FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2017
Campo Las Palmas in the Dominican Republic celebrates renewal and renovation
VERO BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2017) — Campo Las Palmas, the state-of-the-art baseball academy in the Dominican Republic, privately created and built by former Dodger President Peter O’Malley, turns 30 this year.
Today, the world-famous baseball academy is being re-dedicated, having just completed a major renovation by the Dodger organization.
On March 20, 1987, O’Malley, Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda, “The Rifleman” star actor and former Dodger Chuck Connors, Dodger stars Pedro Guerrero, Alejandro Pena and Mariano Duncan, executives Al Campanis and Fred Claire and longtime Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrin led a delegation from Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida to the Dominican Republic to dedicate the new facility on March 21. They left from the Vero Beach Airport to fly to the Dominican. Carlos Morales Troncoso, Vice President of the Dominican Republic, along with Lowell C. Kilday, U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican, participated in the opening ceremonies.
O’Malley and Dodger Vice President Ralph Avila founded and developed the buildings and grounds for Campo Las Palmas, a training and educational center for young Dominican athletes who aspired to play Major League Baseball for the Dodgers. It set the standard in the development of young Dominican ballplayers to be prepared to enter the professional ranks, both on and off the field with assimilation into American culture and use of the English language.
“Campo Las Palmas was our secret weapon because we were ahead of the other clubs with a state-of-the-art, all-encompassing training facility supporting aspiring professional baseball players,” said O’Malley. “I’m grateful to Dodger Vice President Ralph Avila who was responsible for it and his longtime commitment made it very successful.”
The Dodgers’ hub for Latin American scouting, Campo Las Palmas led to the development of well-known Dodgers Ramon Martinez, Pedro Martinez, Raul Mondesi, Adrian Beltre, Pedro Astacio, Henry Rodriguez, Pena and Duncan. All of them played at Dodgertown during Spring Trainings as they ascended the organization ladder. After his first professional season in 1988, Mike Piazza spent the winter at Campo Las Palmas, honing his catching skills and playing in camp games, becoming the first American-born player to train there on his way to a Hall of Fame career.
Campo Las Palmas is located just east of Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic. It comprises some 75 acres and has now expanded to three full and one half baseball fields. Campo also includes the Walter O’Malley headquarters building, Tom Lasorda Dining Hall, Jackie Robinson Hall, clubhouse, workout room, recreation room, kitchen and expanded dormitories, tripling the original player capacity to more than 100.
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