In the winter between the 1972 and 1973 baseball seasons, the Dodgers encountered some strange static.
One of their broadcast partners suddenly didn’t want to broadcast all of their games. The folks at KFI radio decided they wanted to skip spring training. The ratings were low. The cost was high. The business didn’t work.
The Dodgers didn’t agree. The Dodgers viewed spring training as a chance to reconnect with the fans, generate interest, drive ticket sales. Fred Claire, their marketing boss at the time, was sent to deliver a message to KFI’s general manager, James Wesley.
“I met with Jim and told him, ‘This is important to the Dodgers, this means a lot to us, and if we...