Dodger legend Roz Wyman has seen it all. While the 2013 quest for a World Series run has come to a heartbreaking end in St. Louis, Wyman is an example of the long history sure to make Angelenos stand tall and proud. Not only does she breathe Dodger Blue, she birthed it.
While I watched every playoff game on TV, Wyman was there in Elysian Park taking it all in. She beamed as she bragged about the sell-out crowds and says the stadium just twinkled. To say she's seen it all is an understatement. Going into game six I had a chance to sit down with the woman credited with helping bring the team from Brooklyn to the City of Angeles. Think you love the L.A. Dodgers? Imagine all the memories accumulated since the 1950's!
I got a rare invite to Roz's home and found it more like a museum of everything Dodger, and more! Roz's story is that of L.A. lore. She was on the LA City Council back in the 1950's. She was only 22-years old and one of her campaign promises was to bring major league baseball to Los Angeles. The team was in Brooklyn and Roz remembers it as the greatest sports franchise of its time!
When I asked for the interview she feared all her photos were packed away in albums. Much to my surprise, I arrived to find she'd poked around a bit and brought out a history lesson in photos and memorabilia. She showed me her treasured ball with the fading autographs of both Sandy Koufax and late-owner Walter O'Malley. She beamed as she showed me O'Malley's master key to the ballpark. It was framed and given to her by the younger O'Malley, Peter. She loves the photo of her at Vero Beach as the team was in training and she took a turn at bat with Don Drysdale tossing her a soft pitch.
Roz reminisced about luring the Brooklyn Dodgers out west. Part of her pitch to the senior O'Malley, fewer rain outs. She boasts since the team came there have been only 17 rainouts. Few people have more stories that Roz Wyman. In fact, she's considered the last of those living who brokered the Dodger deal. It included getting the Giants to San Francisco making it an economic sell for teams to spend the money traveling so far.
Earlier in the season there was a "Roz Wyman Night" at Chavez Ravine. Tommy Lasorda escorted her out to the mound to toss out the first pitch. As for Vin Scully, well, says Roz, he walks on water.
Before game six, I asked her if she thought we'd be going to the World Series. Roz hesitated. She was worried about team injuries. Roz took comfort in knowing fans who attended game five got to witness and savor a win. It's the last memory at Dodger Stadium for season 2013. As Roz says "fans got to see a winner."