It's fun to see big tough grown up guys (and gals) running around like they're little kids, and that's just what happened today at Dodger Stadium under a gorgeous blue sky as we observed this Veterans Day .
For the third time the Dodgers invited Vets, their family and guests to enjoy the Stadium. That meant photos, T-shirts, tossing the ball around, running the bases, and even batting practice. (Not to mention complimentary Dodger Dogs for all). For those who grew up in So Cal, this was literally a dream come true. It was a great idea. No there weren't any Dodgers players there, but there were some great old timers, Sweet Lou Johnson, Al '' The Bull"" Ferrara, and a certain former Army man, (1945 to 1947) you may have heard of named Tommy Lasorda. He said '' I wore the uniform of the United States Army with pride and dignity and I wore the uniform of the Los Angeles Dodgers with pride and dignity. Amen. Tommy is without peer, I know some people might be tired of him, but he is everywhere and is beloved wherever he goes. He speaks to a lot of military groups, he speaks to baseball related groups, he speaks to anyone who'll have him and the message of integrity and pride and determination is always delivered loudly and clearly.
Believe me I'm about as cynical as they come but I love it. At the age of 83 we should all be so lucky. There was another Dodger old timer there I have to admit I wasn't familiar with, Roy Gleason. He wore the Dodger uniform for one year in the 60's and then his career was interrupted by a nasty little conflict called ''Vietnam.'' He got the Purple Heart, when he came back his career was never the same. He gave me a great quote, '' When you think about these two different worlds, one is a game and one is very real. It woke me up real quick. " So all in all it was a really fun day. The Vets, some still active, some reserved, some out altogether, were really appreciative that the Dodgers did this for 'em. The days of Vets not being revered, like in the day when Gleason came back, are thankfully long long gone.