On behalf of everyone at the Dodger organization, we want to wish all the Dads out there a Happy Father’s Day.
If you’re coming out to the Stadium, bring your glove so you can play catch on the field with your father/son after the game. And check out the ceremonial first pitch from Tom Gordon to Dee Gordon and Tony Gwynn Sr. to Jr., plus snag a new BBQ Apron from Farmer John.
If you’re not making it down here, tune in on KABC 790, KTNQ 1020 or on PRIME Ticket, where they’ve got lots of Father’s Day content in store throughout the game. You can hang out and watch with your kids or your Dad and make it a day to remember.
And if you do nothing else for your Dad today, make sure you educate yourself on how to “keep Dad in the game” through the prostate cancer foundation. It’s supported by so many people – including Tommy Lasorda and our Dodger rep, Mat Kemp. Early detection is so important and you can literally save your father’s life.
There’s so much coverage out there right now about Duke Snider’s passing, it’s hard to fathom. Rightfully so, of course. He’s arguably the greatest offensive player in franchise history and holds so many team records it’s almost impossible to list them all.
But what’s also somewhat unique is just how long it’s been since we lost one of our legendary Dodgers. There are 10 uniforms retired and prior to yesterday, the Dodgers had not lost any of these great figures since Pee Wee Reese back in August of 1999.
Fortunately, we still have a trio of Hall of Fame legends who are with us today – Tommy Lasorda, Sandy Koufax and Don Sutton, along with legendary broadcasters Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin. Not to mention legends like Don Newcombe, Tommy Davis, Maury Wills, “Sweet” Lou Johnson, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, Davey Lopes, Rick Monday, Fernando Valenzuela, Wes Parker, Dr. Frank Jobe, Billy DeLury and of course, all those who played the majority of their careers in the 80s, 90s and 00s. The list of these legends could go on for pages.
A day like yesterday is the ultimate reminder that we need to learn all we can from these gentlemen while they are here with us. We are so lucky to have all these people at the Stadium on a regular basis and they helped create the franchise we’ve all come to know and love.
If you see them out and about, be sure to tell them how much they mean to you and the Dodgers.
With full fledged workouts going on, the media here to capture the news and Don Mattingly talking Dodger baseball, it finally feels like the season is upon us.
We don’t report to Camelback Ranch until a month from this Sunday, but you wouldn’t know that from the vibe at the park this morning.
Plenty of websites and TV stations will be sharing the newsworthy info that came out of today and we tweeted a ton of it as it was coming out @dodgers so there’s no use recapping it all. Frankly, that’s not the value in this blog.
But what we can tell you is that it feels like the Dodgers have some great things in store for 2011. Hearing Donnie talk about the team and the tradition of this organization was impressive. Seeing Tommy Lasorda, Maury Wills and the return of Davey Lopes to a place he called home for so many years. The players hearing from an All-Star like Shawn Green after the workouts about what it’s like to be a Dodger and a big leaguer. Tommy closing it out with a speech like no one else can deliver.
And tonight, the prospects are having a private dinner with a number of Dodger legends to hear about why the Dodgers are the Dodgers.
It’s all part of this incredible program put together by De Jon Watson, Chris Haydock and the player development department and it’s got a lot of people at the stadium excited about the year to come.
Today, on Veteran’s Day, everyone at the Dodger organization salutes those who sacrifice for others to make this country what is is today. There are so many great things going on around the nation today, including a really exciting event at Dodger Stadium where members of the military will be taking BP, hanging out on the field, meeting legends like Tommy and Newk and enjoying a great day at the stadium.
Before that, we’ll head out to the Veteran’s Hospital in Westwood with Tommy and Vin Scully to spend some time with those who are there and thank them for their service. It’s all part of a larger program we’ll be starting in 2011 to honor the military.
The Dodgers Media Network (www.dodgers.com/dmn) has a great tribute video to Dodger legend Rick Monday’s proud moment of saving the flag, while Bill Plaschke weighed in this morning with a heartfelt column as well.
And while we’re saluting the efforts of others, it’s important to note that Joe Torre will host his annual Safe at Home dinner tonight in New York to benefit the great work that his foundation does to stop domestic violence, while Ryan Theriot’s inaugural celebrity golf classic is tomorrow in Louisiana to benefit three great causes (www.ryantheriot.com).
Our stars are on display tonight at the All-Star Game on FOX so hopefully you guys will all be watching.
And of course, our hearts go out to the Yankee family today with the passing of George Steinbrenner. It’s obviously been a tough week for them, with Bob Sheppard also passing away. Though his legacy will live on tonight at the All-Star Game when his voice announces Derek Jeter in Anaheim.
Here are some of the comments made from Dodger personnel regarding The Boss:
“George was a friend who I admired very much. He was a giant in our game and he built an empire. All he was was a winner. He wanted to give the fans a winner, and that’s exactly what he did.” – Dodger Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda
“I will always remember George Steinbrenner as a passionate man, a tough boss, a true visionary, a great humanitarian and a dear friend. I will be forever grateful that he trusted me with his Yankees for 12 years. My heart goes out to his entire family. He will be deeply missed in New York, Tampa and throughout the world of baseball. It’s only fitting that he went out as a world champ.” – Dodger Manager Joe Torre
“I am deeply saddened to hear the news of George Steinbrenner’s passing. His vision, passion and commitment to winning, recharged the New York Yankees and revolutionized the game.
I remember a man driven to succeed. He was the owner, “The Boss” and number one fan of the Yankees. Our relationship was built on mutual respect. I will never forget and always be grateful for how he treated me and my family both during my playing days and after I retired.
I will miss him very much and extend my deepest condolences to his wife, Joan, and all the members of the Steinbrenner family.” – Dodger Hitting Coach Don Mattingly
“George Steinbrenner was the first owner to convey to me his congratulations when I purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers. From that day forward we built a strong and meaningful friendship. He was a larger than life owner who cared deeply about winning. George helped shape the game of baseball during his incredible stewardship of the Yankees. My deepest sympathies go out to his wife, Joan and his four children, Hal, Hank, Jennifer and Jessica and the entire Steinbrenner family.” – Dodger Owner Frank McCourt
On the Sunday before the All-Star Game, there will be a 5K run/walk benefiting cancer charities down in Anaheim and you can still sign up to be a part of it at www.allstargame.com and all the information can also be found here:
Jillian Michaels, host of The Biggest Loser will be out there and it’s all for a good cause, so check it out!
Meanwhile, thanks for the reminder on the Inside the Dodgers Tour…just curious – how many of you would actually do this again? I’m just not sure how much more I could add this year that we didn’t do last year? There aren’t really “new” places to take you guys, so I’d hate to have you all come back to hear me give the same schpiel.
And cpompe1: Yes, that was me at dinner with Tommy Lasorda on Saturday night in Boston. He invited a couple of us out to a favorite Italian joint of his and you can’t really say no to that offer, can you?
Need to get back on track tonight in Anaheim. For whatever reason, we’ve never been a great Interleague team but that’s no excuse. We have to win some of these games against the Angels and Yankees…if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, right?
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!!
If you’re not already keeping tabs on Mr. Lasorda, it’s definitely an entertaining thing to do. The man goes everywhere, knows everyone, and doesn’t sit still for more than a few minutes.
This week, he was in Midland, Michigan to watch the Single-A Loons and you can read about it here on his blog.
And this weekend, he heads to Brooklyn to be inducted in the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame!
Meanwhile, from what I understand, despite yesterday’s tough loss the team’s spirits are pretty high. They managed to come back when they were down to their last strike against one of the game’s top pitchers and still took two out of three from the charging Giants.
Tomorrow we kick off the weekend in Arizona where we need to continue to win series. Safe to say that if we take two out of every three games from here on out, we’ll be just fine!