It may not have the three-syllable, well-known, historical name anymore, but its authenticity is still intended to honor the history of Major League Baseball. The Jackie Robinson Baseball Training Complex, formerly known as Dodgertown, is going through a rebranding process, and what they have going on is monumental in its own way. Businesses, non-profits, and locals in the community are supportive of what the newly named Complex brings to Vero Beach.
Among those businesses is Star Suites by Riverside Theatre, which is located literally walking distance from the Complex. The contemporary extended-stay hotel opened in March 2019 and is where stars performing in shows, performances, and events at Riverside Theatre stay, and also serves as an overflow facility to teams that are playing at the Complex. While the baseball-savvy campus has 89 villas, in the peak of their season, they need additional rooms for their teams. Star Suites is comprised of 60 suites, complete with separate areas to sleep, work, and relax.
Also open to the public, the hotel also offers a fitness center, Garden Terrace, Clubhouse, and a pool.
“It’s a great relationship to have with them,” said Rachelle Madrigal, Managing Director for the Jackie Robinson Baseball Training Complex. “Star Suites is within walking distance, right at our back door. A golf cart ride away.”
New to the east coast baseball scene, but not new to baseball, Madrigal is excited to be apart of the rebranding process of the Complex.
“The vision here is to make this facility a hub for the MLB youth programs,” Madrigal explained. “We want to provide baseball to underserved populations, and here, we can do that. It’s such a great setup in that it’s all inclusive.”
The complex was home of the RBI World Series earlier this year, and the games were broadcast live online through the MLB. RBI – Revising Baseball in Inner Cities, is comprised of over 200 teams worldwide, according to Madrigal.
Though folks in the Vero Beach community who have been here over a decade or two will likely always refer to the newly named Complex as “Dodgertown,” there’s no denying that baseball is still the height of excitement when at the facility. They have year-round training, games, events, and competitions, with summertime being the time that they host the majority of their MLB youth program.
“Dodgertown was the Disneyland of baseball… I fell so in love with it, I now make my home in Vero Beach.”Former Dodgers outfielder and now team broadcaster Rick Monday
Former Dodgers outfielder Rick Monday fell in love with Dodgertown and the Vero Beach community that he now resides in the area. On the Dodgertown website, he’s quoted as calling it “The Disneyland of baseball.”
And for the plethora of youth baseball players from around the world that get the opportunity to stay and play at the Complex, it is likely that it is their own version of Disneyland.
For more information about upcoming events at the Complex, visit www.jackierobinsontrainingcomplex.com. From there you will be redirected to the Historic Dodgertown site, but Madriga says the transition to its new name is in the works.
I earned my bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Central Florida, and my bachelor's in nursing from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, GA. I certainly embrace my experience as a nurse (and have experience as a firefighter and EMT as well), however my passion has always been in the field of journalism. I thoroughly enjoy writing and making words come to life.
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