I read Monday in the L.A. Times that Gino Cimoli had died.
Gino was the first major league player to bat on the West Coast when the Dodgers and Giants moved to California from New York in 1958. He wasn't the Dodgers usual lead-off batter, but Manager Walter Alston gave him the nod because he grew up in San Francisco, where the game was played.
I was at the game. I sat in the stands watching the teams warm up in Seal Stadium, where minor league games had been played. Gino was standing in the outfield, twirling his hand over his head and someone asked what he was doing. I said, "I think he is explaining how the winds blow out there."
In my heart of hearts, I was rooting for the Dodgers that day because of Gino. I had gone to Galileo High School with him, where he played basketball as well, if not better, than he played baseball — good enough to be offered a scholarship to Stanford.