On July 29, 1996, I officially announced my retirement as Manager of the Dodgers. It was a tough decision because I loved every second of my time in the dugout, but it was the right one.
There was a tremendous outpoor of love towards me, which I will always appreicate. Here is a letter that Kirk Gibson wrote to me shortly after the announcement:
I would like to thank Marshall Katz, Police Chief of Albuquerque, and the fine men and women of the Albuquerque Police Department for all they do.
I was in Albuquerque for Tommy Lasorda bobblehead night. It was a lot of fun, as the Albuquerque Isotopes packed in close to 12,000 fans on the big night. While I was there, the Isotopes won both games I saw.
Monday was get-away day, and as I was dropped off at the curb of the airport two officers were there waiting for me. They helped me through check-in, and through security. Marshall, the chief, was also with me as I went through security, and was kind enough to escort me all the way to the gate.
When I got to the gate I saw that my Southwest flight was delayed by two and a half hours.
As John “T-Bone” Shelby used to say, Brutal!
Well that’s when the chief took over. He escorted me to the flight deck of the Albuquerque airport and went way out of his way to make me feel good. He even called Capo, a local Italian restaurant, and ordered two plates of pasta and meatballs for us.
The chief ended up staying with me until the flight was boarding. I appreciate all he did to make me feel good, and respect the work that he and his officers do to make Albuquerque safe.
Thank you, Marshall.
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.