August 2011

Monday and Cey horsing around:

Los Angeles Dodgers

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

We used to say that God made one mistake; He gave Penguin (Ron Cey) some horse’s teeth, and there’s some horse out there that running around a track with really small teeth.

Rick Monday, who was one of the best jokesters on the team, brought a bale of hay to the clubhouse and put it in Cey’s locker.

Let’s just say that Cey wasn’t very happy about that at all.

How do you say Dodger in Japanese or Korean?

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 had Hideo Nomo and Chan-Ho Park on the same team.  Nomo is Japanese and Chan-Ho is Korean.  I told them I would be their father away from home.  I took care of them on and off the field.

I would take them out to eat.  I would ask Nomo what he wanted, pasta or sushi.

He would say pasta.

Then I would ask Chan-Ho if he wanted pasta or sushi, and he would say both.

Both of them turned out to be outstanding pitchers.  Not only did they represent the Dodgers well, they represented their home countries to the highest degree of class, dignity and character.

The Wizzard, Ozzie Smith:

St. Louis Cardinals

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

When you manage the Dodgers for 20 years you see a lot of things that you can’t believe.  We are playing the Cardinals in the 1985 playoffs, and Ozzie Smith hits a home run to beat us.  Ozzie hadn’t hit a home run from the left side in something like 3000 at-bats.

All of a sudden, he hits a home run to beat us, and I still can’t believe it.  Every time I see Ozzie he likes to remind me of it.

But Ozzie is one of, if not the best shortstop, ever.  He is a true Hall of Famer and an outstanding guy.

 

Two more stories about Mike Scioscia:

Los Angeles Dodgers

Here are some Scioscia stories that aired recently on 790 KABC as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:

One day the press came to me and said Yeager is a little upset with me.

“Why?” I wanted to know.

“Because you made Mike Scioscia the number one catcher because he’s Italian.”

“That is a lie,” I said.  “A big, fat lie.”

I did not make Scioscia the number one catcher because he’s Italian.  I made him the number one catcher because I’m Italian!

And speaking of Mike Scioscia, everybody talks about Gibson’s home run, of course, and people talk about Rick Monday’s home run in the 1981 playoffs that put the Dodgers in the World Series, but nobody talks about Scioscia’s home run in the 1988 playoffs in New York against the Mets.

Doc Gooden was the pitcher.  It was the top of the ninth inning.  There were two outs, and Scioscia had two strikes against him in the count.  And we were losing 4-2.

John Shelby hit before Scioscia.  You could not walk Shelby unless it was intentional.  He was a bible hitter – thou shalt not pass.  But Gooden threw Shelby four pitches that he couldn’t hit, so he walks.  It must have been an act of God.

So Scioscia comes up with two outs, Shelby on first, and believe it or not he hit a home run and tied the game 4-4.  If we lost that game we would be trailing the Mets 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, but Gibson hit a home run in the 12th and we won, which made the series 2-2.

 

 

The roots of Ryne Sandberg:

Baseball Hall of Fame

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

Ryne Sandberg was born in Spokane, Washington, and I used to manage there.  At Cooperstown we got to talking and he told me that as a little boy he used to be a big fan of the Spokane Indians and used to watch us play all the time.  He thought we had a really great team.

He was right.  Our 1970 Spokane team won the pennant by 26 games.  Baseball America voted that team as the best minor league team in the history of baseball.

Ryne went on to have an outstanding career for the Cubs.  He is enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and deservedly so as he is an outstanding representative of the game.

Never underestimate desire:

Preston Gomez

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

One year during spring training they formed a team with a bunch of players that didn’t really fit on any other of our minor league teams.  They had me manage this tam, and I got them fired up, and we started to beat the other teams we would play in camp.

Now we were going to play the triple-A team, Spokane, and Preston Gomez was their manager.  I got my players together and gave them a little talk.

“You guys have been outstanding!  We have won eight in a row!  Nobody can beat us!”

Gomez went around saying this game was a joke and that they are making a joke out of the Spokane team by having to play us.

I told my players that Gomez was saying these things about them like they’re a bunch of bums!

Gomez’s team was already on the field, and we all ran out together.  As my players past Gomez they were screaming at him and calling him names.

“What’s the matter?” asked Gomez.  “Your team is cussing me and screaming.”

“I don’t know,” I said.  “Maybe they don’t like you.”

You know something; we beat them.  We beat the triple-A team with a bunch of ragamuffins.  We walked off that field and my players were still screaming at Gomez.  I had them hating him so much they wanted to destroy him, and they did.

Just remember, it’s not always the strongest man who wins the fight, or the fastest man who wins the race.  It’s the one who want it badder than the other!

Another one of my favorite stories about Billy Buckner:

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

Bill Buckner, who was leading the league in hitting, hated Lloyd Allen.  They must have had problems in high school because Buckner hated this guy, and he hated Buckner.

The visiting team’s bullpen was right behind our bench on first base.  Buckner, who played first base, would tell our infielders to throw the ball really high with the hopes that he couldn’t catch it and it would hit Lloyd Allen sitting in the bullpen.

Now we graduate from the rookie league and we are in triple-A.  Allen is set to pitch the game.  I am on the line for the National Anthem with Bobby Valentine as the leadoff hitter and Buckner hitting second.  Valentine was on my left and Buckner was on my right, and Allen was on the mound.

Buckner looked at me and said, “I’m going to hit him the head and kill him.”

I thought he was goofy.

God be my judge when I tell you this.  Allen threw him a fastball and where do you think Buckner hit it?  He hit a line drive that hit Allen right on the top of his head.

Allen was down on the ground, and as Buckner was running down to first base I could hear him hollering at Allen, “Die, die, die.”

That’s Buckner.  That’s how he played the game.

 

 

How I met Al Michaels:

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

We were playing in Hawaii, and in those days you would go there and play seven games.  Every day I would talk to Al Campanis, our GM, and tell him what our team did.  I told him that if he was ever looking for an announcer that the guy doing the games was outstanding.

“What’s his name?” asked Al.

“Al Michaels.”

“How do you know he’s a good announcer?”

“Because I’ve been thrown out of the last five games and have been listening to him in the clubhouse!”

That’s when Mr. Campanis got mad………

Remembering my friend Sparky:

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

I managed the Dodgers for 20 seasons and faced a lot of great managers.  But the one I hated to face was Sparky Anderson.  It was tough because I loved Sparky.  We were great friends and I played with him for about four years. 

He was one of the greatest managers in the history of baseball.  I admired him.  I respected him.  Our friendship lasted until the day he died.

I have to say to all the baseball fans all over America and maybe all over the world, Sparky Anderson was one of the greatest managers in all of baseball and he was my friend.

I wish I had a picture for this story:

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 a cruise was assigned a table.  I had that table for the entire cruise with others who join you.  There was an elderly man with his daughter and her two kids who were at my table too.  I always try to make kids feel good and pas along some wisdom, which I did in this case too. 

When the cruise was over I got a call from the elderly gentleman and he asked me for my address.  I asked him why and he told me that he raised Arabian horses.

“I want to send you a horse,” he told me.

At that time I was living in an apartment, so what was I going to do with a horse?  I told him to send it to my farm in Pennsylvania (although I didn’t have a farm). 

Up pulls a trailer to Vince Piazza’s house in Pennsylvania with a beautiful Arabian horse.  Vince thought it was beautiful and named it Dodger.

Mike Piazza used to ride the horse all the time as a kid.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 213 other followers