Cartoonists never throw anything away. Scraps of paper with ideas scribbled on them, books, newspaper clippings, and lots and lots of artwork.
Today when I was rummaging around in my cluttered garage trying to find my car, I noticed a big box tucked away in the corner. It had been labeled “Programs & stuff” by my wife many years ago. I pulled it out, opened the lid, and this was the first thing I saw inside:
A Dodgers program and scorecard from 1968! Don Drysdale graces the cover in a beautiful rendering from the late great cartoonist Karl Hubenthal. I became aware of Karl Hubenthal because Vin Scully mentioned his Dodger covers many times over the years. Hubenthal was a highly respected sports and editorial cartoonist for the old Herald-Examiner. (How many of you remember that?).
I met Karl at a cartoonist event in Laguna Beach around 1990 and mentioned some of the covers I remembered, including this one. He was a genuinely nice man and even said some nice things about my work. I have found over the years that the truly great cartoonists are always supportive of the younger ones, and Karl was truly great! Just look at that drawing of “Big D” for a moment. It captures Drysdale’s attitude and delivery. Imagine standing in the batter’s box against that man! It’s a work of genius from Hubenthal. He illustrated many Dodger programs and yearbooks over the years, and you can see why!
Drysdale pitched the first game I ever attended, but this program is not from that game. I know because my dad was an avid scorekeeper, and in the middle of the program was the completed scorecard. The Dodgers beat the Braves 3-0, and Don Sutton pitched a complete game against Milt Pappas.
If you know how to read a scorecard, you can practically relive this game, courtesy of my dad, Jim Fagan. Hank Aaron, for example, walked, singled, and flew out to left twice. Dad even noted the attendance (above at the very top) along with his guesses before they announced it. Hard to believe they only had 9,148 at the game, but the Dodgers weren’t having a great year as I recall.
The Braves lineup included Felipe Alou in CF, Felix Millan at 2B, and Aaron at 1B. Joe Torre made an appearance as a pinch-hitter in the 7th and popped to the catcher.
The Dodgers line-up had Willie Crawford leading off in LF, Willie Davis in CF, and Tom Haller at C. Ron Fairly was at 1B, and his fellow USC alum Len Gabrielsen was in RF. (I remember Len mostly as a pinch-hitter during his time with the Dodgers.) Switch-hitting Jim Lefebvre was at second (the Dodgers ROY in ’65, he was from my hometown of Inglewood), and switch-hitting Bill Sudakis (“Sudsy”) was at 3B. Switch-hitting Paul Popovich (listed as “Pop” in the scorebook) was at SS, and future Hall of Famer Don Sutton was the pitcher. (I counted three future Hall of Famers on the field: Sutton, Aaron, and Joe Torre. Also, Alston and Drysdale in the Dugout.) Sutton pitched 15 years with the Dodgers, beginning in 1966. His career spanned 23 seasons. I was lucky enough to be in attendance in Anaheim when he notched his 300th career win.
The Dodger program in those days only cost 25 cents, so there wasn’t a lot to it. Mostly advertising. But this one did have some pretty cool pictures amongst the ads.
Hollywood Stars Night, still a tradition! Do you recognize any of these celebrities from 1968? If you’re a baby boomer, I’ll bet you do! I see Jackie Gleason, Annette Funicello, David Hartman, Robert Morse, George “Goober” Lindsey, and Mike Connors. Can you imagine the great Gleason playing baseball? My dad saw the game and said he was actually pretty good! That shouldn’t surprise you; he was amazing at everything he did. They didn’t call him “The Great One” for nothing!
And here’s a photo of Fresh Produce Council Night at the Stadium. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for that! Looks like Walt enjoyed it though!
Below is a cool picture of Willie “Stretch” McCovey, another Hall of Famer. (If you hate the Giants, it’s a picture of Jeff Torborg beating out a single.)
Here is the Dodger roster from 1968.
And here is the 1968 ticket information. (Another reason I wish I could go back in time!)
It was fun for me to unearth this program – lots of great memories. I think I’ll go back out to my garage and see what else I find in that box. I promise to let you know!
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