Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Category: Brothers in Arms (Page 1 of 2)

Farewell, Don Sutton

Photo: Baseball Hall of Fame

Befitting the longest and in some ways most complex pitching career in the history of the Dodgers, Don Sutton has the longest chapter in Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition. For someone who was a Hall of Famer without much doubt, Sutton was almost chronically underestimated in his value. 

In tribute to Sutton, who has died at the age of 75, here is that chapter:  

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Brothers in Arms excerpt: Clayton Kershaw and the World Series

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers

Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition comes to a conclusion with a focus on Clayton Kershaw at the end of the 2017 season. The book was published in 2018, without any knowledge of what was to be revealed about that 2017 World Series. 

Below, I’m reprinting the final 1,000 words of the book, just to serve as a reminder of where we stood at that time and to help underscore what it meant for Kershaw to get his World Series title. 

In the first World Series game for the Dodgers since 1988 and the hottest World Series game on record (first-pitch temperature: 103 degrees), against the top offense he had ever faced in the playoffs, Kershaw presented his biggest nationwide audience with his most dominant playoff start, throwing seven innings of one-run ball against the Astros in which he allowed three hits and no walks while striking out 11—the first World Series pitcher of any stripe to fan at least 11 with no walks since Newcombe in 1949. This was Kershaw incarnate, the one everybody had expected all along. After Los Angeles and Houston went on to split the first four games of the Series, Kershaw returned to the mound in Houston for Game 5, and with the Dodgers scoring three runs in the first inning and another in the top of the fourth, there before Kershaw stood the most pristine opportunity to seal his legacy.

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Brothers in Arms now available as an audiobook!

Exciting news, everyone! Today is Clayton Kershaw’s birthday … which is the perfect release date for the one of the best audiobooks possible – an audiobook version of Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition. The talented James Patrick Cronin reads my words out loud.

Order the audiobook today at using the link! Or order through Amazon, where you can continue to purchase print or digital copies as well!

For more information on the audiobook, go to Blackstone Library — and also visit the Brothers in Arms category here at Dodger Thoughts.

If you enjoy or enjoyed Brothers in Arms in any format, please leave a review at Amazon. Thank you.

Interview: The true no-spin zone with knuckleballer Charlie Hough

Hey, guess what — the third installment of the Word to the Weisman podcast is already up! Following in the footsteps of Carl Erskine and Burt Hooton is my interview of Charlie Hough, the knuckleballing great who pitched professionally from 1966 to 1994.

Because there was only a couple of pages worth of space for Hough in Brothers in Arms, there are memories galore in this conversation that didn’t make it into the book, including his journey from position player to knuckleballer, comparing and contrasting Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda, and his thoughts on several Dodger pitchers from across the decades. Hough’s career in baseball as a player, coach and instructor covers roughly 50 years, so trust me, it’s great to hear from him.

Listen below, or click here to listen on iTunes. You can also listen on SpotifyI also recommend you subscribe to the podcast, so you know the moment a new episode is available — especially helpful now, since I don’t have a set schedule.

If you enjoyed this or would like to hear other interviews from me, please let me know in the comments below, or reach out to me @jonweisman on Twitter. Thanks!

Listen on Google Play Music

Interview: A happy chat with Burt Hooton

Slowly and unsurely, I am sharing some of the conversations I had while writing and researching Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition, on what I have christened the Word to the Weisman podcastHaving already posted my chat with Carl Erskine, we now move exorably but enthusiastically to Burt Hooton, whom I consider to be one of the two or three most underrated pitchers in Dodger history.

Whether or not you have already read about Hooton in Brothers in Arms, I think you’ll enjoy hearing him talk about his life in baseball in his own drawl. I recommend this both for older fans like myself who saw him pitch and younger fans who might not be aware of his talent, given that the way he was overshadowed in the public eye by the likes of Don Sutton and Fernando Valenzuela.

Listen below, or click here to listen on iTunes. 

If you enjoyed this or would like to hear other interviews from me, please let me know in the comments below, or reach out to me @jonweisman on Twitter. Thanks!

Listen on Google Play Music

Interview: Carl Erskine speaks about the Dodgers and his life in baseball

In November 2016, Carl Erskine, who pitched for the Dodgers from 1948-59, spent an hour with me on the phone for my first interview after I signed the deal to write Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition. The conversation was wonderful — something for all baseball fans to enjoy — and offered so much more than I could present in the book. Carl offers incredible detail about what it was like to come up with the Dodgers at the dawn of the Boys of Summer era.

Here is an opportunity for you to hear the conversation in full. It is, technically, the first episode of a podcast that I planned to start about four years ago (but obviously, never got around to) called Word to the Weisman. You can listen to it below, or you can click here to find it on iTunes.

If you enjoyed this or would like to hear other interviews from me, please let me know in the comments below, or reach out to me @jonweisman on Twitter.


Entering the home stretch
for my moment in the sun

Me and four cool guys — Brent Knapp, Phil Gurnee, Craig Minami and Joe Bernardello — June 3 at Common Space Brewery!

Hopefully, folks will be purchasing copies of Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition until the end of time. But as far as its birth in the marketplace as a new release, we are close to finishing a spring full of promotion.

In fact, the last guaranteed event — perfectly timed for your Father’s Day needs — arrives at 2 p.m. June 9, with a signing and Q&A at Barnes and Noble in Burbank. I would love to see you come by and get your signed copy while getting a chance to chat about the book.

A day ago, several people came by to the Common Space Brewery signing, which was great fun. Brent Knapp (friend of Dodger Thoughts and True Blue L.A.) and his crew were terrific hosts — in fact, I really recommend you stop by Common Space any old time for beer and hanging out.

A final signing event is scheduled for June 18 at downtown’s The Last Bookstore, but that gathering is predicated on achieving a certain number of pre-sales. If you do want to come, let me know.

Heading into this big final stretch, I did a whirlwind of interviews last week, the most visible perhaps being my national TV appearance on MLB Network’s High Heat with Christopher Russo — and let me tell you, man, it was a hoot.

I also did radio hits on KPCC 89.3 FM’s AirTalk with Larry Mantle, and on AM 570’s Dodger pregame show with David Vassegh — I think both give you a nice taste for what’s in the book.

Finally last week, I stopped by the home office of the legendary Pantone 294, where I did a lengthy podcast in which I spoke with Álex Soto, Desiree García and Matt Barrero about my entire career leading up to Brothers in Arms. You can find the audio here, and I’ll add the video when it’s up.

This entire process, dating back to the first announcement of the book, has obviously felt more than a little self-indulgent, but I’m not above admitting I’ve gotten a kick out of it. (Ideally, it’s a good thing that I really enjoy talking about the book.) In any case, I truly thank everyone for indulging me through it all, and for your support.

Interviews and a request: Leave an Amazon review
for Brothers in Arms

Hi everyone — I have two more Brothers in Arms interviews to share with you, each with old friends.

Remember that there are three upcoming booksigning events:

I’ll end this quick post with one request: If you have the book (and especially if you enjoyed it), it would really mean a lot if you could rate the book and leave a review at Amazon. It doesn’t have to be a long review —  even one sentence can make an important impact. I know it can be like doing homework, but I would truly appreciate it.

Thanks, and my goodness, let’s get the Dodgers winning again.

The Last Bookstore sets up June 18 Brothers in Arms event

Update: This event has been canceled

UPDATE: This event has been canceled

The Last Bookstore has offered to host what could be the last booksigning event for Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition — scheduled for 7 p.m. June 18.

I’m planning to do a Q&A on the main stage of the humongous store, located at 453 S. Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles, and sign books thereafter. Information about directions, parking and public transportation can be found here.

One caveat: The Last Bookstore asks for a certain number of people to commit to buying the book in advance, otherwise the event is subject to cancellation. So if you’re planning to come and buy a copy (for yourself or as a gift), please indicate as much by going to the Last Bookstore website and pre-purchasing the book. (Note: There’s an option to reserve a seat for an additional charge, but I don’t believe that will be necessary. Unless I hear otherwise, buying the book should be sufficient.)

The Dodgers will be out of town that night, so here’s a chance to catch up with some fellow fans at a great setting.

The Last Bookstore event is one of three remaining on the Brothers in Arms calendar, following June 3 at Common Space Brewery and June 9 at Barnes & Noble (Burbank).

Hope to see you!

Still more chatter on the Dodgers and Brothers in Arms

Here are a couple of fun items. First, Dustin Nosler and Jared Massey were kind enough to have me as a guest on the Dugout Blues podcast, and we had a fun conversation, first about the Dodgers in general, then about Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition.

Similarly inspired, in case you missed it, was my chat Monday on Reddit, where I spent an hour answering all kinds of questions about the book and the team.

I think you’ll enjoy both, so go pay each a visit …

Ask me anything at my AMA on Reddit, Monday at 12 noon

Hey everyone — as part of the Brothers in Arms global/digital book tour, I’ll be doing an AMA (that’s Ask Me Anything to the uninitiated) on Reddit at 12 noon on Monday. Come on by!

New interviews about the Dodgers and Brothers in Arms

As I noted on Tuesday’s official launch day, there’s been some nice coverage for the release of Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition, including opportunities for me to chat about the book, as well as the Dodgers in general.  In the past 24 hours, two more went live:

Enjoy checking out both, and hope to see you at the first signing Saturday!

**Spread the word!**
Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition official release date arrives

Today’s the day — the official launch day for my book, Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition.

Today’s the day, if you are willing and able, to …

*buy the book if you haven’t already — for yourself or as a gift (birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.)  in bookstores as well as online at the following links. Do it today if at all possible. Links to order …

*leave a review — a few words and a positive rating can make a big difference!

*spread the word about the book — on social media or via old-fashioned word of mouth.

*follow @dodgers_tradition on Instagram — the official account for both Brothers in Arms and Dodger Thoughts. 

*plan to attend a signing — get your new or previously purchased copy of the book autographed, hear me say a few words about it and make Brothers in Arms come to life.

*check out the coverage if you want to learn even more about the book.

From my perspective, it feels like I’ve been promoting the book with somewhat nauseasting relentlessness, but every day, I encounter friends and/or Dodger fans who haven’t heard of it. So I would love your help in getting the word out!

Brothers in Arms signing No. 3: Barnes & Noble (Burbank), June 9

The Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition world tour will make its third stop, reaching beautiful downtown Burbank’s Barnes & Noble at 2 p.m. on June 9.

Come on by to get your new or previously purchased copy signed, and as a bonus, I’ll introduce you to the author. Hey — that’s me.

By the way, if you want to make a Dodger-themed afternoon and evening of it, it’s an easy drive down from Barnes & Noble to Dodger Stadium for the 6:10 p.m. game against the Braves, featuring a Manny Mota Bobblehead giveaway. I’m not involved with that giveaway — I just like the idea of the combo.

The Barnes & Nobles signing follows fun events set for May 5 at the Central Library, and June 3 at Common Space Brewery in Hawthorne. Another announcement for mid-June is still to come. Hope to see you soon!

Brothers in Arms signing June 3 at Common Space Brewery

Hey folks – I’m pleased to announce my second signing event for Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition.

Following the May 5 event at the Central Library, I’ll be talking Brothers and selling/signing copies of the book starting at 2 p.m. June 3 at Common Space Brewery — the great new place founded by friend of Dodger Thoughts and True Blue L.A. denizen Brent Knapp —  located at 3411 W. El Segundo in Hawthorne.

The Dodgers are playing at Colorado starting at 12:10 p.m. that day, so with beer and books on tap, we’ll gather to hang out and watch the game, mixing in some Brothers in Arms during and/or after

Common Space is a production brewery in Hawthorne with a large taproom and outdoor beer garden that opened in February.

“We were very fortunate to find an amazing building in Hawthorne and were able to build what we believe is a beautiful brewery and taproom, with an immersive and wide open view of the full production facility,” Knapp says. “We believe that deep down we are all more similar than different and that beer has the power to help us all find a Common Space. Simply put, we’re about bringing people together and having lots of fun. We make a wide variety of fresh, delicious beers with a slight focus towards German lagers and West Coast IPAs. Come join us for a beer, a Dodgers game, and the chance to meet Jon Weisman. Cheers!”

Really looking forward to seeing friends old and new …

Bonus: Check out this week’s True Blue L.A. podcast in which I join Eric Stephen and Jacob Burch for an interview about Brothers in Arms. 

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