Tuesday, March 30, 2010

eBay: The Miracle Catch

A great event happened in Game 5 of the 1947 World Series for Dodger fans. Dodger outfielder, Al Gionfriddo, made a "miracle catch" of a sure game winning home run off the bat of Joe DiMaggio. It sailed 550 feet before being caught by the outstretched hand of Gionfriddo. Famously, this led Joltin' Joe, uncharacteristically, to kick up some dirt in frustration.

Dodger announcer Red Barber uttered these words:
"Belted (by Joe DiMaggio)! It's a long one, deep into left center. Back goes (Al) Gionfriddo, back, back, back, back... He makes a one-handed catch in front of the bullpen! Oooooh, doctor!"
Below is a news service photo found on eBay that celebrates this moment. It was originally taken by the Dodgers official photographer Barney Stein. It features Al Gionfriddo sitting on an outfield wall during spring training a few months later in the Dominican Republic. Symbolically, 550 is significantly displayed on the wall as a reminder of that incredible catch.

Attached to the back of this photo is the written caption for the pic from International News Photo. It is titled, "Rubbing Salt into DiMagg Wound."

SI Suggest Hu

Although, I think it is clear that Blake DeWitt has sewn up the second base job, maybe this suggestion by SI's Pablo Torre is worth a thought.
“Hu is an excellent defensive shortstop who has been blocked in Los Angeles by Rafael Furcal, and while Hu didn’t hit while replacing the injured Furcal in 2008 (he had a .181 average and .252 OBP in 65 games), he has since put up good numbers at Triple A. The Dodgers’ pitching staff throws so many ground balls that maximizing the infield defense is a worthwhile goal, even at a cost of some runs scored. By playing Hu at second, the Dodgers can get the benefits of his range while evaluating him as a successor to Furcal in 2011.”
Maybe not.

I can see the argument. After all, Hu is great with the glove. On the other hand, I just think that DeWitt's bat is far superior and his defense will be more than adequate.

Anyway, click here to see the team preview for the Dodgers from SI. This issue hits the stands tomorrow, and it includes a nice little write-up about Chad Billingsley.

Turning Japanese

As has been widely reported already, Eric Stults is going to pitch in Japan. My best wishes and luck to the longtime Dodger farmhand. I know the passion for the game in Japan will excite you at ever turn.

In honor of this event check out and dance to this 80's classic from The Vapors, Turning Japanese. Since I read the news I have not been able to get this out of my head.
YouTube Link: