Above is the Jackie Robinson statue moments after being unveiled to the public on Saturday. Per Richard Justice at MLB.com:
"I thought it captured Jackie Robinson's significance in American history," (sculptor Branly) Cadet said. "It takes courage and focus and timing to steal home. Similarly, those qualities were required of anyone breaking the color line. My title was 'Stealing home and the point of no return.'Photo above via Jill Weisleder/LA Dodgers 2017. Go here to check out more pics by Jill and Jon SooHoo from Jackie Robinson Day. Below are more links to check out:
"He was a first. We wanted to represent him in an earlier part of his career when the color line was broken. Historically, that's what was most important. The day he stepped on that baseball field was an important day, not just in baseball, but in American history. We wanted to honor that."
- This Day in Dodgers History: In 1934 Casey Stengel makes his managerial debut as the Dodger skipper. Brooklyn unfortunately loses to the Boston Braves, 8-7. In 1947 Jackie Robinson recorded his first major league hit -- a bunt single down the third base line off of Boston Braves hurler Glenn Elliott. In 1955 Roberto Clemente, who started out as a Dodger prospect, singles off of Dodger pitcher Johnny Podres for his first major league hit. In 1956 future Hall of Famer Don Drysdale pitched in his very first game. He threw one inning of hitless relief in the ninth inning of a losing game. In 1994 the Dodgers belted 19 runs against the hapless Pirates to tie a club record for most runs in a game. In 2013 Clayton Kershaw strikes out his 1,000th batter of his career -- the victim was Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso.
- Happy Birthday, Ad Yale, Jake Daubert, Stan Andrews, Marquis Grissom & Gary Bennett!
- Video: Vin Scully, the Dodgers' former broadcaster, speaks about Jackie Robinson at the statue unveiling at Dodger Stadium. (video link)
- Video: Watch the entire Jackie Robinson dedication ceremony. (video link)
- Via Mike Lacy at WLOX.com; "Biloxi celebrates Jackie Robinson, Biloxi Dodgers."
- Via Rachel Marcus at ESPN; "Oldest living Dodgers fan, 108, always excited to see Jackie Robinson."
"I remember his antics and playing the pitchers and finally stealing home plate a number of times, which was done by very few ballplayers who had the ability to react as quickly," Piken recalled. "It was very thrilling to watch it."
Piken also took his sons to Dodgers games when the team was still in Brooklyn.
"He was never so excited as watching Jackie Robinson dancing off third base for a possible steal of home," his son, Ed Piken, said.
- Via Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider; "Magic Johnson: Jackie paved the way for me.”
“Jackie paved the way for me,” Johnson said. “Between Jackie Robinson and Muhammad Ali, they opened the door for me to be an owner of the Dodgers. Jackie paved the way for that. I couldn’t be an owner of the Dodgers without Jackie breaking the color barrier and playing in Major League Baseball.”
- Via Ron Cervenka at Think Blue LA; "Quakes insanely great pitching staff just got better: Cuban phenom right-hander Yadier Alvarez to join already stacked Quakes rotation."
- Over the weekend Baseball America's prospect report made note of Dodgers hurler Walker Buehler:
After Tommy John surgery in 2015, the Dodgers did well to ease the former Vanderbilt star back into action. That seems to be paying off. Buehler pitched three scoreless innings in his first appearance of 2017 and touched 99 mph, and then Saturday struck out eight batters in a row in a three-inning stint. Buehler allowed hits to the first two Lake Elsinore (Padres) hitters, then got Josh Naylor to fly out before fanning the next eight. He hit 99 again Saturday, according to the stadium gun.
- Per Dayn Perry at CBS Sports; "MLB Trade Rumors: Brewers, Dodgers reportedly still discussing Ryan Braun deal."
- Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight writes; "The Save Ruined Relief Pitching. The Goose Egg Can Fix It."
A pitcher probably shouldn’t get much credit for handling just the final inning when his team has a three-run lead. Moreover, the top relief pitchers today are less valuable than they were in Gossage’s heyday in the 1970s and ’80s. In large part, that’s because managers are trying to maximize the number of saves for their closer, as opposed to the number of wins for their team. They’re managing to a stat and playing worse baseball as a result.
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