September 1, 2014

Just One Game Left…

It’s hard to believe the Dodgers last game in Vero Beach is tomorrow (Monday).  I for one am more than a little sad to have not been able to make the trip out there for all of the great history and memories that the place holds for the franchise.  That said, I’m also becoming very excited about the Dodgers new home in Arizona!

I’ve had the good fortune to have good to Spring Training games for the Mariners for several years in Peoria, AZ and there is something special about being able to drive to see any number of teams play on a given lazy Spring afternoon.

In any case, be sure and check out the following article from Monday’s USA Today.  Tommy gives his final reflection back on Vero, and I think it’s appropriate we give this special place it’s due as we begin the transition to Arizona.  It’s only fitting that Lasorda manage the team’s last game in Vero Beach.  It’s a fitting tribute to one of the greatest personalities to ever be associated with the Dodger franchise.

Dodgertown Vero Beach: A Look Back

With Spring Training officially underway, I think it’s appropriate to take a look back at the incredible history of Dodgertown in Vero Beach. I wish I had a chance to go there myself, but there have been some interesting articles written about this slice of history over the past few weeks. For example, did you know that 1,500 seats were brought to Holman Stadium from Ebbett’s Field in Brooklyn? Pretty cool stuff…I hope the Dodgers take those seats to Glendale, rather than just leave them to the Orioles, or whatever team is the next tenant over there.

Here are a few stories that are worth checking out. Most interesting is this angry tone that seems to be coming out about racism within the Vero Beach community from decades ago. I’ve never heard any of this before, and I think it’s a shame that the community that has been a true partner to the Dodgers for 61 years is being disrespected so long after these offenses were committed. Sure, Arizona will be shiny and new, but the real history (both good and bad) of a faded Dodgertown in Vero Beach in need of a good polish will never be replicated.

The New York Times’ “This Land: Dodgertown” photo retrospective and article

Ross Newhan at the LA Times shares the colorful, and mixed, history of the venue

Bill Plashke’s opinion from the LA Times (which seems a little harsh to me)

The Vero Beach response from the TC Palm

All of this leaves me thinking about what the new stadium complex in Glendale, Arizona will look like. I hope the Dodgers don’t completely cut the cord with their past, and bring back the spirit of the original Dodgertown in some sort of meaningful and significant manner.