Friday, September 21, 2018

Legends of Dodger Baseball to be Unveiled Next Season

This is really exciting.

For years folks have clamored for the Dodgers to expand their "Ring of Honor" by adding more retired player numbers. Frequently, fans mention names like Fernando Valenzuela, Don Newcombe and Steve Garvey as those that should be there, but tradition set many moons ago would not allow it. As you know, only Hall of Famers get their number retired by the Dodgers, with one lone exception being beloved longtime player and coach Jim Gilliam (#19) -- who died of a brain hemorrhage just days before the start of the 1978 playoffs.

So, what's a club to do when they have so many heroes under its wings?

Create something new, of course.

Announced today, the Dodgers will inaugurate the first class of the "Legends of Dodger Baseball" during the 2019 season, and the first three members to be inducted are Fernando Valenzuela, Don Newcombe and Steve Garvey.

So, what exactly is the "Legends of Dodger Baseball?"

This new honorary benchmark is meant to recognize Dodgers' who have made a significant impact to the franchise, both on and off the field. As part of the upcoming celebrations next years inductees will receive a plaque honoring their Dodger achievements, which will also be on permanent display at Dodger Stadium.

Best yet, it appears the Dodgers will finally have a permanent museum to call their own -- just in time for the upcoming 2020 All Star Game at Dodger Stadium. Per a Dodger press release:
Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten: “The Legends of Dodger Baseball program is the first of many new developments that we plan to roll out as we approach the 2020 All-Star Game, including the creation of a permanent home to celebrate the great players, personnel and moments that have helped make the Dodgers one of the most storied institutions in professional sports.”
Obviously, Kasten doesn't directly say "museum," but I think we all get the gist. The Dodger plan to build some sort of "grand hall" where fans and Baseball historians alike can go to celebrate and learn about the team we love so much.

Unfortunately, details are a bit scant right now, but this recent announcement sure has my wheels spinning. I am imaging a beautiful Dodger palace filled with history and the Dodgers, and I cannot wait.

On a side note, I hope that in the future the Dodgers decide to also honor Dodgers' who have passed away. I firmly believe that stars of yesteryear like Gil Hodges, Carl Furillo, Pete Reiser, Willie Davis and Johnny Podres should receive strong consideration for entry into the "Legends of Dodger Baseball"


Per Don Newcombe:
“I’m so honored to be part of this first group of Legends, and want to thank the Dodgers for this great honor,” said Newcombe. “I’ve been with the franchise for 61 years, in both Brooklyn and Los Angeles, and I still feel so fortunate to call myself a Dodger.”

Per Fernando Valenzuela:
“The Dodgers have meant so much to me during my 11 years on the field, and now 16 in the broadcast booth, and I’m honored to be among the first Dodger Legends,” said Valenzuela. “Thank you to the Dodger organization for this great recognition, and to the fans for their years of support.”

Per Steve Garvey:
“From being a bat boy in 1956 for the Brooklyn Dodgers to the draft of 1968 and the success we enjoyed over a 14-year career in Dodger Blue, I feel so fortunate to continue to be affiliated with this great franchise,” said Garvey. “There have been so many great players to wear the Dodger uniform, and I’m grateful for this extraordinary honor.  I’m most thankful to my family, Dodger owners Peter O’Malley and Guggenheim Partners, manager Tommy Lasorda and all the players I played with and against.  Thank you to the Dodgers for this recognition, and to the fans for making my time in Los Angeles so special.”

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1 comment:

  1. Dang. Never knew Garvey was a batboy for the Dodger in 1956. That's pretty cool.


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