Tag Archives: Kirk Gibson

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…

 

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Moments After Moments…1988…What This World Series Means To Me

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19:  The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate defeating the Chicago Cubs 11-1 in game five of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 19, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Dodgers advance to the 2017 World Series.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)Stacy Revere/Getty Images

For the first time since 1988, we can all finally say it…

“WE’RE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES” !!!

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19:  The Los Angeles Dodgers pose after defeating the Chicago Cubs 11-1 in game five of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 19, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Dodgers advance to the 2017 World Series.  Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Leading Off…Game 1…Gibson Makes An Appearance

Oh yeah, Debbie Gibson with the national anthem. Thank you Debbie for not making the anthem a 5 minute affair. Something magical about Gibson and Game 1 of the 1988 World Series…

It’s been 29 years since we’ve seen our Boys In Blue in the big dance. They will be facing off against an old NL West foe, the Houston Astros…

1988…A Special Time for L.A. Sports Fans

Aside from the magical season from the Boys in Blue, 4 months prior, L.A. celebrated another championship…

Other happenings from 1988…

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1988 would mark the last year of the Reagan administration

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was the box office topper…

Bobby McFerrin’s words to us…” Dont Worry, Be Happy”

Drei’s Favorite 5 Moments Since ’88

In the 29 years that we’ve waited, there have been lots of moments after moments, both joyful and heartbreaking. My 5 favorites that I witnessed at The Ravine, since ’88…

5. Back to Back NL West Titles

The 2nd of 5 consecutive division titles would be clinched against the hated ones. Though a magical night, it would be the hated one’s with the last laugh in October…

4. ’08 NLDS Clincher Against the Cubs

The Chicago Cubs, baseball’s best regular season team in 2008 with 97 wins, entered the NLDS as heavy favorites over The Blue. The Blue would not only knock off the Cubbies, they would sweep them in 3 straight en route to their first NLCS appearance in 20 years

3. 100 Wins and Not a Wild Scene in The Bay

In the final season of the pre Wild Card era when only division champions went to the playoffs, the 103 win San Francisco Giants needed to win on the regular season’s final game to force a one-game playoff against the Braves for the NL West. The Blue, having had their party ruined in 1951, 1962, 1982 and 1991 by the hated ones, we’re more than glad to return the favor. For the Giants, in Barry Bonds first season in the dreaded Halloween colors, 103 Wins and Not a Wild Scene In The Bay

2. 2009 NLDS, Game 2, A Happy Holliday at Chavez Ravine

Down to their last out and having the series tied at one, James Loney would hit a fly ball to Matt Holliday in what appeared to be the final out of the game. 

Holliday’s error would prolong the inning, and 2 batters later, Ronnie Belliard would tie the game with an RBI single. After a walk to Russel Martin to load the bases, Mark Loretta would come off the bench and deliver…

Loretta’s game winner would send the Dodgers up 2-0 to St. Louis. The Dodgers would complete the sweep 2 nights later en route to an NLCS rematch with the Phillies.

1. Wherever It Lands…The Finley Slam, October 2, 2004

Down 3-0 heading to the home 9th, the Jints we’re 3 outs away from cutting the NL West deficit to a single game heading to the regular season finale. The Jints ( Yes I said it…) bp would implode, and after tying the game at 3, Steve Finley, acquired in late July in a 3 team trade that sent Paul Lo Duca to the Marlins, would step up to the plate…

Finley’s walk-off slam would give the Blue the 2004 NL West title. It would be their first division flag since 1995 and their first post-season appearance since ’96. The Blue would make 8 other post season appearances since, finally leading to the 2017 World Series !!!

What This World Series Means For Me ?

I’ve done this blog for 12 seasons. I’ve gone to countless games both at home and on the road, experienced many a thrill and many a heartbreak. For those of you who we’re around in ’88 you couldn’t have imagined the next time The Blue would be in the World Series you would be long past your undergrad years, have some salt on top assuming you aint got a dome, be into our 6th different administration, one that seems to do a good job of dividing this country…

In spite of our differences, after 29 years of waiting and many a new generation of Dodgers fans, our Boys in Blue are FINALLY back ! They’ve united a city like I haven’t seen united in quite some time. Yes, we’ve had the Lakers bring us 5 titles during the Shaq-Kobe era and the Kings have brought us a couple of Stanley Cups. But there’s just something about The Blue, a team with a deep rich history, that makes the wait all the more special. 

As for me, in 1988, I was a freshman in San Gabriel High School. I’m sure many of you have been recalling where you we’re in ’88 and the events that we’re happening in the world, in pop culture, or even in your personal life. The passage of time does that to us. Especially when we look back upon a time that brought us plenty of joy, often times making us yearn for nostalgia. 

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Me and my little bro, Daniel. I was 14, he was 3 in ’88. One of my memories of Game One was watching with him and my dad in our living room, listening to our dad read 101 Dalmations during the game. “C’mon dad ! It’s the World Series !!!” 

For the lil’ bro, this World Series is one he and plenty of Dodgers fans born in the mid 80s and after can actually enjoy, rather than saying they won one in their lifetime…

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For me, I’ve experienced two in my lifetime, ’81 as a 7 year old kid still learning baseball and being taught by my uncles to hate Reggie Jackson and the Yankees. The Yankees would be the first team I would be taught to hate. ’88 I experienced as an early teen, viewing our chances of winning the World Series, as good ol’ Vin would say, ” Viewing it with our hearts…” Because really, if not for being a naive teenage Dodger fan, if I saw it from a realistic and objective viewpoint, there really could have been no way we stood a chance against the A’s and their Bash Brothers duo of Jose Conseco and Mark McGuire. 

But it was just that, HEART. The ’88 Dodgers had plenty of it….

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As I write this on the eve of Game 1, words just can’t really express what this means to me. Over the years I often said The Blue will get there before I turn 50. As I said earlier, I’ve enjoyed 2 World Series titles, one as a kid, one as a teen, now as an adult less than 7 years from mid-life and 29 white hairs later (OK, more than 29, but who’s counting?)

This is just a small sampling of memories form ’88 on that I’d like to share. Fellow Dodgers fans, young and forever young, enjoy this moment. It’s been 29 years. We’re 4 wins away from coming completely full circle. LETS GO DODGERS !!!

Drei’s Game 5 Thoughts… Looking Back at Winner Take All’s… A Pre-Game 5 Tale From Kid N Drei

Leading Off, In the Junior Circuit…

Congratulations to both the Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals on advancing to the ALCS. Both teams had we’re on the brink of elimination with the Blue Jays rallying from an 0-2 series deficit to come back and win their series against the Texas Rangers. Their epic Game 5 saw a crazy 7th inning, capped off by this 3 run homer by Jose Bautista 

Unlike Toronto, there would be no such drama in Kansas City as the Royals advanced to the ALCS for the second straight yearknocking out the Astros 7-2 behind 8 strong innings from Johnny Cueto, holding the Astros to two hits and two runs. Kansas City will have the home field over Toronto in a rematch of the 1985 ALCS.

Drei’s AL Thoughts… Big Flipping Deal ?

During that wild 7th inning in Toronto, you may have witnessed that ” sick ” bat flip by Jose Bautista. I really thought it was great given what was at stake. With so much riding on this game and series, emotions fly high. This really is no different than if a wide receiver scores a go-ahead touchdown with under a minute to go in a playoff game. On another note, while Jose Bautista is receiving well-deserved praise, at the same time, I don’t want to hear one more word if a certain Cuban Missile comes through with a clutch home run from this point on in the playoffs. 

The Blue in Winner Take All Games…1981 and 1988

In 1981, the Blue would find themselves in 2 winner take all games, both times coming away winners en route to the World Series and an eventual World Title against the Yankees. The Blue have been in other winner take all games as well, their last coming in 1988 against, yup, the New York Mets. We all remember what happened in that memorable 7th game in ’88 with the Bulldog on the hill that evening…

The losing pitcher for the Mets, some current analyst for TBS, Ron Darling…. ( Withholding comment…)

OK, how ’bout one more trip down memory lane Dodgers fans…

gibson-hershiser Captain Kirk and The Bulldog…

Drei’s Thoughts Going to Game 5

Both teams will be throwing their ace out there so runs will once again be at a premium with Jacob deGrom matching up against our very own Zack Greinke. deGrom will be given the task of defeating two aces within less than a week in a pressure packed game. Zack is 10-1 at Dodger Stadium this season with a minuscule 1.46 ERA. Getting runners on base will be a huge key. Look for both teams to run more than usual to force the action. Each run will be huge. Only a trip to the NLCS is at stake, that’s all ? My Pick ? C’mon on now ? Do I really have to tell you ? All personal bias aside, I do expect a really close low-scoring affair…

Top of the 9th… Kid N Drei’s Tale

wpid-picsart_10-14-08.41.30.jpg With our special guest, Minion Dave. Kid N Drei’s ” official/unofficial ” Rally Minion…

wpid-picsart_10-14-08.50.41.jpg Minion Dave and Kid Marley Marlz, back at it in their mischievous ways, doing their best to lighten the mood before Game 5… 

wpid-picsart_10-14-09.00.45.jpg Hey Kid ! Minion Dave loves bananas ! Kike Hernandez loves those rally bananas…

Minion Dave_Bananas Get those bananas out Dave !!!

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Bottom 9th… One Word…

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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…

Magic Number Fun Fact…5

In spite of a strong start powered by 2 Adrian Gonzalez home runs driving in 5 runs, the Dodgers were unable to hold onto a 7-2 lead at Wrigley Field, falling late to the Cubs 8-7. In spite of the loss, the Giants would also lose as well, dropping the magic number to clinch the NL West to 5.

Earliest Possible Clinch Date, Tuesday , 9/23 against the Giants…

Magic Number Fun Fact …5

image Mike Marshall

Mike Marshall would play with the Dodgers from 1981-1988 mostly in right field. Though he would always be remembered for never reaching his full potential, once missing a game due to ” general soreness ” , Mike Marshall would have one of his finest seasons in 1988, leading the team in RBI’s with 82 ( Kirk Gibson finished behind Marshall ), also driving in 8 during the 1988 playoffs, including a huge 3 run home run in Game 2 of the World Series , as the Dodgers behind another masterful performance behind Orel Hershiser would shut out the heavily favored Oakland A’s, 6-0 , to take a commanding 2 games to none lead up to Oakland.

Other Dodgers to Wear Number 5

Jim LeFebvre
Dave Hansen
Hee-Drop Choi
Omar Garciaparra
and…
image Juan Uribe

Extra Innings

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Its Minion Dave !!!  Dave is a big Dodger fan !  Dave is really excited that his favorite baseball team is coming back home, stsrting with a huge 3 game series with the Giants !!!

When Minion Dave is not causing mischief at a theatre near you or some theme park on a hill, Dave can be seen catching his favorite baseball team at Chavez Ravine with his favorite Boys of Summer.

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Its Dave and Da Boyz, JJ and Kid Marly Marlz !!!  You know what, Drei here is just gonna call you guys, Da Boyz of Summer .  Except this time its JJ on the left and our favorite pet minion Dave who will put up with the mischievous nature of Kid Marly Marlz… ( Hey Kid, your mischivious nature has sure made a lot of headlines in Drei’s blogs this summer… ) .

Wait.  Did I just say that Kid Marly Marlz is mischivious ?  Why he and Dave would make really good friends at least in this tale…

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Why these two could not be so much alike if they even tried. Do you miss your Boyz, Dave ? They’ll be back home tomorrow night .
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Kid Marlz will be happy to see you too, Dave. ( So thats where Drei’s old doo-rag went …) . What’s that Dave, you want The Kid to be decked out in all his blue ? Well…

image Our boys are calling for a Dodger Blue Out ! It sure would be quite a sight to see all of Chavez Ravine decked in blue with the hated ones coming in this week… One Team….One City…One Color…BLUE…DODGER BLUE !!!

Magic Number Fun Facts…23

AGON Adrian Gonzalez, currently the team leader with 91 RBI’s, is on pace for another 100 RBI season. AGon is also currently batting .277 . Looking for a big September from AGon…

GIBSON Of course he needs no intro. Though these day’s as manager of the DBacks his organizations actions and to an extent some of his as well have not made too many Dodger fans happy . While many of you know of his biggest feat from October of 26 years ago, DID YOU KNOW ?… Kirk Gibson never once made it to the all-star game ?

Tonight’s Lineup

STARTINGLINEUP0902 Tonight marks Joc Pederson’s first MLB start as Clayton Kershaw looks to win his 17th. At the moment, the Dodgers currently stand 2 games in front of the Giants in the NL West. The Giants have won 7 of their last 8 to cut the Dodgers deficit.

26 Years and Counting Since 1988, Part 1, 1989 And The 90’s

Re-blogged from last season.  It is 26 years now since Chavez Ravine has hosted a World Series.  Here’s a recap of each season, part 1, from 1989 to 1999

 

On the eve of the 109th World Series will mark 25 years now since the Dodgers won their last World Series title, let alone appear in one.  While I enjoy telling stories what it was like being a fan experiencing the Dodgers triumph in 1988, explaining the feeling to the fans who have potentially graduated college in the last 4 years certainly is not making me feel any younger.  Now that I have all but let it out that i’m up there in years, lol, let’s now look back on the last 25 years, first with the 90’s, with it’s highs and lows.  And let’s hope by this time next year i’m writing a piece about The Boys in Blue in the World Series.  But first…

OK. Let’s look back upon the last 25 years of non World Series years

1989 77-83 4th Place

Despite leading the NL with a team ERA of 2.95, the last time anyone finished the season with a team ERA below 3.00, the Dodgers, one season after shocking the world, would finish in 4th place 14 games behind the Giants. So anemic was the offense that Orel Hershiser, despite winning 15 games with an ERA of 2.31, would also lose 15 as well , finishing the season with a .500 mark.

So the 80’s finished on a down note. However, the Dodgers was still a strong decade for the Boys in Blue, winning two World Championships (1981 and 1988), four National League Western Division titles (1981, 1983, 1985 and 1988) and 825 games, tying them with the St. Louis Cardinals for most victories by a National League team during the decade. The 80’s was also a strong decade in L.A. sports as well. Between the Dodgers 2 titles, the Lakers 5 titles, and the Raiders lone Super Bowl in 1983 9 This is a 49ERS fan acknowledging this), 8 championship titles we’re won for the great city of Los Angeles. Oh yeah, let’s also not forget the 1984 Olympics, with baseball debuting as an olympic sport here, played at, of course, Dodger Stadium. Those we’re some fun times as a sports fan in the 80’s. The 90’s certainly look promising, right ? kirk-gibson One last look of the 80’s

The 90’s

The United States enacts Operation Desert Storm, destroying the Iraqi army and ending the Gulf War in a few short weeks. A video is released of driver Rodney King being beaten by L.A. police officers following a traffic stop, igniting a national controversy. Bill Clinton is elected the 42nd president of the United States. Magic Johnson announces his retirement from the NBA after contracting the HIV Virus ( What’s Magic up to these days ? ). In the meantime, on the field…

1990 86-76 2nd Place

Even without Orel Hershiser for much of the season due to shoulder surgery and an injury plagued Kirk Gibson a mere cry from his 1988 season, the Dodgers would finish 5 games behind the eventual World Champion Cincinatti Reds. This would also be the last season for Fernando Valenzuela in a Dodger uniform, as he would be released prior to the 1991 season.

1991 93-79 2nd Place

Hometown product Darryl Strawberry, who put up big numbers in his eight stormy seasons with the New York Mets, would be signed in the off-season for a then whopping 5 years, $20.25 million dollars. After a slow start, Strawberry would lead the team in both home runs (27) and RBI’s (100) In spite of a strong 20-8 finish to the season, the Dodgers would finish 1 game behind the upstart Atlanta Braves for the NL West crown.

1992 63-99 6th Place

Eric Davis, the one time Cincinatti Reds outfielder, would team up with childhood buddy Darryl Strawberry in the outfield. However, both Strawberry and Davis would miss much of 1992 and the Dodgers, for the first time since 1905, would finish the season in last place

1993 81-81 3rd Place

In the final season before the current 3 division alignment, the Dodgers would improve upon their 1992 performance by 18 games. Though they would miss out on the post season , the second of 5 consecutive Rookie of the Year winners would don the Dodger Blue as Mike Piazza , with 35 home runs and 112 rbi’s, would take home the prize, Eric Karros winning the award in 1992. 1993 also marked the final season a 100 plus win team would miss out on post-season play as the Dodgers, on the final game of the season, highlighted by Rookie of the Year winner Mike Piazza’s 2 home runs, would knock out the Giants 12-1, leaving the Giants 1 game behind the Atlanta Braves for the NL West crown ( Yup, I was at that game folks ). The following season would be the year divisional re-alingment would take place as well as the wild card. From 1969-1993, only the division winners qualified for the LCS. So yeah, had the wild card been in effect in 1993, the Giants would have easily made the post season. Bummer huh ? ( In my sarcastic voice, LOL ) piazza93 Mike Piazza being greeted by future 3rd base coach Tim Wallach after belting one of two home runs to knock the Giants out of the playoffs

1994 58-56, 1st Place *

In the first year of 3 division aligment, the Dodgers would finish in 1st place, and yes, that is an asterisk next to the feat, if one can consider being 2 games over .500 one. That is because in August, a bitter labor dispute between the players and owners would lead to the cancelation of the remainder of the 1994 season and wipe out post-season and World Series play altogether. Raul Mondesi would win the 3rd of 5 consecutive Dodger Rookie of the Year Awards. Darryl Strawberry, with his countless off the field problems during his time in L.A, would be released prior to the season.

1995 78-66, 1st Place

One year after the strike had put a black eye on Major League Baseball, in a 144 game season due to the previous season’s strike that carried over into 1995, the Dodgers would capture the NL West by one game over the Colorado Rockies 3 years into their existence. Hideo Nomo, The Tornadoe, would win the NL Rookie of the Year. In the first official League Division Series, not counting 1981’s ” intra-division playoffs “, the Dodgers would be swept in 3 straight by the NL Central Champion Cincinatti Reds.

1996 90-72 2nd Place, Wild Card

Tommy Lasorda, one of only two L.A. Dodger managers along with Walter Alston dating back to their arrival from Brooklyn in 1958, would step down from his managerial duties after suffering a mild heart attack. Bill Russell would take over the reins for Tommy. With a 2 game lead over the Padres and 3 to play against the Friars, San Diego would sweep all 3 games at Dodger Stadium to win the NL West by 1 game, pushing the Dodgers to Wild Card status. They would be swept in 3 straight in the LDS by the Atlanta Braves, ending the season on a 7 game losing streak. Todd Hollandsworth would round out the 5 consecutive Dodger Rookie of the Year Award winners dodgersROY The 5 consecutive ROY’s would surpass the 4 consecutive the Dodgers had from 1979-1982 when Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Howe, Fernando Valenzuela, and Steve Sax won the prize

1997 88-74 2nd Place

This time, a late September swoon would cost them. Leading the NL West over the Giants by 2 games on September 16, they would be swept in a crucial 2 game series in San Francisco, the beginning of a 1-6 stretch that would find themselves 2 games behind the hated one’s heading into the final weekend of the year, in which the Dodgers would eventually finish 2 games behind the Giants but miss out on the Wild Card. This would also mark the final season of ownership under the O’Malley family

1998 83-79 3rd Place

In their first season under the Fox group, Mike Piazza , after a lengthy contract dispute, would find himself traded to the Florida Marlins along with Todd Zeile for Gary Sheffield, Charles Johnson and Jim Eisenrich before landing with the Mets one week later. With a 36-38 record in June, Bill Russell would get his pink slip, as well as general manager Fred Claire. The thought of a Dodgers manager was unheard of at the time considering up until 1998 they had only 3 managers. Glenn Hoffman, brother of Padres relief phenom Trevor Hoffman, would finish out the season as the skipper. 1998 would also be the year that future Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa we’re involved in the home run record chase, with McGwire finishing with 70 home runs. piazza Though he did put up big numbers in Dodger Blue , Piazza will forever be remembered as a Met. To this day, I still don’t believe he has buried the hatchet towards the Dodgers and his fans. I wonder if he will blame me next for the Dodgers fans turning on him .

1999 76-86 3rd Place

Davey Johnson would take over as manager, and Kevin Brown, coming off 3 straight dominant season and two World Series appearances with the Marlins and Padres, would be signed to a 7-year $105 million contract just one year after Piazza had been offerred 6 years at $80 million, rasising some questions amongst the fans why the same deal could not be offered to Mike, an everyday player, as opposed to Brown, who only toes the hill every 5 games. The Dodgers would finish 24 games behind the 2nd year Arizona Diamondbacks.

So the 90’s we’re not exactly some glorious times for L.A. sports fans. The Lakers, though they would continue to make it to the post season, making the playoffs in 9 of the 10 years, also failed to bring L.A. another championship . The Raiders and Rams would leave L.A. after the 1994 season ( I really didn’t care since i’m a 49ERS fan ) , the Clippers we’re a far cry from what they are today, and the Kings would appear in the Stanley Cup in 1993 to lose to the Montreal Canadiens in 5 games. So next, the new millenium. Glory day’s are bound to return to L.A, right ?