Monday, June 30, 2014

RIP, Babo - Dodger Pitcher Bobby Castillo has Passed Away

The Dodgers family has just lost a good one.  It has just been announced that former Dodger pitcher Bobby Castillo has passed away.  Babo was 59 years old.  Mark Langill at Dodger Insider has a phenomenal write up on his career here.  You should go check it out. 
(graphic via Dodger Insider)

It should be noted that it was Castillo who taught Fernando Valenzuela the screwball.  If not for him that magic we experienced in the early 80's may never have happened.

Per a press release from the Dodgers:
Former Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Robert “Bobby” Castillo passed away this morning in a Los Angeles hospital after battling cancer. He was 59.

Castillo pitched in Los Angeles from 1977-81 and again in 1985, his last season in the Major Leagues. The right-hander also was a member of the Minnesota Twins from 1982-84. Castillo is survived by his mother, Nellie, his daughter, Mellanie, his daughter, Sara, and her husband, Andrew Sanchez, his son Robert III, and his sister, Lorraine, and her husband, Peter Gonzalez. Castillo had three nieces and nephews, nine grand nieces and nephews and two grandchildren, Jackson and Lila.  

The Los Angeles native was widely credited with teaching Dodger pitching great Fernando Valenzuela how to throw his famous screwball, a pitch Castillo also threw.

“I was very saddened to hear about Bobby’s passing this morning,” said Valenzuela. “He was a great teammate and friend. I’ll always be grateful for his influence on my pitching. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

“Babo” as he was affectionately called, was a sixth-round draft choice by the Kansas City Royals in 1974 and was purchased by his hometown Dodgers on June 16, 1977. The then 22-year-old Castillo made his big league debut for Los Angeles on Sept. 19 of that year and retired Hall of Famer Johnny Bench for his first big league out.

Castillo, who attended Lincoln High School in Los Angeles, finished with a career record of 38-40 with a 3.94 ERA in 250 games (59 starts). He pitched for the Dodgers in the 1981 National League Championship Series, the ’81 World Series and the 1985 NLCS.

Since his retirement, Castillo has been a dedicated member of the Dodger organization, participating in countless events through the years and was a familiar face on Dodger hospital visits, autograph signings and at kids’ holiday parties and baseball clinics, to name a few. 

Funeral services are pending.
Below are his career Baseball stats, via Baseball Reference:

And, here is a video from 2009 where Bobby talks a bit about his career and Baseball.

Video Link:

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Indians Series Starts Tonight - Scheduled Autograph Signings, Game Give Aways and Other Stuff!

The next homestand starts this evening against the Colorado Rockies, and several old-time Dodgers will be in the house to sign free autographs for fans.  Below are the scheduled autograph opportunities and other odds and ends for this upcoming homestand.

The July issue of Dodger Insider is now available.  See the cover on the right.  It features stories on Beckett's comback season, follow-up on the no-hitters by Beckett and Kershaw, an inside look at the 2014 draft, the return of Dee Gordon and Brandon League from difficult 2013 seasons and a piece on Brooklyn Dodger Dixie Walker.

Monday June 30th at 7:10 PM
RHP Corey Kluber vs. RHP Dan Haren

Tonight's game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:30 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:00 PM. Dodger fan and “Project Runway” winning model Kalyn Hemphill will perform the national anthem.

Former Dodgers Dennis Powell (in right-field pavilion plaza) and Kenny Landreaux (in left-field pavilion plaza) will be signing autographs for fans from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. 
  • The Veteran of the Game presented by Bank of America is U.S. Army Major General Paul E. Funk II. Watching his father return home from serving in Vietnam, Funk decided to follow in the same footsteps as his father, joined the Army and was commissioned in 1984. Funk is the Commanding General for the 1st Infantry Division known as “the Big Red One” at Fort Riley, Kansas. He has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. His accolades include the Legion of Merit with three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, The Combat Action Badge and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. Bank of America will be presenting an authenticated flag and display case to Funk. He will be honored with a piece of Dodger history, a flag that has flown over Dodger Stadium. Gregg Hall an Army veteran and now Bank of America Regional Director of Global Corporate Security will present the flag on behalf of Bank of America.

Tuesday, July 1st at 7:10 PM
RHP Justin Masterson vs. RHP Josh Beckett

Tonight's game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:30 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:00 PM.  The first 40,000 fans will receive a Don Newcombe adult sized replica Brooklyn Dodger jersey.  See it on the right.

Don Newcombe will throw the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday and closer Kenley Jansen will catch his first pitch.  Chris Mann, classically trained singer-songwriter who finished 4th on “The Voice” season 2 on Team Christina Aguilera will perform the national anthem.

Former Dodgers Tim Leary (in right-field pavilion plaza) and “Sweet” Lou Johnson (in left-field pavilion plaza) will be signing autographs for fans from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. 
  • The Veteran of the Game presented by Bank of America is U.S. Air Force Colonel John Tree, who is currently serving with the Air Force Reserve as a Key Senior Leader to the Director of Resource Integration at the Pentagon. Following in his father’s footsteps, Tree joined the Air Force following his graduation from the Air Force Academy and served in active duty for seven years. Throughout his career he has been deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, twice to Haiti and Germany and in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Tree’s accolades include the Humanitarian Service Medal with one Device, NATO Medal and the Air Force Expeditionary Service Medal.  

Wednesday, July 2nd at 12:10 PM
RHP Trevor Bauer vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu

This afternoon's game starts at 12:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 9:30 AM, and stadium gates open at 10:00 AM.

American Bladerunner, Blake Leeper, a Silver and Bronze medalist in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London will throw the ceremonial first pitch.

Former Dodgers Matt Luke (in right-field pavilion plaza) and Derrel Thomas (in left-field pavilion plaza) will be signing autographs for fans from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
  • The Veteran of the Game presented by Bank of America is U.S. Army Sergeant Alvin Blinder, a longtime Dodger fan. Blinder was drafted in 1943 to lend support to World War II efforts and served with the 16th infantry division for General Patton’s 3rd Army, serving as communication between platoons, Company Headquarters and the First Battalion Headquarters. Sergeant Blinder fought in Metz Chateau Salins, Vic-sur-Seille France defeating part of the German First Army. Blinder’s accolades include the Combat Infantry Badge and the Purple Heart.

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Check Out Some Dodgers Memorabilia at Hunt's All-Star Game FanFest Auction

As has been tradition for several years, Hunt Auctions is running their annual All-Star Game Live Auction at the MLB FanFest in Minneapolis.  There are over 400 lots to look through and collectors have an opportunity to see them personally at the FanFest in a couple of weeks. 

Of note, former Dodger catcher and White Sox manager Jeff Torborg has over 80 items available for auction; including several Dodger related goodies.  I will feature those items in a post tomorrow.  For now, take a look at some other notable Dodgers related memorabilia items that struck my fancy below.

How often do you see something like this?  Here is a circa 1950's Brookyn Dodger ushers shirt.  It is long sleeved, in Dodger blue and has the Dodgers name embroidered on the back.
(Auction Link)

The cap below is purported to have once belonged to Jackie Robinson.  It comes from a former Dodger farmhand named Fred Woelfle who joined the organization in 1951.  Per the auction description:
In 1951 he assisted the team in batting practice acting primarily as a catcher. For these efforts, naturally, he required a uniform which was furnished by the team. One day while dressing he realized he had not been given a hat and asked for one from the trainer who "went to a basket full of dirty uniforms and, after asking me my size, threw me a hat and said here use this one, Robinson won't mind."
Wow!  That's a great story.
(Auction Link)

This last item originally came from the family of Roy Campanella.  Below is Campy's Hall of Fame Induction ring from 1969. 
(Auction Link)

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Blog Kiosk: 6/30/2014 - Dodger Links - Elbert on the Mend, Draft Pick Updates and Goofing on Ryu

Kershaw pitched another gem yesterday, and now the Dodgers find themselves tied to first palce WooHoo!  Pic above features Clayton and Chris Perez celebrating the victory, via @MLB on twitter.
  • ICYMI:  Justin Turner has been placed on the 15-day DL, and Carlos Triunfel has been called back from the minors.  Turner strained his left hamstringin saturday's game.
  • Via Ken Gurnick and Michael Lananna at, "Elbert enters final phase of rehab."
"I'm happy with Scotty's progress," Mattingly said. "We've talked about it a number of times -- it's been awhile now where everything's been pretty much positive. There hasn't been any negatives. He hasn't skipped a 'pen. He's been moving along."
"We've got the kind of pitching that keeps you in the game every day." Mattingly said. "If we can be solid on defense and take advantage of whatever we get offensively, we can be in pretty good shape.

"We've been solid [defensively]. Being in the right place, making the plays you're supposed to make, not hurting your team … getting the outs you're supposed to get.

"I'm happy with the energy the club is playing with. We're playing with a sense of urgency."

  • This Vine video made me laugh for hours... That scream!  BTW, they put ice down Ryu's back.

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