Joseph Reaves (Director, International and Minor League Relations) organised a tour for us of the LA Dodgers headquarters which has recently been acquired by a consortium including Magic Johnson.
Director of Medical Services Stan Conte showed us around the “Clubhouse” (locker room, gym and medical facilities) and explained to us the challenges of the Major League Baseball schedule where players play almost everyday (except on days they travel) over 6 months. The Medical team includes trainers, massage therapists and 2 doctors. The medical equipment is extensive and much of it needs to be moved as the team is on the road. It’s like a M*A*S*H unit.
We were most impressed by the professionalism of the orgaisation in delivering a team that could compete during possibly the most gruelling schedule in American professional sports.
We came back in the evening to watch the Dodgers play the San Fransisco Giants. Joseph organised for us awesome seats near home plate. The Dodgers were resting star pitcher Clayton Kershaw. The game was tied at 2 runs each going into the bottom of the 9th inning, where a breakthrough came from Rookie Elian Herrera’s hit that allowed Hanley Ramirez to score the winning run.
Besides the dramatic finish, the most entertaining thing that happened was watching a man propose to his girlfriend when the “kiss cam” fell on them. It was a pretty cool set up and Major League Baseball seems the most fan-friendly professional sport. It might be the only professional sport left in the US where the average fan can still afford a ticket to go to the game.
It’s been a great trip. Tomorrow we fly home.