Tuesday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but…….

— Peter Seidler owns the San Diego Padres; he is the grandson of Walter O’Malley, the guy who moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles back in the 50’s.

One thing I learned very emphatically as a kid; never, EVER say the name “O’Malley” in front of my dad, who grew up in Brooklyn and was a huge Dodgers fan.

I was 9 or 10 years old and I casually mentioned how moving the Dodgers to Los Angeles must have been a great move financially. I got a scowl and an earful on what a hideous, greedy person O’Malley was. My dad a pleasant, even-tempered guy, unless you mentioned Walter O’Malley. 

— There is M*A*S*H episode where Charles Winchester bets on the Dodgers to win the 1951 World Series; they had a 12 or 13-game lead in the National League, but wound up blowing the lead and losing a playoff to the Giants, when Bobby Thomson hit a walk-off homer.

I watched M*A*S*H reruns constantly in late 70’s/80’s; my dad walks in the room, listens to what this episode was about and says firmly “Turn that off” which I quickly did. It was actually a pretty good episode, unless you like the Dodgers. Charles Winchester always wound up losing. 

Like I said, my dad loved the Brooklyn Dodgers; he became an avid Mets fan, but by the time I was 12, I knew more about Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Ralph Branca than any young person in the 70’s needed to. 

— My reason for writing all this is two-fold; I’m wondering how my dad would react to the grandson of Walter O’Malley owning another big league team. Padres have a payroll of $211M this year; two years ago, before Mr Seidler owned the ballclub, it was $67M, so he isn’t afraid to spend money to help his team.

Too bad he didn’t buy the A’s. 

— My main reason for writing about this is that it reminded me of one of my favorite days, back in 1990 or so, when I took my dad to meet Ralph Branca at an autograph signing at Mohawk Mall, about eight miles from Armadillo World HQ.

It was a weekday afternoon and luckily, no one else was there, so I walked up to Mr Branca, said hello and introduced him to my dad, then stepped back and for 15-20 minutes, listened to them talk about the good old days— Ebbets Field, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Ernie Lombardi.

It was tremendous, like a reunion between two old friends who had never met. Like I said, it was one of the best things I ever did. I’m pretty sure both of them enjoyed it.

— Jacob deGrom beat the Braves 5-2 Sunday, striking out 12 in 5.2 IP, giving up two runs in his second start this season. He got 25 whiffs on 42 swings, which is a dominant performance. 

— Philadelphia Phillies honored their 1980 World Series title team Sunday; one of the biggest cheers was for Pete Rose, who hit 42 doubles for the Phillies that year, then hit .317 in playoff games/World Series.

I’d be in favor of Rose being inducted into Cooperstown, but no one asked me. 

— They did a cool thing Sunday on the Phillies’ TV broadcast, setting up a patio-type thing in the broadcast booth and bringing players from that team to the booth to reminisce. The parts that I heard were great; Greg Luzinski, Larry Bowa, Larry Christensen, Greg Gross; old friends getting back together to remember the good times and have a few laughs.

— Yadier Molina got his 1,000th hit at Busch Stadium this weekend; he and Yogi Berra are the only two catchers ever who had 1,000+ hits in one ballpark.

— Happy birthday to ESPN’s Lee Corso, who turned 87 this week; Corso has been a fixture on ESPN’s College Football Game Day since 1987. He is smart and funny and he is better on TV than he was a coach, but he was a pretty good coach.

Corso went 28-11-3 at Louisville in the early 70’s, parlayed that into the Indiana job, where things didn’t go so well (41-68-2). Indiana is a basketball school and from 1973-82, when Corso was there, it was REALLY a basketball school, the pinnacle of the Bob Knight era.

Corso bounced to Northern Illinois for a year, then to the USFL with the Orlando Renegades fr a year, but he found his true calling when he signed up with ESPN, where he’s been brilliant for 35 years.

Happy birthday!!!!

— Tampa Bay 7, Detroit 0— Game was scoreless after eight innings, Rays scored seven runs in the ninth inning. Somewhere, someplace, a person bet the under in this game, and probably came close to a nervous breakdown before the game finally ended under 8.5.

— Golfer Jerry Kelly won three tournaments in his PGA Tour career; these days he is cleaning up on the Seniors Tour, or whatever they call it now. Kelly won his third Seniors’ event of the year this weekend; he has won 11 Senior tournaments. 

He earned $352,500 this weekend in Calgary, has won $1,774,128 this season. 

How loaded are the Dodgers? Cody Bellinger bats 9th; he was the freakin’ MVP of the whole league in 2018, but his numbers hit the skids since then.

Hitting is a mental thing; Sunday he went 3-3 with two homers. If Bellinger regains his old form, the Dodgers will be monster when October rolls around.

Sunday night, ESPN showed clips of Bellinger playing in the Little League World Series 15 years ago. Time flies, man.

— RIP to Roger Mosley, the fine actor who played TC the helicopter pilot on Magnum PI; he was 83 years old. Mosley died after a car accident last week, surrounded by family; he was paralyzed from the shoulders down in the accident.

Mosley had 70 acting credits, including Semi-Tough, Rockford Files, Kojak, Baretta, McCloud and of course Magnum PI. Mosley and Larry Manetti appeared in an episode of Las Vegas a few years ago, when Tom Selleck’s character bought the fictional Montecito Casino.

He will be missed. RIP, sir. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.