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1987

March 1, 1987

Los Angeles Times sportswriter Ross Newhan writes of the tradition of Spring Training and mentions "It (Spring Training) is green potatoes and green everything at the O'Malleys' annual St. Patrick's Day party in Dodgertown." 1  Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda discussed Dodgertown when he first joined the Dodgers for the 1949 season. "I remember getting my first look at the meal line and wanting to go home. It stretched from the cafeteria to the street.   The competition there was tremendous and there wasn't much chance for advancement. I don't know how many shortstops Pee Wee Reese put out of business, but it was tough cracking that lineup. I mean, we worked hard just to be one of the three extra players that the club could carry during the first month of the season." 2

March 1, 1987

This is the first Spring Training the Los Angeles Dodgers will attend events and activities at the recently named Dodgertown Elementary School. The Vero Beach grade school, formerly known as "Clemans Elementary School, was changed to Dodgertown Elementary by the Indian River School District. The school was painted to match the blue and white colors of the Dodgers 3 and Tom Lasorda and other Dodger players appeared at the school to provide messages of education and sportsmanship. J.B. Norton, Executive Director of the Vero Beach, Florida, Chamber of Commerce talks of the importance of the Dodgers' appearance and estimated the team provided $30 million to the local tourist economy. Norton said, "I can't put a figure on the dateline. It's just phenomenal. We, as a community, would never be able to purchase that type of advertising. Anywhere I go, the minute I say I'm from Vero Beach, there is an immediate response that I get. 'Oh, the Dodgers are there.' That type of publicity you can't put a dollar figure on. It's just tremendous." 3

March 4, 1987

Chicago Bear quarterback Jim McMahon appeared at Dodgertown and put on a Dodger uniform for Manager Tom Lasorda. 5   The quarterback for the 1986 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears was receiving treatment from Dr. Frank Jobe, the Dodgers' orthopedic doctor who was currently providing medical support to the Dodgers for Spring Training. 6

March 6, 1987

Dr. A. Bartlett Giamatti, the new National League President arrives in Dodgertown. 7   Giamatti had become the National League President after the 1986 season when Peter O'Malley, the chairman of the search committee, recommended Giamatti for the position. The former President of Yale University and a Yale Ph.D. later became the seventh Commissioner of Baseball in 1988. 8

March 17, 1987

Tennis star Ivan Lendl is a visitor to Dodgertown. Lendl had arthroscopic knee surgery performed by world famous orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frank Jobe. Jobe was in Dodgertown for Spring Training and Lendl was nearby and visited Dr. Jobe there for a post-surgery review. 9   At the time Lendl was the no. 1 ranked tennis player in the world. He won eight Grand Slam tennis tournaments in his career, including three consecutive U.S. Open titles from 1985-1987. In 2013, he was the coach for Andy Murray, the first United Kingdom tennis player to win the men's title at Wimbledon. Lendl has purchased a residence in Vero Beach. 10

March 20, 1987

Peter O'Malley and other Dodger officials depart from Dodgertown to arrive in the Dominican Republic to dedicate Campo Las Palmas, the team's state-of the-art instructional academy. The dedication occurred the next day, March 21st. Accompanying O'Malley with Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda to Campo Las Palmas were Dodger players infielder Mariano Duncan, first baseman Pedro Guerrero, pitcher Alejandro Pena, and coach Manny Mota and a former Dodger minor league player, TV and film actor Chuck Connors of "The Rifleman." 11 Future Dodger signings from Campo Las Palmas include pitcher Pedro Martinez and outfielder Raul Mondesi and catcher Mike Piazza improved his catching skills there.

March 21, 1987

A photograph of Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda pitching batting practice in Dodgertown is taped above the locker of Dodger pitching coach Ron Perranoski. The handwritten caption below the photo is "The 5th Starter." As the Dodgers edged closer to the start of the 1987 season, a number of pitchers were in competition for the 5th starting pitcher spot in the rotation. 12

1 ^ Ross Newhan, Los Angeles Times, March 1,1987

2 ^ Ross Newhan, Los Angeles Times, March 1, 1987

3 ^ Jerry Crowe, Los Angeles Times, March 1, 1987

4 ^ Jerry Crowe, Los Angeles Times, March 1, 1987

5 ^ The Sporting News, March 16, 1987

6 ^ Sam McManis, Los Angeles Times, March 4, 1987

7 ^ Sam McManis, Los Angeles Times, March 7, 1987

8 ^ Wikipedia, A. Bartlett Giamatti biography

9 ^ Sam McManis, Los Angeles Times, March 18, 1987

10 ^ Wikipedia, Ivan Lendl biography

11 ^ Sam McManis, Los Angeles Times, March 21, 1987

12 ^ Sam McManis, Los Angeles Times, March 21, 1987

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