The great card package from grogg is keeping my mind off the fact that Major League Baseball wants to kill off the Dodgers as soon as possible.
(Hmmmm, let's see: let's have the Dodgers start off with the Giants, then let's send them on the road at Colorado, and San Diego and San Francisco. Mwahahahahahaha! They'll never be heard from again!).
The Dodgers are doing their best with the limited resources that they have. Unfortunately, I think it's going to be a scratching-clawing-sing-for-your-supper-to-get-to-.500 kind of season.
But before I throw my full support behind the Rockies because they have the only chance to eliminate a team that disgusts me, let's return to the glory days of the Dodgers, when they would drill opposing teams' players in the ribs and not proceed to give up home runs afterward.
Those glory days would be the 1960s, when L.A. reached three World Series and won two. My theory on why they lost the last one in 1966 is that they were shot full of gamma rays on this '66 Topps team card and didn't recover until 1974.
The 1965 Dodgers catching duo consisted of a guy who hit .240 (Torborg) and the starter, a guy who hit .233 (John Roseboro). You could get away with that in the 1960s. Now, not so much.
Nate Oliver received a card even though he played in eight games in 1965. His stat line is tremendous:
8 G, 1 AB, 3 R, 1 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1.000 AVG
As kids, we used to puzzle as to how someone could score three runs on one at-bat.
Also, I really dig the invisible tower in the background of Oliver's card.
Now we're getting to the reason why those '60s Dodgers were such a success. Jim Brewer was a future Dodger closer at this point. But L.A. could see his talent already, noting that he was able to wear his cap as pictured above, pitch, and the cap remained on his head. Phenomenal.
Claude Osteen was a 15-15 pitcher during his first year with the Dodgers in 1965, but he made a big impact in the World Series, throwing a shutout in Game 3 against the Twins.
He apparently achieved the feat by throwing eggs at the Minnesota batters.
This is the first of two cards from the 1963 set, another year in which the Dodgers won a World Series. This card celebrates Zim's second go-round with the Dodgers (he is pictured in Mets uniform). It lasted only 22 games. He was with the Senators by June of '63.
Here is the manager of those great '60s Dodger teams. Walter Emmons Alston. Alston is famed for many things, but one is his major league playing career, which consisted of one at-bat for the 1936 St. Louis Cardinals.
The back details something that many fans don't know. Alston was a minor league slugger. He hit more than 20 home runs in a season four times and slammed 35 while hitting .326 in 1936. But through 12 seasons in the minors, he could manage just one big-league at-bat. Just 16 big-league teams in those days. Where are the Diamondbacks when you need them?
The Dodgers are back home today to begin a homestand against the Cardinals and Braves, two teams that have their issues, but could easily turn things around in L.A.
Thanks again, grogg, for taking my mind off of mediocrity.