Sports Outside the Beltway

Clem Labine

Labine, a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, died Friday at 80. I generally don’t report obituaries but this is different. I met Clem Labine in 2005 in Cooperstown. My fiance (at the time) and I thought of having our wedding there. Her parents are friends with an event coordinator who lives there, so we went up one day to check it out for our wedding. Not coincidentally, it was Hall of Fame induction weekend, and she was throwing a large party with several HOF members. We normally never could have gotten in, but having the connection made it possible. My wife is also a Yankee and baseball fan, so we were both excited to meet and get autographs from some of the ex-players: Straw, Feller, Cepeda, Killebrew, Marichal, Niekro, Gaylord Perry, and Winfield (I’m forgetting a few others). After the food portion of the party (which was in an outdoor tent), we went into the large house on the estate to see how it could be used for a wedding. It was beautiful, and had some truly amazing baseball memorabilia (almost as good as the HOF itself). When we finished, we sat down in a screened-in patio, and who came in next but Clem Labine. I didn’t know who he was, but my father-in-law told me his name (which I recognized but couldn’t place). He was a member of the 1955 Dodgers he said. He was a very nice man – we shook hands, talked for a minute, and I sheepishly asked for his autograph. He gave it to me and I thanked him. That’s the story. None of the other ball players that day were as friendly or sociable as him (Straw came close though). I’ll always remember that about him. Anyway, the place was too expensive for our wedding so we went to Florida.

Labine was a good reliever for the Dodgers who twice led the league in saves and was a two-time All-Star.

Related Stories:
Recent Stories:

Comments are Closed


Visitors Since Feb. 4, 2003

All original content copyright 2003-2008 by OTB Media. All rights reserved.