Sunday, January 20th, 2008
7:29 pm - This Week in Baseball...  
1955! Podres, Campanella, and Hoak CelebrateThere's a pair of sculptures outside of the Hall of Fame, a pitcher throwing to a catcher, set apart the regulation distance. The catcher is Roy Campanella, who is a member of the Hall, and the pitcher is Johnny Podres, who is not. Podres is there because he was the man who was on the mound when Brooklyn finally won a World Series. Podres, who passed away this week, was 23 at the time, and went on the be part of some terrific Dodger rotations with Koufax and Drysdale in the early sixties. In 1969, he started the first game the San Diego Padres ever played, and as near as I can tell, thus became the only man in history to ever start such a game for a team whose name sounded exactly like his own last name.

Later he was a pitching coach for a number of teams, including the Sox. (I have some photos of him, Ron Perranoski, Claude Osteen, and Sandy Koufax working with pitchers in Vero Beach during spring training in 1989. That's a heck of a pitching staff right there.) He was, by all accounts, a fun-loving guy, which apparently got him into trouble during the post-World Series victory party in '55.

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Don Cardwell, who also passed away this week, was known mostly for two things. First, he and Ron Swoboda got once into a fistfight on the Mets team plane when Cardwell objected to Swoboda wearing love beads on the flight. It was one of those sixties generation gap things. Second, in 1960 he was traded from the hapless Phillies to the almost equally hapless Cubs. To show the Phillies they'd made a big mistake in sensational fashion, Cardwell threw a no-hitter in his first game with the Cubs. There's video of the bottom of the ninth, and it shows that the no-hitter was a very near thing.



Way to introduce yourself to a new team with some flair there, Don.

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It turns out there's a common thread to both Podres' 7th game victory in 1955 and Cardwell's no-hitter—Don Zimmer was in the infield for both of them, playing second for the Dodgers behind Podres and third for the Cubs behind Cardwell.

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Things have been quiet with the current Dodgers as Ned Colletti seems to feel that the team is mostly set, apart from perhaps a bench player and a couple more warm bodies in the bullpen. With that in mind, he signed both Jason Repko and Yhency Brazoban for 2008, although both will likely start in AAA. I like both players, so it's good to see they'll be back.

Mark Hendrickson, OTOH, is gone, having signed with the Marlins. I'm still smarting from the early days of last year when he was pitching pretty well, and then proved it was all a fluke. Of course, as someone noted over at Dodger Thoughts, he is now primed to throw a three-hit shutout against the Dodgers the first time they see the Marlins this year.

Colletti also said that the Dodgers are not pursuing a third baseman outside the organization, which means it's going to be Nomar versus Andy LaRoche in spring training to see who'll start. That should be fun.

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I'd been considering going down to Florida this spring, mostly because it's the last year the Dodgers will be in Vero Beach, but that's not going to happen. I can't get away from work for a week this spring, and it looks like the Dodgers won't be there anyway. They'll start the spring in Vero, then in mid-March they're going to be playing some exhibition games against the Padres in China, for cryin' out loud. After they come back, they'll finish the spring in their new facility in Arizona, as Frant McCourt finds another way to screw over Vero Beach. Oh, and to celebrate the 50th annivesary of their move to LA, they're going to play an exhibition game in the LA Colosseum. It's a shame Johnny Podres died. He was the pitcher that won the first game the Dodgers ever played in the Colosseum back in '58.


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Hecubothecubot on January 21st, 2008 - 03:25 am
My ex, Marti the Medical Student, was a huge Dodger fan. Her parents went to Dodger games at the Colosseum when she was in utero.

I saw a game with her and her family at Dodger Stadium and was taken aback at her Dodger passion. Then again, Emmett's been startled by me at A's games too.
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