While checking my Twitter feed this morning, I discovered something very cool.
Fellow dyed-in-blue Dodgers fan and friend, Clyle (@clylealt), reminded us all that today is Don Drysdale's birthday. Big D.
For the first few years after the Dodgers arrived in LA from Brooklyn, that New York feeling was very strong. Almost all of the players hailed back to the Brooklyn club and old Ebbets Field.
Drysdale was instrumental in helping the Dodgers form their first baseball identity in Los Angeles.
He paired up with Sandy Koufax to form a solid one, two punch at the top of the Dodgers' pitching rotation. Think Kershaw and Greinke and you'll get the idea.
What's a birthday without some floating heads?
Drysdale and Koufax exploited the layout of early Dodger Stadium and dominated early 60's pitching.
Big D and Sandy also made their mark on player's salaries and contracts when they played hardball with the Dodgers by simultaneously holding out for record-breaking compensation.
Big D owned that plate. If you thought otherwise and leaned in a bit too far, Drysdale was not shy about letting you know who that plate belongs to.
Drysdale held the MLB most shutout innings pitched record at 58 2/3 innings before it was broken by Bulldog Hershiser twenty years later, at 59.
After retirement Drysdale became the Dodgers' TV announcer. I may be hated for saying this, but I always found Drysdale's baseball announcing work to be boring. I used to call him Dull Drysdale.
Whether he was an exciting announcer or not, he was an exciting player, and one of the last connections from Brooklyn to LA.