Results tagged ‘ Jim Gilliam ’

Bridges to history: Last links to retired numbers

Reese Fairly

By Jon Weisman

With the Dodgers celebrating their 10 retired numbers in a pin series this year, I was curious who was the last active player to take the field with each of these legends. Here’s what I found:

1 Pee Wee Reese
Ron Fairly, who was 19 when making his debut with the 40-year-old Reese as a teammate on the 1958 “Welcome to Los Angeles” Dodgers, was 40 himself when he played his last big-league game in 1978. Years between Reese’s first game and Fairly’s last: 38

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Remembering ’65: See-saw second half of August

remembering-65-wide-v1-grass

By Jon Weisman

When might you be having a charmed season? When you’re scoreless with two out in the bottom of the 10th inning, Sandy Koufax bats for himself and walks, and then Roberto Clemente — of all people — drops a fly ball to allow the game-winning run to score.

That’s what happened August 14, 1965 at Dodger Stadium to allow the Dodgers to win, 1-0.

“It was sinking all the way,” Jim Gilliam, who hit the ball at Clemente, told Frank Finch of the Times. “Clemente first had his glove up in front of his chest, but at the last moment had to shift it. That’s when he muffed the ball.”

Said Clemente: “I was groping for the ball. I lost it.”

Though there were still many skeptics about the ’65 Dodgers, one who saw their potential was Pirates third baseman Bob Bailey.

“They’re not just giving an 80% effort like some teams,” Bailey told Times columnist Sid Ziff. “They go all out. They go for the extra base, the squeeze bunt, the impossible catch. And, of course, they’ve got tremendous pitching.”

But rather using the Clemente game to launch like a rocket to the National League pennant, the Dodgers would have one of their bumpiest weeks of the year.

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October 2, 1962: Dodger Stadium’s longest nine innings

Maury Wills throwing out the first pitch Monday before the second-longest nine-inning game in Dodger Stadium history.

Maury Wills throws the first pitch Monday before the second-longest nine-inning game in Dodger Stadium history.

By Mark Langill

It took four hours and 13 minutes to realize the irony of bobblehead-honoree Maury Wills throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before Monday’s Dodgers-Phillies marathon that featured 17 runs, 26 hits, 10 pitchers and 367 pitches. L.A.’s 10-7 victory came within five minutes of the all-time Los Angeles record for longest nine-inning home game.

Wills played in the longest game on October 2, 1962, one of the most exciting yet overlooked episodes in the history of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry.

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Remembering ’65: Jim Gilliam comes out of retirement to rescue Dodgers

remembering-65-wide-v1-grass
LAD-JIM-GILLIAM-0013Fifty years ago today, the Dodgers activated retired third-base coach Jim Gilliam to return to the field.

“The old pro is back,” Walter Alston told the Times.

Though he had been a full-time coach, Gilliam had been taking batting and infield practice since Spring Training.

“I’m glad to be back on the roster,” he said. “I think I can help the club, and that’s all that counts.

Alston cautioned that he didn’t “intend to play Jim at third base very much, but there will be times when he will finish up the game there after pinch-hitting.”

That plan lasted for about three days. The 36-year-old Gilliam played 16 innings across a May 31 doubleheader and went on to start 99 more games during the remainder of the 1965 season and all seven in the ’65 World Series.

In a story that appeared in Dodger Insider magazine this month, Mark Langill offers a fond look back at how Gilliam’s improbable comeback boosted the Dodgers to a title. (Click each page below to enlarge.)

— Jon Weisman

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50 years ago today: Koufax’s no-no-no-hitter

By Mark Langill

It was 50 years ago today that Sandy Koufax entered his June 4, 1964 start at Philadelphia with a 5-4 record and a modest goal. He wanted to concentrate on the positioning of his right foot during his delivery.

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In case you missed it: The curious case of Clayton Kershaw

Los Angeles Dodgers at Oakland Athletics

By Jon Weisman

The good news for Clayton Kershaw is, he’s healthy.

Not to mention that for the first two innings — six up, six down — of today’s 7-3 loss to Oakland, the Dodger ace made last week’s start look like every bit the aberration we thought it was. Six up, six down.

Then came a third inning which, as much as anything, was reminiscent of the third inning of Game 6 of the 2013 National League Championship Series.

Kershaw allowed two walks, an RBI single and another walk that loaded the bases. Then former Dodger Nick Punto came up, got ahead in the count and began fouling off pitches, just like Matt Carpenter did in his 11-pitch NLCS at-bat against Kershaw.

Punto won this marathon, singling to right field to drive in two more runs, and Kershaw was pulled mid-inning, ultimately charged with five runs.

And by the sounds of it, he was ready to sentence himself to pitcher jail. From Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:

… “It’s not fun to deal with,” said Kershaw, who has an 18.00 ERA. “Physically, I feel great. I don’t have any excuses. I don’t know, searching for answers right now. I know it’s Spring Training, it doesn’t matter, but it matters to me.”

Mattingly said he wasn’t panicking.

“The first two innings were really good, then he got out of rhythm and couldn’t find it,” Mattingly said. “Good thing is, it’s Spring Training, that’s why we’re here. He had the same kind of spring last year. He has a level of expectation of always being good. I don’t have a problem with that. He expects to be in midseason form, and we keep working toward that. He gets frustrated. That’s why we love him.” …

On the opposite end of the spectrum was Seth Rosin, who followed his two-inning, five-strikeout outing Wednesday by tossing three shutout innings with three strikeouts today. That included pitching out of a second-and-third, none-out jam in the fourth inning, thanks to an Adrian Gonzalez throwing error.

“This outing is actually more impressive to me than his first outing,” SportsNet LA analyst Orel Hershiser said on the air. “Today, he’s facing some adversity, against a team swinging the bat really well, and he’s still able to get them out.”

Rosin, by the way, was born in 1988, 7 1/2 months after Kershaw and a couple weeks after the Dodgers won the World Series.

Coming in behind Rosin on the highlight reel was Dee Gordon, who had an RBI triple for the second consecutive game, and Andre Ethier and Miguel Olivo, who each had two hits.