Chris Jaffe, inspired by the death of Virgil Trucks, who was the second-to-last guy on the 1945 Tigers team, wanted to know something:
This got me wondering, who are the last survivors of various pennant-winning teams? Who was the last man left who could say he personally played in the Fall Classic? So I did the digging and looked it up.
He’s a historian by trade, so he does that a lot. In this case he looked at all World Series teams before 1949 — after 1949 there are multiple survivors for each team — and wrote up the results. Sadly: every single man who played in a World Series prior to 1945 is now in Baseball Valhalla. Stan Musial was the last pre-1945 fall classic participant to shuffle off this mortal coil. Also: last man from the 1947 Dodgers team, recently immortalized in “42” is Ralph Branca.
This stuff fascinates me. If I were a billionaire I’d hire a guy like Jaffe just to give me a report of weird random crap he thought to look up. He or she would have coffee with me each morning and just fill my head with this kind of thing.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that there is a possibility that starter Clayton Kershaw will be activated after throwing a simulated game on Tuesday, Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA reports. Kershaw threw a 60-pitch bullpen session on Friday. His activation depends on how he feels coming out of the simulated game.
Kershaw, 28, has been out since late June with mild disk herniation in his lower back. There was some consternation last month that the lefty might need back surgery, but he seems to have moved past that worry.
At the time he hit the disabled list, Kershaw was a front-runner for the National League Cy Young Award, owning an 11-2 record with a 1.79 ERA and a 145/9 K/BB ratio in 121 innings.
The Dodgers entered play Monday with a two-game lead over the Giants in the NL West. Needless to say, getting Kershaw back bolsters their odds of winning the division.
Starter Gerrit Cole has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to August 25, with posterior inflammation of his right elbow, the Pirates announced. Pitcher Steven Brault has been recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis for Monday night’s start against the Cubs.
Cole was scratched from Monday’s start on Sunday and instead traveled to Los Angeles to be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. The right-hander previously underwent an MRI which ruled out structural damage.
Cole hits the shelf with a 3.55 ERA and a 95/32 K/BB ratio over 114 innings. The Pirates entered play Monday a half game out of the second National League Wild Card slot, so losing him for at least two more weeks will sting.