After 40 years, Callan announces retirement from Historic Dodgertown

Craig Callan

Historic Dodgertown Vice President Craig Callan announced today he is retiring after his 40-year career. Callan began his career April 25, 1978 and will be retiring four decades to the day that he started his first job at the world-famous training and conference center.

“I have loved representing the Dodgers in Vero Beach and Indian River County,” said Callan. “Working for the O’Malley family gave me the opportunity to interact with other community leaders and serve on numerous boards while overseeing my various responsibilities at Dodgertown. Retiring gives me the opportunity to spend quality time with my family and friends, but I will miss my Dodgertown family and support given to me from Peter O’Malley and his sister, Terry O’Malley Seidler, numerous Dodger executives and Pat O’Conner, President and CEO of Minor League Baseball. Any success that I have achieved is a direct result of them.” 

Historic Dodgertown Chairman Peter O’Malley said, “Craig Callan has devoted his adult life to leading, managing and enhancing Historic Dodgertown and he deserves tremendous credit for how this renowned training and conference center looks today. Craig is a community treasure and I’m happy that he and his family will continue to enjoy living in Vero Beach.”

Historic Dodgertown Vice President Craig Callan and and CEO Peter O’Malley.

Callan arrived at Dodgertown in 1978, working for Harrison Conference Centers in New York as General Manager of Sports and Dodgertown Conference Center. In spring 1988, he became Director, Dodgertown working directly for the Dodgers, responsible for the year-round Sports and Conference Center; Single-A Florida State League Vero Beach Dodgers; and the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Dodgers. He supervised all aspects of Spring Training at Dodgertown, as well as the majority of 53 Dodger Adult Baseball Camps.

In 1990 and 1997, Callan managed the development of Dodgertown, including upgrades to the campus, new major and minor league clubhouses, umpire room, new indoor batting cages, media room and expanded office space. In 2002, he was named Vice President, Spring Training & Minor League Facilities and he directed the addition of a 30,000-square foot building behind iconic Holman Stadium’s right field area, including state-of-the-art clubhouses and Dodger executive offices. His expanded duties included overseeing the Dodgers’ Campo Las Palmas training facility in the Dominican Republic and as liaison with all Dodger minor league affiliates.

Prior to their 2001 sale to the local community, he also oversaw the Dodgertown Golf Club and Dodger Pines Country Club, plus 60 acres of citrus groves.

Dodgertown was named the best Spring Training site in Major League Baseball three times by Baseball America (1993, 1998 and 2003).

In 2008, the Dodgers moved their Spring Training home to Glendale, AZ and Dodgertown shuttered. After being closed for five months, Callan was instrumental in its May 2009 reopening, with Minor League Baseball at the helm transforming it into a multi-sport training center called “Vero Beach Sports Village.” But following years of heavy losses, MiLB was about to shutter the facility a second time in 2011. That is when O’Malley and his partners stepped up to save the site, taking leadership in 2012 and effected a name change to “Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida.” More fields were added, including the quad for softball and youth baseball, a three-acre multi-sports field for use in football, soccer and lacrosse training and games.

Callan was also the driving force behind the design, construction and opening of the Dodgers’ spring training camp at Camelback Ranch in Glendale in 2009.

In 2004, Dodgertown was damaged by Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, but Callan and his staff worked tirelessly to bring the complex back to normal for Spring Training operations just three months later. Following that, he received the “Key to the City of Vero Beach.” Always involved in community service and philanthropic activities, Callan was named Treasure Coast Citizen of the Year in 1998; Vero Beach Police Department Citizen of the Year in 1995; and Florida Irish-American Society Irishman of the Year in 2001. Callan has served as President, United Way of Indian River County and on several boards in the community including Vero Beach Chamber of Commerce, Samaritan Center, Council of 100 of Indian River County, the Civic Leadership Program and Gifford Youth Community Center, among others.

In 2014, Historic Dodgertown was named as a Florida Heritage Landmark for its significance beyond baseball, the first fully-integrated MLB Spring Training site in the South. The following year, Historic Dodgertown was recognized as “Large Company of the Year” by the Indian River Chamber of the Commerce. Professional teams from Asia have trained 25 times at Historic Dodgertown.

Callan and his wife, Cynthia, and son, Liam, reside in Vero Beach and are also proud grandparents of Corliss Rose.

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