Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell. and I’m really looking forward to this week’s three-game series with St. Louis, particularly Jackie Robinson Day on Wednesday. Oh, wait.
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So here we are, 16 games into the season. Sixteen games postponed, maybe canceled, we just don’t know yet. A lot of people shelled out a lot of money for tickets to those games, expecting a day or night of entertainment. Instead, and rightfully so, we have all been sheltering in place, washing our hands, trying to stop the spread of this coronavirus.
But still, the money spent on those tickets could come in handy right now, particularly for those who have been furloughed from their job or laid off. So, when will you be getting a refund for those tickets? Your guess is as good as mine.
The Times’ Bill Shaikin wrote a story about this, which you can read here. I could pontificate on what the Dodgers and other teams should do, but I’m just going to quote from Bill’s story on what is happening.
“The Dodgers and Angels are not automatically refunding tickets at this time, following the guidance of Major League Baseball. Neither is StubHub, the league’s official ticket resale partner.
“The StubHub situation in particular has attracted the attention of a congressional committee already investigating the ticket industry. The House Energy and Commerce Committee in February summoned representatives from StubHub and five other ticketing companies to a hearing titled “In the Dark: Lack of Transparency in the Live Event Ticketing Industry.”
“Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said the committee now has asked ticket companies to provide refund policies for games and other events impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“For now, even as it becomes increasingly unlikely that MLB can play a full season, the league lists unplayed games as postponed rather than canceled. On March 16, commissioner Rob Manfred cited a Centers for Disease Control recommendation in saying MLB would not begin play before May 9. On March 25, Manfred told ESPN, “We’re probably not gonna be able to” complete a traditional 162-game schedule.
“MLB considers each postponement similar to a rainout, and the league advises fans to hold on to tickets and await the decision on a rescheduled date. The league and its players’ union are exploring an array of options, including playing rescheduled games well into October or playing the entire season solely in Arizona.”
Back to me now. This is not a pretty situation. But for those of you asking what is going on with refunding tickets, I wanted to provide some answers. At some point, a decision will have to be made on what to do with the 2020 season. And my best guess is your ticket money won’t be resolved until a decision is made. When will that be? Nobody knows.
In the meantime, please stay safe and healthy.
Jaime Jarrin, the longtime Spanish-language broadcaster for the Dodgers recently sat down with Jorge Castillo and had this to say:
“I hope we have some baseball this year,” Jarrín said. “I would go crazy without baseball for this year. And I don’t want the virus to stop my streak of 62 years in a row doing what I love to do, doing baseball. It’s fantastic.
“I know it’s difficult to stay inside, but we have to do it. We have to avoid the [spread] of the virus. That’s the most important thing. Everything else is secondary.”
Ask Tom Niedenfuer
Throughout the next few weeks, Dodgers Dugout will expand its “Ask...” feature to include former Dodgers. Next up, Tom Niedenfuer.
Niedenfuer is remembered by most Dodgers fans for one pitch that we won’t revisit. And that’s a shame, because he was a very underrated relief pitcher with the team. He pitched with them for seven seasons (1981-87) and was 30-28 with a 2.76 ERA and 64 saves. He pitched five innings in the 1981 World Series, giving up no earned runs and only three hits. For the Dodgers, he is 24th all-time in games pitched (310) and 11th in saves.
Niedenfuer will answer selected questions from readers of Dodgers Dugout, so send me your questions for him by clicking here or by emailing me at email@example.com. His answers will appear in a future newsletter.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
Douglas Toler: My first Dodger memory was watching the 1955 World Series on television. My Dad had bought our first television set and we lived out in the country so we only got two or three channels. I don’t remember how many games I got to see but I got to see my first professional baseball game. I saw Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Don Newcombe, and of course many other player whose names I can’t recall now. I got hooked on the Dodgers and have been a Dodger fan ever since.
John Alwardt: My dad was career Air Force (1940-1964). We had two separate tours in England totaling almost eight years by the time I was 12 years old. When we came in 1959, I was 12. I hadn’t been exposed to much baseball. We were stationed in Indiana. The Dodgers were playing the White Sox in the ’59 Series. The Jackie Robinson story plus the series started my life long love of the team. My dad retired in 1964 to Corona, Calif. It was paradise for me living so close to Dodger Stadium. Every night listening to the game on my transistor radio. I still get a thrill walking into the stadium and looking out at the field. Each generation of Dodger players is my “favorite.” Everybody please stay healthy and safe.
Nikki Smith: My first memory of the Dodgers comes from the fall of 1988. I was in pre-school, about 4-and-a-half years old. My class was making some craft with Papier-mâché, which as you probably know involves strips of newspaper that are dipped in starch. Apparently I had the sports section. I couldn’t really read, but I remember seeing the photo of Orel Hershiser being hoisted into the air by catcher Rick Dempsey after throwing a complete game to win the 1988 World Series. As a small kid, of course the Disney World commercial that came after and played over and over crystallizes the memory.
Jerry Stahl: I was 5-years-old and had just learned to read. Even at that incredibly young age the Dodgers (the Brooklyn Dodgers) were in my heart & part of my life because of my Dad. And my earliest memory of my Dodgers stemmed from the sports section of the newspaper in 1947 when all I was capable of doing was turning to that section and looking at the standings. I knew how to read that word “Dodgers” and I knew how to count. So every day I waited for the newspaper to arrive to open it to the sports section and count down from the top under the National League Standings 1, 2, 3. So I knew they were in third place. It seemed like they never moved up or down, just stuck in third place. I remember trying to figure out what GB meant (Games Behind) but that was beyond my pay grade.
And one day it happened, while I was lying on the floor on my stomach as kids often do, doing my usual Major League standings countdown after the paper came. And what occurred was an exhilarating experience that I will never forget. That day I counted down from the top to the Dodgers position in the standings, 1, 2. They now finally advanced to second place & my excitement was palpable. That is my earliest memory of the Dodgers.
Orel Hershiser is going to DisneyWorld. Watch it here.