Thursday, October 27, 2011

3 More Dodgers Named to L.A. Times Top 20 Sports Figures List

Last week I had post about Walter O'malley being named the L.A. Times #13 Greatest Sports Figure in L.A. history.  Over the last few days a few more Dodgers have been named to the list.

#11 Greatest Sports Figure in L.A. History - Tommy Lasorda

There have been few figures in L.A. sports history who have been as larger-than-life as former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. You either love him or love to hate him, but it's almost guaranteed that everyone has some sort of opinion.

After serving four seasons as third-base coach, Lasorda became the Dodgers manager on Sept. 29, 1976, upon the retirement of the legendary Walter Alston. All Lasorda did in his 20 years as manager was win 1,599 games, two World Series championships (1981 and 1988), four National League pennants (1977, 78, 81 and 88)  and seven division titles (1977, 78, 81, 83, 85, 88, 95). The Dodgers also led the division when the rest of the 1994 season was canceled because of a labor dispute.

His final game was a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros on June 23, 1996. The following day he drove himself to the hospital complaining of abdominal pains, and in fact he was having a heart attack. He officially retired on July 29, 1996. His 1,599 career wins rank 16th in MLB history.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 in his first year of eligibility and the Dodgers retired his uniform number, 2, on Aug. 15, 1997.

#10 Greatest Sports Figure in L.A. History - Jackie Robinson

It was interesting to watch the votes come in for Jackie Robinson, particularly through the comments on our original blog post asking for votes. As soon as someone would vote for Robinson, it seemed someone else would chime in, chastising the person for not realizing Robinson never played with the Dodgers in L.A. Which just goes to show how a man can be remembered for one thing almost to the exclusion of everything else. When you think Jackie Robinson, you think "broke the color barrier in baseball" and have to be reminded of his outstanding legacy as one of the greatest athletes in UCLA history.

Robinson was UCLA's first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track. He was one of four black players on the 1939 UCLA Bruins football team (Woody Strode, Kenny Washington and Ray Bartlett were the others). 

In track and field, Robinson won the long jump at the 1940 NCAA men's outdoor track and field championship, jumping 24 feet, 10 1/2 inches. 

In basketball, Robinson won two consecutive conference scoring titles.

He hit less than .200 with the Bruins baseball team, making baseball his worst sport at UCLA.

Robinson was also a standout athlete at Pasadena Muir High and Pasadena junior college.

Robinson's life after UCLA could fill several books. He is a more-than-worthy addition to this list. As former UCLA chancellor Norm Abrams once said: "He was the first athlete in UCLA history to letter in four sports in the same year, but it is his abiding dignity and unshakable conviction that we most appreciate and that made him a true champion. The entire Bruin family treasures his legacy."

#9 Greatest Sports Figure in L.A. History - Fernando Valenzuela

Fernandomania. That's all you have to say to Dodgers fans to bring a smile to their face as they remember the glory days of Fernando Valenzuela.

Fernandomania was born in 1981, when Valenzuela started the season 8-0 with five shutouts and an earned-run average of 0.50. He became a sensation with the fans, drawing sellout crowds at Dodger Stadium, with ticket sales increasing whenever he pitched in other stadiums too, as fans wanted a glimpse of his unusual delivery, with his eyes looking skyward before delivering the ball to the plate. Valenzuela finished 1981 with a 13-7 record and a 2.48 ERA, leading all pitchers in complete games (11), shutouts (eight), innings pitched (192.1) and strikeouts (180). Valenzuela pitched a complete Game 3 of the World Series against the New York Yankees and helped the Dodgers win their first World Series title since 1965. After the season, he was named rookie of the year and won the Cy Young Award, still the only person to accomplish win both in the same year.

Valenzuela was the ace of the Dodgers staff from 1981 to 1987, with his best season coming in 1986, when he finished 21-11 with a 3.14 ERA and led the league in wins, complete games and innings pitched, finishing second in Cy Young Award voting to Mike Scott of the Houston Astros.

At the 1986 All-Star Game, Valenzuela made history by striking out five consecutive American League batters, tying a record set by Carl Hubbell in 1934.

In 1988, Valenzuela won just five games and missed much of the season. He went 10-13 in 1989 and 13-13 in 1990, which was the season of his last great moment, when on June 29, 1990, he threw a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Valenzuela was released by the Dodgers just before the 1991 season. He played part of that season with the Angels and bounced around baseball until retiring after the 1997 season with a career mark of 173-153.

He is currently a member of the Dodgers' Spanish-language broadcast team.

Interesting how Jackie Robinson made the list for the great career he had at UCLA since he never played for the L.A. Dodgers.  Nice to see Fernando crack the Top 10.  You gotta think Sandy Koufax will be Top 5.

True to the Blue!

Dodgers for Sale?!?

First off, God bless L.A. Times writer Bill Shaikin! Shaikin is reporting today the Dodgers bankruptcy trial has been postponed to allow McCourt and MLB to negotiate a settlement which will include the sale of the team.   

Shaikin further reported:

"McCourt discussed a potential settlement with league officials Monday and Tuesday."

"The settlement talks hit a snag when the league declined to guarantee McCourt a specific return for selling the team.  The league, which already has loaned McCourt $150 million in bankruptcy financing, is not willing to subsidize his exit should the team sell for less than whatever figure he might ask MLB to guarantee."

"In court papers this week, attorneys for McCourt estimated the value of the Dodgers, their stadium and the surrounding land at "in excess of $1 billion." Forbes valued the assets at $800 million last March.  McCourt might need more than $1 billion just to break even after paying off debts, tax liabilities and his divorce settlement, based on interviews by The Times and an analysis of court records in California and Delaware.""The league is willing to work with McCourt on conducting an auction, according to a person familiar with the discussions."

Could this be the beginning of the end for McCourt? Is this the light of the end of the tunnel for the Dodger faithful?  I don't want to get too excited but it looks like McCourt may have finally realized he's better off selling the team and moving on.  We can only hope!

True to the Blue!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Steve Garvey says upgrade Dodger Stadium & extend Kemp, Kershaw & Ethier

Former Dodger All-Star Steve Garvey participated in AM 710 ESPNLA's "Lunch with a Legend". The lunch event took place at Morton's The Steakhouse in Woodland Hills.  Ramona Shelburne of reports Garvey told Mark Willard and Mychal Thompson if his & Orel Hershiser's investment group were to purchase the Dodgers, he would make needed changes to Dodger Stadium.


"One of the first steps is to make a significant investment into refurbishing the stadium and bringing it up to 21st century style technology in entertainment. We're far behind, if you look at those two electronic message boards, I mean, it's embarrassing. Not to have two new state of the art or even one large one."

When asked how he would handle personnel moves if he were running the team Garvey said he would extend Clayto Kershaw, Matt Kemp, and Andre Ethier.

"I like Ethier, I like his attitude. I think we would lock him up for another four or five years."

Garvey on Dodger Stadium:

"It's a cathedral of baseball. There's so much history, but the problem is it's the third oldest stadium in baseball. It's going to be 50 years old and it needs things done to it that can approach the quality and atmosphere of new stadiums. We have a great business plan to be able to do some things that will really change the atmosphere of the stadium."

Garvey on being part of ownership:

"This is a long-term investment in Dodger baseball. If you think of it this way, then you do all these things to enhance the experience for the fans. That's what, God willing, we'll have the opportunity to do. We will be an ownership of and for the fans."

True to the Blue!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

30th Anniversary - Fernando's Game 3 Victory in '81 World Series

Today, October 23, 2011, is the 30th Anniversary of Fernando Valenzuela's Game 3 victory over the Yankees in the 1981 World Series.  In 1981, the Dodgers were able to beat the hated Yankees after losing in 1977 & 1978.  The Yankees and Dodgers have faced each other 11 times in the World Series.   They faced each other in 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1963, 1977, 1978 & 1981 with the Dodgers coming out on top in 1955, 1963 and 1981.

The Game 3 victory was pivotal as the Dodgers had lost the first two games in New York.  Valenzuela's victory was the icing on the cake that was his 1981 season.  Click on the link to my blog post about being at Game 3 of the 1981 World Series. True to the Blue

True to the Blue!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Greatest Sports Figures in L.A. History - #13 Walter O'Malley

The L.A. Times is running down their list of the Top 20 Greatest Sports Figures in L.A. History.  Coming in today at #13 is former Dodger owner Walter O'Malley.

"Longtime Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley changed the landscape of baseball in many ways, one of the most notable being spearheading the move of baseball to the West Coast. O'Malley moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles before the 1958 season, and also convinced New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham to move to San Francisco at the same time."

On March 17, 1970, O'Malley's son Peter, become President of the Dodgers and took over day to day operations.  Walter O'Malley passed away on August 9, 1979 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 27, 2008.

True to the Blue!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Former Dodgers Asst. GM To Be GM of Angels?

Via ESPN Los Angeles, Buster Olney is reporting former Dodger Assistant GM and current VP for baseball operations with MLB, Kim Ng will interview for the Angels current GM vacancy. 

ESPN LA's Mark Saxon recalls:

"In 2003, Eric Gagne went 55-for-55 in save opportunities and won all but four of the 32 votes for the National League Cy Young Award. It was probably the greatest season a relief pitcher has ever had.  The next winter, Kim Ng beat him in arbitration. Gagne earned $5 million in 2004 instead of the $8 million his agent, Scott Boras, argued for."


"Ng might be able to protect the Angels from themselves, to convince them not to make the one bad financial decision that could set the franchise back for years to come. If only they’d hired her earlier, maybe they wouldn’t have played last season under the crushing weight of more than $50 million in bad contract obligations."

Kim Ng in happier times

True to the Blue!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

1/2 Price Vin Scully Book

The Los Angeles Times Daily Deals is offering Vin Scully I Saw It On the Radio by Rich Wolfe for only $12.95.  The suggested retail price of the book is $24.95.  This deal is good for the next 5 days and the book can be purchased by following this link L.A. Times Daily Deals.

With the Holidays just around the corner this may be a good gift for the special Dodger fan in your life.

True to the Blue!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dodgers Thank Fans for Their Support

The Dodgers thank the fans for their support during the 2011 season.
Check out the video from

True to the Blue!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Upcoming Dodger Appearance - Manny Mota

Saturday November 5, 2011

Manny Mota
All Star - 1973
2x World Series Champsion - 1981 & 1988
Longest Tenured Dodger Coach - 32 Years
$29 - balls & flats up to and including 11x14
$39 - large flats, minis, caps figurines & equipment
$49 - bats, jerseys & artwork
$10 - inscriptions
stage time - tba

Manny Mota has been added to the 1981 World Series Champion 30th Reunion signing being put on by Hall of Fame Sports at Frank & Son.

Here are links to my posts on the other attendees:

 Rick Monday               Steve Sax               Dave Stewart

Terry Forster                 Bob Welch             Dusty Baker

True to the Blue!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Upcoming Dodger Appearance - Rick Monday

Saturday November 5, 2011

Rick Monday
2x All Star - 1968 & 1978
World Series Champion - 1981
$35 - balls & flats up to and including 11x14
$40 - large flats, minis, caps, figurines, & equipment
$50 - bats, jerseys & artwork
$15 - inscriptions
stage time - tba

Rick Monday has been added to the Hall of Fame Sports Dodgers 1981 World Series Champion 30 Year Reunion signing at Frank & Son.  Click on the links below for the info i've posted on the other scheduled attendees.

Steve Sax                    Dave Stewart

Terry Forster               Bob Welch

True to the Blue!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Andre Ethier - Truck or Car?

Dre wasn't sure which old school ride he should drive today. According to this pic and his FB page he went with the truck.  That truck is sick!

Andre Ethier's photo Truck or Car? Tough decision today, decided to make my drive a little more fun. Gonna take one of my old schools for the ride north. The smell of a carbureted engine! BTW I went truck.
Andre Ethier on WhoSay

True to the Blue!

Ned Colletti Looks Back on 2011 and Forward to 2012

Ned Colletti sat down with the media and gave his opinion on the 2011 season and his outlook for the 2012 season.  Check out the video below from

"We need to see if we can bring Kuroda back"

"We had some players that had well below average years and we had another one that had a very well below average first half and a stunning second half. You gotta play it all year."

Lots of more good info...check it out!

True to the Blue!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Matt Kemp Looking For Contract Extension's Ramon Shelburne reported on Ned Colletti's desire to sign Matt Kemp to a contract extension this season.  However, Colletti has not put a timeline in place.  According to Shelburne, Kemp's agent, Dave Stewart would like to see the deal done by Opening Day.

Ned Colletti -

"Whenever you have a negotiation, one side's always got the right to say they're not doing anything.  Or two sides have the right to say that, or two sides have the ability to say, 'Yeah, let's do something.' So however that goes, we'll do what we can do from our side of it. We can't control the other side no matter who it is."

Dave Stewart -

"Matt is the guy that I work for, it would be my advice to him to just play and let's not do any negotiations during the course of the year.  I've been a player and I've been in that position before and it's a distraction. For me, especially in next year's season, the most important thing is just have Matt concentrate on having another great year. To go out and play. This stuff would be a distraction for him and for the ballclub."

"Right now, what we're planning to do is a one-year arbitration. When the phone rings and Ned calls, if he proposes something different then we'll look to do something different, but right now we're preparing ourselves for a one-year arbitration and we've started preparations for that already."

True to the Blue!

Upcoming Dodger Appearance - Justin Sellers

Saturday November 12, 2011
Justin Sellers
2011 Dodger Rookie
$20 - any item
time: 12:00pm

Justin Sellers will be playing Winter Ball in the Dominican Republic so this event has been postponed. Keep checking back for a rescheduled date.

Valley Sports Cards, Memorabilia, & Picture Framing
19640 & 19642 Ventura Blvd.
Tarzana, CA 91356

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Upcoming Dodger Appearance - Steve Sax

November 5, 2011

Steve Sax
2x World Series Champion - 1981 & 1988
Rookie of the Year - 1982
$29 - balls & flats up to and including 11x14
$39 - large flats, minis, caps, figurines & equipment
$49 - bats, jerseys & artwork
$15 - inscriptions
stage time - tba

Steve Sax has been added to the 1981 World Series Champion 30 Year Reunion being put on by Hall of Fame Sports @ Frank & Sons.

Click on the names of the other participants for info & prices:

Terry Forster          Kenny Landreaux

Bob Welch             Dusty Baker

True to the Blue!