Being a Dodger blogger, I obviously love to talk about the team and I really love to hear stories that speak to the character of Dodger players. An old college friend of mine, Don, recently shared the following Little League anecdote about former Dodger (and NLDS hero) Mark Loretta with me, and he’s given me permission to post it here.
Loretta has always had the reputation of being a good guy, and it’s good to see that he’s apparently been this way since he was a kid:
“Loretta was my childhood hero! We all idolized him because he was the best at every sport. At recess in school, he was always the first guy picked when we picked teams. In fact, I was a big Dallas Cowboys fan because he was, and I wanted to be just like him. Anyway, we were teammates on the fearsome Arcadia Little League juggernaut, the Live Oak Bike Shop! I played 3B and 2B, and Mark was the shortstop. I also went to several Dodger games with Mark. In fact, he took me to a 1978 playoff game against the Phillies. It makes me very proud to see him in Dodger Blue.
In 1993, I ran into our old little league coach, Bob Fickas. He said to me, “Don! I talk about you all the time! I still coach, and I always tell my team about the best player I ever coached!” I replied, “Well if you do that, then you tell them about Mark Loretta.” He was so much better than the rest of us, it wasn’t even funny. We all knew that if any of us had a chance to play in MLB, it would be him. He was also a great guy. Very mature for his age, precociously intelligent, humble, and very, very nice.”
Regardless of whether or not Ned decides to bring Mark Loretta back for another year, it’s good to see that he’s going after players of character that truly want to be part of the Dodger organization.