With Reds’ spring training opening today, it seems like a good idea to focus on baseball this week …
Fred Claire spent 30 years in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization, rising all the way to general manager from 1987-97.
But his love of sports began in Jamestown, Ohio, in Greene County, where he lived with his family from 1935-50.
“Jamestown is a place that holds great memories and is a place that definitely shaped my life,” Claire told me recently. “It was my love of sports, growing up in Jamestown, that led me to journalism so that I could stay involved (with sports) and it was this path that eventually led me to the Dodgers.”
Claire was the Dodgers’ GM in 1988, when the team won the World Series over favored Oakland in a series highlighted by Kirk Gibson’s walk-off, pinch-hit home run in Game 1.
Claire has an autobiography out that covers everything from his childhood in Jamestown all the way through his career with the Dodgers.
The book is called “Fred Claire: My 30 years in Dodger Blue” and is available from SportsPublishingLLC.com.
Dave “Boo” Ferriss put together one of the greatest pitching seasons ever when he went 25-6 for the A.L. pennant-winning Boston Red Sox in 1946.
Boston’s manager in 1946 was Hall of Fame shortstop Joe Cronin, and I recently asked Ferriss, 94, what it was like to play for Cronin.
“Joe was a players’ manager, great to play for,” said Ferriss. “He wanted players to give their best. He was a soft speaker, not ranting and hollering when things went bad. He was an encourager and seldom had team meetings. He handled pitchers well … we always knew when we would be starting.”
After winning 46 games in his first two seasons in the majors, Ferriss appeared to be heading for the Hall of Fame.
Asthma and arm problems, however, cut Ferriss’ career short, and he ended up with a 65-30 lifetime record.
He would go on to coach the Delta State baseball team from 1960-88.
Trivia Time – The Atlanta Falcons drafted Tony Smith in 1992 with the first-round pick they received from the Green Bay Packers for Brett Favre.
This week’s question – Hall of Fame shortstop Joe Cronin played for which teams during his major league career?
Reach Steve Stout at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twiter @udcstout