It has become a bit of a tradition in recent years for former Los Angeles Dodgers greats to lend a hand at Spring Training by working with individual players, position groups, or the entire team.
That will again be the case this year as Maury Wills, Steve Yeager, Sandy Koufax and possibly others, will be part of camp. The trio have of course been regulars at Camelback Ranch over the past few years.
Wills previously has helped teach techniques on the basepaths, and hopes he’ll have the opportunity this year to improve the Dodgers’ overall baserunning.
Additionally, Wills will work with Yasiel Puig on an individual basis, at Puig’s request.
As for Yeager, a fixture during Spring Training, this will be his fourth season as the team’s catching instructor. Despite the managerial change, he was named to the team’s 2016 coaching staff when it was announced last December.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is excited to welcome back former Dodger greats to help out during Spring Training:
He’s planning to involve Maury Wills, Steve Yeager, Sandy Koufax, and probably other alumni too. “For me, it’s a culture that I’m trying to continue, is respecting people that have come before us. Maury was a great Dodger. For him to be around, I look at him as a mentor. I think there’s a lot of things players can learn from him. Steve Yeager’s going to be out a little bit. I hear Sandy pops in out. The former Dodgers to be around, give a little nudge to the current players, is a good thing.”
Roberts, who is a former Dodger himself, has made a point to embrace the franchise’s tradition since being named their first minority manager. Pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch for Spring Training on Feb. 19.