For this episode of Dodgers in time, we fire up the time machine and travel back to 1962. The Dodgers were in a heated pennant race with the hated Giants, and legendary Dodger fan Danny Kaye wrote a song about the Boys in Blue and the 1962 pennant race. We will also be profiling Dodger fans in this series, and Danny Kaye was one of the hugest Dodger fans. Danny Kaye, was born David Daniel Kaminsky on January 18, 1913. Kaye was an actor, singer, and comedian. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Kaye starred in 17 films. He was an avid pilot, and had a lifetime involvement with the UNICEF program.
Kaye was also a huge Baseball and Lifelong Dodger fan. First when the team was in Brooklyn, and then when they moved to Los Angeles. Kaye was a good friend of Leo Durocher, and he often traveled with the team. Kaye was also a part owner of the Seattle Mariners from 1977-1981. Kaye reportedly also had an encyclopedia-like knowledge of Baseball.
Danny Kaye- “We love we love the D-O-…D-O-D…..D-O-D-G….D-O-D-G-E-R-S….DODGERS! We despise, despise the J-I…J-I-N….J-I-N-T….J-I-N-T-S…JINTS!”
In 1962, which was Dodger Stadium’s inaugural season, and while the Dodgers and Giants were battling each other for the National League Pennant, Kaye wrote a song called “D-O-D-G-E-R-S….(Oh Really? No, O’Malley!). The song was well known, and was included on the Baseball’s greatest hits CD.
Have a listen!
In March of 1987, Danny Kaye died of a heart attack. Kaye was survived by his wife and daughter. He is interred at the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. A bench that contains a Baseball bat and ball sits atop his grave site. Apparently the United Nations held a memorial tribute to him at their New York headquarters. How did the 62 pennant race end for the Dodgers? Not good. They lost to the Giants, two games to one in the best of three playoff series. In the final game, the Dodgers blew a 4-2 lead in the top of the 9th inning to lose the pennant. The Giants would go on to lose to the Yankees in seven games in the world series that year. All would be good though, as the Dodgers would win the championship the following year.
Note that the song is about a fictitious game. No actual game followed the events described in the song. Danny Kaye, actor, singer, comedian, pilot, Dodger fan, and friend. At Lasorda’s Lair we salute you Danny Kaye, a True Blue Dodgers fan in time.