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Jim “Jr.” Gilliam

James William Gilliam was one of my all-time favorite players. He was not a super-star in any sense of the word. What he was, was a total team player. He put personal accomplishments secondary to the team’s winning. He was a manager’s dream.

He was the fourth Dodger to earn ROY honors. Here is a little flash for anyone who does not realize that all four were Black ballplayers. Robinson, Newcombe, Black and Gilliam. This is of note since not one black player has won the award playing for the Dodgers since, Two Latin players, Valenzuela and Mondesi, are the only non-white players to win it since Gilliam.

Gilliam was noted for his versatility in the field. He could play second, SS, third and the outfield. Over his career he had time at 7 different positions. 3B-1166 games, 2B-767, LF-203, CF-5, RF-29, SS-12, 1B-2. Only missed catching and pitching.

He was a career .265 hitter. He did not have great power, 65 career dingers, but he could steal you a base, and was very unselfish at the plate. He had 114 career sacrifice hits. He was an All-Star twice and walked way more than he struck out.

He was not a spectacular defender, but he was extremely reliable and sometimes would save his pitcher with a great defensive play. He was never really considered the starter at any position in his 14 years with the Dodgers, but still managed to average 146 games a year.

In his last couple of years as an active player, he was a player-coach. His solid play helped them win the 65 and 66 pennants. He is one of the few Dodgers who have four World Series rings.

He was not a stellar World Series hitter. Just .222 in seven series. But he hit .292 in Brooklyn’s 55 win. It is also noted that he was replaced in left field in game 7, and his replacement, Sandy Amoros, made the game saving catch of Berra’s drive to left.

No, he was not what anyone would consider a star player. But he was as important to the Dodgers as any star they had. His uniform number was retired after his death in 1978, just prior to the 78 World Series. His players dedicated the series to his memory.

He was a mentor and friend to his players while he was a coach and he was a career Dodger. Fernando will join him later this season as the only non Hall of Famers to have their number retired by the Dodgers. #19, Jr. Gilliam, now playing third base.

 

 

 

 

05-04-2023 – MiLB Summary Report

(by Jeff Dominique)

 

El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego) 8 – OKC Dodgers 2

The Dodgers opened a 2 -0 lead in the top of 5thHunter Feduccia and Ryan Ward singled.  With 2 out, Bradley Zimmer drew a BB and Justin Yurchak hit a 2-run single.

William Cuevas was pitching a shutout into the 5th when El Paso got one run back.  He allowed a lead off single and walk.  Two groundouts scored a run.  Andre Jackson relieved Cuevas in the 6th and he had an excellent appearance.  He allowed 1 hit in 2.0 innings and registered 3 Ks.

OKC was holding a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the 8th.  Then Alex Vesia came in to relieve Jackson.  His first four batters were – double, walk, single, grand slam HR.  He got a pop out, and then gave up another HR.  5 ER in 0.1 IP, 4 hits, and 1 BB.  Jake Reed relieved Vesia.  He got the first batter out, but then gave up a double and issued 2 walks to load the bases.  A single scored two more to close the inning.  8th inning totals:

  • 7 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout, and 2 HR.  Methinks Vesia has a lot to work on at OKC.  He may be down there a while.

No OKC hitter had more than 1 hit.  Luke Williams hit a double for the only XBH.

 

Box Score

 

 

San Antonio Missions (San Diego) at Tulsa Drillers – Game was rained out and will be played as part of a DH on Friday, May 5.

 

But there was some excellent news from the Texas League.

 

 

 

 

Great Lakes Loons 4 – Quad Cities River Bandits (KC) 2

The Great Lakes Loons (15-9) received great outings from the reigning Midwest League Pitcher of the Week Yon Castro, and Minor League Baseball’s saves leader Jake Pilarski in a 4-2 win over the Quad Cities River Bandits (9-14) .

Great Lakes for the third straight game plated a run in the first two innings. Taylor Young doubled to lead off the bottom of the second, would steal third (12), and a throwing error from the catcher resulted in a run.

Castro stranded six River Bandits through five innings.

The fifth saw a leadoff single followed by two strikeouts. A throwing error at shortstop, once again put two on, with Cayden Wallace stepping up. The Royals No. 5 prospect was retired three times by Castro. The fifth closed with the 23-year-old getting his fifth strikeout. Castro has worked the last 10 innings without permitting a run.

The Loons in the sixth got two runs, helped by three walks. Alex Freeland with the bases loaded, rifled the second pitch he saw into right field, making it 3-0.

Jack Dreyer battled but bested five Quad Cities batters for 1.1 innings with three strikeouts. Michael Hobbs closed out the seventh forcing a flyout.

In the top of the eighth, Cayden Wallace came through in his fourth plate appearance doubling to right-center. Carter Jensen on an 0-2 pitch pulled the River Bandits within one, with a 395-foot homer. Hobbs ended the eighth, leaving a runner aboard.

Yunior Garcia supplied power and insurance in the bottom of the eighth, a high fly ball that stayed fair down the left field line. The blast made it 4-2. The Loons have scored 10 runs in the seventh inning and beyond in the first three games of the series.

In every inning but the first, Quad Cities had runners reach, including loading the bases in the ninth.

In the 9th, Jake Pilarski lost the first batter he faced after a starting up 1-2, the at-bat resulted in a walk. With one out and a 1-2 count, Javier Vaz laced a 99 mph fastball down the left field line for a single and then walked the next batter to load the bases. Pilarski then dialed in, using his change-up to rid Gavin Cross (K) and the heater to beat Carter Jensen (K) to earn his eighth save in nine attempts.

  • Yunior Garcia – 2-4, HR (4), 1 RBI
  • Alex Freeland – 1-4, 2 RBI
  • Austin Gauthier – 1-3 with 2 BB. His OBP continues to shine (.527)

 

Box Score

 

 

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego) – Postponed due to rain.  Game to be played as part of a DH on Saturday, May 6

 

 

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Badger

I’m fortunate to have seen him play. At the time, he was the consummate team/utility player. He wouldn’t make today’s roster.

I wonder if Vesia was working on a pitch or if maybe his head and heart weren’t in it. This is it Alex, figure it out or face being released.

Have to admit, I don’t know William Cuevas. Could he help? I’ll read up on him.

Warriors sure look unbeatable at times, don’t they?

Last edited 9 months ago by Badger
Bumsrap

Two teams seeded 6 and 7 are much better than that as they are now playing.

Is Vesia having trouble with the pitch clock?

Last edited 9 months ago by Bumsrap
Fred Vogel

Junior was the perfect number two hitter.

Badger

That’s of course how he’s remembered.

His career line in the 2 hole – .259/.349/.337

Last edited 9 months ago by Badger
Jeff Dominique

True, but a number of those outs by Junior were to the left side of the infield to move Wills to 3rd. It is that unselfish play that made him stand out. It is that unselfish play that differentiates himself from today’s game. They do not even like sacrificing to give up an out in today’s game. Swing as hard as you can with as much elevation. In today’s teams mentality, the sac bunt is not as good as the K, because it is the what if game. What if the hitter runs into a pitch and punishes it. No reason just to give yourself up.

William Cuevas is about as far down the depth chart as a starter can be. He is organizational depth rather than MLB depth. He is 32, and has 22.1 IP in MLB with a 8.06 ERA. He last pitched in MLB in 2018. 4 years in KBO – 82 games/games started. 3.89 ERA. He may be a better choice that Robbie Erlin or Matt Andriese, but what does that say. Dylan Covey will be the only questionable non-prospect OKC pitcher to be considered. IMO!!

Badger

Organizational depth. My definition of that would no doubt be different than the team’s.

You’re right about what Junior brought to the organization. He scored over 100 runs 4 straight years. I saw him for a few years when he was still good, 59-62. There’s a reason his number is retired.

Bumsrap

In his Wills years the Dodgers had to manufacture a run just to score.

Bluto

This is the (modern) way

Bumsrap

Then again, Taylor smells like a #2 hitter.

OhioDodger

Ba-Dum-Bum, Ching.
He is starting to get his sh*t together.

Last edited 9 months ago by OhioDodger
SandyIsTheGreatest

I always thought Tommy Herr was an ideal #2 hitter.

Jeff Dominique

I agree with that.

Jeff Dominique

You think Will Smith spent a long time on the concussion protocol? Travis d’Arnaud has spent the last 4 weeks on the concussion IL. He last played April 8. Unlike Smith, d’Arnaud will be going to MiLB for a rehab.

Jeff Dominique

Junior was my first favorite Dodger, and my first jersey. I did not get another jersey until Christmas 1974 when my wife bought me Bill Buckner’s jersey, 10 years later. She had to make a choice between Buckner and Andy Messersmith. We were 22 year old newly weds, and we could not afford one jersey much less two. I still wear Buckner’s number, except now it has the name of Kershaw on the back.

Jeff Dominique

Austin Wynns picked up off waivers by Colorado. Good for him. Good luck Austin, except when playing the Dodgers.

Oldbear48

I had fun writing this one.

SandyIsTheGreatest

Citations needed lol  😀 

Jeff Dominique

Gavin Stone was optioned back to OKC and Wander Suero’s contract was purchased. The Dodgers had an opening on their 40 man, so no other transactions were necessary.

Last edited 9 months ago by Jeff Dominique
Bumsrap

Boo

Badger

Nice uniforms. Should say “Jerry’s Ice Cream Parlor” on the back.

Singing the Blue

Sometimes with fashion you need to take a chance. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

I know I’m the only one in this hemisphere who thinks so but I prefer their attempt to our exciting dark blues with the words Los Dodgers on them. Boy, what imagination it took to come up with that one. I think our City Connect unis are the worst in all of MLB. The only thing that could have made them even more boring was to use dark blue lettering on the dark blue jersies.

Oldbear48

I totally disagree, although I do not really care for the Los Dodgers uni’s, these SD unis are totally bush league. So are the D-Backs Serpiente’s uni’s. Talk about awful colors. Baseball doesn’t need fashion. SF’s Ice Cream and Orange are hard to stomach too.

Badger

Though I appreciate Jefe’s point, I’m with Bear on this one. Those uniforms are awful.

Maybe the City Connect theme needs an explanation. What about those uniforms says “San Diego”? If these uniforms are supposed to be an attempt to reference Hispanics I’d suggest you go with the colors in the Mexican flag. Nothing about that cotton candy uniform says Mexico.

As for the Los Dodgers uniforms, isn’t Los Angeles enough? That’s about as Hispanic as you can get. Los Dodgers? Lose it. It’s a weak marketing ploy.

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