In his 2015 book, “101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out”, author Josh Pahigian ranks world-famous Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida as Number 35 of 101 on the must-see list. Pahigian highly ranks such iconic places as the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, the Little League World Series complex in Williamsport, PA and Boston’s Fenway Park. He devotes three pages to Historic Dodgertown.
Of Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, a year-round, multi-sport training and conference center, Pahigian writes, “After serving as the spring training home of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for more than six decades, the all-inclusive player-retreat Walter O’Malley and Branch Rickey created in the 1940s bid adieu to the spring game midway through the 2008 Grapefruit League season. But the tropical complex and quaint ballpark at its heart remain intact, thanks to a venture led by former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley and former Dodgers pitchers Hideo Nomo and Chan Ho Park…the centerpiece of Dodgertown was, and still is, Holman Stadium – one of the most delightful little ballparks pro ball has ever known, simply because there is so little about it that resembles a professional park.
“What you will notice is that the complex sees nearly year-round use now as starry-eyed youths, collegians, and adults play and practice on the very fields once graced by giants of the game like Pee Wee Reese, (Jackie) Robinson, (Don) Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, and Fernando Valenzuela.
Pahigian, who has appeared as an expert in baseball culture and travel on numerous television and radio programs and has written sports travel feature stories for ESPN.com, is also the author of five other books: “The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip” and “Why I Hate the Yankees” (with Kevin O’Connell); “The Ultimate Minor League Baseball Road Trip”; “Spring Training Handbook” and “The Seventh Inning Stretch”. He is a fellow in the University of New England Center for Global Humanities in Portland, Maine and previously wrote about Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida for ESPN.com.
“We are honored and thrilled to be included in the just published ‘101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out’,” said Historic Dodgertown Vice President Craig Callan. “Historic Dodgertown was recognized as a Florida Heritage Landmark in November 2014 because of its history of Spring Training integration and inclusiveness.”
The book is published by Lyons Press, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield, and distributed by National Book Network. Purchase on Amazon.
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.