Monday, March 17, 2008

End of an era

I'm much too young to know -- or even pretend to know -- all the history behind Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla.

But I read Roger Kahn's "The Boys of Summer." That would be about the Brooklyn Dodgers, who helped make Vero Beach famous.

Anyway, I digress. Dodgertown closed its doors Monday as Los Angeles lost 12-10 to Houston in a spring training game.

Assuming all goes well with the team's new complex in Glendale, Ariz., the Dodgers ended their relationship with the small Florida town it turned into a tourist attraction each March.

For 60 years, the team and the town were synonymous with spring baseball. I regret never making the trip down to see even a practice there.

The bottom line here is baseball lost another piece of its innocence, one of the few it has remaining. The Dodgers' new complex cost $80 million to build.

Gone is a stadium with no dugouts. Gone is the proximity to fans. Gone are the boys of spring from that Florida town.


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