Saturday, December 31, 2011


This is a two-part post. Part one is that my last post with the Steve Somers video led me to this, posted by a WFAN listener, in which Somers played an old song by Danny Kaye in tribute to his beloved Los Angeles (nee Brooklyn) Dodgers. It's a little hokey but a lot of fun, and mentions one Vincent Edward Scully (the true broadcasting pride of Fordham and everyone else pales in comparison). Chris Erway, he a fan of the once-and-always Bums, should like this.

Part two was a message I got from a friend the other day. His mother-in-law passed away a short time ago and among her possessions was a model of Ebbets Field - the former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. I knew his mother-in-law, a fine woman who raised a wonderful person and knew her baseball very well. I forgave her transgression of being a - blech - Mets fan, and normally scoffed at her when she would mock the 27-time World Champions because, well, just because. Best to let the Mets fan have their moment because it is normally oh-so-fleeting.

Anyway, my friend asked if I would like the Ebbets Field model. Now, granted, I'm hardly a Dodgers fan. I would have detested them when they played in Brooklyn. I wasn't even alive in 1955, but the fact that they beat the Yankees in seven games that year eats at me. I obviously didn't like them a lot in the 70's and despised them after they won the 1981 World Series (and thus Bobby Ray Murcer was only able to show me an American League Championship ring when I met him). I couldn't stand Tommy LaSorda and the whole "wine and cheese" feel of Dodger Stadium. I cringe every time a politically-correct shot of Jackie Robinson is put on the screen as if to say "Hey! We're equal opportunity. See?!" In fact, the Great Scully is about the only thing I love about the Dodgers.


I also love baseball (oh there's a news flash for you). I love the history. And yeah, I kind-of-sort-of-maybe have a big connection to Brooklyn these days. And yes, Donald Arthur "Donnie Baseball" Mattingly* is their manager now.

So I said I would be honored to take it. And I am. Honored to remember a departed friend, one who was passionate for the game. Certainly to honor the history.

I'm quite pleased that they thought of me. And hey - if a Ted Williams ornament can hang on my Christmas tree, then an Ebbets Field model can sit on my shelf.

* I'm convinced that if Ron Santo can make it to the Hall of Fame, then there is definitely hope for Donnie Baseball. It's clear the standards have changed. Sorry to irritate Cubs fans**, and I'm not saying this to do so, but it is becoming the Hall of Very Good, even Quite Good. It might even be, at times, the Hall of Fame of Great People, who were also Very Good Baseball Players (see: Kirby Puckett and by all accounts, Ron Santo). The excuse on Mattingly will be that he didn't play long enough, and he didn't. So now we must hope for excellence as a manager. Just not with the Dodgers.

** I just watched Catching Hell, the story of Steve Bartman and the 2003 National League Championship. Wow, that was not exactly a great moment for Cubs fans (and reminded me just how badly Red Sox fans behaved after the Bill Buckner affair of 1986). Shame on them, and others who behave so egregiously.

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