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1975

March 6, 1975

Sportswriter Bill Shirley of the Los Angeles Times writes a feature about Dodgertown and its special character. "The Dodgers' camp is the best in the majors. In fact, there's no other like it." Shirley goes on to describe the benefits available for Dodger players, major and minor, on the base. Players can watch movies in the camp theatre, play tennis on two courts, swim in a 100-by-50 foot pool, play golf on two public courses, one a nine-hole and the other 18 holes. Dodger Coach Tom Lasorda said, "You can sense the togetherness." Shirley admits, "And to a first-time observer, the place IS impressive, the spirit genuine." 1

March 7, 1975

The Yomiuri Giants defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-3 in front of 4,268 fans, the third largest crowd, at that time, in Dodgertown history ever to see a game at Holman Stadium. Japan Baseball Hall of Fame member Tsumeo Horiuchi pitched five innings for the win for Yomiuri. Horiuchi won the Sawamura Award in 1966 and 1972, the Japan baseball equivalent of the Cy Young Award. Japan Baseball Hall of Fame member and worldwide career home run champion Sadaharu Oh was 0-for-4, but hit the longest fly out of the day caught in front of the right field scoreboard. 2

March 9, 1975

Jeff Prugh, sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times, writes of the Yomiuri Giants' fourth visit to Dodgertown for Spring Training. The Giants' first visit in 1957 consisted of the team manager and three players. The full Yomiuri team worked out in Dodgertown in 1961 and 1967, and now this season. Prugh tells of Japan sportswriter Sotaro Suzuki, credited for inviting Walter O'Malley and the Dodgers to Japan in 1956, was such a great baseball fan that Suzuki had in his home garage every copy of The Sporting News published. Don Sutton, a 19-game winner for the Dodgers in 1974, went to visit right hand pitcher Tsumeo Horiuchi of the Yomiuri Giants in their clubhouse. Sutton said, "I heard he (Horiuchi) won 19 games too (1974). He is Japanese Sutton. I am American Horiuchi." A Dodger clubhouse person said of the Giants, "These guys are sure neat," in speaking of the players' cleanliness in the Giant clubhouse. 3

March 9, 1975

The media is in full force in Dodgertown this spring. Not the American media, the Japanese media as they cover the Yomiuri Giants in their Spring Training. Approximately 50 personnel from Japan, two-thirds of them writers and one-third of the group are photographers, are following the Giants to report their activities back to their home country. Four Japan TV stations and approximately 15 Japan publications were in attendance. The Dodgers could only count a dozen American writers covering them in Spring Training. The Japan media write their coverage in long hand without the use of typewriters because the Japanese language contains numerous characters.  Yomiuri Shimbun, the media company in Japan, has five reporters from their TV station and seven newspaper reporters. Phone calls are made at 11 o'clock Florida time (Noon the next day in Tokyo) to dictate the Spring Training story to rewrite persons at the respective publication. Phone rates from Florida to Japan were estimated at $10 for every three minutes and many phone calls cost more than $200 to $300. 4

March 14, 1975

Juan Marichal reports to Dodgertown and signs a 1975 contract. 5   Marichal won 20 games or more six times in his major league career and was a pitching nemesis to the Dodgers. In his career, Marichal defeated the team 37 times in 55 decisions, including winning 21 of 25 games against them in San Francisco. Marichal made two starts in 1975 before announcing his retirement from baseball as a Dodger.

March 30, 1975

Christine Wren, the second woman in Organized Baseball to umpire a professional game, is in Dodgertown as an umpire for minor league Spring Training games. Wren was a graduate of an umpire school in Southern California and was invited by Peter O'Malley to umpire their annual February pre-season workout game at Dodger Stadium against the USC Trojans. The game drew more than 50,000 fans. She was then invited to Dodgertown for Spring Training to be part of the umpire crews for minor league games. 6   Wren then signed a professional umpire contract with the Northwest League for 1975 and was promoted to the Midwest League in 1976. Barney Deary, the administrator of the umpire development program for baseball, encouraged Wren to work on her skills in Dodgertown minor league games during Spring Training. Wren tells the story how she was accepted as an umpire in Dodgertown. "I walked into the umpires' dressing room (at Dodgertown) to get my shoes I had forgotten and four guys were dressing for the game. I was embarrassed and they were embarrassed, but they just said, 'You've seen everything you're going to,' and they (the umpires) invited me in. Afterwards, I was welcome to rub down baseballs in the room with the rest of them." 7

April 3, 1975

Thomas Mills, a 25-year employee at Dodgertown, is honored for his services with a Bulova Acutron watch presented to him by Dodger President Peter O'Malley. Mills' first season in working at Dodgertown was in 1949, the second Spring Training the Dodgers trained in Vero Beach, Florida. 8

1 ^ Bill Shirley, Los Angeles Times, March 6, 1975

2 ^ Los Angeles Times, March 8, 1975

3 ^ Jeff Prugh, Los Angeles Times, March 9, 1975

4 ^ Jeff Prugh, Los Angeles Times, March 9, 1975

5 ^ Bob Hunter, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, March 14, 1975

6 ^ Bob Hunter, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, March 30, 1975

7 ^ Ron Rapoport, Los Angeles Times, May 21, 1975

8 ^ Vero Beach Press Journal, April 3, 1975

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