Results tagged ‘ Pee Wee Reese ’

Seager adds twins to his triplets and the Dodgers are building momentum

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Cary Osborne

This story wasn’t supposed to be about Corey Seager. A lot of other people were going to get some limelight.

But then Seager commandeered this lead in the bottom of the seventh inning by hitting a two-run home run off Alexi Ogando halfway up the Right Field Pavilion in the Dodgers’ 12-6 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday. It was his second home run of the game — the brother home run coming in the fourth inning with a 396-foot blast to center field off Matt Wisler.

Keeping it in the family, Seager cousined this game with his three-homer effort on Friday night.

Unreal Corey. Unreal.

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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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Ultimate presents: Most valuable Dodger memorabilia

Kirk Gibson's 1988 World Series jersey. Photo: SCP Auctions

Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series jersey. Photo: SCP Auctions

By Cary Osborne

What is the most valuable piece of Dodger memorabilia?

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Who was the Dodgers’ Kobe?

Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant at Dodger Stadium, July 31, 2013. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant at Dodger Stadium, July 31, 2013. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

It’s hard to be a sports fan in Los Angeles and not be affected by the end of Kobe Bryant’s career. Twenty seasons in a Los Angeles uniform? For one attempt at perspective, here’s the Dodger starting lineup on June 26, 1996, the day the 17-year-old Bryant was drafted.

Delino DeShields, 2B
Roger Cedeno, LF
Mike Piazza, C
Eric Karros, 1B
Raul Mondesi, RF
Mike Blowers, 3B
Todd Hollandsworth, CF
Greg Gagne, SS
Tom Candiotti, P

Candiotti, the starting pitcher that day, is now 58 years old.

On the way to work this morning, I asked myself who would be the Dodgers’ closest equivalent to Bryant, a spectacular, championship-winning (future) Hall of Famer who wore only one team’s uniform (albeit with two numbers). It won’t surprise you that there’s no exact match, but I do think there’s a closer one than you might realize.

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Who were the last Dodgers born in each decade?

Mota head shot

Manny Mota

By Jon Weisman

Something in the news today made me notice that Joel Peralta, Jimmy Rollins and Juan Uribe are the only active Dodgers remaining who were born in the 1970s.

Naturally (or, upon reflection, perversely), I became curious about who held that honor in past years. Here’s the honor roll of players who were the last Dodgers born in each previous decade:

  • 1960s: Brad Ausmus, b. 1969 (2010, age 41)
  • 1950s: Rickey Henderson, b. 1958 (2002, age 44)
  • 1940s: Rick Dempsey, b. 1949 (1990, age 41)
  • 1930s: Manny Mota, b. 1938 (1982, age 44)
  • 1920s: Hoyt Wilhelm, b. 1922 (1972, age 49)
  • 1910s: Pee Wee Reese, b. 1918 (1958, age 40)
  • 1900s: Curt Davis, b. 1903 (1946, age 42)
  • 1890s: Kiki Cuyler, b. 1898 (1938, age 40)
  • 1880s: Jack Quinn, b. 1883 (1932, age 49)
  • 1870s: Kid Elberfield, b. 1875 (1914, age 39)
  • 1860s: Patsy Donovan, b. 1865 (1907, age 42)
  • 1850s: George Shoch, b. 1859 (1897, age 38)

Sutton was the last Dodger born before the end of World War II, Reese the last before the end of World War I and Donovan the last born before the end of the Civil War.

The oldest recorded birth year for any player associated with the Dodger franchise is 1851, for outfielder Jack Remsen, who finished his career with the 1884 Brooklyn Atlantics of the American Association. For the National League years, you can go all the way back to infielder Jack Burdock (b. 1852), who got the 1,231st and final hit of his career with the 1891 Brooklyn Grooms.

Willie Wells: Too early for history

img639By Mark Langill

In the personal collection of Pee Wee Reese, the former Brooklyn Dodger shortstop and team captain kept photos and clippings through the various stages of his career, from being a sandlot prospect in Louisville to his Hall of Fame ceremony at Cooperstown. Reese passed away at age 81 in 1999, but his papers are preserved by his son, filmmaker Mark Reese.

As the Dodgers and Major League Baseball celebrate Jackie Robinson Day and the Civil Rights Game at Dodger Stadium today, this circa 1942 article (click at left to enlarge) from the Reese archives provides a reminder of baseball before integration.

An editorial from an unnamed publication urges the Brooklyn Dodgers to sign Newark Eagles shortstop Willie Wells to replace Reese, who was scheduled to be drafted into military service. The author touts Wells’ accomplishments, but doesn’t mention he would become the first African-American player of the 20th century to appear in the Majors. The premise is simple: find the best possible replacement for Reese, an All-Star in 1942.

But the timing wouldn’t be right for Wells. Branch Rickey had just become president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, leaving the St. Louis Cardinals to replace Larry MacPhail. Would Rickey dare such a bold move so early in his Dodger reign? Before signing Robinson in 1945, Rickey scouted both the Negro Leagues and the Brooklyn organization to determine what steps he would take before attempting to integrate the sport.

After playing with the Eagles in 1942, Wells went to the Mexican League in 1943 and 1944 before resuming his Negro Leagues career from 1945-48. The editorial cites Wells’ age as 31, but other sources citing his August 10, 1906 birthdate meant the Texas native was 36 at the time. Wells would pass away in relative obscurity in 1989 but was posthumously elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1997.

Robinson and Wells would cross paths in 1946 before Robinson reported to Triple-A Montreal. Wells helped Robinson with the pivot at second base to turn a double play.

Video: Dodgers and the wars

On Memorial Day, the Dodgers premiered this video connecting Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese and Roy Gleason with the team and their military service. A day later, it still is worth viewing.

— Jon Weisman

Video: ‘Dodgers Roadshow’ highlights rare goodies

Dodgers Roadshow

By Jon Weisman

The centerpiece of the May issue of Dodger Insider magazine is our Dodgers Roadshow (excerpted above, click to enlarge). Team historian Mark Langill discussed the history behind 20 pieces of Dodger memorabilia, few if any of which you’ve ever seen before.

In the videos that follow, Langill devotes even more time to these strange and wonderful artifacts. Enjoy!

Roy Campanella-Pee Wee Reese bobblehead, July 12

For the July 12 Dodgers-Padres game featuring this bobblehead giveaway, get your tickets here.

Here’s a statistical salute to Roy Campanella, from Lee Sinins for Gammons Daily.

— Jon Weisman

30 years ago today: For Hall of Famer Reese, better late than never

Reese headshotBy Mark Langill

The Dodgers retired the uniform numbers of new Hall of Fame members Pee Wee Reese (1) and Don Drysdale (53) during Oldtimers Day ceremonies in 1984. Although each spent their respective Major League career exclusively with the Dodgers, the former shortstop and pitcher took different paths to Cooperstown.

Drysdale was elected to the Hall in his 10th year of eligibility in the general balloting with 78.4 percent of the vote, along with Luis Aparicio (84.6) and Harmon Killebrew (83.1). Candidates must receive at least three-quarters of the votes cast.

It was 30 years ago today when the Veterans Committee announced the election of Reese, who never came close to Cooperstown during the regular elections. Reese, who retired after the 1958 season, received 44.6 percent in his last year of eligibility in 1978. Reese’s highest percentage was 47.9 percent in 1976.

Reese’s arrival at Cooperstown complicated the case for former Dodger first baseman Gil Hodges, who has received the most votes of any player not elected to the Hall. The Dodgers’ Boys of Summer regular lineup now included shortstop Reese, catcher Roy Campanella, outfielder Duke Snider and infielder Jackie Robinson. Hodges passed away of a heart attack during spring training in 1972 at the age of 47.

Out of sight, out of mind?

Between 1969 and 1978, Hodges and Reese appeared on the same ballot, and Hodges finished ahead of Reese in the last nine elections, the only exception 1969 (Reese 12th, Hodges 13th). If Reese’s election blocked Hodges, it probably opened the door for another longtime New York shortstop. Former Yankees great Phil Rizzuto, whose highest HOF percentage was 38.4 in his last year of eligibility in 1976, joined Reese in the Hall of Fame in 1994, courtesy of the Veterans Committee.