. Alston narrowly missed a home run on a long foul ball and he eventually struck out. When Alston announced his retirement as Dodger manager on Sept. 27, 1976, it was the 40th anniversary of his at-bat against Warneke.
— Mark Langill
Also, over at Psychollingy, Eric Collins has a really interesting post about George Sherrill.
Sitting at LAX, ready to head to Camelback Ranch – Glendale. Hard to believe it’s here, but I can’t wait to see the place. It’s changed dramatically since I was there in November.
Be sure to keep checking back regularly for updates as well as watching the Inside Dodgertown webisodes that are on dodgers.com (if you’ve disabled autoplay on your home page, you have to make sure to click on it to watch them). The video group from the Dodgers has been doing some great work on a daily basis and there will be new video from Arizona daily.
Meanwhile, if I hadn’t booked my flight a month ago, I would have hopped on the Lasorda bus, which departed from Dodger Stadium this morning at 10 a.m. They’ve got to be closing in on Arizona by now even with their stop for six-dollar burgers at Carl’s Jr. and a gas fill-up at 76 (got to plug our sponsors, right?). I can only imagine the stories being told on that bus but keep an eye out for updates on KABC from Josh Suchon all day long; a story on dodgers.com from Rhett Bollinger, who is riding along; reports on KCAL with Gary Miller; and a column by the Daily News’ Ramona Shelburne. I’m sure Tommy will post a blog about the trip, too.
Tomorrow there will be tons of coverage from Arizona, as Joe Torre will meet with the media around 2 p.m. and Inside Dodgertown is hoping to catch with him first thing in the morning before the entire baseball operations staff sits down together for the first time this spring.