Some 45 years ago, in one of the brightest seasons in Dodgers history, Bryan Hayward was a batboy for the team. On Sept. 22, Hayward was back on the field at Dodger Stadium receiving recognition for a special accomplishment.
Hayward is one of 234 runners who have completed every single L.A. Marathon since the first in 1986. The West Covina resident, along with the other Legacy Runnerswere brought onto the field at Dodger Stadium prior to the Sept. 22 game. Hayward, though, was singled out and announced to the Dodger Stadium crowd.
Hayward got emotional after he was announced.
“I guess this is my cathedral,” he said of Dodger Stadium.
Hayward’s friend was the visiting team’s batboy at Dodger Stadium in 1965. He asked Hayward if he would be interested in being a batboy and he originally said no. His friend convinced him to come to the ballpark and check it out.
“First thing I did was walk to the dugout area and look onto the field and I was sold,” recalled Hayward. “I didn’t care what the job description was.”
The Dodgers went on to defeat the Minnesota Twins in the 1965 World Series. It was a team of Dodger legends — Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Johnny Podres, Jim Gilliam, Wes Parker, Maury Wills, Willie Davis, Tommy Davis, “Sweet” Lou Johnson and manager Walter Alston. Koufax pitched a perfect game on Sept. 9, 1965 at Dodger Stadium.
“It was unbelievable when you think of the genuine superstars on that team,” said Hayward. “They were a very light-hitting team. A great example was when Koufax threw his perfect game. I think Drysdale was in Philadelphia or wherever they were going to play the next series. When he got the phone call that Koufax threw a perfect game, the first question he asked was, ‘Did we win the game?'”
Hayward said catcher Jeff Torborg took him under his wing. He used to break in new shoes for Wills. He also used to play pepper all the time with Willie Davis. That season was a great run for the Dodgers and for Hayward.