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1967

February 18, 1967

The Dodgers have increased the size of Dodgertown by purchasing 220 acres of land in Vero Beach.  1

February 25, 1967

Dodger Vice President Fresco Thompson had high praise for the dedication of Yomiuri Giant players from Tokyo, Japan, during their visit to Dodgertown for Spring Training. "Japanese players are perfectionists and tremendous students," said Thompson. "Show them a certain pickoff play or a defense against the sacrifice and they will work on it for half a day. Then the next day, they'll use it against you." Thompson also predicted that with continued development, there could be a World Series between the United States and Japan. "If this improvement continues," said Thompson, "it will not be long before Japan could justify sending a team over here to play for the real world title." 2

March 1, 1967

Columnist Melvin Durslag writes of the preparations being made at Dodgertown for the arrival of the Yomiuri Giants of Tokyo, Japan for Spring Training. The Dodgers arranged for a rice machine, 300 pounds of rice, and had signs and menus printed in Japanese for the Giant players. In the column, Durslag also noted the previous fall, it was the first time the Emperor Hirohito had attended a professional baseball game when he saw the Dodgers play the Giants in Tokyo. Finally, Durslag wrote of the award from the Japanese Emperor to Walter O'Malley, the 3rd Order of the Sacred Treasure. According to Durslag, the honor had been made to an American only for the second time. The award the first time was presented to an American doctor who provided medical services to Japan following World War II.  3

March 2, 1967

The Yomiuri Giants of Tokyo, Japan have arrived in Vero Beach, Florida to do their Spring Training at Dodgertown. Los Angeles Times sportswriter Frank Finch reports the Giants "mean business." The Giants arrived in Vero Beach on February 28th and the next morning, March 1st, they were on the field a half hour before the Dodgers started their daily workout.  4

March 3, 1967

Yoshio Miyamoto of the Sports Nippon newspapers group presented Walter O'Malley a replica kabuto, a traditional ceremonial helmet worn by ancient Samurai warriors.  5

March 4, 1967

Ohio University professor Dr. James Mason develops a sports administration graduate program and credits the inspiration for it to Walter O'Malley. Sportswriter Frank D. Morgan wrote, "No fewer than six major league baseball clubs, led fittingly enough by the man who fostered thought of such a program, Walter O'Malley of the Dodgers….." Morgan also wrote in The Sporting News, "The idea for the sport program came from O'Malley. It was through his (O'Malley) friendship with Dr. Clifford Brownell, retired chairman of the Physical Education Department at Teachers College, Columbia University that the idea reached Dr. Mason, a former student of Dr. Brownell. Dr. Mason related the first discussions of the idea were at Dodgertown. "When I was at the University of Miami in Florida," said Dr. Mason, "we spent a day at the Vero Beach training camp of the Dodgers talking to Mr. O'Malley about his ideas for such a program…..I recontacted Mr. O'Malley in 1966 and found him still interested in such a course of study. Many of his ideas were put to use in planning the curriculum for this new program….."  6

March 10, 1967

The Dodgers and the Yomiuri Giants of Tokyo, Japan, played in a "goodwill" game at Holman Stadium. Baseball Commissioner William Eckert threw out the first ball and the Dodgers defeated the Giants, 5-3. The American and Japanese flags were posted in center field. Both teams were introduced to the crowd and as each Giant player was presented, he would take a few steps forward, and bow in respect, and the fans responded with applause.  7

March 16, 1967

In a feature on international circus clown Emmett Kelly, he told of the time he met City of Los Angeles Mayor Norris Poulson in Dodgertown in the 1957 Spring Training camp. Kelly reported Poulson told him, "See you in Los Angeles next year, Emmett." Mayor Poulson and other Los Angeles officials met with Walter O'Malley to convince him to move the Dodgers to Los Angeles and the Dodgers played the 1958 season on the West Coast.  8

March 20, 1967

Columnist Joe Hendrickson of the Pasadena Independent Star News writes of the departure of the Yomiuri Giants from Dodgertown as they spent three weeks at Dodgertown to prepare for their season. "The happy faces of the Japanese ball players singing 'Auld Lang Syne' on the stage at midnight (the Dodgers' farewell party for the Giants) form a lasting picture for the album of friendship and goodwill." 9

March 25, 1967

Dodgertown dining room menus were written in English and Japanese in respect to the Yomiuri Giants of Tokyo, Japan as the Giants had pre-season workouts in Dodgertown. Also, Walter O'Malley deferred the annual St. Patrick's Day Party to March 19th to become a farewell party as the Giants would leave Dodgertown on March 20th.  10

April 4, 1967

Matsutaro Shoriki, publisher of the Yomiuri Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper and considered the "father of Japanese professional baseball" 11 writes in thanks to Walter O'Malley for the invitation of the Yomiuri Giants to conduct pre-season training in Dodgertown. "I wish to express to you my profound appreciation and thanks for the warm welcome and generous hospitality from you and your staff extended to (son) Toru (Shoriki) and our players during their spring training in Vero Beach. It is no exaggeration to say that without what you and your people did for them it would not have been possible for them to see and learn so much of the American baseball in such a short period. Their entire program no doubt indicated your personal interest for making their visit a great success.12

May 7, 1967

Columnist Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times writes that Walter O'Malley is "the foremost golf architect I ever met." As Murray describes it in his own satirical way, "O'Malley has this course down in Vero Beach and he couldn't care if (Arnold) Palmer birdies it. O'Malley design features are a lot more practical. What Walter (O'Malley) does is study the form of the guys HE (O'Malley) has to win money off of. Like, he carefully kept a log on where his partner (Dodger Vice President) Jim Mulvey's average tee shots landed. When he had the spot triangulated to the nearest half a foot-he put a trap in there!....The result, of course, is one of the most unusual golf courses in the hemisphere - heavily trapped (sand traps) around the tees instead of greens…..But what makes this a great course is, it's not built to the specification of Bobby Jones or Henry Cotton or Harry Vardon (golf champions), but more to the limitations of Jim Mulvey."  13

May 31, 1967

Toru Shoriki, president of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team in Tokyo, Japan, writes Walter O'Malley, "The Tokyo Yomiuri Giants are right now on top of the league, having won 13 consecutive victories and leaving the second team seven games behind. The credit for this all goes to you for your kindness extended to us while we were training at Vero Beach." 14

1 ^ Bob Hunter, The Sporting News, February 18, 1967

2 ^ Paul Zimmerman, Los Angeles Times, The Sporting News, February 25, 1967

3 ^ Melvin Durslag, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, March 1, 1967

4 ^ Frank Finch, Los Angeles Times, March 2, 1967

5 ^ Frank Finch, Los Angeles Times, March 4, 1967

6 ^ Frank D. Morgan, The Sporting News, March 4, 1967

7 ^ Bob Hunter, The Sporting News, March 25, 1967

8 ^ Jon Washington, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, March 16, 1967

9 ^ Joe Hendrickson, Pasadena Independent Star News

10 ^ The Sporting News, March 25, 1967

11 ^ Wikipedia biography of Matsutaro Shoriki

12 ^ Correspondence, Matsutaro Shoriki to Walter O'Malley, April 4, 1967

13 ^ Jim Murray, Los Angeles Times, May 7, 1967

14 ^ Correspondence, Toru Shoriki to Walter O'Malley, May 31, 1967

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