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Camelback gets Dodger Blue makeover ahead of camp

Fans will see several enhancements that highlight team's history

GLENDALE, Ariz. - When Dodgers pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training Thursday, they will find a Camelback Ranch complex that has been enhanced by numerous Dodger Blue-inspired changes that incorporate the franchise's history dating back to the Brooklyn days.

Senior vice president Janet Marie-Smith spearheaded the changes at the complex, where the Dodgers and White Sox have trained for seven years. The enhancements have been placed in view of fans as they make their way around the Major League practice fields and are expected to be completed by March 4, when the Dodgers open the exhibition season against the White Sox.

Starting off, the 1,500-pound Tommy Lasorda Bobblehead, a fixture in the right-field pavilion plaza at Dodger Stadium, has been transported to Camelback Ranch, where it will reside throughout training camp before it returns to Los Angeles for the regular season.

A mini-scoreboard resembling the Dodger Stadium Diamond Vision will welcome fans as they enter the Major League practice fields, while a similar scoreboard has been installed at the replica practice field.

Ten All-Star panels will line the Legends Walk along the lake that separates the Dodgers side of Camelback Ranch from the Chicago White Sox side. In addition to Lasorda, the panels pay tribute to Fernando Valenzuela, Mike Piazza, Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Ron Cey, Tommy Davis, Duke Snider and Shawn Green.

Also at the Legends Walk are three-foot diameter MVP baseballs paying tribute to Jake Daubert, Dazzy Vance, Dolph Camilli, Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax, Steve Garvey, Kirk Gibson and Clayton Kershaw.

Retired uniform numbers for the Dodgers and White Sox will be displayed Inside the Camelback Ranch-Glendale Stadium, just as the Dodgers' numbers are now displayed at Dodger Stadium.

The Montejo Patio, located on the first-base concourse, is highlighted by a shade structure. Among new items on the concession menu will be an 18-inch slice of pizza, bacon-on-a-stick, kabobs and frozen yogurt. A new merchandise kiosk has been added on the left-field side of the stadium.

A Minor League affiliate mileage sign will be placed in the center-field courtyard, and an L.A. logo sculpture will be located near the Dodgers' practice fields, similar to the L.A. logo sculpture located at the Loge entrances at Dodger Stadium.

Every Wednesday is Senior Stroll, when seniors are allowed to walk around the bases after the game. On Sundays, children ages 12 and younger receive a lawn seat for just $3 courtesy of Uptown Alley-Surprise. There is a limit of four discounted lawn seats for each full-price adult ticket. The $3 lawn tickets are available on the day of the game only at the ticket office. Following the game, children can run the bases.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for
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