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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Thu 7/24/08 8:47 am    Post subject: Ballpark Icons Reply with quote

I recently read the White Sox have honored former star Harold Baines with a statue at U.S. Cellular Field. This reminded me to post an article that appeared in the L.A. Times during my recent absence, about ballpark statues--something my own team does not have. Sad

So, I'm starting this thread about statues that are in place or are planned, to honor the great individuals of the game.


"Baseball teams love their statues"

Monuments honoring players have been around for a long time, but you don't have to be a Hall of Famer to get one. Just ask Frank White.

By Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

July 7, 2008

Tony Gwynn first saw his likeness in bronze on the day last summer when the San Diego Padres unveiled a 9 1/2 -foot statue of the Hall of Famer, in mid-swing, just beyond the outfield wall at Petco Park.

"When they took the tarp off of it, it was like an out-of-body experience," he said.

Then he noticed the inscription, a quote from his late father, Charles: "If you work hard, good things will happen."

That's when he lost it.

"I teared up when I saw it," he said. "And I still tear up. It's a remarkable thing to be remembered in bronze."

Gwynn is one of a group of baseball greats to have his likeness etched in stone. Two sets of sculptors have taken chisels to the Hammer, with statues of Hank Aaron on display in both Atlanta and Milwaukee, while at Willie Mays Plaza in San Francisco you can say "hey" to a larger-than-life likeness of the Say Hey Kid.

Babe Ruth lives on in Baltimore, George Brett is still swinging in Kansas City and you could almost field full lineups with the number of player statues in Chicago, Detroit and St. Louis.

In fact, more than half the 30 major league stadiums -- and dozens more minor league ballparks -- have erected monuments to past greats, a tradition that dates back nearly 130 years. That sets baseball apart from the other major professional sports in the U.S., which don't enjoy the same long and romantic history.

"They would commemorate people in the 19th century with statues. And this all comes out of it," said Joanne Hulbert of the Society for American Baseball Research. "And how do you keep that romantic theme? Well, we still put up statues. We definitely would reach back and use those same types of things that we used in the 19th century in order to harken to that romantic period."

Hulbert has found written accounts of baseball statues being constructed on the Boston Common as early as the 1880s. Nearby Fenway Park didn't get one until 2004, but that monument might have changed the course of history since the Red Sox, who famously went 86 years without winning a World Series, broke the spell seven months after a statue of Ted Williams was dedicated outside Gate B.

And Hulbert finds significance in the fact that Williams, who was respected in Boston but not beloved, had been retired more than four decades -- and dead nearly two years -- before he was immortalized.

"You give it a few decades and that tends to soften all of that stuff and we tend to forget . . . and we revert back to the romanticized period of it," she said. "We forget all the negative side of things and we put the statue up."

Yet despite baseball's long history with statues, the gold standard in bronze is probably college football's 25-pound Heisman Trophy, originally sculpted by Frank Eliscu and modeled after Ed Smith, a standout running back at New York University in 1934.

"As an artistic piece, I don't know that it's great," said sculptor Malcolm DeMille, a distant cousin of filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille who has created several sculptures for the PGA Tour, among others. "But it's very good. And the neat thing with stuff like that is over time, it just comes into its own, it becomes its own important thing. Whether or not initially it was the greatest thing done or not, it is so important that it becomes recognized."

But other statues have been stoned for heresy. The monument of a youthful Ruth in front of Camden Yards, a block from where the left-handed outfielder grew up, shows Ruth holding a right-hander's catcher's mitt. Despite howls of criticism, it is historically accurate; Ruth was a catcher during his high school days at Baltimore's St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, long before catchers' mitts were made for lefties.

History can't save the larger-than-life shortstop diving across the third floor of Venezuela's 5-year-old hall of fame and museum in Valencia, however. The player is reaching for an unseen ground ball with his glove on his right hand, making him a lefty, too -- an impossibility for a shortstop.

Then there's the 300-pound steel, wood, fiberglass and bronze likeness of Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, installed this season outside Wrigley Field. Although the tribute to Mr. Cub was long overdue, the extra time apparently didn't help apostrophe-challenged sculptor Lou Cella, who originally inscribed Banks' famous quote on the granite base as "Lets Play Two".

Punctuation aside, DeMille said accuracy and attention to detail are what set sculptures apart.

"The likeness, obviously, is critical," he said by phone from his studio in Nipomo, about 25 south of San Luis Obispo. "When I do pieces I ask for a lot of photography of the person, from all different kinds of angles, all different kinds of poses and things. Those little nuances are what really make a good piece great."

Still, there have been some unusual choices for granite greatness. In Kansas City, there's a statue of Frank White (career average .255) not far from the one of Hall of Famer Brett. U.S. Cellular Field will unveil its seventh statue in July with a bronze likeness of Harold Baines -- the flesh-and-blood version of whom the White Sox traded twice. And in Miami, where the Marlins have won two titles in the last 11 years, the only athlete memorialized in front of the stadium is Dan Marino, who never won a ring in his 17 years with the NFL's Dolphins.

But while bronze doesn't tarnish, reputations do. Which is why the St. Louis Cardinals have decided to keep Harry Weber's statue of former home run champion Mark McGwire in storage rather than on display alongside Negro Leagues immortal Cool Papa Bell and nine former Cardinals greats outside the team's new ballpark.

Maybe that's why the minor league Portland Sea Dogs and Rome Braves decided to forget athletes all together, honoring their fans instead. So in Maine the Double-A Sea Dogs recently placed a 9 1/2 -foot bronze statue of a family of four outside Hadlock Field, while the entry plaza fronting State Mutual Stadium, the Georgia home of the Class-A Braves, features a life-sized tableau vivant of three bronzed children playing ball.

And while Hulbert, Steinberg and others insist all those statues have been erected with the fans in mind, Frank White, like Gwynn, offers a different perspective. When White's father, who would die just months later, pulled the tarp off his monument in front of Gate D at Kauffman Stadium four years ago, the former All-Star second baseman said it was humbling.

"It was kind of like being in a state of shock," he said. "Because you're saying, 'Was I that good?' When I told my wife, she cried."

White, who still works for the Royals as a broadcaster, says he drives past the statue every day on his way to work. And he still can't help but sneak a peek.

"It's still hard to believe," he said. "Every time I come down the hill and I drive by it, I still get that same humbling experience. Sometimes when I come in, if there are [fans] around it, I'll stop and go and shake their hand and take a picture with them.

"I think that's kind of cool."

kevin.baxter@latimes.com
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Last edited by dodgerblue6 on Thu 8/25/11 8:02 am; edited 2 times in total
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Nurse Cozmo



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PostPosted: Thu 7/24/08 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Yet despite baseball's long history with statues, the gold standard in bronze is probably college football's 25-pound Heisman Trophy, originally sculpted by Frank Eliscu and modeled after Ed Smith, a standout running back at New York University in 1934.
No kidding? I didn't know that and I went to NYU. Believe me, NYU's Football program is so historically non-stellar... I didn't know we had any standouts!
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Tue 9/9/08 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giants Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda has been honored with a new statue outside AT&T Park, which was unveiled in a special ceremony this past weekend. The event ties in with the team's season-long 50th anniversary celebration of their move to San Francisco. Cepeda was an original S.F. Giant and the most popular player in the team's inaugural season in the Bay Area.

Of course, after extolling Cepeda's accomplishments, the linked article from sfgiants.com could not help but mention:

Quote:
None of the VIPs received as much attention as (Barry) Bonds, who drew sustained and repeated applause. Bonds also inspired calls for a statue to immortalize him, echoing remarks Cepeda made Friday.

"There's got to be room for another statue," former Giants broadcaster Lon Simmons said as he introduced Bonds. "The only thing that might slow down the decision is where to put it." Simmons suggested placing it in McCovey Cove, where many of Bonds' homers landed.

"I can't wait 'til they put up No. 25's statue," Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper exclaimed to the crowd.

Cepeda fanned the enthusiasm as he concluded his speech and long list of thank-yous by citing "my hero -- the best hitter, the best ballplayer ever to play this game -- Barry Bonds."


Mad

Enough of that. Congratulations, Orlando.
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QueenBeeGrannyJean
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PostPosted: Wed 9/10/08 5:07 pm    Post subject: Statues at Minute Maid Park Reply with quote

My two hero's are in statues at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The statues of Craig Biggio (2nd baseman) throwing the ball to Jeff Bagwell who is stretching to get the ball like any good 1st baseman. I never miss checking them out every time I get to Houston for some games.
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PostPosted: Wed 9/10/08 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have great pictures of your heros granny jean in the baseball across America thread from our Houston trip. It is really cool how they set those statues up like they are playing ball.

We visit our favorite guy Stan the Man at Busch. It's everyones favorite place to meet up with friends. I may have to start using Bob Gibson's since Stan's has been getting pretty crowded.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Fri 9/12/08 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The normally sarcastic T. J. Simers of the L.A. Times offers this worthwhile proposal--a statue at Dodger Stadium for our Golden Voice. Of course, it'll be hard to twist Vin's arm since this is someone so humble he declines allowing his likeness to be placed on a bobblehead, although it's been suggested thousands of times by fans. Below is an excerpt from Simers' column earlier this week making the suggestion, along with a follow-up in yesterday's Times. Wonder if anything will ever come of this?

T.J. Simers:

"Dodgers' golden voice deserves a bronze statue"

As one of the team’s greatest icons, it’s well past time to honor Scully.
T.J. Simers

September 9, 2008

SAN DIEGO -- The idea came in an e-mail, then became Tuesday's Last Word, someone asking, why not a statue of Vin Scully at Dodger Stadium?

Thought about it much of the day.

A better question: Why hasn't it already been done?

The Dodgers are getting ready to close out another season, the news as good as it gets with Scully announcing he will be back for another year behind the microphone.

That's now happened 60 times over, so you begin to take it for granted, because where else would the guy be?

But then Scully says something like, "If I'm still alive I'll be back," and what kind of talk is that? He's got at least 17 more years to catch up with Wooden, and Wooden isn't going anywhere.

But the time to honor someone is while he's still here and able to be touched, as he has touched others. Scully should be standing beside a red-headed statue, which is about to be unveiled -- the one to pull the rip cord.

The Vin Scully Press Box at the stadium carries a little extra meaning for those who were there when Scully participated in the naming festivities.

It was a proud day for Scully and no one wears their pride with more humility than the eloquent one. For everyone else, it was another chance to just listen to him talk.

The Dodgers spent much of this season wheeling out former players, some even with recognizable names, while the best known Dodger went about the business of keeping the team in the public eye as he has done for fans -- generation after generation.

Players, GMs and owners come and go, while Scully is always there to remind everyone to drive safely while arriving late to the game.

Ask Scully if there should be a statue in his honor, and I wouldn't dare, already knowing the answer. Sometimes the great ones have to be hog-tied before taking a bow, or the last to know of such plans.

Scully said it was a tough decision to return this time. He's taken to calling his wife two or three times a day, and every day because he feels so guilty about being away.

"One more year," he said, and whether that means just one more year, or one more year on the way to making it 70 years behind the Dodgers microphone, I didn't press.

He said he's back because, "I just really enjoy it," the passion in his voice jarring in its youthful enthusiasm.

How many people at age 80, doing the same thing over and over for 59 years, still get so pumped going to work?

"The other day when Arizona attempted a squeeze," Scully said, and with a great deal of animation, "I just loved it. I was watching the situation, Manager Bob Melvin, the play, and I don't know why, but I'm still excited about such things."

Why not a statue honoring Scully outside Dodger Stadium as a reminder of such passion -- passion for the game, his job and the Dodgers?

What a great way to begin his 60th year on the job.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In yesterday's column, Simers wrote:

SEVERAL SCULPTORS offered to help with a Vin Scully statue, and a number of e-mailers asked that any statue of Scully include a voice box with some of his best-known calls.

Talked to the Dentist, the mouthpiece for the McCourts, and he said, "The idea of immortalizing a legend is enormously attractive."

The Dodgers are always big on ideas, but following through is often something else.

SCULLY STOPPED by Torre's office before Tuesday's game, the Dodgers won, and so a superstitious Torre had Scully stop by before Wednesday's game.

"He had to move a chair to make sure I sat in the same one," Scully said.

Scully and the Dodgers go to Denver now, the team moving on to Pittsburgh while Scully returns home.

But what happens if the Dodgers continue to win?

"The chair goes to Pittsburgh," Scully said.

Smile
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Thu 8/11/11 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed it's been almost three years since I posted in this thread.

The new statue of Ron Santo, the late Cubs fan favorite, has been unveiled at Wrigley Field. Wrap on the ceremony and video can be seen here.
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GilHodgesFan



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PostPosted: Fri 8/12/11 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you soo much for the link to this Linda! I watched the link and the videos of interviews with his sons and his grandson throwing out the first pitch at the game the night the statue was unveiled. They all brought tears to my eyes. I have the DVD "This Old Cub" and I don't think one could ever find a truer, more loyal, more devoted, and certainly more exhuberant Cubs fan than Ron Santo. I am glad that he knew he was getting a statue but it is sad he wasn't here to enjoy the day. He is beloved by Cubs fans everywhere.
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forloveofthegame



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PostPosted: Thu 8/18/11 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll bet you'd love going to that show Linda posted about with Santo's memorabilia! We still need to set up a time to go to it. I'm thinking maybe around Labor Day.
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GilHodgesFan



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PostPosted: Thu 8/18/11 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely wish I could go to that! It was nice of Linda to post the link to the statue ceremony. One of Santo's sons is almost the spitting image of his father during his Cubs playing days and it was moving to hear former Cubs tributes to Ron. He was the heart of the Cubs and being able to be involved with the Cubs right up to the end of his life and his little-kid excitement about the Cubs when on the radio with Pat Hughes was so cute. I think the Cubs involvement really kept him going when the chips were down.
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Sat 8/20/11 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you going to the exhibit Gil Hodges Fan?
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GilHodgesFan



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PostPosted: Sat 8/20/11 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No I'm not but I sure wish I was. I will probably get to a Cubs game next summer so I can see Santo's statue.
Don't know how many baseball fans are interested but "This Old Cub" is a great documentary produced by Ron's son Jeff about his father's amazing courage and will to continue to play baseball while fighting Diabetes. That Santo could have such great stats and continue playing while suffering the effects of Diabetes is so moving. Santo also devoted alot of his time to raising money for Juvenile Diabetes. Another great guy the Hall has passed over!
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Sat 8/20/11 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing against him, but a .277 career BA is pretty low for a Hall of Famer as a corner infielder. I would think Gil has a much better shot at it than Santo (although I realize he has a similar career BA). There is one player I can think of whose numbers are close to Santo's, who is in the Hall of Fame, for which the Hall is often criticized. And I think that player benefitted (in the voters' eyes) from longevity of career and having played for two world championship teams, something Santo doesn't have going for him.

I give Gil more points in other areas for having higher power numbers over roughly the same amount of time (and he actually had his career interrupted for military service, taking away the possibility of even higher numbers). And Ron actually played in more games over his career than Gil did.

I say the case is much better with Gil. In any case, there are corner infielders with higher numbers than both, who are not in the Hall of Fame.

Do you think if not you, one of your brothers would consider going to the exhibit?
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GilHodgesFan



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PostPosted: Sun 8/21/11 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree Gil's numbers are better than Ron's and I definitely want Gil in the HOF before Santo. That's a given Laughing My brother feels like you do that because Santo was never on any world champion teams that will keep him out of the Hall.
I will mention the exhibit. School starts next week so both will be back teaching. Both my brothers use to go to Cubs Conventions and met Santo a couple of times. My brothers love the '69 Cubs and they had Santo, Banks, Beckert, and Williams autograph a baseball for each of them one year at a convention. They haven't gone to a convention for several years because the cost has gone up so much.
Not sure why some people get in the Hall before others but Gil better get in soon while his wife is still here.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Mon 8/22/11 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My brother feels like you do that because Santo was never on any world champion teams that will keep him out of the Hall.


Just to clarify, that's not the way I feel--I just said he doesn't have that extra benefit that might get him in. I think he is kept out not by that, but by his numbers in comparison to Hall of Fame caliber numbers. I'm viewing it through a voter's eyes and trying to figure out why some are and some aren't, and that's the way it appears. Many great Cubs players like Ernie Banks and Ryne Sandberg have made it into the Hall without having a world championship (or even an NL pennant!) on their resume. I just think there is at least one player who got in that way--because so many of his teammates were, and they were a dynasty--which makes it kind of puzzling to understand why Gil did not make it in since he played on several winning teams surrounded by HOF teammates.

If you were to put all the power hitters in the .275 range in the Hall of Fame, the Hall would need to expand by several wings. As the saying goes, "It's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of the Very Good."
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sunnyblue



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PostPosted: Tue 8/23/11 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure you know DB, that Ernie Banks lives in L.A. We've seen him a few times at games over the years. He is usually introduced on Dodger Vision and waves to the crowd.
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GilHodgesFan



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PostPosted: Wed 8/24/11 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have heard Hodges lifetime batting average of .273 is keeping him out of the Hall. Yet Cepeda and Perez with similar stats are both in and Perez never won any Golden Gloves. Gil had three but that was only because he won the first three ever given out for First Base which occurred later in his career. Just think how many he would have won if they'd been given out earlier in his career Smile

Gil was a better defensive First Baseman than either Cepeda and Perez and he was as much a part of the Brooklyn Dodgers winning so many pennants and finally their World Series as the other Brooklyn Dodgers in the Hall. Like you Linda I don't understand why he has been looked over for the HOF. Perhaps the Vets Committee feels he is not good enough for the Hall but we both know that is not true!

Sunnyblue - Very interesting that Ernie Banks lives in California. Doesn't seem like too many former Cubs stick around Chicago! Santo I could understand living in Arizona because Midwest winters could be brutal to someone with two artificial legs. I suppose if I had a choice of Iowa winters vs summer all year long in California I would pick the latter also Smile
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Wed 8/24/11 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for Cepeda, I'm pretty sure he hit a lot closer to .300, and 25 points is a big difference when in that range of average. So I wouldn't use him in that argument.
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GilHodgesFan



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PostPosted: Wed 8/24/11 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are right I think it was around .297 but he wasn't as a good a defensive First Baseman as Gil. Another thing hurting Gil is that he didn't get any MVP awards. He was pretty much overshadowed by his Dodger teammates and was a pretty quiet guy besides.
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GilHodgesFan



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PostPosted: Thu 8/25/11 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found a story in the Bleacher Report about Dodger season ticket holders being given a survey to fill out about how well Vin Scully and other Dodger announcers are doing. I think the story was originally published by Sporting News yesterday.
Of course Dodger fans wondered why the survey was even necessary. The Dodgers organization said they had been giving out various surveys all season long. Hmmm...they give out a survey about Scully but yet say his job is his as long as he wants it. Really?? I think that would be the last straw if they dared touch Vin Scully. There would definitely be a fan exodus even worse than the McCourt saga has affected turnout.
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Thu 8/25/11 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If that was cited by the Sporting News, they stole it from T.J. He has been writing about these ridiculous surveys for a couple of years now.
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GilHodgesFan



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PostPosted: Thu 8/25/11 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it is nothing unusual then I won't worry they are thinking of getting rid of Vin Scully. Whew!!! The only reason I could see him leaving is the McCourt mess and hopefully he knows how much Dodger fans need him!
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dodgerblue6



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PostPosted: Thu 8/25/11 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, if you read the link I posted about it this morning, the season ticket holder in question provided details about last year and the other issues involved. I thought he captured the sentiment pretty well.
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GilHodgesFan



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PostPosted: Thu 8/25/11 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the time set wrong on this site. It shows this message as coming in at 6:38 p.m. August 25th and it is not that time yet in either of our time zones. Somehow I need to go in and correct it for my time zone.

I missed your post about the interview concerning the surveys. The article I read through The Bleacher Report mentioned that fans said they've received many surveys throughout the season. This was probably just another one of many but I didn't like it that it targeted the announcers. If the organization can get rid of Garvey they could probably let Scully go too though you'd think the organization would know what an upheaval that would cause. They've messed things up enough that one would think they'd know when to stop!

I liked it that Garvey spoke up but I am sorry he had to lose his job for telling the truth.
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GilHodgesFan



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 1763
Location: Cedar Rapids Iowa

PostPosted: Thu 8/25/11 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just found your post about the surveys so I am going to look at that now.

I don't know what to change the time to in my profile. GMT + or - ?
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Sat 8/27/11 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think yours should be GMT - 6 hours. Ours on the West Coast is GMT - 8 hours. Also, it could be off by an hour because of Daylight Savings Time. I don't think this software adjusts for that.
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GilHodgesFan



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
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Location: Cedar Rapids Iowa

PostPosted: Sat 8/27/11 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Linda. I will give that a try.
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Tue 9/20/11 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recent unveilings this past weekend:

Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench at Great American Ballpark;

The late Hall of Fame broadcaster Dave Niehaus at Safeco Field.
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-Baseball Hall of Fame
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dodgerblue6



Joined: 10 Aug 2005
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Location: San Diego CA - deep in the heart of SoCal

PostPosted: Wed 10/26/11 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Offseason unveiling:

Baltimore Hall of Famer/third baseman Brooks Robinson's statue is now on display at Camden Yards, following ceremony held last weekend.

He was a great one...one of the earliest defensive players I admired, since the Orioles were in a lot of World Series during the era in which I was growing up.

And, his baseball card was in one of the first pack of cards I ever bought. Smile
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-Baseball Hall of Fame
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GilHodgesFan



Joined: 15 Jan 2011
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Location: Cedar Rapids Iowa

PostPosted: Wed 10/26/11 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great news about the Brooks Robinson statue. It is well deserved and long overdue. Smile
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