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Who Is That Guy Anyway? 

The other day I was thinking about some of the players I have seen play who were only in the majors or with the Dodgers for a very short time. Then I thought about the Dodgers in Brooklyn and LA, who had a bit more than a cup of coffee, but are not even remembered by most of us.

1946, I chose this year because WWII was over, and the guys who had been in the service were returning. The Dodgers starting first baseman that year was a guy named Ed Stevens. Who????? Never heard of him.

Stevens actually debuted as a 20 year old rookie in 1945. He got into 55 games for the Dodgers that year . He hit .274 and actually struck out less than he walked. In 46, he played in 103 games. His line was .242/10/60. The next year he hit .154 in 5 games. He was purchased by the Pirates along with Stan Rojek that winter. He was out of the game after the 1950 season.

Other guys on that team I never heard of: Dick Whitman OF, Bob Ramazotti 3B, Mike Sandlock, Joe Padgett both catchers, Joe Topsic OF, and several others.

In 47 the team more or less was back to normal, but there were a few names I did not recognize. Tom Tatum and Don Lund, outfielders. I read up on Lund and he actually had a seven year career. Harry Taylor, a pitcher. 6 years in the Majors.

Preston Ward, a 1st baseman, actually played 9 years in the majors, but only got into 744 games. He was part of the 48 team and played for 4 other teams besides the Dodgers. Hank Behman, a pitcher, had a short undistinguished career.

Mike McCormick was an outfielder who played for 10 seasons, but I did not know he played for the Dodgers. An interesting guy who I knew played for the Dodgers, was Luis Olmo. Olmo was the Kike of his day. He originally joined Brooklyn in 1943. He played through 45 and then was gone for three years, playing in the Mexican League where the players were promised higher salaries. He was banned for two years and re-instated, rejoining the team in 1949. Olmo hit .290 as a Dodger playing the outfield, 2nd and 3rd base. After the 49 season, he was traded to the Braves.

Starting in 1950, the team roster was pretty set. Replacements came only when someone got hurt, or in Newcombe’s case, called into the military.

But I still managed to find some names I never heard of. Steve Lembo, a catcher, had a grand total of 11 at bats in the majors in 1950. Joe Landrum, P, two very short cups of coffee in 50 and 52.

Probably the youngest player to ever appear in a Dodger uniform was Tommy Brown. Tommy came up to Brooklyn in 1944. He was 16 years old. He hit just .164, but he was back with the team in 45, and he hit .245 in 57 games, he even had 2 homers as a 17 year old. He played parts of 9 seasons. He did not play when he was 17 and 18, but he was back in the majors in 47 at age 19. He was out of baseball at age 25. He also played for the Phillies and the Cubs. He played SS and outfield. He is still alive, the Brooklyn native is now 96 years old.

Not many will remember Wayne Belardi either. 6 years in the majors with the Dodgers and the Tigers. Wayne was a first baseman. Earl Mossor pitched in 3 games for Brooklyn in 1951, His ERA was 33.20.

How many guys here have ever heard of Tommy Holmes? Holmes played in 31 games for the Dodgers in 1952. It was his last season in the majors. He had spent 10 years with the Braves prior to that. Over a 5 year period from 1944-48, Holmes never hit below .309. He hit .352 in 1945 and was second in the MVP vote. I had no clue.

Ken Lehman, a left-handed pitcher, spent parts of three years with the Dodgers. Only reason I even know this guy’s name is because I have his 1957 Topps baseball card. Carmen Mauro, an outfielder, played 9 games for the Dodgers in 53, and was hitless. He had a four year career.

Tim Thompson, a catcher, played 10 games for the Dodgers in 54 and was 2-13. Played in the league for 4 years. Chick Kress, left-handed hitting first baseman, played in 13 games that same year and went 1-12. It was a productive hit though, he drove in 2 runs.

Bert Hamric, whose baseball card I also have, got 2 at bats with the 55 team. He had 9 total in his major league career. His position on baseball reference is listed as pinch hitter.

Chuck Templeton, a right-handed pitcher, got into 10 games in his career. 0-2 record with a 7.71 ERA. Bob Darnell, RH pitcher, got into 7 games in two years with the Dodgers, 56-57.

Rod Miller was 17 in 1957. Much like Moonlight Graham in Field of Dreams, the kid had one at bat in the majors. He was 0-1, he struck out.

The Dodgers moved in ’58, and most of the players since then, thanks to Vin Scully, are well known to us. But there was a guy on the 58 team I have never heard of, Don Miles. He had 22 at bats and 4 hits for the 58 team and was never seen again.

There are plenty of players who got looks or short cups of coffee with the Dodgers in LA, but we remember most of them. Chuck Churn was one of those guys. He was 3-2 down the stretch for the 59 champs. Pitched in 1 World Series game and was gone. Bill Harris pitched in 1 game for that team, and one more the next year. I have his rookie card.

Usually it has been a parade of pitchers that spend a short time then are traded, or released never to grace the MLB stage again. Guys like Ed Palmquist, Ed Rakow, Jackie Collum, Dick Calmus. Just wisps of smoke in the baseball world.

One guy most of us know about, had one at bat, and hit a double. He never played in the majors again after that season, Roy Gleason (Pictured) appeared in 8 games in 1963, usually as a pinch runner since he had great speed. He scored 3 runs, and his only hit was a double in his only plate appearance.

Roy spent the next couple of seasons in the minors and then was drafted into the Army. He remains the only MLB player who was sent into combat during the Viet Nam war.

He was wounded and his injuries hampered his baseball skills. He is the only player to receive a purple heart, win a World Series ring, and post a perfect batting line.

 

 

 

 

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Oldbear48

I have that book. It is an excellent read. Roy was in the Army the same time I was.

Oldbear48

I get so sick of this. The guy hasn’t played in over a year. He plays 10 spring training games, and every Tom Dick and Harry has an opinion that this isn’t going to work. I challenge anyone here or on any site who has never played the game at that level to try and play any major sport at the level you played it before you were injured after only 10 spring games. Be patient, give it time, if it does not work, you can bet the Dodgers have a backup plan.

Badger

Tom Dick and Harry?

For the record, I’m not saying it isn’t going to work. I’m stating the obvious – 3 players in our infield are playing out of position and so far it looks shaky.

If you remember, I have been a Lux supporter through all the “Lux isn’t a shortstop” months. He IS a shortstop. Maybe not a very good one but that IS his position. He would still be there if I was running things. And I would be drilling him on throwing overhand with his feet underneath him.

Oldbear48

Was referring to all the stories on different Dodger blogs and streams. I have always respected your opinion Badger, and I think it is the correct one. Devers made more errors at third than Muncy did. But it is what it is. They do not lose anything with Heyward in right. I believe Mookie will be fine, and with time, Lux will get better.

Badger

I hope he does too. We all do. And we hope Mookie handles the move to the most demanding defensive position on the field. There are a lot of days to October.

Duke Not Snider

Best case: Mookie and Lux are both league-average as fielders. (I’m trying to be realistic about “best case.” Mookie’s athletic ability should help compensate for his lack of experience. And Lux is average if he gets over the yips.)

More likely: After several weeks of below-average fieldng, AF works the trade for Adames, perhaps giving up Lux in the process, and Mookie moves back to 2B.

Last edited 1 month ago by Duke Not Snider
Bluto

Don’t think so Duke. It’s about as far afield of AF’s history and philosophy as you can be.

Rash decisions, selling low on assets, making early-season moves.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bluto
Oldbear48

In the first place, Milwaukee has to be willing to trade Adames, which so far, they have not been inclined to do. Secondly, adding Adames makes the offense RH heavy, and adds a ton of Ks to the mix. Here is another bad stat for you, Adames hits 29 points lower against lefties than right handers. And he is a rental. Anything you trade for him is overpaying. The guy has a career OBP under .800. Yes, he has power, and he is a good defender. But he was 13th on the list of SS last year, and Rojas was #4. So he is not that big of an upgrade. He hit .231 against LHP last season with 4 homers. The guy has struck out 331 times in the last two seasons. Not just no, hell no.

Bumsrap

Sometimes Bear you drive me crazy when you get wishy washy about Adames.

Oldbear48

Telling the truth is not wishy-washy dude. Those are the stat facts. I have had the same opinion about that guy ever since everyone started saying the Dodgers needed to trade for him. He is what he is, a strikeout machine with some power and a good glove. Other than that, he is nothing spectacular and, in my mind, he doesn’t put them over the top no matter how good he does with the glove. I’ll take Rojas’s superior defense, clubhouse presence and career .257 BA over Adames swing and miss any day, and to tell you the truth, it really doesn’t bother me if it drives you crazy.

RC Dodger

Good points Bear!
Adames only hit 217 last year. He may end up being a trade target if the Brewers struggle, and the Dodgers options at SS don’t come through. But he is not much of an upgrade over Betts, Rojas, Taylor and Kike and would be costly to acquire.

Badger

I never heard of any of those guys. Wait… I think maybe I’ve heard of Chuck Churn.

Good find W. I still maintain we have a first baseman/DH at third, a right fielder at short (I wonder how often that switch has been made?) and a shortstop at second. Maybe it will work out. One thing is for sure, Lux better come out of the gate hitting.

Oldbear48

Churn was part of the 59 champs, 3-2 record, all of that coming down the stretch.

Oldbear48

Found this photo of Campy and his sons. Ah, those were the days.

GIeEPbRWQAArue6
Fred Vogel

Thanks Bear. Great read (as I oil up my Bob Aspromonte glove).

Jeff Dominique

I had one of those.

Fred Vogel

I still have mine :0)

Oldbear48

My first glove was a Jim Gentile first baseman’s mitt.

Dionysus

Mike Schmidt 3b glove

And 36 Oz. Greg Luzinksi bat

Don’t know why the Philly connection, born and raised in LA

Oldbear48

My first bat was a 29-ounce Duke Snider model. I still have one wooden bat, a 33-ounce Manny Ramirez I bought several years ago.

Oldbear48

Saw him and his brother play

Bluto

I like the idea of bear posting just the biography without proper names of mid tier, dodger players, and then the group guesses, who it is. Obviously, I would never get a right because I haven’t heard of any of these people, but it would be fun, almost like guess the dodger…

Oldbear48

Cool idea

Bluto

Also! Andy McCullough’s book is now available and the chatter about it is excellent

Jeff Dominique

The Last of His Kind: Clayton Kershaw and the Burden of Greatness

It has been pre-ordered and will arrive on my Kindle on May 4.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jeff Dominique
Badger

The burden of greatness. What a concept.

Bluto

It’s one that has long weighed down my family.

Badger

You know Bluto, I always suspected there was some blue blood in you. Me? My family has a long history of mediocrity. I am a man of the people and free of any greatness burdens.

Eric

“I always suspected there was some blue blood in you.”

I was about 99% sure of it.

Badger

You do know I was just pulling his lanyard, right Eric?

philjones

It might be a better indicator of how Bobby Miller is pitching is if could pitch for the varsity.  Bring on the Dancing Bears.
Monday went on and on about Lux dropping down and not throwing over the top from 50 feet. He’s a second basemen for Christ sake who should make that throw out of his ass.  Ever see Robbie Cano regarding multiple arm slots.
This will plays its way out eventually but it the meantime, it’s the Keystone Cops.

Anthony H

Well said Phil. We all see Lux is struggling and I’m sure right about now he is doubting himself and his ability to play ball. I get the vibe that Lux thinks if he continues to grind and practice even harder he will snap out of it. He strikes me as an intense player and most pros who are successful overcome obstacles early in their career to get to the pros. Can you imagine waiting a year to prove you belong among the starters on a World Series or bust team like the Dodgers? Add to it that the organization decided to move you off your preferred SS position before the season starts in a week far from home. It almost seemed cruel that the ump hit him with a batter’s box time violation against Cleveland. On the bright side IMO he couldn’t have a better manager than Doc, who supports his players almost to a fault.
Unfortunately, I’m expecting the worst. and hoping for the best. Lastly, let’s hope he ditches the side-arm throws unless necessary.

Oldbear48

Darryl Strawberry is recovering from a heart attack. Wilson opted out of his minor league deal. Both Texas and the Yankees checking in on Cease. JD Davis drawing interest from the Mets. JD Martinez drawing interest from the Mets and the Angels. Three two-run homers today, Smith, Teoscar and Shohei all went deep. Glasnow 5.1 no-hit innings. 2 errors by Gelof in the 9th allowed Giants to score 4. All of the runs came off of Hurt.

OhioDodger

I just don’t get the Dodgers obsession with Lux.

Dionysus

There is no D in Lux.

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