Dodgers…Giants…1993, 103 Wins and Not a Wild Scene In The Bay

dodgerdrei:

1993 was the last season of the pre wild-card playoffs, which meant if you won 100 plus games… If you we’re baseball’s second best team… You we’rent exactly guaranteed more baseball after 162 games. Here is a re-blog from last year looking back at the SF Giants team won 103 games, and how the Dodgers broke plenty of hearts by the bay. The 1993 Giants would be the last 100 plus win team to miss out on post-season play…

Originally posted on It's Always A Good Dre in L.A.:

1993.  Not exactly a memorable season for the Blue.  The 1993 Dodgers would finish at .500 , 81-81, an 18 game improvement from 1992’s 63-99 showing, their worst in L.A. franchise history and the first ( and LAST ) time the Dodgers would finish in last place since 1905.  The 1993 season would mark Barry Bond’s first season with the hated ones after 7 seasons in Pittsburgh, with his final moment in a Bucs uniform coming in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS as he was unable to throw out the speedster Sid Bream .  As the Braves would continue their yearly post-season run that would last until 2005 ( In the process dulling their fan base ) , the Pirates would go into a 20 year tailspin .  

In the meantime, the 1993 season would be the last season for baseball’s 2 division format.  That…

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Fab Four Friday… On this Day, 8/28/1966

beatles_dodgerstadiumThe Beatles perform their 2nd to last concert at Dodger Stadium. The Fab Four would wrap up their touring days the following evening at Candlestick Park. Dodger Stadium would be one of nine MLB venues The Beatles would perform. Of the nine venues, Dodger Stadium is the only one left standing…

beatlesdodgersposterThe Boys in Blue aren’t the only ones who can pack The Ravine…

Heading Toward The Pennant Chase

With the Dodgers beginning a critical 7 game homestand tonight against the Cubs and Giants, the Dodgers will be taking on two teams who are also in the midst of a pennant race. The schedule does not get any easier for the Blue, 16 games against teams with winning records including 7 against the Giants, who trail the Dodgers in the west by 2.5 games. It’s no secret the Dodgers have struggled against team with winning records, most notably against the Giants, who have won 9 of 12 against The Blue to this point. With the NL’s 2nd and 3rd best teams in the Central Division, as of right now, the Dodgers, if they are to play deep into October, will more likely have to win the west. At 70-56, Drei here says 92 wins takes the west, meaning we would have to go 22-14 the rest of the way. It won’t be easy ( Is it ever ? ) with both Puig and Gonzalez being listed as day to day. As for Puig, who had been on a 10 game hitting streak, his hamstring feels worse than his previous injury. Since the all-star break, Puig leads the club with 7 homers.

9th Inning… 

In keeping with our Fab Four Friday theme amidst the dog days of summer…

On This Day, August 22, 1965 , Marichal vs. Roseboro

dodgerdrei:

Whenever the Dodgers and Giants meet, tensions are always at it’s highest, especially when both are in the midst of a pennant race as they are now. 50 years ago today, on August 22, 1965, with both teams battling for a NL Crown, one of baseball’s ugliest moments occurred at Candlestick Park between Dodgers catcher Johnny Roseboro and Giants pitcher Juan Marichal…

Originally posted on It's Always A Good Dre in L.A.:

roseboro_marichal The most famous on-field fight in baseball history took place between Dodgers catcher John Roseboro and Giants pitcher Juan Marichal. Juan Marichal would be suspended by NL President Warren Giles for 8 games, the equivalent of 2 starts. L.A. Times columnist Jim Murray writes ” Let a common citizen whack someone over the head with a bat and see what he gets…” . Maury Wills would call Giles a SOB. Though Marichal would only miss two starts, the two starts missed may have been crucial because the Dodgers would win the pennant by one game over, The Giants. Here is a recollection of that day’s events from Juan Marichal, who years later would become good friends with John Roseboro. It’s also been said that Roseboro played an integral part in Marichal’s induction to the Hall of Fame.

roseboro

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Throwback Thursday…Drei’s Ballpark Adventures… Minute Maid Park, May 2005 and July 2008

The Dodgers will be opening up a 3 game series starting Friday evening at Minute Maid Park against the Houston Astros. It will mark the first time these two clubs will match up against each other since 2012. From 1962-2012, the Houston franchise was a member of the National League and from 1969-1993 the Astros we’re part of the NL West. During that period, these two clubs won a combined 9 division titles among each other. These two clubs had some epic battles in the early 80s, notably 1980 and 1981.The Dodgers are coming off a rough spell in Oakland while the Astros have surprised the so-called as they head toward the stretch run in a 3 way battle for the AL West with the Angels and Rangers.

HOU_Drei n Train Reppin’ The Blue in H-Town, July 2008.

I’ve had the chance to visit Minute Maid Park twice, in 2005 on a stopover in Houston and in 2008 to see The Blue. Located in Downtown Houston, MMP is a nice cozy bandbox. MMP would be the second retractable roofed stadium I would visit behind Chase Field. After a couple of stays in Houston and several visits to Phoenix, my stance on indoor baseball has softened somewhat, if not entirely. We Dodger fans really are spoiled with such great weather.

The Juice Box, the moniker that’s commonly used, opened in 2000 as Enron FieldNot long after the infamous Enron scandal we’re they able to change the name of the yard and rid themselves of the aftertaste Enron left behind. I had the impression that MMP was indeed a bandbox, especially for right handed hitters. Should the yard be open to the open skies, it is possible for one to hit one toward Crawford Street behind the left field stands, dubbed the Crawford Boxes. 

Above the Crawford Boxes are sliding glass door panels that glide the roof open. Atop the wall is the MMP’s signature feature, the replica locomotive…

HOU_MMP Train conductor HEY MR. CONDUCTOR !!! That’s a cool job you got !!!

Some of you reading this may be saying to yourselves isn’t that hill in centerfield MMP’s signature feature ?

HOU_MMP Tals Hill You could make an argument that Tal’s Hill is MMP’s signature feature. Located in center field in the field of play along with the flagpole, the hill was a nod to the hill in Cincinatti’s old Crosley Field. Former Dodger and current Padre bench coach Dave Roberts was the first outfielder to make a running catch up the hill. For you Dodgers fans who may be in H-Town this weekend, this will be your last chance to see Tal’s Hill as it will be removed after this season to make way for improved seating as well as food and drink options ( No doubt to cater to the party-goers ). 

HOU_MMP DTHou View of the Houston skyline, roof opened to the skies tonight

HOU_MMP Union Sta ( Josh ) The old Union Station lobby, now also serves as the left field entrance. Hey look, the guy with the long hair, it’s my buddy Josh !!!  Hey Josh !!!  ALL ABOARD !!!

HOU_MMP Drei n Josh 05 With my buddy Josh, May 2005

Trivial Notes on H-Town

You may notice that professional sports teams in Houston, the Astros, Rockets and even the WNBA’s Comets, all are names with a reference to the space shuttle program, where at one time Houston was a major hub. If you’re in H-Town and have some time, you may want to check out Space Center Houston. Below is a slideshow of pics I took during my visit in 2008 and i’m sure much has changed since, especially with the space shuttle program being over

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Extra Innings… 1981

The Dodgers and Astros met in an intra-division Best of 5 playoff to determine the NL West Champion. Jerry Reuss would out-duel Hall of Fame fireballer Nolan Ryan, sending the Dodgers to the NLCS against the NL East Champion Montreal Expos. It would be the only time the Dodgers and Astros would meet in post-season play. It could happen again this year, of course with much bigger stakes…

From 42 to 21, Some Dodgers/Pirates History and a Look at PNC Park

dodgerdrei:

Today would have been the 81st birthday of Roberto Clemente. In his honor, the Smithsonian Museum will be putting on display a portrait of Roberto Clemente as part of it’s ” Recognize ” series, Clemente’s life was tragically cut short on the night of December 31, 1972, in a plane crash during a trip to Nicaragua to provide earthquake relief. Though we know of his baseball accomplishments throughout his career with th e Pittsburgh Pirates, Clemente was at onetime a prospect of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Here is a reblog of a story I did about Roberto Clemente last year prior to a series the Dodgers had with the Pirates. Like Jackie Robinson, Roberto’s impact was felt not only on the field, but off the field as well, a true humanitarian. Happy 81st Birthday Roberto…

Originally posted on It's Always A Good Dre in L.A.:

The Dodgers take on the Pirates tonight in the 2nd of a 3 game set at PNC Park, with the Boys in Blue winning last night behind 7 strong innings from Hyun-Jin Ryu and some early run support. The Dodgers and Pirates are two of the most storied franchises in the bigs. Both organizations can proudly say that two of the games most influential players played for them.

Dre_JackieNRoberto Two of my favorite pieces of baseball art, honoring Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, numbers 42 and 21 respectively .

Most of you are familiar with Jackie Robinson’s story. You may also be familiar with Roberto Clemente as well, especially if you are a fan of the Bucs. But did you know that Roberto Clemente played one season with the Montreal Royals in 1954 , the Triple A affiliation of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The same organization where Jackie Robinson played before his…

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Going Back In Time… 1985… The 80’s

After tonight’s Dodgers/Reds game, Back to the Future will be shown on the big screens at Dodger Stadium. Has it really been 30 years ? Yet in the present day, 2015, we’re still waiting for flying cars…” WHERE’S FLYING CARS ? ” 

Not to long ago, Doc Brown was seen introducing the starting lineups…

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/99386951″>Doc Brown Announces the Starting Lineup</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user18248760″>Good_Drei</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Also in 1985…

MAGIC After falling to the Celtics in 8 previous tries, the Lakers finally bury the Garden Ghosts, knocking off the Celtics in 6 games. The Dodgers would also reach the post-season in 1985, however, one fateful pitch to Jack Clark and it would be the Cardinals, not the Dodgers, playing in The Fall Classic. It would be 3 years, 1988, when both the Dodgers and Lakers, would bring glory to L.A. in the same season. The eighties was quite a decade for both the Lakers and Dodgers. Both teams would combine for 14 post-season appearances and 7 World Championships. Of course, Magic had a huge role in 5 of L.A’s championships in the 80s…

1988… Taking Down a Dynasty in the Making… Taking The Baaaaad Boys Down

Leading Off…

1988. A year that puts a smile to many a Dodger fans face. It’s time to bring that same glee to those born after 1988… As for 1988, the Mets we’re atop the National League East once again, winning 100 games, second in the majors behind the Oakland A’s. 

The ’88 Mets still had much of that swag carried over from 1986. Heading into the NLCS, having won 10 of 11 against our Boys in Blue during the regular season, the contrast between those two teams could not have been any more drastic. The Mets we’re everything that represented what’s evil about New York, brash, bad boys, lawbreakers… The backyard bullies that always took away your lunch money… ( Yes folks, there was a time the Mets had that title over the Yankees… ). The Dodgers, well, they we’re as humble as mom and apple pie. With a lineup that included the lovable goofball Mickey Hatcher, Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia, and of course the church-going Orel Hershiser, you would have thought this was a match-up of Convicts vs. Choir Boys, with Orel leading the choir. In the eyes of the experts, the Choir Boys didn’t stand a chance. Ah, but we all do know every choir has at least one badass in the group. 

gibson Kirk Gibson. The one badass every team should have. Jesse Orosco, acquired in the off-season from the Mets, a team know for it’s badass image, would soon find out…

gibson-hershiser Bulldog and Gibby… The contrast between night and day couldn’t be any more evident…

The Mets, only 2 years removed from their ’86 championship, dominated The Boys in Blue during the 1988 regular season, winning 10 of 11. It was no surprise that they we’re heavy favorites over the Dodgers heading into the NLCS. However, if there was one thing the Dodgers had going for them, it was Orel Hershiser’s 59 inning scoreless streak, a a streak that’s been talked of a lot lately. Orel would be the Game One starter and would ride his hot streak for 8 plus innings as The Blue would carry a 2-0 lead into the 9th. Attending my first playoff game ever, at the innocent age of 14, I was having the time of my life. I’m even confident that Darryl Strawberry could hear me among the pavillion faithful… ” DARRRRRYL !!!! DARRRRRYL !!! “

DARRYL STRAWBERRY DARRRRRRRYL !!!! DARRRRRRYL !!!

After allowing a run, Hershiser be replaced by closer Jay Howell. One strike away from taking the first game, with two runners on, future HOFer Gary Carter ( R.I.P. ) would bloop a double just eluding a diving John Shelby to give the Mets a 3-2 lead and eventual win. If the Dodgers we’re ever so devastated, perhaps some words of anything but flattery from Mets Game 2 starter and 20 game winner David Cone would light up the fire as the Dodgers would even the series heading to New York for Games 3-5 5. As for Cone’s words, this is one of those moments I look back at and say to myself ” Imagine if twitter was around…”

Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple

DWIGHT GOODEN Dwight Gooden. He and Fernando produced plenty of Ks in the 80s…

With Game 3 being rained out on it’s original Friday date, Tommy Lasorda would start The Bulldog on 3 days rest. Like Game 1, Jay Howell would be called upon with a 1 run lead, this time in the 8th inning. Howell would once again find himself in more hot water amidst a controversial 8th. The Mets would win Game 3 to take a 2 games to 1 lead. The situation would only get more dim, as the Mets, behind Doc Gooden, would take a 4-2 lead into the 9th, 3 outs away from a 3 games to 1 lead in the series. Doubt. Reality. OK, maybe both were starting to set in the minds of even the most devout Dodger fan, ( If it wasn’t already there before the start of the series…). After all, the Mets we’re a dynasty in the making. The Bad Boys of Baseball that dominated the Dodgers in the regular season. 3 more outs and they all but have the series locked up. Of course, not everything always goes according to script… Especially Baseball. Let’s just say two future managers, Mike Scioscia, and Kirk Gibson, would hit two of the biggest home runs in Dodgers history to that point. Of course, our Boys in Blue would have to make things dramatic in the Mets 12th, with the Good Guys clinging to a one run lead… Bulldog even made a cameo appearance in that 12th…

With the series now tied at 2, Kirk Gibson would once again come through with another huge home run ( Somehow, I don’t see Gibby hitting a bigger HR in the 1988 post-season than the one’s he’s hit at Shea… )

With the series heading back to L.A, David Cone, his days of columnist behind him, would toss a gem in Game 6, setting up a decisive 7th game at Dodger Stadium. With The Bulldog taking the hill, Game 7 was not even close, as The Blue would score 6 runs in the first two innings and well, you know the rest. Baseballs Bad Boys, The Brash New York Mets, two years removed from their ’86 triumph, the backyard bullies that bullied the Dodgers around in 1988, would be dethroned. The 80s Mets, whom many felt we’re a dynasty in the making, had it all gone. Gone before it could even reach it’s prime.

It’s been said by many Mets fans that the events of 1988, starting with Scioscia’s home run in Game 4, was the beginning of the Mets downfall. The Mets would be lead baseball in wins from 1984-1990. They we’re a colorful bunch. A dynasty that never happend ? It makes for good discussion among baseball fans when not gleefully looking back on just the events of ’88. The Oakland A’s teams of the late 80’s. lead by Bash Brothers, Jose Canseco and some future Dodgers hitting coach, certainly could be discussed in the same sentence as well. 

It would be 11 years before the Mets would return to post-season play. The Mets would only appear in the post-season 3 more times since. Doc Gooden and Dodger to be Darryl Strawberry, would go through a series of on and off the field struggles. ( Both would win another World Series in New York wearing blue pinstripes, just not Dodger Blue pinstripes.. ) .

When looking back upon 1988, it’s easy to look back on the World Series. To get there though, The Blue would have to get past The Mighty Mets, a team in the eyes of many… A Dynasty That Never Happened. Of course, our Boys in Blue would play a huge role…

Bridging The Gap… From Amazin’s to Bad Boys…

From 1958-1961 the Yankees we’re the only baseball team in The Big Apple. Then in 1962, New York was awarded an expansion National League ballclub. They would become known as the Mets, short for Metropolitans. 

“The circular Mets logo, designed by sports cartoonist Ray Gatto, was unveiled. It has gone virtually unchanged throughout the history of the club. The shape of the insignia, with its orange stitching, represents a baseball, and the bridge in the foreground symbolizes that the Mets, in bringing back the National League to New York, represent all five boroughs. It’s not just a skyline in the background, but has a special meaning. At the left is a church spire, symbolic of Brooklyn, the borough of churches. The second building from the left is the Williamsburg Savings Bank, the tallest building in Brooklyn. Next is the Woolworth Building. After a general skyline view of midtown comes the Empire State Building. At the far right is the United Nations Building. The Mets’ colors are Dodger blue and Giant orange, symbolic of the return of National League baseball to New York after the Dodgers and Giants moved to California. Blue and Orange are also the official colors of New York State.” ( newyork.mets.mlb.com )

Mets Logo Adorned with Dodger Blue, and Giants Orange, the Mets logo has pretty much stood the test of time, for the most part retaining it’s look throughout their history with some minor tweaks. 

After playing their first two seasons at The Polo Grounds, the Mets would move into Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows, where the Dodgers may have ended up if not for a struggle of power between the beloved Dodger owner ( or hated depending who you talk to ) and New York City Planner Robert Moses. Lovable losers from their infancy throughout the 60s, the Mets would actually outdraw the Yankees at the gate during that period. ( I would have to think the fans with ties toward the Dodgers and Giants had something to do with the huge support).  

1969 would bring a miracle as the Mets, those lovable losers of the sixties, would shock the baseball world and bring home a World Championship, forever known as The Amazins’. Shea Stadium would be home to another World Champion, as well as 2 other National League pennant winners.

A Dynasty in the Making ?

The eighties would see the Mets parade such talent as Dwight Gooden, Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez, and of course Crenshaw High’s Darryl Strawberry. From 1984-89, the Mets would win 90 plus game in 5 of those seasons. However, in the days long before the wild card, the Mets would only see post-season action twice during that period, finishing in 2nd place in four of those seasons. The Mets, winners of 108 games in 1986, would find themselves in some of baseball’s most intense playoff moments, narrowly getting by the Astros in six games .

Of course many of you do know the story of the 1986 World Series, as well as a huge moment in Game 6 that, when given much deep thought, involves a former Dodger, and a Hall of Fame Dodger announcer. Yup, that’s right…. Bill Buckner and Vinny…

The ’86 Mets we’re brash. They we’re now baseball’s Bad Boys. They we’re cocky. They defied the law... They partied hard… They we’re the buzz of MTV ( More on that later…) They we’re a dynasty in the making… Or we’re they ? In 1988, the Mets would win 100 games en route to their 2nd NL East crown in 3 years. They would face our beloved Dodgers in the NLCS, a team they beat 10 of 11 times, uh, make that dominated, 10 of 11 during the regular season. I know you already know the story of 1988 so I’ll spare the dramatics. But I will give my memories of that 1988 NLCS in my next post. Stay tuned… In the meantime… Back to 1986, when MTV was, Music Television…

 In the context of 1986, this was brash….

Even our Boys in Blue gave the music video gig a try in 1986, performing The Baseball Boogie Bunch. Before you view this, let me just add… The Dodgers record in 1986 ? 73-89

 Oh, The Eighties… I WANT MY MTV !!!

MTV logo

Baseball Beyond The Nations Captitol…Retracing It’s Roots to Montreal

It’s been 10 years now since MLB has returned to the nations capitol. With the Dodgers and Nationals battling each other this weekend in the nations capitol, many are saying that this could be a playoff preview. Should these two teams cross paths in the post-season, it would not be the first time. Prior to big league ball returning to the nations capitol as the Washington Nationals, their history could be traced back to 1969 during their days as the Montreal Expos. In 1981, the Dodgers and Expos would battle it out in an epic best of 5 NLCS that went the full 5. It would be the Expos only post-season appearance and thanks to Rick Monday’s home run in the top 9th that would give the Blue a 2-1 lead and eventual victory en route to a World Series triumph over the Yankees, citizens of Montreal still refer to Game 5 of the 1981 NLCS, played ironically on a Monday, as  Blue Monday.

Drei_RickMonday With the man who gave me one of my first happiest moments as a Dodger fan…

The Expos had some pretty decent players during it’s heyday, from Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Tim Wallach, Tim Raines. In 1994, a young pitcher, Pedro Martinez acquired in a trade during the off-season, Dodger fans…  would be a part of a team, also featuring Larry Walker, a team that many felt would win that season’s World Series. Unfortunately, as their record stood at 74-40, baseball came to a halt, and the season never resumed.  Many to this day feel the Strike of ’94 not only killed the Expos chance at winning a World Series, it killed the Montreal Expos, if not an immediate death.

After the 2004 season, MLB relocated the Expos to DC. It was often said by those in the MLB office and among the Expos brass that Montreal was not a baseball town due in large part to sparse attendance. I’m not so sure. It also did not help matters that the Expos, for many years, we’re  having stadium issues, playing their home games in what many called an ashtray, Olympic Stadium.

Prior to the Expos becoming a MLB franchise in 1969, Montreal already had a proud history of baseball with the Montreal Royals serving as the Brooklyn Dodgers minor league affiliate. Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente, two of baseball’s most influential figures, would make their way up to the big show through Montreal.

Clemente_MontrealRoyals Young Jackie, as a member of the Montreal Royals, the AAA affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers

Today, there is talk that the city of city of Montreal is ready for baseball to return. Attendance at recent exhibition games in Montreal could be a glimpse of hope that big league baseball is ready to return to Montreal. Who knows ? Perhaps the day will come when our beloved Boys in Blue will continue to some day provide more happy moments from The City of Saints. ( On a personal note, perhaps I can hear the bilingual version of Oh Canada echoing through Chavez Ravine once again on a yearly basis…) .

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