Tag Archives: Don Drysdale

Bring On The Fall Classic


Often I hear folks say they hate baseball and that’s fine. I couldn’t care less about NFL football, including the Super Bowl.

Since I was a kid I’ve loved baseball. Loved to play it, loved to watch it, loved to read about it. I was a big Dodgers fan during the Sandy Koufax, Don Drydale, Maury Wills days. Later on it became the Expos, and now it’s no team in particular.

Of course, loving baseball means loving World Series time, which is now. I can remember in grade 5 when my teacher let me bring my transistor radio to school when the Series was played during the day, and my job was to sit at the back of the class, quietly listen to the game, and as the score changed throughout, write it on the blackboard.

I’m cheering for the Giants over the Royals, even though the Giants were the enemy when I was a Dodgers fan. Kansas City might be a fine place, but San Francisco is my kind of town.

(25 years ago, 63 people died during a massive San Francisco earthquake, and it’s assumed a great deal more would have perished had it not been for Candlestick Park being full of baseball fans for game 3 of the ’89 World Series).

Have a look at  Mr. Ed (the talking horse) give hitting pointers to those L.A. Dodgers from my youth. Quite a horse, that Ed.

Binder Power

Baseball has its dog days of summer, but so does hockey. The Canadiens haven’t played a game since losing 6-1 to the Ottawa Senators on May 9 in the opening round of the playoffs, bowing out four games to one in the process.  If my math is right, that’s 64 days ago.

It’s been a long time, and it’ll be a while yet before the puck is dropped for real again. And I’ve never come to grips with losing the Expos. It still hurts, and I’ve tried to revert to my childhood team, the L.A. Dodgers, but without Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, it just hasn’t been the same.

So I go to my binders and start pulling stuff out.

My brother used to be the bass player in country singer Michelle Wright’s band. He and Michelle ended up living together and had a place in Nashville, although things, as they tend to do, came to an abrupt end and my brother now has a wife and daughter and moved on a long time ago from those days.

Michelle would sometimes send me things, and today I found this as I was going through old binders.





Finally Seeing Dodger Stadium

It took awhile, 50 years in fact, but I finally saw a game at Dodgers Stadium. Talk about crossing something off the bucket list.

When I was a kid I thought Los Angeles was just one big ‘Leave It To Beaver’ set, with peaceful, crime-free and clean streets, where bikini-clad Annette Funicello-types danced around bongo-playing surfers on nearby beaches, and where everybody’s houses were nicer than my house. It took me a few years but I found out I was slightly off on all this.

But I always knew, without question, that the ballpark was the real deal.

I originally wanted to go to Dodger Stadium mostly, I think, because there were palm trees in the background, behind the outfield bleachers. And I guess the fact that the team had Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale back then, along with speedy Maury Wills, big 6’7″ Frank Howard at first base, and kindly old Walter Alston calling the shots. That was then, but long after these guys had called it quits, the place still held huge mystique for me. And last month I finally went.

Dodger Stadium is a real big-league ballpark, a beautiful place to see a game, unlike that cavernous echo chamber in Montreal named Olympic Stadium. Maybe if Montreal had the stadium L.A. has, the Expos might still be there.

On the night we were at the place, which is also called Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers were trying to catch the Cardinals for a NL wild-card spot, but the Cards disappointed most of the 43,309 fans by squeaking out a 2-1 win and making things very difficult for the Dodger’s postseason hopes. But being given nice fleece Dodgers blankets on our way in softened the blow, and the seats, somewhat.

Random Notes:

IndyCar driver Helio Castroneves threw out the first pitch and did a lousy job of it, bouncing one in. And the 22 oz. beer was ten bucks, which of course was way too much. The popcorn was ten bucks too.


Cheering For The Kings I Guess

It’s taken the Los Angeles Kings only nine games to remove the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues from the playoff picture, and when is it going to get hard for them? If they keep going like this, the major studios will come calling.

I’ve decided that I’m hoping the Kings go all the way. They’re the one NHL city I can almost accept right now, I suppose because they’ve been around since 1967, the first year of expansion, and for me that’s some solid history. Along with Orillian Jiggs McDonald handling the first play-by-play.  (The other new teams were St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Minnesota).

Heck, I’m just trying to find a team to cheer for. And it wasn’t going to be Philadelphia.

So why not L.A.? And besides, they win by default  because I could care less about the other teams playing and I like going to Los Angeles. It’s that simple. I thought I might be cheering for the Rangers because the Big Apple is so great, but I haven’t seen many Ranger games, and the ones I have seen, I forget.

And of course, L.A. has magnificent palm trees.

The L.A. Kings were born when the Sunset Strip, a few miles west of the Fabulous Forum, was filled with long haired youth toking and provoking and often forgetting underarm deodorant. The Doors and Janis Joplin blew it out at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, the streets were abuzz, crowds gathered at the Troubadour and Pandora’s Box and at the theatres to see Dustin Hoffman seduced by Ann Bancroft. Things were hopping, and definitely, the players from that first year in LA were in their new city at a very cool time.

Although I suppose being on the hockey team got in the way of a lot of things.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were my favourite baseball team back then, but I see in checking the Dodgers 1967 season that they finished 28 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals, so I guess they sucked at that time. But regardless, palm trees grew behind the outfield walls at Dodger Stadium and the team once boasted the sensational pitching duo of lefty Sandy Koufax and the righthanded Don Drysdale, who were even more important than palm trees.

L.A.s a good place with great weather. It hardly ever rains, unlike where I live. It’s on the ocean, and there’s some nice neighborhoods, and of course some not-so-nice neighborhoods. I’m sure you’ve seen both in the movies. Also, the freeways are ridiculously packed and drivers on regular streets are on their horns to the guy in front of them about a millisecond after the light turns green. I know about this quite a bit.

But aside from that and a few other things, (okay, a lot of things), it’s a lively and interesting place to visit. I think it always has been. Humphrey Bogart liked it.

For me it would be fine to see the Kings go all the way. Why not?

Keep it going, Kings. Go Dodgers. Go Habs, next year!