FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2017
Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach salutes more than 40 current World Series-bound Dodgers
Historic Dodgertown salutes more than 40 current World Series-bound Dodger players, staff and broadcasters who once trained and stayed at this world famous sports facility
VERO BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 24, 2017) — From 1948-2008 Dodgertown was the Spring Training home of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, and six World Championship teams got their start here — 1955, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988.
Will 2017 be another World’s Championship year for the Dodgers?
We hope so, and in recognition of the Dodgers heading to the Fall Classic, and as Historic Dodgertown looks ahead to celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2018, here is a look at the current players, coaching staffs, broadcasters and personnel who were a part of our storied past and who spent many Spring Trainings here in Vero Beach.
This is quite an impressive list of more than 40 players and staff who for six weeks or more each year called Historic Dodgertown their spring home.
Players and Coaching Staff
Clayton Kershaw, pitcher — Drafted by the Dodgers in 2006 (first round, 7th pick overall), Kershaw played on Historic Dodgertown’s original training areas – the famed “strings” area and played on Fields 1 and 2. The same pitching mounds used by Hall of Famer pitchers Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Don Sutton were the same used by Kershaw as he honed his craft, on the way to three Cy Young awards.
Andre Ethier, outfielder — Made his Major League debut with the Dodgers in May 2006. Similar to Kershaw, Ethier was privileged to play on fields the same as Hall of Famers Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, and recent inductees Mike Piazza and Pedro Martinez.
Dave Roberts, manager — Played 10 seasons in the Majors, including with the Dodgers from 2002-04, as the starting center fielder. Roberts is the 15th manager to also play for the franchise (including notables: Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda, Bill Russell, Casey Stengel and Leo Durocher) and in the history of the Dodgers only three have played for the team and managed in a Dodger World Series (Durocher, Lasorda and Roberts). Roberts joins Lasorda as the second rookie manager to ever lead the team to a division title, and they are the only two managers in Dodger history to win the National League Manager of the Year award (Lasorda won in 1983 and 1988, Roberts in 2016).
Steve Yeager, catching coach — Originally drafted by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 1967 First-Year Player Draft, Yeager spent many Spring Trainings at Historic Dodgertown and was also a popular instructor for the Adult Baseball Fantasy Camps.
Yeager is in his sixth season as a catching instructor with the Dodgers. His 15-year Major League career was stellar and his defense behind the plate legendary. He caught 1,230 career games and ranks third all time on Los Angeles Dodgers' all-time games caught list (1,181). As part of the 1981 Dodger World Series Championship team, Yeager was named Tri-MVP with teammates Ron Cey and Pedro Guerrero. During the World Series, he hit .286 with two key home runs and four RBI in the club's six-game victory over the New York Yankees.
Rick Honeycutt, pitching coach — Honeycutt pitched for the Dodgers from 1983-87, and is currently in his 12th season as the Dodgers pitching coach. He was on the Oakland A’s World Series team in 1989.
Honeycutt’s first full year as pitching coach was in 2006 and since then Dodger pitchers rank first in the Major Leagues in ERA (3.66), strikeouts (14,115), and four other statistical categories.
George Lombard, first base coach — Lombard first joined the Dodgers the final season the team trained at Dodgertown. In 2008 he was a non-roster invitee and joined the split-squad that traveled to play the first-ever Major League games in China. He hit the first American home run in the country.
Juan Castro, quality assurance coach — Castro spent many years at Dodgertown. Originally signed by the Dodgers as an amateur free agent out of Mexico in June 1991, he played 17 years in the big leagues, including eight with the Dodgers (1995-99, 2009, 2010 and 2011).
This is Castro’s second year as the ballclub’s quality assurance coach. Upon retirement in 2011 Castro joined the Dodger front office as assistant to the general manager, and from 2014-2015 was the Dodgers’ minor league field coordinator.
Rob Flippo, bullpen catcher — Flippo’s first Spring Training at Historic Dodgertown was in 1989, when he joined the Dodger organization and played in the minor leagues, and eventually a coach.
Tommy Lasorda, special advisor to the chairman — In his 20 years as manager, Tommy led his teams to two World Championships (1981, 1988), four NL pennants and eight division titles. This is his 68th season with the ballclub, having served as a player, scout, manager and front office executive. His first Spring Training at Historic Dodgertown was in 1949. Lasorda was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. When guests enter Historic Dodgertown, they are first greeted at the intersection of Tommy Lasorda Lane and Jackie Robinson Avenue.
Don Newcombe, special advisor to the chairman — Newcombe, a member of the 1955 World Championship Brooklyn Dodger team, was a four-time ML All-Star. In 1949, he was Baseball’s Rookie of the Year. In 1956 he won both the MVP and Cy Young Award. Newcombe originally signed with the Negro Leagues Newark Eagles in 1944, and broke the minor league color barrier along with Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella.
Jaime Jarrin, Hall of Fame broadcaster — Hall of Fame broadcaster Jarrin spent many a Spring at Historic Dodgertown, calling games from the Holman Stadium press box. As is tradition, Avenida Jaime Jarrin was dedicated on March 9, 1998, as is done for all Dodger Hall of Famers.
Rick Monday, broadcaster — Monday, a resident of Vero Beach, joined the Dodgers in 1977 as a player and played eight years with the team, including springs at Historic Dodgertown. In 1981 he hit a game-winning home run in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series, which carried the Dodgers into the World Series, where they earned the World Championship.
Fernando Valenzuela, broadcaster — Fernando set the baseball world on fire during his rookie season in 1981, the same year the Dodgers won the World Series. Fernandomania swept the country, and sell-outs were the norm whenever he pitched at home or on the road. In 1981 Fernando started the All-Star Game and was the first player in MLB history to be named Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award winner in the same season.
Orel Hershiser, broadcaster — The Bulldog, as Tommy Lasorda dubbed him, played 13 years with the Dodgers, including his record-breaking 1988 season. His pitching was impeccable that year, and his 59 consecutive scoreless innings streak topped the record previously held by Dodger Hall of Famer Don Drysdale. Hershiser’s pitching in the post-season led the team to win the 1988 World Series, and he was the NLCS and World Series MVP, the Cy Young Award winner and named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.
Pepe Yniguez, broadcaster — Joined the Dodger broadcast team in 1999, and prior hosted Dodgers’ Spanish-language pre and post-game shows starting in 1993.
Charley Steiner, broadcaster — In his 13th year as a Dodger broadcaster.
Nomar Garciaparra, broadcaster — Garciaparra played three seasons for the Dodgers, 2006-08, and joined the broadcast team in 2014.
Manny Mota, broadcaster — Mota played for the Dodgers (1968-80, ’82) and joined the coaching staff in 1980. He continues to serve as a coach during Spring Training. He retired as baseball’s all-time pinch hit leader with 150 hits (the record has since been broken). This is Mota’s eighth year as a Dodger broadcaster, and 49th season overall with the Dodgers.
Kevin Kennedy, broadcaster — Prior to entering the broadcast booth, Kennedy was a Dodger minor league manager (1984-91) and would spend springs at Historic Dodgertown. This is Kennedy’s fourth season as an analyst on Dodger radio broadcasts.
Travis Barbary, instructor (former minor leaguer)
Peter Bergeron, scout (former minor leaguer)
Bobby Darwin, scout (former Dodger)
Matt Herges, minor league coach (former Dodger)
Charlie Hough, advisor (former Dodger). Drafted by the Dodgers in 1966, Hough learned to throw the knuckleball at Historic Dodgertown during Spring Training in 1970. That pitch carried him through his 24 year Major League career.
Henry Jones, scout (former minor league player)
Vance Lovelace, scout (former minor leaguer)
Dennis Moeller, scout (former minor leaguer).
Camilo Pascual, scout (former Dodger)
John Shoemaker, minor league manager, (former minor leaguer)
Jose Vizcaino, special assistant, player personnel (Dodger infielder 1989-90, 1998-2000)
Maury Wills, advisor (former Dodger). Played for the Dodgers from 1958 to 1966, and 1969 to 1972. Historic Dodgertown named “Maury’s Pit” in honor of the stolen base leader for today’s teams to practice their sliding technique. Wills was the first MLB All-Star Game MVP (1962).
And front office personnel as well who traveled to Historic Dodgertown for Spring Training:
Ned Colletti, General Manager, 2005-2014; Senior Advisor to the President, 2014-2017
Ralph Avila, Senior Scouting Advisor
Scott Akasaki, director, team travel
Steve Brener, consultant (PR director)
Dr. Neal ElAttrache, Head Team Physician (studied under Dr. Frank Jobe. Dr. Jobe pioneered Tommy John surgery, was an innovator in sports medicine, and was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013).
Ellen Harrigan, director, baseball administration
“Sweet” Lou Johnson, Community Relations and Minor League Instructor — Johnson played on the Los Angeles Dodgers first World Championship team in 1965, and hit the decisive seventh game, game-winning home run. He played for the Dodgers from 1965 to 1967.
Mark Langill, Team Historian and Publications Editor
Mitch Poole, Manager, Visiting Clubhouse
Jon SooHoo, Team Photographer
Jerry Turner, Manager, Umpires Clubhouse
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