Craig Callan to explore Dodger archives with Emerson Center audience


Craig Callan

The free Emerson Center’s Florida Humanities Series, in partnership with the Florida Humanities Council, will get underway on Thursday, October 12 at 7 p.m. with Historic Dodgertown’s Craig Callan as the season’s inaugural speaker. Callan will speak on “The Dodgers Come to Town: How Big-Time Baseball Found Vero Beach.”

Callan will provide a nostalgic and revealing look at the nearly 70-year history of the Dodgers baseball team’s relationship with Vero Beach. He will recount how local businessman Bud Holman and other neighbors overcame obstacles to launch a Spring Training home for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He will explain how, today, this facility has evolved into Florida’s premier sports and conference center hosting sporting events throughout the year.

Craig Callan has been an integral part of the management and development of world-famous Historic Dodgertown and its predecessor organizations for nearly 40 years. He has been directly involved in all aspects of management and operations of this legendary training facility and has worked alongside many of baseball’s greatest heroes during his long career. At the same time, he has been a generous supporter of many local causes including the United Way, the Samaritan Center, and the Gifford Youth Achievement Center. 

The Florida Humanities Series is presented by The Emerson Center at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Vero Beach. Six acclaimed speakers and performers will appear at the Center through March 2017, with all presentations relating to Florida history, people, and culture. Admission to each event is free and all performances begin at 7 p.m. 

Looking ahead at the Humanities Series’ upcoming speakers, their topics, and performance dates: author Jay Barnes will address “When the Wind Blows: Florida’s Hurricane History” on November 9, 2017; the Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society will perform “Christmas and All That Jazz” on December 14, 2017; Sean Sexton addresses the topic “Local Legends: The Sexton Family” (part of the Treasure Coast History Festival) on January 11,  2018; actor Ersula Knox-Odom will perform “The Voice of Mary McLeod Bethune” on February 1,  2018: and local journalist Janie Gould will speak on “Global Events That Touched Florida: Great Depression Through Cold War” on March 29, 2018.

This series is sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council ( with funds from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs. Marine Bank and Trust Company provides additional funding.

The capacity of the Emerson Center is more than 800. Free admission will be offered on a first-come first-served basis. The Emerson Center is handicap accessible and is conveniently located at 1590 27th Avenue, on the SE corner of 16th Street and 27th Avenue in Vero Beach. For more information, contact the Emerson box office at 772-778-5249

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