This website highlights the baseball career and life of Fred Kipp – The Last Yankee Dodger. Fred is the last living player to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees. He mainly played for the Los Angeles Dodgers when they moved to Los Angeles in 1958, but he spent a lot of time with the Brooklyn Dodgers in Japan and at the start and end of seasons. The 237-page biography that reviews his baseball career can be purchased here.
Nomination for SABR Award
The Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) has nominated the Last Yankee Dodger for the prestigious Ron Gabriel Award. The award is given to the authors of a publication about the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Ron Gabriel Committee is evaluating the nominees and I’ll let you know if The Last Yankee Dodger is given the award in 2019!
See the most recent blog entries here. I’ve been traveling in Japan and have found some Brooklyn Dodger memorabilia from 1956 that is really cool.
May 25th – Signing books at the Memorial Day Parade in Yates Center, Kansas. From 9am to 3pm, Fred will be on site to sign the book and tell you a few stories.
Personally signed books will be available at events for $20 cash.
Here’s a new book trailer that I captured in Hiroshima in front of the Cenotaph in the Peace Memorial Park where the Brooklyn Dodgers paid their respects to the victims of the first nuclear bomb explosion over a city.
1959 Topps #258
The Last Yankee Dodger has some great stories about Kipp’s decade in professional baseball including:
- His first start in the LA Colisuem against Stan The Man Musial on April 25th, 1958 with 60,000 fans in their first year in LA
- Crazy spring training with the New York Yankees in 1960.
- The 1956 World Series with Don Larsen’s Perfect Game
- The 1956 Dodger Goodwill Tour of Japan where Pee Wee Reese swam with sharks and the Dodgers jumped out of train windows and Gil Hodges pantomimed
- Pitching and partying in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Canada
- Pitching to Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, John Roseboro, Joe Pignatano, Earl Woods, Elston Howard and Billy Shantz
- Pitching against Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Eddie Matthews, Roberto Clemente, Frank Robinson and more
- Playing with Jackie Robinson, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snyder, Don Newcombe, Sal Maglie, Carl Erskine, Randy Jackson, Roger Maris and many more Yankees and Dodgers
Overview of Baseball Career
Kipp pitched with the best and against the best in the golden era of baseball. He played for the two best teams in the 1950s and 60s – the Yankees and the Dodgers. From 1953 when he joined the Dodger organization until 1962 when he retired, the Yankees and Dodgers made 12 appearances in the World Series – that’s 60% of the Fall Classic teams!
Kipp is one of 22 Brooklyn Dodgers who are still living as of February 2017. The list of players can be found here. He is the only living Brooklyn Dodger to play for the Yankees as well. His trade to the Yankees in 1960 put him in the odd position of playing for the team that had beaten the Dodgers in 5 of the 6 World Series where they faced each other.
1960 Topps #202
Kipp was one of the few players who graduated college and played in the Major Leagues. He had the opportunity to play in the farm teams of the New York Giants, but chose to go to Emporia State University instead. After college, he joined the Dodgers and worked his way up to the majors after 5 years in the minor leagues.
Another unique aspect of his career is that he played in the Carribbean Leagues for several winters. From 1957-1960, he played for the Escogido Leones in the Dominican Republic. He played with a mixture of Dodgers and Giants and native greats such as Juan Marichal and the Alou Brothers. He enjoyed pitching about once a week there and getting paid $1,000/month – about twice what he got paid in the US during his early years.