Monday, May 30, 2011

RIP Billy Harris

It is always sad when a member of the Dodger family passes away. William Thomas Harris, Billy Harris for short, was an outstanding athlete from New Brunswick, Canada- possibly one of the greatest ever produced from the Canadian province (with exception of Willie O'Ree- NHL's first black player). He was an accomplished hockey player in his youth, but is better known for his pitching on the diamond. In 1949 he lead the Dieppe Junior Cardinals to a Maritime championship and the Moncton Legionnaires to a title a year later in amateurs. His exploits garnered him a professional contract with the Dodgers and he had an immediate impact. With Valdosta in 1950 he won 18 games then another 25 games for Miami in the Dodgers minor league B level organization. Harris would continue to climb the ladder to Montreal, the Dodgers AAA franchise, and help lead them to a Little World Series berth. Unfortunately, they did not come out the victors. After winning 16 games for Montreal in 1957 he finally got a cup of coffee with the big club in Brooklyn. He would pitch just one game, a 7 inning effort, but lost by giving up 3 runs. Due to the stockpile of pitchers ahead of him he would be sent back down until he got his final shot 2 years later in a relief appearance for the LA Dodgers. From the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame Website.
In all, Harris pitched for 15 professional seasons and amassed 174 wins and 1,373 strikeouts. Of all Canadians that have pitched in the big leagues, Harris ranks first in minor league career shutouts (45), second in strikeouts, third in wins, and fifth in games pitched (436) and innings pitched (2,461). For his efforts, he was inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1978 (and the Canadian Baseball Hall of fame in 2008).
Here is a great write up on his death on the 28th at Times & Transcript, and here is his page at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame website.

Hat Tip: Vin Scully Is My Homeboy.
Photo from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Have a Wonderful Memorial Day

On the day we remember the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, have a great Memorial Day.

eBay: Erskine Filming Kelly

Here is a great vintage press photo from the Sporting News Archives Collection of Carl Erskine filming the famous Emmett Kelly as the Dodger Bum. It sold for a reasonable $26.52.

Another Fire?!?

Man, maybe there is a curse on the Dodgers this year. Per ABC Channel 7:
Firefighters were back at Dodger Stadium on Monday morning after a small fire broke out for the second time in just a couple days.

Firefighters responded to a cinder-block storage room at 5:10 a.m. after reports of light smoke coming from the structure. The fire was declared a knockdown by 5:17 a.m.

It was the same storage room where a fire broke out during Saturday night's game against the Florida Marlins. Firefighters say that fire was caused by paper products igniting.

Firefighters are trying to figure out if Monday's fire is related to Saturday's fire or if there was a new source.

Clearly, this has been one of the most unusual years to be a Dodger fan.

(Hat Tip: Dodger Thoughts on Twitter)

1983 Dodgers Police Set

It's been over 4 months since I shared any Dodger Police sets in my collection. With the current team in a bit of disarray I thought it might be nice to reminisce about a much better time. These sets were put together during the age of O'Malley- when the Dodgers were about family and team stability was the norm. Man-O-Live, I miss those times. Anyway, here is the Dodger Police set from 1983. Below is an example of what the card back looks like.
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Legendary Auctions: The Lost No-Hitter

To underscore the futility that was the old Brooklyn Superbas, here is a vintage scorecard from August 1, 1906 game that featured a no-hitter that never was. How do we know this. Well, it was scored by a fan and it provides a rundown of the afternoons event. I'll let the auction description tell the story.
Through nine innings of regulation play (indeed, into the 11th), the Brooklyns held Pittsburg hitless. Problem was, the Superbas’ several hits had likewise failed to generate a run. The contest was an August 1st 1906 tilt in Brooklyn’s Washington Park where the home nine clashed against Honus Wagner and his Pirates. On the hill that Wednesday afternoon was Pittsburgh’s Lefty Leifield, dueling Brooklyn’s Harry McIntyre. The scoreless game went into extra frames but McIntyre seemed the more valiant – holding Pittsburg to just one base runner – issuing a walk to Tommy Leach in the 9th. In the Pirate 11th, however, Claude Ritchie punched a two-out single, but that proved for naught as Ed Phelps followed with the inning-ending out. In the twelfth, the Pirates went quietly, and though Brooklyn knocked two hits, they again failed to score. The game was decided in the 13th as Pittsburg’s first three batsmen – Bob Ganley, Honus Wagner, and Jim Nealon – all hit safely against the theretofore invincible McIntyre. Nealon’s RBI hit proved the coup-de-grace as Brooklyn again failed to score in the bottom half of the inning.
It sold for $300.00.