23 March 2011

i like the way you think, travis barbary (or, who's your hero?)

for the 1999 season, the dodgers created 'heroes' patches to be worn on the uniforms, celebrating the roster of generally awesome players that had suited up for the blue in their roughly (at that time) 110 year existence.  there were some 'heroes' for whom patches were not made (fernando, anyone?) and there are one or two others that i see as questionable (tommy davis over willie davis?) but i admit i wasn't around during their heydays. 

according to the la times, 'the dodgers asked each player and coach to name the former dodger who inspired them most. the choice each person made was displayed on a patch he wore on his uniform'. of course, there were a limited number of players to choose from (i believe there were 23 'heroes'), and 18 different dodgers from the past were chosen by the current players and staff.  the ones not worn included walter alston, carl erskine, johnny podres, and two others (maybe carl furillo and jim gilliam? - i don't remember bill buhler and rick monday - thanks jerry reuss!).  in addition, sandy koufax had the dodgers pull his patch from circulation, as he wasn't a fan of the fox regime and their use of his likeness.  i remember seeing complete sets of the patches for sale through the dodgers' website (without the koufax), but it was a pretty hefty sum since the set was provided in a big display box.  i did buy a couple of individual patches, though.

anyway, here's the list:

roy campanella - worn by todd hundley
and angel pena
pena's 1999 keebler dodgers card gives the best look at the campanella patch.  in fact, that set is easily the best for a lot of the patches.  it figures that two of the catchers chose campy, while the other backstop chose mike scioscia as their hero, as we'll see later.

ron cey -  worn by adrian beltre
the penguin!  here's a better look at the patch.
i am not too sure that beltre, born in the dominican republic in 1979, followed cey much.  still, we are keeping with the positional loyalty, i suppose.

tommy davis - worn by robinson checo of whom i do not have a card showing the patch.

don drysdale - worn by jeff shaw,
darren dreifort (nice to see little d honoring big d), ismael valdes, eric gagne (i'm 99% certain), and doug bochtler
here's a better look at the patch
i really don't get why kevin brown didn't pick drysdale.  maybe i am mistaking his surliness for drysdale's intensity.

steve garvey - worn by travis barbary (i would love to find a card or image of travis barbary wearing this patch), and by gcrl.
i have it sewn on my garvey jersey, which i will most likely break out this summer at target field when the boys in blue come for a visit.  tickets are secured for all three games.  i can't wait.

kirk gibson - worn by todd hollandsworth, rick dempsey (a former teammate of gibby was a dodger coach in 1999), onan masaoka.  i don't have any cards of these three guys that feature the gibson patch, but i do own the gibby patch.  it looks like this
one big season a hero does make.

gil hodges--eric karros
here's some more positional loyalty, and although i was dissapointed that fabio didn't choose garvey, his choice of hodges makes sense.  karros' dad was a big dodger and hodges fan, so by honoring hodges, karros is also honoring his father.  i can't argue with that, especially since garvey himself probably would have chosen hodges.

sandy koufax - worn by kevin brown,
and chan ho park
contraband!  those patches would fetch a pretty good sum.

tommy lasorda - worn by glenn hoffman, and pedro borbon jr.  i don't have a card or image of the lasorda patch.

manny mota - worn by raul mondesi,
jose vizcaino, carlos perez, and antonio osuna.  mota was the only guy in uniform that could have worn a patch of himself.  he chose not too.  i'm not so sure other players would have been as humble.

don newcombe - worn  by coach john shelby.  sadly, i do not have an image of this patch.

pee wee reese - worn by mark grudzielanek
come on, you know that's reese.  here's a full view of the patch
all of the dodgers wound up wearing a black 'pee wee' patch later in the season to mark the passing of the great shortstop. 

jackie robinson - worn by eric young, davey johnson, gary sheffield, devon white,
and alan mills
here's what the patch looks like in all of its glory
dodger heroes don't get any better than that, folks.

bill russell - worn by tripp cromer
yay for tripp!  one of the few to give us a full view of the patch.  still, here's a better image
let us remember that this dodger hero was fired by the same regime that sought to honor him.  he wasn't the only discarded manager to be featured, either.

mike scioscia - worn by paul loduca and dave hansen.  hansen was a teammate of scioscia's back in the early '90's.  i don't have an image of the scioscia patch.

duke snider - worn by hitting coach rick down.  i don't have an pic of snider's patch.  the dodgers will be wearing a patch this season to commemorate the duke's death which is appropriate.  i was a little surprised that they didn't do it for willie davis last year, but there was no doubt they would honor the duke.

don sutton - worn by pitching coach charlie hough, coach jim tracy, double dipper mike maddux, and jamie arnold
you get a sense of the awesomeness of dodger pitching over the years when sutton gets not a whole lot of respect from the staff.  hough, of course, was a teammate, and jim tracy played in the same era although he never faced sutton.

maury wills - worn by manny mota and jacob brumfield.  i don't have a picture of the wills patch.

there were a few other players who wore dodger blue in 1999, such as craig counsell, but the only card of his as a dodger doesn't show who's on his sleeve.  for the record, the unknowns are counsell, trenidad hubbard (i have heard from someone who said hubbard wore the jackie patch), alex cora, chance sanford, rick wilkins, juan castro, brent cookson, mike judd, jeff williams, dave mlicki, jeff kubenka, matt herges, and mel rojas.  if anyone has any 2000 cards or other info on these patches and players, i would love to hear from you.

here's to you, dodger heroes (you too, davey lopes)!


MrMopar said...

Ah, yes...I remember those patches as well. They didn't last long and were snatched up quickly, as was most of the stuff back then.

There are mini versions of the patches, at least the Garvey, as well. I don't remember if I got anyone but Garvey, but if I did I don't know where they are now.

Steve D. said...

Awesome post. I had no idea the Dodgers did this. Great way to honor their past.

Kmann said...

Wow! Great post. I've been looking for this info for a long time. I have a Blue '99 alt jersey for Darren Dreifort, and now I know what Hero patch to use (Drysdale). Thanks!

Unknown said...

Can anyone tell me what size these patches were?

gcrl said...

jerry reuss has photos of all the patches (except koufax) on his flickr page


the sleeve patches are about 5.75" x 4.5" but there are also mini versions as mrmopar mentioned in his comment.

Mvaz68 said...

Does Anybody know where I can get the Steve Garvey Heroes Patch? If so text me at 915-540-8110 please.