From raising the first banner in 1948, to six World Championship teams and 60 years of Dodger baseball, to the thousands of pro, amateur and youth teams and corporate groups that use the campus today, the memories from Historic Dodgertown can more than fill a stadium.
Historic Dodgertown is pleased to announce its 70th anniversary this year, and to celebrate is introducing a special edition anniversary logo, offering tours and more.
When first opened, Dodgertown executives Walter O’Malley and Branch Rickey transformed the former Naval Air Station to Major League Baseball’s first fully-integrated Spring Training facility in the South. And from the organization that integrated baseball, the groundbreaking, visionary model to grow the game on-and-off-the-field was on its way, with Dodgertown often rolling out the welcome mat.
Progress continued at Dodgertown, and in 1953 Walter privately built Holman Stadium (65 years ago) to honor Bud Holman, the prominent local business leader and Airport Director who was responsible for attracting the Dodgers to Vero Beach. The stadium remains in use today for games and training as well as the annual Jackie Robinson Celebration Game every April 15.
Peter O’Malley continued in his father’s footsteps to grow the game and build goodwill by inviting international professional and collegiate teams and executives to observe and study American baseball. Under the O’Malley’s leadership, Dodgertown welcomed professional teams from Asia on more than 25 occasions. He also expanded and enhanced Dodgertown with new and renovated buildings, such as the conference center, batting cages and administrative offices. In 2012 O’Malley became Chairman of Historic Dodgertown.
To honor Historic Dodgertown’s 70th anniversary milestone and to launch the year-long celebration, Historic Dodgertown has introduced a special edition anniversary logo, announced dates for guided tours on select dates next month, is offering commemorative merchandise in the gift shop, and is making available for download or print a special anniversary section in the Visitor Guide.
Anniversary Logo – The anniversary logo features elements representative of Historic Dodgertown, including palm trees seen throughout the property and at Holman Stadium, and the “70” in red to honor Dodger and the former Vero Beach Dodgers (single-A affiliate) uniforms.
Guided Walking Tours – The guided walking tours will take place on Sunday, March 4 at 2 p.m. and Tuesday, March 6 at 9:30 a.m. Gate admission is $5 per person, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to Dodgertown Elementary School. Reservations will be taken on first-come, first-serve basis, and can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The walking tour will give guests an insider’s view from when the Dodgers trained here, with access to the Jackie Robinson Room, Championship Hall, Stadium Club Lounge, Holman Stadium and more. The outdoor and indoor tour will last approximately 60 minutes. Please wear comfortable shoes.
Commemorative Merchandise – T-shirts, coffee mugs and magnets with the commemorative 70th anniversary logo are for sale at Historic Dodgertown’s gift shop, with many more items by which to remember your visit.
70th Anniversary Special Section in the Visitor Guide – The special section tells the story of how the former Naval Air Station, closed following WWII, became the model for future Major League Baseball Spring Training sites. The Visitor Guide also includes a schedule of 2018 tournaments and events, a comprehensive history section, an international goodwill page, and features Historic Dodgertown sponsors. Visitor Guides are free and available at Historic Dodgertown, or the guide and special section can be accessed digitally by clicking here.
The winning tradition established in 1948 continues today with professional, amateur and youth games and training in the sports of baseball, softball, football, soccer, rugby, lacrosse and land training for water sports, plus year-round corporate meetings and community events.
It is a remarkable story about a special place. For fans visiting Historic Dodgertown, they can know they are walking and playing on hallowed ground.