Now If He Can Just Add Mets And Yankees

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.”

7 Comments

In 1976, the Oakland A’s were to play the Red Sox. Charlie Finley was in the midst of breaking up this great team, so he sold Rollie Fingers and Joe Rudi to the Red Sox for $1 million each. The newly acquired players went into the Sox dugout and put on their new uniforms. Red Sox fans were thrilled upon hearing the news, only to find out that Commissioner Bowie Kuhn wouldn’t let the transaction stand.

I don’t remember how long exactly they were considered members of the Red Sox, but it wasn’t long. Perhaps just a few hours. The trade was nixed before the game started. If my memory is correct, I think somewhere there exists a photo of these two players in their new uniforms.

“I’ve found that you don’t need to wear a necktie if you can hit.” Ted Williams

Sewell’s successor was Rogers Hornsby, deservedly honored as the greatest right-handed hitter in baseball history, but also not the nicest guy. Harold Rosenthal, the great New York Herald-Tribune baseball writer (Roger Kahn succeeded him covering the Dodgers and wrote a little book about it), did a fine book on baseball in the 1950s and told the great story of how Hornsby was fired. It seems he made the starting pitcher sit on the bench after being taken out, so one starter had to wait to shower with everybody else. Hornsby also showered with the team. The pitcher was standing in the shower with Hornsby next to him when he felt a different stream of warm water hitting his leg from an angle that was impossible coming from the shower. He opened his eyes and looked down, and Hornsby was relieving himself on the pitcher, who then went up to the GM’s office and said, “You have to get rid of Hornsby,” and told him why. Hornsby was fired in 1953, so when they say a manager is fired for lack of leadership, need for a change, etc., it may be true, but they may not always be telling the real reason!

Thanks for that retro sheet site. Great information.

Douchebag Don,Real fans cheer their team on no mteatr the venue. The Trop really isn’t as bad a everyone makes it to be. If you’re going to see baseball then the extra amenities are really not necessary.

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