Monday, January 17, 2022
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Robert Francis: Our local World Series

🕐 4 min read

It will be remembered as the pandemic World Series of 2020. Played in a “neutral” ballpark, Arlington’s barely-used, brand spanking new Globe Life Field. Hardly a drip of weird nacho cheese sauce has dribbled on a seat.

And it was won by the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team that hadn’t won a World Series since another TV star was president (Ronald Reagan, in case you don’t know the answer). That gives the City of Angels two, count ‘em, two world championships during the pandemic. If the Los Angeles Rams join the Dodgers and NBA Lakers as champions by winning the Super Bowl – hey, who knows – that will give “Double Dubuque” a triple play. (Double Dubuque? You ask? That’s what writer and satirist H.L. Mencken called LA in the 1920s because so many Midwesterners had moved there.

So was it sad that the fans of “Dem Bums” (a nickname from when they abandoned Brooklyn for La-La Land) couldn’t cheer for their home team during the series unless they braved it and got on a flight to DFW Airport? Maybe, but there is a local connection. One of the owners of the LA Dodgers is Bobby Patton, a longtime Fort Worth businessman who became part owner of the team in April 2012, following the disastrous ownership of Frank McCourt. Aside from making several less-than-skilled trades, McCourt went through a divorce that saw his ex-wife walk away with $100 million – a sum that can dent even a multimillionaire’s wallet. Patton and his partners in a group called Guggenheim Baseball Management came to the rescue. One of the others in the group: former Lakers superstar Magic Johnson.

According to the Dodgers’ website, which is obviously a few years old:Patton principally operates oil and gas properties in Texas and Kansas and has additional investments in many other sectors, including ranching and insurance. He serves on the Board of Security Benefit Corporation and the Advisory Council of the University of Texas College of Liberal Arts. He also serves as the tournament chairman of the Dean & Deluca Invitational PGA Tour event at Colonial Country Club [that’s now the Charles Schwab Challenge] in Fort Worth, Texas. Patton received a B.B.A. from the University of Texas as well as a J.D. from St. Mary’s University and LLM from Southern Methodist University. Patton resides in Fort Worth, where he was born and raised.”

Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Bobby Patton heads to his seat before a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, May 10, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

In September 2016, Patton and his wife, Sherri, gave a $20 million gift to support faculty and graduate student endowments in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin.

And let’s not forget Dodgers pitcher and Dallas native Clayton Kershaw, who was warming in the bullpen when Julio Urias struck out Willy Adames to nail down LA’s 3-1 Series-clinching victory over Tampa Bay and ran alongside teammates to celebrate in the infield, later joined by family who had been in the Globe Life bubble to root for Kershaw and the Dodgers.

The Dodgers had played 5,014 regular season games and were in their 114th postseason game since Orel Hershiser struck out Oakland’s Tony Phillips for the final out of the World Series in 1988, the same year Kershaw — the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner who won Games 1 and 5 of this Series — was born in Dallas.

So for Patton and Kershaw, it was a home win. Congrats Bobby and Clayton for bringing a World Series to North Texas.

Hey, who are those guys and gals?

So – whatever happens – you plan to celebrate Election Night? Don’t be surprised if you see some Texas Army National Guard troops.

The Texas Army National Guard said Monday that up to 1,000 troops could be dispatched to cities across Texas ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

According to the Guard, the deployment is not related to the election and troops would not be stationed at polling places. The deployment is a continuation of peacekeeping efforts that began during anti-police brutality protests this summer. Okay, but it might look a little weird. It’s 2020, anyway, so we should all be celebrating or offering condolences at home.
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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