Widow of Don Drysdale is selling his memorabilia over family objections

Associated Press
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LOS ANGELES (AP) Kelly Drysdale remembers seeing her dad’s Cy Young Award in her house growing up. Now she’s heartbroken that Don Drysdale’s widow is selling memorabilia from his years as a star pitcher for the Dodgers.

Ann Meyers Drysdale, the Hall of Fame basketball player who was married to the Hall of Fame pitcher, is putting the items up for auction starting Wednesday. The collection is unusual in that it covers Drysdale’s entire career – from his days at Van Nuys High in suburban Los Angeles to his minor league stints with the Bakersfield Indians and Montreal Royals to his major league stardom with the Dodgers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.

Kelly Drysdale told The Associated Press that Meyers didn’t inform the rest of the Drysdale family about the auction or first offer them any keepsakes. The items came into Meyers’ control through the will of Drysdale, who died of a heart attack in July 1993 while on the road broadcasting for the Dodgers.

“She has the legal right, but moral and decent right? Absolutely not,” Drysdale said through tears by phone from her home in Hawaii. “It’s not a very nice thing for someone to do. This is something that has caught me by surprise and is heartbreaking.”

Meyers said timing played no part in the sale and that many of the items were in storage. She said a portion of the proceeds would go to as yet-undecided charities and the rest “to help my kids down the road.”

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” she said by phone from her home in Phoenix. “I do believe this is something Don would have thought of doing for his family.”

Informed of her stepdaughter’s comments, Meyers said, “It’s a family matter and I’ll leave it at that.”

Kelly Drysdale is the only child from her father’s first marriage. She said her mother, Ginger, and Drysdale’s only sibling, Nancy, feel the same as she does. She said her relationship with Meyers had been cordial up until now, and that she has spent time with her stepsiblings over the years.

“I might understand if it was a matter of money, but if it’s just to get them out of storage, why not offer them to the family first?” Kelly Drysdale said. “If my dad wanted to get rid of these things, he probably would have.”

The 166 lots include Drysdale’s World Series championship rings from 1963 and 1965; both carry minimum bids of $15,000. Other items include his 1956 National League championship ring; the used ball from the final inning of his record 58 2/3 scoreless innings streak that ended on June 8, 1968; a 1988 World Series ring when he was a Dodgers broadcaster; spikes caked with dirt; gloves, bats, trophies; and even his bowling ball and shoes.

Now 56, the same age as her father when he died, Kelly Drysdale particularly wanted his 1962 Cy Young Award, which has a minimum bid of $15,000.

“That was the one thing that was proudly and prominently displayed in every house in which I ever lived,” she said. “That was the first thing I asked if I could have and there was never a reply. These are things that have been in my family long before she ever met my father.”

She said the only baseball item she has is his 1959 World Series championship ring, which she received from her late grandparents, along with a necklace her father had made using a diamond from the ring.

SCP Auctions estimates the entire collection to bring in around $1 million, according to Vice President Dan Imler.

“There are a whole generation of fans alive today who followed him and saw him play,” he said. “He’s still relevant.”

Imler said Drysdale’s game-used gloves would be likely the most prized by collectors.

“They’re very personalized and customized,” he said. “Don’s glove clearly shows use over many, many seasons.”

Meyers said sorting through boxes of memorabilia brought “a lot of laughs, memories and tears.” She allowed the couple’s three grown children to select some keepsakes.

“It’s been tough on them,” she said. “Some have struggled with it, but it’s the right thing to do.”

Don Jr., known as D.J., is 28 and works at an Internet company in Arizona; Darren is a 26-year-old college student; and daughter Drew is a 23-year-old UCLA history major interested in a music career. They were 6 and under when their father died.

“Even now a lot of people will ask about Don,” Meyers said. “It’s great to not only hear stories from fans but his old teammates. Certainly things I did not know.”

Meyers was influenced by conversations she had with fellow Hall of Famer Julius Erving and former Boston Celtics star Bob Cousey. Both men sold their memorabilia, telling her it was a way to help their families while they are still alive.

“He had a tremendous life,” she said, “and it’s a chance to share with people.”

The online auction runs through April 23. The web site is SCPAuctions.com.

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

atlanta braves
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images
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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.