Skip to main content

A book I could've written


I received this book in the mail from Commish Bob at the '59 Topps blog. He thought it would be something I would enjoy.

He's right about that.

As you may have guessed, I hold the Dodgers teams from 1977-81 on a higher level than any other team from any other era. This was the period when as an 11-year-old boy, I really formed an attachment to a team, which also happened to be one of the best teams in baseball during that five-year span.

The memories of the teams from that time are some of the strongest of any baseball memories that I have. And this is the exact time period, some of the exact moments, that are covered in this book by Paul Haddad.

Haddad is a TV producer and writer. He's my age, and he grew up a Dodger fan. The book is filled with every memory you can think of from the Dodgers of that period -- the World Series games, Fernandomania,  Rick Monday's home run, the 1980 pennant race and the suckiness of Dave Goltz, everything. And it is all approached from a young fan's perspective.

So, when you read about Reggie Jackson's three home runs in the 1977 World Series, it is not praised as some epic event to be celebrated by the human race, but as it should be -- a moment of depression in which you clutch your head in agony and sink into the corner, face toward the wall.

Haddad practically channels my thoughts from that period -- the horror of the Garvey-Sutton locker room fight, the certainty that Howard Cosell openly rooted for the Yankees during World Series broadcasts, the fondness for Pedro Guerrero -- it's almost frightening how we were feeling the same thing.

Haddad even used one of those old, boxy, cassette recorders to record Dodger games on the radio. He would press the recorder's microphone against the speaker and listen to Vin Scully, Jerry Doggett and Ross Porter.

I did the same thing! I had one of those old recorders, with the buttons in the front. I would take great care, when recording songs off the radio, to pick the precise moment when the D.J. stopped talking and the song began to press "play." It was an art form.

I taped some games, but not many. I live 3,000 miles away from Dodger Stadium, so the only games to tape off the radio were Yankee games. That got old pretty fast. Why would I want for all eternity to hear Phil Rizzuto praising Rick Cerone?

Haddad had it much easier, growing up in California. His recordings are the basis for the book. As a youngster, he would tape entire games, then transfer only the best moments onto another tape, and soon he had tapes and tapes of Dodger highlights.

The book is filled with references to Scully, as well as the other announcers, and, of course, you get an ideal view of a Dodger fan's perspective during those radio moments.

Those were my thoughts. Really, I could have written this book.

That is, if I had lived in southern California during the late 1970s. And if I had the persistence as a pre-teen to record Dodger moments for four years.

I'm looking forward to really sitting down and reading this book. And reliving what I was thinking back then.

Meanwhile, Bob sent a few cards with the book.


Two Gypsy Queen needs. Ugly as ever.


This year's Topps cardboard bauble.


And last year's cardboard bauble.

He sent a few other cards that I already have that I plan to use as book marks when reading this book.

No, just kidding. Some Dodger collectors can expect to see some of them.

Comments

Stealing Home said…
uncanny brother...it's the same team i grew up with as well.

..the suckiness of dave grolz..LoL, nailed !

although i didnt record games as you and the author, i have fond memories of sunday afternoon family picnics at elysian park...and hearing the huge roars from the stadium on the other side of the hill whenever something awesome happened. i thought to be inside there must be a wondrous thing.
it truly is...
Commishbob said…
I buried my head in my hands and stuck my face in the corner in agony when Reggie hit those three homers, too. And I was 27 and not even a Dodger fan!

Enjoy the book, sorry I sent some dupes. I'm too damn lazy to read want lists. :-)
Brandon said…
Was enjoying Vin Scully on mlb network earlier tonight. Such a great announcer. Here in Michigan Ernie Harwell is revered and missed, but listening to Scully is pretty darn good.
Fuji said…
Any post that includes Pedro Guerrero's name is a great post.
Stealing Home said…
doggone that dogget !

Popular posts from this blog

A friend indeed

This week has been the kind of week that only late January could produce.

Nothing particularly wrong or terrible happened. Mostly what I felt this week was a sense of spinning my wheels, of working hard without result (or with other people screwing it up), of trying to get things accomplished (while battling a sinus infection) only to have a car noise or a phone call knock me back to square one.

That feeling transferred over to the blog where I probably spent too much time uploading too many photos and conducting too much research and expecting too much in return.

But all of this is a phase. It's the January malaise. I'll snap out of it. It could be worse. I could be dealing with three feet of snow right now instead of the melting three inches that is out there.

And I could be struggling through this week without an envelope in the mail from "A Friend".


That's right, "A Friend".

That's how the return address appeared on the envelope. Just above th…

Degrees of doneness

I just wrapped up my first notable card purchase of 2020.

It was an online order -- from three of every collector's favorite card-buying sites -- and with the exception of three inserts from 2019 and a stray card from 1989, every single card I ordered was made prior to 1980.

That feels good. That feels tremendously good.

I'm starting off 2020 in the right frame of mind.

It's also a good way to put a cork in the 2019 collecting season. There are various ways you can say you're done with the cards from the previous year, call it degrees of doneness, if you will (I order steaks "medium" or "medium well," I don't need anything crawling off my plate).

1. You can be done with collecting sets from 2019. I'm certainly done with that. I didn't try to collect many sets from that year anyway. The 2019 Topps Holiday set and a third of the 2019 Topps Archives set are finished and that's everything I plan to do.

2. You can be done with buying pac…

The lone Ranger

Who is Nick Solak?

Glad you asked.

And thanks to cynicalbuddha for scanning his card into Trading Card Database.

Nick Solak is a former Yankees, former Rays prospect who appeared in 33 games for the Texas Rangers last year.

That, apparently, qualifies him for being the only Texas Ranger to appear in the 350-card base set for 2020 Topps Series 1, a checklist of which was released this morning.

That's right, the ONLY Texas Ranger.

I did the count and the Rangers, with Solak shouldering the entire load, come up a distant 30th behind the 29th-place Orioles, who have a more typical seven cards.

Here is the breakdown by team that I compiled earlier:

Dodgers - 17
Astros - 17
Nationals - 16
Cubs - 15
Athletics - 14
Brewers - 14
Indians - 14
White Sox - 14
Phillies - 13
Angels - 12
Blue Jays - 12
Braves - 12
Padres - 12
Red Sox - 12
Reds - 12
Twins - 12
Yankees - 12
Cardinals - 11
Giants - 11
Marlins - 11
Mets - 11
Diamondbacks - 10
Mariners - 10
Rays - 10
Tigers - 10
Royals - 9
Pirates -…