I only found out about the Maury Wills signing less than twelve hours before the event. At the time, I didn’t intend on going. Until my cousin, Jenny, called me at ten this morning. I had called her the night before about the event. She was on her way to the bus stop (she lives two blocks away from where the event was going to be) and told me she didn’t see anyone there. It was a little before ten I think and the event was supposed to start any minute. So, I called the Smart and Final Extra to verify about the signing. It was supposed to start any moment. So, I hopped in the shower and then got my things together for the signing. Jenny met me there and there were four or five other guys in line already. No one else was there really. Maury showed up and then more people starting looking to see what was going on. In fact, when one lady found out Maury Wills was signing autographs and they had 8x10s of him available for him to sign, she almost cut in front of us! Apparently, she didn’t see the line of six or seven (maybe more by then) people waiting for Maury Wills to sign their items. Maury signed my scrapbook from last year.
I asked him to take a photo with me. He said, “sure, you want to come around the table?” I got next to him … and right before Jenny took the photo, he said, “let me fix your jersey.” I guess the top was open a little and he fixed it. Jenny actually got a photo of both him fixing my jersey and the photo of the two of us together. After the photo, he complimented the jersey, saying what a nice jersey it was. Then he asked me whose number was on the back. After that, it was Jenny’s turn. I gave her a picture of Maury Wills from the Dodgers/Phillies games earlier this year that honored him and he went out and “stole” second base. He looked at the picture and was trying to figure out what it was.
Since Jenny was on her way to LACC when she came back for me, I said I’d take her. I took her to LACC, got Wendy’s, and then came back. I had texted Nina (and several others) about the event and Nina said her dad would have loved to meet him. I told her they should go! There wasn’t a lot of people there and they had 8x10s that they were giving away to get signed. So, they met me back there. There were about ten people in line. Nina came with her parents (Jack and Sol).
Jack was hilarious! He told Maury that he watched Maury play for the Dodgers when Jack was in high school. Maury asked him, “was I good then?” Jack told him he was great. Then it was Sol’s turn and she was getting a photo signed for Jack’s cousin, who’s also a long-time Dodger fan. After that, Sol asked Jack if he wanted a photo with Maury. Maury told him to come around the table. Jack knelt down in front of it. Maury told him again to come around. Jack went around to the left of Maury, where there was guy sitting and he wasn’t going to get around that way. Maury told him to come the other way. Jack finally got next to Maury, and Sol got in the photo.
While watching the game at JoAnna’s on Saturday, we were talking about how many of our players are playing in their first post season in one way or another. For example, our starters each started in their first postseason start. Clayton Kershaw was the only one of the three starters that actually had post season experience, albeit as a reliever.
Randy Wolf spent 8 years with the Phillies, 1 with the Dodgers, and 1 between the Padres and the Astros. No post season appearances in any of his 10 years in the majors. Now in his 11th year in the majors, he finally made it to the post season. As I have mentioned before, Wolf just missed the playoffs with three of the four teams he played with.
Vicente Padilla spent a year with the D-backs before being traded to the Phillies. He was with the Phillies for five years before going to the Rangers for three years before coming to the Dodgers.
Players with one post season experience: Juan Castro (1996 Dodgers), Jon Garland (2005 White Sox, World Series Champions – guess he didn’t make an appearance with the Angels last year), Ronnie Belliard (2006 Cardinals – World Sereis Champtions), Mark Loretta (2005 Padres – who were swept by the Cardinals!).
These players, before coming to the Dodgers only had one other post season appearances. Casey Blake had one post season appearance with the 2007 Indians. Juan Pierre had one post season appearance with the 2003 Marlins. Jeff Weaver has two other post season appearances other than his 2004 appearance with the Dodgers. He appeared in the 2003 World Series with the Yankees, and was with the 2006 champions Cardinals.
Brad Ausmus has 5 post season appearances with the Astros (1997, 1009, 2001, 2004, 2005). Rafael Furcal has 5 post season appearances with the Braves (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005) and now three with the Dodgers.
Manny has 5 post season appearances with the Indians (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999), 4 with the Red Sox (2003, 2004, 2005, 2007), and now two with the Dodgers. Jim Thome has 6 post season appearances with the Indians (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001), one with the White Sox (2008).
As promised, here is that video of the two guys getting carried out of the pavilion.
The first man was already pushed down the pavilion steps when I started recording. You see the other man get carried out (watch for him grabbing the railing) and then the other man is carried out after him.
The July home run against the Florida Marlins was Howard’s 200th. He achieved that milestone in the fewest games in major league history.
12-year-old Jennifer Valdivia scooped up the ball, she was escorted to
the Phillies clubhouse and then exchanged it for an autographed ball.
girl’s mother filed a lawsuit Monday seeking the home run ball’s
return. Attorney Norm Kent says the Phillies agreed and now Jennifer
has the ball back.
The Phillies declined comment on Wednesday.
Here’s another updated article with more details:
By Gordon Edes, Yahoo! Sports
PHILADELPHIA – It’s a storyline that could have been lifted straight
from a promotional script for Major League Baseball. Jennifer Valdivia,
a 12-year-old girl taken to her very first baseball game by her
Cuban-born grandfather, is sitting in the right-field stands in Miami’s
Land Shark Stadium when one of the game’s top young sluggers, Ryan Howard(notes) of the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies,
hits a home run that lands in the row behind her and bounces into her
hands, instead of to her envious 15-year-old brother. The ball is not
just any home run. It is the 200th of Howard’s career, making him the
fastest Major League player to reach that number.
Not only does Jennifer have a souvenir to treasure, but she is
whisked away to the Phillies’ clubhouse with a promise, she says, that
she’ll get to meet the great slugger himself after the game
I’m not posting the whole second article.
Tonight was the first play off game for me as well as my friends Chris and Chelsea … and our starting pitcher, Randy Wolf!
Love this picture!! He came out through the bullpen. You never know with Randy. He either comes out to warm up from the bullpen or from the dug out. You can never guess.
There were these two guys in the pavilion who were shirtless and painted “Wolf Pack 43″ on their chest. One had “Wolf 4″ and the other had “Pack 3″. “Wolf 4″ also had the “big bad wolf” mask. I was surprised they let him bring it in. I get told all the time that I may not be allowed my Wolf hat … and it’s a HAT. His is a mask. That’s interesting. And in fact, one of the security guys tonight was like … “I don’t think you can wear that.” I seem to be going through this a lot lately. I don’t know why. No one said anything the first ten times I wore it. But the last five or six times, I seem to be getting some trouble. Come on now. Even Randy Wolf has seen me in my hat! Oh, and here’s a tip for guys who go shirtless. Make sure your boxers aren’t showing! I cropped them out in the picture … but you can see the top of “Pack 3″s boxers.
During the visiting team’s batting practice, the grounds crew comes out and starts working on the field. One guy usually paints the foul line in the left field while the other guys stand guard. What are they standing guard for? Fly balls of course! Do they ever warn the guy painting the line? Not really. Tonight was crazy because the ball actually hit the little cart that he uses to paint the lines with. The ball even dented the front of it. He’s always giving his crew a hard time about not giving him any warning when the ball comes at him.
Randy Wolf is making his post-season debut. He’s been in the majors for 11 years, and this is his first time in the post season. When he signed with the Dodgers this year, he joked about his post season jinx … how he seems to sign with teams right before or or right after they make a run at the play offs. Example: Phillies. He signed with them after their last play off appearance … and they never made it when he was with the team. Then after he leaves the team for the Dodgers, the Phillies made it to the play offs. That was the year they were swept by the Rockies. Example #2: He signs with the Dodgers the year after they made it to the play offs in 2006 … but they fall short in 07 with him. He then signs with the Padres the next year (who barely missed making the play offs in 07) … the year the Dodgers make it to the NLCS.
What was also unfortunate that tonight was quite a crazy and dramatic night for the fans. We (the guys around me) noticed that there was some commotion going on in the left field pavilion. Sure enough, these two guys were being escorted down the steps. One of the guys was resisting and I don’t know who pushed him … but he got pushed and fell down quite a distance. Maybe five, ten rows? He landed on the bottom and didn’t look like he was moving. The other guy being escorted was resisting and had to be carried out. In the video I shot, you can see him trying to grab the railing as they carry him out. The other guy eventually got carried out too.
There was also a cat fight a few sections to my right in the top deck. Yes, it was between a Cardinals fan and a Dodger fan. Somehow, the Cardinals fan fell down about three rows. She was able to get up and walk out. It was a crazy night. The Dodgers scored two runs in the first inning off a homerun by Matt Kemp. Raffy was on base. The final run was scored when Russell Martin was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. It was a very long game. Almost four hours. With twelve pitchers used, thirty men left on base, and three batters getting hit. I don’t think anyone was surprised when Russell got nailed. There were one or two other pitches that were close before the last one nailed him.
More pictures and game recap to come later. I’m just tired and achy to continue. Maybe during the off season I’ll just post pictures of a different player every other day or so.
Like I said, I have lots of pictures from the celebration. I skipped the pictures from the games and went straight to the pictures from the celebration. I’ll probably do two or three more posts with pictures from the celebration. The rest will just have to go up on Flickr. I have over 800 (almost 900) photos from Saturday night. Not all of them will make it up, but I’ll edit the good ones and put those up. Eventually. It’s going to be a busy week with the playoffs starting on Wednesday. It’s going to be a cold night!!!
Picture #1 The Dodgers celebrate on the field after Ethier makes the last out.
Picture #2 You see the group hug start to disperse … especially with Russell Martin up front and center.
Picture #3 Time to pass out the shirts and the caps.
week when I thought the Dodgers were going to clinch in Pittsburgh, I
went out and bought two bottles of apple cider to celebrate. The
Dodgers lost on Sunday night, so the apple cider got to sit. Well, one
of them. I drank the other one anyway. Guess you could say there was
one to drown my sorrows. And the other one to celebrate.
the one bottle of apple cider that I was saving sure got real cold by
the time I opened it. Since they clinched on Saturday night and it was
midnight by the time I got home, I didn’t open it. When I got home
tonight, after the final game of the regular season … I popped that
I set up a little photo shoot for the celebration
bottle. Can it really be considered a celebration when it’s just me
Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp knocking each other silly.
commented to my friend Chris and his fiance Chelsea that in 5, 10, 15,
etc., etc., years … I wonder if I’m going to look back at these
photos and be able to recognize all the players in the pictures. Here’s
Well, in 5, 10, 15, etc years you can just turn to your weird Danny
Bonadouche looking husband, aka randy wolf, and ask “honey, who’s this?”
Two years in a row have the Dodgers clinched the National League
Western Division Champion title … and both years I was at the game
when they clinched!
Starting off, I called Nina to see if she
was going to the game with me. I was going to take Jason, but he backed
out. And Nina was originally going to go to the game with me. She was
at the L.A. Country Fair with her family. But, she wanted to go. So, I
dropped the ticket off at her house and left her some money to pay for
parking. My cousin Jenny dropped me off at the gate and I went in.
Tonight was calendar night and the first 50,000 fans received the “2009
Team Calendar” … except for one thing. They’ve done this both years I
have gone to Team Calendar night. They don’t hand out the calendars
till the end of the game. But, instead, I did get to see the Star Wars:
Clone Wars characters walking by. Snapped a few quick picks.
Did you see the one guy who saw me taking pictures? LOL. Sorry if some
of them aren’t in focus. I was taking them too quickly.
I got Brad
Ausmus to sign Julia’s birthday ball. He was one of the handful of
players she named she wanted. Her list was Andre Ethier, Russell
Martin, Randy Wolf, and Brad A-use-mus. That’s how she said his name
the first time she tried to say it. And it stuck in our heads. Well,
she is nine you know. She turns ten in less than two weeks. Manny
might’ve been one of the names on the list too, but I was like … fat
chance me getting Manny’s autograph. I
got Randy’s before the game started. I was talking with an usher (one I
hadn’t talked to before too!) when I noticed Randy was signing
He was standing on the top step of the dugout and signing
autographs for the kids in the dugout club. Okay, so I know I was in
the field level and no way was I getting in the dugout club. But, there
is a wall that separates the dugout club from the field level. I went
to the very first row that was directly behind Randy. I
pulled out the
ball and my Wolf mask. I grabbed it at
the last second when I was
leaving the house
never know when it’ll
come in handy. Like
tonight. I noticed
Randy already had something he was signing wit
Okay, not really that hard. I didn’t give it m 100% effort. I didn’t
want the ball to end up on the field. Ask anyone who’s played catch or
softball with me… or even volleyball! They’ll tell you. Anyway, so I
waited for the right moment to get Randy’s attention. Didn’t take me
very long. I called out his name, held up the ball and the Wolf hat (so
he’d remember who I was). He
looked right at me and pointed to me (okay, so the picture is of Brad
Ausmus pointing. And no, Brad wasn’t pointing at me). I
threw the ball to him. It
was a soft toss so it landed just a little short. Remember. I didn’t
want to embarrass myself by throwing the ball onto the field. He signed
it and threw it back to me.
I was a little surprised that I was able to
get something signed.
players usually don’t sign for people in the field level, just the
dugout club. Well, not that I’ve seen anyway. The throw back was a
little high and a little over my head. I was afraid of not catching it
(again) or it bouncing to someone else or into the dugout club. Well, I
jumped up and it tried to catch it. Just got my hands on it. The ball
hit my right hand pretty much in the same spot where it got hit last
time. I didn’t close my hands on it … but it landed in my purse!
Good thing it didn’t land in the dugout club!
sure enough, after I got my ball, all these other kids showed up trying
get an autograph. I didn’t see any players sign for anyone in the field level. Just the kids behind the dugout. There was one kid next to me who asked me if that was Lamar Odom in the dugout. I had no idea. Probably not. But the kid kept calling him anyway. He also asked me who was the guy with the award (Juan Pierre) and what the award (Roy Campenella Award) was for. And then when it was time for the National Anthem, he got all excited because the players were lining up. I told him to quiet down because it was time for the National Anthem. And to take off his cap.
was one of the funniest things I happen to see, hanging behind the
dugout. Well, I was in the field seats behind the wall that separates
the field level from the dugout level. Wonder who’s hands those are…
I was looking for a fourth hand, but I didn’t see it.
tonight’s game started off with a very fast 1-2-3 first inning. How
fast? Kershaw struck out the first three batters. Of course, I didn’t
see any of this because I was waiting for the elevator to go to the Top
Deck. But what did I see? Ron Cey (he went in the opposite direction or
you know I would’ve gotten an autograph. No picture, I had the wrong
lenses on). Steve Lyons (he went straight into the Press Box, but he
did say hi and ask me how I was doing). And Vic the Brick (I think
that’s how you spell it). After the first three struck out, Kershaw
struck out two more to make it five consecutive strike outs before he
allowed Chris Ianetta to fly out to Juan Pierre. That’s okay, because
in the next inning he struck out Brad Hawpe and Jorge DeLaRosa with a
ground out in between. Oh, and the Dodgers’ bench coach Bob Schaefer
got thrown out of the game in the bottom of the third inning.
they showed Tommy Lasorda on the screen, the guy sitting next to Nina
asked me if I knew when did Tommy Lasorda retired. I told him I didn’t
know. I guessed in the 90′s, mid-90′s. I told him I’ve only been a fan
for 3 years. That wasn’t the funny part. The funny part was when he
asked me, he and the four or five guys sitting with him were all
looking at me for the answer. Nina thought it was hilarious too because
they all expected me to know the answer. Quite funny to see six guys in
a row all leaning over to find out the answer. One head right after the
other. Not sure how to describe the picture, but imagine six heads
right on top of each other lined up on a doorway and that’s close to
what it was.
things (perfect game, no-hitter, complete game shut out, passing his
career high of 13 strike outs)… He did get six shut out innings. Kuo
came in to relieve him and ended up being the winning pitcher since all
our runs were scored in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sherrill and
Broxton closed it out … and it was celebration time!
Come on. I got a lot to do. First I got to sort through them (fix them,
crop them, add tags to them) and then add them to my blog. Then I
upload them to my facebook (which you can probably see them through
there … only problem is my albums are friends only). And finally,
they go on flickr.
If the hyperlink doesn’t work, it’s
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fallingleaves02. It’s also called “LEAVes
of Dodger Blue” or you can find me under fallingLEAVes02. There’s also
a link of my main blog, http://fallingLEAVes.blogspot.com.
already clinched the division and home field advantage … is Joe Torre
going to manage the game? Or is he going to let a veteran do it? LOL I
was thinking … maybe he’ll let Randy Wolf manage the game … and if
Randy gets ejected, can he get a no-decision?
There were a lot of close calls last night. Me getting to the game and getting a ticket. A couple close pitches to Kemp. The close call at first that the umpire called out and everyone else was sure it was safe. The close game. It was a really long game for such a low-scoring, low hitting game. Then again, maybe having almost twenty strike outs combined might have something to do with it. Or the guy who sang the “National Anthem”. That had to be the LONGEST rendition I’ve ever heard. There was another girl earlier who took a long time too… but man… I think this guy takes the cake! I was talking to a security guard after the game … we talked about how it was such a long game for such a low-scoring game. I told him, “It’s the guy who sang the National Anthem. It’s his fault. He set the tone.”
Okay, so all week I’ve been contemplating whether or not to get a
ticket to tonight’s game. I wanted to go because a) Randy Wolf is
pitching and b) if they win, they clinch the division. But I couldn’t
go because a) I have church on Friday nights and b) I didn’t get a
ticket (read previous entry about my interactions with sellers).
A little after four o’clock, I get a text message.There is no church
tonight. So the main reason why I wasn’t going to the game … well…
now there wasn’t a reason why I wasn’t going to the game. Before I knew
it, I was driving down Academy … and finding out that where I usually
park before the game … not an option. If I wasn’t in such a hurry, I
would’ve taken photos. But I only had about 20 minutes to hunt down a
ticket. Took about five. The guy sold two tickets to the reserve level
to these two guys for $20. He was trying to sell the same ticket to me
for $40 and said he wouldn’t go lower than $30. I told him I would have
bought one for $20. He ended up selling me a lower reserve ticket for
$25. I wonder if it was because I’m a girl that he wouldn’t sell it to
me for $20. Then again, the ticket he sold me was for lower reserve and
the other guys was in reserve. Because my usual parking was not an
option, I had to pay for parking. The Golden State Gate was already jam
packed. So I headed towards the Academy Gate. And I realized, I only
had $11 on me. Thankfully, I keep lots of quarters in my car (for
newspapers, meters… and parking!). I paid the rest of my parking fee
Got into the Stadium and met up with Cat. The Dodgers weren’t on the
field very long. I was only able to take pictures of Kershaw’s backside
… and George Sherrill (this one’s for you, Cari, Stacey… and all
the Georgie lovers out there)
I saw some of my other friends show up and went over to say hi to them.
One of the security guards told me I was on the Dodger Vision. He was
asking me why I was leaving. I told him I was running away. Also, I saw
on the Dodger Vision a guy in the Center Field area with a “Vin Scully
Is My Homeboy” shirt. Had to get a photo of that for Vin Scully Is My Homeboy.
Always exciting to spot one of his shirts. Turns out, I don’t think it
was one of his shirts. The guy had his own made. But he did buy one of VSIMH‘s shirts.
Before the game started tonight, Tommy Lasorda was being honored for his sixty years with the Dodgers. They handed out little replicas of his Hall of Fame plaque, as well as having the real one displayed out in Autograph Alley. Sorry, no picture of the real one. I didn’t stop in Autograph Alley. I rarely do, actually. Anyway, former players were gathered on the field to take part of the celebration. Tommy came out with his wife, Jo. For the ceremonial first pitch, Brad Ausmus got to catch another knuckleballer, Charlie Hough.
Picture 1: The former players posing.
Picture 2: Tommy addressing the crowd
Picture 3: Randy and Russell coming from the bullpen
Picture 4: James Loney checking with the dugout as he’s signing autographs to see how much time he’s got.
Picture 5: Manny Ramirez acknowledging the crowd as his name is announced in the lineup before the start of the game.
Right before the game started, I said bye to my friends. I started to leave, when the guy in the box next to her said they had an extra seat. He asked me if would like to take it. I asked him if he was sure and he said yes. So, I got to sit in the baseline box club for the whole game! Roberto even texted me and said he saw me on TV. He spotted me and my Wolf hat in between innings, I think… You know, when they pan the crowd before a commercial break? I had several people today who commented/complimented me on my Wolf hat. One guy stopped me and asked me, is that a wolf mask? Can I see it? LOL even an usher saw me and said, “there’s the wolf hat!”
Needless to say … our offense was anemic again. Wolf gave up two runs in the first inning, but then put up zeros for the next four innings. Unfortunately, the bullpen gave up two more runs. Scott Elbert gave up double to Todd Helton, and when Ronald Belisario relieved him… he gave up a homerun to Tulow. I was surprised to see Randy back in the dugout after the seventh inning stretch. Then I noticed other players, like Troncoso was there too. Guess they wanted to be watch the game to see if they could pull off a win to clinch the division. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the starter come back into the dugout after he’s been pulled from a game.
Picture 2: Larry King and his son during the seventh inning stretch. I was in the same row, different section from him.