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Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Lasorda's Dodger forecast, November 13, 1968


Above, "Therese and Isabelle," 1968.


"Reminds us anew that there's nothing quite so puritanical as a dirty picture."
-- Kevin Thomas

Some clips on YouTube for the curious.,,,

1968_1113_sports Part of the pleasure in plowing through old sports stories is reading about the future and knowing how things really turned out.

It's like the familiar movie plot where the character time-travels with a handy newspaper so he can bet on last year's big game. Of course, no money was waged in researching this post.

John Hall's column in The Times devoted a section to Tom Lasorda, then a manager in the Dodgers' minor league system, who called the columnist to defend the organization's prospects. Lasorda had been working in the Arizona instructional league.

"Remember these names," he told Hall. "Ted Sizemore, Billy Buckner, Steve Garvey and Bob Valentine. They're all eventually going to be tremendous hits in Los Angeles."

How'd Lasorda do? All four had a big impact on the Dodgers. Three of the four were involved in big trades.

Sizemore was rookie of the year in 1969 but was traded with another player a year later to St. Louis for Dick Allen. Buckner was traded to the Cubs in 1977 in a deal that sent Rick Monday to the Dodgers. Valentine was part of a big swap with the Angels in 1972 that included Andy Messersmith, Frank Robinson and Ken McMullen, among others.

Garvey had the longest career with the Dodgers, leaving in 1982 to sign as a free agent with the Padres.

To be fair, Lasorda didn't pitch a perfect game with his predictions. "Besides the kids, I've also got Bill Sudakis, Willie Crawford and Paul Popovich with me in Arizona and they've been looking great," he said. "Sudakis is for real."

-- Keith Thursby

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Comments (1)

Bill Sudakis, who had knees apparently made from fine china, eventually ended up on the Yankees. He may be best known for a fistfight he got into with fellow sub Rick Dempsey in a Milwaukee hotel lobby in 1974. Bobby Murcer tried to break up the donnybrook (which featured knockout punches, torn clothes and furniture flips) but hurt his arm and broke a finger. The details can be found here:

Bobby Valentine broke his leg very badly in 1973, just after being traded to the Angels. The injury ruined his career.

Willie Crawford was tremendous local athlete who ended up having a not so tremendous career.

Paul Popovich was a very capable sub at several positions.


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