Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Bobby Bragan

Remembering ’65: Summer of spitballs?


By Jon Weisman

Along with everything else in a hot pennant race 50 years ago, a spitball controversy revved up between the Dodgers and Milwaukee Braves.

“Drysdale may call ’em sinkers, but I got three wet ones in a row when he fanned me in the third,” Hank Aaron told Frank Finch of the Times after a 4-3 victory Milwaukee victory August 4.

Aaron’s comments might have been calculated at least in part to take the spotlight off Braves manager Bobby Bragan, who was in the midst of a spitball controversy of his own.

“How long is NL president Warren Giles going to allow Bobby Bragan to flout authority by publicizing the fact that he has his pitchers under orders to throw spitters?” Finch had asked in print two days earlier. “To be sure, every club has spitball pitchers, but they don’t advertise.”

For his part, Bragan remained sanguine about the whole thing.

“If a pitcher can control the spitters, he’s crazy not to throw it,” Bragan told Finch. “Sure, we’ve got a couple of guys who throw it real good. Dan Osinski told a writer that he’s been using one for seven years.”

If you want to call it praise, Bragan added that Drysdale “throws the best spitter in the game,” according to Finch.

Whatever the case, it didn’t help Drysdale in Milwaukee that August 4. Allowing homers to both Aaron and Gene Oliver, Drysdale pitched an eight-inning complete game but took the loss.

Here’s what else was happening with the Dodgers, who were 1 1/2 games ahead in the National League on August 1 and 1 1/2 games ahead in the National League on August 15.

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Remembering ’65: Memorial Day time capsule


By Jon Weisman

The 1965 Dodgers spent the last 28 days of May in first place — including Memorial Day, May 31, when 50,997 at Dodger Stadium saw the Dodgers and Reds split a doubleheader — but it was hardly an uneventful month. Here’s a word album of what was happening 50 years ago …

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In case you missed it: Guerrero goes deep twice, gets one homer


For more photos from Saturday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Dodgers at Giants, 1:05 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Justin Turner, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andre Ethier, LF
Alex Guerrero, 3B
Kiké Hernandez, SS
Darwin Barney, 2B
Carlos Frias, P

By Jon Weisman

Alex Guerrero homered to left in his second at-bat of Saturday’s 5-4 Dodger victory over the Angels, but it was the out he made in the first inning that might be the Dodgers’ most memorable blast of the spring.

Guerrero, who finished 2 for 4, launched one to the 420-foot mark in center field, only for Angels center fielder Mike Trout to rise above the wall to grab it.

[mlbvideo id=”56194983″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

Rangers at Dodgers, 1:05 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Chris Heisey, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Scott Van Slyke, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
Buck Britton, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Brandon McCarthy, P

What else have we got?

  • One of the big points of discussion emerging after Saturday’s game was whether the pitching of J.P. Howell, David Huff, Paco Rodriguez and Adam Liberatore could encourage the Dodgers to carry more lefty relievers than you’d ever have expected. Ken Gurnick of, Bill Plunkett of the Register and Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles lay things out.
  • J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News has more specifically on Huff.
  • Joe Posnanski tells a baseball integration and acceptance story through the life of former Dodger Bobby Bragan.

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