Dodgers to Host Two Adult Camps

The Los Angeles Dodgers will host two Adult Baseball Camps at Dodgertown, the Dodgers' Spring Training facility in Vero Beach, FL. The first camp begins this Sunday, January 27 and ends Saturday, February 2 with the second camp beginning Sunday, February 3 and ending on Saturday, February 9.

    Throughout the week, campers will receive first-hand instruction from Dodger stars of the past and will use the same training fields, batting cages, and locker rooms as the current Dodgers and those aspiring to one day become Dodgers.  Daily activities include drills, batting practice and baseball games among campers, who are divided into six teams.  There are also nightly dinners, with awards presented to the top performers of the day.  

The instructors for both camps are Ralph Branca, Carl Erskine, Rick Monday, Burt Hooton, Jerry Reuss, Reggie Smith, Dave Wallace, Maury Wills, Steve Yeager, and Jeff Torborg.  Also coaching in the January camp are Joe Pignatano and George Shuba while Roger Craig and Hall of Famer Duke Snider will be coaching the February camp.   

As the Dodgers continue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the ballclub's move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, Dodgertown hosts the 50th and 51st installments of the Adult Baseball Camp.  A tradition that began in 1983, Fantasy Camp at Dodgertown is held twice per year as a tribute to the history of the Dodgers and to honor the camaraderie between the Dodger legends and their fans.  A third camp was added this year because of the overflow of campers.  The Camp Director will once again be Guy Wellman, who has been in that position for all 49 of the previous camps.   

"This camp has really blossomed," said Wellman.  "When we started we were flying by the seat of our pants but it has turned into the best fantasy camp out there and it is really special."   

Dodger minor league staff personnel who are serving as instructors are Double-A Jacksonville Manager John Shoemaker, Single-A Great Lakes manager Juan Bustabad, Great Lakes hitting coach Garey Ingram, Rookie-level Ogden Raptors pitching coach Craig Bjornson, Rookie-level Gulf Coast Dodgers pitching coach Casey Deskins, Minor League pitching coordinator Marty Reed, Minor League catching coordinator Travis Barbary, and former minor league coaches Dann Bilardello and Tarrik Brock.   

Two Campers vs. Instructors games will be played, the first taking place on Thursday, January 31, and the proceeds from the game will benefit Child Care Resources.  The second game will take place on Thursday, February 7 and the proceeds of that game will benefit the United Way. The Chief Umpire for both games will be former Major League Umpire Dutch Rennert.

China Trip Official
  The Dodgers and Padres will meet in the first-ever Major League Baseball (MLB) games played in China on March 15 and 16, MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced today in Beijing. The event will be hosted by the China Baseball Association (CBA).   

MLB China Series 2008, an unprecedented showcase for the sport of baseball in China, will be held at the 12,000-seat Wukesong Baseball Field in Beijing. The Wukesong Baseball Field will be the host venue for baseball during the 2008 Olympic Games.   

The two-game set is part of the 2008 MLB Spring Training Schedule.  

Date Time (LCL)
Mar. 15 13:00 San Diego vs Los Angeles
Mar. 16 13:00 Los Angeles vs San Diego
"Major League Baseball's international growth has been nothing short of remarkable, and we are thrilled that the Padres and the Dodgers will showcase our sport to the people of China by playing in MLB China Series 2008," Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said from New York.
"China is a leader in international sport, and we know from the enthusiasm and talent the Chinese team displayed in the World Baseball Classic that China may soon become a force to be reckoned with in baseball, too," Donald M. Fehr, Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said from New York.

  Both the Dodgers and Padres franchises have international playing experience. Most recently, Los Angeles took on the New York Mets in a Mexico City exhibition series in 2003 and first established relations in China in 1980. The Club helped build the first practice field in Beijing and funded construction of a baseball stadium, named Dodger Stadium, in Tianjin, 75 miles southeast of the capital.

  "The Dodgers' ties to Asia date back more than half a century, so it's only fitting that as we celebrate 50 years in Los Angeles, we are fortunate enough to take part in this historic series," said Dodgers Owner and Chairman Frank McCourt. "The opportunities to expand this great game into China are limitless, and we hope this trip will solidify the Dodgers' role at the forefront of the globalization of baseball."  

San Diego participated in the first-ever Opening Day game held outside of the United States and Canada in 1999, when they faced the Colorado Rockies in Monterrey, Mexico. The Padres also own the distinction of participating in the first-ever MLB regular season games held internationally, having played the Mets in Monterrey, Mexico in 1996.  

"The San Diego Padres are honored to participate in the MLB China Series 2008," said Padres Chief Executive Officer Sandy Alderson. "Considering the growing influence of foreign-born players in the game, and considering the potential growth of baseball in China, we are excited to introduce Major League Baseball to the people of China. To be part of this event is incredibly significant for our franchise."  

Since 2003, when a baseball development agreement was reached with the CBA, MLB has provided significant resources towards growing the game across China through national team development, coaching instruction, umpire training and youth initiatives. On the heels of opening the MLB China office in Beijing, in 2007 MLB orchestrated the first-ever China Baseball Academy for elite young players, reached more than 100,000 students with a grassroots youth baseball program (Play Ball!), opened more than 50 MLB shops nation-wide and partnered with a leading sports channel to broadcast MLB games.  

"The American Chamber in China applauds the efforts of Major League Baseball to support the development of baseball in China," said James M. Zimmerman, AmCham-China chairman. "We are certain that baseball can help strengthen ties today between our two countries, while at the same time promoting health awareness, community spirit, and teamwork with China's athletes, young and old.

In this Olympics year we are reminded of the great potential of sports to contribute to society both globally and in China. Major League Baseball occupies a special place in the hearts of hundreds of millions of fans – both in the United States and internationally. We are delighted that China is now a formal part of the MLB family and we look forward to seeing more and more games being played here."

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