FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 09, 2017
Historic Dodgertown mourns the passing of former Little League Baseball President Dr. Creighton Hale
VERO BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2017) — Dr. Creighton Hale, the longtime Little League President and CEO, passed away last night. A frequent visitor to Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida, Dr. Hale played a significant role in the growth of youth baseball internationally. He attended numerous exhibition games and St. Patrick’s Day parties at Dodgertown. Dr. Hale’s many friends in Vero Beach mourn his passing.
Historic Dodgertown Chairman Peter O’Malley, a longtime Little League Foundation Trustee and President of the Little League Foundation from 1991-2002, said, “My father and I had the greatest admiration for Dr. Creighton Hale and we both served as Trustees on the Little League Foundation Board. Dr. Hale was a pioneer and his vision to innovate equipment for safety was internationally recognized. His passion for growing inner-city baseball was instrumental in giving more children an opportunity to enjoy playing our national pastime. Our thoughts are with Mrs. Hale and their family.”
Dr. Hale was only the second full-time Little League President, from 1973-1994. He was appointed CEO in 1983. Dr. Hale built and ran the world’s largest youth sports organization with 2 million participants in 80 countries. From 1994-2001, he served as special advisor to Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener. From Hardy, Nebraska, Dr. Hale first joined the Little League Program in 1955 as Director of Research. In 1953, he was an associate professor of Physiology at Springfield College studying “safety requirements of Little League Baseball and the effects of athletic competition on young boys.” He had received his Doctorate Degree (specializing in the physiology of muscular activity) from New York University.
On Sept. 12, 1986, Dr. Hale was part of a delegation that attended dedication ceremonies for “Dodger Baseball Field,” privately built by O’Malley, in the People’s Republic of China at the Tianjin Institute of Physical and Cultural Education. Li Menghua, Minister-Commissioner for Physical Culture and Sports of the People’s Republic of China and President of the Chinese Olympic Committee, presided at opening ceremonies.
On June 27, 1988, O’Malley and Dr. Hale were in Tokyo for the announcement that the first Little League Baseball field in the People’s Republic of China would be constructed in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. The arrangements were a gift to Little League by former Mitsui Chairman Tatsuzo Mizukami. On July 4, 1990, the dedication ceremonies for the first-ever Mitsui Little League Baseball Friendship Field were held in Guangzhou, as both Dr. Hale and O’Malley, a Little League Foundation Trustee, participated.
On January 18, 1992, Dr. Hale attended the opening of “Little League Friendship Field” in Managua, Nicaragua, privately built by O’Malley. Nicaraguan President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro participated in the ceremonies.
On June 27, 1994, Dr. Hale, Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, legendary USC baseball coach Rod Dedeaux and O’Malley traveled to Beijing, China to encourage Little League Baseball in that country. The delegation met with Wu Zhaozu, Minister of Sports; He Zhenliang, President of the Chinese Olympic Committee; and We Ming, responsible for all sports in China, including the China Baseball Association, to support the growing youth baseball program.
On July 4, 1998, Dr. Hale was also with O’Malley for the opening of two baseball fields, donated by O’Malley, at Corkagh Demesne Park in Clondalkin, West Dublin, Ireland. One was an international standard Little League Field (“O’Malley Little League Field”) and the other a regulation-sized adult field (“Dodger Baseball Field”).
Photo caption: Peter O’Malley (far right) privately built two baseball fields in Ireland, opened on July 4, 1998. Jean Kennedy Smith, U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, throws the ceremonial first pitch (center). O’Malley is joined (L-R) by Aldo Notari, President of the International Baseball Federation; Dr. Creighton Hale, special advisor to Little League Baseball; Ed Piszek, Little League Foundation Trustee; and Rod Dedeaux, legendary baseball coach at USC.
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