Historic Dodgertown

Historic Dodgertown is a multi-sport facility in Vero Beach, Florida where athletes of all ages and skill levels have the opportunity to train, play, and stay together. The facility which includes the historic Holman Stadium was originally created as a Navy housing base, and was transformed into the home of Spring Training for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. It has since evolved into a multi-sport destination that includes an option of room and board via their on-site villas.[1]

Historic Dodgertown
Private
IndustrySports
Entertainment
Hospitality
FoundedVero Beach, Florida, United States
(January 1, 1948)
FounderWalter O'Malley
Headquarters
3901 26th Street,,
Vero Beach, Florida
,
Key people
Peter O'Malley (President and CEO)
ProductsSport venue
Hotel
Sports
Basketball courts
Baseball fields
Softball fields
Pool
Locker rooms
Concession stands
ServicesEvents
Websitehistoricdodgertown.com

History

Historic Dodgertown was originally built as a Navy housing base for all of the members of the Navy and Marines that trained at the US Naval Air Station during World War II that was located directly across the street. When Branch Rickey began looking for a permanent spring training site in 1948 he was introduced to a large area of land in Vero Beach, Florida by Bud Holman, a local businessman, as the perfect place to host a fully contained training camp for the Major League club as well as the other 26 minor league teams. The Dodgers and the city of Vero Beach ended up coming to an initial five-year lease agreement that included the naming of the property as "Dodger Town". A stadium was completed in 1953.[2][3]

The Los Angeles Dodgers eventually left Vero Beach, Florida for a new spring training home in Arizona after the 2008 spring training season ended,[3]

Once the Los Angeles Dodgers departed, Historic Dodgertown closed its doors and shut down due to financial instability. Minor League Baseball reopened the facilities and renamed it Vero Beach Sports Village. That change didn't last long as they were set to close again in 2012. Then Peter O'Malley with the help of his sister Terry O’Malley Seidler and two ex-Dodgers pitchers Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo reinvested into Historic Dodgertown.[4][4][1][2]

Historic Dodgertown became a Florida Heritage Landmark on November 10, 2014.[5] In 2019, Dodgertown became the first sports facility to be added to U.S. Civil Rights Trail.[6]

Modern use

Historic Dodgertown is a multi-sport destination facility that hosts all levels of a variety of sports including professional teams. Some notable teams that Historic Dodgertown has played host to include:

High School and college baseball teams utilize the complex heavily from February through April as a spring break destination as they prepare for their season.[7]

Montreal Alouettes and former NFL player Chad Johnson utilized Historic Dodgertown's facilities for their mini-camp program. Chad Johnson was a member of the team at the time and was present during mini-camp during their stay. The team returned the following year for mini-camp in April 2015 as well.[8][9]

Edmonton Eskimos utilized Historic Dodgertown's facilities for their mini-camp program in April 2015.[10]

SK Wyverns of the Korea Baseball Organization based in Incheon brought their program to Historic Dodgertown in February 2015. The SK Wyverns are a South Korean based team and are linked to a founding partner of Historic Dodgertown Chan Ho Park who is from South Korea.[11]

Historic Dodgertown yearly tournaments

Treasure Coast Presidents's Day Challenge - Holiday weekend tournament beginning in February that takes place over President's Day or classically referred to as Washington's Birthday.[12]

Memorial Day Invitational - Holiday weekend tournament taking place in May over Memorial Day.[12]

Legends Classic - Week-long tournament in late June that includes a cookout and skills challenge hosted by Historic Dodgertown.[12]

Independence Day Classic - Holiday weekend tournament during Independence Day (United States).[12]

All Star Classic - Week-long tournament hosted in the beginning of August.[12]

Labor Day Beach Bash - Holiday weekend tournament over Labor Day[12]

Executives

Jackie Robinson Celebration Game

This game hosts two Class A Florida State League teams every year on April 15, to commemorate the date in which Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. On April 15, 2014 the Lakeland Flying Tigers and Brevard County Manatees participated in the first professional regular season game at Holman Stadium since the Vero Beach Devil Rays departed Vero Beach, becoming the Charlotte Stone Crabs after the 2008 season.[15]

The Brevard County Manatees and St. Lucie Mets participated in the Second Annual Jackie Robinson Celebration Game on April 15, 2015 to a near capacity crowd of 5,915 spectators.[16]

MLB Elite Development Invitational

MLB Elite Developmental Logo Dodgertown
Official Logo

Major League Baseball, USA Baseball, and the Major League Baseball Players Association hosted their first Elite Development Invitational at Historic Dodgertown. This event was created and implemented by MLB for the purpose of revitalizing youth baseball across the United States and Canada. The 150 players invited were ages 13–16 years old from major cities across the United States. The kids were brought to Vero Beach, Florida to develop and hone their skills by some of the best players to play in the MLB.[17] The list of coaches includes:

Maury Wills - "The National League's MVP Award winner in 1962. He won three World Series titles, two Gold Glove Awards and earned seven All-Star berths. He stole 104 bases in 1962, which was a Major League record at the time."[17]

Lee Smith - "Seven-time All-Star pitcher, who held the Major League career saves record for more than a decade before he was passed by Trevor Hoffman in 2006. Smith, at 6-feet-6 and 265 pounds, was a dominant force in baseball throughout the 1980s and '90s."[17]

Dusty Baker - "Former outfielder Dusty Baker, who helped the Dodgers win the World Series in 1981. He was a two-time All-Star, won two Silver Slugger Awards, one Gold Glove and one NL Championship Series MVP Award. He was also a three-time Manager of the Year, taking the Giants, Reds and Cubs to the postseason."[17]

The coaching staff included numerous current and former major league baseball players.[17]

MLB executives visit

On July 28, 2015, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred visited the camp and spoke to the young participants. Joining him were Harold Reynolds of the MLB Network, CEO and President of Minor League Baseball Pat O'Conner, and Hall of Fame manager Joe Torre.[18] With his visit, Manfred became the 9th Commissioner of Baseball to have visited.[19]

Harold ReynoldsDodgertown
Harold Reynolds speaks to the athletes
Joe TorreDodgertown
Joe Torre speaks to the athletes

References

  1. ^ a b Collier, Jamal (November 14th, 2014). "'Historic' Dodgertown still holds special place". MLB.com. MLB. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Holman Stadium Dedication". walteromalley.com. Copyright © 2003-2015 O'Malley Seidler Partners, LLC. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Dodgers leave Florida spring training home for Arizona". ESPN.com. ESPN. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b WALDSTEIN, DAVID (APRIL 17, 2015). "A New Spring for Old Dodgertown". nytimes.com. © 2015 The New York Times Company. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  5. ^ Kruth, Cash (November 6th, 2014). "Historic Dodgertown to be celebrated with ceremony". MLB.com. MLB. Retrieved June 30th, 2015
  6. ^ "ice-debuts-new-civil-detention-facility-for-immigrants". doi:10.1163/2210-7975_hrd-2259-0252.
  7. ^ "A New Spring for Old Dodgertown". The New York Times. 19 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Trash-talking Nik Lewis playing with rivals". Welland Tribune.
  9. ^ "Chad Johnson and Montreal Alouettes practice - Gallery". TCPalm. 15 April 2014. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Edmonton Eskimos quarterback James Franklin sets up to throw a pass during the Canadian Football League team's mini-camp at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla., on April 19, 2015". Canada,com. 9 June 2015. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Baseball: Historic Dodgertown remains 'first love' for Chan Ho Park".
  12. ^ a b c d e f "Calendar of Events".
  13. ^ a b c d e f "About Us".
  14. ^ a b "News".
  15. ^ "Jackie Robinson game returns pro ball, memories to Vero". VeroNews.
  16. ^ "Dodgertown comes alive for Jackie Robinson Celebration Game - MiLB.com News - The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". MiLB.com.
  17. ^ a b c d e "First Elite Development Invitational underway". Major League Baseball.
  18. ^ "Rob Manfred Visits Historic Dodgertown". One News Page.
  19. ^ "MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred visits Elite Development Invitational at Historic Dodgertown".
Holman Stadium (Vero Beach)

Holman Stadium is a baseball stadium in Vero Beach, Florida, built in 1953 from an abandoned Naval base, to accommodate spring training for the Brooklyn Dodgers as part of a complex now called Historic Dodgertown. In addition to the Dodgers' spring games, it was also the home of the Vero Beach Devil Rays, previously the Vero Beach Dodgers, of the Florida State League, through the 2008 season. Official seating capacity is 6,500.

Jackie Robinson Day

Jackie Robinson Day is a traditional event which occurs annually on April 15 in Major League Baseball (MLB), commemorating and honoring the day Jackie Robinson made his major league debut. Celebrated at MLB ballparks, on that one day, all players, coaches, and managers on both teams, and the umpires, wear Robinson's uniform number, 42. April 15 was Opening Day in 1947, Robinson's first season in the major leagues.

Initiated for the first time on April 15, 2004, the festivity is a result of Robinson's memorable career, best known for becoming the first black major league baseball player of the modern era in 1947. His debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers (today's Los Angeles Dodgers) ended approximately 80 years of baseball segregation, also known as the baseball color line, or color barrier. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.Shea Stadium was one of the prominent venues hosting the event, having commemorated the retirement of Robinson's number 42 jersey in 1997. Bob DuPuy, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball, described Jackie Robinson Day as a significance "not only for baseball, but for our country in general."

Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy

The Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy provides umpire training and development for umpires in Minor League Baseball since 2012. Since Minor League Baseball Umpire Development’s inception in 1997, every umpire hired by Major League Baseball has come through the Minor League Baseball Umpire Development system.

Peter O'Malley

Peter O'Malley (born December 12, 1937 in Brooklyn, New York) is the former owner (1979–98) and president (1970–98) of the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball.

USA Baseball

USA Baseball is the national governing body for organized baseball in the United States and is a member of the United States Olympic Committee and the World Baseball Softball Confederation.

The organization selects and trains the World Baseball Classic, Olympic, Premier12 and Pan American Games teams (and all other USA Baseball Professional Teams); the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team; the USA Baseball 18U, 15U and 12U National Teams; and the USA Baseball Women's National Team, all of which participate in various international competitions each year. In addition, USA Baseball selects players for the 14U, 16U and 17U National Team Development Programs.

The organization is responsible for the continued proliferation and health of the sport, and leads a number of amateur initiatives through its Sport Development department, including Play Ball and Pitch Smart. USA Baseball also presents the Golden Spikes Award annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country and is responsible for creating the USABat standard.

Vero Beach, Florida

Vero Beach is a city in and the seat of Indian River County, Florida, United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2010 data, the city had a population of 15,220.

Your Call Football

Your Call Football is an interactive competition in which participants call plays in real time for a series of live exhibition American football games with players, some of whom have played in the NFL or CFL. The participants watch the game via live streaming media and use a smartphone app to select the plays. A series of three games were played in May 2018 at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida, and again in 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida with cash prizes awarded in both series.

Franchise
Ballparks
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Hall of Fame
members
Key personnel
World Series
Championships (6)
League pennants
(23)
Division titles (17)
Wild card berths (2)
Minor league affiliates

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