Tag Archives: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Forster Anomoly

After I’d recently posted a recap for a game where LA closer Terry Forster had pitched seven long innings, and was allowed to bat late in the game in a critical situation, a discussion began among SP78 fans on whether or not it was a smart managerial move to allow even a good-hitting pitcher to bat under those conditions. Or if it’s reasonable to have a pitcher pinch-hit instead of a regular bench player, especially when that pitcher holds the highest all-time batting average for any player with 50 or more at-bats, or 15 seasons in the major leagues.

With that in mind, I thought it might be fun to let Forster pinch-hit in the next Dodgers game—if a situation logically allows for it—and see what happens…is he really as good a hitter as people think he is? Will it finally prove that my brother, who managed that long-ago game and allowed Forster to hit, was right all along? Tell me what you think by voting below; results will not be final until the first FAC card of the next Dodgers game is turned, which could be anytime between next week and next September.

 

SP78 Flashback: Game #30

I’ve been working on adding game recaps to the site for a few months now, and this most recent one, featuring a Dodgers-Astros match-up from April 10th, had enough off-kilter aspects to it to make it interesting enough—and humorous enough—to share in a Flashback.

The game, the thirtieth of my SP78 season and played in 1980, had my brother Scott managing the Dodgers, his favorite team, and featured some managerial decisions that might seem a bit avant garde today (and probably even back then). But don’t think I’m using this recap to pick on or embarrass him: I made these same questionable decisions quite a few times during these early stages of my season, and I even mention one of them in the recap’s game notes.

So if you’re interested in discovering why, thirty-five years after he retired, LA reliever Terry Forster still wakes up screaming from nightmares of this game, click here.

 

Inside the SP78 Vault: 1978 Padres Program

Perhaps my very first addition to the SP78 vault, even before their was an SP78! On September 29th, 1978, my Dad and brother Scott and I attended the third-to-last game of the Padres season (and my fifth of the year, and first since June), a Friday night match-up against the Dodgers, who were in first place and headed for the World Series against the Yankees. LA’s Burt Hooton was going for his 20th win, but it wasn’t to be as the Padres pulled out a 3-1 win, in a game that took just 1 hour, 58 minutes to play.

On the way in, I paid a vendor fifty cents for the program, whose cover celebrated the Padres’ tenth year of existence, as well as them being the host team of that summer’s All-Star Game. It’s fun for me to look through the program now and check out all the San Diego ads, and the places I used to frequent that are no longer around: Square Pan Pizza, Dow Sound City, Monterey Jack’s, Picnic ‘n Chicken, Kinney Shoes, and sadly, San Diego Stadium itself, which hasn’t seen a Padres game played there since 2003.

Besides acquiring this program, this was also the game where I caught my first batting practice home run ball, in the left field seats off the bat of LA outfielder Dusty Baker. My brother also got himself a baseball, tossed to him by Dodgers utility player Joe Simpson from the bullpen, where Scott was watching some players warm up before the game.

Inside the SP78 Vault: Phillies Tastykake Pin

I acquired this 2¼-inch pin sometime in the 1980s, at one of the many baseball card shows I’d attended in San Diego and LA, and besides programs and pocket schedules, is one of my earliest additions to the SP78 vault. I know very little about the pin itself, except for the obvious: it was a Philadelphia Phillies souvenir, it was sponsored by Tastykake, and it was released during the 1978 season.

I did a quick search on-line before typing this post, and could find no information related to the pin itself: was it sold at stadium gift stands, or maybe given away as a promotion at a game, or was it included in packages of Tastykake products? I couldn’t even find one for sale on eBay, so its current value is unknown; I can tell you that back in the ’80s, I probably wouldn’t have paid more than five bucks for it (however, if it had been a Reds pin, sponsored by Frisch’s Big Boy or Hudepohl Beer, I might’ve allowed myself to spend ten).

And 1978 was indeed ‘the year’ for Philadelphia, at least in the NL East; they won the division with a 90-72 record, besting second-place Pittsburgh by a mere 1½ games, and went into the post-season as favorites over rival LA. But they would go on to lose the best-of-five NLCS to the Dodgers in four, and thus the Phillies’ baked goods totem would proudly be worn no more.