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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Dodgers coach to manage Padres, August 30, 1968



1968_august_30_sports By Keith Thursby
Times staff writer

The Angels weren't the first team to fill their coaching staffs with former Dodgers.

Preston Gomez was named the first manager of the San Diego Padres, who would begin play the following spring. Buzzie Bavasi had quit as the Dodgers' general manager to run the Padres and it could not have been much of a surprise that he picked a familiar face. Gomez had been the Dodgers' third base coach since 1965.

The Angels can trace the beginnings of their recent success to the hiring of Mike Scioscia as manager. The former Dodger catcher filled his staff with former Dodgers such as Mickey Hatcher, Alfredo Griffin, Ron Roenicke and Dino Ebel.

The first Padre coaching staff also had a Dodger feel to it. According to a list on the Padres' website, at least three of the 1969 staff could bleed a little Dodger blue: Roger Craig, Wally Moon and Sparky Anderson.

Of course, that first Padre team didn't have the success Scioscia and Co. are enjoying in Anaheim. San Diego finished with a 52-110 record. Nate Colbert and Ollie Brown led the team in home runs and Al Santorini and Joe Niekro each had eight victories to lead the pitching staff.

Gomez managed in San Diego into the 1972 season before being replaced by another former Dodger, Don Zimmer. Gomez later managed the Astros and Cubs. He spent several years in the Angels' organization, most recently as a special assistant to the general manager. He was seriously injured in March on his way home from spring training when he was hit by a truck in a gas station in Blythe.

keith.thursby@latimes.com 
 
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