FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2017
Oldest Living Dodger Celebrates Birthday Today
#OTD, Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida celebrates the birthday of Marv Rackley, the former Dodger outfielder, who has something very much in common with Jackie Robinson. They both made their major league debuts on April 15, 1947 at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn. Robinson was the first baseman and Rackley served as a pinch-runner in the sixth inning. Rackley is the oldest living Dodger at a youthful 96.
In 1946, Rackley also played with Robinson for the Triple-A Montreal Royals of the International League. The Royals won the International League Governors’ Cup and the Junior World Series, as Rackley batted .305 and had a league-leading 14 triples and 65 stolen bases. After that successful season, Robinson hired Rackley to join him on the Jackie Robinson All-Stars exhibition barnstorming club.
Rackley, a left-handed batter and thrower, played 18 games for the Dodgers in 1947 and then put together his best season in 1948 when he hit .327 in 88 games. In 1948 and 1949, the Seneca, South Carolina native was at Dodgertown for Spring Training. Rackley had a rollercoaster ride season in 1949, as on May 1 he was traded to Pittsburgh for first baseman Johnny Hopp. The trade was voided on June 7 and Rackley, having played 11 games for the Pirates, returned to the Dodgers. When the Dodgers made the 1949 World Series, Rackley played in two games.
The Cincinnati Reds purchased his contract in October, 1949 for $60,000.
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