Friday, June 20, 2014

Must-See: Rare Color Dodgertown Footage Discovered

It's not embeddable, so click here to check it out.

This is incredible. From a Historic Dodgertown press release:


Unique color footage of the 1951 Dodger Spring Training activities and personalities at Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida, has been added to, it was announced today by Brady Ballard, Historic Dodgertown vice president.

Highlights of the never-before-seen silent film show the training regimen of the Dodgers at Dodgertown, their Spring Training home from 1948-2008. Hall of Fame Dodgers included in the footage are Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella and Duke Snider. Aerial footage showcases the baseball fields, while the barracks used to house nearly 600 Dodger major and minor league players on campus are also shown. [...]

In the extraordinary footage, viewers will see first-hand and up close the Brooklyn Dodgers training on the same site that still exists today for multiple sports activities.

Second baseman Robinson, who broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier playing for the Dodgers in 1947, takes swings at Field No. 2, slides in the sawdust-filled sliding pit and practices double plays with partner Reese at shortstop. Robinson wears his Dodger jersey with familiar No. 42, which was retired by Major League Baseball in 1997, with large blue letters. Campanella is shown during batting practice at Field No. 2. The Dodgers, including 1949 Rookie of the Year pitcher Don Newcombe, are shown doing calisthenics at Field No. 2.

“We are pleased to share this rare footage in tribute to longtime New York sportswriter Gus Steiger, who had this original film and passed it along to his son, Joel,” said Peter O’Malley, Historic Dodgertown chairman. “I knew Gus and he had the respect of everyone in the Dodger organization.”

Joel Steiger, featured in the film as a boy exploring Dodgertown, said, “The original film is edited to four and a half minutes. Our family is happy that it is available for Dodger fans everywhere. I was fortunate to travel to Dodgertown as a boy on several occasions and visit this historic place. I have many great memories of it and the people there.”

Gus Steiger covered the Brooklyn Dodgers for the Brooklyn Times, the New York Morning World, the New York Journal-American, and for more than 30 years the New York Daily Mirror. He served as president of the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

To access the footage, visit the link on the home page of the website or link directly to the History section at:

And this isn't just some amateurish, shaky-cam footage. It's well-shot, in color and a lot of it is in slow-motion, allowing us to really appreciate the movements of Jackie, Pee Wee, Duke and Campy. Awesome stuff.