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Mike Downey

Dodgers '88: A SEASON TO REMEMBER : How They Did It! . . . Think About It

October 24, 1988|Mike Downey

Now that the Oakland Athletics have lost to the Los Angeles Arthritics, my thoughts have turned to some of the people who made all this possible.

I think of Orel Hershiser, the MVP.

I think of Jose Canseco, the LVP.

I think of Martha Cruce, a woman from Tullahoma, Tenn., who personally makes Canseco's bats. Thanks, Martha, for all those termites you sneaked into them.

I think of Kirk Gibson, who also has his bats made by Martha Cruce. Gibson batted 1.000 in the World Series. Good thing Martha didn't get those shipment orders mixed up.

I think of Tom Lasorda, the man who first put the "Beware of Bulldog" signs on the Dodger Stadium lawn.

I think of Pat Riley, who got up on the City Hall steps and promised back-to-back championships, and it occurs to me that Tommy's speech after the parade today is going to have a familiar theme.

I think of the New York Yankees of 10 years ago, the last team to win the World Series back-to-back, and I think if it is true that the Chicago Cubs are talking to the Yankees about Don Mattingly, then Fred Claire had better towel the champagne from his hair and also start talking to the Yankees about Don Mattingly.

(By the way, do you know what the Dodgers should call champagne shampoos? Clairol.)

I think of Franklin Stubbs, who never did get the recognition he deserved for all the good things he did for the Dodgers in the World Series.

I think of Carney Lansford, Mark McGwire, Walt Weiss and Canseco, who never did get the recognition they deserved for all the good things they did for the Dodgers in the World Series.

I think of Tony La Russa, a good man and a good manager, who deserved a good performance from his team.

I think of the Dodger team doctor, runner-up MVP.

I think of John Tudor, whose entire career with the Los Angeles Dodgers may have lasted 9 games. Johnny, we hardly knew ye.

I think of Fernando Valenzuela and Pedro Guerrero and Mariano Duncan, and how last March in Vero Beach seems like about 5 years ago.

I think of Tim (Top Gun) Crews, who, in case you forgot, helped get the Dodgers where they got.

I think of Brian Holton, an effective and surprisingly busy man, except for the days when Hershiser's on the mound, whereupon he turns into the Maytag repairman.

I think of Jay Howell, Mike Davis, Tim Belcher and Alfredo Griffin. You know, Oakland would have a pretty good team if it had these guys.

I think of Jose Gonzalez, Tracy Woodson and Danny Heep, and who would have ever figured that the 1988 champions of major league baseball would need all of them, on the field, with the championship on the line?

I think of Rick Dempsey and Mickey Hatcher, the Andy Taylor and Barney Fife of Los Angeles.

I think, don't ask me why, of Mike Ramsey, the Dodger starting center fielder in 1987. Or had you forgotten?

I think of Shawn Hillegas. Or had you forgotten?

I think of Al Campanis. Or had you forgotten?

I think of Don McMahon. Don, we haven't forgotten.

I think of Dennis Eckersley, who sort of found out what it is like to be Ralph Branca.

I think of Peter O'Malley. Quick, somebody point him out to me.

I think of Joe Amalfitano, Ron Perranoski, Manny Mota, Ben Hines, Bill Russell, Mark Cresse. Seems as though somebody should.

I think of David Cone, Don Baylor and Bob Costas, three nice people who were made to feel like dirty rotten slimeballs, just because the Dodgers were doing everything in their power to come up with some sort of extra motivation.

I think of Darryl Strawberry, who was ridiculed by Dodger fans, even though the only thing he had ever done to the Dodgers was tell the entire world that his fondest wish was to play for them.

I think of Alejandro Pena and wonder if he wants to become a starter again.

I think of having had Hershiser, Belcher, Valenzuela, Tudor, Hillegas, Tim Leary and Ramon Martinez over the course of a season, and marvel at how in an entire World Series, Dodger starting pitchers, other than Hershiser and Belcher, retired exactly 4 batters.

I think of Bill Krueger and William Brennan, who were starting pitchers for the Dodgers this season. Or had you forgotten?

I think of Dave Anderson, and the job he did at shortstop when Alfredo Griffin was gone.

I think of Mike Marshall, and how amazing it is that anybody so good, so valuable, could be listed so far down in this story.

I think of Steve Sax, who was nearly taken for granted. He had 8 hits against the Mets and 6 hits against the A's and played error-free second base.

I think of Tom Monaghan, owner of the Detroit Tigers, who said he was glad to be rid of that "liability" Kirk Gibson, and wonder if Tom has any other liabilities he'd like to get rid of.

I think of Jesse Orosco, and how weird it is that in 12 postseason games, he appeared only 4 times.

I think of Nobe Kowano. No particular reason. I just like Nobe Kowano.

I think of John Shelby, and all those fine catches, and Mike Scioscia, that very fine catcher.

I think if I have left anybody out, I can't think of him.

Oh, except maybe Chavez. Thanks for the use of the ravine.

See you next year in those "Back-to-Back" T-shirts, same time, same place.

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