As we’ve noted before, 2013 marks a full 25 years since the Dodgers last made it to a World Series. In that time, every other member of the NL West has managed to get there — yes, even the Rockies — and it’s depressing, it’s embarrassing, and it’s long past time for that to change.
Still, as we hope that this year is the year that streak breaks, a quarter-century is a good time to look back on just how amazing and wondrous that 1988 season truly was, and a new book from an old friend promises to do just that. Josh Suchon, host of KABC’s Dodger Talk from 2008-2011 — I’m assuming his tenure ended because he was foolish enough to actually invite me onto the show in 2009 — and recently-minted broadcaster of the Triple-A Dodger affiliate in Albuquerque has a look back on the greatest season we’ve seen in decades: “Miracle Men: Hershiser, Gibson, and the Improbable 1988 Dodgers“.
I’ll be the first to admit that when I heard there was a retrospective of the season coming out, I wondered what more could be said, but Suchon prefaces the book with a very personal tale of a chance meeting as a teenager with Orel Hershiser during the 1988 World Series that arguably shaped his life and unarguably helped this book be written. From there, at least through the first several chapters that I’ve made it through so far, it goes on to a nearly daily diary of the stories that went into the magical season, complete with lineups and interviews with everyone from Vin Scully on down. From the publisher’s description:
Bringing the majesty of the ’88 season to a whole new generation of Dodgers fans using original interviews with players, managers, broadcasters and fans, Suchon transports fans back to the days of Don Sutton’s final season of a Hall of Fame career and Hershiser’s remarkable 46-day pitching stretch. From Kirk Gibson’s memorable homerun game to incredible tales of how the team defied all odds in the playoffs without Fernando Valenzuela and Pedro Guerrero, their two most iconic players from 1981-1987, as well as stories from unlikely heroes like Mike Scioscia, Mickey Hatcher and Mike Davis, Miracle Men is a must have for the 2013 season.
For those of us too young to remember much about the season other than Gibson’s homer, it’s an instructive look back at a year that will never be repeated. “Miracle Men” is available now.