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The LADs of Summer (Review and Giveaway!)

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Even the most casual of Dodgers fans knows that we are fortunate enough to have here, in our beloved City of Angels, one of the most storied franchises in all the sporting world. In the new DVD from MLB Productions, Dodger Blue – The Championship Years, we are treated to a 60-minute retrospective that includes colorful-yet-concise vignettes on the world championship teams of 1955 (the famous “Boys of Summer” and the only Brooklyn team to win it all), ’59, ’63, ’65, ’81 and ’88, as well as a look at the National League Champion teams of 1974, ’77 and ’78. The Special Features section includes the Hall Of Fame acceptance speeches of Tommy Lasorda, Don Drysdale and Duke Snider.

A Ken Burns documentary “Dodger Blue” is not. None of these teams is given more than 8 minutes of time, and with the exception of Sandy Koufax in the ’60s and Kirk Gibson in 1988, there is nearly no time dedicated to the many great Dodgers players that contributed to those championships. And while we could watch Koufax fan hitters with his knee-buckling curve all day long, he did not win the ’63 and ’65 series’ all on his own. While fan-favorite Lasorda enjoys plenty of air time throughout the DVD, one wonders if the inclusion of the other two HOF speeches was to either make up for their being conspicuously absent elsewhere, or because these are the only three televised speeches in the MLB archives.

It is hard to believe that Vin Scully’s participation in this DVD involves nothing more than what looks to be an impromptu quizzing in his press box before a game (narration is provided by new Dodger broadcaster Charley Steiner). While much of the archival footage is entertaining to watch, and while the number and variety of interview segments from former players and coaches is adequately informative, one finishes watching the DVD (in its modest 60 minutes) wanting quite a bit more. And while we will be the first to admit that a 3-hour documentary full of stats and box scores would hardly be provocative, one can’t help but think that something in the middle wouldn’t be better. This DVD seems best suited to people of two types: Dodgers memorabilia completists, and those who like their baseball history in convenient, soft-focus SportsCentury info-nuggets.

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Reviewed by Guest Writer, Colin True.

Want to check out Dodger Blue for yourself? We're giving away a copy of the DVD. Enter after the jump!