FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2017
On this Date in 2008 - Walter O’Malley Inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame
On this date in 2008, the National Baseball Hall of Fame holds its Induction Ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York, as Dodger owner Walter O’Malley is one of the inductees in the “Class of 2008.” Elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee on December 3, 2007, O’Malley was the full-time owner of the Dodgers, the most accomplished franchise in the modern era, from 1950-79.
In 1999, ABC Sports Century Panel named visionary O’Malley in its Top 10 Most Influential People “off the field” in sports history, while The Sporting News named O’Malley the 11th Most Powerful Person in Sports in the last century. O’Malley is widely-recognized for the westward expansion of baseball in 1958 and for helping to design, build, maintain and privately finance Dodger Stadium, which opened on April 10, 1962. Through the years, he developed and enhanced Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida, including privately building Holman Stadium, opened in 1953, which is still in use today for professional and amateur games and events.
Under O’Malley’s leadership, the Dodgers became the “gold standard” of baseball franchises, winning four World Championships (1955, 1959, 1963 and 1965) and 11 National League Pennants. Of the 317 members enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, there are only 30 in the category “Pioneers/Executives,” including O’Malley.
The “2008 Hall of Fame Class” also included premium relief pitcher Rich “Goose” Gossage; Bowie Kuhn, fifth Commissioner of Baseball from 1969-84; Barney Dreyfuss, first owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and one of the “fathers” of the modern World Series; Cardinals’ and Braves’ Manager Billy Southworth, who has the second-best all-time winning percentage at .597 and two World titles; and Manager & former Dodger player Dick Williams, who managed 21 seasons with six different teams, winning two World Championships for Oakland.
An exhibit featuring several unique O’Malley items was on display in the National Baseball Hall of Fame for a year (2008-2009).
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