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Historic Dodgertown News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 04, 2017

O’Malley, China International Goodwill Through Sports Visits

Peter O’Malley’s first visit to Beijing, China was in February 1980 to meet with All-China Sports Federation representatives.

O’Malley is currently the Chairman of Historic Dodgertown

July 24 – August 5, 1980 – Five representatives of the People’s Republic of China were invited guests of Peter O’Malley to observe baseball at Dodger Stadium and in Southern California. The group made their visit during the Dodgers’ final July homestand. It is the first time that officials from China representing the sport of baseball have visited the United States. The five were high-ranking officials Xie Lang and Liu Juechou of the All-China Sports Federation and coaches Wang Rui (head coach of the China National baseball team and lecturer of Tianjin Institute of Physical Education and Sports), Zhu Zhigang (coach of the China National baseball team and lecturer of Lanzhou University) and Zhang Zhang (coach of the China National team and lecturer of Shanghai Institute of Physical Education and Sports).

September 12, 1986 – Peter O’Malley privately builds “Dodger Baseball Field” in the People’s Republic of China at the Tianjin Institute of Physical and Cultural Education (about 120 kilometers south of Beijing). Dedication ceremonies were held on this day with O’Malley and Jia-Qi Chen, President of the Institute participating in the opening. Li Menghua, minister-commissioner for physical culture and sports of the People’s Republic of China, president of the All China Sports Federation and president of the Chinese Olympic Committee, presided at opening ceremonies.

O’Malley said, “All of us in the Dodger organization believe that this contribution to international amateur baseball will encourage the athletes in China to participate in the great game of baseball and, hopefully, hasten the growth of the sport throughout the country. The future of baseball in the People’s Republic of China is very bright.” O’Malley also said, “Baseball to the World, Baseball for Peace.” Other officials in the delegation included Dr. Creighton Hale, president of Little League Baseball; Dr. Bob Smith, president of the International Baseball Association; Bowie Kuhn, former Baseball Commissioner; Rod Dedeaux, former USC and U.S. Olympic Baseball coach; Akihiro “Ike” Ikuhara, assistant to O’Malley, who played a prominent role in many international exchanges and was posthumously inducted into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002; and Harry Bardt, Dodger Director (who played baseball in China as a U.S. Army soldier in 1917). Also in attendance from Japan were Dr. Shigeyoshi Matsumae, President, Tokai University; Ikuo Ikeda, publisher of Baseball Magazine Sha; Senichi Hoshino, former player of the Chunichi Dragons; and Renzo Ishii, renowned baseball coach of prestigious Waseda University of Tokyo.

October 1, 1986 – A Chinese junior baseball team plays at Dodger Stadium, marking the first time a baseball team from People’s Republic of China visited the United States.

July 4, 1990 – Peter O’Malley, a Little League Foundation Trustee, travels to Guangzhou, China for the dedication ceremonies of the first-ever Mitsui Little League Baseball Friendship Field. Little League President and CEO Creighton Hale recalls, “I remember the opening of the first Little League friendship fields in China, standing with Peter O’Malley, his family and others as Little League dedicated its first field for the chartered league in China.” Dr. Hale, Caroline Leonetti Ahmanson, Chairman of the Los Angeles-Guangzhou Sister City Association and O’Malley, on the board of directors for the Los Angeles-Guangzhou Sister City Association, participated in the dedication ceremony. Also, during his stay, O’Malley met with Li Ruihuan, one of the country’s elite leaders, from the Chinese Community Party Political Bureau’s Standing Committee at the Great Hall of The People in Beijing.

September 12, 1991 – The People’s Government of Tianjin named Peter O’Malley an “Honorary Citizen” with a scroll stating, “It is a great honor to Confer the title “Honorary Citizen of Tianjin of the People’s Republic of China” on Mr. Peter O’Malley, president of Los Angeles Dodgers, Inc. U.S.A.”

May 19, 1993 – The Dodgers air the first of their Chinese language broadcasts. That day is historic as it was the first Major League Baseball regular-season game ever broadcast in four languages in the United States, as the game was heard in English, Spanish, Korean and Mandarin Chinese.

July 11, 1996 – After finishing in third place at the 14th Annual World Senior League Championship in New York, a Chinese baseball team from Tianjin visited Dodger Stadium to meet with Peter O’Malley. Fifteen 18-year-olds on the team toured Dodger Stadium and were impressed by the beauty of it and the setting. They were excited to see some of their favorite player’s lockers in the Dodger clubhouse. Ten years earlier, O’Malley privately built Dodger Stadium in their home city. Through the generous financial assistance of O’Malley, the team was able to travel to the 1996 World Senior League Tournament, its first international competition. 

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(July 4, 2017)

 

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.

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Contacts:
Ruth Ruiz, Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida, (772) 257-8532