I feel some past contributors to the Dodgers get forgotten by some fans. Some former Dodgers that were key cogs on winning teams such as Don Sutton or Zack Wheat. Wheat had an astounding .944 OPS in his age 37 season while playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers. A season like that should still be talked about by Dodger fans as we mill around in parking lots waiting for a signature from Hyun-Jin Ryu.
The Dodgers of the past need to get discussed more by Dodger fans of today. We live in the present or recent past too often. Jonathon Broxton still gets discussed and spoken of with venomous intent. I hope Broxton still gets crapped on by Dodger fans for his misdoings in the 2008 and 2009 playoffs 50 years from now.
I sadly doubt it. Tom Niedenfuer was a similar type of playoff stiff in the 1980s. Current Dodger fans rarely mention his name in praise or disdain. Some may not even know that he blew some games while pitching in LA during crucial moments.
The good players from the Dodgers past deserves more respect and homage paid to them by current Dodger fans. The garbage players also need to be remembered for their follies.
Burt Hooton is a player fondly remembered and well liked by Dodger fans that were watching games in the 1970s and early 1980s. Dodger fans that weren't born or were too young back then don't realize that Hooton was a pretty good pitcher while in LA.
He pitched ten seasons for the boys in blue with a nice 3.14 ERA for the club. The masterful way that he pitched in the 1981 postseason should still get wide praise from us fans today. Hooton dominated while starting five games while only allowing three earned runs.
In the 1981 World Series against the Yankees, Hooton was the winning pitcher in the decisive Game 6. Hooton wasn't at his best but, gutted his way through 5 1/3 innings while allowing two runs. He also issued five walks. Hooton somehow even drew a walk at the plate and scored a run as well. Steve Howe got an old fashioned save by pitching 3 2/3 innings in relief of Hooton.
The 1981 World Series saw the Dodgers fall behind 2-0 to the Yankees. The Dodgers would eventually win in six games. If I was 29 years old in 1981, I may have jumped from a skyscraper after Game 2 of that series being the cynic that I am.
I take a lot more joy and added stock in beating the Yankees in the World Series. They seem to mean more to the Dodger franchise and count for something slightly extra. Hooton was a key piece to that 1981 playoff run.
I sent these two cards out to Hooton about a month ago. His signature is definitely worthy of my collection. I am also glad that he owns a blue sharpie because that always makes a Dodger auto stand out more and feel just right.