Elvis Presley – I Forgot To Remember To Forget

It’s been too long since I posted about the big E. How could someone, not like a song with a title like that?

Elvis didn’t want to record this song because he thought it was too Country, so drummer Johnny Bernero from Memphis was added to the mix. Up until this time, there was only Scotty Moore on guitar, Bill Bass on bass, and Elvis on rhythm guitar. This added an up-tempo beat…Elvis liked it and recorded the song, which became a Country hit. I know Elvis is Elvis, but his backing band was just as special to me. Scotty Moore was one of a kind.

This song was released twice. The Sun Records release first charted the following week (September 17, 1955) at #14 on Billboard’s Country Charts.  On November 21, 1955, it was released yet again. On that day RCA Victor purchased Elvis’s contract from Sam Phillips. As part of the deal, RCA obtained the rights to all of Presley’s Sun recordings. Soon after, RCA pressed and distributed a single of “I Forgot to Remember to Forget” and “Mystery Train” on its own label.

This was Elvis’ first #1 on any chart. It peaked at #1 in the Country Charts and #2 in Canada in 1955.

The Beatles never recorded this song in the studio, but they did it for the BBC with George singing lead.

The song was written by Charlie Feathers and Stan Kesler.  Kesler had already written Presley’s “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone” when he had the idea for this song.

Stan Kesler: “At that time, I was on the kick of catchy titles,” Kesler recalled. “When I began to think about that phrase, it just expanded into ‘I forgot to remember to forget her.’ From there, I started working on it, and it all fell together.”

The Beatles version… live in the BBC studios.

I Forgot To Remember To Forget

I forgot to remember to forget her
I can’t seem to get her off my mind
I thought I’d never miss her
But I found out somehow
I think about her almost all the time
The day she went away
I made myself a promise
That I’d soon forget we ever met
But something sure is wrong
‘Cause I’m so blue and lonely
I forgot to remember to forget

The day she went away
I made myself a promise
That I’d soon forget we ever met
Well, but something sure is wrong
‘Cause I’m so blue and lonely
I forgot to remember to forget

The Bad News Bears (1976)

Hanspostcard is hosting a movie draft from 12 different genres…this is my Sports entry.

The Bad News Bears fulfills my Sports portion of the draft.

A small personal story to show how true this movie was of the time and why I can relate to it so much.

Our coach would be hitting grounders to each of the fielders from home plate and I was the catcher that day. The infielders would throw to first and then throw back to home…normal right? Not so fast… Our coach would have a beer in one hand and would hand it to me when hitting the ball. I would hand it back while the first baseman was throwing it back to me. This would happen in each practice on the city field. We didn’t think anything about it. The catcher was also the official beer passer and holder…none of us blinked an eye.

This movie was a surprise hit in 1976. It’s about an inept baseball team that is coached by an alcoholic named Morris Buttermaker. He is recruited by an attorney who filed a lawsuit against a competitive Southern California Little League, which excluded the least athletically skilled children (including his son) from playing. To settle the lawsuit, the league agrees to add an additional team…the Bears which is composed of the worst players.

The kids are foul-mouthed and the coach could care less… for a while anyway. When I watch this movie I’m in little league again. There was a remake in 2005 but I’ve always stuck to this one.

The script is smartly written and the comedy is good. Sometimes this movie gets overlooked but it is a great baseball movie. The cast includes Walter Matthau, Tatum O’Neal, Vic Morrow, Jackie Earle Haley, and a cast of unknown kids.

Walter Matthau plays the drunk Morris Buttermaker, perfectly… he does the minimum for a while.  He has the kids cleaning pools in one scene while drinking beer and driving them down the road in the next. While hunting around for a business to sponsor uniforms. Other teams have Pizza Hut and  Dennys but Buttermaker gets a …”Chico Bail Bonds” and that is fitting for this team.

The first game the Bears were beat 26-0 and Buttermaker recruited 12 year old girl name Amanda (Tatum O’Neal) who was the daughter of one of his old girlfriends. Amanda could pitch and pitch well. He taught her at a younger age. He talks her into pitching for the team.

The team starts coming together. Now comes the rebel. Jackie Earle Haley plays Kelly the cool neighborhood punk who rides his motorcycle at the ballpark interrupting games. He is the best athlete around but he refuses to play. He starts liking Amanda and after a bet begins playing with the team.

With the Kelly and Amanda, the team starts winning. They are moving up in the rankings and play for the championship. The last game is when the tone of the movie changes dramatically. Winning comes before everything and Buttermaker becomes serious… and the kids help produce a showdown.

What makes the movie special is despite the huge ensemble you get to know these  kids and the quirks they all show. It also sums up little league quite well.

One thing I remember when this movie was released was the absolute shock of parents everywhere because of these kids swearing. What the parents in 1976 didn’t understand was this is how many kids talked when adults weren’t around…mostly picked it up from their parents.

The movie is so 1970s and it pulls the veil back on youth sports then and now. They really nail down what the adults are like in little league… I coached little league a few years ago and I had a parent actually call me about his son at 10pm because he thought he should be hitting 3rd instead of 5th…this was a team of 4 and 5 year olds. I have seen a coach and parent have a fist fight in the back of the stands…

If you have never seen this film you are missing a baseball classic. But since we do live in 2021…if bad language stresses you out…don’t watch it.

There are two sequels. Bad News Bears Breaking Training and The Bad News Bears Go To Japan. Breaking Training is ok…Avoid the Japan movie at all costs.

Cast

Walter Matthau – Coach Morris Buttermaker
Tatum O’Neal – Amanda Whurlitzer
Vic Morrow – Roy Turner
Joyce Van Patten – Cleveland
Ben Piazza – Bob Whitewood
Jackie Earle Haley – Kelly Leak
Alfred Lutter III – Ogilvie (as Alfred W. Lutter)
Chris Barnes – Tanner Boyle
Erin Blunt – Ahmad Abdul Rahim
Gary Lee Cavagnaro – Engelberg
Jaime Escobedo – Jose Agilar
Scott Firestone – Regi Tower
George Gonzales – Miguel Agilar
Brett Marx – Jimmy Feldman
David Pollock – Rudi Stein
Quinn Smith – Timmy Lupus
David Stambaugh – Toby Whitewood
Brandon Cruz – Joey Turner
Timothy Blake – Mrs. Lupus
Bill Sorrells – Mr. Tower
Shari Summers – Mrs. Turner
Joe Brooks – Umpire
George Wyner – White Sox Manager
David Lazarus – Yankee
Charles Matthau – Athletic
Maurice Marks – Announcer

New Baseball Blog

I’m starting a baseball-only blog because there are some things that most of the readers here could care less about…like which baseball prospects I like the best, or how I don’t like interleague play as much as some and why I don’t think the National League should adopt the DH role.

I won’t be posting much on that one…only once in a while but anything baseball goes…past, present, and future. I’ll try to keep all the posts to the point like they are here. So if you are a baseball fan come and visit…if not I’ll talk to you here.

If you are interested the link is www.talkingaboutbaseball.com

Sorry for the interruption now we will return you to our eclectic song and pop culture selections.

Thank You All.

 

 

The Big Fella by Jane Leavy

This is one of the many books on Babe Ruth. He was one of the most written about person in the 20th century. Jane Leavy took a different approach to write the book. She jumps around in time periods but it’s not distracting. I found out things I never knew about the Babe and that is the reason I wanted to read it. Thanks to Hanspostcard again for another great recommendation.

When I was growing up I read everything I could about Babe Ruth. I never was a Yankee fan and never will be but I do love this period of the Yankees. Unfortunately, some people think of Ruth as this huge obese baseball player because of movies like the terrible “The Babe” in 1992. When Babe came up he was a great athlete and didn’t start getting out of shape until his last years. One thing that I would love to see about the Babe is a well-made movie…we have yet to see it.

The man’s popularity was only rivaled by Charlie Chaplin. If anyone was made for a time period it was this man. He could be crude, brash, stubborn, and generous and was the idol of millions of kids during the 20s and 30s. He was so much better than anyone of his peers that it seemed unfair. The man could rise to the occasion when needed. He did everything big, whether it was hitting a home run, striking out, or living his unfettered life.

Sometimes an athlete is just so much better than his peers and they would be a generational talent. Tiger Woods and Michael Jordon would be in this select group.

When Babe retired in 1935 with 714 home runs the closest player to that mark at the time was his old Yankee teammate Lou Gehrig with 378 home runs (after the 1935 season)…that is a difference of 336 home runs. That is domination.

Ruth had an agent by the name of Christy Walsh. Walsh was basically the first sports agent of his day. He created a highly successful syndicate of ghostwriters for baseball’s biggest stars, coining the term “ghost writer” in the process. Walsh, in many ways, was a pioneer in the public relations field. The relationship between the two was interesting to read about.

The Babe made 70 grand a season playing for the Yankees and at least the same on advertising and barnstorming across the nation in small towns bringing baseball to towns that never would have seen Major League Baseball in the offseason. He was still grossly underpaid for the money he brought into the Yankees. When he would play, the crowds would increase dramatically.

Although black players were stupidly not allowed to play in the Major Leagues at that time, Babe and Lou Gerhig’s teams played black teams in towns all around in the offseason.

If you have interest in Babe Ruth I would recommend this book and Robert Creamer’s book Babe Ruth: The Legend Comes to Life.

“I swing big, with everything I’ve got. I hit big or I miss big. I like to live as big as I can.” – Babe Ruth

 

 

May 25, 1935: Ruth hits the last 3 home runs of his career

84 years ago today on May 25, 1935, Babe Ruth was a Boston Brave in his last season in the Major Leagues. He was showing his age at 40 years old and the Yankees let him go and he signed with the Braves.

The Braves traveled to Forbes Field to play the Pirates and were 8-19 going into the game. Babe was hurting and out of shape. He rose to the occasion one more time in his long career. He ended up going 4-4 with 6 RBI’s and most importantly 3 home runs. His 712, 713, and 714th of his career.

The last home run he hit on this day would be his last in his career. Pirates pitcher Guy Bush pitched to him in the seventh inning and Ruth not only homered (his second off Bush for the day and third altogether of the day) but the ball went out of the park. Not just over the fence but clearing Forbes Field’s right field roof—for the first time in the ballpark’s 26-year history.

That is called going out in style. Babe Ruth had a dramatic touch about him and would rise to the occasion time and time again.

Babe would not get another hit in his career but he would retire five days later on May 30, 1935. His wife and agent wanted him to retire after this game but he wanted to honor his commitment to the owner of the Braves to play through Memorial Day Weekend.

 

 

 

 

My 5 Favorite Baseball Announcers of All Time

This list will be different for every baseball fan. Many times it’s your team’s announcer and other times it’s a network announcer you grew up with. I tend to like announcers who are not complete homers although some I like… like Harry Caray. He made it fun even though he openly rooted for the Cubs…and Budweiser.

There are many more that could be on this list.

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5: Harry Caray – He injected fun into the game. It was like a fan announcing the game. He wasn’t technically the best baseball announcer but he was enjoyable.

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4: Mel Allen – I remember Mel when I was a kid on “This Week in Baseball.” That voice was a part of my childhood.

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3: Bob Uecker – “Just a bit outside” the more I listen to him the more I appreciate him.

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2: Jack BuckNOT Joe… You could hear his excitement for the game in his voice. For me, the best is between Jack and…

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1: Vin Scully – Being a Dodgers fan I was spoiled by Vin Scully… my number 1 favorite. If you tuned into a Dodger game you would not know who employed Mr. Scully. He would not root for the Dodgers and he knew when not to say anything and let the action speak for itself.

Vin

Jack

 

 

Babe Ruth’s last surviving daughter dies at 102

Julia Ruth Stevens, the adopted daughter of Babe Ruth, died on Saturday in an assisted living facility in Henderson, Nev.

Babe Ruth married Claire Hodgson on the opening day of the 1929 baseball season. He adopted Julia, and Claire adopted Dorothy (Babe Ruth’s biological daughter) in 1930, and they all lived together, with Claire’s extended family, in an apartment on West 88th Street.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/26218325/babe-ruth-last-surviving-daughter-dies-102

Thurman Munson

On August 2, 1979, I remember the news that afternoon at 6 saying that a plane crash happened in Canton Ohio and Thurman Munson was dead. It was shocking because he was only 32 years old and catcher for the Yankees.

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While I was watching the 77 and 78 World Series there was one player I dreaded seeing at-bat with men on…, not Reggie Jackson…it was Thurman Munson. He is the only then Yankee player that I liked and respected.

Thurman is more remembered today for how his life ended than being a very good baseball player. He didn’t look like a prototypical Yankee. He was short and squatty with a sometimes difficult personality. He never did hit with a lot of power, the most home runs he ever hit in a season was 20. He ended up with a career batting average of .292 and an OBP of .346…very good for a catcher in that time period or now.

He was born in Canton Ohio in 1947 and grew up in a dysfunctional family. He kept progressing at baseball and attended Kent State. He was drafted with the 4th pick of the draft by the Yankees in 1968. He played with the Yankees from 1969 – 1979. Munson won Rookie of the Year in 1970.  He was a 7-time All-Star and an MVP in 1976. Thurman hurt his shoulder in the mid-seventies and had problems throwing the ball to second but he played through it all.

He had a rivalry with Carlton Fisk with the Red Sox and was fun to watch play. He was grumpy with reporters but good with kids and teammates. Former GM Gabe Paul said, “Thurman Munson is a nice guy who doesn’t want anyone to know it.”

He missed his family and wanted to be at home. He learned to fly and bought a prop plane so he could go home every night after a game. He kept progressing from plane to plane until he bought a Cessna $1.4 million twin-engine jet. He was practicing takeoffs and landings that day and came in and clipped some trees. He had three passengers, David Hall, and Jerry Anderson.

The plane caught fire as soon as it landed. Munson was conscious but had suffered serious spinal damage and couldn’t move. Anderson and Hall tried to pull Thurman to safety but the main door was jammed. Munson’s legs were trapped inside the crushed fuselage and wouldn’t budge. By the time the two men burst through the emergency exit, the smoke had consumed the entire plane. Hall and Anderson jumped out of the jet barely surviving. Thurman was dead at 32.

At the time I thought Thurman would be in the Hall of Fame. His numbers at the time of his death were comparable to Carlton Fisk. Munson appeared on the ballot in 1981, two years after a plane crash ended his life, and never got more than 15.5% of the vote.

Here is a list of his accomplishments from Wiki…but remember he was passed in many categories after he died.

  • 1st all time – Singles in World Series, 9
  • 10th all time – Batting average by catcher, .292
  • 11th all time – Postseason batting average, .357
  • 11th all time – Caught stealing percentage
  • 16th all time – On base percentage by catcher
  • 20th all time – OPS by catcher
  • 24th all time – Slugging by catcher
  • 26th all time – Hits by catcher
  • 26th all time – Runs by catcher
  • AL Rookie of the Year (1970)
  • AL MVP (1976)
  • 3× Gold Glove Award
  • 3 AL Pennants
  • 2 World Series titles
  • 7× All Star

 

 

Baseball in the 1970s

Growing up in Tennessee I was and still am a huge baseball fan. My father grew up liking the underdog Dodgers with Jackie Robinson when they played in Brooklyn while his brothers were Yankee fans. In 1977 I started to watch baseball and through my father connected with the Dodgers. He was more of a college football fan (Tennesse loves football) but I never got his passion for that. I watched some baseball before 77 but I was totally lost in it from then on.

Watching the 70s baseball was a special event. The hair, mustaches, and every color of uniform were interesting. For some reason, the Oakland A’s uniforms were my favorite.

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I’ve always liked the individualism of baseball. No rigid measurements in baseball parks like football or other sports. Every park is a unique home. There were cookie cutter (multi-purpose) parks with astroturf like Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. The 8th wonder of the world Astrodome in Houston. A very old Tiger Stadium in Detroit. The pavilion and palm tree Dodger Stadium. The ivy-walled Wrigley field in Chicago and the oh so green Fenway Park.

Baseball wasn’t as accessible then as it is now. You had to wait for the Saturday game of the week and Monday night baseball. That made it more special. There were certain teams they showed more than others. I was lucky, the Dodgers were one of the teams. I remember a lot of Pirates, Reds, Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodger games because they all were very good.

I remember the players of that time so well. Thurman Munson (the only then Yankee I liked), Al Hrabosky (The Mad Hungarian), Dave Parker (He looked like the biggest man ever), Luis Tiant, Oscar Gamble (the cool hair), Bill Lee, Willie Stargell, Greg Luzinski, Gary Maddox, Mike Schmidt, George Foster (who I met a few years ago), Joe Morgan (who I liked better as a player than announcer), Catfish Hunter.

I could probably still mimic most of the players batting stances now.

Some of the managers were just as popular as the players for different reasons. Earl Weaver (one of the pioneers of sabermetrics), Billy Martin (could make about any team win…for a short time), and Sparky Anderson.

Some events I remember are Disco Demolition Night in Chicago (exploding disco records) and 10 cent beer night (that turned into a riot in Cleveland…who would have guessed that?).

My favorite player… Hands down Ron Cey. Steve Garvey was the marquee name of the Dodgers but Ron Cey would come through in the clutch and had a better batting eye than Garvey. I played 3rd base in little league and on up because of Cey. His nickname was “The Penguin” because he ran like one. I tried running like that until the coach asked me what was wrong with me…he thought I was hurt.

When the Dodgers traded Cey to Chicago it broke my heart. He went on to do good with the Cubs but to this day I don’t understand that trade.

I still watch baseball and don’t miss a box score and it is still a game full of characters…maybe not as colorful now.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Newcomb

Don Newcomb passed away yesterday February 19, 2019. I don’t remember him playing because I’m too young. Being a Dodger fan all of my life I have read about his playing days and him talking to and mentoring the younger players with today’s Dodgers.

He was born on June 14, 1926, and played in the Negro Leagues finally making it to the Major Leagues in 1949 with the Brooklyn Dodgers winning Rookie of the Year. He won a World Series (the only one Brooklyn won) in 1955. He won the Cy Young Award in 1956. He battled alcoholism in the 50s and 60s. He mentored everyone from  Maury Wills, Steve Garvey, Orel Hershiser, Mike Piazza, to current players Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw and manager Dave Roberts.

At 92 he would still come to the ballpark and talk to the Dodgers and opposing players.

Here is a link. http://m.thecourierexpress.com/sports/national/bc-bbn–obit-newcombe-nd-ld-writethru/article_cad2236f-faad-5d8f-ad10-bc430854b7e9.html

The Dodgers released this today. 

 

So you need to choose between baseball and football

https://www.sbnation.com/2019/1/15/18183785/kyler-murray-nfl-draft-choice-baseball-football

I found this article by Grant Brisbee about Kyler Murray who is going to choose between baseball and football. It’s a great article that relates to any athlete choosing between the two sports. He writes in the article if you want fame quickly choose football… if you want a long career and more money in the long run…pick baseball…but it’s not that easy on either.

He touches on quality of life also a little in this…For me, this is the key thing to think about. In years after retirement being able to…think and function would be a nice benefit.

Jeff Samardzija is a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.

Right now, Jeff Samardzija is somewhere either smoking a cigarette or rehabbing his shoulder, unless he’s doing both at the same time because he’s an absolute legend. But his brain is still good. In 10 years, his brain will probably still be good, and he’ll have made more money over his career than Joe Thomas, who was one of the best offensive linemen in NFL history.

It’s a good article.

 

Dodgers vs. Red Sox

It’s been 102 years since these organizations met in the World Series. Back then it was the Red Sox…with Babe Ruth against the Robins. In my lifetime they came close to meeting in 1978.

I’ve waited a long time for this, 40 years to witness the Dodgers play the Red Sox in the World Series. As a kid, I always loved to see Fenway Park on television with its vision of green and know that Babe Ruth once played there along with other greats. The team I love, The Dodgers, were winning their division in 1978 and I thought instead of playing the Yankees I could see the Dodgers play in Fenway. This was before Interleague entered the picture.

In 1978 The Red Sox had a commanding lead in the American League East division. They led the Yankees by 14  games in July I thought for sure the Sox had it. The teams ended up tied on the last day and it came down to a playoff game between the Sox and Yankees. The Yankees ended up winning the game and the American League pennant with the help of the famous Bucky Dent homer.

Now I’ll finally get to see it 40 years later in the World Series. Win or lose I’m looking forward to this World Series. Instead of Cey, Garvey, Lopes vs Lynn, Rice, and Yaz it will be Bellinger, Puig, Turner, and Kershaw against Betts, Bradley Jr., Martinez, and Sale.

Should be a good series.

 

Five Baseball Songs

Since the playoffs are in full swing…thought I would list my 5 favorite baseball songs in no certain order.

Take Me Out To The Ball Game – The classic song of the game written in 1908 and still going strong.

Talking Baseball – Terry Cashman released this in 1981 but it didn’t do much in the charts when it was released but has caught on to be a classic.

Centerfield –  John Fogerty on his “comeback” album of the same name. This is played at every ballpark.

Glory Days – Bruce Springsteen – Based off a true encounter with an ex-classmate that Bruce played little league baseball with when they were young.

Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball – Count Basie

 

 

 

The excuse for leaving work today

My son texted me this…I don’t think my company would buy it…Of course being at Dodger Stadium would be hard but I will be there in spirit. If the Dodgers win today they will win the division…if they lose they are off to the wildcard game.

Colorado Rockies (RHP German Marquez – 14-10, 3.76 ERA) at Los Angeles Dodgers (RHP Walker Buehler – 7-5, 2.76 ERA), 4:09 p.m. ET. The Brewers and Cubs are playing right now to decide their division.

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For the Love of the Dodgers

What if my dad would have been a Yankees fan like his brothers? I would have grown up rooting for a team that won more than any other. My life could have been different….nah….I’m happy that he passed down his love of the Dodgers. His brothers grew up in the 50’s fans of the Yankees…My dad always went for the underdogs which would have been Brooklyn then….the only championship they won was in 1955 before moving to LA. I remember when I was a small kid, my dad, watching a World Series with the Dodgers against a team in yellow and green uniforms…That would have been the 1974 world series against the Oakland A’s.

I started to watch baseball in 1977 and started to follow the Dodgers. Once in a while I would be lucky and catch them on Saturdays and Monday nights on the 3 channels we had then. I also would be able to listen on the radio when they played the Reds, Cardinals or Braves…. I never lived anywhere near California but that doesn’t matter. Ron Cey, Davey Lopes, Steve Garvey and Bill Russell were in that great infield. My favorite player was Ron Cey….I played 3rd base in little league just because of him. They made it to the World Series that year….I thought that happened every year…. They lost that year to the Yankees and Reggie Jackson hit 3 home runs…I still don’t like that man. I liked the Dodger’s Reggie (Reggie Smith) much better…The next year they made it again….again they were beaten by the Yankees…helped by a terrible call when Reggie Jackson…see a pattern here?…intentionally stepped in front of the ball to deflect it…but it wasn’t called. I knew how my Dad felt in the fifties. They made it to the World Series again in 1981 and finally,…finally they won…not only did they win that year….they beat the Yankees…It was my happiest time being a Dodger fan. It even beat 1988 when Kirk Gibson hit his home run and they won.

After 88 they changed owners to Fox….which sucked because they didn’t know how to run a baseball team and was only interested in broadcasting rights. Then a carpet bagger named Frank McCourt bought the team in 2004. That was probably the worst day in Dodger history. The guy was/is a crook and would not spend on the team. He used the team as his personal piggy bank. I wanted to use him as a piñata and beat him until he sold the Dodgers to a real owner. MLB finally took the team away from the jerk…

Now in 2017 they finally made it back to the World Series. My son who really started to watch seriously for the first time this year saw them one game away from winning it all….He was disappointed but I’ve been here before…They will win it with the ownership and the front office they have…..

I love the new team Kershaw, Turner, Jansen, Bellinger, Seager etc… I do believe they will win it all…..

But…you never really forget your childhood heroes…

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The Roster of the 1977 Dodgers

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