Tommy At His Best – The Bobby Darwin Story
Here is last night’s edition of Tommy at His Best, presented by Skechers:
When I was managing Spokane I had a real good ball club, and I had a real good pitcher by the name of Bobby Darwin. How Bobby was signed is amazing. He was released by the Angels, and he was working for the Auto Club driving tow trucks. Al Campanis had a flat tire and he called the Auto Club. Who came out to help him but Bobby Darwin. He spoke with Mr. Campanis, and Mr. Campanis signed him.
Now he is playing for me in Triple-A. Before every game we would play a game during batting practice with the pitchers. During those games I would see Bobby hitting the ball unbelievably. I called Al and said this guy has a great pitching arm but I can’t see him pitching in the major leagues. I told Al I would like to convert him to an outfielder, and he told me to go ahead and do it. I asked Bobby if he would convert and he said he would be happy to do it.
That night I put him in the game and he came up to bat. There was a leather-lunged fan sitting behind the dugout screaming at me.
“Hey Tommy, you dummy, how can you play a pitcher in he outfield when we have a chance to win the pennant?! You are the worst manager ever saw. Go back to where you came from!”
Do I have to listen to this guy the rest of the game?
Rich Robertson was pitching and he throws Bobby a fastball and he hits it for a three-run homer. As he comes around third base I gave him a big pat on the back. I turned around to look for this fan.
The same fan stands up and says, “Hey Lasorda, you dummy, why hasn’t that guy been playing the outfield all season?!”
Bobby has been with the Dodgers for decades now, as he has been one of our best scouts in Southern California for years. He is an outstanding judge of talent, a man of character, a great friend and a credit to the Dodger organization.