The Carrot Capital of the World
I made a couple phone calls this afternoon and found some promising leads.
The Pioneers Museum in Imperial has archives of the Holtville Tribune on microfilm. I also have the name and phone number for the paper’s owner back then; one source said he may still have original photos from the era.
I also spoke with Ed Rodriguez, who worked on building the complex. He said he was employed by a local farming business called Sam Andrews’ Sons. Bob Andrews, one of the sons, worked with the Angels to bring their operation to Holtville. The big leaguers would come to Holtville for two weeks, then go to Palm Springs, leaving the complex for the minor leaguers. This is a pattern that was repeated when the Angels moved to Mesa, Arizona in 1984.
Mr. Rodriguez said that Bob Andrews later bought a California League team, possibly the Salinas Packers, which was an Angels affiliate in the 1970s. He said he has a number for Mr. Andrews and I’ll track him down.
He also said that his son located an old 8mm film shot in the 1960s of Gene Autry acting as grand marshal of the Carrot Festival in Holtville. I’m asking for a copy that I can transfer to a video file and post online.
When we head out to Florida next week, I’m hoping to stop mid-day in Imperial and meet Mr. Rodriguez for a museum tour.