Jon Garland is, as I write this, making his Dodger debut against the guys who were his teammates until Monday night, the Arizona Diamondbacks. He joins a pretty limited group: those who have been the property of both Los Angeles teams (I know, I know, Anaheim), and both Chicago teams (though he never played for the Cubs).
Garland just “crossed the hall” in the parlance of the great Mr. Scully, who recounted his favorite story of a player appearing in uniform for both teams in the same series. In 1952, at the start of a doubleheader, Brooklyn spare outfielder Cal Abrams shouted out something derisive from the Dodger dugout at the manager of the visiting Reds, Luke Sewell. Dodger manager Chuck Dressen, a pretty fiery guy, told Abrams (according to Vin) “that’s great, keep it up. So, for nine innings, Abrams rode Sewell unmercifully. Then after the first game ended, Dressen went up to Abrams and said ‘I have to inform you, you have been traded to the Cincinnati Reds.’ So poor Cal had to go across the hall and introduce himself to the man on whom he had been chewing for nine innings.”
The Abrams story, as with virtually everything else Vin has ever said, checks out neatly, courtesy the best historical baseball site there is, Retrosheet. Abrams in the record books as having been dealt by the Dodgers to Cincinnati on June 9, 1952 – the day after the two teams completed a doubleheader in Cincinnati. So if it didn’t happen after the first game, it could have easily happened after the second. If Abrams and Sewell had a tense relationship thereafter, it didn’t last too long: Sewell was fired at the end of July.
Back to the Garland symmetry: there is Upton Spidey Sense too tonight. B.J. sprained his ankle in the fifth inning of the Rays’ game with Boston. Hours later, brother Justin was a late scratch at Dodger Stadium because of “contact lens issues.”