Rich Kauffman: So long Vinny … |

Rich Kauffman: So long Vinny …

Well, I guess we knew it was coming, but that doesn’t mean we like it.

Myself, I was at no time a Dodger fan but never grew weary of hearing your gruff-like renderings, unless the Dodgers were beating the Giants. Oh, by the way … do you know what today is besides the first day of your retirement? Yep, it’s October the third. Remember what happened on this day in 1951, exactly 65 years ago to the day?

I was only 12 years old but I’ll never forget that Russ Hodges call of the shot heard round the world. Even the USPS issued a stamp honoring that historic event. Oh yes, there was an 18-year-old lad from Mobile, Alabama on deck behind Bobby Thompson on that day, one named Willie Mays; the Say Hey kid. Remember him?

No doubt you recall the third game of the 1962 playoffs, too. The Dodgers led the Giants going into the last inning by a score of 4-2, the same score by which they led the Giants halfway through the last of the ninth when Ralph Branca threw Bobby that fast ball in ’51.

So many games … so many memories.

On that 18-year-old kid from Mobile, Alabama … I remember reading the San Francisco Chronicle Sporting Green in May of ’51 and the Giants were wallowing around in last place when Willie arrived at the Polo Grounds that month. I believe he struck out the first 11 or so times at bat and even asked management if he should just go back home. Well, that never happened. Then there was that Juan Marichal/Johnny Roseboro thing and who could forget the Joe Morgan home run on the last day of the season that literally knocked the Dodgers out of any postseason contention.

So many games … so many memories; way too many to mention all of them.

Oh, one more thing before I sign off. We’re now into postseason 2016; and the Giants and the Dodgers have been in the mix. How ’bout that? So long Vinny.

Rich Kauffman lives in Grass Valley.

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