Carl Erskine's Tales From Dodger Dugout: Extra Innings


To the baseball fans of today, the name 'Dodgers' is synonymous with Hollywood, the warm California sun, and names like Tommy Lasorda, Kirk Gibson, Steve Garvey, and Orel Hershiser. The Dodgers mean much more than that to the fans of baseball history, however. Namely, these fans remember the famed "Boys of Summer." otherwise known as the Brooklyn Dodgers, a team that included some of the most storied players in baseball history. The group included Hall of Famers Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee ...

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To the baseball fans of today, the name 'Dodgers' is synonymous with Hollywood, the warm California sun, and names like Tommy Lasorda, Kirk Gibson, Steve Garvey, and Orel Hershiser. The Dodgers mean much more than that to the fans of baseball history, however. Namely, these fans remember the famed "Boys of Summer." otherwise known as the Brooklyn Dodgers, a team that included some of the most storied players in baseball history. The group included Hall of Famers Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese, and Jackie Robinson. Although they eventually moved out West, the Brooklyn Dodgers provided some of the greatest moments the game has ever seen and some of the greatest personalities to ever take the field. Carl Erskine, another member of that legendary team, relates memories about his days with the Dodgers in a book full of true stories and revealing anecdotes. The result is the second edition of "Carl Erskine's Tales from the Dodger Dugout, a delightfully interesting trip through the world of baseball in the 1950s that includes several new stories added for this edition. Among Erskine's many tales are his dealings with immortal team official Branch Rickey, his view from the Dodgers' bench during Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, and his first-hand experiences when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and became the first black player in Major League Baseball history. During his frequent speaking engagements, people often ask Erskine if all of his stories are true. His standard response has been, "Yes, I couldn't possibly make them up the way they actually happened." Now fans can read all of those great true stories in "Carl Erskine's Tales fromtheDodger Dugout: Second Edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Larry Larry King
...a terrific book..."
USA Today
Along with Erksine's abilities on the mound, he proves himself to be a talented storyteller in his charming Tales From the Dodger Dugout. Erskine gives equal time to teammates, coaches, friends and opponents in what amounts to a series of short, snappy baseball anecdotes. While Erskine's stories span his entire life, the best are the ones that evoke his playing days in Brooklyn.
The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
Brooklyn's beloved "Oisk" recalls life in Ebbetts Field and after. Erskine was a pitcher for the legendary Brooklyn Dodgers teams of the '40s and '50s, a 12-year major-league veteran who logged 122 victories, including a pair of no-hitters. As one of the famed "Boys of Summer," he appeared in six World Series, most of them against the hated rivals from the Bronx, the New York Yankees. Off the field, Erskine is a soft-spoken Hoosier native, an affable, even sweet man, and it is those qualities that shine through this pleasant, if inconsequential book of anecdotes. At the outset of the book, Erskine writes, "I can tell these stories because I was there," and he was, indeed, present for many of them, but too many of the items recounted herein are stories that have been told before elsewhere, often by better tale-bearers than the likable banker from Anderson, Indiana. However, there are a few real gems in this volume, ranging from Preacher Roe's decision to retire to a recipe for the buttermilk cake that became a lucky talisman for the '55 world champions from Brooklyn. There are, appropriately, a raft of stories about Branch Rickey, focusing on the Dodger general manager's legendary combination of penny-pinching, piety, and perspicuity. Erskine recounts the tale of Rickey's signing Jackie Robinson to become the first black major leaguer, but this is a story that has been told many, many times before. He also recounts some very funny anecdotes about contract negotiations with the tightfisted Rickey (including one in which he actually managed to get the better of the Dodger g.m., albeit with a little assist from theCommissioner'soffice). Erskine is a charming reminder of a simpler sports age, seemingly more innocent than today's mega-dollar, television-driven industrial era, but he is also smart enough to recognize and intimate that his own times were not quite as noble as they are painted by nostalgia buffs. Unfortunately, the book suffers from a total and complete lack of organization, with stories presented in no apparent order. Real fans, however, won't mind. A painlessly amusing walk around the old Dodger haunts in a Brooklyn that is no more.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582612829
  • Publisher: Sports Publishing LLC
  • Publication date: 3/15/2004
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Carl Erskine played twelve seasons with the Dodgers. Following his retirement in 1960, he returned to Anderson College in Indiana to coach baseball for twelve seasons, during which time his teams won four Hoosier College Conference championships and earned an appearance in the NAIA College World Series. He continues to be a community leader, participating in numerous organizations and businesses.

Burton Rocks is the coauthor, with former New York Yankee Paul O'Neill, of the New York Times bestseller Me and My Dad.

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Table of Contents

Foreword x
Acknowledgments xiii
Introduction xiv
"Oisk" 1
Baseball Scripture 1
What's a Baseball? 3
The Red Thread 4
It's All in the Delivery 4
Over the Top 5
"If at First ..." 6
Double Bonus 7
Love Bug 8
Cool It 8
The Decision 10
The Commissioners 12
Four Managers 13
Branch Rickey: "Let's Make a Deal" 14
Saved 16
Mr. Rickey Salary 16
Bobby Bragan 18
A Glove in the Hand Is Worth ...? 18
Forbes Field 20
Shuba 20
Hanson Place YMCA 21
Hermanski 22
Hit and Run 22
"Colorless" 24
The Real Story 26
Hugh Casey 29
The Lesson 29
Mr. Rickey's Parable 30
Nairy a Whisker 31
Hatten in Relief 32
White Horses 33
Kids Know 33
B.H.G. 34
Brooklyn Bonus 34
Satchel 35
Billy 37
Jethroe 37
Jimmy Gray 39
Signs 40
Chuck Connors 41
Gil Hodges 42
Dr. Peale and Mr. Rickey 42
Dick Sisler 43
Mel Queen 43
Yankee Stadium 44
Joltin' Joe 45
The Swami 45
Happy 46
To Curve or Not to Curve? 47
Now You See It, Now You Don't 48
Arthur Murray 49
Brooklyn Daze 50
"Do As I Say, Not ..." 51
The Five-Hitter 51
Elmer and Jocko 52
Drop Dead 53
A Hit's a Hit 53
"Gimme da Score" 54
A Line in the Sand 56
Mike Royko 56
The Truth 57
Janice 58
Pickoff 59
Bed Check 60
The Mike 61
Willie the Wonder 62
Babe's Watch 62
Famous Pitch 63
Good Faith 64
The Redheads 65
Highs and Loes 67
Ticket 67
Smooth 68
Rocky 68
Dry Side 70
An Insult 71
Batter Up 72
The Bridge Game 73
Happy Felton 74
First Aid 75
The Ride 75
Billy Loes 76
Gomez 76
Last Resort 78
What Goes Around Comes Around 79
Fives Alive 80
Betty and the Boys 81
Signs of the Times 83
Tricks of the Trade 83
Playing Hardball 85
Cimoli Squeeze 85
Barney 86
Party Time 86
Tex Rickards 88
A Cut Above 89
Whitey 89
Failure Can Be Good 91
Edward R. Murrow 93
Knock, Knock 95
Big Chief 97
1954 Raise 97
Having a Calm-plex 98
Don Newcombe 99
Dizzy 99
The Towel 100
Mickey Vernon 101
Noticed 101
Ben Wade 102
It's How You See It 102
All Things Work Together 104
Preach and Quitting 105
Barnstorming Whitey and Harvey 106
Straight Talk 107
Trivia Records 107
Green Grass of Home 108
C. Oscar Johnson 109
Granny Hamner 110
Sticky, Sticky Goo 110
Swifty 111
"The Brow" 112
The Presidents 114
The Buckle 114
Happy Days 116
Jack in the Box 118
King Karl 118
Mike Fright 121
Music's Fine 122
Gillette Me Tell You 123
It Happened in the Dark 123
Take That! 126
Cakewalk 127
The Victory 128
Turnpike 130
Magic in a Bottle 131
Clyde Wright 131
They'd Rather Be in Philly 133
Dale Long 134
The Safe Way Out 135
Duke the Diplomat 135
Sal the Barber 136
Captain Bassett 138
Decked 139
Belated 140
Jackie and Sheehan 141
A Pressing Situation 142
The Old Hometown 144
Thanks, Mickey 145
Perfectly Awful 147
Japan 147
Hometown 149
Close Call 151
Sandy's Reply 152
Hen House 154
'Scuse Me? 154
A Ball in the Hand Is Worth Two 155
Taxed 155
"Steeee-rike!" 156
The Little Colonel 156
A Branch with Deep Roots 157
Buzzie on Passes 159
Erskine Plays Center Field 159
Horse Face 161
Matt Brinduse 162
L.A. Movie Stars 162
"Kids Say the Darnedest Things" 163
Campy 163
Who's on First? 164
Rube Squatting 166
Throw over Screen 168
Fan-tastic 168
Geisha Boy 169
Pop-Ups 170
'Round About 171
My Contribution 171
Once in a Lifetime 172
From a Different Dugout 173
Wildcats 175
Passing the "Buck" 176
Fantasy Land 178
Pushed to Success 180
Old-Time Religion 183
Hank Aaron 184
Moon Rocks 184
In Tune 185
Harry Geisel 186
You Stand on Where You Sit 186
Back Home Again 188
Then and Now 189
The Pen 189
Boys of Summer 190
Out of Sight 191
The Signature 193
Walter O 193
Tracey 196
The Prize 196
Throneberry 198
The Payoff 199
Yogi 200
The Rifle from Reading 200
Four Greatest 203
Greener Grass 203
I Blew It 205
You Could Look It Up 207
Roy Campanella 207
Earnshaw 210
Buck 211
Longevity Pays Off 211
My Idol 212
Baseball Ain't Cricket 213
Perfect 10 214
The Sacrifice 214
A Long Look 216
A Final Thought 218
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2008

    The Author Missed one Point about The Dodgers

    The Dodgers have always had a wonderful affair with their fans. They have in every era been a exceptionally great baseball team. But, to others they have been more. They have been the 'missing link' in every person who has had a 'missing link' and found the Dodgers. No matter what era it was. The Dodgers were Father's to the Fatherless, Sons to those who lost one, Brother's to one's who never had one. But most of all, they were Hero's and no one era can claim that! It has always been the Dodger's, whether they were in New York or California, they were Hero's. Hollywood didn't change that. The multi-million dollar guy's name on the back has changed the way people look at any team now. Don't get me wrong, he is worth every penny, he earned it. He just forgot about the name on the front of his jersey. The name on the front still means the same. The guy's on the field today need to take a look at the sparkle in the eye's of those little kids who come just to see him play a game that was meant for Hero's and maybe just maybe, we will see Hero's in the game again soon.

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