Drysdale’s scoreless streak in ’68 ended in an unlikely way


Don Drysdale

Baseball shines the light on the fringe player like no other sport Every sport celebrates its stars. More than any other pastime, baseball provides opportunities for fringe players to become part of the game’s fabric. Howie Bedell is one such man. In his 67-game big league playing career, Bedell had three runs batted in, the last of which links him to one of the most memorable streaks in the history of the game. The story begins with the 1913 performance of perhaps the greatest pitcher of all time, Walter Johnson. One of five in Cooperstown’s inaugural class, Johnson threw 55 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings that year. The majestic run set a record that Johnson held for the rest of his life. Fifty-five years later another Hall of Fame hurler began a streak of his own. On May 14th, 1968 Dodger hurler Don Drysdale beat Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins with a 2-hit blanking of the Chicago Cubs. Four days later he twirled a 5-hit shutout against the Astros. The Dodgers then headed to St. Louis where Drysdale bested Cooperstown’s Bob Gibson 2-0 on May 22nd. His next start came at the Astrodome against the Houston team he shut out eight […]

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Orel Hershiser’s Cy Young Season had its own Soundtrack


Orel Hershiser

Music has a way of making memories come to life. All it takes for a return to childhood is to hear the lullabies mom sang, or the songs of our youth on the radio. Baseball has its own soundtrack. Take Me Out to the Ball Game brings smiles to the faces of baseball fans no matter where it’s heard. For Dodger faithful, there’s a song that evokes images of Cy Young Award winner Orel Hershiser and the team’s last championship in 1988. Master of the House, a song from the musical Les Miserables, was played each time Hershiser warmed up before home games. Fans at the stadium soon associated the song with Hershiser’s goosebumps-producing performances that featured a Major League record 59 consecutive scoreless innings, and a World Series championship. So how did the tune become Hershiser’s own private song? Turning back the clock to ‘88, we find Nancy Bea Hefley, then in her first year as organist at Dodger Stadium. A poised, classy figure, Hefley fondly recalls watching Les Mis at the Shubert Theater, hearing Master of the House for the first time early in the 1988 season. “Even though it was a rowdy number, I thought it was catchy,” Hefley said. But it wasn’t Hershiser she had in mind when she decided […]

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"Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball…"

~Jacques Barzun, 1954