Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Tag: Dodgers-White Sox Baseball Fantasy Camp

A fantasy camp veteran’s rebirth at Camelback Ranch

DSC_2777By Jon Weisman

Larry Malcolmson knows his baseball fantasy camps. The 66-year-old Tucson resident, now retired from the medical technology industry, went to his first adult camp in 1991 and has done more than 20 in all.

He hadn’t planned it that way, and certainly didn’t expect to find himself swinging a bat at Camelback Ranch at age 66.

“I went to what I thought as going to be my last one in 2001,” said Malcolmson (pictured at left) in a phone interview from Camelback today. “The youngest guy on our team, he died, leading off first base. When they did the autopsy, he only had one coronary artery — genetically did not have the other three. They were surprised he lived as long as he did.

“By his dying, the guys who were thrown onto that team — from all over — really bonded. We have continued to go back, not because of the fantasy but because we want to see each other once a year. Those 11 guys turned into about 40 guys that became kind of a club and went back every year.”

Malcolmson’s original allegiance was with the Cubs, but having lived for many years in Montecito, he would come down to Los Angeles for about 10 Dodger games a year. When his wife spotted the news about the new Dodgers-White Sox Fantasy Camp at Camelback Ranch, he made immediate plans to attend. So did his longtime campmates.

“We got 10 of the 11 we wanted to have, and the 11th was just right on the fringe — in fact he’s coming to the camp Thursday and Friday as a visitor,” Malcolmson said.

And the result?

“This is a ball,” he said.


Unsolicited, Malcolmson raved about every aspect of the camp, from the food during the day to the accommodations at night, from how the camp organization to the quality of the umpires and live pitching.

“The uniforms, they’re like butter,” he said. “I feel almost like I’m naked, because they’re so comfortable.”

The bonding between friends old and new remains primary for Malcolmson, but he said he has also been bowled over by the connections he and his teammates have made with Dodger legends such as Tommy Lasorda, Ron Cey, Eric Karros, Rick Monday and Steve Yeager.


“They are really going out of their way to know everybody in camp,” Malcolmson said. “They know everybody’s name. At the end of a game yesterday we lost, Ron and Rick told us what we needed to do different than the day before. Never happened in 22 years.”

_MG_9822In the clubhouse, the Dodgers are telling tales that left the campers “belly laughing,” according to Malcolmson. That camaraderie extends to after the sun has gone down. On Tuesday night, a big group had gone out for dinner, Malcolmson said, when Karros came walking by. The campers invited him to join them.

“He spellbound us with stories for three hours,” Malcolmson said, adding that Karros will be rejoining them for dinner Friday. “He took everyone on the team and bought us all ice cream. Guys are taking photos and putting them on Facebook. Where would you meet a guy this great, this cool, this nice, who is also the all-time leader home run leader for the Los Angeles Dodgers?”

What was interesting about talking to Malcolmson is that when asked about his favorite on-field memory this week, he spoke matter-of-factly about a two-run single to left center, before enthusiastically changing his answer.



“A lot of the (good) feeling you get is watching your teammates succeed,” he said. “So some of the highlights are watching these guys pound the ball, watching these guys make great plays in the field. Today, I took a couple of innings off and was just managing the team with Rick and Ron — it was fun watching the guys succeed.

“All I’m doing is yelling at my guys — quit worrying if you made an out. Just start smiling. You’re out in Arizona playing ball. Quit thinking you have to have a 1.000 batting average. Just because you wanted to have a great hit that time and didn’t — that’s why they call it baseball.”

Still, in his mind, the camp has come close to perfection.

“If I sum it up, I wanted new, fresh and first class,” Malcolmson said, “and my expectations are being succeeded.”

Reminder: Sign up for 2016 Adult Baseball Camp

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Fantasy campBy Jon Weisman

The Dodgers’ official Adult Fantasy Baseball Camp will take place at Camelback Ranch (in partnership with the White Sox) from January 18-24, 2016. We told you about it back in May, but that was long enough ago that we thought it was worth this reminder.

Ron Cey and Bill Melton will serve as hosts and co-commissioners of the camp, which offers so much perks and recreation …

  • Opportunity to sign up and play for your favorite team — the Dodgers or the White Sox — each coached by two former players
  • Among those scheduled to appear for the Dodgers: Rick Monday, Eric Karros, Steve Yeager and Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda
  • Your own locker and name plate within a professional locker room
  • Professional clubhouse manager and athletic trainer services
  • One full Major League uniform (Dodgers or White Sox) including pants, personalized jersey and cap
  • 25 personalized baseball cards, complete with your camp statistics on the back
  • Games each day, most being doubleheaders, culminating in a championship game on the main stadium field
  • Single-occupancy hotel room for six nights (two-bedroom suites available upon request)
  • Daily transportation between Camelback Ranch and your camp hotel
  • Breakfast and lunch each camp day
  • Welcome reception
  • Mid-camp Hot Stove dinner
  • Awards luncheon.

For more information or to reserve your roster spot, call (623) 302-5078, e-mail or visit Answers to frequently asked questions can be found at Camelback Ranch’s official camp site.

Dodgers to co-host January fan baseball camp at Camelback Ranch

Fantasy campBy Jon Weisman

A new baseball fantasy camp at Camelback Ranch, co-hosted by the Dodgers and White Sox, will take place for adults 21 and older January 18-24, 2016.

“This is the first time that we are staging a Dodgers’ baseball camp at our Arizona spring training home,” said Dodgers executive vice president and chief marketing officer Lon Rosen, “and partnering with our neighbors, the White Sox, should make this a memorable experience for our campers.”

Former third basemen Ron Cey of the Dodgers and Bill Melton of the White Sox will serve as co-commissioners of the camp, officially sanctioned by the Dodgers. They are scheduled to be joined by Dodger legends including Tommy Lasorda, Rick Monday, Eric Karros and Steve Yeager, along with such former White Sox stars as Harold Baines, Bobby Thigpen, Rich Dotson, Tom Paciorek, Carlos May, Ron Kittle and Aaron Rowand.

Here’s more information from today’s announcement

Throughout the six nights and seven days of the camp, participants will be able to interact with and receive instruction from Dodger and White Sox greats on the field and to enjoy hours of baseball stories from the stars of the past off the field. It is 24/7 first-class baseball experience, during which campers will be treated just like the Dodgers and White Sox players when they train in Glendale in preparation for a Major League season.

The camp price includes two meals a day; single occupancy lodging at nearby hotels used by the two organizations; an authentic personalized Dodgers or White Sox uniform including jersey, pants and cap, personalized baseball cards with the camper’s photo and camp participation, in addition to so much more. Campers will play games every day, including doubleheaders on most days, at the premier facilities and fields at Camelback Ranch.

For more information or to reserve your roster spot, please call (623) 302-5078, e-mail or visit

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