All in the Family
Sports columnist Bob Keisser of the Long Beach Press-Telegram called me last week to arrange an interview to discuss the thread between my Dad and Baseball Analysts. We met on Monday afternoon and his article appeared in yesterday's newspaper.
I took a screen shot of the online edition and embedded it below for your reading pleasure. You might say I wanted to make "Lederer following in dad's footsteps" a Keisser Permanente part of this site.
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The baseball blogosphere, including sites such as the Baseball Think Factory and Dodger Thoughts, have been very instrumental in making Baseball Analysts what it is today. My friends Darren Viola (aka Repoz) at BTF and Jon Weisman of DT pointed their readers to yesterday's article by linking to it. Thanks guys! [Update: Hat tip also to Rob McMillin of 6-4-2.]
Bob Keisser's fellow columnist at the Press-Telegram, Doug Krikorian, wrote a column last Sunday in response to reaching a milestone birthday and mentioned my father when "reflecting on those many people who made a lasting impression on me since I came to Southern California in 1966 who are no longer on the scene."
I can't believe how many sportswriters I knew around the vicinity who are now gone, people like Bud Furillo, Allan Malamud, Jim Murray, Bob Hunter, Bud Tucker, Jim Mitchell, Bob Tongue, Frank Finch, Bob McGraw, George Lederer, Dan Hafner, Mal Florence, James Melroy, Bill Miller, Don Merry, Hank Hollingworth, Allen Wolfe, Maxwell Stiles and countless others.
Furillo, along with Melvin Durslag, who just celebrated his 87th birthday and resides in Manhattan Beach, was my journalistic mentor, while Malamud was my closest friend in the business, as we had phone conversations almost every morning till his Sept. 15, 1996 death, which happened to be the same date as the death of my beloved wife Gillian five years later.
I forever will be grateful to Lederer, who solicitously shepherded me around on a one-week, three-city Dodger road trip to New York, Pittsburgh and Houston in August of 1968, making sure a wide-eyed, young sportswriter making his first major trip outside California wasn't overwhelmed by the circumstances, which he nearly was.
Although Dad was "only" 6-foot-1, he wore a size 14 shoe. His footsteps, both literally and figuratively, are too big for me to fill. I never set out to compete with him. Instead, I have only tried to uphold his values and work ethic while living the life that I have chosen. I have enjoyed turning his vocation into my avocation and know that he wouldn't want it any other way.
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Additional comments and retorts at the Baseball Think Factory.