The Rivalry

A couple years after I retired from being manager, Willie Mays was in the Giants clubhouse at Candlestick Park, which I still think was one of the worst places to play baseball.  He heard I was with the team, so he called and told me to come over to their clubhouse.  I told him I would never, ever go into a Giant clubhouse even if God told me to.Nyg_bk466

In his high-pitched voice, he said, ?What?s the matter, you ain?t the manager no more.?

?No I?m not,? I told him, ?but I?m still a Dodger which means I hate the Giants, so what do you want??

Willie just wanted to visit and talk about the rivalry between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants.  And what a tremendous rivalry it was.  Depending on which borough you were from, you either loved the Dodgers or the Giants, or the Yankees of course.  Both sets of fans were beyond passionate about winning, and about hating their opponent. 

When Walter O’Malley moved to Los Angeles, the Giants followed us west and landed in San Francisco.  The rivalry followed, and to show you how serious the hatred was, when Jackie Robinson was traded to the Giants at the end of his career, instead of reporting, he just quit.  He would rather walk away from the game he loved instead of entering the Giants clubhouse.  He had spent so many years with the Dodgers hating the Giants, and trying to beat them at all costs, that he just couldn?t come to putting on their uniform.  Now that is a rivalry.

As a player in the Dodger farm system, we were brought up to hate the Giants.  Years later, when I was a manager in our farm system, I taught my players to hate the Giants.  By the time any player reached the big leagues, he hated the Giants and wanted to beat them real bad.

When I started managing the Dodgers in 1977, 17 of the 25 players on the team had played for me in the minors, and another four had come up through our system, so 21 of the 25 players were signed by the Dodgers, developed by the Dodgers and learned from day one about the rivalry.  The Giants had teams in every league the Dodgers did, so at every stop we made our players learn to hate the Giants.

Now, with so much turn over in Major League Baseball, the rivalry isn?t what it used to be because most players did not come through our system.  It is still fun beating the Giants.  In fact, the all-time series record is 1251-1235 in favor of the Dodgers.  Most importantly, the fans still enjoy the rivalry and everyone has fun pulling for their team. 

I want all Dodger fans to tune into this series with the Giants and to keep pulling for the Dodgers; I will be.  Remember, there is a saying in this country; if you don?t pull for the Dodgers, there?s a good chance you may not get into heaven. 

This is LA baseball.

Dodgersgiantssplit_466b

33 Comments

Hi, Tommy!

First, I think you’re doing a great job with this blog. I can hear you saying every word :-)

In your announcement before the games, you suggest that we be courteous to our fellow Dodger fans. Does that mean we can be rude to the opponents’ fans? LOL!

From what I’ve heard, Dodger fans need a squad of Marines for protection if they go to the Hated Vertically Advantaged’s ballpark.

GO DODGER BLUE!

Tommy, great thoughts on the rivalry.

You’ve seen many changes in baseball, and I appreciated your comment at the end on how the “rivalry isn’t what it used to be.” Do you think free agency might have something to do with this? You’ve seen firsthand how free agency changed this game… do you think it weakened the rivalry, and rivalries in general?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I grew up in Los Angeles the son of a Dodger fan and the grandson of a Dodger fan.

I miss the days of the intense rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants. The loyalty of the Dodger owners and players–when the team was a family and the players were my heroes. I remember crying the day Steve Garvey signed with the Padres and later being disgusted my the sight of my Orel Hershiser playing for the giants.

I miss the O’Malleys, Al Campanis the intense rivalries.

I am thankful that there are still throwbacks like Tommy Lasorda around!!

PS: Next to getting saved and marrying my beautiful wife, meeting Tommy Lasorda in Baltimore last year was one of the highlights of my life!!

Tommy, your stories are endless and I look forward to reading each one of them as they are posted. I applaud the “old school” values of hating the Giants that yourself and Jackie Robinson have instilled on the fans til this day. Your love and respect, for not only the Dodgers, but for the game is greatly appreciated and admired. I enjoyed your thoughts on the greatest rivalry in baseball…

To the Giants organization, team, and fans…..Kiss my BLUE ***!!! Cuz as Tommy said, “if you don’t pull for the Dodgers, there’s a good chance you might not get into heaven”….So, i’m going to heaven baby, and it’s going to all Blue!!!!

I just wanted to give my compliments on the blog. I was born and raised Dodger Blue, but now, I’m a very displaced Dodger (Atlanta, then Baton Rouge, where if it isn’t football, its nothing!) I love reading your entries. I can’t wait till I’m back in LA to see a game. And until then, I’ll be a faithful reader :)

I have bled Dodger Blue for the last 22 years. I remember when I was 9 years old, I sat in the living room with my father watching that fateful afternoon when Joe Morgan hit the game winning home run to end the Dodgers’ playoff hopes in 1982, it was the first time that Dodger Blue ran through my veins, and the Giants became my rivalry. Tommy’s inspiration and influence has been the reason that I am still a Dodger Fan! Thanks Mr. Lasorda for all that you do for the Dodgers and its fans!

I have bled Dodger Blue for all 19 years of my life and I am currently attending colege near San Fransisco and there is a lot of banter between me and my classmates! Like you said this is a rivalary much enjoyed by the fans!

I was first introduced to this rivalry in ’82 when Joe Morgan belted that 3 run HR off Terry Forster to knock us out of the playoffs in the season’s final game. Growing up, I was more attached to the Dodgers-Giants rivalry than the Dodgers-Yankees becuase after ’81, ( I was 7 then and was just getting into baseball), I had never seen the Blue do battle with the Yanks in an actuall until last year and saw many battles with our rivals up north. It’s still a fun rivalry, like me, ask anyone who was there when Finley hit the slaaaaaaaam. P.S., Dodgers fans, I too also have a blog I would like for you to visit as well @ dodgerdre.mlblogs.com. I may not necessarily have the time to post frequently, but for what I can put out, I would like for you to view and comment. Thank you and as always, GO DODGERS!!!

Greetings from the Dark Side. From my seat at S(uck it) B(lue) C(retins) Park I joyously watched Schmidty (our pitcher – ha ha!) and Matheny take Weaver deep last night. A lusty “BEAT L.A.” bellowed from our lungs as our native son, Tyler Walker, nailed down the coffin on your Blue Bums.

Now, all rivlary posturing aside, I have to agree with you, Tommy, that the rivalry isn’t the same. Heck, it isn’t the same without you. It isn’t the same without the venom that only the ‘Stick could produce in we Giants fans.

Do you remember the last night game at the ‘Stick? Do you remember us booing you out when you tried to sing “Take me out to the Ball Game” and then us singing it ourselves? Well, as you said that night, this Giants fan does secretly hate myself because deep down I do miss (but not love) you.

BEAT DA BUMS! GO GIANTS!!!

I grew up a Dodger fan. I saw them play at the LA Coliseum and watched Wally Moon launch one of his “Moon Shots” I remember the Roseboro/Marichal duels in the 60’s( those were the days). I can remember how they watered down the dirt between 1st and 2nd base at Candlestick when Maury Wills was going for the Stolen Base record. I “hated” the Giants back then and I still “hate” them to this day.

Tommy,

i have 2 things to say to your “Better dead than a Giant” philosophy.

They are Sal Maglie and Juan Marichal.

Roger

With respect, Tommy i think the rivalry is alive and well. The Dodger and Giant rivalry peaks in August and September. It’s a bit different today than in the past. But it’s a healthy rivalry and it’s great for Baseball. Tuesday nights game between the Dodgers and the Giants @ SBC Park there were three Dodger fans and one Giant fan in the middle. The emotional loss on the Dodger fans faces were evident, The Giant fan gloating. The one thing that was very clear though was that they were Baseball fans first and respected each others past. It can get very passionate in the heat of the moment. But when the dust settles i know the players respect and admire the “Rivalry” The tension can get so thick. It’s those times we can keep as memories and our love for Baseball. Go Dodgers!
Go Giants!

Mr. Lasorda, Having read Tommy Davis’s book “DODGER DOGOUT”, and now reading your blogs, it saddens me to not have been able to live thru such a magical era in DODGER history. Mr. Jackie Robinson chosing to retire than to wear a Giants uniform, was in my opinion, the geatest sport act in any sports history. That is without a doubt, not only LOVE for the game but truly bleeding DODGER BLUE. GOD bless you, all the fans, and The Dodgers, past and present. GO DODGERS!!!!!!!

Tommy-

While i agree with everything you wrote about the Dodger-Giant rivalry, it is important not to forget about the Dodger-Yankee rivalry.

I root for TWO teams… the Dodgers and ANYONE WHO PLAYS AGAINST THE YANKEES!!

Tommy-
I grew up in LA. I used to live at Dodger Staduim, cut me I bleed blue!! But now I live in North Central, CA. This is Giant country. I am constantly fighting off those Giant fans!! But I always come out on Top! Giants who?

Hi Tommy,
I just want to say that reading your blogs brings back a whole lot of memories of me growing up and watching the Dodgers. That being said, I completely agree 100% about the hatred for the Giants. There is no team whom I have grown to hate more then the Giants. All because I was brought up a Dodger. Being overseas in the military, till this day I show my Dodger pride and stand up to any Giant fan with who I come in contact with. GO DODGERS!!!

Dear Tommy,

I became a baseball fan and a Dodger fan in 1952. I must admit I did not sense the rivalry at that time. Rather than being a Giant-hater I was a devout Yankee-hater! All those World Series, and all those times they beat us! 1955 was probably the biggest highlight of my young life.

But I digress … back to the Giants. I remember not learning about 1951 and Bobby Thompson until 1953 or 1954. When I finally did, it upset me as if it had happened yesterday. Still does. I think that’s when I became a Giant-hater.

Over the years I’ve only had a few opportunities to see my beloved Dodgers in person. Twice in 1965 at Busch Stadium, the second and third games of a 13 game winning streak that brought us the pennant. Koufax and Osteen – the poor Cardinals never scored a run. Another time in 1981 – again at Busch. We lost that one, but were still World Champions. Finally, the ultimate came two years ago: a seat in the right field corner of baseball heaven, Dodger Stadium. And the opponent? You guessed it, the Giants. We didn’t actually get in until the top of the third inning, just in time to see Barry Bonds ground into a double play! Oh, and we won the game too.

Before I close, Tommy, a personal note: the greatest managers in Dodger history? You and Walter Alston, hands down. But you have been even more: a tremendous ambassador, not only for the Dodgers, but for the game itself. Futhermore, in my humble opinion, NO ONE could have won the World Series with the ’88 team except you!

Dear Tommy
I hated the giant too!

however you mention that you were taught to hate the giants but was in line to coach them if they moved to florida, when that florida investor who had a higher bid but was rejected inorder to keep the team in frisco.

I say hate giant no matter where they move our what new name they take. F#@* the gaints ( and the yankees)

I flew out to SFO from Georgia and I was at the game May 24 (when this was posted) at Pacific SBC Bell Park or whatever they want to name it this week.

It was hilarious, the section my best friend–a Giants fan–and I were sitting in had Dodger fans all around us. At one point my friend said, “I feel like I’m on Candid Camera.” But as it got closer to game time, it evened out and we Dodger fans got unmercifilly but peacefully harrassed (i.e. no beer spilled on us or batteries chucked at us). Especially after Schmidt hit his HR off Weaver.

After the game was over, we were heading down the ramps underneath the stadium to get out. I didn’t know 25,000 people screaming, “Beat LA” in an enclosed area could be so loud!

The rivalry is still there but I’m not sure it’s as intense as when Tommy was managing the team. That’s because Giants fans hate Tommy because of his devotion to the Dodgers and the “bleeding DOdger Blue” thing. From what I understand from my best friend, Giant fans would start booing and chanting “Beat LA” at the first glimpse of Tommy during BATTING PRACTICE at Candlestick. I never saw a game at Candlestick so I wouldn’t know.

I hate the Giants with a passion. The two times I’ve been inside SBC Park have been Dodgers-Giants games, and both times I got a lot of grief for daring to wear my Dodger cap, one of my many Dodgers t-shirts, and Dodger windbreaker. Only strangely the Battery Chuckers shut up after the 1st game in 2000 when we won!

The caption on your picture on your blog dated May 24 says “This is LA Baseball.” NO IT IS NOT. It is DODGER Baseball. Your story about hating the Giants and 21 of 25 players coming through the system: Does the new management of Los Angeles Baseball know the history of DODGER Baseball? I have been a DODGER fan for over 50 years. I will NEVER be a “Los Angeles Baseball” fan. I love “lee69@juno.com”!

Tommy, keep telling us stories, even if they are figments of your imagination.

Mr. Lasorda, I have to say as a Dodger Fan you have two major rivals thats the Yanks and Giants those are the two teams.That real Dodger fans hate you bleed the old blue and white for the team. We need a world Series soon it’s been way to long. Watching in front of the tv on the edge of your seat for the big Game.May the Lord bless you and keep you may His Face shine apon you this day. Amen

p.S.Tommy you were a true legacy to the game of baseball.

Dave Mcadams

But Tommy, aren’t you in the Oakland A’s hall of fame? How about those years with the A’s? So okay you just hate the GIANTS but not San Fran? Were the AAA SEALS still there when you played for the AAA Angels? Talk about those times also, Mr. Lasorda, please! Why do you hate RED? The GIANTS never wore RED in “modern times”?

Tommy,
You are from Montgomery County and also have the hardheaded never say die Philly attitude like myself. I’ve been a Padre Fan since 83 and the real rivalry from SD view are the Dodgers. Blue has great history, but this 05 team can be had. We don’t like the giants but detest your Dodgers [ptooey lungar]. Love your stories. Later Fat Old Dude.

Jeff Shea

Mr. Lasorda:

As a Giants fan, I have to say one of my best memories at Candlestick Park was booing you as you walked to the visitor’s dugout from the clubhouse. And admit it, you loved it when you blew kisses to all the Giants fans. It’s just not the same anymore at SBC, even the couple of times I’ve seen you there. You ought to come out on the SBC field in uniform again just so we can boo you.

In all seriousness, those were fun days for us. We may have booed you, sir, but we also appreciated what you do for the game. Thanks and hope to see (boo) you at SBC soon! :)

Tommy, thanks for the forum. Just a comment on the rivalry. I took my family and my wifes aunt (a giant fan) to a giant game at candelstick once, and only once in the late ’80s. It made me appreciate how clean Dodger Stadium always is. I will never forget the sight after the game, of the Dodgers getting into their team bus and a 75 year old lady repeatidly giving the Dodger players a one finger salute! Talk about a long standing rivalry.

I grew up listening to the Dodgers on radio. In fact, one of the reasons I married my wife was she loved Sandy Koufax as a kid. The Dodger/Giant rivalry definitely isn’t what it used to be. In fact, due to free agency, no rivalry is. Developing their own players was partly what made all the great Dodger teams great. By the way, great blog, Tommy. I stumbled upon it, and I’m glad I did!

Hey Lasorda, once again you say lies.
The Giants are ahead in the series

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_Giants

or if you can read here is the stats

A Long History

The Giants and Dodgers have played more head-to-head games than any other two teams in Major League Baseball since 1901. In their 2,066 meetings (seasons 1901 through 2004), the Giants have won 1,038 games and the Dodgers have won 1,014 (Note: The 14 game discrepancy in this figure is a statistical anomaly caused, in part, by forfeits in the early 20th century).

So next time you decide to lie, make sure your lie isn’t a lie that can easily be knocked down with the facts that are easily available all over the internet.

Tommy I want to know what you think about the Kent and Bradley situation.

tommy. you are a lard ***. go on another diet already.

I am Daniel Tegeler and I live in Jonesboro, Arkansas. I am originally from southern California so I am a huge Dodger fan. I just want to give Tommy Lasorda congrats on his fairly new forum on MLBlogs. Keep up the good work! Go L.A. Dodgers!

“If you don’t pull for the Dodgers, there’s a good chance you might not get into heaven”

Well if this is true then **** is going to be a great place to live after spending my years here on earth as a GIANTS FAN! Tommy, I have seen you in SF many times and always respect you but I must tell your fans that the best words in all of sports is ? BEAT L-A? once you hear 42,000 scream that chant and the scoreboard reads ?GIANT WIN? you know you have already been to heaven.

GO GIANTS!

2005

LAD 9 SFG 10

lasorda, you punk.

Tommy
I hope you get this e-mail. I gre up in Brooklyn and Long Island. My favorite team was the Dodgers’s. My favorite player was Gil Hodges. If I do anything more in my life I want to help Gil get into the Hall. To many memories of the Dodgers….If anyone person for all the times he has been on the ballot this is his year. I would love to see that happen…

Paul Romano

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