A couple follow-ups to yesterday’s story on the Crenshaw Post 715 American Legion baseball team.
The coach, Benny Lefebvre, ran a summer baseball camp on Catalina Island in the 1950’s. Catalina, which was owned by William Wrigley, had its own private security at the time.
One day, Benny wanted to use the facilities. A warden said no and started giving Lefebvre a hard time. They went into a shed. The warden came out of the shed with a bloody nose and Lefebvre got what he wanted.
- Decades later, in 1980, Tommy Lasorda and Jim Lefebvre (Benny’s son) were guests on a show at KNBC in Burbank. Lasorda had fired Lefebvre the year before as Dodgers’ hitting coach and Jim Lefebvre had been hired by the San Francisco Giants.
The pair were not supposed to meet during the taping but ran into each other on an empty sound stage. Lasorda started yelling and cursing at Lefebvre, took off his coat and pulled his arm back. Lefebvre decked him and cut Lasorda’s lip.
Lasorda claimed he was sucker punched. “He’s right. It was the sucker who got punched,” Lefebvre said.
Another version I heard is that Lefebvre said, “(Lasorda) didn’t bleed Dodger Blue that day.”
- Dean Stockwell was a child star who was about 15 years old and went to all the Crenshaw Post 715 games. One day, the team publicist (who was all of 17-18 years old himself) drove Stockwell to a game.
Stockwell told the publicist about the movie he made the previous year, “Kim” with the legendary actor, Errol Flynn, and told of his first encounter.
Stockwell was around 13 at the time and walked onto the set the first day with his mother and studio teacher, a 63-year-old woman with white hair.
Flynn saw the young Stockwell and said, “Hi. Have you had your first (encounter with a woman) yet?”
His mother and the teacher were speechless. Stockwell didn’t answer because he didn’t know what the profane one-word term Flynn used actually meant.