FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2018
Today marks 10th anniversary of Walter O’Malley’s entrance into the National Baseball Hall of Fame
Historic Dodgertown celebrates today, July 27th, as the 10th anniversary of the induction of visionary Walter O’Malley to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
As part of the Dodgers’ co-ownership in 1948, it was O’Malley along with Branch Rickey and John Smith, who made the decision to establish a Spring Training base in Vero Beach, Florida. Through his ownership of the Dodgers, O’Malley’s innovations made Dodgertown the highly regarded pre-season training site that is used regularly by Major League Baseball and many college, high school, and youth teams.
In April, 1980, in an interview with Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella, he was asked if Walter O’Malley as involved with the integration of Major League Baseball as Branch Rickey? Campanella answered, “Definitely. When we went to Spring Training in 1948, Mr. O’Malley started Dodgertown, which was formerly the Vero Beach Naval Station. He had it set up so that we could eat together and we could sleep together, but we couldn’t play golf with our teammates (at nearby golf courses) after practice. He took care of that by developing a nine-hole golf course and we also ended up having an 18-hole golf course if we wanted to play.”
His Hall of Fame accomplishments are several: Opening up Major League Baseball to the West Coast where five Major League teams play; No increase in ticket prices for 18 seasons (1958-1975) in Los Angeles; The Dodgers won World Championships in 1955 in Brooklyn and 1959, 1963, and 1965 in Los Angeles; An active participant in the building of international relationships to the betterment of baseball and leading the team from 1951-1979 who many in American business considered to be the best run sports franchise.
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