May 2011

Gil Hodges should be in the Hall of Fame:

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

I thank God that I was fortunate enough to be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame as a manager.  But there is a guy, a ballplayer, who should be in the Hall of Fame and he isn’t.

And that is Gil Hodges.

His record is second to nobody.  He drove in 100+ runs 10 or 12 years I think.  He was also one of the best fielding first basemen in the game, and he just can’t get voted in.

I hope the people who vote understand the Hodges was an outstanding ballplayer, and an outstanding man who deserves to have his plaque hanging in Cooperstown amongst Baseball’s immortals.

He played the game with so much intensity, and so much class.  After he retired as a player he managed the Mets, and brought a team that nobody thought had a chance to the World Series.

So I say to all of you who vote, or are just fans, please get Gil Hodges into the Hall of Fame.

Thank You, California DMV:

I know what people say about the California DMV.  But I just visited the DMV in Fullerton and had an outstanding experience.  I especially would like to thank Martha, Elena and Kunle for their help.  They were courteous, friendly, and very helpful.

That’s what America such a great country.  People here want to help other people.  It is so nice to see, and personally experience, kindness towards others, so I thank you ladies, and everyone who works for the Department of Motor Vehicles for all you do.

And if they weren’t Dodger fans already, I’m sure Martha, Elena and Kunle are now.

You owe me Al Ferrara:

Al Ferrara

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

During spring training in Vero Beach, we used to have guards.  We would have guys staying up late on patrol to catch guys coming back to the barracks after hours.  One night I was on patrol, and I see someone coming in late so I followed him.  He was crawling through the window when I grabbed him by his belt and pulled him out.

It happened to be Al Ferrara, a good friend of mine.

“Tommy look, I went over to someone’s house and I fell asleep,” he said.  “Please don’t turn me in.”

“Ok, Al, I won’t turn you in,” I said.  “But don’t let it happen again!”

Years later when I moved out to California to scout I had to make a speech in Anaheim.  By that time Al was in the big leagues.  I invited Al to come to the affair with me, but he didn’t want to go.

“Remember when I didn’t turn you in?” I reminded him.

He came to the affair.

I invited him to m next speech, but he didn’t want to come.

“Remember when I didn’t turn you in?”

He came to the speech.

After about eight or nine times of bringing him with me he finally said, “Why didn’t you turn me in?!”

Chicago Is, My Kind of Town:

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

I love Chicago. I loved when our team played there.  I love the fans because they support the Cubs a great deal.  When I was in the dugout the fans would holler at me and ask where I was going to eat that night, with the answer always being Carmine’s.  When I would get to Carmine’s there would always be fans waiting there.  I love Chicago almost as much as I love Los Angeles. 

I have been asked to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame a few times at Wrigley Field.  Before you sing the song you can say a few words to the fans at Wrigley.

I said, “You are the second greatest fans in all of baseball!”

They didn’t particularly like that….

Blogging about Rick Sutcliffe @Sut_ESPN and my Rookies of the Year:

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

As Manager of the Dodgers I was fortunate enough to have nine National League Rookies of the Year.  No team even comes close to that.  My first one was Rick Sutcliffe.  He was a big, 6’4” tough guy, and won Rookie of the Year in 1979.  He was traded to the Cubs, and when we would play the Cubs all I would think about was when that young man was pitching for the Dodgers as my first Rookie of the Year.

Rick Sutcliffe, who is now an announcer for ESPN, is still a great friend.  Every time we see each other there’s always a hug there between a 6’4” big guy and a little 5’9” fat, ex-manager.  It looked like Mutt and Jeff.

Here is a list of my nine NL Rookies of the Year:

Rick Sutcliffe – 1979

Steve Howe – 1980

Fernando Valenzuela – 1981

Steve Sax – 1982

Eric Karros – 1992

Mike Piazza – 1993

Raul Mondesi – 1994

Hideo Nomo – 1995

Todd Hollandsworth – 1996

Bevacqua….

Fleer

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

We were playing the Padres one night at Dodger Stadium.  All of a sudden Tom Niedenfuer throws at one of the Padre batters, and a big fight brakes out.  When the press came to me after the game Kurt Bevacqua, of the Padres, accused the fat Italian of being the guy who started it all.

“Fat Italian?” I said.  “Tell him to come by here and tell me himself.”

“Bevacqua should never pop off because he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat, let alone hit a baseball.”

I told him that when I pitched I used to send a limousine to pick guys like him up to make sure they got to the ballpark.  I used to let guys like him get a hit just so the manager would keep him in the line-up because I knew there would be three cinch outs. 

I’m sure you’ve all heard the tape…

Here is last night’s story from Lasorda at His Best:

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

I loved having fun with my players.  April 1st was always a great day for it.  There was one time I called Pedro Guerrero in and told him he was traded. 

“What?” he exclaimed.  “You traded me?!”

I didn’t even have a chance to tell him it was April Fools Day.  He rushed right out of my office over to the phone.  He called al Campanis in a rage.

“You lied to me.  Yesterday you told me I was never getting traded and today you trade me!”

I knew I was in trouble with that one.  I finally got him to quit talking.  I told Al I was just playing a little joke on him and he finally forgot about it.

Another time Dusty Baker and I were hanging around the batting cage during BP.

“You Italians are tough,” he told me.

“Tough?” I said.  “What about my father?  Six days after he passed away his heart was still pumping and they had to hit it with a stick to finally get it to stop.”

He went around the cage towards Reggie Smith.

“Hey Reg,” he said.  “Did you here about T’s father?  Six days after he died his heart was still pumping.”

“You dummy,” said Smith.  “Do you listen to everything that guy tells you?”

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