ANDERSON, Ind. - Since ending his baseball career in 1959, Carl Erskine has made a habit of making baseball fans’ dreams come true.
He has regularly appeared at fantasy camps in Florida where adult Dodgers fans put on the uniform and play on the same hallowed grounds where their heroes spent spring training.
|Daniel Perl, right, grew up in Brooklyn and considered himself Carl Erskine’s biggest fan. Erskine, left, pitched for the Dodgers for 11 seasons.|
He often gives time to young and old fans, regaling them with stories of the 11 seasons he pitched for the Dodgers, first in Brooklyn then in Los Angeles.
A few months ago he did it again. He received a phone call from someone he never met who wanted to come to Anderson to meet him.
“My wife asked me, ‘Do you know this person?’ and I told her I didn’t,” said Erskine. But the caller claimed a special possession that made the meeting even more enticing.
Dr. Daniel Perl grew up in Brooklyn and was 10 years old when his father took him to his first baseball game. The two kept score batter by batter. It was June 19, 1952, at Ebbets Field.
“That’s when I threw a no-hitter against the (Chicago) Cubs," said Erskine.
“I remember the game quite well,” Perl said in a recent telephone interview. “As I grew older, I became his biggest fan. I knew I wanted to meet him, but I got going with my own career.
“Then two years ago, we were moving to Washington (D.C.), and there it was in a drawer with a ticket stub from the game. So I decided I wanted to try and meet him. I was reasonably sure he was still in good health, but I didn’t quite know how to go about it.”