FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 04, 2018
Dodgers in Mexico - Historic Dodgertown Remembrances
The Los Angeles Dodgers open a three-game series tonight in Monterrey, Mexico against the San Diego Padres. It was 27 years ago that the Dodgers’ split squad traveled from Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, FL to play two exhibition games in Monterrey.
On March 16, 1991, the Dodgers beat the Mexican All-Star team (Industriales), 3-1 and followed that with a game against the Milwaukee Brewers featuring star left-hander and Mexico native Fernando Valenzuela against southpaw Teddy Higuera, also from Mexico. That contest was billed as “Duelo de Titanes.” The Dodgers and Fernando beat the Brewers, 6-1, before 29,000 fans at Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey. It was the first time 30-year-old Fernando had pitched in Mexico since 1981, when he was in winter ball there after his rookie season. Hall of Fame Dodger catcher Roy Campanella, a member of the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame since 1971, traveled with the team.
Fernando took the baseball world by storm in 1981, when he won National League Cy Young and Rookie of the Year honors. His success led to “Fernandomania” which swept the U.S. and Mexico and baseball fans everywhere. But, he never forgot his roots, the tiny town of Etchohuaquila, Sonora.
Dodger President Peter O’Malley, who made the arrangements with Major League Baseball and the Brewers, said in the L.A. Times, “We knew Fernando’s importance to his country before we came down here, but to see it, to feel, to hear it . . . it was an extraordinary moment. This is one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had since I’ve been with the ballclub.”
This was not the first time the Dodgers played in Mexico, as 27 years prior, Dodger President Walter O’Malley led the 1963 World Champion Dodgers to Mexico City to open their 1964 Spring Training schedule with three games at Social Security Stadium. The Dodgers beat the Mexico City Tigers, 8-3, defeated the Mexico City Reds, 10-3 and won 8-5 against a combined Mexican team. The Dodgers returned to Mexico City on March 15, 2003 to play a spring exhibition game against the New York Mets, losing 16-11.
L-R: Pedro Treto Cisneros, President, Mexican League; Sal Artiaga, President, National Association; Bowie Kuhn, Baseball Commissioner, 1969-1984; Pedro Luis Duran Gomez, Director de Comercializacion of Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc; Alejo Peralta, Commissioner of Baseball in Mexico and owner of Mexico City Tigers; Peter O’Malley, President, Los Angeles Dodgers; and Bud Selig, owner, Milwaukee Brewers.
Dodger star pitcher Fernando Valenzuela looks to the sky and smiles.
March 17, 1991 -- The Dodgers line up along the third baseline for introductions before meeting the Milwaukee Brewers in “Duelo de Titantes” – with Mexican natives Fernando Valenzuela versus Teddy Higuera to pitch. Fernando and the Dodgers won, 6-1.
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