In today’s L.A. Times, Bill Plaschke found one of the amazing stories in the building so make sure you check it out. It’s always great to see some of the hard working people here get some recognition and the incredible thing is, there are stories like this behind so many people who work for the Dodgers, yet few ever learn of their tales.
It’s only fitting, since Bill points out that they’ve never met a player in four decades of Sylvia working here, that we put their names in the headline with two players who made news today. The club designated Garret Anderson for assignment to make room for Jay Gibbons, who has been tearing up Triple-A all season long after spending last year retired in Thousand Oaks. Garret has been a class act throughout a difficult year and we wish him well. Hopefully Jay can come up with some big hits for this club in the final seven-plus weeks of the season.
As for Sylvia and Esther, the timing of the story was also ironic because yesterday we had the latest installment of the Starting 9 program. Various stadium workers – from ushers to ticket takers, security to parking attendants and food service workers, etc. are nominated by their colleagues to be their department’s member of the Starting 9. Those nine employees then get to watch batting practice from the field, meet a Dodger player and, here’s the kicker: Meet Vin Scully.
It’s awesome to see the reaction on their faces when they meet the person who ties all Dodger generations together and hopefully Sylvia will be honored in the future if she hasn’t been already.
Pretty cool that just a few feet away, Vin Scully is doing the Dodger broadcast, Joe Garagiola is doing the D-backs broadcast and down in the dugout, Kirk Gibson is managing the D-backs. All three men were there on Oct. 15, 1988 when Gibby hit the famous home run in Game 1 of the World Series.
A few of us were joking before the game that when Gibson goes to the mound to pull out his pitcher, he should do a fist pump with his right arm like he did rounding the bases.
Meanwhile Joe G. and Joe T. were hanging in the dugout during batting practice and a ton of players came over to meet Garagiola. The broadcast area here is named for him and they have a cool timeline of his history in the game of baseball.
Getting swept is never fun, so there’s not much that can be said after a weekend like that. Let’s just hope the team got it out this weekend and will turn it back on this week against the Reds and Red Sox…
On a more gracious note, thanks to everyone who contributed to ThinkCure Weekend…more than $300,000 was raised for cancer research and the online auction is still going through tomorrow.
Among the things that tend to happen on a daily basis if you purchase the Insider Clubhouse Tour are interactions with numerous current and/or future Hall of Famers, access in areas of the stadium where even the most fortunate fans never get to go and a chance to watch the game from the press box.
I believe last year, the person who purchased this item wound up meeting Vin Scully, Jaime Jarrin, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Torre, Ned Colletti, Fernando Valenzuela, Charley Steiner, Rick Monday and several players, among others. Trust me…we make it worth your while because it’s such a great cause so bid now before someone else gets this lifelong memory (have I talked it up enough).
Tomorrow’s an off day and likely no post, but we’ll be back to posting almost daily starting on Tuesday. Hang in there, Dodger fans. It’s been a tough weekend, but the Dodgers still have the third-best record in the NL and there are still several guys waiting to hit their strides.
Following up on today’s annual golf tournament to benefit the Dodgers Dream Foundation, tomorrow is the start of the ThinkCure Weekend. As you know, it’s all geared towards finding a cure for cancer and we certainly hope you will all find a way to donate in some way, if you have the means.
It starts at 6 a.m. on KABC 790, KLOS and KHJ (Spanish), and then at noon Prime Ticket there will be two straight days of amazing TV programming focused all on ThinkCure. They’ve really put a ton of effort into making this a memorable event to raise a lot of money for a great cause. KCAL will also be showing regular updates over the weekend, so find some time to tune in.
Even better, check out the really cool auction items. A chance to shag fly balls during BP, meet Vin Scully, have an Italian dinner with Tommy, take a batting lesson with Don Mattingly. There’s so much, it’s hard to list it all. In fact, there’s even a chance to follow around yours truly again and all I can say is that last year’s winner paid several thousand dollars and enjoyed it so much, he wound up doubling his donation just for the cause! But more on that later in the weekend…
And last but certainly not least, thank you all for the kind thoughts in the comments of the last post. We are truly blessed and appreciate all of your well wishes.
Oh yeah…and welcome to first place!!
Is there a better history teacher than Vin Scully? He just finished giving viewers a recap of D-Day, June 6, 1944 and those who heard his words will surely remember them. But on his behalf, we ask you all to please take a moment to think about all that happened that day and how grateful we all are and should be for the sacrifice made by so many.
Another person we remember today is Jose Lima, whose son Jose Jr. threw out the first pitch just about half an hour ago. The anthem was a video of his dad from May 13, 2004 and it was a really special moment that I’m sure the family will remember for many years to come. Several players lingered out on the dugout steps after it finished in silent prayer and the legacy of Lima Time will live on in his children and all who knew him.
On a much lighter note, the Dodgers wish to congratulate Bobby Cox on an incredible career. We’ll be saluting him in-game today, his final regular season game at Dodger Stadium but here’s hoping that he’s back here for the postseason. A lot has to happen for that to come to pass, but if the season were to end today, these two teams could face off in the playoffs (there would be a number of play-in games).
But, there are still almost four months to go, so enjoy them. This will likely be the last blog post for a few days but we’ll be back soon…keep your eye on dodgers.com for all the latest news.
Word has spread quickly through Dodger Stadium that John Wooden has passed away. The entire Dodger organization extends our sincere thoughts to his family and friends, which include several members of the team…Vin Scully, Joe Torre and so many others.
My understanding is that Vin will mention Coach Wooden’s passing at the top of the fourth inning on the broadcast and there are few who can do so with such class. For those who were fortunate enough to meet him, it is surely something they’ll never forget.
Many of our then-young prospects, including tonight’s starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, Blake DeWitt and Ramon Troncoso had the good fortunate to meet Coach Wooden during a private dinner one night during our Winter Development program on Jan. 11, 2008.
He will be missed by so many but his teachings and wise words of wisdom will carry forward for generations. There are so many great quotes, but here’s a personal favorite:
“It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit.”
Rest in peace, John Wooden.
In case you missed the news, Vin will make the trip to Boston later this month and call a game at Fenway Park on Friday night against the Red Sox.
Hopefully everyone in LA got the chance to tune in today and hear Vin Scully, who was back on the air and in good spirits. He’ll also do the game next Saturday, so make sure to tune into KCAL for more poetry from the best…
Please forgive the delay in posting for ITD…went back to Los Angeles until next weekend to help get things ready at the Stadium before we open the doors to all of you on April 1. In fact, the doors of the Stadium were open today for the marathon, which I’ve heard was a great success. Did any of you run in it?
Anyway, with ITD back in LA this week, the lineups may be a little slower in coming but we’ll still try to post daily.
A quick update on Vin, as news reports in LA have come out that he was admitted to the hospital this evening.
I just spoke with him a few minutes ago and he said that he simply got out of bed too fast this evening and fell and bumped his head and so for precautionary measures, he was taken to the hospital and will stay overnight for observation. However, he wanted to assure everyone that he’s fine and that he expects to be at Camelback Ranch this weekend for the telecast on Sunday.
As you can imagine, he appreciates everyone’s concern and I can assure you, he sounded just like he always does…
Just came from a very cool luncheon which takes place each year and is hosted by the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association.
Vin Scully was receiving the President’s Award from the organization and Jim Hill was put into the Hall of Fame and both gave very moving speeches but the event turned into an impromptu lovefest for Vin that has rarely been equaled. It seemed that everyone who won an award talked at length about Vin’s role in their career and he was clearly humbled by the whole thing. He really is as classy as any individual I’ve ever been around and we are all very fortunate to have him be the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Other key Dodger people who won awards were Vin for best TV and radio play by play announcer, Jaime Jarrin for Spanish-language broadcaster, Ken Levine for talk show host (he gave props to Josh Suchon, his partner) and Eric Karros for pre or postgame host. We’re proud of all of them, and a personal shout out goes to Nancy Mazmanian, formerly of the Angels, who won the “High Five” award. And lots of love went out to the memory of Rory Markas, among others who we lost this year.
Meanwhile, at the same time that event was going on, we had the kickoff to the caravan at USC Hospital and tomorrow and Wednesday, we’ll be kicking around town and hope to see you all there.