Tag Archives: Dodgers

Podcast: Mr. Carl Erskine: Jackie Robinson’s teammate, discipline, and change

“Baseball saw some of its biggest transformations in the 1940s and 50s. The introduction of night games, television, racial desegregation, and prevalence of jet travel all had a profound impact on how the game was forever played, observed, and experienced. Through these unprecedented times stood Carl Erskine, famed pitcher of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, and a witness to history.

Upon high school graduation in 1945, Erskine’s aspiration to play baseball came to a halt. With World War II in full swing, he was drafted into the U.S. Navy. A year later, Erskine introduced himself to the Navy recreation officer where he was stationed, and asked if he could play baseball. Already full of pitchers, he was turned away, but soon found consolation a few weeks later when scouted by the Dodgers and discharged from the Navy. Erskine spent the next year and a half in the minor leagues, at the time of widespread historical change in baseball.

While playing in 1947, baseball legend Jackie Robinson came on board the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first African American player in Major League history. After pitching in a challenging game in the spring of 1948, Robinson, who had watched Erskine pitch that game, befriended him and said, “You’re going to be with us real soon.” Truly inspired and with a great sense of optimism, Robinson’s prediction came true. Later that year, Erskine joined the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In the late ‘40s, television was beginning to permeate American society and millions of people started to see baseball in a new way. No longer restricted to archaic radio waves, the heroes of the sport now had faces to go along with their larger-than-life reputations–another milestone that would eternally change the nature of games.

Throughout the 1950s, air travel changed the way people moved across the country. With West Coast cities experiencing dramatic population increases, the major leagues started to expand. In 1957, the Dodgers left Brooklyn, New York and headed to California to become the Los Angeles Dodgers. Erskine, who did not like being away from his family, decided that relocating was not for him. He lasted only a year and a half and pitched his last game on June 4, 1959. His career spanned 12 seasons and accumulated 122 wins (.61).

After retiring from baseball, Erskine returned to his native Indiana and started his own insurance business in 1960. For 12 years, he coached the Anderson University Raven baseball program winning four championship games. While in the insurance business, he sharpened his business acumen and landed a job at Star Financial Bank serving as its president and director from 1982-1993. Erskine has also given his time and talents to many organizations, sitting on the board of trustees of Anderson University, St. John’s Medical Center, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and numerous other state and civic institutions.

Erskine was inducted into the Indiana National Baseball Hall of fame in 1979. In 2001, he wrote his first book, Tales from the Dodger Dugout, a collection of heartwarming stories recounting his days in the major leagues. Four years later, he penned his memoir, What I Learned from Jackie Robinson, sharing his memories of Jackie’s battle for racial equality and their enduring friendship that taught him important lessons about life.

The unique perspective of Erskine during baseball’s transformative years is a good reminder that change is something not to fear, but embraced with an open mind and heart (from CarlErskine.com).”

American Valor Podcast

Tommy Lasorda: Reflections on a Life in the United States of America

The great American and ambassador of baseball Mr. Tommy Lasorda shares insights from his established career with the Los Angeles Dodgers on the American Valor Podcast. Tommy preaches his passion for Dodgers baseball, the military and the United States of America.

Mr. Lasorda was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 following his 20 years leading the Dodgers from 1976 to 1996, including 1,599 wins, four National League pennants and two World Series Championships, in 1981 and 1988.

Starting his professional baseball career in 1945, Lasorda left minor league baseball for two years to serve in the United States Army. Listeners will hear about the greatest moment from Mr. Lasorda’s 70-plus years in baseball and be inspired by Mr. Lasorda’s incredible passion for Bob Feller, the Dodgers and the United States of America.

Listen to Tommy’s episode wherever you listen to podcasts, or on our website: https://actofvaloraward.org/american-valor-podcast/

Baseball and Military on the American Valor Podcast

Recently on the American Valor Podcast: coach Paul Kostacopoulos, Reds legend Johnny Bench and the 70th Secretary of the Navy the Honorable John H. Dalton. Future episodes include Naval Academy graduate and former Cardinals pitcher Mitch Harris, the 15th Force Master Chief of the Navy Reserve CJ Mitchell, Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda and Vice Admiral Jay Donnelly! Released every other Monday, the American Valor Podcast can be found on most podcast platforms.

American Valor Podcast

Act of Valor Player of the Night

Justin Turner is the Act of Valor Player of the Night! Justin went 5-5 with three runs and a walk, raising his average to .304. The Dodgers moved to 35-18 and currently hold the top record in the National League. The Justin Turner Foundation supports homeless veterans and children facing life-altering illnesses.

Act of Valor Player of the Night Justin Turner

Congratulations to Justin Turner for going 2-4 with a home run and a walk in the 20-12 Dodgers 10-3 win. The Justin Turner Foundation supports homeless veterans and children facing life-altering illnesses.

Happy Jackie Robinson Day Across Major League Baseball

Today we celebrate the legacy of Mr. Jackie Robinson across Major League Baseball. On this day in 1947, Jackie broke baseball’s color barrier when he started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie is one of thirty-seven Hall of Fame baseball players to serve our country during World War II.

Happy Birthday Justin Turner

Happy birthday to 2018 Act of Valor Award recipient Mr. Justin Turner!  We thank you for your avid support of veterans.

Jackie Robinson

Today we honor the legacy of Mr. Jackie Robinson.  Mr. Robinson served as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army from 1942-1944.  The first African-American to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Mr. Robinson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1984 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2005 (posthumously).  Thank you Jackie for your many contributions to our country.

Act of Valor Player of the Night Justin Turner

Congratulations to Justin Turner and the Los Angeles Dodgers on their NLCS game five win.  Justin went 2-3 with a run and and RBI in the @Dodgers 5-2 win, placing the team within one victory from the World Series.  The Justin Turner Foundation supports homeless veterans and children facing life-altering illnesses.  Learn more about the Bob Feller Foundation and our past nominees at www.actofvaloraward.org.

Act of Valor Players of the Night Justin Turner and Justin Verlander

Congratulations to Act of Valor Award nominees Justin Turner and Justin Verlander!  Each Justin lead his team to victory in their respective championship series games.  In the afternoon, Mr. Turner went 2-4 with a two run home run in the @Dodgers 4-3 win.  In the evening, Mr. Verlander allowed only two runs in six innings, striking out six to earn the win in the @Astros 7-2 victory.  The Justin Turner Foundation supports homeless veterans and children facing life-altering illnesses.  Mr. Verlander supports mental health services to returning vets through twin foundations, “Victory for Veterans” and “Wins for Warriors.”  Learn more about the Bob Feller Foundation and our other nominees at www.actofvaloraward.org.