Saturday, July 16, 2011
There aren't a lot of Dodgers who share my birthday.
Have you ever heard of John Purdin or Tommy Tatum?
Yeah, I didn't think so. Both of them were born on July 16 and both were Dodgers. Purdin was actually pretty interesting. He was signed by the Dodgers after a fan sent them a letter. In 1964, he won 42 games -- 20 for the Armed Forces in Germany, 14 for minor league Salisbury, 6 in winter instructional ball and 2 for the Dodgers.
I know all of that because I have a baseball card of Purdin. And I actually read the card backs.
I don't have a card for Tatum, which can be excused because he played during World War II. Not a lot of cards then.
Probably the most notable Dodger to have been born on my birthday is Norm Sherry. He was a backup catcher for the Dodgers in the early 1960s. His brother was Larry Sherry, the N.L. World Series MVP for the Dodgers in 1959.
Norm Sherry went on to become a manager for the Angels and a coach for the Padres and Giants. But he is most known for helping Sandy Koufax become the greatest left-handed pitcher ever known. The legend goes that during spring training of 1961, Sherry convinced Koufax to go a little easy on the fastball, to slow down his delivery, and to rely on off-speed stuff more. And you know what happened to Koufax from 1961-66.
Unfortunately, I do not have a card of Sherry.
I don't know how that slipped past me. He has four Topps cards as a Dodger, but all I have are cards of his brother.
Seeing that he's the most notable Dodger to have been born on the same day as me, I should start looking into owning his cards.
But first, I've got a birthday to celebrate.
You've seen one of my birthday presents already. I'm hoping there is more like that, but I'm not holding my breath.
Enjoy the day.
I'll see you on the 17th.