May 2011

Thank you USC University Hospital @USCHealthNews:

As you may have heard by now I spent a few days last week in the hospital fighting off an infection. I am now back at home resting and making my recovery.  I would like to thank Dr. Rick Hatch, Dr. Paul Holtom, Dr. Ivan Garcia and all of their fellow doctors who helped with my case. I would also like to thank the nurses and hospital staff for their compassion and kindness.

Being in the hospital is never fun for anyone, but thanks to the great doctors at USC University Hospital I won’t be going back for a long time.

I would also like t thank Dr. Tony Reid, Dr. Vince Fortanasce and Dr. Watkins for their diligent care and friendship. And as Ned pointed out, the Dodgers have too many players on the disabled list, so I am doing my best to get healthy and back to Dodger Stadium, which I call Blue Heaven on Earth!

Does anybody know why Charlie Hough wore number 49?

Here is my story that aired last night on 790 KABC as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:

When Charlie Hough came to play for me he was a young 17 year-old out of Miami, Florida.  He was a fine, young man who loved the game of baseball.  My family loves Charlie very much, and his family loves the Lasorda’s very much.  And it’s been that was for a very long time.

The Florida Marlins played their very first game in 1993.  And who was going to pitch the very first game in the history of their franchise?  Charlie Hough.  And he beat us 2-1.

During the game I would look up in the stands at my wife from time to time.  She was sitting with Charlie’s wife.

And my wife was pulling for the Marlins and pulling for Charlie!

After the game I told to never do that ever again.

“Tommy,” she said.  “You know how much I love Charlie!”

What are you going to do….

Happy Memorial Day weekend:

Sports Illustrated

As our great nation begins its Memorial Day celebration I would like to take moment to remember all of those who lost their life serving.  Very few have the opportunity, and even fewer have the courage to sacrifice themselves for the good of the nation.  We must honor them, and we must never forget their sacrifice as they embodied heroism.

I served in the US Army for two years in World War II.  I know what it is to wear the uniform and serve, and I would like to thank all of those who wear the uniform of the greatest country in world with class, dignity and character.

This is the greatest country in the world, and all of us have a duty to keep it that way.

God bless the United States of America.

He was the chief of the Dodgers, but I was the skipper of this ship:

Here is my story that aired yesterday on 790 KABC as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:

Every year they used to have this big dinner in Clearwater, Florida.  They would auction off a lot of great things to help raise funds.  So Al Campanis and I used to attend and speak and try to help in whatever way we could.

Red Fischer, the person in charge of the affair every year, pulled me to the side.

“We are going to auction off a yacht,” he told me.  “I want you to get in the bidding, but don’t worry because I’ll have someone who will out-bid you at the end.”

That was fine with me, but I didn’t tell Campanis about the set-up.

The bidding for the yacht started at $80,000, and I immediately put in a bid for that amount.

“Are you crazy,” said Campanis.  “What are you doing?”

“Chief,” I said.  “You’ve been such a great guy to me that I’m going to get the yacht for you and we are going to sail it back to Vero Beach and it’s yours as a present from me.”

“Come one Tommy,” he said. “You can’t do that!”

“I bid $90,000,” I hollered to the auctioneer.

“Tommy,” he protested.  “That’s a lot of money!  You can’t do that for me.”

“It doesn’t make any difference to me,” I replied.  “I want to do it for you. Just think how nice it will be to sail back to Vero Beach together!”

Finally I was outbid, but until the day he died he had no idea that I was never going to buy that yacht!

Steve Sax was one of my favorites, but he gave me a few grey hairs:

Here is my story that aired last night on 790 KABC as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:

We only had four signs: take, bunt, hit-and-run, and steal. If you are on first base you don’t have to worry about the take sign so you are down to three. You also don’t have to worry about the bunt sign so you are down to two.

We had a system; if the steal was on and you as the base runner weren’t sure you could look at the first base coach, and if he winked at you then you knew the steal was on.

With Steve Sax you never knew what was going to happen. I gave the steal sign to Joey Amalfitano, who gave it to Sax on first base, but he doesn’t go. I give the sign again, but again he doesn’t go. I give the sign for a third time, but he does not go.

 The batter hits into a double play and they come back to the dugout.

“Joey,” I said. “Did you see the signs?’

“I gave him the sign each time you did, Tommy,” he said.

“Manny,” I said. “Did Sax look at you?”

“Yeah, he looked at me,” replied Mota.

“Did you wink?” I wanted to know.

“Yeah I winked,” replied Mota. “But he winked back!”

I was there when Hammering Hank made history @mlb @baseballhall @braves:

Herb Schafman

Here is my story that aired last night on 790 KABC as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:

Everybody was waiting for Henry Aaron to break the all-time home run record.  We are playing I Atlanta, and Aaron hits the ball out of the ballpark off of Al Downing.  As he rounded the bases our ball players shook his hand.

As he passed first base, Garvey shook his hand.  As he rounded second Davey Lopes shook his hand.  As he rounded third and came home Joe Fergeson the catcher shook his hand.

When you see acts like that it makes you feel good to know that even though we were competing against the guy and we wanted to beat him and not have him hit any home runs that we could display good sportsmanship and witness history.

I have good news and bad news Barry Bonds:

Jon Soo Hoo

Here is my story that aired last night on 790 KABC as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:

I saw Barry Bonds in front of the Giants club house and told him that I had good news and bad news for him.

“What do you want first?” I asked.

“Give me the bad news,” he said.

“I better give you the good news first, Barry,” I said.  “You are going to sign two dozen baseballs for me.”

“What’s the bad news?” he asked.

“You are going to go into the clubhouse and get the balls.”

By golly he walked right into the clubhouse, got the balls and signed them for me. 

Can you believe that?

Do you love or hate Buffalo Wings? Either way, here’s my story:

Here is my story that aired yesterday on 790 KABC as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:

There is an age old question for which many people don’t have the answer, but I do.

When, and where, did the chicken wing originate as a meal?

When my mother used to cook chicken she would throw them away.  You have to eat 50 of them to get full.  But I found out.

We were playing in buffalo.  It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon and I walked in to this restaurant called the Anchor Bar.  Nobody was there except the owner.  I asked him what kind of food they served.

“Let me tell you what happened last night,” he told me.   “There were three guys here as we were about to close, and they wanted something to eat.”

His wife was in the kitchen, but since they were about to close she didn’t have anything prepared.  All she had left were some chicken wings.  He told the hungry visitors about the wings, and they asked if she could just fry them up because they were very hungry.

So she cooked them, served them, and they ate them. 

And the Buffalo Wing was born.

Don’t ever let your high school coach tell you that you can’t play. I didn’t:

 

Here is my story that aired last night on 790 KABC as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:

I was on the Norristown High School baseball team, but I never got in the game.  We only played on Tuesdays and Fridays, and we had two really good pitchers: Buddy Rider, 6’2” right-handed pitcher and Red Henning, another six-footer.  They would get to pitch and I never would.

I told the coach, Harvey Fishburn, that one day he and his two pitchers would buy tickets to see me pitch in the Major Leagues.

He laughed.

Ten years later I’m with the Brooklyn Dodgers.  We go into Philadelphia to play, and Norristown is only about 15 miles away from Philadelphia.  Batting practice was over and I start to run into the dugout when two guys down in the corner holler at me.  It was Buddy Rider and Red Henning. 

I talked to them for a bit and then headed over to the dugout.  Standing right over the top of the dugout was Harvey Fishburn.

“Hey Tommy,” he hollered.  “How are you?”

“Hey coach,” I replied.  I ran my hand across the front of my jersey and said, “Dodgers!”

Ben Sheets, you’re Golden @USABaseball @Brewers:

Sports Illustrated

Here is my story that aired last night on 790 KABC as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:

This story is about a young man who is very dear to me, who played for the Brewers.  But I met him before he was in the big leagues.  The young man is Ben Sheets, and this story is about Ben and our 2000 U.S .Olympic team that won the Gold Medal in Sydney, Australia.

We were getting ready to play Cuba for the Gold Medal, and Ben was going to be our pitcher.  I was having dinner with him and having a little father-son chat.

“Ben,” I said. “You’ll probably go to Milwaukee and win 20 games, maybe even a Cy Young award.  But tonight Ben, you are going to pitch the biggest game of your life.  You are going to pitch for the United States of America!”

He looked up at me and asked, “Who are we playing?”

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