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1989

February 16, 1989

To commemorate the Los Angeles Dodgers' 1959 World Championship, Peter O'Malley invites the former members of the team and their spouses to spend time in Spring Training at Dodgertown. For many players, it was their first visit to Dodgertown in several years. A large turnout of players included Don Drysdale, Carl Erskine, Ron Fairly, Sandy Koufax, Clem Labine, Johnny Podres, John Roseboro and Larry Sherry. They were treated to four days of golf, a barbecue by the pool and a visit to Epcot Center. Five members of the club are in the Hall of Fame; Drysdale, Koufax, Duke Snider and Manager Walter Alston and coach Pee Wee Reese. The living members of the 1959 team put on 1989 style uniforms with their previous number for a team photo. 1

February 19, 1989

Prince Charles of England is in Vero Beach, Florida on this date, and he doesn't come to play baseball, but to play a polo match. Vero Beach Mayor Kenneth Macht declines to attend the polo match even with the royal present. His Honor instead is present for the opening of the Vero Beach Little League season where Orel and Millie Hershiser, parents of Orel Hershiser, threw out the first ball.[1 Gordon Edes, Los Angeles Times, February 20, 1989]

February 27, 1989

Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda accepts a Spring Training challenge from Kirk Gibson and Orel Hershiser to lose 20 pounds by the All-Star Break. If he succeeds at dropping the weight, the two players will each make a charitable contribution of Lasorda's choice. 2

March 24, 1989

Los Angeles Times sports columnist Scott Ostler writes of the weight loss effort Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda is doing this Spring Training. Lasorda was challenged by outfielder Kirk Gibson and pitcher Orel Hershiser to lose 20 pounds and in return, the players would make significant donations to charities of Lasorda's choice. Lasorda also received an endorsement from a company that if he lost sufficient weight, they would build a new home for a convent in Nashville. Lasorda said, "I'm going to make every effort to build those nuns a new home." As a result, Lasorda lost the necessary weight during the season and a convent was built in Nashville. 3

March 14, 1989

The new President of the National League, Bill White, arrives in Dodgertown. White, the former slugging first baseman who played for the 1964 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, had been elected to the office the previous fall. He had previously played at Dodgertown as a player and now returns as the top official for the National League. 4

March 29, 1989

A note in the Los Angeles Times reveals in the first Spring Training camp at Dodgertown in 1948, there were so many players on the base the club came up with a unique system to keep track of everyone. Nearly 600 players were on the base and players not only had different colored uniforms, but the uniform numbers were in the triple digits. 5

August 10, 1989

The Dodgers announced they would construct a set of offices, pitching and batting cages, meeting rooms and video rooms at Dodgertown. The pitching and batting cages were to be enclosed to allow pitchers and players to get in their daily work despite the inclement weather. 6

1 ^ Gordon Edes and Maryann Hudson, Los Angeles Times, April 9, 1989

2 ^ Mike Downey, Los Angeles Times, February 27, 1989

3 ^ 1 Scott Ostler, Los Angeles Times, March 24, 1989

4 ^ Bob Wolf, Los Angeles Times, March 15, 1989

5 ^ [[[[Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1989

6 ^ Steve Springer, Los Angeles Times, August 10, 1989

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