How to define perfection? 50 years later, John Paciorek has a principled approach

 (Photo: http://www.kemmetmueller.com)


How John Paciorek’s entire baseball career can be described on one autographed baseball. (Photo: www.kemmetmueller.com)

John Paciorek’s definition of a perfect day:

Get up at about 3 a.m. at his San Gabriel home, do some metaphysical reading to prepare his mind, fire off some emails, pour a cup of coffee, run out to teach a group of elementary school kids all about physical education, come home for lunch, then go back out to coach or referee a football game.

Hopefully somewhere in there he sees his wife, Karen, who also works at the school.

In other words, that was what happened Friday.

Fifty years ago, perfection could have been measured in a much different way.

colts-john-paciorek-wirephotoThe Houston Colt .45s called the 18-year-old Paciorek up from their Class C-league team in Modesto for the last game of the regular season on Sept. 29, 1963, against the New York Mets. Houston was already 33 games behind the first-place Dodgers; the Mets, last in the West, were 48 games back.

By the time it was over, Paciorek, hitting seventh and playing right field, went 3-for-3 with three singles, walked twice, scored four times and drove in three runs in a 13-4 win before less than 4,000 spectators. He also handled two plays in the field flawlessly.

Then, by perfect illogical fate, he never played in an MLB game again.

A lifetime batting average of 1.000 isn’t bad, right?It’s in all the record books.

paciorekgrassbackIt depends on how you respond when life throws you a curveball.

“I’d have to say I’ve had it pretty good; I’m very happy,” the 68-year-old said from his home not far from the private Clairbourn School where he’s been the phys ed teacher for the last 37 years. Continue reading

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25 years ago: When Hershiser threw 10 shutout innings to drive by Drysdale … for 59, right?

UPDATED: 09.29.13 at 10 a.m.

Orel Hershiser acknowledges the Dodger Stadium crowed on Opening Day, April 1, 2013. Hershiser caught the ceremonial first pitch thrown by Sandy Koufax.  (Photo by Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2013

Orel Hershiser acknowledges the Dodger Stadium crowed on Opening Day, April 1, 2013. Hershiser caught the ceremonial first pitch thrown by Sandy Koufax. (Photo by Jon SooHoo/©Los Angeles Dodgers,LLC 2013

Twenty-five years later, people still come up to Orel Hershiser and ask him about his consecutive scoreless record streak.

Sometimes it starts with: How many innings was it again?

After throwing 10 scoreless innings on Sept. 28, 1988, Orel Hershiser could celebrate reach 59.

After throwing 10 scoreless innings on Sept. 28, 1988, Orel Hershiser could celebrate reach 59.

“I’m at a point where I’m not sure anymore, after they (the Major League Baseball official stat keepers) changed Don Drysdale’s number right in the middle of everything,” said the Dodgers’ 1988 Cy Young Award winner.

“I’ve been told the wrong number so many times. People say, ‘You still have that world record, right?’

“It’s a rhetorical question. Just like people who meet me think I’m in the Hall of Fame. I never correct them. Why disappoint them?”

Don’t be disappointed to learn that, for the record, the streak is 59 and doing fine. Also to make clear: Hershiser hasn’t made the Hall of Fame. At least as far as he can recall.

“Days are long, years are short, I can’t believe I’m actually retired,” said Hershiser, who recently turned 55 – his old uniform number.

Working the last nine years as a game analyst for ESPN, a candidate to someday to join the Dodgers’ broadcasting crew on a regular basis, Hershiser will forever be the boyish symbol of the 1988 Dodger title team and linked with the grizzled Hall of Famer Drysdale, able to surpass his mark as if everyone stayed on a pre-written Hollywood script. Continue reading

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The Key and Peele Show’s East-West rosters (updated)

From last season’s “Key & Peele” show on Comedy Central, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele gave us some of the best spoofed names (or, perhaps real somewhere) you could find on a college football all-star team to appear on “CSEN”:

That clip has more than 18 million YouTube hits. They’ve topped it this season with another batch, led by Fudge (as can only be broken down by Joel Meyers and Bill Seward, with more than 6 million hits already in the last two weeks):

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Weekly media column version 09.27.13: Kiss ’em goodbye

DSC02498DSC02500DSC02502Above: During KCAL’s farewell montage at the end of Wednesday’s Dodgers-Giants game coverage, included was a clip of Vin Scully blowing a kiss to the Dodger Stadium patrons (with producer Boyd Robertson looking on in amusement):

What made it into this week’s compilation:

The Dodgers’ fun run at Prime Ticket and KCAL-Channel 9 has reached a melancholy ending, so where do we go from here with SportsNet L.A.? (A version of the blog post we had Thursday afternoon).

What didn’t make it into the column or notes: Continue reading

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How Prime Ticket, Channel 9 are going, going, gone in the Dodgers postseason run and beyond

At the end of Wednesday's Dodgers-Giants game, KCAL-Channel 9 ran a classy montage of highlights thanking the Dodgers for their partnership that has now ended after eight seasons.

At the end of Wednesday’s Dodgers-Giants game, KCAL-Channel 9 ran a classy montage of highlights thanking the Dodgers for their partnership that has now ended after eight seasons.

This should be the prime weekend for Prime Ticket to crank up its  Dodgers coverage, chronicling the team as it navigates through the final home stand of the regular season and induces playoff momentum.

Just circle back to how the local cable network partner Fox Sports West got behind the Kings’ 2012 Stanley Cup run with all its ancillary coverage, despite the fact it couldn’t televise any live games due to national TV rights agreements.

But then again, this is also a time where we’re still getting our antennas around a two-year run major overhaul in local L.A. sports television. The disruption of familiarity requires viewers to keep up with the new landscape of the channel relocation program.

scoreesComing up on a year since the Lakers broke loose from its long-time residence at Fox Sports West and KCAL-Channel 9 to team up on a mega-rights deal with Time Warner Cable and become a partner in the launch the El Segundo-based TWC SportsNet, the Dodgers are doing the same and more on their own path toward self-produced fulfillment.

The momentum can finally start building toward the creation of their own SportsNet L.A. that will arrive in the next six months, with TWC’s financial support and assistance as well.

Fox Sports West’s 17 years as a Dodger cable partner – the team actually precipitated the launch of Fox Sports West 2 in 1997, later re-branded with the retro name Prime Ticket a few years ago – comes to a melancholy ending Sunday.

Read more on the website …

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