You hate to reduce a man's career, let alone his entire life, to a trivia question. But as trivia questions go, this one's pretty damn good ...
Who hit the first home run in Los Angeles Dodgers history?
Before yesterday, I had no idea. Did you?
It was while in Los Angeles that he forever chiseled his name into the Dodgers record books.
On a Wednesday evening on April 16th, Dick Gray hit the very first home run in LA Dodgers history. It was against the San Francisco Giants at Seals Stadium. He was a huge contributor in that early season victory as he went 3 for 6 with 3 RBI's and 2 runs scored. The Dodgers walloped the Giants 13 to 1.
To further solidify his Dodger legacy, Dick Gray also hit the very first Dodger home run at the Dodgers home field in the Coliseum. On April 18th he cranked out his 2nd homer of the season in the 7th inning of a very close game.
Gray wound up hitting nine homers, but played in just 58 games. After playing in only 21 for the Dodgers in '59, they traded him to the Cardinals, and his career petered out before long.
Alas, the only reason I looked up Dick Gray is because he died Monday. Gray was 81, and presumably did a lot more in his life than just hit a couple of big flies.