FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2018
Celebrating the 99th birthdate of Jackie Robinson
Historic Dodgertown celebrates today, Jan. 31, as the 99th anniversary of the birthdate of Dodger Hall of Fame player Jackie Robinson.
He was elected the first Rookie of the Year in baseball history for both leagues in 1947, an award that would later be named for him. He was elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association as National League Most Valuable Player in 1949. Robinson was an important member of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers’ World Championship team and he stole home in Game 1.
In 1962, he was elected as a first time ballot player to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1997, his uniform number, 42, was retired throughout the major leagues in a ceremony that included President of the United States, Bill Clinton.
At Historic Dodgertown, the largest conference room there is named for Robinson containing a large number of photos and information of his great career. A recent addition to the Jackie Robinson Conference Room is a display of photos, baseball cards and a bat with Jackie’s name, including a signed program where he spoke at a Florida meeting in Ocala in 1964.
Robinson was a member of the first Brooklyn Dodger team to train at Historic Dodgertown in 1948. Historic Dodgertown was the first major league Spring Training site to integrate their living and dining quarters in Spring Training in the South for all their players. In the first game ever played at Dodgertown by major league players, Jackie homered in the first inning in the first at bat for the home team Brooklyn Dodgers. On the Historic Dodgertown website, film owned by producer Joel Steiger shows Jackie taking batting practice, hitting fungoes, and practicing in the sliding pit at Historic Dodgertown and some of this footage was used in the 2016 Ken Burns PBS documentary, “Jackie Robinson.”
Jackie returned to Historic Dodgertown when in 1965, when he was hired as the first African-American sports commentator for a national television baseball broadcast. In a simulation that was not aired for broadcast, ABC-TV covered a Spring Training game at Holman Stadium in final preparation for Jackie’s broadcast work during the season.
Holman Stadium at Historic Dodgertown has been the host of a Jackie Robinson celebration game on April 15th, the anniversary of his first major league game featuring a regular season game of two Florida State League teams. Net proceeds from the gate receipts are contributed to the United Way of Vero Beach. The 2018 game will be the fifth consecutive year this game has been played at Holman Stadium.
Rachel Robinson, the wife of Jackie and one of America’s most honored women, is the founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports minority college students and has a graduation rate of nearly 100% among the Jackie Robinson Scholars. In addition, plans have been established to build a Jackie Robinson Museum for future generations to learn of the life and character of the American hero who changed the world for the better for so many people.
If you would like to be a part of this effort by Rachel Robinson to honor Jackie, contributions may be addressed to:
Jackie Robinson Foundation
75 Varick Street, 2nd Floor
New York City, New York 10013-1917
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
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