News roundup

Dodgers name minor league staff

The Dodgers have named their minor league staff for the Las Vegas 51s, Jacksonville Suns, Vero Beach Dodgers and for South Georgia. Terry Kennedy will replace John Shoemaker as manager of the 51s. Kennedy, 47, played 14 seasons as a catcher in the majors with the Cardinals, Padres, Orioles and Giants. He hit .264 with 113 home runs and was a four-time All-Star (1981, 1983, 1985 and 1987). Las Vegas will also have a new pitching coach, former major leaguer Roger McDowell. One of the majors' most successful relievers in the late 1980s and early '90s, McDowell had 159 saves in 12 years with the Mets, Phillies, Dodgers, Rangers and Orioles.

George Hendrick will return to Las Vegas as the hitting coach. He began last year in Las Vegas but served as Los Angeles' interim hitting coach after Jack Clark was fired Aug. 5. John Shoemaker, who managed the 51s to a 76-66 record last year, will assist Farm Director Terry Collins. Shoemaker will spend most of his time watching the Dodgers' Class-A teams play, making sure the players are being properly developed, Collins said.

Dino Ebel will again manage the Suns after leading them to a 63-73 record in 2003 and christening the new Baseball Grounds at Jacksonville as they set a new attendance record. Marty Reed returns as pitching coach after guiding two of the organization's top pitching prospects, Joel Hanrahan and Edwin Jackson. Former Dodger Marianno Duncan replaces Pat Harrison as hitting coach after a successful year with the Gulf Coast Dodgers.

Scott Little will return for his second season as manager at Vero Beach and Ken Howell will return for his third year as the Dodgers pitching coach. Little guided the Vero Beach Dodgers to a 62-69 (.473) record last season with a team that was one of the youngest in the Florida State League. Juan Bustabad, will return to the Dodgers as the team's hitting coach. In 2003, Bustabad served as the hitting coach for the Dodger's rookie-level Pioneer League team in Ogden, Utah, which made the playoffs. He managed the Vero Beach Dodgers in 2002 and the Gulf Coast Dodgers in 2001. Howell and his pitching staff produced a 3.49 ERA with 918 strikeouts in 2003. He helped guide Minor League Pitcher of the Year, Greg Miller, to a record of 11-4 with a 2.49 ERA. In 1982, Howell was part of the Vero Beach Dodgers going 5-4 with a 4.27 ERA in 11 starts. He played seven years in the Majors including a four-year stint with the Dodgers (1984-1988).

Dann Billadello returns as the manager of the South Georgia team, after guiding them to a 64-72 (.471) record in 2003. He will be assisted by hitting coach Garey Ingram, who assisted second baaseman Delwyn Yoiuhg, wh finished third in the leagaue wiht a .323 average. Shawn Burton, who was the pitching coach for Las Vegas in 2003, will handle the young pitching staff.

================ Four Dodgers earn awards

Los Angeles Dodgers' Hall of Fame broadcasters Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin, as well as Cy Young-closer Eric Gagné and Senior Vice President of Communications Derrick Hall were among the Dodgers honored at the 13th Annual Southern California Sports Broadcaster's Award Luncheon held February 3rd.

Scully, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, received both the Television and Radio Play-by-Play Awards for his vivid description of the action in Dodger games. Scully is entering his 55th season as the "Voice of the Dodgers," the longest consecutive service of any current Major League broadcaster with one team. In 2000, Scully was elected as the top sportscaster of the 20th century by more than 500 national members of the American Sportscasters Association and in 1997 was elected into the SCSB Hall of Fame.

Jarrin joins Scully by being elected into the SCSB Hall of Fame this season for his work on the Dodgers' radio broadcast. Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998, Jarrin remains one of the most recognizable voices in Hispanic broadcasting and was honored by the SCSB with the 2003 Foreign Language Sports Broadcaster Award.

Gagné, whose record-breaking season in 2003 garnered him the National League Cy Young Award, was given the Special Achievement Award. The right-handed reliever was 2-3 with a 1.20 ERA and tied the NL record for most saves in a season with 55. Gagné also set the record for most consecutive successful saves to start a season and has established the new Major League mark with his current streak of 63 converted save opportunities without a blown save.

Hall was presented the High Five Award for the individual or organization that was particularly helpful to the sports broadcasters in Southern California. Hall, who originally joined the Dodgers in 1992, is responsible for all corporate and club communications efforts and directly oversees the team's public relations, publications, broadcasting, external affairs, government relations and community affairs departments.

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Dodger ownership dates back to the 1883 season by Tot Holmes Publisher When Frank McCourt became owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers he became part of a continuous stream that started some 120+ years ago in Brooklyn.

George Taylor, city editor of the New York Herald in 1883, was responsible for the Brooklyn Dodgers, the grandfather of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team was created at his suggestion but was not called the Dodgers nor was it in the National League, an organization formed just seven years before. But it was the first professional team that claimed Brooklyn as it's home.

Few have heard of him and he never profited from the suggestion financially, gaining only the privilege of paying his way into the old wooden grandstand at the original Washington Park in Brooklyn and, in all probability, heckling the players.

Baseball started in Brooklyn well before that with the amateur Atlantic, Excelsior, Putnam and Eckford clubs forming some time around 1849. The Atlantics claimed the national championship in 1864 and 1866 and were the same team to beat the first professional team in the United States, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The Cincinnati club was unbeaten in 69 games in 1869 and had won 27 straight in 1970 before the Brooklyn Atlantics knocked them off 8-7 in 10 innings on June 14. Taylor talked to three friends of his: Charles H. Byrne and Joseph Doyle, both New York businessmen, and Ferdinand A. Abell, described at the time as the owner of a society club, the politically correct way to say gambling house, in 1883.

They bought a franchise in the Interstate League, a cousin of the American Association, and built their ballpark between Fourth and Fifth Avenues and extending from Third to Fifth Street in Brooklyn. With Doyle himself managing the team (That is pretty much the way they did things back in the Paleozoic era of baseball) and quietly hired a young man by the name of Charles Ebbets as a ticket seller and general handyman. Brooklyn won the pennant and drew booming crowds. Byrne quickly sold the franchise and bought one in the American Association, staying there for six years and after another two seasons as manager, he hired William H. McGunnigle in 1889 to guide the club and he promptly won the pennant. During this period of time trollys, electric busses that ran on tracks, were just coming into their own in Brooklyn and the local media -- which consisted only of newspapers -- tagged the team the Trolly Dodgers, since most people in Brooklyn were stepping lively to keep out of the way of the hazardous contraptions.

In 1889 the team was called the Bridegrooms after six of the players were married during the season, and the club won the American Association pennant. They moved up to the National League and won the pennant again in 1890. They also forced the Brooklyn Brotherhood team out of business. In fact, the entire league collapsed.

This is important only because the Brotherhood team was owned by George Chauncey, a leading Brooklyn financier, who watched with fascination as lines of fans filed into Washington Park to cheer the Bridegrooms and he quickly moved to purchase a piece of the team for himself. Byrne, Abell and Doyle were so pleased he came aboard, they allowed him to dictate his own terms. He moved the team to East New York -- not incidentally to a piece of real estate he happened to own -- and fired McGunnigle, who has just won two pennants in a row, bringing in his own manager, John Montgomery Ward. Being an astute businessman, Chauncey noticed Ebbets talents immediately and was pleased with his work ethic, selling tickets, selling scorecards, doing all the things the other employees didn't want to do and making friends all around the league for himself and the team. Chauncey offered him a small block of stock in the company, pointing out that he was selling it to him not only because he liked him, but because he would work even harder and that was good business for him and the club.

However, attendance fell off in East New York and Ward didn't set the league afire, moving to the Giants in 1893, and was replaced by pitcher Dave Foutz. Foutz was ill much of the time and when the Bridegrooms finished 10th in a twelve-team league, he died in the offseason.

Doyle also died and Ebbets took over as secretary of the club. Byrne also died in 1896. Abell and Ebbets bought his stock and Ebbets became president despite being a minority owner. Ebbets quickly moved the team back to South Brooklyn but had to build the new Washington Park between First and third Streets and third and fourth Avenue. The team slipped down in the standings and Ebbets changed managers, then managed the team himself -- while wearing his top hat -- but nothing worked and the team finished 10th again.

Harry Von der Horst owned the Baltimore Orioles and his gate receipts were also in a rapid decline. In 1899 he proposed investing both money and players from his Oriole team in Brooklyn and Abell accepted, allowing Von der Horst and his manager Ned Hanlon to buy nearly 50 percent of the stock in the Brooklyn club while still owning the team in Baltimore. In the stock shuffle, Ebbets picked up some additional shares and was re-elected president.

Von deer Horst brought Hanlon to manage and added Willie Keeler, Hughie Jennings and Joe Kelly. John McGraw, later to manage the Giants, and his friend Wilbert Robinson, were also to be transferred but declined. The team was called Hanlon's Superbas after a popular vaudeville troop of the day.

Hanlon and his hired guns won the National League pennant in 1899 and when the twelve-team league dropped Cleveland, Washington, Louisville and Baltimore, repeated by winning the 1900 pennant. However, the American League was formed and they declared war on the National League, raiding the teams and signing their players. The Superbas lost, among others, Joe McGinnity, who had been 29-9 and led the league in innings pitched. In 1902 they lost Keeler and Kelly and finished third for the second year in a row.

Von der Horst and Abell saw business sag drastically and Abell sold his stock to Ebbets. When Von der Horst decided to sell his stock in 1895, Ebbets fought Hanlon's attempt to move the club to Baltimore. Having used all his cash to purchase Abell's stock, Ebbets borrowed from a friend, Henry Medicus, and bought Von der Horst's stock.

With control of the club, Ebbets promptly gave himself a raise to $10,000 a year and cut Hanlon to $7,500. Hanlon managed through the 1905 season, then challenged Ebbets' control of the team in court, lost the suit and sold his stock to Ebbets.

At the National League meetings in 1908, Ebbets was introduced to young man who was extremely anxious to get into baseball. Probably acting on a hunch, Ebbets hired Larry Sutton as the club's first -- and only for a number of years -- scout. Sutton's first find was future Hall of Famer Zach Wheat

Washington Park started to show its age and Ebbets started construction of Ebbets Field in 1912, but money was tight and he had to finally borrow to finish the park. He bought the stock still held by Medicus, then sold half of the franchise to Ed and Steve McKeever, prominent contractors and buildings in Brooklyn, for $100,000.

In 1914 they hired Wilbert Robinson to manage the team and the media quickly started to call them the Robins. Robinson, despite operating on a slim budget, became a wonder at resurrecting players discarded by other teams as finished and bringing them back to an operational level. He won pennants in 1916 and 1920, narrowly making it an every-four-year tradition by getting edged by the Giants in 1924.

Ebbets became sick after returning from spring training in 1925. Early in the morning of April 18th he died. The Dodgers and Giants were meeting at Ebbets Field that day and the McKeevers and Robinson decided the game should go on. Control of the club went to Steve McKeever and the executors of the Ebbets Estate, which included the Brooklyn Trust Company, Joseph A. Gilleaudeau and Grace Slade Ebbets.

On the day of Ebbets funeral, mourners stood in a cold, driving rain and Ed McKeever caught a cold, sickened and died. Within eleven days, tragedy had again struck the Brooklyn club. Directors of the club picked Robinson as the new club president. But as wise as his ways were on the field, he was not suited for the front office and he soon moved back into the managers position. Frank B. York, legal advisor to the McKeevers, became president of the team in 1930 and Robinson was released as manager. It made no sense to call the team "Robins" anymore and in 1932, the same year they put numbers on the back of their uniforms, the club was officially called the Dodgers.

Steve McKeever was chosen president on Oct. 12, 1932. He died March 7, 1938, leaving his stock to his daughter, Mrs. Dearie Mulvey and her husband, James. Former Cincinnati Reds GM Leland "Larry" MacPhail became president in 1938 and he brought announcer Red Barber with him. MacPhail joined the army in 1942 and the Dodgers hired former Cardinal GM Branch Rickey as the club president.

Rickey, Brooklyn attorney Walter O'Malley and Andrew Schmitz, who was acting as a proxy for Pfizer Pharmaceutical president John Lawrence Smith, purchased 25 percent of the Dodgers from the Ebbets Estate in 1944. Rickey, O'Malley and Smith each controled 25 percent of the Dodgers. Mrs. Dearie Mulvey and her husband, James, owned the remaining 25 percent in 1945. Smith died, leaving his shares to his wife on July 10, 1950. O'Malley purchased 25 percent of the Dodgers from Branch Rickey, and became president. Oct. 26, 1950 Mrs. Smith sold her shares to O'Malley and the Mulveys. O'Malley now owned 66 2/3 percent of the Dodgers, while Mulveys increased their ownership to 33 1/3 percent. The Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles before the 1958 season. Walter O'Malley becomes chairman of the board and his son, Peter O'Malley, succeeds him as president of the Dodgers on March 17, 1970. Walter O'Malley acquired the remaining stock in the Dodgers from the Mulvey family in 1975 and owned 100 percent of the franchise. On August 9, 1979, Walter O'Malley died 28 days after the death of his wife, Kay, and ownership of the Dodgers passed to Peter O'Malley and his sister, Terry Seidler. Fox Entertainment Group, owned by News Corp., purchased the Dodgers from Peter O'Malley and Terry Seidler. Bob Graziano was named president of the ballclub on March 19, 1998. Robert Daly acquired a minority stake in the Dodgers from Fox Entertainment Group and was named managing partner, chairman and CEO on October 28, 1999 Frank McCourt and his wife, Jamie, purchase a controlling interest of the Dodgers from Fox Entertainment Group and Robert Daly on January 29, 2004.


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