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1973

March 3, 1973

The Sporting News reports two players and a coach from the Milano club of the Italian Baseball Federation have been invited to Dodgertown to observe Spring Training workouts. 1

March 6, 1973

Dodger centerfielder Willie Davis is named the new captain of the Dodgers. Previous Dodger captains had been Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider in 1962, Maury Wills in 1965, and now Davis. 2

March 7, 1973

The (Tom) Lasordas (team) defeated the (Jim) Gilliams (team), 2-0 in the third game of a best 2-of-3 intrasquad series before the exhibition season began. The teams were named for the two Dodger coaches who managed their side. The big story of the game is that Tom Lasorda, in his first season as a major league coach, pitches a scoreless seventh inning (the game was shortened to seven innings) for the save. 3

March 9, 1973

Former Dodger Captains Pee Wee Reese and Maury Wills are seen together with Willie Davis in the Dodgertown clubhouse. Both now retired from the game, Reese and Wills were in baseball broadcasting and talking with the newest Dodger captain, Willie Davis. 4

March 11, 1973

Two persons who have been involved with Dodgertown since it opened in 1948, are the first ball ceremony for the first 1973 exhibition game at Holman Stadium. Dodger Manager Walter Alston threw the first pitch and it was caught by Dodgertown umpire Jess Collyer. Alston was the manager for the Dodgers' Triple-A St. Paul team in the American Association in 1948 and Collyer had served as an umpire on the Dodgertown base. 5

March 15, 1973

One of baseball's greatest players, Willie Mays, leads off and plays center field for the New York Mets' appearance in Holman Stadium in Dodgertown. For the majority of his career, Mays played for the New York and San Francisco Giants whose Spring Training games were played in Arizona. Mays was traded to the New York Mets in May, 1972 and this game would be the first and only time he played in Holman Stadium. Mays singles in three at bats and scores one run. 6

March 16, 1973

New Dodger pitcher Andy Messersmith speaks of his appreciation of Dodgertown, this first Spring Training for him as a Dodger. "I love it," said Messersmith. "I feel like a kid at camp. All the facilities are in one place. You really get to know your teammates." 7

March 24, 1973

Dodgertown umpire Jess Collyer shows respect for Dodger coach Jim Gilliam and urges Gilliam's appointment as the first African-American to manage a major league club. Collyer writes "A Letter To the Editor" to The Sporting News, "After 29 years with the Dodger organization, Gilliam, under Walter Alston's superb leadership, has developed into a prime candidate for a manager's job. He has knowledge, coaching experience and commands player respect." 8

April 8, 1973

Former Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale is ready to start his first season broadcasting baseball for the California Angels, but easily remembers his greatest thrill. "As I've often said, nothing ever topped the thrill I got putting on the uniform the first time in the Dodger clubhouse at Vero Beach. I got into my No. 53 next to No. 1, Pee Wee Reese, the captain of the club. If you think of baseball as your life, and I do, you can only tie the record every time you put on a Dodger uniform-you can never beat it," said Drysdale. 9

1 ^ The Sporting News, March 3, 1973

2 ^ Bob Hunter, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, March 7, 1973

3 ^ Bob Hunter, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, March 8, 1973

4 ^ Bob Hunter, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, March 10, 1973

5 ^ Bob Hunter, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, March 12, 1973

6 ^ The Sporting News, March 31, 1973

7 ^ Ross Newhan, Los Angeles Times, March 16, 1973

8 ^ Jess Collyer, The Sporting News, March 24, 1973

9 ^ Bob Oates, Los Angeles Times, April 8, 1973

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