Category Archives: dodgers

Notes On a Scorecard: 6/1, Walkin’ Off With The Fresh Prince of Chavez Ravine Against Philly

It’s been awhile since I’ve done Notes On a Scorecard. What a month of June it was keeping score at the yard. Even the one non-Dodger game I would go would be a history-maker. I’ve tried over the years to save my cards mostly because well who knows what memorable or historic moment may come of it. On this first night of June, the Dodgers would take on Philly in the second of a three game set. 

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On this night the Phillies would throw an “Opener” at us with Jose Alvarez taking the hill. I haven’t seen “openers” enough to really give an opinion. Thank god the Dodgers boast a deep rotation.

Kid K would go a solid 7 while striking out 6. However, Julio Arias would quickly surrender a 2-run lead in the visiting 8th on a 2-run shot to Bryce Harper. 

Arias would settle down, and in the home 9th, against Philly, Will Smith, no, not Will Smith from West Philadelphia, Will Smith the call-up from OKC, would do this…

This would be Will Smith’s first ever walk-off in any level and his first career MLB 4-bagger, against, of course, Philadelphia. Hollywood script huh? Rookie named Will Smith hits his first ever walk-off and first MLB 4-bagger against Philly. Hollywood can’t even script that…

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On another note from this first day of June, look at the batters in front and behind him. Some future magic ahead with those 3 rookies?

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Cruising The N.L. West, Day Two: Strolling Through LoDo and The Series Finale, Dodgers vs. Rockies 6/30

Leading Off…

20190630_103852So true in baseball…

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Just a little over 20 minutes before 11AM local time on this last day of June. It’s been a humid weekend in the Mile High City, so far the clouds have stayed away. Prior to the series finale I decide to take a stroll throughout the area surrounding the ballpark. 

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What does this neon artwork look like when lit at night?

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It’s still early. How ’bout we grab some breakfast?

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Located about a block from the yard, it’s nice to see Kachina uses ingredients both local and Cali made…

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The Blue Corn Waffles sound good…

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I was expecting the waffles to have more of the blue corn texture as described. But that whiskey maple syrup…What a kick. Syrup also can be served to kids but without the whiskey…Back to my pregame stroll…

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Above are pictures of the construction that will eventually become a mixed use entertainment complex across the street from Coors Field. 

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Views from outside the yard on 20th street…

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With the number of brick buildings surrounding the area Coors Field certainly blends in well with the surrounding neighborhood of LoDo. 

20190630_113921The Starting Nine for Colorado…

20190630_114858Greetings From One Mile High…

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Gettin’ that Mile High feeling…

Speaking of One Mile High…

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This now marks the ninth yard past and present our traveling blue fleece has entered. 

The Purple Row

As you may know by now, the Purple Row in the upper reaches of Coors Field, Row 20 to be exact, marks the sport where fans are exactly one mile above sea level…

20190630_115454Back at it one mile high with Blue Dog

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20190630_115156Hey, Blue Dog’s buddy, Bailey decided to join him a mile high…

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If I should ever make it back to the Mile High City maybe one day I’ll ask for a seat in the purple row…Off to The Rooftop

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On the way to The Rooftop we pass through Carlos Gonzalez’s accomplishment. We hear you love L.A. Carlos…

Pregame view from The Rooftop. The day started off so hot and humid you could actually smell the wood along the drink rail. If it was any hotter i’d be able to cook some wood-smoked salmon…

Behind the Batter’s Backdrop

20190630_123849So tempted to pull a piece of that ivy along the backdrop…

20190630_123951Home plate of the visitors bullpen. That’s gotta be one of the most scenic bullpens in the bigs. Gotta wonder how many warmup pitches have skipped away onto that pool of water. How many dingers have landed there as well…

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Our view from our seats. With this yard’s homer friendly reputation does a Cody Bellinger 4-bagger land our way today? Notice the clouds starting to come in compared to the earlier clear skies…

20190630_131025Opening intro for the Rockies. Our pic featuring Charlie Blackmon…

JP to lead things off for us. I get a feeling he’s gonna have a big day today…

20190630_132230Gettin’ my facetime with Cody Bellinger. 

One of the notable changes to Coors aside from the addition of The Rooftop is their scoreboard and it’s unique “Rocky Mountain-like” shape. Without a doubt one of the best boards in the league when it comes to it’s unique quality…Another side note on this last day of Sunday…Earlier it was sunny, now, first pitch, still hot at 92 degrees but now we have a cloud cover…

Ballpark Blueprints…

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When walking the concourse behind the center field batters backdrop you’ll notice this mural depicting the cattle life of the Rocky Mountains up to the construction and opening of Coors Field in 1995…

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View from the LF corner. For still being one of the biggest yards in the MLB, Coors Field feels surprisingly intimate…

20190630_155518Cody at the dish, top 6th. The visiting 6th would see the Blue put up a 6 spot over the Rockies. The three 6’s would not be kind to the home nine…

20190630_161353After feasting and drinking on Rocky Mountain Oysters this time I kept it simple…The Denver Dog…

20190630_165958JP with a big day as I predicted earlier. One of the key contributors to that big 6th…

20190630_170018Josh sure enjoyed that 6th…Now your weather update…76 degrees and cloudy. A 16 degree drop in just under 4 hours…

20190630_170552Well look who decided to join Blue Dog…In spite of the Blue about to salvage the final game of four and their 13th in their last 15 over Colorado, Dinger holds no ill-feelings…

After a little over 4 hours, the Blue finally comes away victorious…

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And I finally see a road win…

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FINALLY !!! A WIN ON THE ROAD FOR DREI !!!

20190630_171723Brought the other Blue Fleece on the road. This is the first time this Blue has left California. Our newfound Dodger buddy Dion, visiting from Wyoming, helped me hold up Blue Fleece II as we battled the Rocky Mountain winds…

20190630_171952My first “real” road trip with Josh in almost 10 years (SF and SD don’t count…). Our last road trip? Albuquerque, 2010, when ABQ was the Dodgers AAA affiliate. Today’s ABQ affiliate? Of course, the Colorado Rockies…

Closing Time…

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It was an enjoyable weekend in the Mile High City. The locals we’re very hospitable. It was great to get out on the road again with my buddy Josh after almost 10 years. Of course, the older you get the harder it is to do everything you set out to do. Heck, I haven’t even been to a game with Kid Marlz this season (Stay tuned…)

Now the third oldest yard in the NL behind only Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium, Coors Field won’t be going away anytime soon. Even with the changes both in and outside the yard, Coors Field, though does not have that new-stadium feel anymore, still maintains that retro/mid 90s feel if you will. Even with the recent improvements, there isn’t much in the way to distract you from the game. Aesthetically, Coors Field blends in well with the surrounding neighborhood…

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One of my baseball traveling goals was to catch the Dodgers in every NL West yard. One of my other goals was to do it in the same season as well. I’ve accomplished one of the two so far with Chase Field left to go. Along the way during this trip we crossed paths with other Dodgers fans. No surprise there since Dodgers fans always travel well. We even crossed paths with a bride and her besties as they celebrate one last baseball trip together before she ties the knot…(That’s quite a future hubby she got there letting her travel with her besties to see her Dodgers…)

It’s still my goal to hit up all 30. I’ve hit up 16 of the current 30 along with 7 past yards (8 if you count me setting foot inside The Kingdome…)

20190630_174530Time to head home Blue…

20190630_185847Boy the weather sure can change rapidly here…Being we’re one state away from Oz perhaps I should click my heals a few times to get us home…

Extra Innings…Drei’s Tale

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Kickin’ it with Dinger, August ’06…I need to revisit my good ol’ Jurassic buddy…

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Whassup Dinger ! You still enjoy chomping on Surf and Turf? You know, seal from the waters of McCovey Cove and your favorite…Rocky Mountain Oysters !!!

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Cruising The N.L. West, San Diego 5/5

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Just four days after cruising The Bay we head down south to San Diego for this Sunday afternoon Cinco De Mayo matchup against the Padres. With the Dodgers holding the top spot in the NL West and the Padres also off to a good start all three games at Petco Park would sell out. After winning the first two the Dodgers would come into the series finale with a chance at a sweep. 

Of the five NL West venues aside from Dodger Stadium, Petco Park is my most ventured. With San Diego being 2 hours south of L.A., a trip to America’s Finest City always makes for a great Sunday day trip, especially when traveling by rail. 

20190505_095855San Clemente

20190505_102129Almost there…

20190505_113740We’re Heeeeeere !!!

Petco Park, opened in 2004 is now in it’s 15th season of operation. As for the Padres, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of their MLB existance…

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In their 50 years as an MLB franchise in San Diego the  Friars have won five NL West crowns and 2 pennants, their first coming in 1984…

20190505_123127Steve Garvey’s bat from Game Four of the 1984 NLCS. Of course it would take a Dodger to lead the Friars to their first World Series appearance…

Steve Garvey would be the first Padre to have his number retired, a topic that has some Friars followers divided

20190505_133000Today’s ballpark eat’s…Single Bacon Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

The Friars would jump out to a 4-0 lead. However the Dodgers would rally for five runs on the strength of a 3-run jack by Max Muncy and a 2-run shot be Chris Taylor to give The Blue a 5-4 lead heading to the home ninth. 

With the bases loaded and two-out. Two strikes from a series sweep, Hunter Renfroe would come off the bench for the Friars and deliver a game-winning Grand Slam for the Friars. That would be the second two-out walk-off I would witness in less than a week. Ugh !!!

20190505_1546432 2-out walk-off losses. Ugh ! Hopefully I’ll bring better luck to Colorado come late June…

2019050595164509.jpgThe Blue needs to retire the Garv’s number already…

Time to head over to Basic Bar for a blood orange IPA or two and a Mashed/4-Maggio pie…

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After my previous experience with potato on a pizza I was a little hesitant to want to try the Mashed, the side with the basil. I’m happy to tell you this time my experience was much better, with the mash being a perfect compliment to the mozzarella and bacon. 

The area around Petco Park has really developed over the years with more dining options popping up around the ballpark. 

OK, time to head back to L.A. But before we do…

20190505_195458.jpgPaying respects to two Padres HOF’ers, Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman…

20190519_160250.jpgCruising the Gaslamp with Josh…

Extra Innings…Petco Blue Out

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That’s From Disneyland

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Hey everyone. I’ve been busy this weekend doing some house cleaning. But not as busy as Richard Kraft of Sherman Oaks. This past weekend Kraft has been auctioning off much of his Disneyland nostalgic collection, ranging from posters to attraction props and even actual ride vehicles. Prior to this weekends auction Kraft set up a free pop-up gallery in Sherman Oaks, some who even dressed and acted the part of their favorite Disney characters. 

Kraft plans to use the money raised through the auction to make donations to two charities that benefit children with special needs.

Here’s my collection of pictures, no particular order, that I was able to snap during my visit on August 12th…

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20180812_115935.jpg The man himself, Richard Kraft, greeting many an eager fan and capturing the moment before the gallery opens

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Of course I had to bring DodgerMickey…Lead the chorus…LETS GO DODGERS !!!

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20180812_123906.jpgShe seems very attracted to you DodgerMickey…

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He’s greeted many a guest entering one of these People Movers. Hey, how ’bout bringing back some of these and using them from Union Station to The Ravine. We found the Blue and Yellow ones. Now to find the Orange and Teal

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20180812_133454.jpg“It’s a World of Laughter a world of tears…It’s a Small World after all…”

20180812_134105.jpgDumbo playing with his favorite mouse, uh, second favorite mouse behind Timothy Q… Dumbo ain’t afraid of this mouse…

20180812_132719.jpgOf course…We can never separate these two…

I actually had several people come up to me as I was taking my pictures of my DodgerMickey statue. Of course they wanted to know if I bought it at the gift shop by the entrance. I’ve had the DodgerMickey since 2010 and of course being among Disney and Dodgers fans it was only natural that folks would want one of their own DodgerMickey as well…I guess it would only be natural that two of our favorite’s would make such magic together…Now if only that magic can continue on through October…

 

 

A Kid N Drei Mid-Summer Tale

With the Bucs coming to town and Drei finally crossing paths with Kid for the first time in 2018, we came up with this Kid N Drei tale, as told by Drei. Later on, Kid provides the beatz. We may not do this as often as we used, but when we do, not much has changed, you know, Kid with Da Beatz, Drei with Da Talez… As Kid once told Drei…”We Make Magic Together…”

First tale of ’18…

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It took awhile, but finally, the first Kid N Drei Tale of 2018…

Back to The Yard…Drei’s Thoughts

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It was a big Sunday at the yard for Matt Kemp as he would drive in 4 runs, including the go-ahead solo shot in the home 8th to put The Blue ahead to stay as they would stave off a three game sweep, taking down the Rockies 6-4. Prior to Sunday the Dodgers had lost three in a row and came in tied for second in the NL West with the San Francisco Giants. Kemp, whose been huge for The Blue to this point, was mired in his first big slump of 2018. His numbers compared to last year at this time are close to similar and with 14 home runs and 51 RBI’s to date, barring a major second half swoon, Kemp would be on pace for 28 home runs and 102 RBI’s. 

The recent slide brought Kemp’s average down to .302. Sunday’s performance lifted his average back to .310. His current slash line, .310 AVG/14HR/51RBI is about what you can expect from Kemp to this point as past years performances have shown. Many of us thought with his defense on the decline the Dodgers would have dealt him to a team in the Junior Circuit where he would have been more productive as a DH at this point in his career but even his defensive play, while not the Matt Kemp of 2011, has been above decent. 

Would it be too much for Kemp to carry The Blue as we head into baseball’s second half of the season? 

Baseball is a long season and every player is due for a slump at some point so I’m not really concerned that the best we’ll see of Kemp in 2018 is behind him. 

If there is any pressure on Matt Kemp to maintain his current numbers, it should be minimal at best. Other than a lighter Matt Kemp, this time around unlike 2015-17 he has a deeper lineup around him particularly in the outfield. My main concern is Kemp staying healthy down the stretch drive. 

Could Sunday’s game be the end of Kemp’s current slump? That remains to be seen. As for now, Kemp has done more than what anyone could have asked. Now it’s time to surround Kemp with some key pieces if The Blue is to make a run deep into October. 

At 43-38, the Dodgers are on pace to win 86 games. However, as we all know, baseball is full of streaks and slumps. One sustained streak and the Dodgers could find themselves over the 90 win plateau for the sixth straight season.

Extra Innings…Walk Us Off With Your Beatz, Kid !

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Gratitude is Everything…Featuring Kid’s Bro, RENO SPARKZ

 

 

 

 

 

On Deck With Steve Garvey

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Steve Garvey enjoyed 14 of his 19 big league seasons in the Dodger Blue. A two-time NLCS MVP, a 10-time All-Star and a two-time MVP of the All-Star game and the 1974 National League MVP.  These days, Garvey does about 45-50 motivational speeches a year through Garvey Media Group working with clients in stadium advertising. At Dodger Stadium he helps with the Kings Hawaiian Grill stand, introducing and marketing new BBQ sauces. 

I had a chance recently to speak with Garvey prior to the Dodgers alumni game on May 12th…

GDWKND: You we’re part of the longest running infield from 1973-81. What was the key in maintaining the infield for as long as you all did?

Garvey: I think the key was staying healthy. We continued to grow as players and understand our roles and performances. We started to work together, the team started to do well and Al Campannis signed us to long-term contracts. When it was all said and done that recipe was a great recipe of success during what I call the Golden Era from 1973-82.

GDWKND: When you we’re being groomed in Albuquerque you had Tommy Lasorda as your manager. When you came up to The Blue you we’re under the guidance of Walter Alston. How was the transition like from Lasorda in Albuquerque, to Alston and then eventually back to Lasorda?

Garvey: It was night and day, it was a 180. Walter Alston was very stoic and quiet, very strong man, Hall of Fame quality. Tommy was gregarious, outgoing, became really the heart and soul of Los Angeles Dodger Baseball by the way he talked about the team and got the fans involved. There’s more than one way to manage success. I was blessed to have Walter Alston to teach me certain things and Tommy Lasorda to teach me the rest. 

After the 1982 season, Garvey would head south and finish his career with the San Diego Padres. Though he wouldn’t put up the same numbers wearing the Padre Brown, Garvey would nonetheless have an impact on the Padres, highlighted by the city’s number one sports moment in 1984 with his walk-off home run in Game 4 of the NLCS off Lee Smith of the Cubs, forcing a decisive 5th game which the Padres would win en route to the organizations first World Series appearance. 

GDWKND: You played for three storied managers, Alston, Lasorda and Dick Williams, three HOF managers. How was it like playing for all three?

Garvey: Dick was tough, very demanding. Dick had won a couple of World Series with Oakland in the 70s, he had some strict rules that he expected you to adhere to. He was a veterans manager. He let the veterans do a lot of the leadership within the team. A very good X’s and O’s in game manager so he ended up in the HOF one way, Tommy one way and Walt one way. There’s no one way to be a leader to produce success. It takes the ability to communicate as the one common ingredient. 

GDWKND: You had an impact not only here but in San Diego as well during your 5 year stint from 1983-87. You will always be remembered for the home run you hit in Game Four of the 1984 NLCS. Do you do any work with the Padres as well?

Garvey: From time to time I get a call from the Padres to do things. I always look forward to it. I always say once I go south of Camp Pendleton I’m a Padre down there. I’m a favorite son and we had some great moments during my five year run capped off by our World Series. It’s like a second home in San Diego, 15 years in L.A and 5 in San Diego, a very blessed career and friendships on both sides. 

As Garvey would be a huge catalyst for the Padres first World Series appearance, they would run into a buzz-saw of a Detroit Tiger team that started off the ’84 season 35-5 en route to 104 wins, breezing through the ALCS in a three game sweep of the Kansas City Royals. In Game Five of the ’84 World Series, some future Dodger named Kirk would hit a huge home run in the 8th inning of a one-run game that all but ended the Padres faint hopes. It would be Kirk Gibson’s biggest home run of his career…To that point…

GDWKND: You had a chance to face Kirk Gibson when he was with the Detroit Tigers in the 1984 World Series. Kirk had that huge home run off Goose Gossage in Game Five that for all intents and purposes closed out the series. What was your thought of seeing Gibby in Dodger Blue in 1988, one year after your final season in baseball?

Garvey: That home run in ’84 had to be a prelude to the ’88 World Series. The irony of Gibson’s home run in ’88 was people thought it was Game Seven when it was actually Game One, he never made another World Series appearance again but it was so momentous a hit that it kick-started the momentum and along with Orel Hersheser’s fabulous pitching performances and a great team of executioners and it turned out a World Championship. 

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Drei’s memories of The Garv…I started watching Dodger Baseball in 1980 at six years of age. My first ever Dodger game at Dodger Stadium would be on my eighth birthday in 1982, one year after baseball’s longest running infield broke up. I would get to see 3/4th’s of the longest running infield twice. Then Garvey and Cey would leave Dodger Blue after the ’82 season. 

I may not have seen much of Garvey in Dodger Blue. I do remember he was one of the more popular Dodgers. Every kid in school wanted to be like Garvey. He was, in the eyes of manyMr. Clean (That’s a topic for another discussion…). 

Most of my childhood life as a baseball fan was at the end of his prime. This eight year old kid can remember the night he made his first appearance in that Padre Brown on April 15, 1983. He was given a thunderous standing ovation that seemed to last an eternity. 

To this day, the Dodgers have yet to retire number 6. They have this unwritten policy of only retiring players enshrined in Cooperstown, Jim Gilliam being the exception. It’s a debatable discussion, much like Garvey’s number 6 being retired in San Diego

You could debate that the standards for retiring a number are much higher within the walls of Chavez Ravine. The Dodgers already had a rich history prior to Garvey’s arrival in 1969. The Padres we’re still looking for a baseball identity. One swing of Garvey’s bat in 1984 gave them that. 

When talking of Garvey, baseball fans talk of him in the Dodger Blue, a fact that the most ardent Friar fan will admit. It’s been said down south, ” It took a Dodger to put your team on the map” Ouch. 

I have no problem with Garvey’s number 6 being retired down south. It’s already been done. Without Garvey’s blast in ’84, the Padres may still be looking for a baseball identity. 

How much longer until the Dodger brass retires number 6. Only time will tell. 

This is the first of hopefully more detailed interviews I’ll conduct with former Dodgers as they celebrate 60 years here in L.A. 

I also had a chance to briefly catch up with other former Dodgers during Alumni Weekend. Check it out and other sports news and stadium reviews on Stadium Journey at StadiumJourney.com

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Drei’s Photo Blog…The 2018 Dodgers Alumni Game

Sights from the 2018 Alumni game, 5/12 2018

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BP with the Heavy Hitters, Reggie Smith and Shawn Green. Smith would be among the quartet of 30 plus home run hitters in 1977 along Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Dusty Baker. Shawn Green would set the single season L.A. Dodger home run record by smashing 49 dingers in 2001.

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Saxie! Steve Sax would play eight season with The Blue from ’81-88, winning Rookie of the Year in ’82. Saxie looks like he can still shag some grounders…

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Reuniting with The Bulldog. Members of the ’88 team, Ricky Horton, Jay Howell, John Tudor and Tim Belcher reunite with Orel Hershiser…

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AM 570’s David Vassegh catching up with Mike Davis. Davis would hit a huge home run in Game Five of the deciding game of the ’88 World Series…

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Half of the longest running infield, Garvey and Russell

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Bulldog showing he still has it…

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Time to take the field! Leading off, at second base, Steve Sax !!!

The rest of the Dodger alumni…

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Saxie stepping to the plate to face Fernando. Shawn Green on deck. Hey, how ’bout cuing Greenie’s old walk up song? 

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Saxie and Fernie. The 80s are back !

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Past glory meet present day. Kirk Gibson and Joc Pederson…

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Gibby giving JP some batting tips…(Hey kid, don’t be worrying too much about launch angles…LOL)

20180512_162544.jpgThanks for all the hitting tips Kirk! 

Time to Make Some Fans Happy…

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Tim Belcher, Dodger starting pitcher 1987-91…

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Closer Jay Howell. After surrendering Mark McGwire’s walk-off in Game Three of the ’88 World Series, Howell would come back the next evening with a huge save, setting the stage for Game Five…

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Outfielders Ken Landreaux and Derrel Thomas…

Back to The Future…

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Joc Pederson making a fan’s dream from Make a Wish come true…