With the exception of the lifelong affection transplants to Southern California maintain for the athletic teams from the states and cities of their upbringing, it’s safe to say that South Pasadenans comprehensively love their Los Angeles Dodgers the most.
Which is to be expected, given that Dodger Stadium sits just 7.6 miles away from the South Pasadena Public Library. It was at that latter location that three South Pasadenans assembled last Thursday afternoon to celebrate the squad’s 2020 World Series championship.
Team historian Mark Langill, broadcaster Joe Davis and Terry Kiser, a longtime member of the Dodger Stadium grounds crew, gathered to present and hand sign a copy of “All for One,” the official commemorative coffee table book dedicated to the title run. Langill was born and raised in the city; Kiser moved to town in 1958 with Davis, the relative newcomer, who said his family chose South Pasadena because of its similarity to Potterville, Michigan, from which they emigrated.
The assembly was facilitated by outgoing Mayor Bob Joe, who said he wanted to acknowledge the roles played by the residents of this city. Joe also paid a compliment to the South Pasadena Public Library and its director, Kathy Billings, who was also in attendance on a crystal clear afternoon.
“We might be a small town library, but we are one of the best in Los Angeles County,” said Joe.
A former Little League coach in the city, Kiser played alongside Tommy Hutton, who was the first player from South Pasadena to reach the major leagues. He remembered the many key moments from the recent World Series where the Dodgers seemed to be out of contention.
“It was an entire team effort,” said Kiser, who worked as a groundskeeper from 2008-17.
Langill fondly recalled a moment that took place many years ago on those very same library grounds, when he was approached by a classmate who handed him a book she selected especially for Langill despite his fascination with baseball.
“For other kids, it was ‘in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.’ For me it was ‘in 1959 the Dodgers finished in a tie with the Braves but came back to win the World Series…’” a statement that was politely cut off by raucous laughter.
Davis acknowledged the Dodgers’ talent but said that the addition of Mookie Betts tipped the scales in the home team’s favor, calling the newcomer “a world class player” whose skills helped the team win their first championship since 1988.
Billings encouraged the Dodger fans in South Pasadena to check the book out, then said she hopes they are able to acquire another copy due to its anticipated popularity.