FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2017
Historic Dodgertown Celebrates the Birthday of Chairman Peter O’Malley
Historic Dodgertown celebrates today, Dec. 12, the 80th birthday of Chairman, Peter O’Malley!
The O’Malley family connection with Historic Dodgertown began in the first season, 1948, as Walter O’Malley, a co-owner of the Dodgers, had approved the establishment of a permanent Spring Training base for the team in Vero Beach, Florida. In 1952, as a teenager, Peter O’Malley’s first job is to sell Dodgertown souvenirs at a kiosk on the base where his first sale was made from his mother, Kay.
After graduation from college, Peter’s first assignment with the Dodgers was to coordinate the visit of the 1961 Yomiuri Giants baseball team to Historic Dodgertown. The team included Japan baseball superstars as Sadaharu Oh and Shigeo Nagashima, and would later win the 1961 Japan Series in the fall to become champions.
As 1962 began, the entire Dodger organization was getting ready for their new home, Dodger Stadium, and Peter O’Malley took upon the duties of the Director of Dodgertown. Among his early major decisions was to integrate the seating for fans for games at Holman Stadium, in defiance of Jim Crow laws that permeated the South. As Dr. Jerald Podair, history professor at Lawrence University wrote, “Civil rights was the great American moral cause of the 20th century. Dodgertown’s contributions make it just not a great sports story, but a great American one.”
Through the 1960s, Peter O’Malley was provided with more responsibilities with the Dodger organization and it was there in Historic Dodgertown on March 17, 1970, St. Patrick’s Day, Peter was named President of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As the Dodger President, he continued to improve, renovate, and innovate to make Historic Dodgertown the finest pre-season training base in sports. The Vero Beach base was praised by players, media, and fans for representing the most in ultimate comfort and style, and led the way to become a “must-visit” place for baseball fans to enjoy their Spring Training experience and enhance the Florida economy.
It was in Historic Dodgertown Peter formed the structure and execution of a plan to establish baseball internationally on a far wider scale than ever before. The Dodgers had done so by players such as Fernando Valenzuela from Mexico, but it was in Historic Dodgertown that Chan Ho Park, the first South Korean born player to be signed to a major league contract and Hideo Nomo, the first Japan born player to pitch in the major leagues in 31 years would first become known. O’Malley extended invitations to coaches and players from around the world to improve and foster baseball development in their countries.
After his family sold their interest in the Los Angeles Dodger baseball club in 1998, Peter O’Malley decided in 2012 to take on the challenge of operation of Historic Dodgertown as a multi-sports training facility and conference center before it was shuttered forever. His leadership revived the concept of Historic Dodgertown as a 21st century facility to prepare any kind of sports team for the coming season and it is expected to provide tremendous dividends to Major League Baseball in future years.
In his writing of the history of Historic Dodgertown and its contribution to six Dodger World Championships, author Chuck Fountain quoted Peter O’Malley on the importance of Dodgertown. Peter said, “It (Spring Training at Dodgertown) brought the team together and at the most important time of the year.”
 Jerald Podair, Ph.D., “Haven of Tolerance,” Historic Dodgertown website, 2016.
 Chuck Fountain, Boston.com, February 24, 2009
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