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Larry Sherry, former Dodger pitcher and World Series MVP, 71

December 28, 2006 | 7:00 pm

MVP Larry Sherry

MVP Larry Sherry

Larry Sherry, former pitcher for the L.A. Dodgers, who was named MVP of the 1959 World Series, died on Dec. 17 at 71. He had cancer. The Mission Viejo resident had been diagnosed with the illness roughly 12 years ago, said his older brother, Norm, who also played for the Dodgers.

The two of them became the first Jewish pitching and catching tandem in the major leagues in 1960, following Larry's record-breaking performance in 1959 when he saved two games and won two others, becoming the first pitcher in major league history to figure in all four of his team's wins in the World Series.

According to Norm, Larry was born with clubbed feet at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. To realign his feet, doctors broke his bones and gave the young Sherry shoes "with steel" in them Later, Larry switched to "high-top orthotic shoes with metal" and continued to wear orthotics his whole life.

He never ran well, which may have been why he became a pitcher, speculated Norm, from his home in San Diego. The Sherrys grew up by Orange Grove Avenue, a block away from Fairfax High School, from which all the Sherrys, including oldest brother, Stanley, and George, the third brother, graduated. All but Stanley played professional baseball.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Dodgers had three Jews on the team, Sandy Koufax, known as Super Jew; Larry Sherry, known as Rude Jew, and Norm Sherry, the Jolly Jew. Larry Sherry earned his nickname because "he was mean; he would knock you down," Norm said.

Although he threw hard, in the low-90s, Larry Sherry became a star after he developed a slider in Venezuela over the winter before the 1959 season. He used that pitch to great effect in his major league career, which lasted a decade and ended in 1968 with the California Angels. He later served as a pitching coach for the Angels, minor league pitching coordinator for the Dodgers and private baseball instructor in Arcadia.

Sherry's wife of 47 years, Sally, died three years ago.

He is survived by a daughter, Suzanne; son, Scott; five granddaughters, and all three of his brothers. Donations may be made in Larry Sherry's memory to Mission Hospital Foundation -- Oncology Department, 27700 Medical Center Road, Mission Viejo, CA 92691-6426.

-- Robert David Jaffee, Contributing Writer

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Dr. Walter Appleman died Nov. 23. he is survived by his five children; and two grandchildren. Hillside Mortuary

Harry Danhi died Dec. 8 at 75. He is survived by his children, Sharon (Robert) Aigner, Karen (Brian) Freedman and David; grandson, Jake; and brother Sol. Sholom Chapels

Mollie Levy Feinstein died Nov. 29 at 96. She is survived by her niece, Marlene Abrams; sister-in-law Ruth Levy; and friend, Morrie Bernstein.

Shirley Gordon died Nov. 25 at 69. She is survived by her husband, Irving; sons Michael and Robert; and sisters, Cecilia Mestman and Edith Rose. Sholom Chapels

Ishak Hakim died Nov. 22 at 75. He is survived by his son, Moshe. Sholom Chapels

Marjorie Kitnick died Aug. 30 at 82. She is survived by her sons, Barry, Steven, Dean and David. Sholom Chapels.

Sidney Lipson died Nov. 16 at 85. He is survived by his son, Steve; daughter, Stacy Santoro; and granddaughter, Allyson. Sholom Chapels

Daniel Levine died Dec. 1 at 79. He is survived by his wife, Shirley. Sholom Chapels

Paul Miller died Dec. 3 at 81. He is survived by his brother, Herb. Sholom Chapels

Robert West died Nov. 20 at 62. He is survived by his wife, Roberta. Sholom Chapels

In addition to the members of the L.A. Jewish community who have died recently, we'd also like to remember some of the men and women from our larger Jewish family who we lost in 2006. Although they are gone, their legacies will continue through their movies, television shows, plays, music, books, art and good works:

Yitzhak Ben Aharon, founder of the Israeli Labor Party, died May 19 at 99.

Yossi Banai, Israeli singer and actor, died May 11 at 74.

Ted Berkman, author and scriptwriter ("Bedtime for Bonzo") died May 12 at 92.

Jay Bernstein, publicist and executive producer ("Mike Hammer") died April 30 at 69.

Andrea Brett Morrison Bronfman, philanthropist and wife of billionaire Charles Bronfman (Birthright Israel), died Jan. 23 at 60.

Red Buttons (born Aaron Chwatt), 87, comedian (No. 71 on Comedy Central's list of "100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time") and Academy Award-winning actor for "Sayonara," died July 13 at 87.

Betty Comden (born Elizabeth Cohen), Award-wining lyricist who collaborated with longtime partner Adolph Green on numerous Broadway musicals, including "Applause" and "The Will Rogers Follies," and movie musicals, such as "Singin' in the Rain," "The Band Wagon" and "On the Town," died Nov. 23 at 89.

Shoshana Damari, "Queen of Israeli song," died Feb. 14 at 83.

Betty Friedan, feminist, writer ("The Feminine Mystique") and co-founder of the National Organization for Women, died Feb. 4 at 85.

Milton Himmelfarb, essayist and sociographer, died Jan 4 at 87.

Stanley Kunitz, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former U.S. poet laureate, died May 14 at 100.

Alan M. Levin, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker ("The New Immigrants"), died Feb. 13 at 79.

"Grandpa" Al Lewis (born Al Meister), actor ("The Munsters") and political candidate, died Feb. 3 at 82.

Yuval Ne'eman, physicist and founder of the Israel Space Agency, died April 26 at 80.

Pnina Salzman, Israeli pianist known as the "First Lady of Piano," died Dec. 16 at 84.

Adrienne Shelly (born Adrienne Levine), screenwriter ("I'll Take You There"), director ("Waitress") and actress ("Trust"), died Nov. 1 at 40

Aaron Spelling, TV writer, actor and Guiness World Record-holding mega-producer ("Charlie's Angels," "Starsky and Hutch," "Dynasty," "Charmed" "Beverly Hills 90210," "7th Heaven" "Love Boat," "Hotel"), died June 23 at 83.

Paul Spiegel, 68, chairman of the Central Council of German Jews, died April 30 at 68. Myron Waldman, 97, animator of "Betty Boop" and "Superman" cartoons, died Feb. 4 at 97.

Jack Warden (born John H. Lebzelter), Emmy Award-winning actor for "Brian's Song" (other works included "While You Were Sleeping," "Heaven Can Wait" and TV show "Crazy Like a Fox), died July 19 at 85.

Wendy Wasserstein, Pultizer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright (plays included "The Sisters Rosensweig" and "The Heidi Chronicles") died Jan. 30 at 55.

Lennie Weinrib, writer and actor, best known for playing the title role on TV show "H.R. Pufnstuf" and as the original voice of Scooby-Doo's nephew, Scrappy-Doo, died June 28 at 71.

Elliot Welles, 79, director of Anti-Defamation League's task force on Nazi war criminals, died Nov. 28 at 79.

Shelley Winters (born Shirley Schrift), two-time Academy Award-winning actress for "The Diary of Anne Frank" and "A Patch of Blue" (also known for swimming Jewish matriarch Belle Rosen in "The Posideon Adventure"), died Jan. 14 at 85. The Journal publishes obituary notices free. Please send an e-mail with the name, age and survivors of the deceased to obits@jewishjournal.com. Please note: Longer notices will be edited. Deadline for publication is Monday at 9 a.m. Tracker Pixel for Entry

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