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See rare video of the 1945 Dodgers at spring training

Feb 20, 2014, 10:13 AM EDT

Leo Durocher

This is fun. Video from MLB Productions of the 1945 Brooklyn Dodgers at spring training. Mostly Leo Durocher jawing at his third baseman during fungo drills. He refers to the guy as “Nick.” Could be a nickname, but there was no third baseman named Nick on the ’45 Dodgers. Or the ’44 Dodgers for that matter. My guess: a tomato can wartime fill-in who didn’t make the club.

Also: note the bare trees in the outfield. This isn’t Florida. It’s Bear Mountain, New York. In 1945 wartime travel restrictions were still on, so teams trained near home.  Now imagine catching a ball or hitting in March weather in the Hudson Valley.


  1. cubfan531 - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Sounds like he’s referring to the guy taking grounders as Dick, which would probably make it one of these two guys who were in the Dodgers farm system at the time:

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      Or perhaps just any player on the team he felt like insulting! But nice research, props. I think you’re right.

      • cubfan531 - Feb 20, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        It was Durocher, you could never be sure with Leo the Lip.

  2. senioreditor2 - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    After viewing that video there can’t be any doubt that today’s players are vastly superior athletes.

    • louhudson23 - Feb 20, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      It’s wartime. The quality of baseball was at its lowest ebb. Durocher looks like he can barely stand to have to lie and act like he has some players….

  3. ballparkprints - Feb 20, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Rare old baseball footage is always a treat!

  4. Professor Longnose - Feb 20, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    There’s a much longer clip here:

    It has subtitles, and the name is printed as “Dix”.

  5. gmsdc - Feb 20, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    It’s Dixie Walker, normally an outfielder, taking some grounders. Durocher says something about sending him back out to right field if he doesn’t do better.

    • Professor Longnose - Feb 20, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      That makes sense. The announcer says something about greenhorns, but I doubt the newsreels were worried about accuracy. Probably just saw Durocher getting on someone and assumed it was a rookie.

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