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Moon shots

January 18, 2008 |  6:07 am

1959_0930_moon Jan. 18, 1958
Los Angeles

You young persons may wonder what we ancient ones are talking about when we refer to the Dodgers' "Moon shots." The way it was originally explained to me, Moon shots were named for Dodger Wallace Wade "Wally" Moon, acquired from the Cardinals in a trade for Gino Cimoli in 1958. Moon, according to this explanation, developed a knack for hitting home runs over the screens used to configure the Coliseum for baseball.

Well, not exactly.

As used by The Times in the 1950s, a Moon shot was any hit by Moon in any Dodger game, anywhere. For example, a 13th-inning Moon shot to the center-field bleachers beat the Cubs 4-3 in Chicago, Aug.  18, 1960.  Nor did a Moon shot have to be a home run. A Moon shot double in the ninth inning beat the Braves 2-1, July 1, 1963.

And yes, the Dodgers did tinker with the layout of the Coliseum. By 1959 it looked like this:


And the original layout: