December 20, 2014

Dodgers Celebrate “The Infield” on Tuesday Night

Now this is a bobblehead I can get behind!  Cey, Russell, Lopes and Garvey.  When I was growing up as a young Dodger fan, these were the first players I really started to get to know.  When Lopes was traded, I was shocked – it never occured to me that the Dodgers would break up this group.

Anyway, as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration, the Dodgers are honoring all four guys on Tuesday night with their own bobblehead, so get out there early.  The current edition of the Playbill also has a cool story on the guys, so pick that up as well.  But one of my favorite articles about the guys was written by Bill Shaikin back in 2008, and it details how the unlikely group first came together, including the surprising addition of a defensively untested Steve Garvey at first base.  Incredibly, the Dodgers went to the World Series four times and the group had 21 All-Star appearances in that nine year run from 1973 to 1981.

From Shaikin’s story:

In 1981, the infield got one last chance. The Dodgers survived three elimination games against the Houston Astros in the division series, then two elimination games against Montreal in the National League Championship Series.

The Yankees awaited. The Dodgers lost the first two games of the World Series, then won the next four. In the last three games of the Series — the last three games the infield played together — Lopes led off, followed by Russell, Garvey and Cey.

Nothing like going out as World Series champs, right?

And for you bobblehead maniacs (and I know you’re out there) this is the first Dodger Stadium bobblehead for Lopes and Russell and the second for Garvey and Cey.

Now go pick up this bobblehead on what’s sure to be a special night at Dodger Stadium.  And get there early as all four guys are throwing out the first pitch.



Steve Garvey Looking to Own Pro Sports Franchise

Steve Garvey - photo credit

USA Today had a short interview with Steve Garvey earlier this week where the 62 year-old former Dodger indicated he’s part of a consortium that’s looking to purchase a professional sports team.

The investor group seems to have a pretty wide range of candidates, as Garvey indicated that they had looked at everything from European and British soccer teams to basketball and baseball franchises. Garvey said he was looking for a franchise that was “downtrodden or beaten up a little bit” so his group could restore it to its former glory.

Although Garvey didn’t mention interest in the Dodgers specifically in his video remarks, USA Today indicated that the investor group was specifically interested in the team should it come up for sale in the future.

Check out the entire USA Today interview with Garvey below

Tommy’s Back in the Saddle, Baby!

So I’m not sure if Spring Training games count in the record books, but with Tommy returning to the dugout to take the reins of the stateside Dodgers for eight games while Joe takes a small traveling team to China next month, it technically makes 80 year-old Tommy the second oldest manager ever in the majors to Connie Mack.

Personally, I can’t wait to see how Ethier, Kemp, LaRoche, Loney and Martin react the first time the fire in Lasorda’s belly kicks in and he charges the umpires arguing a call.  Hopefully he won’t have any flashbacks to his first group of kids (Lopes, Garvey, Cey and Russell) who stayed together as starters for a record eight seasons.

You just know Tommy’s going to be treating these eight games like it’s an extended version of the World Series.  He’s going to be busting out all of his great motivational speeches, and getting the team to play harder than they ever would under normal Spring Training circumstances.  I can’t wait.

Vin Scully and Dodger MVPs Ride on Rose Parade Float Commemorating 50 Years in L.A.

Steve Garvey at the Rose BowlDodger players of past and present, along with veteran Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully, kicked off the 50th anniversary of the Dodgers heading to Los Angeles by riding on the Dodgers’ first ever Rose Parade Float. 

Key Dodger greats on the float included famed pitcher Fernando Valenzuela and first basemen Steve Garvey and Erric Karros.  Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda was also in attendance and said, “This is the daddy of them all.”

Said Garvey, “This is back to our youth…to be on a float in the greatest parade in the world and representing the Dodgers — it’s just going to be a great morning and a great day.

“You have great former players and, of course, the great voice of Vin Scully, great managers and the young players — it really is a generational float that will touch everybody’s heart. I was a bat boy at the age of 6 with the Brooklyn Dodgers and today I’ll be standing next to Carl Erskine, so it’s going to be very sentimental. And to look at Tommy Lasorda and to look at Vin and to look at the future in players like James Loney, it’s going to be fun, fun for the crowd too.”

Garvey, coincidendally, went to the Rose Bowl game featuring USC and Illinois and sat several rows behind contributor Alex Volk who happened to snap a picture of the legend exclusively for!