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St. Patrick's Day Parties A Legend At Dodgertown

Tip O’ the Dodger ‘Green’  
In 1967, O’Malley had a slight variation of St. Patrick’s Day, as Dodgertown celebrated St. Joseph’s Day on March 19 in combination with a Sayonara party in honor of the visiting Tokyo Giants on a suggestion by Executive Vice President and General Manager E.J. “Buzzie” Bavasi. That was the spring that O’Malley had Dodgertown menus printed in Japanese as well as English.
During dinner on St. Patrick’s Day, “Happy Birthday” was sung to Hall of Fame baseball writer Bob Hunter, who year after year celebrated his 39th birthday. Also, the March 17 birthdays of Dodger Coach Pete Reiser, Traveling Secretary Lee Scott and, in later years, Director of Dodgertown Terry Reynolds (who began as a club intern in the late 1970s) were all recognized.
In 1972, O’Malley invited Players Association Chief Marvin Miller to the St. Patrick’s Day party, after Miller and union counsel Dick Moss spent the day at Dodgertown polling the Dodger players on whether they would vote for a strike (and they voted “yes”) should major league ownership fail to come to an agreement on player proposals. Following the events of the morning, afternoon meetings delayed the start of the festivities, but Miller and Moss accepted O’Malley’s invitation, each donning a St. Patty’s green hat.
“St. Patrick’s Day parties came at the mid point of spring training and this party was the perfect way for everyone at Dodgertown to come together and have a good time,” said former Dodger President Peter O’Malley, who continued the tradition at Dodgertown through 1998. “In those days, St. Patrick’s celebration was the only event of the spring, long before we put together Western Barbecues and Christmas at Dodgertown.”

— Brent Shyer

The St. Patrick’s Day event had an international flavor in 1967, as the Tokyo Giants from Japan visited Dodgertown for spring training. Owner Toru Shoriki of the Giants is greeted by (left to right) broadcaster Vin Scully, Dodger President Walter O’Malley and broadcaster Jerry Doggett.

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