Sunday, July 13, 2008

Good Night, Dodgertown

When I lived in Jensen Beach in 1992-94, I used to bike along the Indian River north to Fort Pierce, then another 15 miles north to Vero Beach. It was here where I would bike inland a few miles and visit the famed Dodgertown -- a baseball time machine where you could feel the ghosts of Hodges and Reese and Robinson and Snider.

Even after the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to the Left Coast, the Dodgers of Koufax and Garvey and Piazza still got ready for the regular baseball season by throwing and hitting and running at Dodgertown.

But this past March was the last time a ballplayer in a Dodgers uniform will call Vero Beach home.

I found out this weekend that the Dodgers informed Indian River County officials that their new spring home is Arizona is officially ready and that they have seen the last of Dodgertown and Holman Stadium, the minimalist and beautiful little ball yard that housed the spring training games.

Later when I worked for the Florida Today newspaper and lived in Melbourne from 2002-04, I would drive after work along US 1, which hugged the mainland-side of the Intracoastal, and watch the Vero Beach Dodgers play in the Florida State League.

Here is my favorite photo from Dodgertown.

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