All-Star Game


All Star.gif
Sparky Anderson made me one of his coaches for the 1977 All-Star Game.  It my first year as Manager of the Dodgers and we were battling the Reds all year, so for him to make me one of his coaches was a real honor.

Before the game, Sparky, Danny Ozark, and I were standing on the steps of the dugout at Yankee Stadium.  We were all looking around in disbelief. 

We said to each other, “Can you believe this?”

The three of us were big league managers, and in Yankee Stadium for the All-Star Game, while what felt like not too many years prior we were all sleeping in the barracks of Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida as minor league players for the Dodgers.

This year’s All-Star Game was just as emotional.  The pregame ceremony was one of the greatest collections of Hall of Famers outside of Cooperstown.  They lined us up at their position, so players like Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt stood at third base, and players like Reggie Jackson and Willie Mays stood in the outfield.  As the AL and NL starters were announced they would run to their respective positions and flank the Hall of Famers.

I stood behind the plate with Earl Weaver and waited for Clint Hurdle and Terry Francona.

The game went into extra innings, and I was happy to see the way Clint and Terry held players back just for that situation.

I managed in four All-Star Games and each time I would tell my players that I might not use everybody, but that they are still All-Stars even if they don’t get in the game.  I wasn’t going to get caught without enough players to win the game.

Even though the National League lost, and the Dodgers won’t have home-field advantage in the World Series, it was still a great game, and I was so impressed with Russell Martin.

Remember this Dodger fans; in the five World Series that we have won in Los Angeles, we didn’t have home-field advantage for any of them.

I would like to congratulate the Commissioner for putting on one a tremendous Mid Summer Classic.  He and his staff did an outstanding job, and the fans had a great time, as did the Hall of Famers.

3 Comments

It was a great pregame ceremony and it was thrilling to see the present day starters join the HOFers at their positions on the field.
I’m disappointed that Koufax didn’t make it but I was glad to see Sutton and it would have been nice to see Martin join in but he wasn’t a starter this year -but his performance in the game made me proud.
I enjoyed a day at the Fan Fest at the Javis Center, quite a layout of baseball activity.
Sorry I missed you at Bamonte’s, if you went, maybe next time.
The Dodgers look like they have a good shot at the Division title.

You’re absolutely right, Tommy—they don’t need the homefield advantage, esp if the fans take our enthusiasm & support on the road with them–literally or figuratively. Last night’s game proved we are up to the task.

Meantime, I came across a copy of “I LIVE FOR THIS” and am enjoying it thoroughly. Growing up in Chester County, PA, I got an early education in all-things-Lasorda thru my family’s weekly trips to your “Marchwood Tavern” and have been Dodger blue ever since.

PS-Congrats on your great bit at the Hollywood Bowl on July 3. I was certainly not alone in my fervor & admiration.

I came out of anasthesia and was in my hospital room in time for the last two innings or so. As the other posters have said, we don’t need home field advantage!

Now if Mattingly can solve Andruw’s hitting problem….

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