Sunday, August 22, 2010

His future was so bright...

he had to wear shades.

In May of 1984, Orel Hershiser, a young pitcher for the Dodgers in what would be his first full big league season, was called into manager Tommy Lasorda's office. On the way to his managers office Hershiser contemplated the reason for the meeting, speculating that he might get sent back down to the minors. According to Hershiser, this is what Lasorda told him. "I wanted to talk to you about your game, the use of your ability, your mental approach to pitching." Lasorda game him a specific example of a recent situation where Hershiser had not pitched well against Houston Astro Jose Cruz and Cruz ended up hitting a double, driving in two runs. Lasorda further told his young pitcher, "You don't believe in yourself! You're scared to pitch in the big leagues! Who do you think these hitters are, Babe Ruth? Ruth's dead! You've got good stuff. If you didn't, I wouldn't have brought you up. Quit be'in so careful! Go after the hitter! Get ahead in the count! Don't be so fine with him and then find yourself forced to lay one in!" Lasorda continued, "I've seen guys come and go, son, and you've got it! You gotta go out there and do it on the mound! Take charge! Make 'em hit your best stuff! Be aggressive. Be a bulldog out there. That's gonna be your new name: Bulldog." The nickname stuck. Hershiser would later write, "I still didn't like the nickname (I still don't), and I was still chagrined that anyone thought I needed it. But that day I became a big league pitcher."

1 comment:

  1. I don't remember hearing that story before. Thanks for sharing.

    You still interested in the Mize and Irvin multiple bat cards?