19 April 2010

where's the willie davis tribute?

while the dodgers' play so far this season has been disappointing, it's early yet.  in fact, i am more disappointed that they are not wearing any sort of patch or armband in honor of willie davis.  while they haven't been as visible as the yankees when it comes to honoring their dead, it wouldn't be without precedent.

i remember the dodgers wearing a patch with jim gilliam's number 19 during the 1978 world series (seen here on a davey lopes screen grab ), although that didn't carry over to the regular season.

they have also honored former coach don mcmahon in the latter part of the 1987 season, as seen on this 1988 score phil garner card.
mcmahon also worked as a scout for the team, but mainly threw batting practice before games.  he suffered a heart attack while doing so in july of 1987 and died later that day.

in 1993, the dodgers wore an arm patch with tim crews' number 52 on it as seen on this 1994 ud collector's choice brett butler card
tim crews pitched for the dodgers from 1987 through 1992.  in 1993 he signed with the cleveland indians and was with them in spring training when he accidentally drove his boat into a dock, killing himself and fellow tribe pitcher steve olin.  former dodger bob ojeda was seriously injured in the accident.

later in 1993, the dodgers also wore patches for two of their hall of fame players, roy campanella and don drysdale, who died within a week of each other.  raul mondesi's 1994 ud collector's choice card shows the patch with campy's 39 and big d's 53 on his right sleeve while the crews patch remains on the left.
campanella and drysdale both died of heart attacks, with drysdale's occurring in montreal where he was accompanying the dodgers on a road trip as one of their announcers.  i'll never forget when vinny broke the news during the july 4 game after drysdale's family had been notified.

after pee wee reese died in august of 1999, the dodgers wore a black 'pee wee 1' patch on their left sleeves, above the 'dodger heroes' patches they had been wearing all season long. you can see the patch (sort of) on this 2000 ud mvp eric gagne card,
as well as this 2000 upper deck victory jeff shaw card, particularly in the inset photo.
reese, another hall of famer, died of cancer at the age of 81.

but no patch for davis, who died earlier this year of an apparent heart attack.  while not a hall of famer, davis was one of the top los angeles dodgers of all time, and i think he deserves some sort of recognition.  of course, me being halfway across the country, it's hard to know what the organization has done, but they haven't done the obvious and created a patch as far as i can tell.  '55 years since 55' must be more important.  so, i made a 2010 goose joak original for the 3-dog and gave it a black border.
it's the least i could do.

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