Goodbye Vero, Hello Glendale
As this was most likely the last spring the Dodgers will spend in Vero Beach, I would like share a few thoughts.
I think we made all the fans understand how much we love Vero Beach. I have spent most of my life there each spring. For the past 59 years I’ve known Dodgertown as my spring home. For the past 30 years I’ve stayed in room 112, and for the past 30 years I have had the same table reserved in the dinning room.
The McCourt’s love Vero Beach and Dodgertown too. However, the McCourt’s also have a responsibility to our fans, and it is their obligation to bring Dodger fans the best experience possible. And that is why the team is moving, so Dodger fans can see the team in spring training like every other major league franchise.
To get from LA to Florida it is a six hour flight, another hour drive from Orlando where to get from LA to Arizona it’s four hours in a car or an hour flight. And it’s much cheaper too.
When we played those few games in Arizona this spring, the ball park was full each time. The fans were so excited to be able to enjoy Dodger baseball, and that’s exactly what the McCourt’s want. They are thinking of the fans.
My hear and love will always be with Vero Beach and its fine people, but I am also looking forward to making millions of people happy in Arizona for years to come.
Having a split squad this spring allowed me to manage the players who did not go to China. I can not tell you how good that made me feel. My gratitude to the McCourt’s, our general manager, Ned Colletti and to Joe Torre.
Torre is just what the doctor ordered. He brings with him a suite case of victories, and has already gotten the respect of the players. I am looking forward to a year of outstanding Dodger baseball. We owe the fans a championship team. I want to see the pennant flag flying high again above Dodger Stadium, which I call Blue Heaven on Earth, so the fans can know how sweet it is to taste the fruits of victory.
Do you realize that we have played more games in Dodger Stadium than we did at Ebbetts Field? We are LA’s team. We are going to have a celebration for the ages this year as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Dodgers moving from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
So I look forward to seeing you all here this season.