When we got home, Winnie got her cookie and like any good dog owner I left her alone and went back to my baseball card collection, it was there I came across another "Bulldog", named Orel Hershiser.
Hershiser was given this nickname by manager Tommy Lasorda and lived up to that toughness. As most of my usual posts are directed to baseball and cards from the 60's and 70's I must take this time to acknowledge Hershiser.
To go back a few years, many would consider 1968 "the year of the pitcher" with Gibson' year ending ERA of 1.12, McClain winning 3 games and Louis Tiant having batters hit only .168 against all year. This was also the year that Yaz won the AL batting title with an anemic .301 BA. Throughout the sixties, pitchers were gaining the advantage over hitters and it was the year 1969 that MLB lowered the pitchers mound (from 15" down to 10") and restored the strikeout zone to the larger pre-1963 area. Hitters were now the focus of baseball . . . but here came Orel Hershiser and his glorious year of 1988 "the year of the bulldog".
Hershiser went 23 and 8, had a .226 ERA and pitched 267 innings. He was voted to the All-Star team, earned a gold glove and won the Cy Young award. Though that was just the beginning.
He ended the year with 59 (yes, fifty nine) consecutive scoreless innings (eventually broken on opening day 1989). Behind Hershisers pitching, the Los Angeles Dodgers went on to win the National League Pennant and World Series, crowning Hershiser MVP of both. Hershiser went 42 2/3 innings allowed only 5 earned runs, went 3-0, with 3 CG and 1 save in the postseason. 1968 may have been the end of an era favoring pitchers but 1988 was certainly the year of this pitcher, the "bulldog".
Maybe tomorrows walk I will come across a penguin, ryno, snake or a goose ?