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Dodgers Dugout: Ask Jerry Reuss; this day in Dodgers history

Juan Pierre
Juan Pierre
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell. I wonder what the Dodgers’ record would have been today if the season had started.

As we continue our voyage into the unknown, with no season on the horizon, let’s start some special features to help pass the time until games begin.

Ask Jerry Reuss

Throughout the next few weeks, Dodgers Dugout will expand its “Ask...” feature to include former Dodgers. First up, Jerry Reuss.

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Reuss pitched for the Dodgers from 1979 to 1987 as part of a 22-season major league career. With the Dodgers, he went 86-69 with a 3.11 ERA (an ERA+ of 11). His best season was 1980 when he went 18-6 with a 2.51 ERA and pitched a no-hitter against the Giants. He finished second in Cy Young voting that year to Steve Carlton. He ended his career with 220 wins and with his tall, lanky frame, blond hair and penchant for pranks, he is one of the more popular Dodgers of the past. He recently had his autobiography “Bring in the Right-Hander!” published, and it is well worth a read. You can read more about him by clicking here.

Reuss will answer selected questions from readers of Dodgers Dugout, so send me your questions for him by clicking here or by emailing me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com. His answers will appear in a future newsletter.

This Day in Dodgers history

Notable things that happened on April 1 in Dodgers history:

1963: The New York Mets purchase legendary Dodger Duke Snider from the team for $40,000. Snider makes the All-Star team with the Mets, then plays a season with the San Francisco Giants before retiring.

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2008: Juan Pierre‘s 434 consecutive games played streak comes to an end when he doesn’t play in the Dodgers’ 3-2 win over the Giants. It was the longest active streak in the majors.

Your first Dodgers memory

Well, I asked you to share your first Dodgers memory and you did. I received thousands of responses, so thank you. Since we have plenty of free time on our hands, I’ll continue running multiple “first Dodgers memories.” If you haven’t already, I’d still love for you to send me your first Dodgers memory, and it may run 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.

Lanny Waggoner: October 6, 1959. I am sitting in ninth-grade History class at Clark Junior High in La Crescenta, when a messenger enters and hands the teacher a note. I am summoned to the teacher’s desk — the last time I was so summoned, in third grade, nearly resulted in a spanking for talking back to a different teacher. (Hey, it was the 50s). So, I am wary. The note sends me to the school office, where I am told my father had called to say I’d forgotten my orthodontist appointment and to come to downtown L.A. immediately. Puzzled, I hurry off, running down to the feed store/bus stop in Montrose. Time is of the essence.

A bus-and-streetcar ride deposits me at our family’s cafe, Lance’s Grill, at 1326 South Figueroa, where my Dad hands me a large and beautiful ticket to Game 5 of the World Series ($7.50 — wow!) at the nearby Coliseum. Somehow, I get there in time and witness the White Sox’s Bob Shaw and Sandy Koufax duel it out in a game which would have won the Series in five games for the Dodgers if they had won — they did not, losing 1-0, and clinched two days later in Chicago.

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My Dad met me afterward and cheered me up with a late lunch of cheeseburger, chocolate cream pie and Hires Root Beer. (Hey, it was still the 50s).

Bob Montgomery: In 1950, all we had was an 11” black and white TV with the Hollywood Stars games. I was 10 and loved baseball. While entering the living room I saw my dad sitting on a metal folding chair with the TV on a wooden box in front of him. He was screaming and stamping on the floor. I can’t remember who was playing. I just knew it was the Dodgers and the ump had made a ruling against them. I sat beside him and he explained in detail what was happening. From that day until this I’ve been hooked. Totally.

Eric Pottmeyer: My earliest memory of Dodger baseball was actually from the first game I ever attended at Dodger Stadium with my parents, in 1976. I watched Reggie Smith belt a home run in a Dodger victory. But my first glorious memory was watching Dusty Baker hit a come-from-behind, walk-off (not even a term yet) home run in the bottom of the ninth against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1976. I had never seen so many people so happy at once going nuts together.

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 Thursday and every Thursday thereafter.

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And finally

A day in the life with the Kershaws. 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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