Monday, February 16, 2009

Baseball Place No. 10: Dodgertown

It’s hard to believe that there is no baseball being played in Dodgertown this spring. It is, hands down, the best spring training site I’ve ever been to.

Josh Pahigian thinks so, too, He named the Vero Beach complex stop No. 9 in his list of "101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out."

The Dodgers converted the former naval base into a spring training site in 1949, and abandoned it this year to share a site in Arizona with the White Sox. The Orioles were expected to move in this year, but ESPN reports that talks broke down and the team is looking to move to Fort Meyers.

That would be horrible, because Dodgertown is perfect. No place else allows fans to get so close to players. It’s almost like watching major leaguers play in your neighborhood park.

There were adventures each time I went to Dodgertown. But the best one is here.

I thought it would be more fun to show photos from some of the other adventures.

Dodger players not in the game would hang out on the press box roof to watch.

That's future Met Hideo Nomo leaning on the ladder.

After the game, players walk back to the clubhouse through the fans. Brett Butler told fans to walk back with him, then get in a line and he'd be happy to sign autographs.

Mike Piazza counting the days until he is a Met.

There wasn't too much to the bullpens.

Here's the Mets dugout on St. Patrick's Day, 1994.

Glenn Davis was getting a tryout.

That's Kevin McReynolds in the middle.

There were sometimes Brooklyn Dodgers visiting. Here's Ralph Branca wandering over to the Mets bench. Visiting son-in-law Bobby Valentine?

Keith Hernandez was throwing a little batting practice.

Mookie was coaching at the time.

Mets win! But Carlos Baerga and Rey Ordonez are deep in conversation.

My Grandmother used to bring me to games at Shea, I was finally able to return the favor, bringing her to Dodgertown. Here she is getting Tommy Lasorda's autograph.


JLC 1863 said...

nice picture of Grandma Dave.


Anonymous said...

Say the unspeakable happened, and the Mets were not created from the void left by the New York baseball Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. Which would team would you root for? I know my grandmother (my father's mother) was a huge Dodger fan, so I think I would have probably leaned toward "those bums". Just curious.

Mets Guy in Michigan said...

TW,That's a tough one to ponder.

Certainly, I would not have been rooting for the Yankees. Evil is evil, even if it's the only game in town.

The A's and Reds were dominant in the coming-of-age era.

But the family ties to the Dodgers, I'd have to think that's where the loyalty would lie.