FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 02, 2018
A BANNER YEAR CONTINUES AT HISTORIC DODGERTOWN – VERO BEACH
Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach has continued to thrive in 2018. It’s been a year of unprecedented year-round activities, featuring seven sports and training by international professional teams. On the horizon, 2019 will kick off another year at Historic Dodgertown, which is booked solid for the first four months.
“This has been an extraordinary year at Historic Dodgertown,” said Jeff Biddle, Vice President, Historic Dodgertown. “From January 1st right through December, we have welcomed the world to our campus – as teams from South Korea, the People’s Republic of China, Canada, Australia, Dominican Republic, Curacao and Uganda have all trained or competed right here in Vero Beach. We have accommodated seven sports this year, including baseball, softball, football, soccer, rugby, lacrosse and land training for water sports.”
Already in the planning for early 2019 is the Minor League Baseball Umpire Development Academy, the SK Wyverns professional baseball team from South Korea, and the China’s Men’s National Baseball and Women’s National Softball teams.
In celebration of its 70th Anniversary, since its 1948 opening for the Dodger organization, Historic Dodgertown continues to be an industry leader as a unique place to train. With sleeping rooms, an inviting dining room and a host of recreational opportunities all on site, Historic Dodgertown is perfect for team building, preparation and communication.
Highlights from 2018 include:
--Major League Baseball has been a longtime supporter of the vast facilities at Historic Dodgertown for a variety of programs. Established in 2015, MLB has returned each year for its annual Elite Development Invitational (EDI) in 2018. The EDI camps welcome boys ages 12-18 for an authentic baseball spring training-like experience. The same fields, clubhouse, dining room, sleeping rooms and recreational amenities enjoyed by 60 years of Dodger baseball are open to the boys for a fully-immersive experience. Twelve former players who participated in recent summers at the MLB Elite Development Invitational at Historic Dodgertown were drafted by Major League teams in June. For the EDI camp, approximately 40 former Major League players coach the boys from the fields, batting cages, weight rooms and meeting sessions, including this year former Dodgers Reggie Smith, Eric Davis, Willie Randolph, Marquis Grissom, Charles Johnson, and Delino DeShields.
EDI Softball returned for its second year, with famed softball legends Jennie Finch and others acting as instructors for high school softball athletes from across the country. This year, MLB brought the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Regional Series with participants from around the country, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Uganda and Curacao, as well as their first ever MLB Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series.
--The Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy and its Evaluation program returned to Historic Dodgertown. In order for an umpire to reach the major league level, his or her journey must take place through the fields of Historic Dodgertown.
--The SK Wyverns of the professional Korean Baseball Organization trained at Historic Dodgertown for the seventh straight year in preparation of their season. Wyverns Manager Trey Hillman explained the importance of traveling to Vero Beach for training, “The campus provides an optimal experience for us to prepare for the upcoming season because everything is on-site and within walking distance — from the fields and stadium, batting cages, training and weight rooms, hotel and dining. Historic Dodgertown’s rich history is seen and felt at every turn, and it is in that spirit of building a championship team that we are honored to return this year.”
The Chinese National Women’s fast-pitch softball team, the Beijing Eagles, returned to Historic Dodgertown in the spring and fall, preparing for their season in the National Pro Fastpitch League, the only professional women’s softball league. The Eagles had trained in the Fall, 2017 and over the winter competed in the Asian Games where they qualified for the World Championships in Japan.
--The Chinese Men’s National Baseball team will return next month for the second consecutive year, for training and staying on-property.
--Youth baseball flourishes at Historic Dodgertown, with the always exciting Presidents’ Day tournament featuring the largest gathering of 1,200 players and 75 teams participating in a variety of age brackets. The Labor Day Beach Bash tournament welcomed 55 teams for a three-day weekend of baseball competition.
--Your Call Football, an innovative way of putting into the hands of fans the opportunity to decide which plays to make as the game progresses live, brought two teams and 92 players to Historic Dodgertown for a six-week stay and on-site contests in April and May. With its exceptional patented technology enabling fans to make instant decisions on selected plays from the head coach, Your Call Football played live games at Historic Dodgertown, while gamers competed for the most points to ultimately win cash prizes in a blending of football, gaming and fantasy sports.
--The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League trained for the fourth time at Historic Dodgertown, a mini-camp to evaluate the team and potential new players in April. Football is part of the DNA at Historic Dodgertown, as the New Orleans Saints trained on site in the 1970’s and many other NFL and CFL teams have utilized the fields for camps and preparation for postseason games.
--As an investment to grow the game of softball, in 2012 Historic Dodgertown opened the Quad complex for softball. The Quad has been the host venue for the Florida Junior College Women’s Softball Championship (JUCO), the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Softball Championship, and Historic Dodgertown is the southern home for Softball Factory.
--This past April 15, the fifth annual Jackie Robinson Celebration Game took place at Holman Stadium, which turned 65 this year, with proceeds benefitting the United Way of Indian River County. The game features Florida State League teams in a regular season game.
--The Quinnipiac University Women’s Rugby Team, national champions for three straight years, selected Historic Dodgertown for their pre-season camp. Said head coach Becky Carlson: "(Historic) Dodgertown, its staff and our staff meshed together to provide a seamless experience that enriched the players’ confidence in the program and their teammates which is something that money cannot buy.”
--At the invitation of Your Call Football and Historic Dodgertown, Dodgertown Elementary School students were invited to learn about the importance of staying in school, being positive and showing kindness, and for fun they joined nearly 100 professional-level football players on the practice field for running drills.
--St. Helen’s Church continues to hold its annual Harvest Festival and annual Easter Sunrise Service at Historic Dodgertown, as has been done for more than 50 years.
About Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida
“A Florida Heritage Landmark”
World-famous Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida is a multi-sport, 80-acre complex on Florida’s Treasure Coast managed by former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley in a partnership since 2012. O’Malley, whose family developed and expanded the site formerly known as “Dodgertown” for nearly 50 years, partnered with his sister Terry O’Malley Seidler and former Dodger star pitchers Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo.
On November 10, 2014, Historic Dodgertown was named a Florida Heritage Landmark for its unique historic significance extending beyond baseball, as the first completely integrated Spring Training site in the South. The “Baseball and Dodgertown” historical marker is located at the entrance to the conference center.
The home of Dodger Spring Trainings from 1948-2008, it was the starting place for six World Championships and 14 N.L. Pennant-winning teams. Numerous Baseball Hall of Fame players trained on these hallowed grounds, as well as 20 visits from professional teams in Asia.
The all-inclusive facility, owned by Indian River County, gives teams of all ages the unique opportunity to train, play, dine and stay together in on-site villas. Participants utilize one of 10 ½ playing fields (seven are Musco-lighted for night games), including a new cloverleaf of youth baseball/softball fields with concessions area and new multi-purpose field (110 by 130 yards) for football, soccer and lacrosse.
Other amenities include clubhouses, two full-sized weight rooms, dining room, Stadium Club lounge and a competition-size swimming pool. The home of 6,500-seat Holman Stadium, Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida provides an all-encompassing experience for guests and is the ideal setting to build a championship team. It’s the perfect location for tournaments, camps, schools, business conferences and seminars.
Continuing its tradition since 1983, the Los Angeles Dodgers Adult Baseball Camp returned to Historic Dodgertown in November, 2014. Visit historicdodgertown.com for more information.
Ruth Ruiz, Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida, (772) 257-8532