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Dodgertown

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Dodgertown, located in Vero Beach, FL, was the training complex of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers, from 1948 to 2008. The complex includes four full-sized practice fields, two additional infields, several dozen bullpens and a stadium, known as Holman Stadium. In addition, there are numerous other facilities within Dodgertown, including dormitories, a motel, a conference center, tennis courts and a pool. In that sense, it was a forerunner of the modern spring training complexes at a time when most teams simply had the use of a local ballpark, with no other specialized facilities, and minor leaguers were segregated from those on the major league roster. Dodgertown in contrast allowed everyone in the organization to train together, instilling strong organizational values and a sense of purpose.

Holman Stadium was the home of the Vero Beach Devil Rays of the Florida State League through the 2008 FSL season. The complex was also the home of the Gulf Coast Dodgers of the Gulf Coast League. The GCL Dodgers moved to the Arizona League in 2009. The Dodgers moved their entire Florida Operations Department to Arizona that same year. The Vero Beach FSL franchise moved to Port Charlotte for the start of the 2009 season.

In risk of being demolished the complex found a new life as a training facility for college and high school teams, with various northern schools coming down to use its facilities in the spring in order to prepare for the collegiate season. Former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley was behind the effort to ensure the complex did not fall into ruins, taking over the complex in 2013 with the help of the municipality of Vero Beach. O'Malley was also able to secure the use of its historic name for the facility, greatly helping its attractiveness (it had been called the "Vero Beach Sports Village" from 2009 to 2013).

[edit] Further Reading

  • Rody Johnson: The Rise and Fall of Dodgertown: 60 Years of Baseball in Vero Beach, University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2008.

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