- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
"Today," says Dodgertown's managing director, Charlie Blaney, "we're in...." He ticks off a list:
"The citrus business." Seventy acres are planted in orange and grapefruit trees. "They make an attractive border for Dodgertown," Blaney says, "and one of Mister O'Malley's hobbies was horticulture." The groves yield 6,000 to 8,000 boxes of fruit a year for the marketplace.
"The conference-center business." Since 1977, Harrison Conference Services has managed a program for firms wanting to hold meetings at Dodgertown. The facilities include 90 villas on Sandy Koufax Lane and Jackie Robinson Avenue, and some 200 corporations have made use of them, including IBM, GE and Memorex.
"The golf business." In part because blacks then had to drive 15 miles to Fort Pierce to play on public courses, O'Malley built a nine-hole course at Dodgertown in 1966. He added an 18-hole layout across the street six years later and called it Dodger Pines Country Club. Both courses are within walking distance of the villas.
"The football training business." Since 1974, the New Orleans Saints have used Dodgertown as a preseason training camp, spending six to seven weeks there, and for the last three years the Buffalo Bills have escaped Niagara Frontier winters to train at Dodgertown for late-season and playoff games.
"The residential development business." In 1972 the Dodgers built 45 houses adjacent to Dodger Pines to form a retirement community known as Safari Pines Estate and then sold them for $15,000 to $25,000 apiece. The homes are now worth $40,000 to $50,000 each.
"The restaurant business." The Great American Pastime Dining Establishment, in which waitresses wear Dodger uniforms, each bearing the name and number of a former hero—SNIDER, PODRES, KOUFAX, HODGES—serves lunch, an evening buffet and nostalgia. As in most of the nooks and corridors of Dodgertown, large black and white photographs of men playing baseball line the restaurant walls. "Joe Garagiola gets flattened as Carl Furillo scores," reads the caption on one.
In the restaurant lobby, a baseball treasure hangs in a glass frame with a caption reading: On September 24, 1957, this home plate was used for the last time at Ebbets Field. Brooklyn won, 2-0, over the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was a five-hit shutout for Dodger pitcher Danny McDevitt. Final run was scored by Gino Cimoli, driven in by Gil Hodges."
And, "The baseball business." Dodgertown is the most elaborate facility of its kind in the major leagues, and certainly much of its uniqueness derives from what it offers the players, on and off the field. There are two basketball courts, an Olympic-sized pool, six tennis courts (four lighted), two shuffleboard courts and nightly flicks at a movie theater, as well as a darkroom and a studio from which the Dodger radio network broadcasts a nightly three-hour call-in show.
For strictly baseball purposes, there are 2½ practice fields, eight batting cages, four pitcher's mounds, a sliding pit and 5,000-seat Holman Stadium, where the Dodgers play spring games and the Class A Vero Beach Dodgers play their home schedule.