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Dodgers Dugout: Your first Dodgers memories; best wishes to Connor Joe

APphoto_Dodgers Indians Spring Baseball
Dodgers players warm up for a spring-training game before they were canceled.
(Ross D. Franklin / AP)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell and I washed my hands thoroughly before writing this newsletter.

In last week’s newsletter, the big news was the season opener was pushed back until April 3 or so. What a difference a week makes.

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Now, because of new guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the earliest opening day could take place is May 9. And even that, as of today, is doubtful. Will they still be able to play a full season? It would take a lot of doubleheaders and pushing the playoffs back, but it’s possible. But it seems, at this point, to be unlikely.

All anyone is doing at this point is guessing. We don’t even know when the season will start and until we know that, all the questions of what happens this season, including what happens with the All-Star game in July at Dodger Stadium, are impossible to answer

Meanwhile, each team has agreed to contribute $1 million to a fund to assist ballpark workers who are out of work because of the coronavirus hiatus.

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Best wishes to Connor Joe

Dodgers minor leaguer Connor Joe announced Wednesday that he has testicular cancer.

Joe said he had surgery Tuesday and that the cancer was caught early. He hit .300 with 15 home runs in 105 games with triple-A Oklahoma City last season.

Your first Dodgers memory

Well, I asked you to share your first Dodgers memory with me, and you did. I received thousands of responses, so thank you! Since we have plenty of free time on our hands now, I’ll start running multiple “first Dodgers memories” starting with this newsletter. And if you haven’t already, I’d still love for you to send me your first Dodgers memory, and I’ll run it in an upcoming Dodgers Dugout. Include your name. And don’t send only a sentence, tell why that memory sticks out in your mind. You can email me your memory at houston.mitchell@latimes.com. Thanks!

Jeff Bodwell: I was maybe 3 and Grandma Merson was an avid fan. When nap time came she would put a pillow on her lap and I’d snooze during the game. This was Saturday or Sunday of course. She lived in Arroyo Seco, Highland Park. At night we could hear the cheer of the crowds if the wind blew just right. I still have the pillow and the golden childhood memories. I also will fall asleep watching a game to this day.

Jim Demetriou: My father loved the St. Louis Cardinals and therefore always watched National League games, particularly Dodgers games. We lived in Queens and he would watch Dodgers games on WOR-TV. I became very interested in baseball at age 4 and would always sit with my dad and watch those Dodgers. I loved baseball and loved the Dodgers. One day my dad asked my mom to take my brother and I to a local store and get us baseball caps. I was 4 and my brother was 6. I walked into the store, spotted the royal blue cap with the B insignia, and told my mom I wanted the one with the B. Unfortunately, so did my brother. I started to cry and my brother said OK, “I’ll take the dark blue with the NY.” I loved that cap and only took it off when I went to bed. That is how I became a Dodgers fan.

In 1957, I pleaded with my dad to take me to Ebbets Field (we always went to Yankees games). Finally, on Aug. 20, 1957, we went to Ebbets Field and watched the Cincinnati Redlegs vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers in a twi-night doubleheader. It was great. Then they moved to L.A. I am now 70 years old, but I still follow my Dodgers. People often ask me, “Why are you a Dodgers fan”? My answer is “I was born that way and I bleed Dodger Blue.”

Mary Bertrand: My earliest memories of the Dodgers were from watching the Saturday games of the week with my brothers. I first got hooked on the team from the 1974 playoffs and World Series. I had such a crush on some of the players (I should mention I was 12 years old). Living in Iowa, we were lucky to see one Cubs game on TV a week, so the “Saturday Game of the Week” was special. And if it was your team, even more special. Mostly, I had to follow the Dodgers by listening to games on the radio. But I always had to listen to the other team’s broadcasters, so the Dodgers were the enemy. And being in the Central time zone, games were late. But I had an old radio which I taped indicators to on the AM dial so I could tune into other teams broadcasts, which came in better at night.

One night I was listening to the Cincinnati broadcast and it kept getting interrupted by storm warnings. Tornado warnings. Oddly the county names were the same as counties in my area. I was in a panic because the local radio station at that time went off the air at midnight. It didn’t seem stormy outside, why all these dire warnings. Then I remembered I was listening to an Ohio radio station. I miss those days.

Christine Alvarez: I am a Dodgers fan and baseball fan because of my grandmother. She became a baseball fan after listening to Vin Scully announce the games on the radio driving around Los Angeles with my grandfather in the 1950s. She said she could visualize the game through Vinny’s words.

I can remember a Saturday in the late ‘70s and we were watching an exciting game. My grandmother’s television died. We ran out and bought a TV and returned home in time to watch the end of the game.

When my grandmother was in her final days, I would move the television speaker next to her when Vinny was announcing the game. She couldn’t communicate to us then but I know listening to his voice gave her comfort in those last days.

I will always be grateful to Vin and my grandmother for my love of baseball and the Dodgers.

Ask Ross Porter

I am happy to announce that former Dodgers broadcaster Ross Porter has agreed to return for another season of “Ask Ross Porter.” We have a new email address this season for it. Ross will have access to this email address and will get your questions without me having to forward them. So, if you have a message (like thanking him for his years as a broadcaster) and not a question, feel free to let him know. Send your question to rossporterdodgers@gmail.com. His answers will start appearing the week of March 30.

And finally

Legends of Dodgers baseball: Steve Garvey. Watch it here.

Until next time...
Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter?Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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