FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 01, 2017
Historic Dodgertown celebrates today the birthday anniversary of Walter Alston
Historic Dodgertown celebrates today, Dec. 1, the birthday anniversary of Hall of Fame manager Walter Alston.
The first time Walter Alston was at Holman Stadium at Historic Dodgertown was at its dedication on March 11, 1953. He was not yet the Brooklyn Dodger manager, but as the manager of the Montreal Royals, he was assigned to a volunteer role to take tickets at the ballpark. By November of 1953, he had managed the Montreal Royals to a Little World Series minor league championship that season and was named by the Brooklyn Dodgers to be their manager for the 1954 season.
The New York World-Telegram newspaper headline on the announcement of Alston as the new Dodger manager read, “Who’s He?” A later New York Post headline posted, “Meet the Man Nobody Knows.” They would soon find out about Walter Alston.
He had one at bat in the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals and he struck out. But, his leadership style and love for the game started him on a career to manage in the minor leagues and he left the Cardinal organization to join the Dodgers. Alston was the manager for the St. Paul Saints in 1948 where Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe first entered the Dodger organization. When Alston would be ejected from a game for arguing with an umpire, he would assign Campanella to run the game in his place.
Alston would manage 23 seasons for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1954 through 1976. He managed the Brooklyn Dodgers to the World Championship in 1955 and led the Los Angeles Dodgers to World Series titles in 1959, 1963, and 1965. He had nerves of steel in the World Series. Alston started 23-year old Johnny Podres in Game 7 of the 1955 World Series and Podres rewarded him with a shutout. In 1965, he started Sandy Koufax on two days’ rest and it was Koufax who blanked the Minnesota Twins in Game 7.
The Dodgers won seven National League pennants under Alston and finished second six times. He was a National League All-Star manager in nine games and six times he was voted as “Manager of the Year.” His Dodger career as the team leader started with Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, and Duke Snider, and ended with players as Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Davey Lopes, Don Sutton, and Bill Russell. Alston was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983 and a conference room is named for him in Historic Dodgertown.
He signed 23 one-year contracts as the Dodger manager and truer words were never spoken by Walter O’Malley at his initial contract signing. On November 23, 1953, Dodger President O’Malley was quoted in the New York Journal-American as saying, “I’d like to think you’ll (Alston) be the manager for a great many years.”
About Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida
“A Florida Heritage Landmark”
World-famous Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida is a multi-sport, 80-acre complex on Florida’s Treasure Coast managed by former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley in a partnership since 2012. O’Malley, whose family developed and expanded the site formerly known as “Dodgertown” for nearly 50 years, partnered with his sister Terry O’Malley Seidler and former Dodger star pitchers Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo.
On November 10, 2014, Historic Dodgertown was named a Florida Heritage Landmark for its unique historic significance extending beyond baseball, as the first completely integrated Spring Training site in the South. The “Baseball and Dodgertown” historical marker is located at the entrance to the conference center.
The home of Dodger Spring Trainings from 1948-2008, it was the starting place for six World Championships and 14 N.L. Pennant-winning teams. Numerous Baseball Hall of Fame players trained on these hallowed grounds, as well as 20 visits from professional teams in Asia.
The all-inclusive facility, owned by Indian River County, gives teams of all ages the unique opportunity to train, play, dine and stay together in on-site villas. Participants utilize one of 10 ½ playing fields (seven are Musco-lighted for night games), including a new cloverleaf of youth baseball/softball fields with concessions area and new multi-purpose field (110 by 130 yards) for football, soccer and lacrosse.
Other amenities include clubhouses, two full-sized weight rooms, dining room, Stadium Club lounge and a competition-size swimming pool. The home of 6,500-seat Holman Stadium, Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida provides an all-encompassing experience for guests and is the ideal setting to build a championship team. It’s the perfect location for tournaments, camps, schools, business conferences and seminars.
Continuing its tradition since 1983, the Los Angeles Dodgers Adult Baseball Camp returned to Historic Dodgertown in November, 2014. Visit historicdodgertown.com for more information.
Ruth Ruiz, Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida, (772) 257-8532