21 July 2009

walter alston final tribute - the card that should have been

it kind of makes me sad that tommy lasorda's face is on the dodgers' 1977 team card rather than walter alston's. after all, walt alston managed the team for 23 years, including most of 1976. he should have received some sort of final tribute. so, here is my final tribute to mr. alston - the 1977 topps turn back the clock card that should have been.

alston played in one game for the cardinals in 1936 - he struck out in his only plate appearance and committed an error in the field. after that, he played in the minors for a few more seasons before becoming a manager. in 1954 he took over as manager of the brooklyn dodgers and didn't stop until game 159 of the 1976 season.

his final game was a 1-0 loss to jr richard and the houston astros. despite having won 90 games at that point, the dodgers were 10 games behind cincinnati. alston decided to retire, and tommy lasorda, one of alston's coaches, took over as manager, going 2-2 in the last 4 games of the season. lasorda was the logical choice as he was familiar with many of the younger dodgers, having managed them in the dodgers' farm system and coached them with the big club since 1973.

alston won seven pennants, and four world championships. he was named manager of the year six times, and finished with 2040 regular season wins. he was elected the hall of fame in 1983 and subsequently had his number 24 retired by the dodgers. alston passed away in 1984.

here's to you, walt!

1 comment:

Johngy said...

This is very cool.