Hall of Famer Robin Yount grew up in Woodland Hills, playing at Sunrise Little League and Taft High. He said he did not get to Dodger Stadium all that often as a kid, apparently by choice.
“I was a Giant fan,” Yount said. “I didn’t really care for the Dodgers all that much.”
Yount, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 7 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday, played his 20-year career with the Milwaukee Brewers. He was 27 when he played in the 1982 World Series. The Brewers — then in the American League — lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, and he never made another postseason appearance.
He nearly joined the Angels as a free agent after the 1989 season, courted by founding owner Gene Autry. Yount, already a two-time most valuable player, ultimately decided to return to the Brewers, then owned by future commissioner Bud Selig, for what was then considered a lavish deal: three years, $9.6 million.
“It was the right thing to do at that point in my career,” Yount said. “Mr. Selig convinced me that it was the right thing to do. The fans of this community and Wisconsin convinced me it was the right thing to do.
“And, as bad as I wanted to go chase that ring, after I had made the decision to stay, I knew it was the right thing to do.”
Yount played through the 1993 season and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999. The Angels did not post a winning record in any season from 1990 to 1993 while the Brewers recorded two, but never advanced to the playoffs.
“We’re not like some of the biggest franchises that experience this stuff a little more than we have over Brewer history,” Yount said. “So when a team is this good and plays this well in the playoff atmosphere, we’re all excited. I’m as excited as anybody.”
Yasmani Grandal sits again
Yasmani Grandal began the postseason as the Dodgers’ clear starting catcher. He was their primary catcher for the entire season, leaving the struggling Austin Barnes as his backup. But Barnes seized the starting role during the NLCS after Grandal’s dismal performance on offense and defense, and didn’t relinquish it.
Grandal entered Saturday three for 24 with 11 strikeouts, two passed balls and two errors in the series. He last started in Game 3.
Barnes made his third consecutive start and fourth of the series Saturday after not appearing in the National League Division Series against Atlanta. Manager Dave Roberts said he considered giving the nod to Grandal, who had generated chemistry with starter Walker Buehler, but stuck with Barnes.
“It was a tough one,” Roberts said before the game. “Yasmani has been our starting catcher all year long. And, Walker, they’ve had success together. But I just feel right now the way that Austin is receiving, sync’d with our guys as far as game planning, I just feel that this, for one game right now, today, gives us the best chance.”
Yasiel Puig moves up more lists
Yasiel Puig passed Davey Lopes for sole possession of fifth place on the Dodgers all-time postseason hits list with his double against Jhoulys Chacin in the second inning Saturday. The double was Puig’s 44th playoff hit. Pee Wee Reese is next up on the list with 47. Steve Garvey is tops in franchise history with 63.
Four innings later, he hit a three-run home run to surpass Duke Snider for fifth in runs with 22. Puig is also first in franchise history in games played (53).