Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ivan (DeJesus) the Not So Terrible

Last year, I went to Los Angeles (CA) to interview Rick Monday for an online piece for Global Traveler magazine. While out there, I talked to a bunch of other baseball players and coaches, including Ivan DeJesus.
DeJesus actually has a connection to Monday, as he came to the Chicago Cubs with Bill Buckner for Monday and Mike Garman. After playing parts of 3 seasons with the Dodgers, DeJesus became the regular shortstop for the Cubs.
DeJesus was a decent shortstop (better than whoever else the Cubs had at the time), but he seemed to get worse each year in Chicago, culminating in 1981, when he hit .194 and had 13 rbi's (challenging Enzo Hernandez's 12 rbi mark).
He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies where he played as a regular for 3 years, before finishing his career used sparingly for 4 different teams in 4 years. He since has become a coach and his son is playing in the Dodgers system.
When I met him on the field, I simply thanked him for his efforts in Chicago. Those teams were pretty bad and he was at least one of the steadier players. This post and picture is for Louie Atsaves. Although DeJesus was listed as 5'11" and 175 lbs. and that was probably a good stretch, we will always remember him for his pre-steroid era tree trunk-like thighs.
Ivan DeJesus and me at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA-June 2008

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