Andy LaRoche

3.475476839237 (734)
Posted by pompos 04/16/2009 @ 15:09

Tags : andy laroche, baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Helton, Rockies score late win over Bucs - Tribune Review
In the eighth, back-to-back doubles by Andy LaRoche and Brandon Moss it was Moss' third hit of the game nudged the Pirates to a 7-4 lead. However, Grabow was unable to hold it. With two outs in the eighth, Grabow tried to jam Iannetta with an 0-2 pitch...
LaRoche brothers display some power - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
By Rob Biertempfel, TRIBUNE-REVIEW AP file In the fourth inning, Andy LaRoche hit a two-run home run off Minnesota Twins lefty Francisco Liriano. It was Andy's third home run of the season -- his first since May 19 -- ending a power outage that spanned...
Andy LaRoche single sparks Pirates - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The two starting pitchers dueled deep into the game, striking out a combined 20 batters, before Pirates third baseman Andy LaRoche poked a two-out, two-run single in the top of the ninth inning for a 3-1 victory over Atlanta. "It was hot," Maholm said,...
Pirates Notebook: Wilson, Andy LaRoche ailing - Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Third baseman Andy LaRoche left the game yesterday two innings after he was plunked on the right kneecap by the Mets' Mike Pelfrey in the fourth. LaRoche said that, "if it feels the same way as it does now, I can't play" tonight....
La Roche brothers homer in Pirates' win - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
AP By Rob Biertempfel MINNEAPOLIS -- Andy LaRoche really needed to hit a home run. Ian Snell desperately needed to win a game. They both got what they wanted Wednesday night, as the Pirates hammered the Minnesota Twins, 8-2, at the Metrodome....
Saunders: Fathers know best in baseball - Denver Post
The second moment arrived in the sixth inning when Pittsburgh's Andy LaRoche looped a hit down the left-field line. Ryan Spilborghs raced after the ball, scooped it up with one smooth motion and threw a strike to Barmes at second....
Play by play - USA Today
Out: Adam LaRoche grounded out second to first. None on with one out and Andy LaRoche due up. Single: Andy LaRoche singled to right. Runner on first with one out and Delwyn Young due up. Out: Delwyn Young struck out swinging....
Play by play - USA Today
Runner on first with none out and Andy LaRoche due up. Single: Andy LaRoche singled to center. Runners on first and second with none out and Freddy Sanchez due up. Single: Freddy Sanchez bunt singled to first. Bases loaded with none out and Craig...
Play by play - USA Today
Out: Adam LaRoche grounded out pitcher to first. None on with one out and Andy LaRoche due up. Out: Andy LaRoche grounded out third to first. None on with two outs and Brandon Moss due up. Double: Brandon Moss doubled to center....
Pirates rally late to capture win over Mets - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Andy LaRoche and Jack Wilson also had RBI singles, and Freddy Sanchez and Nate McLouth drove in runs during the surge, helping the Pirates win for only the second time in their past six games. It is only the second time in 23 tries that the Pirates...

Andy LaRoche

Andy laroche signs autograph.jpg

Andrew Christian LaRoche (born September 13, 1983 in Fort Scott, Kansas), is an infielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

LaRoche is the son of Dave LaRoche, a former Major League Baseball pitcher for the California Angels, and brother of teammate Adam LaRoche.

LaRoche played shortstop for Grayson County College and became the top position-player prospect in the Cape Cod League. He was originally drafted in the 21st round by the San Diego Padres in 2002, but he turned down an offer estimated at $200,000 and remained in school for another year before re-entering the draft the following year. Despite breaking a bone in his left leg in a collision while playing first base, his stock soared and scouts projected him as a first rounder.

But teams were concerned about their ability to sign him because he had turned down the Padres offer and was planning on transferring to Rice University.

Nevertheless he was drafted in the 39th round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, but still got supplemental money when the Dodgers signed him in August 2003. At the time, his bonus was the highest for a "non draft and follow" outside the first three rounds.

Concern about his range caused the Dodgers to move him from shortstop to third base prior to sending him to their rookie league team the Ogden Raptors for the last few games of the 2003 season.

He started the 2004 season with the Dodgers Single-A team in Columbus, hitting .283 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI before being promoted to the higher Single-A team in Vero Beach where he struggled a bit, hitting only .237 with 10 HRs and 34 RBI.

In 2005, at Vero Beach, he hit .333 with 21 HRs and 51 RBI and received a call-up to the Double-A Jacksonville Suns. At Jacksonville, he hit .273 with 9 HRs and 43 RBI. He was voted the Dodgers Minor League Player of the Year.

For the 2006 minor league season, he started at Jacksonville and hit .309 with 9 HRs and 46 RBI, gaining a call-up to the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s where he hit .322 with 10 HRs and 35 RBI.

During LaRoche's second big league spring training in 2007, he noted that his last name should be spelled "La Roche" with a defined space. However, as reported by Steve Henson of the Los Angeles Times, he decided to revert back to the previous spelling by the end of camp.

LaRoche made his major league debut on May 6, 2007, against the Atlanta Braves. He recorded his first major league hit (ground rule double) against Kyle Davies.

On May 7, 2007, LaRoche scored his first two RBI against the Florida Marlins. After being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, LaRoche was recalled September 1. LaRoche received a lot of playing time down the stretch of the season due to Nomar Garciaparra's injury problems. LaRoche played for Team USA during the off-season in the Olympic trials.

On September 20, 2007, LaRoche hit his first major league home run off Colorado Rockies pitcher Matt Herges.

On March 7, 2008, while playing a spring training exhibition game against the St. Louis Cardinals, LaRoche tore the ulnar collateral ligament off the base of his right thumb during a freak accident. He was attempting to catch a pickoff throw from Dodgers catcher Danny Ardoin that deflected off St. Louis base runner D'Angelo Jimenez and struck him on his throwing hand. LaRoche was placed on the disabled list. Surgery involved the use of an anchor suture to reconnect the ligament and part of the metacarpal bone that chipped off.

LaRoche was injured in the fifth inning after taking over third base duties for Nomar Garciaparra, who was injured an inning earlier when he was struck on the right wrist with a pitch from Kyle McClellan. At the time, LaRoche and Garciaparra were in competition for the starting third base job. Neither player could begin the season, and minor league rookie Blake DeWitt assumed third base duties on opening day, 2008.

On May 3, 2008, after completing a ten game rehab assignment with the Double-A Jacksonville Suns and the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s, LaRoche was reinstated from the disabled list and optioned to the Dodgers Triple-A club. This move was seen as an endorsement by Dodgers management for rookie Blake DeWitt, who had played well enough to keep his starting role while LaRoche was on the disabled list.

LaRoche was recalled from Las Vegas on June 10 and made his 2008 debut the next day at first base. He hit a home run against Padres starter Randy Wolf in the fourth inning.

On July 31, 2008, LaRoche was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates along with pitcher Bryan Morris in part of a three team deal that sent Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Jason Bay to the Boston Red Sox. He joined his brother Adam in Pittsburgh. After hitting .144 while with the Pirates LaRoche was given an "intensive offseason workout regimen" throughout the off-season.

To the top



Pittsburgh Pirates

NLC-PIT-Logo.png

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They play in the Central Division of the National League, and are five-time World Series Champions and played in the first one. The Pirates are also often referred to as the Bucs or sometimes the Buccos (derived from buccaneer).

Professional baseball has been played in the Pittsburgh area since 1876. The teams of the era were "independents", barnstorming throughout the region and not affiliated with any organized league, though they did have salaries and were run as a business organization. In 1882 the strongest team in the area joined the American Association as a founding member. Their various home fields in the 19th century were in a then-separate city called Allegheny City, across the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh. The team was listed as "Allegheny" in the standings, and was sometimes called the "Alleghenys" (not the "Alleghenies") in the same generic way that teams from Boston, New York, and Chicago were sometimes called the "Bostons", the "New Yorks", and the "Chicagos", in the sportswriting style of that era. After five mediocre seasons in the A.A., Pittsburgh became the first A.A. team to switch to the older National League in 1887. At this time, the team renamed itself the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, although Allegheny remained a separate city until it was annexed by Pittsburgh in 1907. At that time, owner-manager Horace Phillips sold the team to Dennis McKnight; Phillips stayed on as manager.

In those early days, the club benefited three times from mergers with defunct clubs. The A.A. club picked up a number of players from a defunct Columbus, Ohio, team in 1885.

The Alleghenys were severely crippled during the 1890 season, when nearly all of their stars jumped to the Pittsburgh Burghers of the Players' League. With a decimated roster, the team experienced what is still the worst season in franchise history, going 23-113. The battle nearly ruined McKnight, and he was forced to return his franchise to the league. However, almost immediately after this, McKnight joined the backers of the Burghers as a minority owner, which then repurchased the Pittsburgh National League franchise and rechartered it under a different corporate name. They were thus able to legally recover the services of most of the players who had jumped to the upstart league a year earlier.

The new owners also signed several players from American Association teams. One of them was highly regarded second baseman Lou Bierbauer, who had previously played with the A.A.'s Philadelphia Athletics. The Athletics failed to include him on their reserve list, and the Alleghenys picked him up. This led to loud protests by the Athletics, and in an official complaint, an AA official claimed the Alleghenys' actions were "piratical". This incident (which is discussed at some length in The Beer and Whisky League, by David Nemec, 1994) quickly accelerated into a schism between the leagues that contributed to the demise of the A.A. Although the Alleghenys were never found guilty of wrongdoing, they made sport of being denounced for being "piratical" by renaming themselves "the Pirates" for the 1891 season. The nickname was first acknowledged on the team's uniforms in 1912.

After the 1899 season, the Pirates made what is arguably the best player transaction in franchise history when they picked up nearly all of the star players from the Louisville Colonels. Louisville owner Barney Dreyfuss had been told that the Colonels were slated for elimination when the N.L. contracted from 12 to 8 teams. He secretly purchased a half-interest in the Pirates, then after the season sent nearly all of the Colonels' stars up the Ohio River to Pittsburgh. Since the transaction occurred before the Colonels officially folded, it was structured as a trade; the Pirates sent four relatively unknown players to Louisville. Despite their nickname, the Pirates at least waited until after the season to pull off this blockbuster trade. This is unlike what happened in 1899 to the Cleveland Spiders and, to a lesser extent, the Baltimore Orioles, who were also part of two-team ownerships. Dreyfuss later bought full control of the team and kept it until his death in 1932.

Bolstered by former Colonels shortstop Honus Wagner (who was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area) and player/manager Fred Clarke, the 1901–1903 Pirates completely dominated the National League, in part because they lost few star players to the rival American League. However, owing to injuries to their starting pitchers, they lost the first modern World Series ever played, in 1903 to Boston. Deacon Phillippe pitched five complete games, winning three of them, but it was not enough. With largely the same star players, the Pirates would continue to be a strong team over the next few years, and got their first World Series title in 1909, defeating the Detroit Tigers in seven games, the same year they opened Forbes Field.

The Pirates originally played in Recreation, Union and Exposition Parks, all in what was then Allegheny City. Allegheny City was annexed by Pittsburgh in December, 1907. Accordingly, the Pirates did not play their first major league game in Pittsburgh until 1908—over 25 years after their founding.

The decline of Honus Wagner, considered by many to be the greatest shortstop ever, led to a number of losing seasons, culminating in a disastrous 51-103 record in 1917; however, veteran outfielder Max Carey and young players Pie Traynor and Kiki Cuyler, along with a remarkably deep pitching staff, brought the Pirates back into the spotlight. The Pirates recovered from a 3-1 deficit to win the 1925 World Series over the Washington Senators, and reached the 1927 World Series before losing in a sweep to the New York Yankees, who at that time had built the most dominant team in baseball. The 1927 season was the first for the sharp-hitting combination of brothers Lloyd Waner and Paul Waner, who along with shortstop Arky Vaughan ensured that the Pirates had plenty of Hall of Fame-caliber position players through 1941. However, the Pirates' crushing defeats of 1927 and 1938 (they lost the pennant to the Chicago Cubs in the final days of the 1938 season) were tremendous setbacks.

The post-World War II years were not kind to the Pirates, despite the presence of a genuine star in Ralph Kiner, who led the National League in home runs for seven consecutive seasons (1946 through 1952). But the team around Kiner placed in the first division only one time — in 1948 — and in 1952 compiled one of the worst records in major league history, winning 42 and losing 112 games (.273) and finishing 54½ games out of first place. In 1946, the long era of ownership by the Barney Dreyfuss family came to an end when a syndicate that included entertainer Bing Crosby bought the team. By 1950, Columbus, Ohio-based real estate tycoon John W. Galbreath emerged as majority owner, and his family would run the team for another 35 years and supervise its rise to the top of the NL.

Galbreath's first major move, the hiring of Branch Rickey as general manager after the 1950 campaign, was initially a great disappointment to Pittsburgh fans. Rickey had invented the farm system with the Cardinals and broken the baseball color line with the Dodgers — and built dynasties at each club. But in Pittsburgh, he purged the Pirates' roster of its higher-salaried veterans (including Kiner in 1953) and flooded the team with young players. Many of those youngsters faltered; however, those who fulfilled Rickey's faith in them — pitchers Vern Law, Bob Friend and Elroy Face, shortstop Dick Groat, second baseman Bill Mazeroski, and especially outfielder Roberto Clemente, drafted from Brooklyn after his only minor league season (1954) — would form the nucleus of the Pirates' 1960 championship club. Moreover, Rickey put into place one of baseball's most successful farm and scouting systems that kept the team competitive into the late 1970s. But all this was not evident when Rickey retired due to ill health in 1955, with the Pirates still struggling to escape the NL basement.

The 1960s would continue with extremely solid defensive play by Mazeroski and the first Puerto Rican superstar, Roberto Clemente. Clemente was regarded as one of the game's best all-time hitters, and possessed a tremendous arm in right field. Although not the first black-Hispanic baseball player (an honor belonging to Minnie Miñoso), Clemente's charisma and leadership in humanitarian causes made him an icon across the continent. During his playing career, Clemente was vastly overlooked. Looking back, however, many consider Clemente to have been one of the greatest right fielders in baseball history.

Even with Clemente, however, the Pirates struggled to post winning marks from 1961-64, and Murtaugh was replaced by Harry Walker in 1965. With Walker, a renowned batting coach, at the helm — and the hitting of Clemente, Matty Alou, Manny Mota and others — the Pirates fielded contending, 90-plus win teams in both 1965 and 1966. However, Pittsburgh had no answer for the pitching of the Dodgers and the Giants, and finished third each season. In 1967, they fell back to .500, and did not contend through the rest of the 1960s.

Slugger Willie Stargell became a fixture in the Pittsburgh lineup in the late 1960s, and the Pirates returned to prominence in 1970. Murtaugh returned as manager and the Pirates' home field, Forbes Field, was demolished in favor of the multi-purpose Three Rivers Stadium. In 1970, the Pirates won their first of five division titles over the next seven years, and won their fourth World Series in 1971 behind a .414 Series batting average by Clemente. They also thought they had a genuine superstar pitcher (historically rare for the Pirates) in Steve Blass, who pitched two masterful games in the World Series and had excellent seasons in 1968 and 1972.

In 1971, the Pirates also became the first Major League Baseball team to field an all-black starting lineup. That lineup, on September 1, was Rennie Stennett, Gene Clines, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Manny Sanguillen, Dave Cash, Al Oliver, Jackie Hernandez, and Dock Ellis.

Clemente died in a plane crash on December 31, 1972 while accompanying a shipment of relief supplies to the victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. He had reached the milestone of 3,000 career hits, a standup double, just a few months earlier, on September 30, 1972, in what would prove to be his last regular-season hit. The Baseball Hall of Fame waived its usual waiting requirement and inducted Clemente immediately. Pittsburgh would eventually erect a statue and name a bridge and park near the stadium after him. In 1973, Blass suffered a mysterious breakdown in his pitching abilities and posted an outrageous 9.85 ERA. To this day, pitchers who suddenly lose the ability to throw strikes are said to have "Steve Blass disease." Some speculated that the emotional shock of his friend Clemente's death contributed to his breakdown. He retired soon afterwards; he has since been one of the Pirates' radio and TV announcers for almost two decades.

The Pirates would make the playoffs in 1974 and 1975, but they lost to Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds each time, respectively. Around this time, the speedy Omar Moreno and the power-hitting Dave Parker would join Stargell in the lineup. After the 1976 season where the Pirates finished in 2nd place, Danny Murtaugh passed away. A trade was made with the Oakland Athletics where catcher Manny Sanguillen was traded for manager Chuck Tanner. The Pirates would finish in 2nd once again in 1977 with Parker winning a batting title. It was also in 1977 where the Pirates would begin using the gold and black uniforms with their pillbox caps. Willie Stargell would award teammates with "Stargell Stars" on their caps for excellent plays on the field. The next year, the Pirates led the NL East for most of the year. However, they collapsed in September as the Philadelphia Phillies won the division. Despite this, Dave Parker would win another batting title and a National League MVP to go with it.

Adopting the popular song "We Are Family" by the Philadelphia disco group Sister Sledge as their theme song, the 1979 Pirates cruised to the pennant. "We Are Family" was elevated from theme song to anthem status (and is still nearly synonymous with the '79 Pirates), with fans chanting "Fam-a-lee!" from the stands. The Pirates faced the Baltimore Orioles again in the World Series, which (like 1971) they won in seven games, on October 17, 1979. During the 1979 championship season, a Pirate player was designated as Most Valuable Player in every available category: All-Star Game MVP (Dave Parker), NL Championship Series MVP (Willie Stargell), World Series MVP (Willie Stargell), and National League MVP (Willie Stargell, shared with Keith Hernandez of the Cardinals).

Following was a period of decline until the Pirates were regarded as the worst team in baseball during the mid-1980s. Jim Leyland took over as manager, and the Pirates gradually climbed out of the cellar behind mostly young and exciting players such as "outfield of dreams" Bobby Bonilla, Barry Bonds (also known as the "Killer B's" due to their prowess at the plate), and Andy Van Slyke; infielders Jay Bell, Steve Buechele, Mike LaValliere, Sid Bream, and Jose Lind; and pitchers Doug Drabek, John Smiley, and Stan Belinda.

As a rookie in 1982, Johnny Ray played in every game and was named the Rookie of the Year by the Sporting News.

In 1988, the young team finished 85-75 and seemed ready to compete for a pennant. However, the 1989 season was a major setback, with injuries depleting the squad and leading to a 5th-place finish. Among the low points of the season was a game on June 8, 1989, where the Pirates became the first team in major-league history to score 10 runs in the first inning and nevertheless lose the game. Pirates broadcaster (and former pitcher) Jim Rooker famously vowed that if the team blew the lead, he would walk home from Philadelphia—a vow he fulfilled after the season while raising money for charity.

The Pirates would win the first three division titles of the 1990s, but failed to advance to the World Series each time, the second two losing closely contested seven-game series to the Atlanta Braves.

After the 1992 season, manager Jim Leyland set out to rebuild the team, giving up several high-payroll players in favor of a younger crew. The Pirates have been unable to come up with a winning season since, accumulating a 16-year losing streak. The current losing season streak has tied the Philadelphia Phillies, who had losing seasons from 1933- 1948, the longest in any of the country's four major professional sports leagues. The closest to a winning team was the 1997 team, which finished second in the NL Central. It was eliminated during the season's final week, despite having a losing record and a payroll of only $9 million.

The failure of the Pirates to compete in these years has been blamed on "small market syndrome": teams located in smaller cities such as Pittsburgh, Tampa, and Kansas City are at a competitive disadvantage against larger markets such as New York City and Boston without a salary cap or similar agreement, as exist in the country's other three major professional team sports, the NHL, NFL, and NBA. Questionable personnel decisions have also played a part, as the Pirates spent millions on players such as Derek Bell, Jeromy Burnitz, and Tony Armas, Jr. for little or no return. However, other small-market teams such as the Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays and Florida Marlins have been successful under similar economic constraints.

In 2001, the Pirates opened a new stadium, PNC Park. Due to its simple concept and strategic usage of the Pittsburgh skyline, it is frequently regarded as currently the best park in baseball .

Illustrating the Pirates' rebuilding efforts, at the close of the 2005 season, the team fielded the youngest roster in baseball, with an average age of 26.6. (The next youngest team was the Kansas City Royals, with an average age of 27.1.) During the course of the season, 14 players were called up from its Triple-A affiliate, the Indianapolis Indians, 12 of whom made their first major league appearance. On September 6, manager Lloyd McClendon was fired after 5 losing seasons as manager. On October 11, Jim Tracy was hired as the new manager.

The 2006 season got off to a slow start with the Pirates losing their first six games. Manager Jim Tracy earned his first win as the new Pirate's skipper on April 9 against the Cincinnati Reds. The Pirates hosted the All Star Game at PNC Park. The Pirates went into the game with a disastrous and disappointing 30-60 record. During the second half of the season, the Pirates made a successful turn around and finished the second half with a 37-35 record. This is the first time the Pirates have finished the second half of the season with a winning record since 1992. Third baseman Freddy Sanchez won the National League batting title for the 2006 season with an average of .344.

2007 was a year of transition for the Pirates. After 52 seasons with Newsradio 1020 KDKA AM, the Pirates switched their flagstation affiliate to WPGB FM Newstalk 104.7.

In addition, Robert Nutting replaced McClatchy as majority owner, becoming the sixth majority owner in Pirates history. On July 6, 2007, Kevin McClatchy announced he is stepping down as the Pirates CEO at the end of the 2007 season.

On September 7, 2007, Nutting fired general manager Dave Littlefield.

The Pittsburgh Pirates began to shape their organizational management as the fall of 2007 came. On September 13, Frank Coonelly, chief labor counsel for Major League Baseball, was introduced as the team's new president. On September 25, 2007, the Pirates announced the hiring of Neal Huntington, formerly a scout in the Cleveland Indians organization, as the team's new general manager. On October 5, 2007, Jim Tracy was fired by the Pirates, leaving them with another search for a manager. Torey Lovullo had originally been named as a leading candidate for the position, but his name was gradually replaced by others in the minor league ranks, one being Ottawa Lynx manager John Russell, who eventually was named the new manager November 5, 2007. He had originally been the third base coach under previous manager Lloyd McClendon from 2003–2005 until he was fired by the previous General Manager Dave Littlefield.

During the July trade dealine, the Pirates made several deals that sent several accomplished veterans to other franchises. However the Pirates received some highly rated prospects in return. On July 26, 2008, the Pirates traded left fielder Xavier Nady and pitcher Dámaso Marté to the New York Yankees in return for Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, Dan McCutchen, and Jeff Karstens. Tabata is dubbed as an enigmatic center fielder with huge potential but comes with equally large question marks. Karstens began his career with the Pirates at 2-0 and came within 4 outs of pitching the first perfect game in franchise history on August 6, 2008.

Then on July 31, Jason Bay was traded to the Boston Red Sox in a three-team deal that sent Manny Ramírez to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris to the Pirates from the Dodgers and Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen to the Pirates from the Red Sox. Accoding to Huntington, these are risky deals, to be sure. But he insists that there is a lot of upside if just two or three of the newly acquired players develop to their fullest. The Pirates are hoping to use their new young talent and combine them with their developed players like Matt Capps, Freddy Sanchez, and Nate McLouth and create a solid foundation for team.

On November 24 the same year, the Pirates signed Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel as undrafted free agents, making them the first Indian citizens to sign a contract with any American professional sports team. Both men are pitchers, who were first spotted in the "Million Dollar Arm" contest organised in India by J.B. Bernstein earlier in 2008. Both men are scheduled to report to the Pirates' instructional league team in January 2009. On December 12, the Pirates addressed another offseason need, signing utility player Ramón Vázquez to a $4 million, two-year contract. On January 20, the Pirates signed Eric Hinske to a one-year, $1.5 million deal.

In 2007, the Pirates chose to end the longest relationship between a team and a radio station in American professional sports. KDKA first broadcast the Pirates on August 5, 1921; with Westinghouse foreman Harold Arlin behind the mic. Broadcasts ended in 1924, but returned in 1936. Except for a few years on WWSW in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Pirates were on KDKA for 61 years. KDKA's 50,000-watt clear channel enabled Pirates fans across the eastern half of North America at night to hear the games.

That changed for the 2007 season, when the Pirates moved to FM talk radio station WPGB. The Pirates cited the desire to reach more people in the 25-54 age bracket coveted by advertisers. The acquisition of the rights means that Clear Channel Communications holds the rights to every major sports team in Pittsburgh. The Pirates have long had a radio network that has extended across four states. Stations for the 2007 season include Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland radio broadcasters.

Games are televised on FSN Pittsburgh, the Pirates' cable television outlet since 1986. There has been no over-the-air coverage of the Pirates since 2002, when some games were on WCWB. KDKA-TV aired Pirates games for 38 years (1957-1994). Games aired on WPXI from 1995-96 and on WPGH-TV and WCWB from 1997-2002.

Announcers Greg Brown, Bob Walk, John Wehner, and Steve Blass shuttle between the radio and TV booths. Also, Tim Neverett will begin calling Pirates games this season (2009) after Lanny Frattare, also known as the voice of the Pirates, retired after the 2008 season. He was the longest working announcer in Pirates history (33 seasons). Neverett, has called NHL, MLB, and Olympic games. His last job was calling the Colorado Rockies in 2008.

On October 1, 2008, longtime play-by-play announcer Lanny Frattare retired after 33 seasons, having called Pirates' games since the 1976 season. He is the longest-tenured announcer in Pirates' history, surpassing the man he replaced, the late Bob Prince (28 seasons, 1948-1975).

On December 18, 2008, the Pirates hired former Colorado Rockies broadcaster Tim Neverett as the new play-by-play announcer. Neverett will join Greg Brown in calling Pirates games on radio and television.

The Pirates have had many uniforms and logo changes over the years, with the only consistency being the "P" on the team's cap. It was adopted in the mid-1940s. Aside from style changes in the cap itself, the "P" logo has remained since.

The Pirates have long been innovators in baseball uniforms. In 1948, the team broke away from the patriotic "Red, White, & Blue" color scheme when they adopted the current black & gold color scheme, to match that of the colors of the Flag of Pittsburgh and, to a lesser extent at the time, the colors of the then-relatively unknown Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL. While they weren't the first baseball team to do this, they were one of the first to do this permanently. Along with the San Francisco Giants, the Pirates are one of two pre-expansion National League teams that completely changed their colors, although red returned as an "accent color" in 1997 and remains today.

To coincide with the move into Three Rivers Stadium in 1970, the team introduced pullover spandex uniforms, the first such team in baseball, and a look that would quickly be adopted by most other teams by the end of the decade. The Pirates ditched the pullover style in favor of the traditional button-down style in 1991, one of the last teams to switch.

The Pirates were also innovators in third jerseys. Even though it would be the Oakland A's that would beat them to having such jerseys, the Pirates, by 1977 had different uniform styles that included two different caps, two different undershirts, three different jerseys and three different pairs of trousers. They would actually rotate (and sometimes mix, with painful results) these styles daily until returning to the basic white and gray uniform ensemble in 1985.

In 1976, the National League celebrated its 100th anniversary. To coincide with it, certain NL teams wore old-style pillbox hats complete with horizontal pinstripes. After the season, the Pirates were the only team to adopt the hats permanently, (alternating between a black hat and a gold hat for several seasons until keeping the black hat in 1985) and kept the hat through the 1986 season, which would be Barry Bonds rookie season with the team. The hats, which recall the team's last World Series championship season (1979), remain popular items in the throwback market.

To the top



Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers 50th.svg

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a Major League Baseball team based in Los Angeles, California, USA. The team is in the Western Division of the National League. Established in 1883, the team originated in Brooklyn, New York, where it was known by a number of names before becoming the Brooklyn Dodgers circa 1911. The team moved to Los Angeles before the 1958 season. The Dodgers are the current National League West champions.

Brooklyn was home to numerous baseball clubs in the mid-1850s. Eight of 16 participants in the first convention were from Brooklyn, including the Atlantic, Eckford and Excelsior clubs that combined to dominate play for most of the 1860s. Brooklyn helped make baseball commercial, as the locale of the first paid admission games, a series of three all star contests matching New York and Brooklyn in 1858. Brooklyn also featured the first two enclosed baseball grounds, the Union Grounds and the Capitoline Grounds; enclosed, dedicated ballparks accelerated the evolution from amateurism to professionalism.

Despite the success of Brooklyn clubs in the first Association, officially amateur until 1869, they fielded weak teams in the succeeding National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, the first professional league formed in 1871. The Excelsiors no longer challenged for the amateur championship after the war and never entered the professional NA. The Eckfords and Atlantics declined to join until 1872 and thereby lost their best players; Eckford survived only one season and Atlantic four, with losing teams.

The National League replaced the NA in 1876 and granted exclusive territories to its eight members, excluding the Atlantics in favor of the New York Mutuals who had shared the same home grounds. When the Mutuals were expelled by the League, the Hartford Dark Blues club moved in, changed its name to The Brooklyn Hartfords and played its home games at Union Grounds in 1877 before disbanding. They were also the Brooklyn Superbas during the late 1890s and early 1900s.

The historic and heated rivalry between the Dodgers and the Giants is more than a century old, and is the longest rivalry in baseball history, having begun when both clubs played in New York City (the Dodgers in Brooklyn and the Giants in Manhattan). When both franchises moved to California in 1958, the rivalry was easily transplanted with them, as the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco have long been rivals in economic, cultural, and political arenas throughout the history of the State of California.

Manager Wilbert Robinson, another former Oriole, popularly known as “Uncle Robbie,” restored the Brooklyn team to respectability, with his “Brooklyn Robins” winning pennants to reach the 1916 and 1920 World Series, losing both, but contending perennially for several seasons. Charles Ebbetts and Ed McKeever died within a week in 1925, and Robbie was named president while still field manager. Upon assuming the title of president, however, Robinson’s ability to focus on the field declined, and the teams of the late 1920s were often fondly referred to as the “Daffiness Boys” for their distracted, error-ridden style of play. Outfielder Babe Herman was the leader both in hitting and in zaniness. The signature Dodger play from this era occurred when Herman doubled into a double play, in which three players - Dazzy Vance, Chick Fewster, and Herman - all ended up at third base at the same time. After his removal as club president, Wilbert Robinson returned to managing, and the club’s performance rebounded somewhat.

When Robinson retired in 1931, he was replaced as manager by Max Carey. Although some suggested renaming the "Robins" the "Brooklyn Canaries," after Carey (whose last name was originally "Carnarius"), the name "Brooklyn Dodgers" returned to stay following Robinson's retirement. It was during this era that Willard Mullin, a noted sports cartoonist, fixed the Brooklyn team with the lovable nickname of “Dem Bums.” After hearing his cab driver ask "So how did those bums do today?" Mullin decided to sketch an exaggerated version of famed circus clown Emmett Kelly to represent the Dodgers in his much-praised cartoons in the New York World-Telegram. Both the image and the nickname caught on, so much so that many a Dodger yearbook cover, from 1951 through 1957, featured a Willard Mullin illustration with the Brooklyn Bum.

Perhaps the highlight of the Daffiness Boys era came after Wilbert Robinson had left the dugout. In 1934, Giants player/manager Bill Terry was asked about the Dodgers’ chances in the coming pennant race and cracked infamously, “Is Brooklyn still in the league?” Managed now by Casey Stengel (who played for the Dodgers in the 1910s and would go on to greatness managing the New York Yankees), the 1934 Dodgers were determined to make their presence felt. As it happened, the season ended with the Giants tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the pennant, with the Giants’ remaining games against the Dodgers. Stengel (along with a legion of angry Brooklyn fans) led his Bums to the Polo Grounds for the showdown, and they beat the Giants twice to knock them out of the pennant race. The “Gashouse Gang” Cardinals nailed the pennant by beating the Cincinnati Reds those same two days.

One key development during this era was the 1938 appointment of Leland Stanford MacPhail — better known as Larry MacPhail — as the Dodgers' general manager. MacPhail, who brought night baseball to MLB as general manager of the Reds, also introduced Brooklyn to night baseball and ordered the successful refurbishing of Ebbets Field. He also brought Reds voice Red Barber to Brooklyn as the Dodgers' lead announcer in 1939, just after MacPhail broke the New York baseball executives' agreement to ban live baseball broadcasts, enacted because of the fear of what effect the radio calls would have on the home teams' attendance.

MacPhail remained with the Dodgers until 1942, when he returned to the Armed Forces for World War II. (He later became one of the New York Yankees' co-owners, bidding unsuccessfully for Barber to join him in the Bronx as announcer.) MacPhail's surviving son Leland Jr. (Lee MacPhail) and surviving grandson Andy MacPhail also became MLB execs.

The first major-league baseball game to be televised was Brooklyn’s 6-1 victory over Cincinnati at Ebbets Field on August 26, 1939. Batting helmets were introduced to Major League Baseball by the Dodgers in 1941.

For most of the first half of the 20th century, no Major League Baseball team employed an African American player. A parallel system of Negro Leagues developed, but most of the Negro League players were denied a chance to prove their skill before a national audience. Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play for a Major League Baseball team when he played his first major league game on April 15, 1947, as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. It happened mainly due to General Manager Branch Rickey's efforts. The deeply religious Rickey's motivation appears to have been primarily moral although business considerations were also present. Rickey was a member of The Methodist Church, the antecedent denomination to The United Methodist Church of today, which was a strong advocate for social justice and active later in the Civil Rights movement.

The inclusion of Robinson on the team also led the Dodgers to move its spring training site. Prior to 1946, the Dodgers held their spring training in Jacksonville, Florida. However, the city's stadium refused to host an exhibition game with the Montreal Royals, which Robinson was a member of at the time, due to segregation laws. Sanford also refused to host the game. Ultimately, City Island Ballpark in Daytona Beach agreed to host the game with Robinson playing. The team would return to Daytona Beach for spring training in 1947, this time with Robinson on the big club. Although the Dodgers ultimately built Dodgertown and its Holman Stadium further south in Vero Beach, and played there for 61 spring training seasons from 1948 through 2008, Daytona Beach would rename City Island Ballpark to Jackie Robinson Ballpark in his honor.

This event was the harbinger of the integration of sports in the United States, the concomitant demise of the Negro Leagues, and is regarded as a key moment in the history of the American Civil Rights movement. Robinson was an exceptional player, a speedy runner who sparked the whole team with his intensity, and was given the inaugural Rookie of the Year award, which is now named the Jackie Robinson award in his honor. The Dodgers' willingness to integrate, when many other teams refused to, was a key factor in their 1947-1956 success. They won six pennants in those 10 years with the help of Robinson, three-time MVP Roy Campanella, Cy Young Award winner Don Newcombe, Jim Gilliam, and Joe Black. Robinson would eventually go on to become the first African-American elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

After the wilderness years of the 1920s and 1930s, the Dodgers were rebuilt into a contending club first by general manager Larry MacPhail and then the legendary Branch Rickey. Led by Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson and Gil Hodges in the infield, Duke Snider in center field, Roy Campanella behind the plate, and Don Newcombe on the pitcher's mound, the Dodgers won pennants in 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, and 1953, only to fall to the New York Yankees in all five of the subsequent World Series. The annual ritual of building excitement, followed in the end by disappointment, became a common pattern to the long suffering fans, and “Wait ’til next year!” became an unofficial Dodger slogan.

While the Dodgers generally enjoyed success during this period, in 1951 they fell victim to one of the largest collapses in the history of baseball. On August 11, Brooklyn led the National League by an enormous 13½ games over their archrivals, the Giants. However, while the Dodgers went 26-22 from that time until the end of the season, the Giants went on an absolute tear, winning an amazing 37 of their last 44 games, including their last seven in a row. At the conclusion of the season, the Dodgers and the Giants were tied for first place, forcing a three-game playoff for the pennant. The Giants took Game 1 by a score of 3-1 before being shut out by the Dodgers' Clem Labine in Game 2, 10-0. It all came down to the final game, and Brooklyn seemed to have the pennant locked up, holding a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning. However, Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson hit a stunning three-run walk-off home run off the Dodgers' Ralph Branca to secure the NL Championship for New York. Today, this home run is known as the Shot Heard 'Round The World. It was later revealed that the Giants had cheated in 1951 by stealing signals from the outfield and relaying them to hitters, including Thomson.

In 1955, by which time the core of the Dodger team was beginning to age, “next year” finally came. The fabled “Boys of Summer” shot down the "Bronx Bombers" in seven games, led by the first-class pitching of young left-hander Johnny Podres, whose key pitch was a changeup known as “pulling down the lampshade” because of the arm motion used right when the ball was released. Podres won two Series games, including the deciding seventh. The turning point of Game 7 was a spectacular double play that began with left fielder Sandy Amoros running down Yogi Berra’s long fly ball, then throwing to shortstop Pee Wee Reese, who doubled up a surprised Gil McDougald at first base to preserve the Dodger lead. The Dodgers won 2-0.

Real estate businessman Walter O'Malley had acquired majority ownership of the Dodgers in 1950, when he bought the shares of his co-owners, the estate of Branch Rickey and the late John L. Smith. Before long he was working to buy new land in Brooklyn to build a more accessible and better arrayed ballpark than Ebbets Field. Beloved as it was, Ebbets Field had grown old and was not well served by infrastructure, to the point where the Dodgers could not sell the park out even in the heat of a pennant race (despite largely dominating the league from 1946 to 1957).

New York City Construction Coordinator Robert Moses, however, sought to force O'Malley into using a site in Flushing Meadows, Queens – the site for what eventually became Shea Stadium. Moses' vision involved a city-built, city-owned park, which was greatly at odds with O'Malley's real-estate savvy. When it became clear to O'Malley that he was not going to be allowed to buy any suitable land in Brooklyn, he began thinking elsewhere.

Meanwhile, non-stop transcontinental air travel had become routine during the years since the Second World War, and teams were no longer bound by much slower railroad timetables. Because of these transportation advances, it became possible to locate teams further apart – as far west as California – while maintaining the same game schedules.

When Los Angeles officials attended the 1956 World Series looking to entice a team to move to the City of Angels, they were not even thinking of the Dodgers. Their original target had been the Washington Senators (who would in fact move to Bloomington, Minnesota to become the Minnesota Twins in 1961). At the same time, O'Malley was looking for a contingency in case Moses and other New York politicians refused to let him build the Brooklyn stadium he wanted, and sent word to the Los Angeles officials that he was interested in talking. Los Angeles offered him what New York would not: a chance to buy land suitable for building a ballpark, and own that ballpark, giving him complete control over all its revenue streams.

Meanwhile, Giants owner Horace Stoneham was having similar difficulty finding a replacement for his team's antiquated home stadium, the Polo Grounds. Stoneham was considering moving the Giants to Minneapolis, but was persuaded instead to move them to San Francisco, ensuring that the Dodgers would have a National League rival closer than St. Louis. So the two arch-rival teams, the Dodgers and Giants, moved out to the West Coast together after the 1957 season.

The Brooklyn Dodgers played their final game at Ebbets Field on September 24, 1957, which the Dodgers won 2-0 over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On April 18, 1958, the Los Angeles Dodgers played their first game in LA, defeating the former New York and now new San Francisco Giants, 6-5, before 78,672 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Sadly, catcher Roy Campanella, left partially paralyzed in an off-season accident, was never able to play for Los Angeles.

A 2007 HBO film, Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush, is a documentary covering the Dodgers history from early days to the beginning of the Los Angeles era.

The process of building Walter O'Malley's dream stadium soon began in semi-rural Chavez Ravine, in the hills just north of downtown L.A. There was some political controversy, as the residents of the ravine, mostly Hispanic and mostly poor, resisted the eminent domain removal of their homes (land which had been previously condemned for a public housing project, Elysian Park Heights) and gained some public sympathy. Still, O'Malley and the city government were determined, and construction proceeded. The resistance of the residents against their removal was known as the Battle of Chavez Ravine.

In the meantime, the Dodgers played their home games from 1958 to 1961 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a gargantuan football and track-and-field stadium that had been built in 1923, and then expanded to host the 1932 Summer Olympics. The Coliseum's dimensions were not optimal for baseball, and the best way to fit a baseball diamond into the oval-shaped stadium was to lay the third-base line parallel to the short axis of the oval, and the first-base parallel to the long axis. This resulted in a left-field fence that was only about 250 feet from home plate. A 40-foot high screen was erected to prevent home runs from becoming too trivial to hit. Still, the 1958 season saw 182 home runs hit to left field in the home games, whereas just three were hit to center field, and only eight to right field. The Dodgers outfielder Wally Moon, newly acquired for the 1959 season, became adept at launching lazy fly balls over or onto the screen, which became known as "Moon shots." He led the National League with triples in 1959.

In 1959, the season ended in a tie between the Dodgers and the Milwaukee Braves. The Dodgers won the tie-breaking playoff. 1959 also saw a team other than the Yankees win the A.L. pennant, one of only two such years in the 16-year stretch from 1949 through 1964, and because of the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles, this resulted in the first World Series since 1948 to have no games in New York City. In a lively World Series, the Dodgers defeated the "Go-Go" White Sox in six games, thoroughly cementing the bond between the baseball team and its new Southern California fans.

Commemorating its 50th year in Los Angeles, the Dodgers team again played one more game in the Memorial Coliseum on March 29, 2008 - an exhibition game to benefit a cancer research charity. The crowd of 115,300, the largest in baseball history in any country, any league, saw the Dodgers lose to the Boston Red Sox by a score of 7 - 4. Due to intervening renovations, the Coliseum's left field corner was shortened to only 190 feet, calling for an even-taller left-field fence of 60 feet. Kevin Cash of the Red Sox and James Loney of the Dodgers did hit home runs over that fence, but there were unexpectedly-few home runs in the game.

Despite the passage of 50 plus years since departing from Brooklyn, many in the borough, and the nation, continue efforts to encourage a move back east. Many of these efforts take the shape of letter writing campaigns, online petitions and nostalgic articles. Brooklyn Dodgers merchandise is still popular among fans as well. Major League Baseball estimates $9 million in sales every year. The Baseball Hall of Fame reports that Brooklyn photos and broadcasts are the museum's second biggest sellers behind the Yankees, Ebay lists close to 1,000 items a day relating to the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the Library of Congress has over 100 books on Brooklyn Dodger teams, third only to the Yankees and Red Sox.

There have been occasional attempts to move the Dodgers back to Brooklyn. State senator Tom Bartosiewicz tried hard to persuade them in the early 1980s, but was rebuffed. A stronger chance was in 1998, when the O'Malley family sold up to Rupert Murdoch's Fox company. In the course of bidding, a committee convened by the City and State of New York (including Roger Kahn, author of Boys of Summer) made an offer to the club which was turned down, despite being larger than the eventual sale price.

Construction on Dodger Stadium was completed in time for Opening Day 1962. With its clean, simple lines and its picturesque setting amid hills and palm trees, the ballpark quickly became an icon of the Dodgers and their new California lifestyle, and it remains one of the most highly-regarded stadiums in baseball even today. Despite the fact that the Dodgers have played in Dodger Stadium longer than they had played in Ebbett's Field, the stadium remains surprisingly fresh. O'Malley was determined that there would not be a bad seat in the house, achieving this by cantilevered grandstands that have since been widely imitated. More importantly for the team, the stadium's spacious dimensions, along with other factors, gave defense an advantage over offense, and the Dodgers moved to take advantage of this by assembling a team that would excel with its pitching.

The core of the team's success in the 1960s was the dominant pitching tandem of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, who combined to win 4 of the 5 Cy Young Awards from 1962 to 1966, during a time in which only one award was given to the top pitcher from either of the two major leagues. Top pitching also came from Claude Osteen, an aging Johnny Podres, and reliever Ron Perranoski. The hitting attack, on the other hand, was not impressive, and much of the offensive spark came from the exploits of speedy shortstop Maury Wills, who led the league in stolen bases every year from 1960 to 1965, and set a modern record with 104 thefts in 1962. The Dodgers' strategy was once described as follows: "Wills hits a single, steals second, and takes third on a grounder. A sacrifice fly brings him home. Koufax or Drysdale pitches a shutout, and the Dodgers win 1-0." Although few games followed this model exactly, the Dodgers nevertheless tallied a high proportion of wins in a low-scoring manner that relied on their pitching and defense rather than their offense - with the exception of a few seasons. For example, in 1962, Tommy Davis lead the Major Leagues with 153 RBI, and he lead the National League in batting average and in hits. Seasons of over 150 RBI are quite rare by a player in modern-day pro baseball. Davis led the league in batting twice for the Dodgers.

The 1962 pennant race ended in a tie, and the Dodgers were defeated by the archrival Giants in the tie-breaking playoff, but the Dodgers proceeded to win the pennant in three of the next four years. The 1963 World Series was a four-game sweep of the Yankees, in which the Dodgers were so dominant that the vaunted Bronx Bombers never even took a lead against Koufax, Podres, and Drysdale. After an injury-plagued 1964, the Dodgers bounced back to win the 1965 World Series in a seven games against the Minnesota Twins. Game one happened to fall on the Yom Kippur holy day, and Koufax (who is Jewish) refused to pitch on that day, a decision for which he was widely praised. The Dodgers rebounded from losing the first two games, with Koufax pitching shutouts in Games five and seven (with only two days rest in between) to win the crown and the World Series MVP Award.

The Dodgers again won the pennant in 1966, but the team was running out of gas, and it was swept in the World Series by the upstart Baltimore Orioles. Koufax retired that winter, with his career cut short by arthritis in the elbow of his pitching arm, and Maury Wills was traded away. Don Drysdale continued to be effective, setting a record with six consecutive shutouts in 1968, but he finished with just a 14 - 12 record due to the Dodgers' poor hitting that year.

While the Dodgers were sub-par for several seasons thereafter, a new core of young talent was developing in their farm system. They won another pennant in 1974, and although they were quickly dismissed by the dynastic Oakland Athletics in the World Series, it was a sign of good things to come.

For 23 years, beginning in 1954, the Dodgers had been managed by Walter Alston, a quiet and unflappable man who commanded great respect from his players. Alston's tenure is the third-longest in baseball history for a manager with a single team, after Connie Mack and John McGraw. His retirement near the end of the 1976 season, after winning 7 pennants and 4 World Series titles over his career, cleared the way for an entirely different personality to take the helm of the Dodgers.

Tommy Lasorda was a 49-year-old former minor-league pitcher who had been the team's top coach under Alston, and before that had been manager of the Dodgers' top minor league team. He was colorful and gregarious, an enthusiastic cheerleader in contrast to Alston's taciturn demeanor. He quickly became a larger-than-life personality, associating with Frank Sinatra and other celebrities, with a penchant for eating Italian food in large volumes. He became well-known for sayings such as, "If you cut me, I bleed Dodger blue," and for referring to God as "the Great Dodger in the sky." Although some considered his persona to be a schtick and found it wearing, his enthusiasm won him a reputation as an "ambassador for baseball," and it is impossible to think of the Dodgers from the late '70s to the early '90s without thinking of Lasorda.

Another transition had recently occurred, higher up in the Dodgers management. Walter O'Malley passed control of the team to his son Peter, who would continue to oversee the Dodgers on his family's behalf through 1998.

New blood had also been injected into the team on the field. The core of the team was now the infield, composed of Steve Garvey (1B), Davey Lopes (2B), Bill Russell (SS), and Ron Cey (3B). These four remained in the starting lineup together from 1973 to 1981, longer than any other infield foursome in baseball history. The pitching staff remained strong, anchored by Don Sutton and Tommy John. The Dodgers won NL West titles in both 1977 and 1978, and defeated the Philadelphia Phillies both years in the National League Championship Series, only to be defeated in the World Series both years by the Yankees. In 1980, they swept a three game series from the Houston Astros in the final weekend of the regular season (including Don Sutton's brilliant save) and were in a first place tie in the National League West, but lost to the Astros 7-1 in the one-game playoff.

The Opening Day starting pitcher for 1981 was a 20-year-old rookie from Mexico: Fernando Valenzuela. Pressed into service due to an injury to Jerry Reuss, Valenzuela pitched a shutout that day, and proceeded to win his first 8 decisions through mid-May. The youthful left-hander, speaking only Spanish but sporting a devastating screwball, became a sensation. “Fernandomania” gripped both Southern California, where huge crowds turned out to see him pitch, as well as in his home country of Mexico, where the number of radio stations that carried Dodger games increased that year from three stations to 17. Valenzuela became the only pitcher ever to be named Rookie of the Year and win the Cy Young Award in the same season. The Dodgers' torrid start assured them of a playoff berth in the strike-shortened split season. After defeating the Montreal Expos with the help of a ninth-inning two-out home run by Rick Monday in the fifth and deciding game of the National League Championship Series they proceeded to defeat the Yankees in the World Series in six games, with the World Series MVP award split three ways among Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager.

The Dodgers won NL West titles in 1983 and 1985, but lost in the NLCS both those years (to the Phillies and Cardinals, respectively). The 1985 NLCS was particularly memorable for Game 6, in which the Dodgers were protecting a 5-4 lead in the ninth inning, hoping to force a deciding seventh game. With two runners on and first base open, Lasorda elected not to walk Cards slugger Jack Clark, who proceeded to hit a home run off Tom Niedenfuer and send St. Louis to the World Series.

After seven years of high strikeout totals, and a 21-win season in 1986, Valenzuela sat out for most of the 1988 season. Plagued by arm troubles that were widely blamed on his being overused by Lasorda, his effectiveness faded before he turned 30. The new anchor of the pitching staff was a right-hander named Orel Hershiser. He had been given the nickname "Bulldog" by Lasorda, more as a hopeful motivational tool than an objective description of his personality, but by 1988 he had matured into one of baseball's most effective pitchers. That year he won 23 games and the Cy Young Award, and broke Don Drysdale's major league record by tossing 59 consecutive scoreless innings, ending with a 10-inning shutout on his final start of the season.

The 1988 Championship won by the Dodgers is all the more magical for the fact that the Dodgers were not expected to compete. They enjoyed career years from several players, and were inspired by the fiery intensity of newcomer Kirk Gibson (the league's Most Valuable Player that year), as well as the quiet but steady Hershiser and the always ebullient Lasorda. Although they entered the NLCS as decided underdogs to the powerful New York Mets, who they were 1-10 against during the regular season, the Dodgers prevailed in a back-and-forth series that went the entire seven games and saw Hershiser come on for the save in game 4. The World Series matched them with an even more powerful opponent, the Oakland Athletics, who owned baseball's best regular-season record with 104 wins against only 58 defeats. Featuring the "Bash Brothers" duo of Mark McGwire and José Canseco, the A's took an early lead in Game 1 on a grand slam by Canseco, and led 4-3 going into the bottom of the ninth inning. With two outs, pinch-hitter Mike Davis drew a base on balls from formidable closer Dennis Eckersley. During Davis' at-bat, Lasorda had the light-hitting infielder Dave Anderson on deck so the Athletics would pitch to Davis more carefully. Then, Gibson, hobbled by injuries to both his legs that included a strained MCL and a severely pulled hamstring, came in to pinch hit. After fighting off several pitches and working the count full, Gibson got the backdoor slider he was looking for and pulled it into the right field pavilion for a two-run, walk-off home run, winning the game for the Dodgers, 5-4. Widely considered one of the most memorable and improbable home runs in baseball history, Gibson's dramatic home run was his only appearance of the entire series, and it set the tone for the following four games. Hershiser dominated the Athletics in Games 2 and 5, and was on the mound when the Dodgers completed their stunning 4 games to 1 upset of the A's, capping off an incredible personal season by being named the Series MVP. Few remember that the Dodgers were so injury riddled during their World Series appearance. They won the Series in Game 5 with lifetime reserves Danny Heep and Mickey Hatcher in the starting lineup.

After 1988, the Dodgers did not win another postseason game until 2004, though they did reach the playoffs in 1995 and 1996, narrowly missed in 1991 and 1997, and led the NL West when the end of the 1994 season was cancelled by a strike. Hershiser, like Valenzuela before him, suffered an arm injury in 1990, and he never regained the production he had earlier in his career. From 1992 to 1996, five consecutive Dodgers were named Rookie of the Year: Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raúl Mondesí, Hideo Nomo, and Todd Hollandsworth, which is a record. After nearly 20 years at the helm, Lasorda retired in 1996, though he still remained with the Dodgers as an executive vice-president. He was replaced as manager by longtime Dodgers shortstop Bill Russell.

Nearly a half-century of unusual stability (only two managers 1954–1996, owned by a single family 1950-1998) finally came to an end. After L.A. city officials rejected a proposal to bring an NFL stadium and franchise to Chavez Ravine in 1998, the O'Malley family sold the Dodgers to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, owner of the Fox network (which also owns broadcast rights to MLB games) and 20th Century Fox. Among the new ownership's early moves were trading away popular catcher Piazza, and replacing Russell with veteran manager Davey Johnson. Johnson's volatile tenure ended two years later, and he was followed as manager by Jim Tracy. Fox made the first changes to the home uniform since the club moved from Brooklyn and introduced the team's first alternate jersey and cap, adding silver to the team's official colors (although they have rarely been used since). The team became more steady on the field in the early 2000s, with four consecutive winning seasons under the leadership of manager Tracy, starting pitcher Chan Ho Park, slugger Shawn Green, third baseman Adrián Beltré, and catcher Paul Lo Duca. The 2002 season was marked by the emergence of Éric Gagné as one of baseball's top relief pitchers. Gagné later won the Cy Young Award in 2003, converting all 55 of his save opportunities that year, and holding the league to a 1.20 ERA and striking out 137 batters in 82 1/3 innings. Gagné would later establish a new major league record for consecutive saves, with 84 saves spanning parts of the 2002, 2003 and 2004 seasons.

In 2004, the Dodgers were returned to family ownership, as News Corp sold the team to Boston real estate developer Frank McCourt. McCourt immediately hired Paul DePodesta as his new general manager, replacing Dan Evans. As an assistant general manager in Oakland under Billy Beane, DePodesta favored a highly statistical approach to evaluating prospects and potential free-agents. This sabermetric approach, widely publicized in the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis, led many to believe that new owner McCourt was unwilling to pay for high priced talent, and would thus reduce the Dodgers to a status similar to small-market teams such as Oakland. With a team largely assembled by DePodesta's predecessors, and augmented by some acquisitions of his own, DePodesta saw the Dodgers near the top of the standings through much of 2004. In an effort to put the team over the top that year, DePodesta pulled off a number of mid-season trades, including sending away three key players (including popular team leader LoDuca), while obtaining several new players. The Dodgers did manage to win the NL West in 2004, but bowed out quickly in four games in the Division Series to the eventual National League champion St. Louis Cardinals.

During the winter of 2004-05, the team parted ways with several more longtime players, including Beltré and Green. Their replacements included starting pitcher Derek Lowe, outfielder J. D. Drew, and the run-producing, but aging second baseman Jeff Kent. DePodesta's radical overhaul did not bear fruit in 2005, as the Dodgers suffered from clubhouse strife and stifling injuries, finishing with their second-worst record in Los Angeles history. The club also faced an overwhelming number of injuries that quickly scuttled the team's hopes of repeating as division champions. Among them were Drew's broken wrist, All-Star shortstop Cesar Izturis's injury that required Tommy John Surgery, and closer Gagné's deteriorating elbow condition that would also require surgery and force him to miss much of the 2005 season. Manager Jim Tracy also parted ways with the team at the end of the 2005 season, citing irreconcilable differences with DePodesta. However, DePodesta himself was fired by McCourt less than a month later, with McCourt later citing DePodesta's lack of leadership and dissatisfaction over DePodesta's handling of the process of hiring a new manager. Ned Colletti was hired as the new Dodger GM on November 16, 2005.

Newly hired Colletti was responsible for a tangible change in attitude and guided the Dodgers' resurgence in the 2006 season. He hired former Red Sox manager Grady Little to lead the team and also traded oft-troubled Milton Bradley for Oakland Athletics prospect Andre Ethier. His off season acquisitions also included former Atlanta Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal and former Red Sox third baseman Bill Mueller. Coletti also signed former All-Star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, even though the team already had two other former All-Star shortstops (Furcal and the then-injured Cesar Izturis). Garciaparra agreed to play first base and adjusted quite well in the field and remained productive at the plate, producing several key hits in Dodger victories.

Due to the crowded infield, untimely injuries and several players' lack of production, the team was rebuilt during the season. The flurry of trading saw Cesar Izturis go to the Chicago Cubs for Greg Maddux while Willy Aybar and Danys Baez went to Atlanta for Wilson Betemit. A series of rookies were called up and provided substantial everyday contributions. Among them were catcher Russell Martin, who won the starting catching job after being called up in May and starting pitcher Chad Billingsley, who had several quality starts in August and September. Andre Ethier led the team in batting with a .308 batting average as the team's everyday left fielder through much of the season. Rookie first baseman James Loney hit very well in his short time with the team, tying Gil Hodges’ 56-year-old Dodgers record with 9 RBI in one game on September 28. Another key move was handing the closer's role to rookie (but Japanese League veteran) Takashi Saito, where he flourished, notching 24 saves in 26 opportunities while posting a 2.07 ERA.

After a heated pennant race, in which the most memorable moment occurred when the Dodgers hit four consecutive home runs on September 18 to tie the score in the ninth inning and then won the game on a tenth-inning walk-off homer by Nomar Garciaparra, the Dodgers entered the 2006 playoffs in the National League's Wild Card spot, having tied the San Diego Padres for the division lead but having lost 13 of 18 head-to-head meetings with the Padres. They were eventually swept, 3-0, by the New York Mets in the 2006 National League Division Series.

In 2007, the Los Angeles Dodgers sent three players (Brad Penny, Takashi Saito, and Russell Martin) to the all-star game, and at one point, the Dodgers had a record of 54-41, which was then the best record in the National League. After a hitting slump, the Dodgers fell to 60-59, and seven games out of first place in the N.L. West. The Dodgers were able to rebound, however, and had a 79-69 record with three weeks left in the season. At this point, the Dodgers trailed the San Diego Padres by 1 1/2 games in the wild card slot, and the Arizona Diamondbacks by 3 1/2 games. However, the Dodgers lost 10 of their next 11 games, which eliminated the Dodgers from post season play, and would finish the season with a disappointing 82-80 record. The last few weeks of the season were disrupted further by public complaints in the media by some of the veteran ballplayers about the lack of respect afforded them by some of the younger players on the team. This led to a divided clubhouse, as younger players consistently got more playing time at the expense of the veterans. After the season and weeks of media speculation, Grady Little resigned as manager, citing personal reasons . A few days later the Dodgers announced the hiring of former New York Yankees skipper Joe Torre to be the team's new manager.

At the start of the season, Joe Torre found himself with a whole new team, including new players Andruw Jones and Japanese pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. To add to his troubles, Don Mattingly was unable to perform his hitting coach duties, and third basemen Nomar Garciaparra and Andy LaRoche were out with injuries, leaving the starting third base position to rookie Blake DeWitt, who had never played above level A ball in the minor leagues. DeWitt stepped up early, when Nomar went down again with a calf injury. The team suffered a serious blow when star player Rafael Furcal was injured in the midst of the best start of his career. Many substitutions were used, including rookies Chin-Lung Hu and Luis Maza, but could not duplicate Furcal's offense. Staff ace Brad Penny and slugger Jones began to underperform, leading to trips to the DL for both. Despite the problems with the roster, as well as their record, the Dodgers were only behind first-place Arizona by one game at the All-Star break. The season saw progress in the teams prospects, including a call-up for top prospect Clayton Kershaw, as well as comebacks from veteran pitchers, most notably Chan Ho Park. Chad Billingsley quickly grew to be the team's ace, being one of the leaders in strikeouts and ERA and being the first pitcher on the Dodgers to get double-digit wins. For the majority of the season, the club hovered around a .500 record. To bolster a lineup of mostly young players, Ned Colletti made trades for shortstop Angel Berroa, third-baseman Casey Blake, and on July 31, 2008 the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired outfielder Manny Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox in a 3-way deal that sent third baseman Andy LaRoche and single-A prospect pitcher Bryan Morris to the Pittsburgh Pirates and all-star outfielder Jason Bay to the Red Sox. Ramirez brought an energy to the team that it had lacked previously and also energized the fanbase. After playing more than 140 games of catch-up, the Dodgers swept Arizona to take first place in the last series of the season for the two teams on September 7 after being 4 games behind the week before. The Dodgers clinched the 2008 National League Western Division title on September 25 as the Arizona Diamondbacks were eliminated by losing to the St. Louis Cardinals 12-3. On October 4, 2008 they beat the Cubs 3-0 to sweep the 2008 NLDS and moved on to the NLCS, where they faced the Philadelphia Phillies and were eliminated, losing the series 4-1.

On January 1, 2008, The Dodgers kicked off their 50th year (actually the 51st) in Los Angeles by building a float for the 119th annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA. The riders on the float contained past and current Dodgers, including Tom Lasorda, Nomar Garciaparra, Don Newcombe, Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Garvey, Eric Karros, James Loney, Takashi Saito, Hong-Chih Kuo, and Brad Penny. Also on the float was Vin Scully, the Dodgers announcer of 59 years and the Dodgers organist, Nancy Bea Hefley.

The Dodgers have been groundbreaking in their signing of players from Asia; namely, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Former owner Peter O'Malley began reaching out in 1980 by starting clinics in China and Korea, building baseball fields in two Chinese cities, and in 1998 becoming the first major league team to open an office in Asia. The Dodgers were the first team to start a Japanese player in recent history, pitcher Hideo Nomo, a Korean player, pitcher Chan Ho Park, and the first Taiwanese player, Chin-Feng Chen. In addition, they were the first team to send out three Asian pitchers, from different Asian countries, in one game, Chan Ho Park, Hong-Chih Kuo, and Takashi Saito. In the 2008 season the Dodgers had the most Asian players on its roster of any major league team with five. They included Japanese pitchers Takashi Saito and Hiroki Kuroda; Korean pitcher Chan Ho Park; and Taiwanese pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo and infielder Chin-Lung Hu.

The Dodgers uniforms have remained relatively unchanged for almost 70 years. The home jersey is white with Dodgers written in script across the chest in blue. The word Dodgers was first used on the front of the teams home jersey in 1933, and the uniform was white with red pinstripes and the Brooklyn stylized B on the left shoulder. The Dodgers also wore green outlined uniforms and green caps throughout the 1937 season but reverted to a blue template the following year. Since 1952 the team has had a red uniform number under the Dodgers script. The road jersey is gray with Los Angeles written in script across the chest in blue. The road jerseys also have a red uniform number under the script. The Dodgers have worn the current uniforms on the field since 1939 with only minor cosmetic changes. The most obvious of these is the removal of "Brooklyn" from the road jerseys and the replacement of the stylized "B" with the interlocking "L.A." on the caps in 1958. In 1970 the Dodgers removed the city name from the road jerseys and had Dodgers on both the home and away uniforms. The city script returned to the road jerseys in 1999. Also in 1999 the tradition rich Dodgers flirted with an alternate uniform for the first time since 1944 (when all blue satin uniforms were introduced). These 1999 alternate jerseys had a royal blue top with the Dodgers script in white across the chest and the red number on the front. These were worn with white pants and a new Dodger cap complete with a silver brim, silver top button and silver Dodger logo. These alternates proved unpopular and the team abandoned them after only one season just as they did 55 years earlier with the blue satin uniforms.

The Dodgers were the first MLB team to attract more than 3 million fans in a season (in 1978), and accomplished that feat 6 more times before any other franchise did it once. On July 3, 2007, Dodgers management announced that total franchise attendance, dating back to 1901, had reached 175 million, a record for all professional sports.

The Dodgers also recently set the world record for the greatest attendance for a single baseball game during an exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in honor of the Dodgers 50th anniversary in Los Angeles with over 115,000 fans in attendance. All proceeds from the game benefitted the official charity of the Dodgers, ThinkCure! which supports cancer research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and City of Hope.

As noted above, Vin Scully has called Dodgers games since 1950. His longtime partners were Jerry Doggett (1956-1987) and Ross Porter (1977-2004). In 1976, he was selected by Dodgers fans as the Most Memorable Personality (on the field or off) in the team's history. He is also a recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters (inducted in 1982). He currently is in his 59th year with the team. Unlike the modern style in which multiple sportscasters have an on-air conversation (usually with one functioning as play-by-play announcer and the other(s) as color commentator), Scully, Doggett and Porter generally called games solo, trading with each other inning-by-inning. In the 1980s and 90s, Scully would call the entire radio broadcast except for the 3rd and 7th inning; allowing the other Dodger commentators to broadcast an inning.

Scully continues to call Dodgers games without a color commentator.

When Doggett retired after the 1987 season, he was replaced by Hall-of-Fame Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale, who previously broadcast games for the crosstown California Angels. Drysdale died in his hotel room following a heart attack before a game in 1993, resulting in a very difficult broadcast for Scully and Porter, who were told of the death but could not mention in on-air until Drysdale' family had been notified and the official announcement of the death made. He was replaced by former Dodgers outfielder Rick Monday. Porter's tenure was terminated somewhat controversially after the 2004 season, after which the current format of play-by-play announcers and color commentators was installed, led by newcomer Charley Steiner as well as Scully and Monday.

Today, Scully calls a limited schedule of games (all home games and road games in NL West ballparks) for both flagship radio station KABC and television outlets KCAL-TV and FSN Prime Ticket. Scully is simulcast for the first three innings of each of his appearances, then announces only for the TV audience.

If Scully is calling the game, Charley Steiner takes over play-by-play on radio beginning with the fourth inning, with Rick Monday as color commentator. If Scully is not calling the game, Eric Collins and Steve Lyons call the entire game on television while Steiner and Monday do the same on radio.

In the event the Dodgers are in post-season play, Scully calls the first three and last three innings of the radio broadcast alone; with Charley Steiner and Rick Monday handling the middle innings.

The Dodgers also broadcast on radio in Spanish, and the play-by-play is handled by another Ford C. Frick Award winner, Jaime Jarrin. Jarrin has been with the Dodgers since 1959. The color analyst for some games is former Dodger pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, for whom Jarrin once translated post-game interviews. The Spanish-language flagship is KHJ.

Live traffic reports pertaining to Dodger Stadium are broadcast from the Dodgers Transportation Center inside the ballpark. KABC radio's Captain Jorge Jarrin (son of Dodger broadcaster Jaime Jarrin) and Doug Dunlap handle those duties during the pre-game and post-game shows as well as during Dodger Talk following the game.

In 2006, the Dodgers introduced an on demand channel on Time Warner Cable called "Dodgers on Demand", hosted by Tony Kinkela.

Currently, Steiner has been converted to radio-only with Rick Monday. Jerry Reuss was removed from his broadcast position, though he is still with the club to serve in other aspects. Steve Lyons will be retained as a color-commentator, and the Dodgers recently hired ESPN broadcaster Eric Collins as a play-by-play announcer to replace Steiner on road games for television.

From the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles from Brooklyn in 1958, the Dodgers employed a handful of well-known public address announcers; the most famous of which was John Ramsey, who served as the PA voice of the Dodgers from 1958 until his retirement in 1982; as well as announcing at other venerable Los Angeles venues, including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena, and the Forum. Ramsey died in 1990.

Dennis Packer, Nick Nickson, Pete Arbogast and Mike Carlucci also served as Dodger Stadium announcers following Ramsey's retirement. Packer and Arbogast were emulators of John Ramsey, using the same style of announcing Ramsey was famous for. Arbogast won the job on the day that Ramsey died in 1989, by doing a verbatim immitation of Ramsey's opening and closing remarks that were standard at each game.

The current Dodgers public address announcer is Eric Smith.

50th anniversary logo.

The following Hall of Famers played and/or managed for the Dodgers, and are listed with the years they were with the club. Those denoted in bold are depicted on their Hall of Fame plaques wearing a Brooklyn or Los Angeles cap insignia.

Though he is not officially recognized as an inducted member of the Hall of Fame, Vin Scully is permanently honored in the Hall's "Scribes & Mikemen" exhibit as a result of winning the Ford C. Frick Award in 1982.Now much older Scully does not travel with the team and only does the home games.

Since 1997, Robinson's #42 has been retired throughout Major League Baseball in honor of his breaking the color barrier in 1947. Robinson is the only major league baseball player to have this honor bestowed upon him. He spent his entire career with the Dodgers, who retired his number in 1972.

Because the MLB decided to grandfather the use of the number 42 out of the game, New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera still wears the number as he is the only active player who wore the number before it was retired across all of Major League Baseball.

Koufax, Campanella, and Robinson were the first Dodgers to have their numbers retired. They were all retired in a ceremony at Dodger Stadium on June 4, 1972.

Gilliam died suddenly in 1978 at the age of 49, after a 28-year career with the Dodgers organization. The Dodgers retired his number two days after his death, prior to Game 1 of the 1978 World Series, making him the only non-Hall-of-Famer to have his number retired by the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have not issued #34 since the departure of Fernando Valenzuela in 1991, although it has not been officially retired. Steve Garvey's #6 was not reissued for 19 years until it was given to Dante Bichette in spring training of 2002 and was not worn during a regular season game until Ron Coomer wore it in 2003.

Since 1884, the Dodgers have used a total of 29 Managers. Joe Torre, the current Manager of the Dodgers, has held the position since 2008.

To the top



Blake DeWitt

DeWitt with the Dodgers in 2008.

Blake Robert DeWitt (born August 20, 1985 in Sarasota, Florida) is a third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Major League Baseball.

As a senior shortstop at Sikeston High School in Sikeston, Missouri he batted .558 with 15 home runs, 11 doubles and 48 RBI and was named to Baseball America's High School All-America first team, the Associated Press Class 3 all-state first team, and the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 3 all-state first team. DeWitt is one of the few players in Missouri baseball history to be named first team all-state four times. In addition to his hitting prowess, DeWitt was an effective pitcher, winning a Missouri high school record 27 consecutive games and losing only one. Along with current University of Missouri career home run leader Jacob Priday, DeWitt led the Sikeston Bulldogs to three state championship appearances in his four years. DeWitt broke eight Missouri high school records in batting and pitching according to the state's governing athletic association, the Missouri State High School Athletic Association.

He was scheduled to attend Georgia Tech but he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1st round of the June 2004 MLB draft and chose to play professional ball. He was rated as the best high school pure hitter entering the draft.

He began his professional career as the starting third baseman for the Ogden Raptors in 2004 and was tabbed by Baseball America as the second-best prospect in the Pioneer League as well as the eighth best prospect in the Dodgers organization.

In 2005 he hit for the cycle on June 5 while playing with the Columbus Catfish, and went on to lead the Catfish in hits, doubles, and total bases. He was rated as the "Best Hitter for Average" in the Dodgers farm system while hitting .333 for Columbus.

In 2006 with the Vero Beach Dodgers he was again ranked as the Dodgers 8th best prospect by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. He was named to the Florida State League All-Star team while hitting .339 with 18 homers and 61 RBI for Vero Beach. He played for the North Shore Honu of the Hawaii Winter Baseball League following the season.

He began 2007 with the Inland Empire 66ers and hit .298 with 8 homers and 46 RBI in 83 games, leading to a promotion to the Jacksonville Suns. He hit .281 in 45 games with the Suns the rest of the season.

During spring training in 2008, injuries to Nomar Garciaparra, Andy LaRoche and Tony Abreu, the team's top three projected third basemen, led to DeWitt getting a chance to play with the big league club. He became the Dodgers opening day starting third baseman and in his first at bat he singled off San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito and went 5 for 9 with 3 walks in the 3 game series. DeWitt hit his first career home run off of Óliver Pérez of the New York Mets on May 5, 2008. The following night, he hit his second, a rare inside the park home run off of the Mets' Nelson Figueroa. The inside the park home run was the first for the Dodgers in 5 years. A local radio station, 1520 KRHW-AM, in DeWitt's hometown of Sikeston, Missouri became part of the Dodgers Radio Network so that residents of that town could follow his Major League Baseball career.

Immediately following the team's acquisition of third basemen Casey Blake from the Cleveland Indians, DeWitt was optioned to the Dodgers' AAA minor league team in Las Vegas on July 26, 2008, and began to learn the second base position to better increase the clubs' depth at the position. This move proved wise as Jeff Kent became sidelined late in the season and DeWitt was recalled to Los Angeles to start at second base prior to the September 1st expansion of the rosters. He went on to be the starting second baseman for the Dodgers through the National League Divisional Series and Championship series, batting .167 but driving in six runs in eight games.

To the top



Jason Bay

Jason Bay with the Pirates in 2007 spring training

Jason Raymond Bay (born September 20, 1978 in Trail, British Columbia, Canada) is a Major League Baseball outfielder for the Boston Red Sox.

In his young major league career, Bay has demonstrated well above average power to all fields. He has also shown good discipline at the plate — in 2005, he ranked in the top ten in the National League in walks — although he does also strike out more often than the average hitter. On the bases, although he is not exceptionally fast, Bay is a very effective basestealer; in 2005, until he was picked off in the last week of the season, he had tied the major league record for most steals in a season without getting caught (21). Defensively, Bay was adept at handling the large outfield in Pittsburgh's PNC Park and is a dependable fielder. Through 2008, he has made only eighteen errors in 6283.2 innings in left field (.986 fielding percentage). For a left fielder, he has a below average throwing ability according to The Hardball Times.

Bay experienced success as a player very early, playing on a Trail team that reached the 1990 Little League World Series. In 1999 he played for the Chatham Athletics in the Cape Cod Baseball League. He was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 22nd round of the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft from Gonzaga University and was assigned to the Expo's Short-Season A team in Burlington, Vermont (The Vermont Expos). In 2001, Bay was assigned to the Expos’ High Single-A team in Jupiter. He began the year slowly, and in May he was moved to Clinton of the Midwest League. Bay reached base in his first 26 games, then went on to hit .362 and win the league batting title. In all, he batted .315 with 14 homers and 75 RBI on the year. He was dealt to the New York Mets on March 24, 2002, for Lou Collier. The Mets dealt him to the San Diego Padres for Steve Reed at the 2002 trading deadline. He debuted with the Padres on May 23, 2003, getting his first major league hit, a home run, in the 9th inning. Two days later, he suffered a broken right wrist after a hit by pitch.

On August 26, 2003, Bay was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, along with Óliver Pérez and Cory Stewart in August in exchange for Brian Giles. He finished the season with a .287 batting average, four home runs, and 14 RBI in 30 games.

Bay began the 2004 season on the disabled list due to surgery during the off-season, and did not join the team until May. Despite missing the beginning of the season, he still produced the best offensive numbers of any National League rookie. He hit .282 in 120 games, leading all major league rookies in home runs (26) and RBI (82). He also led all NL rookies in slugging percentage (.550), extra base hits (54) and total bases (226). With his 26 home runs, Bay broke a Pirates rookies record of 23 set by Johnny Rizzo in 1936 and matched by Ralph Kiner in 1946. Selected the NL rookie of the year by The Sporting News, Bay was the third Pittsburgh player honored with the award, after second baseman Johnny Ray (1982) and catcher Jason Kendall. Bay was also the first Canadian player to win the award.

In 2005, Bay was selected to his first Major League Baseball All-Star Game as a reserve outfielder. He was the only player on either roster not to appear in the game at all. Bay also appeared in the 2005 Century 21 Home Run Derby, representing Canada in the nationality-themed contest; he was eliminated in the first round after hitting no home runs. Bay finished the season with a .306 average, 32 home runs, and 101 RBI, leading the Pirates in every major hitting category.

Through the 2006 season, Bay was a career .292 hitter with 97 home runs and 306 RBI in 471 games over three seasons. Bay enjoyed an exceptional May of the 2006, when he hit .321 with 12 home runs (a Pirate record for home runs in a month) and 35 runs batted in. From May 22 to May 28 he hit home runs in six consecutive games, two short of the major league record held by Dale Long, Don Mattingly, and Ken Griffey, Jr. He had actually hit 10 home runs in ten games, but he had failed to hit a home run in one of the games (and hit two the next day).

Following an aggressive Public Relations campaign by the Pirates in 2006, Jason Bay led all National League outfielders in All-Star voting. Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder even urged fans to vote for Bay during a summer concert at Pittsburgh's Mellon Arena. Bay became the first member of the Pittsburgh Pirates voted into the All-Star game as a starter since Andy Van Slyke. In the game, Bay went 1 for 3, with a single.

After battling injuries, Bay's 2007 season was less productive, hitting .247 with 21 home runs and 84 RBI.

Bay has had a much more productive 2008, hitting .282 with 22 home runs and 64 runs batted in through the All Star break. In a May series against the Chicago Cubs, Bay had extra-inning walk-off hits in back-to-back games; the first two walk-off hits of his career. A month later, he got his third walk-off hit of the season and his career with a 13th-inning solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays.

On July 31, 2008, Bay and a player to be named later (Josh Wilson) were traded to the Boston Red Sox in a three team deal that sent Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Andy LaRoche with Bryan Morris to the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Dodgers and Brandon Moss with Craig Hansen to the Pirates from the Red Sox. In his Red Sox debut, Bay scored both runs, the second coming after he hit a triple in bottom of the 12th inning and thus winning the game on a Jed Lowrie RBI infield single. The Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak with the 2-1 victory over the visiting Oakland A's. In his second game he hit a 3-run home run in the first inning. On August 18th Jason Bay homered off of Jeremy Guthrie twice and had four RBI against the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox won 6-3. On August 26th Jason Bay played the Yankees the first time in a Red Sox uniform, Bay went 2-For-4 with two RBIs and a run, and a 7-3 victory over the Yankees. The Red Sox won the first out of three remaining games the Red Sox play at Yankee Stadium.

Later that month, when the Red Sox traveled to Tropicana Field to play the Tampa Bay Rays, they had a veritable home run derby on September 15; Jason Bay went 1-for-4 with an RBI and his 8th home run as a Red Sox player, and the 30th of the season, as the Sox beat the Rays 13-5.

The Sox' 2008 American League Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was the first playoff series of Bay's career. Bay hit a home run in each of the first two games of the series; in Game 2, on October 3, 2008, Bay hit a 3-run homer to give Boston an early 4-0 lead. On October 6, in Game 4, Bay scored the walkoff run to break a tie game on a single by Jed Lowrie in the bottom of the 9th. The win clinched the Sox a berth in the American League Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Bay finished the series batting 7 for 17 (.412), with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, and 5 RBIs.

Bay and his wife, Kristen, have two daughters, Addison, who was born on November 19, 2006 in Pittsburgh, and Evelyn, who was born on September 16, 2008 in Boston.

Bay's sister, Lauren Bay Regula, is a professional softball player who pitched for Canada in the 2004 Olympics, and was on the 2008 Olympic team as well.

In Bay's opening interview with the Boston media, he stated that his father was a die-hard Red Sox fan who had bought him a Red Sox onesie to wear when he was young. Bay believed it was still in his parents' basement along with his two childhood TV room posters of Red Sox greats Jim Rice and Carl Yazstremski.

To the top



2008 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 2008 Los Angeles Dodgers season features the Dodgers celebrating their Golden Anniversary in Southern California under new manager Joe Torre as they won the National League West for the first time since 2004, and returned to the postseason after missing the playoffs in 2007. They swept the Chicago Cubs in the NLDS to advance to the NLCS. It was their first playoff series win since 1988 when they went on to win the World Series. However, they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in five games in the NLCS.

As of September 28, 2008.

The Dodgers advanced to the 2008 NLDS to play the Central Division champion Chicago Cubs. They wound up sweeping the Cubs in three games, taking the first two at Wrigley Field and then ending the series in Game 3 at home. This was the Dodgers first post season series victory since the 1988 World Series and first post season sweep since the 1963 World Series.

The Dodgers advanced to the NLCS for the first time since 1988 to play the Philadelphia Phillies, in the fourth National League Championship Series meeting between the two teams.

On December 5, OF Andruw Jones agreed to a 2 year deal worth $44.3 million.

On January 20, Signed RHP Scott Proctor to a one-year contract.

On February 4, Signed RHP Rudy Seanez to a one-year contract.

On February 12, Re-signed free agent 1B Mark Sweeney to a one-year contract.

On March 26, Released RHP Rudy Seanez.

On March 31, Purchased the contracts of INF Blake DeWitt and INF Angel Chavez and placed INF Tony Abreu on the 15-day disabled list.

On April 3, Purchased the contract of RHP Chan Ho Park from Triple-A Las Vegas and designated INF Angel Chavez for assignment.

On April 8, Sent RHP Eric Hull to the Boston Red Sox for SS Christian Lara and cash.

On April 24, Optioned INF Blake DeWitt to Triple-A Las Vegas and recalled RHP Cory Wade from Double-A Jacksonville.

On April 26, Placed INF Nomar Garciaparra on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf and recalled INF Blake DeWitt from Triple-A Las Vegas.

On May 3, Reinstated 3B Andy LaRoche from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Las Vegas.

On May 8, Placed RHP Esteban Loaiza on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 4, with tightness and spasms in his right shoulder.

On May 9, Recalled RHP Yhency Brazobán from Triple-A Las Vegas.

On May 13, Placed SS Rafael Furcal on the 15-day disabled list and purchased the contract of INF Luis Maza from Triple-A Las Vegas. Placed Tony Abreu on the 60-day disabled list, retroactive to opening day.

On May 20, Placed C Gary Bennett on the 15-day disabled list and purchased the contract of C Danny Ardoin from Triple-A Las Vegas. Moved Jason Schmidt to the 60-day disabled list, retroactive to opening day.

On May 24, Recalled LHP Clayton Kershaw from Double-A Jacksonville; activated RHP Esteban Loaiza from the DL, and designated him for assignment; optioned RHP Yhency Brazobán to Triple-A Las Vegas.

On May 25, Placed OF Andruw Jones on the 15-day disabled list with torn cartilage in right knee; purchased the contract of OF/IF Terry Tiffee from Triple-A Las Vegas, transferred IF Nomar Garciaparra from 15-day to 60-day disabled list.

On June 2, Released RHP Esteban Loaiza.

On June 6, Acquired non-roster INF Ángel Berroa from the Kansas City Royals for non-roster INF Juan Rivera and cash.

On June 7, Purchased the contract of SS Ángel Berroa from Triple-A Las Vegas; designated INF Terry Tiffee for assignment.

On June 9, Optioned SS Chin-Lung Hu to Triple-A Las Vegas.

On June 10, Recalled INF Andy LaRoche from Triple-A Las Vegas.

On June 17, Placed RHP Brad Penny on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 15, with right shoulder tendinitis; Recalled LHP Eric Stults from Triple-A Las Vegas.

On June 20, Placed RHP Hiroki Kuroda on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder soreness; recalled RHP Ramon Troncoso from triple-A Las Vegas.

On June 25, Placed RHP Scott Proctor on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow tendinitis; purchased the contract of RHP Brian Falkenborg from Triple-A Las Vegas; Transferred C Gary Bennett to the 60-day disabled list.

On June 30, Placed OF Juan Pierre on the 15-day disabled list with sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee; Recalled OF Jason Repko from Triple-A Las Vegas.

On July 2, Activated RHP Hiroki Kuroda from the 15-day disabled list; Optioned LHP Clayton Kershaw to Double-A Jacksonville.

On July 4, Reinstated INF Nomar Garciaparra from the 60-day disabled list; Reinstated OF Andruw Jones from the 15-day disabled list; Optioned OF Jason Repko to Triple-A Las Vegas; Placed INF Mark Sweeney on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring; Transferred INF Rafael Furcal from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.

On July 18, Placed RHP Takashi Saito on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 13, with a sprained ligament in his right elbow.

On July 19, Purchased the contract of RHP Jason Johnson from Triple-A Las Vegas; Placed RHP Yhency Brazoban on the 60-day disabled list with shoulder problems.

On July 20, Signed INF Pablo Ozuna; Designated INF Luis Maza for assignment.

On July 22, Recalled LHP Clayton Kershaw from Double-A Jacksonville; Optioned LHP Eric Stults to Triple-A Las Vegas.

On July 24, Sent INF Luis Maza outright to Triple-A Las Vegas. He had been designated for assignment on July 20.

On July 25, Reinstated OF Juan Pierre from the 15-day disabled list; Placed OF Delwyn Young on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 24, with a right shoulder bone bruise.

On July 26, Optioned INF Blake DeWitt to Triple-A Las Vegas. Acquired INF Casey Blake and cash considerations from the Indians in exchange for C Carlos Santana and RHP Jonathan Meloan.

On July 27, Reinstated INF Mark Sweeney from the 15-day disabled list; Optioned INF Andy LaRoche to Triple-A Las Vegas.

On July 31, Acquired OF Manny Ramirez from the Red Sox; Sent 3B Andy LaRoche and RHP Avery Morris to the Pirates.

On August 1, Placed INF Nomar Garciaparra on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 28, with a strained ligament in his left knee.

On August 8, Reinstated RHP Brad Penny from the 15-day disabled list. Designated RHP Brian Falkenborg for assignment.

On August 12, Activated INF Nomar Garciaparra from the 15-day disabled list. Placed OF Andruw Jones on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 10, with patella tendinitis in left knee.

On August 14, Placed RHP Brad Penny on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Placed RHP Cory Wade on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 9, with right shoulder inflammation. Recalled LHP Eric Stults from Triple-A Las Vegas. Purchased the contract of RHP Tanyon Sturtze from Las Vegas.

On August 19, Acquired RHP Greg Maddux from the San Diego Padres for two players to be named later or cash considerations. Optioned LHP Eric Stults to Triple-A Las Vegas. Transferred RHP Scott Proctor from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.

On August 27, Designated INF Pablo Ozuna for assignment. Recalled INF Blake DeWitt from Triple-A Las Vegas.

On August 28, Reinstated RHP Cory Wade from the 15-day disabled list. Designated RHP Tanyon Sturtze for assignment.

On August 29, Optioned LHP Clayton Kershaw to Triple-A Las Vegas. Recalled LHP Scott Elbert from Double-A Jacksonville.

On August 31, Placed 2B Jeff Kent on the 15-day disabled list with torn carilage in left knee. Recalled INF Chin-Lung Hu from Triple-A Las Vegas.

On September 1, Recalled RHP James McDonald, LHP Eric Stults and OF Jason Repko from Triple-A Las Vegas. Activated OF Andruw Jones and OF Delwyn Young from the 15-day disabled list. Activated RHP Scott Proctor from the 60-day disabled list.

On September 2, Recalled LHP Clayton Kershaw from Triple-A Las Vegas.

On September 4, Purchased the contract of C A.J. Ellis from Triple-A Las Vegas. Transferred RHP Takashi Saito from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.

On September 5, Purchased the contract of INF Pablo Ozuna from Triple-A Las Vegas. Placed RHP Mario Alvarez on the 60-day disabled list.

On September 10, Activated RHP Brad Penny from the 15-day disabled list.

On September 13, Reinstated RHP Takashi Saito from the 60-day disabled list. Placed OF Andruw Jones on the 60-day disabled list with right knees soreness.

On September 20, Activated INF Jeff Kent from the 15-day disabled list.

On September 24, Reinstated SS Rafael Furcal from the 60-day disabled list. Placed RHP Brad Penny on the 60-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, retroactive to Sept. 16.

To the top



You're the Best

UFC fighter Joe Stevenson uses a hip-hop version as entrance music.

The song also appears on the Opie & Anthony show whenever Master Po walks into the studio.

The independent professional wrestling tag team named The Best Around uses the song as entrance music.

The song was used in The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.

The song was used in the 2007 Utilikilts Mockumercial "The Kegerator".

Professional Wrestler, Frankie Kazarian uses this as his theme song on the independent circuit.

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Andy LaRoche uses this as his at-bat intro song. His brother, Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche also used this for a period of time.

Capcom and UDON used the song for both of their trailers for Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.

Jason Mraz' song "The Dynamo of Volition" from the 2008 album We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. concludes with the chorus of this song.

To the top



Source : Wikipedia