It’s Thanksgiving, so let’s make a meal out of former Dodgers, shall we?
Richard Joseph Farrell was his given name, but when the Dodgers acquired the 27-year-old right-hander on May 4, 1961, he was referred to as Dick Farrell. But his nickname passed down from his father was Turk, which given today’s date we’ll assume was for poultry.
The Dodgers traded outfielder Don Demeter and infielder Charley Smith to the Phillies for Farrell and infielder Joe Koppe a month into the season. Farrell made his way to Pittsburgh on May 5, arriving only a half-hour before game time.(1) The game turned into a laugher, with the Dodgers up 9-0 on the Pirates after six innings. But when starter Johnny Podres couldn’t bat in the seventh with a sore shoulder, Farrell took the ball and tossed scoreless ball to close out the game, striking out five.
Saves didn’t become an official statistic until 1969, but retroactively we start our Thanksgiving with quite a delicious entree: Turk getting a three-inning save.
Some people prefer to stuff the bird, but when this delicious dish is prepared separate from the turkey it has a different name. Not too far off from the last name of Brooklyn Dodgers manager Chuck Dressen, who was at the helm for three excellent seasons but also three years that ended in crushing disappointments: blowing a 13-game August lead in 1951, then losing the World Series in seven games to the Yankees in 1952, then again in six games in 1953.
Green (bean casserole)
Shawn Green still holds the Dodgers’ single-season home run record, with 49 home runs in 2001. He followed that the next year with the greatest offensive game in MLB history, a 6-for-6, four-homer game that was part of stretches of not only nine home runs in five games, but also 17 home runs in 23 games.
We end our meal with dessert, celebrating Juan Pierre, who stole 134 bases in three years in Los Angeles (2007-09).
- “Podres, Farrell star as Dodgers win, 10-0,” United Press International. The Bridgeport (Connecticut) Telegram, May 6, 1961.