Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Vin Scully, on Manager Problems

Burt Shotton and Carl Erskine.

Vin Scully, from Sunday's telecast:

Bottom of the third, one to nothing in favor of the Dodgers.

Bruce Bochy looking on, and he has been a harried manager. Those who have been close to him say that he's just about been driven up a wall, not only managing the Giants, but all the worries and responsibilities of the All-Star Game.

Quiroz, the catcher, hits one into the gap in left-center and that's going to go to the wall, and the big man goes into second base standing with a double. So the tying run is out there with nobody out.

That will bring up Gaudin followed by Torres and Scutaro.

Well, you can imagine the pressure on Bochy about what to do with Yasiel Puig. And they turned out now to have the Final Vote and there are five members: Desmond, Freeman, Pence, Gonzalez and Puig.

But way back in 1949, the Dodgers won the pennant. The manager of the Dodgers then was the All-Star manager in 1950, and his name was Burt Shotton.

And Burt Shotton did not wear a uniform. He did wear a Dodger windbreaker but he had to stay in the dugout. He wasn't allowed on the field.

It came down to Burt Shotton to pick one of two players for the All-Star Game. One, an extremely popular outfielder-first baseman by the name of Hank Sauer. They loved him in Chicago. Big right-hand batter.

The other, Duke Snider. Left-hand-hitting center fielder, destined to go in the Hall of Fame.

The pitch to the plate, and it is a little low, ball one, one and oh.

Anyway, Shotton elected to go with Snider, because The Duke had more abilities than just swinging the bat.

And Chicago was absolutely incensed. How could they not have picked Hank Sauer? I mean, they were furious — including the Cubs broadcaster.

Gaudin pulls the bat back, two and oh the count.

His name was Bert Wilson, and if you can imagine it today — you can't imagine it today. But in 1950, Bert Wilson organized a "Shoot Shotton Club."

Can you imagine? Shoot Shotton.

Two balls and no strikes the count to Gaudin. Showing bunt again, pops it in the air foul out of play, two and one.

Well anyway, it came the day of the All-Star Game at Wrigley Field, and after the batting practice, after the infield, et cetera, the field was deserted for a couple of minutes.

And up the steps of the visiting dugout in Wrigley Field stood old Burt Shotton, wearing his Dodger windbreaker and a baseball cap. He stood very deliberately and stared at the people behind home plate, who began to boo.

Here's the two-one pitch, Gaudin swings, fouls it away.

Then he stared at the people down the left-field line. And then he stared at the people in the bleachers in left. Then the bleachers in right-center. And then the people in right field. And then the people all the way down to home plate again.

With the boos going to the heavens, and finally, after making a complete circle, Burt said — as if to say to the crowd, If you're going to shoot me, shoot me now.

And when he felt there was nothing but the boos, he quietly went back in the dugout.

Here's the two-two pitch to Gaudin, and it's taken, strike three call. One away.

My thanks to Gaudin while I could tell that story.

So one away, and here's Andres Torres.

But I was just thinking, if I have a moment, I will say to Bruce Bochy, Hey, you think you have problems trying to select the All-Star team players this year? You don't know anything about problems.

They ought to tell you about Burt Shotton, circa 1950.

All right, here's Torres, struck out in the first inning....


QuadSevens said...

Amazing story!

Shoot Bochy Club eh? I'm sure some Dodger sterotyping Vagiants fans already think this exists.

Steve Sax said...

I personally don't want to shoot Bochy. I like watching coaches with furry mustaches.

Paul said...

How about a Shave Bochy Club?