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Happy Birthday, Bill Russell

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Also in the 1978 Dodgers media guide about Bill Russell: "went into the pecan business in the offseason in his winter hometown of Broken Arrow, OK with former Dodger pitcher Jim Brewer."  (<em>Getty Images</em>)
Also in the 1978 Dodgers media guide about Bill Russell: "went into the pecan business in the offseason in his winter hometown of Broken Arrow, OK with former Dodger pitcher Jim Brewer." (Getty Images)

Happy 63rd birthday to the man who played more games than any other Los Angeles Dodger, Bill Russell.

Russell got to play once on his birthday, in Game 2 of the 1981 World Series against the New York Yankees. Russell had one hit in four at-bats. The Dodgers lost that day, but won the next four games to win their fifth World Series championship.

From the Dodgers 1978 media guide:

'I've never thought about being in the same class as Pee Wee Rees or Maury Wills. If I am, that's great, but I just go out every day and play the best I can. I don't worry about publicity.' These were the words of Dodger shortstop Bill Russell, who will be compared with the likes of Reese and Wills soon...'He played the greatest shortstop I've ever seen last year,' said manager Tom Lasorda.

Walt Alston on Russell: 'He makes plays other shortstops can't make and when it comes to covering ground and for strength of arm he's right there with the best.'