Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Skip Schumaker

When Orel Hershiser met 4-year-old Skip Schumaker

Skip Schumaker’s visit to Dodger Stadium today for Old-Timers Day led to this story by Orel Hershiser, shared on SportsNet LA after tonight’s 6-1 Dodger victory.

“He was about 4 years old,” Hershiser began. “I was walking out to my car, and there he was crying. I said, ‘What are you crying for?’ He said, ‘All those guys passed me and wouldn’t sign my glove.’ I said, ‘I’ll sign your glove – I’m somebody.’ So I signed the glove, ‘To Skip – a future big-leaguer.’ And the end of the story is, he showed me the picture.

“What happened (later) is, I got to throw out the first pitch in a playoff game, and I asked him — he was on the team, and Ned (Colletti) was the GM — and I said, ‘Will you catch it?’ And I brought the picture. And then, I signed that picture that day after throwing out the first pitch, and I said, ‘To Skip – from one big-leaguer to another.’

— Jon Weisman

Punto, Schumaker and Ellis: The Young-Timers

By Jon Weisman

It almost feels like time’s playing tricks on us.

But in today’s 5 p.m. Old-Timers Game and ceremonies at Dodger Stadium, along with stars from decades past like Sandy Koufax and Maury Wills, there will also be members of the 2013 Dodgers.

Mark Ellis, who just turned 39. Nick Punto, 38. Skip Schumaker, just 36, for cryin’ out loud.

“I thought it was Old-Timers vs. Legends,” Schumaker joked at this afternoon’s reunion luncheon in the Stadium Club. “I thought we were the Legends.”

Sitting together, Schumaker, Ellis and Punto quickly reconnected to find the spirit that powered the 2013 team to an historic 42-8 midseason run and within two games of the World Series before a National League Championship Series loss to the Cardinals.

“The team that we were on in ’13 was probably the most fun I had in the Major Leagues,” Schumaker said. “Elli and Nick, my two favorite teammates in the world. Also I grew up a Dodger fan, so to see the Old School guys here, Orel (Hershiser) and some of the other guys — it’s gonna be awesome.”

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In case you missed it: Lighting up the scoreboard

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By Jon Weisman

Today, when Dave Roberts had to make his first mid-inning visit to the mound as Dodger manager, to relieve starter Scott Kazmir with two out in the second inning against the Angels, maybe it seemed like a big deal.

It wasn’t.

Kazmir’s five runs allowed were matched by Jeff Weaver of the Angels, only the start of what became a 13-13 tie in Tempe — recapped at

“I honestly think I’m on the right path,” Kazmir said. “If you look at the game and not the box score, it tells a different story.”

But really, this was a day for the offense.

Joc Pederson, Austin Barnes (who had three hits) and Scott Van Slyke homered for the 4-1-2 Dodgers, who have increased their Spring Training OPS to a rather ridiculous .916.

The player who made the biggest impression today was 20-year-old first baseman Cody Bellinger, the theoretical heir to Adrian Gonzalez — if he can wait that long. Bellinger, who is also capable of playing outfield, went 3 for 3 and is impressing Roberts.

“The game doesn’t speed up on him,” Roberts told Ken Gurnick in this feature for “He looks comfortable out there. The more you see, the more you like.”

What else?

  • Encouraging news on the injury front from Gurnick: Howie Kendrick and Alex Guerrero participated in fielding and hitting drills, Hyun-Jin Ryu threw for the third consecutive day, Justin Turner again played in a minor-league game and Julio Urias had a light bullpen session ahead of his anticipated Cactus League debut Friday.
  • Brett Anderson spoke at length to Gurnick about beginning his latest rehab from surgery to repair a bulging disc.
  • Bill Plunkett of the Register looks at the different ways Roberts tries to connect with his players.
  • Kenta Maeda, who pitches Thursday for the Dodgers, talked to Doug Padilla of about what it would mean if he were able to face off against the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka when the Dodgers go to the Bronx in September.
  • Skip Schumaker, who had twin .332 on-base and slugging percentages for the Dodgers in 2014, has retired at age 36, ending an 11-year MLB career.

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