Danny Dorn soaks up big weekend
LOS ANGELES — Danny Dorn’s big weekend extended into Saturday afternoon, when his parents, wife, sisters and in-laws were on the edge of the field, phone cams rolling, as Dorn took batting practice at Dodger Stadium.
Dorn got his first major league hit Friday night after nine-plus years in the minor leagues, and it was not hard to find his family in the immediate aftermath. They were the ones letting loose in the Bank of America suite; Dorn’s sister works for the company. Dorn promised to give the ball to his father, Mike, who does not travel out of the L.A. area and saw Danny play for the first time with the Diamondbacks on Friday.
"It was like a dream come true," Mike Dorn said. "It was just fantastic. He’s worked hard to get this, and we followed him all the way through."
The Dorns are from Diamond Bar, Calif., about 30 miles east of L.A., and Dorn spent a lot of time in major league parks while playing Cal State-Fullerton. He worked as a vendor at Angels Stadium during high school, hawking ice cream and soda and whatever else, and catching a very occasional game at Dodger Stadium. When business was slow in Anaheim, he was able to slide down toward the on-deck circle to watch favorite players Ken Griffey and Alex Rodriguez hit.
"You have to earn some money. Might as well do it at a baseball field," Dorn said.
The Dorns were not the only ones smiling. Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner first met Dorn when they played together on the Long Beach Cardinals team that won the Connie Mack national championship after their senior years in high school, and they roomed together for four years at Cal State-Fullerton, winning the College World Series in 2004, when Dorn had a big hit in the final series against Texas’ Huston Street, Turner said.
Dorn and Turner were drafted as juniors but opted to return to school, and both again were drafted as seniors, this time both by Cincinnati. They took the same flight to the Reds’ Pioneer League affiliate in Billings, Mont., after they signed and spent three years together in the Reds’ system before Turner was traded. Tuner was in Dorn’s wedding three years ago.
"That is something I will never forget, either," Turner said of Dorn’s pinch-hit single in the sixth inning.
"That’s a special moment. Known Danny for a long time, played with him for a long time. It was way overdue. Finally got his opportunity. I couldn’t be happier for him. We shared a lot of very special moments together. To be there for that one was icing on the cake."