Results tagged ‘ Dodgers ’
Ron Roenicke of the Brewers is one of 15 guys who played for me to manage in the big leagues. Here is the complete list:
In 1957, in order for the Dodgers to acquire Los Angeles, Mr. O’Malley had to make a trade with the Cubs because they controlled Los Angeles as a minor league territory. He couldn’t move the Dodgers until he had the rights, so he traded Ft. Worth.
I played for the Los Angeles Angels in 1957, which was the triple-A club for the Dodgers in the Pacific Coast League. Interestingly enough, Sparky Anderson was my teammate that year.
Our training staff today is the best in baseball. They give tirelessly of themselves to make sure the players are healthy and well taken care of. I thank them for their service and commitment.
When I played we had one trainer who carried a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and by the seventh inning he drank half of it!
What a true joy it was this morning when I pulled into Camelback Ranch and was greeted by the great Joe Amalfitano. Joe was my third base coach from 1983 until I retired from managing in 1996. However, he was, and still is, one of my best friend and closest confidants.
Joe embodies the Dodger way. He is class on and off the field. He loves the game of baseball, and has been involved in all aspects of the game. He was a player for the New York Giants and the Chicago Cubs. He was Leo Durocher’s bench coach, also coaching for the Padres and Cubs. He became Manager of the Cubs for a few years before joining my staff on the Dodgers.
If you are ever inSan Pedro,Californiayou better not say anything bad about Joe. He is the pride of San Pedro and has never forgotten his roots. Every time we get together we laugh about old times, and all the great stories that came out of the 1988 championship season, of which he played a crucial role.
I love Joe and wish he and his family nothing but the best. He can go around this country and stand on any street corner with his head held high and yell at the top of his lungs that Tommy Lasorda loves him, and he would be telling the truth.
Dave Hansen was one of my favorite players. I felt that way because he prepared to succeed and win whether he was in the lineup or not. Most of the time he wasn’t, but he was always prepared to pinch hit, which is one of the reasons he was so successful.
In 1993 he was chasing the Dodger single-season pinch hit record. The date was September 20, and we were in Cincinnati. I wanted him to break that record really bad, so I penciled Pedro Martinez into the lineup hitting third to start the game. Jose Rijo was pitching for the Reds and Brett Butler led off the game with a single, and Jose Offerman bunted Butler over to second. When Pedro was supposed to hit I put Hansen in to pinch hit and he hit a line drive to center field, scoring Butler, and breaking the record.
Hansen still holds that record to this day with 18 pinch hits. He is the Dodger’s hitting coach, and I am confident that he will do an outstanding job with our players.
Every spring I would enroll my players in Lasorda University. There is no cost to enroll. the tuition though is persperation, determination, desire and hard work. I would tell my players that if they graduated from Lasorda University that they would make more than any professor at Harvard or Yale.
This is my 63rd spring training with the Dodgers. I love being out on the field all day long teaching the game and motivating the players to believe that they are the best, and that they can beat anybody.
I’ll be here at Camelback Ranch all spring, so come by and say hello.
Here are some pictures from the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony last weekend in the Dominican Republic:
The 50th Anniversary ceremony before yesterday’s game was beautiful. There were Dodgers from every decade, all wearing their uniforms. From the flannels of the 50’s and 60’s to the home-whites in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, it was great to see legends like Duke Snider and fan-favorites like Erik Karros come from the bullpen to their respective positions.
And the reaction from the crowd was heartwarming. The applause and adoration was almost as loud as the B1 flyover.
I had the pleasure of seeing two of my favorite ex-players, Kenny Landreaux and Steve Sax. They were great players, and Sax was a breath of fresh air. He played baseball like my wife shops; all day long.
The only thing with Sax was his intelligence never quite reached the same level as his playing ability. In other words, he wasn’t the brightest guy.
One day we’re playing in San Francisco. I had been harping on Sax to stop hitting the ball in the air because he was a line drive hitter, and to use all parts of the field. So before the game we are standing behind the cage during BP, and Sax comes up to me and says, “Hey Skipper, I think I’ve got your hitting theory down pat.”
“That’s great Saxy.”
“Eighty percent of the time I try to hit the ball up the middle,” he said.
“Twenty percent of the time I try to hit the ball to left and the other twenty percent I try to hit it right.”
I looked at Kenny Landreaux who was standing right next to me and said, “Did you hear what he just said?”
Now Kenny was dumber than Sax. He went to Arizona State University, and I often wondered what the requirements were for admission. Do they check you to see if you’re breathing?
Landreaux said, “Skip, I’ve been in the big leagues for 13 years and that’s the best hitting theory I’ve heard yet.”
And I had to win pennants with these guys!