köpa Precose på internet köpa Fincar i danmark vill köpa Emsam skaffa recept till Skelaxin köpa Glycomet i barcelona köpa generic Shuddha köpa Erythromycin säkert online kan man köpa Exelon receptfritt köpa Xenical apoteket pris på Protonix apoteket flytande Rocaltrol dosering generisk Lotensin sverige Benadryl säker leverans köpa Tulasi på teneriffa är det farligt att köpa Paxil på nätet köpa Xenical på postförskott Styplon med snabb leverans Ditropan 100 billig köpa Evista på nätet billigt Imdur op recept köpa Prednisolone sverige Imdur köpa köpa billiga Himcolin dosering Gasex k Zyvox dos urinvägsinfektion köpa Proventil flashback 2015 Detrol oral lösning dosering köpa Cabgolin i thailand köpa Fertomid i frankrike köpa Xenical postförskott skaffa recept Aleve för hög dos Malegra köpa Micronase i kroatien pris på Promethazine i sverige Erythromycin med snabb leverans viagra Ethionamide köpa köpa Sominex i england skaffa recept till Lithium lagligt att köpa Tulasi köpa Lopid online sverige Luvox dosering första gången Ginseng kapslar pris köpa Charboleps 400 mg köpa Ponstel online lagligt olagligt att köpa Entocort Evista dosering urinvägsinfektion Cephalexin dödlig dos Omnicef 100 billig lagligt beställa Atrovent köpa Zocor i phuket bästa stället att köpa Clomid på är det lagligt köpa Speman på nätet beställa Paroxetine england beställa hem Isoptin köpa Temovate online flashback köpa Biaxin rhodos köpa Ciplox duo skaffa recept till Levothroid kan man köpa Kamagra thailand pris Tretinoin apotek hjärtat köpa Singulair i estland köpa Tadapox över disk köpa Mestinon kräm vart kan jag köpa Roxithromycin hur få recept på Yasmin dosering Strattera till hund köpa Clindamycin på cypern beställa container Avapro köpa Menosan i italien kan man köpa Proscar på mallorca beställa blå Cymbalta eljo Desyrel uttag pris Tadapox sverige snabb leverans Compazine shampoo köpa Zyban vet dosering i vilka länder kan man köpa Aldara receptfritt apoteket Flagyl ER gel pris köpa Big Appeal på kanarieöarna är det olagligt att köpa Trazodone på nätet köpa Prilosec i kroatien försäljning av Metformin kan man köpa Detrol i tyskland beställa Viagra på nätet flashback beställa Calcium Carbonate på internet vart kan man köpa Buspar online lagligt att köpa Zofran beställa Benzac för kvinnor köpa Strattera flashback beställa Avalide till sverige köpa Atorlip-10 billig kan man köpa Benadryl i tyskland Vytorin lägre pris Zyloprim beställa container beställa Voveran utomlands flytande Prevacid dosering Aleve köpa sverige Diltiazem köpa jord köpa Actos snabbt köpa Mircette oral jelly Methotrexate strömbrytare pris Tretinoin uttag pris köpa Motrin på mallorca köpa Furosemide kroatien kan man köpa Stromectol i grekland Silvitra hur stor dos Luvox att köpa Lasix gel recept lagligt att beställa Ampicillin köpa Suhagra i apoteket Arava op recept Lamisil pris på apoteket kan man köpa Speman i prag köpa Minomycin butik vilka länder kan man köpa Doxazosin receptfritt kan man köpa Bactrim i tyskland jag vill köpa FML Forte vad är generisk Rogaine 2 beställa Cytotec till sverige skaffa recept Trial Erection packs FML Forte köpa Acivir köpa flashback Topamax dos migrän beställa Alavert från thailand köpa Zaditor gran canaria billig Phexin snabb leverans köpa Lotrisone i sverige Clindamycin pulver köpa olagligt att beställa Uroxatral köpa Slim Tea i danmark köpa Ayurslim utomlands vågar man köpa Purim på nätet Metoclopramide beställa container i vilka länder kan man köpa Ginseng receptfritt beställa Micronase pulver lagligt att köpa NPXL sänkt pris Altace snabb leverans av Trandate hyra container Septilin pris Zaditor online utan recept är det säkert att köpa Calcium Carbonate på nätet köpa billiga Clindamycin är det lagligt att köpa Antivert på nätet var köpa Coumadin på nätet hur ska man köpa Big Appeal pris Propranolol turkiet pris på Liv 52 sverige beställa Lipothin på nätet köpa Beconase AQ alanya Keftab vilken dos köpa eljo Zantac hur ska man köpa Dostinex köpa Lopressor säkert online vem vill köpa Urispas bra ställe o köpa Aricept köpa Levothroid utan recept köpa Indinavir för kvinnor köpa Singulair i tallinn bästa stället att köpa Nolvadex på pris på Zyrtec i turkiet Provera nervositet dos köpa Fosamax barcelona köpa billigt Aristocort Antabuse dosering vuxna Torsemide och träning dosering i vilka länder kan man köpa Procardia receptfritt eljo Purim dimmer pris var beställa Arava vart kan man köpa Lasix köpa Shuddha usa Betapace strömbrytare pris kan man köpa Lisinopril i usa bästa pris Diclofenac beställa Alesse på nätet flashback dödlig dos av Ranitidine köpa eljo Lariam köpa Viramune tallinn var kan man köpa Precose beställa Zocor till sverige köpa blå Sinemet generisk Premarin sverige kan man köpa Dulcolax receptfritt i danmark Colchicine på nätet utan recept funkar generisk Anafranil köpa Periactin i estland generisk Dilantin i sverige köpa Cytotec säkert köpa Prilosec tallinn kan man köpa Avodart på ica köpa Cozaar online flashback köpa Forzest kroatien köpa Deltasone rhodos pris Shuddha turkiet Naltrexone dosering migrän bra ställe att köpa Claritin skaffa recept Sinequan Methotrexate dosering sömn är det lagligt att köpa Reglan på nätet hyra container Lariam pris pris Astelin sverige vart kan man köpa Lisinopril online köpa Accutane i ungern köpa Voltaren online lagligt vart kan man beställa Prednisone vart kan man köpa Prednisone våga köpa Lipitor på nätet vad är generisk Yasmin köpa Skelaxin sverige flashback köpa Zyprexa spanien köpa Pletal 100mg Himcocid dosering ångest Slim Tea liniment pris Antabuse strömbrytare pris vart ska man köpa Keppra pris Keflex på apoteket köpa Ditropan på apotek Top Avana hög dos beställa Pristiq lagligt Micronase vet dosering i vilka länder kan man köpa Cytotec receptfritt Big Appeal gel på recept kan man köpa Tamoxifen i thailand köpa Cyklokapron från sverige Bactroban oral jelly billig köpa Nexium på nätet olagligt eljo Phenergan bästa pris är det farligt att köpa Yasmin på nätet beställa Motrin inrikes köpa Cafergot oslo köpa Cefixime internet köpa Suhagra i barcelona var kan man köpa Aldara duo kan man köpa Metoclopramide på apoteket köpa Cipro på nätet flashback var beställa Nimotop säker sida att köpa Abilify köpa Triamcinolone stockholm skaffa recept till Differin köpa Toprol sverige 2012 vart kan jag köpa Tetracycline olagligt att beställa Chloromycetin på nätet Clonidine att köpa för hög dos Himplasia köpa Prazosin tyskland kan man köpa Zanaflex på apoteket i sverige Amitriptyline dos urinvägsinfektion beställa Rizact på nätet lagligt Furosemide plåster pris Sildalis dosering halsfluss var kan man köpa äkta Himcocid Colospa uttag pris köpa Arcoxia kroatien apoteket Valtrex gel pris köpa jord Xalatan Trazodone migrän dosering Lioresal dosering sömn Cystone hög dos kan man köpa Betnovate på teneriffa köpa Combivent 2013 kan man köpa Imitrex i grekland vad kostar Evecare med recept köpa Naprosyn i malmö Femara pfizer köpa Zofran dosering till katt Albendazole pris gatan skillnad mellan generisk Yasmin vart kan jag köpa Kemadrin köpa Rosuvastatin på gatan köpa Finpecia på postförskott Lipothin duo leverans eljo NPXL pris köpa Minomycin säkert online köpa Hyzaar patong köpa Plendil snabbt lagligt att beställa Mircette köpa Plaquenil i tyskland svårt att få recept på Minocin Evista säker leverans Styplon köpa online köpa Suprax i danmark köpa Ponstel i helsingborg beställa hem Hydrea hur köpa Betnovate bästa pris Augmentin var köper man Promethazine utan recept köpa Keflex i tallin köpa Clindamycin över disk försäljning av Celadrin rekommenderad dos Proscar Actoplus vägguttag pris vågar man köpa Duetact på nätet köpa Kamagra i stockholm köpa billiga Doxazosin Propranolol hög dos Tretinoin dos urinvägsinfektion beställa container Meclizine köpa Albendazole nätet köpa Seroquel Lariam pris på gatan köpa Big Appeal på nätet lagligt kan man köpa Actos receptfritt på apoteket köpa Roxithromycin turkiet köpa Cialis original köpa Entocort butik köpa Tricor i filippinerna jag vill köpa Levitra dödlig dos av Yasmin V-gel billig lägre pris på Proventil köpa Sinequan över disk hur får man Pyridium på recept kan man köpa Reglan i frankrike var köpa äkta Aleve köpa Betnovate på nätet köpa Hydrea i tallin fungerar generisk Sarafem Neurontin köpa jord köpa Endep för män köpa Big Appeal kina köpa Penegra i london generisk Cafergot sverige beställa Protonix till sverige köpa laglig Noroxin Urispas dosering sömn köpa Omnicef mot postförskott beställa Purim från thailand kan man beställa Trazodone köpa Chloramphenicol duo Finast strömställare pris eljo Celexa uttag pris Zofran duo leverans köpa Innopran 20mg hur beställa Imdur köpa Noroxin från turkiet köpa Arcoxia i bangkok dödlig dos av Nicotinell köpa Silvitra på apoteket köpa Motrin på nätet flashback Tricor dosering föredrag Liv 52 migrän dosering var köpa Liponexol billigt Naltrexone online utan recept är det olagligt att beställa Zithromax kan man köpa Kamagra i prag köpa Amantadine i frankrike kan man beställa Prandin dosering Malegra k Flomax recept sverige kan man köpa Finast på nätet pris på Aldara sverige kan man köpa Clonidine utan recept köpa generisk Prazosin i sverige var ska man köpa Allopurinol kan man köpa Big Appeal i frankrike beställa Detrol till sverige Biaxin utan recept spanien var kan man köpa Accutane snabb leverans av Atorlip-10 bästa stället att köpa Aldara var köper man Rosuvastatin utan recept köpa Zaditor på nätet säkert Suprax hög dos säkert ställe att köpa Lincocin kan man köpa Decadron på ica apoteket hjärtat Nasonex pris är det farligt att köpa Prinivil på nätet kan man köpa Glucovance på nätet är det olagligt att köpa Fosamax Lamictal dosering vuxen Zyban till katt dosering Himcocid plåster pris eljo Amoxil dimmer pris köpa Suhagra kroatien Abilify var köpa kan man köpa Zenegra receptfritt på apoteket behöver man recept för Norvasc var köpa Tretinoin på nätet köpa Eurax i grekland kan man köpa Atorlip-5 i grekland köpa Lotensin malmö billig Cefixime på nätet är det farligt att köpa Amitriptyline på nätet Elavil op recept bra ställe o köpa Amaryl Cholestoplex dos första gången beställa Vytorin till sverige Celebrex dosering till katt köpa Prinivil i vietnam köpa Zestoretic kina köpa Cystone mot postförskott hur ska man köpa Aristocort bästa pris Digoxin pris Zestoretic apotek hjärtat beställa Imuran flashback var kan man köpa Terramycin säkert flytande Zithromax dosering Differin lägre pris hur kan jag köpa Femcare Yougara gel på recept var beställa Sildalis beställa billig Cefixime billig Lariam sverige köpa Paroxetine i lettland var köper man Shatavari utan recept Rosuvastatin bästa pris Metformin till katt dosering generisk Fosamax snabb leverans Cefadroxil usa köpa Atarax pris apotek sverige köpa Coreg sverige 2012 Myambutol pris i sverige eljo Triamterene bästa pris behöver man recept för Imitrex Probalan dos första gången var kan man köpa Trileptal receptfritt Trental dos första gången köpa generisk Diltiazem kan man köpa Atorlip-5 thailand köpa Avodart rhodos köpa Trimox på gran canaria köpa Probalan i helsingborg vart kan jag köpa Pilex Keflex för kvinnor pris beställa Moduretic för kvinnor köpa Trial Erection packs tyskland köpa Buspar på rhodos billig Flagyl ER sverige Proventil i sverige utan recept köpa jord Cephalexin är det lagligt att köpa Seroquel på nätet är det olagligt att köpa Furosemide köpa äkta Differin på nätet köpa Amantadine 10 mg fungerar generisk Voveran Lisinopril dosering rampfeber köpa Arcoxia på internet vad är generisk Prevacid Phexin var köpa köpa Ditropan i tyskland köpa Prednisolone i estland Paxil köpa flashback Diflucan köpa online lägsta pris Silvitra Levlen snabbast leverans köpa Citalopram på nätet säkert köpa jord Plendil Shallaki hög dos kan man köpa Estrace i kroatien Skelaxin köpa vart kan man köpa Ophthacare var köpa Rogaine 5 billigt Naprosyn tabletter pris sverige Omnicef liniment pris köpa Shatavari kroatien köpa Erexor på faktura hyra container Astelin pris köpa Dutas köpenhamn apoteket Synthroid gel pris köpa äkta Danazol beställa blå Calcium Carbonate generisk Benicar biverkningar beställa hem Bestina köpa Lanoxin postförskott köpa Famvir sverige beställa container Tegretol beställa hem Tofranil köpa generisk Tulasi i sverige köpa Bonnispaz i riga köpa Premarin online lagligt köpa Aygestin inrikes Sarafem kapslar pris köpa Ditropan på apoteket Cyklokapron sverige snabb leverans vem vill köpa Calcium Carbonate Copegus pris sverige vill köpa Cystone snabb leverans av Duphalac Brahmi bra pris Actoplus köpa apoteket pasteta od Lozol recept Plavix oral jelly billig recept för Atarax lagligt att beställa Finax Nimotop nervositet dosering var köpa Xenical köpa Probalan på cypern köpa Medrol i butik köpa Ashwagandha i stockholm köpa Tenormin flashback 2015 rekommenderad dos Diovan beställa Tricor från thailand var köper man Betapace utan recept köpa Cardura på gatan Atorlip-10 kräm köpa köpa Cefixime på faktura kan man köpa Lopressor på teneriffa beställa billig Benemid behövs recept för Avodart köpa Cephalexin flashback lägsta pris på Pilex köpa riktig Estrace
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Interview - Buzzie Bavasi - Front Office Icon PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 17 July 2005 12:00

Buzzie Bavasi

Buzzie Bavasi died on May 1, 2008 at the age of 93. My thoughts and prayers go to his wife Evit, sons Peter, Bob, Chris, and Bill and all in the Bavasi family - Maury Brown 

Buzzie Bavasi was part of organizations that won two divisional titles, nine league championships and four World Series over his more than a half-century in organized baseball. A long-time general manager for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers (1951-67), president of the San Diego Padres (1968-77), and executive vice president of the California Angels (1978-99).

In this interview he talks Larry MacPhail, Walter O’ Malley, Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Arnholt Smith, Roy Campenella, Branch Rickey, Reberto Clemente, Nolan Ryan, the Dodgers move, the near move of the Padres and much more.


 
As with people, each interview is different. Some are difficult, some are easy. In the case of the interview with Buzzie Bavasi, it was difficult, not because of the way Bavasi responded to the questions (he was a joy to interview, for the record), but rather, the difficulty in this interview was the unbelievable breadth and width of his career: 60 years.

The problem is, how do you cover the life of someone that has seen some of the most critical turning points in baseball history?

Branch Rickey and the Dodgers signing of Jackie Robinson? You could do an entire interview.

The Dodgers move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles? There's another.

The near move of the Padres to Washington, DC? Another... His time with the California Angels? Another...

It made for a difficult, yet nice problem to have... content overload.

Emil Joseph Bavasi was born Dec. 12, 1914 in New York City. His mother gave him the nickname "Buzzie" from the way he "buzzed" around the house. He went to DePauw University, which was fortuitous for Buzzie, as you will see in the interview.

Bavasi was part of organizations that won two divisional titles, nine league championships and four World Series over his more than a half-century in organized baseball. He started his career in 1939 in the minors, before spending time in the military. He was the long-time general manager for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers (1951-67), president of the San Diego Padres (1968-77), and executive vice president of the California Angels (1978-99). Under his tenure the Dodgers won eight NL pennants and four world championships in 17 years He was a two-time executive of the year, once with the Dodgers and once in the minor leagues with the Montreal Royals.

In this interview, Bavasi talks of his start in baseball and Larry MacPhail; the relationship of Branch Rickey and Walter O'Malley; he talks of Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, and Don Newcombe, as well as Nolan Ryan, Fresco Thompson, Al Campanis, and of course Walter Alston. He also talks of how he felt Robert Moses miscalculated on the Dodgers' willingness to move to Los Angeles, the near move of the Padres to Washington, DC, and much, much more.Maury Brown


BizBall: Your baptism into the front office is really quite an interesting story. Can you retell us how you bumped into Ford Frick, and what your first days of reporting to Larry MacPhail were like?

Bavasi: Well I, and Fred Frick, Ford Frick’s son, were high school and college roommates and we both went to DePauw University, which is Ford’s alma mater. And when my dad died in 1933, Ford sort of became my other father and when I graduated from college my mother gave me a new car and a year to do anything I wanted to do. Well, the best thing I wanted to do was go to Florida and watch the ballgames.

And I was sitting in Clearwater Stadium and watching the Dodgers play when Ford came by and said “What are you doing here?” and I told him, and he said, “No longer. Be in my office tomorrow morning.” So, I went back to New York and went to his office and he took me to Brooklyn to meet Larry MacPhail. And Larry MacPhail said “So you want to get into baseball?” and I said “I certainly do” and he said, “What do you know about the game?” I said “Nothing. I played in college but that’s about it.” He said, “Good. Surprised you don’t know anything about the game but it will do you some good ‘cause we have too many people around here who know everything.”

And he gave me a job as a glorified office boy. And that was it.

BizBall: Can you describe how it was to work with MacPhail, and tell us anything that occurred behind closed doors that would be a good example of how he operated?

Bavasi: One thing about Larry is that money meant nothing to him, unlike Walter O’Malley, money meant nothing to Larry. As a matter of fact, I was there for 13 weeks before I got a check.

But I’ll never forget one story.

He invited me to a Saturday meeting with Andy High, Branch Rickey, Jr. and Larry MacPhail and we were discussing players we were about to sign; there’s no draft at that time. And  they came across a fellow by the name of Brenner, I think his name was, from Purdue University. A pitcher -- a right hand pitcher. Andy said he wanted to offer him $3,000, he’s worth that much. Larry said “That’s a lot of money.” So, it’s near 5:00 and we stopped and he said we’ll continue tomorrow. Well, I was happy just to be in the room. Besides that, I happened to have a book I had and it had a box score and in the box score was a game at Purdue. Well, I was lucky enough to get three hits that day and one of them a home run against this Brenner. So the next morning we went into the meeting again and we were just about ready to give this fellow $3,000 and Larry said, “Anybody else know anything about him?” At that point I pulled out the box score and had no idea [what would happen] and he looked at it and said, “Oh, I’ll be a son of a bitch if I’m gonna give a guy $3,000 if Buzzie get three hits off him.” Never gave the kid a quarter. I felt guilty. Larry was all baseball and public relations.

You know, Bill Veeck is in the Hall of Fame, and rightfully so, and I was one of the voters for him. But most of his ideas were developed in Larry’s mind. Larry was the original Bill Veeck, really.

BizBall: In your book, Off the Record, you mention that Walter O’Malley didn’t get enough credit for the hiring of Jackie Robinson, and you added that Happy Chandler took too much…

Bavasi: Well, yes, it’s true. By that what I meant was, Walter was on the board of the Dodgers.--John Smith, Walter O’Malley, and Branch Rickey. The board had to vote for him. No one mentioned that the board of directors had to vote Jackie into the Big Leagues.

Happy Chandler had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Happy Chandler liked to say that the vote was 15-1 against bringing Jackie to the major leagues. Hogwash. At the meeting Horace [Stoneham] said he would vote for the move because his club was within a mile of Harlem. Mr. Wrigley said he would vote yes because 35% of his business throughout the world came from the black people. Bill Veeck said to the Dodgers. Hurry up and bring him up because I have an African-American that might be better than Jackie. Meaning Larry Doby. John Galbreath said it was a club matter not a league matter. No vote was ever taken.

BizBall: Branch Rickey has been viewed as one of, if not the most, influential executive in sports history because of the deal to sign Robinson and break the color barrier. Yet Rickey is also known for being visionary when it came to talent, and a miser when it came to spending money.

Do you think Mr. Rickey hired Robinson as a social statement, as a great player, as a way to tap into the African-American market, or was it kind of some of all of this?

 Bavasi: Well, I happen to think that he was hired him because he was a great player. Secondly, Walter thought he would be a great draw at the gate if he was successful. It was a gamble, but he was a gamble to pull it off. Mr. Rickey was the greatest baseball mind in the history of the game. There will never be another one like him.

 


BizBall: Can you describe the Dodgers organizational philosophy regarding international scouting and how it was developed?

Bavasi: We -- the Dodgers -- and when I say we I mean the Dodgers, we trained… I had the Montreal club, and the Dodgers trained in the Dominican Republic. We were there for thirty days, so you know it’s real. This is about 1948. We saw how much these people enjoy the  game of baseball, how well they played it. And I think that got all of baseball thinking about trade rules for salary purposes. That’s where we started.  We never started in Havana, we never started in the Dominican Republic before, but after we got there and stayed for months with these people we realized they were lovers of the game.

BizBall: It’s been well documented that O’Malley and Rickey were quite different people. Some might say they were oil and water…

Bavasi: The best way to describe that is with Clemente.

I had a deal with Mr. Rickey. Mr. Rickey asked me to go to Pittsburgh with him. And said, I’m sorry I was going to stay with the Dodger group, whom I knew. And he wrote me a letter saying if anytime he could help me, all I had to do was pick up the phone. So, we couldn’t bring Clemente up [from Montreal] because we had to keep him on the club under the old rules if he got more than a $4,000 bonus. And I know that Rickey had first [pick in the] draft, so I flew to Pittsburgh. And he agreed with me that he would take John Rutherford that would have let us keep Clemente. So I’m home free and I call Fresco and we were happy about it. And this was a Friday. The draft is on a Monday. Sunday evening Branch Rickey, Jr. called and said “Buzzie, the deal is off” and I said, “Why?” And he said, “My father and Walter had an argument and he called my father every obscene name in the book therefore he’s going to take Clemente” and that was it.

BizBall: During the negotiations in Brooklyn before the move, why do you think Robert Moses insisted on the Dodgers moving to Queens, and why do you think New York City mayor, Wagner didn’t step in when O'Malley refused to go for Moses' plan?

Bavasi: Well, number 1, Moses really didn’t believe that the Dodgers would move. He thought we would stay right where we were and that we would appreciate going to Flushing Meadows. Wagner didn’t think the Dodgers were that important. As a matter of fact, I  remember Mayor Wagner proposed a tax -- an excise tax -- on baseball tickets.  Not theater – just baseball – tickets. I had a dummy ticket made up with an extra stub which called it the Wagner Tax. This took care of matters immediately. Never heard another word about the proposed tax. But I think Moses just didn’t realize how attractive the Los Angeles situation was until it was too late.

BizBall: Your recommendation to Mr. O’Malley on Walter Alston proved to be very good. It was a gamble to recommend him at the time, but he had an immediate impact.

One area that is difficult to understand, is why Alston didn’t use Sandy Koufax early in Koufax’s career. I understand in ’55 and ’56 when the team was in contention and had a solid pitching staff, but after that, he sat much of the time on the bench.

Can you touch on why you feel he wasn’t used regularly? Did anything have to do with the perception that he was wild?

Bavasi: ’55 , ’56 and ’57…

Sandy was a local boy. Talking about Alston now, Alston didn’t want to pitch him because he wasn’t ready. He was too wild. He just couldn’t come close to home plate. And [Alston]  didn’t want him to pitch in front of the home folks because he was a Brooklyn boy. He got to California and he still didn’t pitch him in ’58 and Sandy wanted to quit, as a matter of fact. We talked -- I talked him out of it, but Walter Alston was the only one who had a great deal of faith in Sandy Koufax. Al Campanis and Fresco Thompson thought we made a mistake. I didn’t have an opinion because I hadn’t seen Sandy pitch before he signed. If it hadn’t been for Walter Alston, our friend Sandy Koufax would not have made it in the major leagues.   He had a great deal of faith in him. Both he and pitching coach Joe Becker deserve all the credit in the world for their patience with Sandy. And their belief in him.

BizBall: Let me throw out some names, and if you could, give me some thoughts on each one of them:

Fresco ThompsonFresco Thompson was a fine baseball man. Good baseball man. Knew the game well. Knew how to play the game. Played the game the hard way.  He didn’t have great deal of ability but made himself a good player. And I think he realized that because he wasn’t an established player and became a big leaguer, he knew what it took to become a good player. And if you didn’t like Fresco you didn’t like anyone.

Al CampanisAl was a Rickey man. In other words, he believed that Mr. Rickey could do no wrong. He tried to emulate Mr. Rickey, but he didn’t have Mr. Rickey’s style. Al was a great … in my day he was the best in the business. The Dodgers started down hill when Al was named GM. Not that he couldn't do the job, but he was the best damned scouting director in the business and it was too much to ask him to handle both jobs. He loved scouting.

Roy CampanellaCampanella was with me through his entire career. I think I knew Campy better than anyone else. He was a manager's delight. I venture to say had he not been injured he would have been in line to manage the Dodgers. He would have been a good one. He knew his own limitations and would apply this practice to his players. On the other hand when Jackie asked me if I thought he would make a good manager, I said NO. Jackie, I said, you are a perfectionist and would want all your players to play the game the way you did. If I had nine Robinsons playing for me I wouldn't need a manager. Jack understood and agreed with me .

 Jackie Robinson - As I have said many times, Jackie was not the greatest player to play our game, but he was the greatest competitor I ever saw. He could beat you with his glove, his legs, his bat and his desire to win. I can't say enough about his value to the Dodgers over the years.

Marvin Miller - I am sorry to say Marvin Miller belongs in the Hall of Fame.  This might sound strange, but… for the players. But he never did anything to hurt the game. Marvin was very honest and square with the baseball people. Tell them what he wanted and where he was going to get it. But Marvin Miller never did one thing to hurt the game of baseball.

Walter AlstonWell, he was my buddy. He made a name many places: Nashua, Montreal, Brooklyn, Los Angeles.  He was with them wherever he went. I always saw to it that he made $5,000.00 a year more than I made.

BizBall: On the Padres… There seems to have been an overwhelming sense of the Dodger influence on the team. You were recommended by Bob Carpenter for president, and there was a long line of Dodger managers that worked for the Padres organization in the days you were involved.

Considering all that, was the Padres influenced by the “Dodger way”?

Bavasi: First of all, let me set something straight. Walter didn’t have anything to do with my getting the job down here. Baseball decided at that time that if and when they were going to expand again, that baseball people should have the first opportunity….  You know what I’m talking about.  As a matter of fact, we were in contention and the bidding took place for the franchise and the price was to be $6 million. And who do you think said it needed to be $10 million? Walter O’Malley.  And we had to make $10 million rather than $6 million.  But baseball itself decided that in the future baseball people should be offered the first opportunity, provided they have the proper financial backing.

BizBall: Let’s talk about C. Arnholt Smith and the selling of the Padres. What was your reaction to him trying to sell the Padres to Joe Dansansky, without the League’s permission, with the idea of moving the franchise to DC the year after DC had lost the Senators?

Bavasi: It was tough to make some of those people understand. He thought that if he owned it he could sell the team. Didn’t realize he had to get permission, and I told him when he called and he said he sold the club for $12.5 million and I said, “You can’t do that without permission from the league.” He couldn’t understand that. Found out that he had to have permission. He just didn’t understand the rules and regulations of baseball. But he was a good owner. He really was at the time. I think he favored the club, I think he favored the operation. But of course he didn’t know what he was doing.

BizBall: What did you make of Ray Kroc when he was mentioned as a possible owner candidate for the Padres?

Bavasi: He was a good one. I loved that about Ray. To know Ray is to love him.  He was a great guy. Great man. You wouldn’t know Ray had fifteen cents if you were around him all  the time. But Ray Kroc loved the game of baseball as Gene Autry did. Loved the game. Loved the players. As a matter of fact, sometimes he loved them too much. But I’ll never forget, Don Lubin called me and told me he had a buyer for the club and I said, “Who?” And he said, “Ray Kroc” and I said, “Who’s he?” and he said, “Well, he owns 6,000 shares of McDonald’s.” To myself, I said, “McDonald’s is selling for $2.” But that was McDonnell-Douglas. I made a mistake. It was selling for $50. But when he took over this club, it was the greatest thing in the history of the town because he saved the club from being shipped out.

BizBall: When Peter Seitz ruled in favor of the players’ union in 1974, and revoked the Reserve Clause, it set in motion a drastic change in how the business of the game was conducted between the players, and those that worked with the players, such as yourself. Did the somewhat paternal relationship that was involved between those, such as yourself, and the players disappear from that time on?

Bavasi: Absolutely, absolutely. As for Peter Seitz, I don't believe his decision changed the way the game was played, but it did bring to light the agents. I have nothing against agents, but when one agent represents 8 or 9 players on one club we are asking for trouble. Think some thought should be given to limiting the number of players an agent or his firm can represent from one club. Just think of the money agents take out of the game every year without putting any of it back. If the player wants to share his income with an agent, so be it.

BizBall: In 1978 you came onboard with the California Angels, a franchise you called, at the time, a “country club” under owner, Gene Autry. At the same time, there was your relationship with Nolan Ryan. Looking back on 1979, would you have negotiated the contract with Ryan in the same way given his performance in 1978 when he went just 10-13?

Bavasi: Let me tell you what happened there. I like Nolan. To me, Sandy Koufax was the greatest pitcher I ever saw. But I liked Nolan. Nolan and his agent had sent me a three-page  letter.  (His agent was uh…. He worked with the association for a while.  I forget his name, but he sent me a three-page letter.)  In it, he stipulated that we had to take out an insurance policy, and it was going to cost us $135,000.  This is it.  Gene [Autry] who loved, loved Nolan couldn’t go along with it. He said it would set a precedent, we’d have to take out – on every player – an insurance policy. We can’t do that. This was a life insurance policy; had nothing to do with baseball. But so we said the contract is valid, except for the insurance policy. With that, the agent said,  “Get lost.” Never gave us a chance to negotiate.

BizBall: On Ryan’s contact negotiation… Ryan had always negotiated his own contacts before the ’78 season, but opted to hire Dick Moss…

Bavasi: Dick Moss!  That’s [who the agent was!]

BizBall: …for his negotiations after ’79. Can you recall how those negotiations with Moss and how it went?

Bavasi: There was no negotiation whatsoever. He just sent me a letter – a three-page letter – saying yes or no.  We had to answer by March 12. I got the letter March 9.  I was surprised that Gene didn’t… He had two great favorites – he had Nolan Ryan and Jim Fregosi. I was surprised that he didn’t go for the $135,000.

BizBall: What types of challenges faced your son, Peter, and now your son, Bill, that you never had to deal with?

Bavasi: You know, money-wise, in my 1955 club – the only championship club in Brooklyn – their total payroll was $495,000. They (Peter and Bill) came along when the agents were really running the game. Players are now motivated by money rather than pride. The average salary today is just about what I received during my entire 30 years with the Dodgers.

BizBall: I want to throw out a quote from former commissioner Bowie Kuhn’s book, Hardball, and if you would, comment on it: "Buzzie was one of baseball's free spirits. He had a catlike ability to spring over, around and under the rules. He knew where all the bodies were buried, and more often than not, who had put them there.”

Bavasi: Well, I think he’s right.  He’s a good man.  I like Bowie.  I think he was great for the game.  Bowie took over in 1969. I was already in baseball for some 30 years. Knew what was going on and warned Bowie as much as I could. I like him. Still do. Think he did a fine job. Guess he made a mistake in fining Gussie Busch and Ted Turner for a rule infraction.

At the Stadium, Branch Rickey, Jr. and I would study the Blue Book every day. It used to be called the Blue Book. The only way to understand the rules is to find out how to beat the rules.  Plus to beat a rule you need a rule – and look, it wasn’t underhanded, I just thought that if there was a way to get things done, I did it. And it seemed to work. And Bowie’s right.

BizBall: What do you miss about how baseball was during your time, and what is good and bad about baseball today?

Bavasi: I enjoy it immensely. If the Cubs are at home I get to watch three games a day. The game hasn't changed the people have changed. Think we need more people like George Steinbrenner. Sure he spends a lot of money, but spends it wisely. Others spend a lot of money, but not very wisely.

But, I enjoy the games; I’ll watch two games in a day. But I don’t enjoy the fact that there’s more than one winner. Now you’ve got, what, four winners? I hate tournaments. There should be one champion; … there was no other winner… there  was no second place prize. To win a championship in the old days, it was tough. It was tough to win a championship.

BizBall: Finally, do you have any regrets, and what are your greatest accomplishments, do you think?

Bavasi: Of course, in baseball the accomplishment is getting to the World Series. And, my Clubs in 60 years finished first or tied for first ten times, which isn’t bad. But I’d say my biggest disappointment was 1962. If you remember that, we lost the playoffs to the Giants. I think Sandy Koufax opened up and they scored five runs off of him in the first inning if I remember correctly. But not winning in ‘62 is my disappointment because Walter -- I'm talking about O' Malley -- that’s what he wanted.  I couldn’t do that… I couldn’t do that.  ‘62 was my biggest disappointment.

The following interview was originally published on the SABR Business of Baseball website, and can be read here: SABR Business of Baseball Interviews Page

Interview conducted by Maury Brown on 4/23/05.
Transcribed by Andy Gefen, Maury Brown, Cameron Doolittle, John Hagemann, Don Ward and Steven Charnick.

 
 
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