The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn Dodgers’

Happy Birthday, Dad

Posted by keithosaunders on January 15, 2017

dadrams

Dad

Today my father would have turned 90.  He died just 14th months ago at the age of 88.  He was born in 1927 in Brooklyn, New York.  He grew up during the depression, served in the army as a private first class at the end of World War 2, and went to college at a small school in upstate Plattsburgh near the Canadian border called Champlain College.

He was a huge Brooklyn Dodgers fan.  He endured the terrible teams of the 30s only to see them emerge as the dominant National League club of the 40s and 50s.  He suffered through the the ignominy of Bobby Thompson’s home run and five World Series losses to the Yankees, but experienced the exultation of Brooklyn’s first ever World Championship (against the Yankees) in 1955.

He married my mother two months later after a whirlwind three month courtship and they stayed together for 45 years until my mother’s death.

Dad was as liberal as they come. He opposed nuclear weapons, working in the 50s to have them abolished.  He was against the McCarthy hearings and he helped form a local political group called AQI – Associated Queens Independents.  I am glad that he will not have to experience the Trump years.

My Dad hated pomposity.  He couldn’t stand John Robinson when he was coaching the Rams.  He called him ‘The Blowhard.’ He also loathed the Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, who he referred to as ‘The Pipsqueak.’   (Nobody knows why he called him that. Jones isn’t that small)

My Dad’s favorite Brooklyn Dodger was Jackie Robinson.  When I was growing up he used to tell my brother and I how Jackie Robinson was the most exciting ball player he had ever seen.  His favorite move was The Bridge Over the River Kwai.  He had a top ten movie list.  Some of the other movies on the list were, The Lady Vanishes, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Fiddler on the Roof.  It used to confound me that Fiddler made the list.

My Dad was one of the funniest and personable people I have ever met.  When he was in a good mood there was nobody else you would rather spend time with.  He was smart, witty, passionate, liberal, and self effacing.

He was a self made man.  He moved his family to California – my brother and I were toddlers then – with no savings and no job.  He found work, an apartment, and sent for us.  He struggled for many years before finding great success as an independent rep for juvenile furniture lines.  He and my mother were able to travel all around the world once my brother and I were older and on our own.

Dad, we miss you!

 

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Dr Seinfeld

Posted by keithosaunders on February 12, 2016

NY

This morning I read a post over at Verdon’s blog which reminded me of a story that my Dad used to tell my brother and I  — this was one of his classics and we always loved when he would retell it.

When my father was a teenager and young man living in Forest Hills, Queens, his family had this dentist named Matty Seinfeld whose office was on the ground floor of the building they lived.  Dr Seinfeld, no relation to Jerry,  was a yuge (in the spirit of Trump) NY Giants fan, while my Dad was a died in the wool Brooklyn Dodgers fan.

Dr Seinfeld would have my Dad’s mouth full of instruments while maintaining a running commentary on the greatness of the Giants.  My Dad would have us in hysterics as he imitated Seinfled using this nasally, high-pitched, whiny voice:  “Goahdon, Tauhmson, Mize, wow what powah!”   All this while my Dad was splayed nervously in the chair praying that Dr Seinfeld wouldn’t remember that he was a Dodgers fan and ‘accidentally’ slip.

 

 

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The Cardinals: The king of Game 7

Posted by keithosaunders on November 3, 2011

You’d better believe I’m in baseball withdrawal.  What a compelling, riveting Series we just experienced; it was one of the best I”ve ever seen.  Now comes the boring time of the year which is dominated by free agent signings and arbitration settlements.  Gee, will you look at that, Willie Bloomquist got a 2.5 million dollar extension…

Last week’s game seven Cardinals win got me thinking about how they had won more Series — 11–  than any National League team.  The runners-up are the Dodgers and Giants, each of whom have won 6 out of 18 Series appearances.  (the Cards have also played in 18 Series)

But I was more interested in the Series that went to a seventh game.  Off the top of my head it seemed the Cardinals had played in an inordinate amount of them.  Here is what I found:

The Cardinals have won eight World Series game sevens. 

1926 v Yankees

1931 v Athletics

1934 v Tigers

1946 v Redsox

1964 v Yankees

1967 v Redsox

1982 v Brewers

2011 v Rangers  

They lost game sevens to the Tigers in ’68, the Royals in 85, and the Twins in ’87. 

61% of the World Series that the Cardinals have appeared in have gone to a seventh game and their winning percentage in these games is 72%.

Now lets look at the Yankees who have won a staggering 27 Series.

Of those 27 Series ony ten have gone to a seventh game and they have won four of them, or 40%.  Three of those four wins were versus the Dodgers in ’47, ’52, and ’56, and they beat the Giants in ’62.  Admittedly the Yankees probably did not play that many game sevens because of their dominance, but still, for a team that has one 67% of the Series that they appeared in, (27/40) you would think they would have won more game sevens. 

The Dodgers are 2-3 in game sevens, (but I think 1955 should count for more than one win!) and the Giants are 1-2. 

The Philadelphia/Oakland Athletics have fourteen pennants to their name, but have only played in three game sevens, going 2-1.  The Tigers, on the other hand have played in ten Series, five of which have gone to a game seven.  Their record in those games is 2-3. 

What can we learn from this?  The Yankees are indisputably the most dominant team in baseball, but the Cardinals are the most clutch.  After coming from ten and a half games behind in the division, 3-2 down in the Series, and down to their last strike (twice!) who can deny it? 

Ol' bucket-head, Tim McCarver

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The dawn of the evil empire

Posted by keithosaunders on October 8, 2010

My Yankee hatred is palpable.  It is a living, breathing organism which shows no signs of receding with age.  I spend the entire season rooting for them to lose every game they play.   I have tracked their magic number for playoff elimination as early as June 1st, and for the past 15 years and I have been disappointed each year, save one.  Once the playoffs begin I calculate how many outs they are from elimination.  Presently they are 81 outs away — unfortunately for me, the effete Minnesota Twins have only 27 remaining. 

I can trace the seeds of my bile back to my late teens when I still lived in Los Angeles.  I saw the Dodgers blow a 2-0 lead in the 1978 World Series, losing the final 4 games in embarrassing fashion.  This on the heels of the ’77 Series when Reggie Jackson famously hit three home runs against three different Dodger pitchers in the final game.

The Brooklyn lore had been passed down from my father, who spent his youth in Flatbush enduring year after year of Yankee domination.  Those “boys of summer” lost to the Yankees in 1941, ’47, ’49, ’52, ‘and ’53, before emerging victorious, thanks to a game saving catch down the left field line by Sandy Amoros in game 7 of the 1955 Series.  

When I moved to New York there was no doubt I would fall on the Mets side of the equation.  The Yankees were a free agent laden team comprised of disparate parts.  Their owner, George Steinbrenner, would change managers yearly, sometimes more than once.  He routinely lambasted his players in the press, sometimes exiling them to the minors for mere fielding errors.  Those mid 1980s teams, although competitive, never had the pitching to get to the post season and by the end of the decade they were mired near the bottom of the 7 team (yet to be realigned) AL East.

 How quaint it seems now to look back on the Stump Merrill era of the early 90s — an era in which I actually experienced a sentiment akin to pity for the hapless Yankee fan.  If I had only known what fate awaited me I might have savored the years when the AL East was dominated by, of all teams, the Toronto Bluejays.  I should have relished my ability to watch the American League playoffs without an iota of stress.  Little did I know that while George Steinbrenner was serving a two-year suspension, GM Gene Michael was using his new-found autonomy to build up the Yankee farm system and to nurture their talented prospects.  Storm clouds in the shape of Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, and Mariano Rivera were ahead, and with them would come the end of my stress-free Octobers and the dawn of the evil empire. 

To be continued…      

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