cheap minocin 100 mg what does yasmin mean in chinese sominex cheap generic pills for cardizem escitalopram cipralex weight gain famvir for sale australia comprar ditropan original lisinopril no prescription needed noroxin norfloxacin tablets efectos al dejar de tomar sertralina will order viagra online canada ranitidine causes weight gain no prescription phenergan sale clonidine side effects children gratify for him male performance enhancement formula low price duphalac uk pfizer zoloft coupons kamagra from canada cost of avalide otc equivalent to clomid natural foods instead of viagra can you get glucophage over counter metformin without insulin resistance what is trental prescribed for best way buy viagra online round gray pill abg 100 danazol uk next day delivery propecia order online uk safe place order lynoral rimadyl dogs reviews what is dispersible doxycycline tablets bp prednisolone 5mg for dogs side effects yagara where to purchase dramamine for purchase safe propecia no precription viagra canada pharmacy com how to become a certified pharmacy technician online singulair discount medications benzac wanted online review over the counter lamisil cream buy viagra generic winners the chepest erythromycin nizoral cream no prescription best online pharmacy generic rumalaya liniment discount rocaltrol buy cheap dilantin ciplox how to buy best site to buy bupron sr speman generic wikipedia drugs lisinopril mg tablet morning after pill uk where to get it from tadalis sx drugs online purchases western drug dulcolax buy luvox online australia no prescription best place to buy ortho tri cyclen in australia wellbutrin sr doctors online yasmin discount tenormin overseas levitra coupon bayer bula buy valtrex online cheap buy fucidin online safely cheapest prescription buy albendazole buy aldactone 5 flagyl 500mg without perscription discount alphagan of canada dilantin 100mg buy rumalaya forte pharmacy coupons brand viagra generic name nizoral shampoo 2 percent order tricor generic what is brand amoxil made of caverta 25 mg dosage can you get high from snorting lamictal xeloda discount card buy silagra bulk prilosec coupons walgreens diclofenac overnight online pharmacy topamax from canada how to buy roxithromycin pilex coupons is micardis available over the counter we are young youtube depakote bonus pills online betoptic india long time side effects arava bromidrato de citalopram without prescription leukeran usa what does the rash associated with lamictal look like cytotec abortion failure lexapro withdrawal symptoms accutane hair loss lawsuit seroquel xr dosage a good web page to buy antivert with no script elavil dose for depression carafate online pay paypal certified pharmacy technician online college what is claritin tablets order tenormin medrol 4mg tablet discount code for zyvox how to reduce side effects of metformin buy online abana generic topamax generic cost without insurance consumer reviews dramamine less drowsy formula ventolin hfa prescribing information baclofen 10mg tab ups aldactone daily use reviews pharmacy mexico crestor cozaar cost without insurance rules for buying claritin d where can you find the american alligator sale buy altace buy himplasia online overnight buying canadian drugs does celebrex work better than mobic what is cymbalta like order amaryl no rx canadian pharmacy how to use chewable viagra risperdal generic form buy revatio with what types of ophthacare are there how much does celebrex cost in mexico augmentin fast uk maxaman generic 2013 drugs paxil withdrawal cold turkey aciphex for purchase can buy clomid online do you need rx vpxl best site get paroxetine safe place order shuddha guggulu how to use nootropil missed dose of doxycycline for chlamydia buy mentax online cheap viagra alternative for women can you buy relafen over the counter in germany atarax online overnight shipping costco pharmacy erexin-v price how to buy pamelor in london viagra free samples canada cipro discount code can you buy order toprol xl price amitriptyline over the counter depressant generic can you buy over the counter usa viagra online sublingual viagra online para q se usa medrol how much does lexapro cost without insurance what is effexor xr maxaman usa cvs prices buy viagra cialis in australia delmar;s pharmacy technician certification exam review online post cycle therapy prilosec cialis super active pharmacy antibiotics side effects kamagra canada head office can you order celexa online where to buy betnovate cream in the us antabuse tablets for purchase can endep be used for pain best generic trandate review terramycin generico online buy zyloprim no prescription fast delivery cheap zyloprim mg is finpecia available over the counter cialis jelly tablets uk zenegra no prrescription zyprexa pas cher italie ordering low dose periactin can diclofenac be bought over the counter in the uk codeine cough syrup dosage ditropan 20 mg ebay sildenafil acquistare prednisolone in italia accutane without a prescription from uk best generic actoplus met sites the online drugstore proscar ginseng price pound what is flovent hfa 220 mcg flagyl 500 mg dosage buy finasteride china buy sinemet mg online buy arava australia over the counter viagra equivalent where to get keftab how effective is generic cialis where can i get brand levitra pills colchicine cost depakote usa no prescription brahmi oil reviews what is femcare made of purchase penegra pills do you need rx omnicef viagra online canada drugs ceftin lowest price zyvox comprar watch love and other drugs on line for free cheap us buy calan online where do i furosemide in uk soft cialis us companies only alphagan for sale philippines femara from uk brafix for sale where to purchase glycomet sale benicar how to get vytorin drug where to buy ciprofloxacin paypal furosemid rezeptfrei apotheke legal to buy lamisil lukol uses medication cqc professional advice administration medicines lowest price penegra generic depakote er side effects safe lisinopril buy how to buy unisom free or low cost avodart atarax next day acai berry and green tea capsules side effects tofranil medication order billig yagara online kaufen seroquel xr reviews user reviews viagra chicago craigslist worldwide pharmacy pilex what is brand viagra where can i buy viagra tablets bentyl zofran pregnancy dose buy aceon baclofen suppositories buy proscar finasteride wikipedia best place to buy dostinex without generic plavix for sale on line cialis ordering online pharmacy antabuse for daily use canada alesse pills acne what is tegretol 200 mg how long does zoloft take to work for depression tinidazole infusion manufacturer india can you buy blopress over the counter cialis prix france pharmacie benadryl over the counter sleep aid buy sominex visa atarax order on web cytotec for abortion safe viagra wiki uk my mexican drugstore reviews buy effexor xr without capsule 75mg vytorin in canada normal dosage propecia hair loss what types of female cialis are there acquisto viagra generico online buy glycomet with visa order ventolin uk what percentage of drugs in the us come from mexico glucotrol xl online sales nitrofurantoin best price cheap chloroquine free delivery betnovate mail order india what does meclizine hcl treat viagra super force 100 mg / 60 mg fast nitrofurantoin delivery lithium pill shop discount code lamictal generic vs name brand fincar suppliers overseas where to get capoten lady era for sale usa school of pharmacy in ontario canada 100 free samples of viagra cialis vs viagra sales what std does suprax treat how much will hytrin cost pletal drug oversea famvir low dose birth control levaquin lawsuit update buy elavil online no prescription canada levitra professional without a prescription from india what is enalapril 5mg used for fertomid mg price can you take viagra daily get moduretic las vegas amantadine without a script purchase lisinopril hydrochlorothiazide buy actos uk diet canadian sumycin tablets for purchase citalopram medication buy dramamine in india online how to get lipitor for $4 buy tegretol 200mg ventolin dosage for kids can you order astelin online prescription buy paroxetine 10 fda furosemide shortage bupropion medicine actos where can i buy it online generic lamisil cheap algodones mexico pharmacy lasix furosemide weight loss prescription cost 20mg buy nexium erection packs 2 items order eur evista lawsuit north drug store canada review remeron soltab price yasmin online pay paypal generic tegretol xr 400 mg half price pharmacy review price of viagra with prescription canadian unisom order erythromycin from australia without prescription rhinocort prices at costco how to buy viagra in canada buy danazol online no prescription us shuddha guggulu without a prescription overnight accepted buy nolvadex online buy estrace tablets buy sumycin online usa why is aleve not available in canada zyloprim generic 2013 drugs imitrex manufacturer coupons buy nimotop sarafem for sale philippines pariet 20 mg tabletas low price flovent uk nolvadex d 20mg where can you buy childrens motrin buy crestor 10 mg what is zoloft 50 mg used for zyloprim pharmacy coupons red ginseng plant sale generic cabgolin buy canada acheter nizoral viagra price comparison uk buying olanzapine buy viagra cheap reviews overnight buy cheap pariet cash how to use bupropion cialis daily use formulary tadalafil low price abana uk yagara dose cheap kamagra uk com viagra ephedraxin for purchase generic pulmicort shortage where can you still buy primatene mist buy prozac fluoxetine online antivert price india naprosyn 500 vs aleve difference between generic and brand name yasmin metformin online legally compazine doctors online roxithromycin 150mg arrow reviews on silagra what is the medicine valacyclovir used for acheter abonnement xbox live gold pas cher malegra dxt sold over counter guide to the canadian family medicine exam printable alli discount coupons safe to buy generic nizoral from usa alli side effects stories getting plendil in australia buy famvir for daily use retin-a 0,05 over counter artane shopping center baytril for rats dosages taking clomid straight after miscarriage tamoxifen tablets 10 mg billig diclofenac gel online kaufen resources for independent living inc what is the chemical formula for calcium hydrogen carbonate buy topamax from india can buy muscle relaxant over counter glucophage australia pharmacy purchase generic flagyl er best deal cialis online canadian diflucan 150 mg tablet white lithium grease new zealand eldepryl brands india us pharmacy online torsemide buy ashwagandha powder how long does it take for aciphex to start working proventil generic for what is effexor xr 75 what does procardia treat why is there a shortage of medrol can you get periactin torsemide with paypal payment doxycycline capsules viagra side effects headache inderal generic name propranolol effects online sale of prandin where to buy diabecon ointment buy cytotec without a prescription from canadian pharmacy 1 man 1jar naprosyn mg canada arimidex tamoxifen steroids drug market order dostinex what drug category is avapro buy strattera online from australia cozaar overnight shipping prescription bentyl tablets for sale detrol side effects glaucoma rxlist doxazosin mesylate levitra professional visa where to buy carafate online without rx buy cialis sublingual 40 can you open minocycline capsules better take synthroid levothyroxine what is betapace used for comprar indinavir portugal where to buy anacin drugs online what kind of drug is lanoxin coumadin necrosis treatment side effects of minocin tablets ipledge login accutane ginette-35 online order prednisone 40 mg no taper canadian pharmacy online flonase etodolac pain medicine motilium domperidone pregnancy side effects of stopping pramipexole where to motilium tamoxifen usage buy provera 10mg levitra super active roche precio argentina inderal la 120 mg cost comprar ventolin en argentina acticin with no perscription what is considered late ovulation on clomid best prescription pills to get high on buy kamagra gold pills online order deltasone lowest price bactrim antibiotic side effects amaryl diabetes med can you get high off augmentin losartan potassium 100mg tramadol dosage buy hyzaar no prescription fast delivery propecia half dose side effects kamagra oral jelly buy online from china buy ginseng online pharmacy canadian pharmacy professional 10mg buy levitra what does generic plavix look like diclofenac gel without prescription where do i neurontin in mexico flovent coupons printable l-tryptophan spain tulasi india prinivil daily use reviews proscar order in the us best place to buy trazodone in india why is there a shortage of colospa lasix drug order online zoloft usa sale can you buy cozaar in ireland can you legally buy viagra uk combivent medication assistance program trust org compra viagra italy nombre de pharmacie france trazodone 100 mg tablet doxycycline drugs online purchases genuine tinidazole 100mg lexapro lawsuit 2009 canadian on line pharmcay hydroxyzine cialis 20 mg price walgreens bactroban nasale generico can you tadacip in ireland generic buy cheap buy zanaflex 5 prednisone uk online pastillas para ereccion cialis buy atacand hong kong buy indinavir online from usa florida atarax where to buy dapoxetine in chennai generic for actos 5 mg doxycycline online pharmacies with out prescription water pills to lose weight walgreens how long does fluoxetine take to start working purinethol order canada generic viagra website reviews metoprolol beta blocker dose buy brand flonase aricept sale how much is revia tablets canada order cabgolin buy lozol without a prescription from canadian pharmacy nitroglycerin perth australia is lasix sold over the counter genuine eurax best price flomax for sale pharmacies in canada alberta acquisto malegra fxt sicuro online sominex online cheap no rx micardis online anafranil with american express female pink viagra uk stopping blood pressure medication symptoms how long does it take for stromectol to work on scabies is trazodone a prescription drug billig motilium online kaufen buy prometrium online uk i want to pay some sarafem buy clomid fast delivery where can i order alligator tail cheapest rumalaya in the uk over the counter mentax can i make mestinon lisinopril buy online no prescription generic name of ciplox is it illegal to buy viagra online in us buy rogaine boots duetact uk online mevacor order in the us actos shortage 2012 is there a sex pill for women geriforte for sale philippines zestril next day delivery pyridium medication discontinued medicine buy cholestoplex mg generic bactrim drugstore.com order robaxin periactin low cost canadian side effects of lopid tablets tofranil to buy in australia lowest price stromectol buy viagra professional online with mastercard olanzapine sale online inderal tabletas 10 mg side effects lisinopril 10 mg men is it illegal to order generic retin-a 0,05 where do i lexapro in australia comprar etodolac original en madrid lexapro 5mg dose price increase prograf buy orlistat online in uk buy sominex greece generic pills for avandamet xenical 120mg does it work lamisil terbinafine cream what is it for purchase cardizem mg craigslist posted apartment in manchester ct generic ivermectin for horses mixing doryx and alcohol permethrin cream perlice cream rinse sale buy viagra soft tabs muscletech 100 premium acai hydroxycut reviews serenata cloridrato de sertralina engorda buy ophthacare pills online florinef online shipping buy revatio inhaler canada cytoxan in italia free coupon for sinemet keflex medication uses ranitidine over counter equivalent buy levitra super active with clozaril prescription only order furosemide online no prescription with a amex acai trim pills side effects generic pills for benicar donde comprar glucophage caracas where to buy innopran xl prevacid cost maximum safe dosage of aleve cheapest famvir to buy amantadine in usa no rx cozaar online dapoxetine overnight pharmacy lipothin spain over counter how to use pulmicort respules video pregnancy test calculator ivf genuine viagra no prescription toprol xl prices at costco clomid online in the us obat voltaren pfizer viagra india price cialis professional purchase in canada no prescription buy canadian accutane ezetimibe mechanism of action where can i buy viramune love and other drugs online subtitulada what is arthrotec prescribed for buying prescription drugs in cozumel mexico drugstore order acticin revatio side effects pulmonary hypertension buy online uk cheap kamagra voltaren k dosering cipro on line norvasc generic price zerit pills sweat acheter biaxin pas cher cialis daily use vs 36 hour where can i order ceftin order fluoxetine no rx canadian pharmacy viagra super force australia differin cream or gel better cafergot canadian online overnight pharmacy chlamydia symptoms in men pictures what is lasix tablet for celexa tablets purchase on line micardis 160 mg dose indian generics online viramune buy robaxin online australia no prescription how much will dostinex cost cheap kamagra uk thanks secure buy phentermine hcl 37.5 no prescription how long does it take for zovirax ointment to work valtrex us companies only fenofibrate 160 mg tablet side effects premarin tablets 0.3mg where can i order etodolac how to order cialis soft online avodart pill shop discount code detrol shelf life being content discount fincar without script what is the dosage of methotrexate for abortion london craigslist co uk personals baclofen delivery systems side effects of duloxetine hcl missing wellbutrin doses overnight pharmacy motilium buy betoptic in india online seroflo prices at costco 50 advair coupon printable what is ibuprofen for kids diclofenac over the counter in the uk where to purchase eulexin prescription trazodone used buy viagra melbourne casodex 150 mg dosage ramipril side effects buy seroflo pills online what is promethazine syrup ip proscar lawsuit mestinon to buy from europe buy effexor online no prescription canada comprar phexin original isoptin generic 2013 drugs glucophage 850 mg weight loss is allegra better than claritin xenical works great clomid overnight pharmacy great online drugstore pill oxycodone hci buy retino-a cream 0,025 no prescription danazol overnight pharmacy what is naprosyn used to treat bupropion sr maximum dosage femcare cheap price how to use cefixime rhinocort canada overnight delivery over counter atacand glucophage pills used is asacol hd better than asacol motilium online canadian pharmacy buy imuran online usa albendazole side effects humans purchase zestril on line in usa buy luvox uk zyvox without sign up wholesale kamagra jelly slimquick hoodia customer reviews motilium safe during pregnancy can you still get pregnant on depo provera azithromycin and pregnancy risks no rx avodart online ou acheter acai montreal rosuvastatin to buy in the canada without a prescription
Home Biz of Baseball - Interviews Interview - Buzzie Bavasi - Front Office Icon

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 827 guests online

Atom RSS

Interview - Buzzie Bavasi - Front Office Icon PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
PoorBest 
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.

 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?