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My 30 Years in Dodger Blue by Fred Claire

I have been a Dodger fan since I came out of the womb. I bleed Dodger blue, and growing up I had only one dream: to be the starting catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Naturally, as a kid, my favorite Dodger was Mike Piazza.

Piazza was larger than life. He was a decent catcher with a powerful bat. My first and only Dodger uniform was a crisp, blue #31 Piazza jersey. When I wore that jersey, I could faintly hear Vin Scully calling my name over the radio.

So you can imagine my confusion when the Dodgers traded the Piazza and his glorious mullet to the teal-toting Florida Marlins. Back then I didn’t understand contract negotiations, free agency, salary obligations, and so forth. All I knew was that the best hitting catcher in baseball was now in Florida and not a Dodger. (I later fell in love with Pal LoDuca).

Fred Claire was the Dodger general manager from 1987 to 1998, but fortunately, he was not responsible for the ill-conceived Piazza/Zeile to Florida trade. That honor goes to the executives at the Fox Entertainment Group. And from 1998 to 2012 (the end of the McCourt era) it wasn’t a fun time to be a Dodger fan.

If you’re an avid Dodger fan, none of these stories will be new or shocking, however, it is fun to hear it straight from the general manager’s mouth.