One Pack. No Turning Back.
Number of miles driven today: 105
Total miles drive on road trip: 583
Number of parking tickets on Sunset Blvd: 1
Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts? Firmly Starbucks, but Perfect Donut Cafe on Sepulveda literally had an old DD menu board, so that counts for something (kudos to my friend Katie Scranton for pointing that out)
Most expensive gas I saw today: $3.93 (hey, it's LA)
Number of prostitutes who propositioned me at Bar Marmont, one of Hollywood's most iconic places: 1
Price for said prostitute: $300
Difficulty of writing off a prostitute as a business expense: Unclear, but no, I did not partake
Steve Yeager likes whipped cream on his mocha. But that's about the only thing frilly about him.
The 1981 World Series MVP (who bizarrely shared the award with two others, Ron Cey and Pedro Guerrero) and longtime Dodgers catcher tells it like he sees it. He's as loud as the green Hawaiian shirt he wore into Starbucks for our meeting today. And he's not afraid to admit it:
"I was aggressive and loud. To be successful you have to walk around with a little chip on your shoulder. I'm still the same way," he said.
After stumbling on a true relic, a baseball card shop (although they're closing their doors in one week) in which I happened to meet one of Yeager's cousins-in-law, I met up with him for coffee and a chance to reflect back on his 15-year career, all but one of which he played in LA. He was instantly likable, his face worn from years behind the mask but his attitude as upbeat as ever. While his party days are well behind him, he still gets that twinkle in his eye when reminiscing about the old days.
"I feel bad for the players nowadays," he said. "They don't get to do all things we got to because of that," pointing at my cell phone.
When I showed him the other players in the pack, he stopped and Richie Hebner and said, "Tell Richie we need to go chase some nurses."
Yeager's days are now as sleepy as a Malibu sunset, helping his wife Charlene run a Jersey Mike's sub shop franchise in Granada Hills when the Dodgers are out of town and then coaching Yasmani Grandal and A.J. Ellis on how to defend the plate during home stands.
There's one thing that stands out brighter than the giant 1981 World Series on Yeager's left hand: He bleeds Dodger blue.
"I've never sent out a resume to another organization. That old cliche, one a Dodger always a Dodger is true. We've got a great ownership group now and we're back to doing things the right way."
The Dodger Way.
For older blog posts, click here
Day 4: Los Angeles, CA, 6.22.15