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1965

February 28, 1965

The Los Angeles Dodgers hold their first workout of the 1965 training season with four new coaches under Walter Alston. Jim Gilliam, Preston Gomez, Danny Ozark, and Lefty Phillips will be the new lieutenants. Gilliam becomes the second African-American named to a major league coaching staff. Gomez, a native Cuban, makes the Dodgers the first major league staff to have two diverse members. Gomez had previously managed the Dodgers' Triple-A team in Spokane in 1960-1962.  1

March 4, 1965

The Dodgers announced that former left-hand pitcher Tom Lasorda would be a first-year manager for the Pocatello club in the Pioneer League. Lasorda would be named the Dodger manager for the 1977 season, replacing Walter Alston.  2

March 4, 1965

Don Drysdale tells columnist Melvin Durslag of his first Spring Training in Dodgertown in 1955. "I just kept my mouth shut," said Drysdale, "and volunteered for everything. They asked someone to pitch batting practice, my hand was raised. They needed a pitcher for an intrasquad game, my hand went up again. I was the camp volunteer." When the Dodgers ran short of pitching early in the exhibition season, Drysdale earned a chance to pitch in a major league against the New York Yankees. Drysdale said, "I fanned (Hank) Bauer on a 3-2 curve." The future Hall of Fame pitcher said Bauer came up to him after the inning was over and the Yankee outfielder told Drysdale, "It's a little early to be throwing 3 and 2 curves, isn't it?"  3

March 13, 1965

In the Dodgers' first exhibition game in Vero Beach this spring, Vero Beach Mayor Jack Sturgis presents Dodger President Walter O'Malley with a deed to the land at Dodgertown. The Dodgers had purchased their Spring Training site from the city during the off season.  4

March 19, 1965

Walter O'Malley tells Los Angeles Times sports editor Paul Zimmerman how close the Dodgers had come to holding Spring Training at the Irvine Ranch in Orange County. The location for a Spring Training base was to be close to Peter Lake on the ranch. O'Malley said, "It would have been just about a short niblick (golf club from the 7 iron to the 9 iron) shot from where the Anaheim stadium is being built." However, the Dodgers would remain in Vero Beach, Florida because of the land purchase there.  5

March 28, 1965

The Dodgers had a long day playing exhibition games in Florida. The Dodger Lockheed Electra plane carried two Dodger teams, one team to play the major league game in St. Petersburg against the New York Mets, and the "B" team of minor league players to play a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Daytona Beach. After dropping off the "B" team in Daytona Beach, the Electra flew on to St. Petersburg for the major league game but had to arrive there before 11 a.m. as a local air show was to occur at the St. Petersburg airport. The team beat the deadline at the airport, but the bus to take them to the ballpark was a half hour late. Next, matters were not helped when their normal route to the St. Petersburg stadium had to be changed because of a parade on a main stretch of road. Things didn't improve for the Dodgers when they arrived at the stadium to play the game. An overnight rain made the field too wet for batting and infield practice, so the players had to sit around and wait an hour and a half before playing. Of course, the game went long, over three hours for a nine inning game. Then, the Electra plane with one team aboard in St. Petersburg, had to fly to Daytona Beach to pick up the second Dodger team before they flew home to Vero Beach. The best part of the day was the Dodgers defeated the Mets, 11-8 in the regular exhibition game.  6

March 28, 1965

Former Dodger Duke Snider was photographed with outfielder Bill Parlier at Dodgertown as Snider began his duties as a minor league hitting instructor for the team. However, it was Parlier who was wearing the number "4" that was worn by Duke Snider during his playing days. Snider's number would be retired by the Dodgers upon his election to the Hall of Fame in 1980.  7

March 29, 1965

New Dodger third base coach Preston Gomez found out about the base running skills of Dodger outfielder Willie Davis. Davis hit a drive in Holman Stadium for extra bases. Gomez gave Davis the "stop" sign as the centerfielder approached third base, but Willie ran through the stop signal and scored on an inside-the-park home run. Walter Alston told Gomez, "Next time Willie (Davis) goes through (a stop sign from the coach), just keep your arms raised, and if he makes it home safe, start clapping."  8

March 31, 1965

Jackie Robinson is at Holman Stadium as a television commentator for ABC-TV as the Dodgers play the St Louis Cardinals at Holman Stadium. The game was a "warm-up" for the ABC-TV broadcasting system as the network was to launch a "Monday Night Baseball" series that season. Robinson was teamed with veteran sportscaster Chris Schenkel for the 1965 season and seven television cameras were used at Dodgertown in a final test before the season began. 9   Cardinal shortstop Dick Groat in one at bat during the game was speaking out loud to home plate umpire Tom Gorman. Groat had trouble seeing pitches from the Vero Beach background behind center field and asked the umpire if he was having trouble seeing pitches. Gorman was wearing a microphone from ABC-TV as part of the telecast and began waving his hands at Groat without saying a word. Groat realized later, "He (Gorman) was trying to shut me up. I didn't realize it, because nobody had told us he had been wired for sound."  10

March 31, 1965

Columnist Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times aims his satirical barbs at the city of Vero Beach, all in good humor. "Vero Beach is a circle of land in the middle of the state admirably suited for sweating. Dodgertown, smack in the middle, is the world's biggest collection of inhabited orange crates….It (Dodgertown) is a part of a Naval barracks thrown up when the war didn't look too good…The screens have more patches on them than a hod-carrier's overalls. A can of roach powder holds the windows open-which means it does double duty."  11

April 4, 1965

Dodger shortstop Maury Wills was named the Dodger team captain by Manager Walter Alston. Previous Dodger captains had been Pee Wee Reese in Brooklyn and one season in Los Angeles and Duke Snider for the 1962 season. Teammate Wally Moon said, "Maury's deserved this honor a long time. He'll make a good captain." The appointment by the Dodgers made Wills the second African-African in the major leagues to be the captain of his team, the other being Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants.  12

April 10, 1965

Al (Rube) Walker, former Dodger catcher and current coach with the Washington Senators, talks of his experience in Dodgertown as a minor league instructor and manager. "I've been in a lot of Spring Training camps. Everybody knows about the efficiency of the Dodgers. There isn't any wasted effort in that camp. It's remarkable how many players are processed at Vero Beach, yet when a ball player goes that wringer (a competitive situation), the Dodgers have a pretty fair idea of his ability."  13

April 24, 1965

Dr. Pascal J. Imperato, a former physician for the Dodgers in Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida, is the author of a book "Doctor in the Land of the Lion." Imperato earned his doctorate from the State University of New York and had done malaria research. All royalties from the new book were assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters' Hospital in Tanganyika, East Africa.  14

July 8, 1965

The Los Angeles Dodgers are now in the golf course business. Construction has begun on a nine-hole golf course in Vero Beach with land recently purchased by the Dodgers. Consideration was being given to acquire additional acreage in order to add nine further holes for the golf course.  15

1 ^ Frank Finch, Los Angeles Times, March 5, 1965

2 ^ Frank Finch, Los Angeles Times, March 4, 1965

3 ^ Melvin Durslag, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, March 4, 1965

4 ^ Bob Hunter, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, March 13, 1965

5 ^ Paul Zimmerman, Los Angeles Times, March 19, 1965

6 ^ Frank Finch, Los Angeles Times, March 28, 1965

7 ^ Herb Scharfman, Los Angeles Times, March 28, 1965

^ Frank Finch, Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1965

9 ^ Oscar Kahan, The Sporting News, April 17, 1965

10 ^ Dick Young, The Sporting News, April 17, 1965

11 ^ Jim Murray, Los Angeles Times, March 31, 1965

12 ^ Frank Finch, Los Angeles Times, April 4, 1965

13 ^ Bob Addie, The Sporting News, April 10, 1965

14 ^ Bob Hunter, The Sporting News, April 24, 1965

15 ^ Vero Beach Press Journal, July 8, 1965

For more on the history of the Dodgers Spring Training visit walteromalley.com