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Rod Dedeaux, 1914-2006
2006-01-05 18:31
by Jon Weisman

Legendary USC baseball coach Rod Dedeaux died today at the age of 91, The Associated Press reports.

As a Stanford baseball fan, I have to say that USC's program under Dedeaux is the standard I've always measured ours against.

More reflections, surely, to come in further news reports.

Update: The Griddle has more.

2006-01-05 18:35:16
1.   Bob Timmermann
Tough couple of days for the Cardinal and Gold.
2006-01-05 18:53:11
2.   Eric Enders
USC has had 96 players make the majors, 63 of them coached by Dedeaux.

Of course, one of the 33 who was NOT coached by Dedeaux was, well, Rod Dedeaux.

Texas, meanwhile, has had 92 big leaguers.

Despite being passed by two Texas coaches on the all-time win list, Dedeaux will likely always be the winningest college coach named "Raoul."

2006-01-05 18:58:28
3.   Eric Enders
And, by the way, that should read "former Dodger Rod Dedeaux."

Dedeaux's two career major league games came on consecutive days. They were the second-to-last and third-to-last games of the 1935 season. The Dodgers won the first game 12-2 behind George Earnshaw and the second game 2-0 behind Van Lingle Mungo.

Dedeaux went 1-for-4 overall with an RBI single and one error at shortstop.

2006-01-05 19:20:15
4.   Bob Timmermann
USC credits him with 59 major leaguers.
2006-01-05 19:22:31
5.   dzzrtRatt
Another RIP: Former LA City Councilman Ernani Bernardi, who was in office 32 years.

He was the council's main gadfly, and a longtime foe of using tax increment financing to fund the expansion of downtown LA. When the NFL finally figures out that LA taxpayers won't pay a dime for a new stadium for one of their fatcat owners, a flower will bloom on Bernardi's grave.

2006-01-05 19:40:08
6.   Bob Timmermann
Strangely, USC's list of big leaguers who played under Dedeaux omits Randy Johnson. And their obit has a picture of Randy Johnson.

Shav Glick has the LA Times obit.

2006-01-05 20:15:55
7.   Eric Enders
USC's list is wacked. It omits Randy Johnson, who played for Dedeaux, and includes Damon Buford, who didn't. The 63 number I referenced comes from Baseball-Reference.

BTW, it look like Dedeaux's second game with the Dodgers was actually the final game of the 1935 season, not second-to-last as I posted above.

2006-01-05 20:17:50
8.   Eric Enders
Dedeaux had quite the Hollywood career as well. IIRC, he was the technical adviser for many baseball movies, including Field of Dreams.
2006-01-05 20:31:20
9.   Eric Enders
The Dodgers lineup for the final game of the 1935 season was not exactly a murderers row, but at least they had interesting names:

Nick Tremark, RF
Johnny Cooney, CF
Frenchy Bordagaray, LF
Johnny McCarthy, 1B
Francis Skaff, 3B
Baldy Sherlock, 2B
Raoul Martial Dedeaux, SS
Whitey Ock, C (his only MLB game)
Rattlesnake Baker, P

2006-01-05 20:42:54
10.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers had already clinched fifth by that point, so Stengel felt he could empty the bench.

The amazing thing was that somebody cared who finished in fifth.

2006-01-05 21:14:31
11.   Eric Enders
The players certainly cared who finished fourth, because any team that finished in the upper half of the league got a share of the World Series money, which could be as much as 50% of their season salary.

I don't see why they would care a lot about finishing fifth, though.

2006-01-05 21:59:14
12.   Marty
One of the great Trojans who played for Dedeaux who died before he could be an all-star pro was Bill Seinsoth from Arcadia. He died on the way to Dodger Stadium for winter workouts as I recall. Dedeaux loved to talk about him.
2006-01-05 22:06:59
13.   Eric Enders
Another Dedeaux star who died before reaching the majors was Dodger pitching prospect Bruce Gardner, who went 20-4 in the Dodger minor league system in 1961 and then shot himself in the head on the USC pitching mound a few years later.
2006-01-05 22:09:46
14.   popup
Without looking it up, I know Ron Fairly played for Dedeaux and obviously later for the Dodgers. For some reason I think John Werhas was a USC alum, though I may be wrong. Can't think of any others who played for the Dodgers.

Eric, I hope Ned can trade Odalis and move Rattlesnake into the rotation.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-01-05 23:17:38
15.   LAT
Off topic, but things must be getting pretty bad in AZ. They signed Terry Mulholland to a minor-league contract for $800,000. Who is next? Ms. Gurrero.
2006-01-05 23:27:11
16.   LAT
Fred Rogin just led-off tonights sportscast with a nice peice on Dedeaux.
2006-01-06 05:53:50
17.   dagwich
Bill Lee has some pretty funny stories about his time at USC in his book "The Wrong Stuff". Dedeaux ran a pretty tight ship and Lee, well, let's just say he reacted to that short leash. Lee has become a bit of a caricature of himself these days but I'd like to see his comments about Dedeaux's death.
2006-01-06 14:35:22
18.   trainwreck
Maurice Drew is entering the NFL draft. I am very dissapointed I will not see him play for UCLA for another year and he is a big part of our team next year, but I wish him the best of luck and I would be very happy if the Raiders drafted him as we need a backup running back.
2006-01-06 15:32:17
19.   gvette
13,14-- Besides Ron Fairly, John Werhas and pitcher Ray Lamb were Trojans/Dodgers in the 60's.

Also in the farm system at one point was catcher Steve Sogge, the QB for the '67 (OJ) National Champs, and I seem to recall that Mike Garrett may have signed a minor league contract when his NFL/AFL career was winding down.

2006-01-06 15:37:47
20.   gvette
13-- Long time ago I worked for an older attorney who played with, and against Bruce Gardner in the LA City High School Leagues.

Apparently Gardner was one of those athletes who was absolutely dominant at an early age, but reached a plateau in the low minors and didn't progress farther despite the weight of expectations.

2006-01-06 15:56:25
21.   Bob Timmermann
I believe Sogge got to AAA (Albuquerque), but the guy couldn't hit. I believe he's done OK for himself after baseball.

Sogge is probably most famous for being taken out of the 1967 USC-UCLA football game in favor of Toby Page, who called the audible that made O.J. Simpson a household name.

2006-01-06 17:02:28
22.   gvette
Supposedly future Dodger manager Bobby Valentine, a high school phenom running back, signed a letter of intent to attend USC on a football scholarship, only to change his mind and sign with the Dodgers.

Somehow you just can't see Valentine running McKay's 'student body right" and beating out guys like Clarence Davis and Sam Cunningham for a starting job.

2006-01-06 17:32:38
23.   Bob Timmermann
A 1970 LA Times article says that Valentine was offered "250 scholarships" to play college football including one from Penn.

250 would have been just about every football playing school in the U.S. across divisions.

And Penn doesn't offer scholarships because none of the Ivies do.

2006-01-06 18:49:05
24.   Eric Enders
A lot of them arrange for their athletes to get academic scholarships, though.

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