The 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium has brought forth many items to commemorate the event. One of the items was a special book sent to season ticket holders about Dodger Stadium and highlighting many wonderful moments that have happened there.
During the course of putting together that book, the publisher suggested that the Dodgers think about a larger book about the team's overall history as they have done those for other baseball teams. That thought resulted in this book.
Last season, on the Club Level concourse at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers showcased many items from Gary Cypres's personal collection of Dodger memorabilia. Some of those items, like early programs, scorecards, and uniforms are pictured throughout the book.
No one person wrote this book but a few weeks ago, I had the chance to sit down with Dodger team historian, Mark Langill. Mark was involved with the book from the beginning and his idea was always to do something different than other books about the Dodgers have done before.
One important thing to Mark was to have other voices tell the story, especially former players who would have their own unique memories of the Dodgers and moments in time. The book has several personal stories by former players from Wally Moon about the Los Angeles Coliseum, Wes Parker on HOF manager Walter Alston, Steve Yeager on Don Sutton, and Mike Scioscia on Roy Campanella.
A favorite story of mine is the one about Babe Ruth's short tenure as a Dodger coach in 1938. I had known Ruth was a coach for the Dodgers (Ruth's hope that he would be hired as the manager of the Dodgers after that). But I never had known what number he wore (35, it is listed in the Dodger Information Guide) and the story in the book has a picture of a souvenir scorecard of an exhibition game that is titled "Brooklyn Dodgers vs. Syracuse Chiefs" with a picture of Babe Ruth tipping his cap in what could be his Yankee uniform though there are no markings on it to indicate exactly what Ruth is wearing. The picture reminds me of the famous marquee of an early NBA game at Madison Square Garden which read "Mikan vs. Knicks." Ruth was hired as an attraction and retired from his coaching and his association with baseball during the 1938 winter.
This book is a wonderful companion to Jon Weisman's 100 Things Dodgers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die (100 Things...Fans Should Know)
The book just became available on Amazon and it is a great addition to any fan's baseball library. I also want to add my appreciation to Mark Langill for giving me a few moments of his time to talk about the book.