FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2017
Longtime Dodger executive Bob Smith passes away
Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach is saddened to learn that Bob Smith, longtime Dodger Vice President, Stadium Operations from 1969 until the end of 1994, has passed. Smith was retired and residing in Old Hickory, TN.
Peter O’Malley’s comment about Bob Smith, former Dodger Vice President, Stadium Operations: “For more than thirty years Bob was responsible for the cleanliness and safety of Dodger Stadium. He set the standard, no one did it better. My thoughts are with his wife, Lucy and family. I've lost a very good friend.”
Bob Smith was in charge of operational issues and security at Dodger Stadium, representing Allied Consolidated Services, during “The Beatles” concert on August 28, 1966. Smith joined the Dodger organization in 1969 and worked at Dodger Stadium for more than 30 years. He was responsible for maintaining the beauty and functionality of iconic Dodger Stadium, the crown jewel of baseball stadia and with record number of fans passing through the turnstiles.
In February 1980, O’Malley, Bob Smith (then Director, Stadium Operations), Fred Claire (Executive Vice President, Public Relations & Promotions) and Akihiro “Ike” Ikuhara (Administrative Assistant) traveled to Japan to meet with top management from Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and finalize plans to introduce the world’s first and largest full-color matrix board to Dodger Stadium on July 8, 1980 at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. The state-of-the-art Dodger board revolutionized how games were presented in America and around the globe.
Former Los Angeles Laker and Dodger Vice President, Communications Tommy Hawkins who worked with Bob Smith said: “There could be no better teammate than Bob Smith. His expertise in all aspects of stadium operations was superb, from care of the field to stadium security, Smith covered the waterfront.
"He made the job of everyone who worked in the organization effective and pleasurable.”
Smith, who was initially Director, Stadium Operations and then promoted to Vice President, Stadium Operations in 1991, oversaw numerous special events at Dodger Stadium, including World Series; the 1980 All-Star Game; Elton John concerts; the 1984 eight-team Olympic Baseball exhibition tournament; Pope John Paul II visit and Mass in 1987; The Three Tenors in concert in 1994; RV shows; gymnastic events; horses on the field; camera days for fans on the field; thousands of Little Leaguers on the field; a 5,000 member marching band led by actor-comedian-musician Danny Kaye; Jehovah Witness gatherings; and many others.
According to Barry Stockhamer, longtime Dodger Vice President, Marketing, Smith kept his cool and kept the field at Dodger Stadium looking great while everything in Smith’s words was “routine.” Stockhamer recalls it was “far from routine” and that “we challenged him with our many requests and he always met the challenge. He was always accommodating. He always delivered. He will be missed by many.”
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