Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Although pitchers and catchers are formally due to report for the start of Spring Training ahead of position players, Los Angeles Dodgers camp has unofficially welcomed most members ahead of expected dates to be at Camelback Ranch.
That’s been key over the years to the Dodgers consistently developing strong relationships that not only extend throughout their roster but with the coaching staff as well. The bonding process has also been aided by a Spring Training tradition of eating buffalo wings.
The annual event is organized by beloved trainer Yosuke “Possum” Nakajima, who memorably dressed up as Max Scherzer in 2021.
While Nakajima organized the wing-eating contest, Dodgers director of Minor League pitching Rob Hill came away victorious, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
The Dodgers had the annual team dinner on Wednesday night featuring a wings-eating contest organized by assistant athletic trainer Yosuke “Possum” Nakajima. Director of minor league pitching Rob Hill put away 70 wings to win.
After graduating from Westmont College, Hill became well known among MLB pitchers and executives for his work at Driveline Baseball.
Hill was hired by the Dodgers in 2020 as their pitching coordinator while they still allowed him to work at Driveline. Hill then was promoted to his current position prior to the 2022 season.
Annual spring team building event organized by one of the #Dodgers trainers, affectionately known as “Possum”. Mookie Betts sponsored the staff Buffalo Wing eating contest of staff members.
at least 25 players came out. pic.twitter.com/VxAYT9Nz5p
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) February 23, 2023
In years past the contest was paid for by the likes of Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, two of the longest-tenured Dodgers during their respective careers with the organization.
During his most recent “Dodger Talk” show, host David Vassegh of AM 570 L.A. Sports said droves of players attended the competition to show their support for staff members.
Mookie Betts playing second base
Betts has long been open about his love for playing second base, and he’s expected to occasionally be at that position with the Dodgers in Spring Training games and while with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
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