MLB Assumes Ownership of Dodgertown, Gives It A New Name

Back in November of 2018, Major League Baseball finalized a lease-agreement to assume control of historic Dodgertown. Now, the Vero Beach has a new purpose, and name.

J.P. Hoornstra has a report over at the Los Angeles Daily News well worth a read.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the legendary complex will now be called ‘Jackie Robinson Training Complex’. Many big names in baseball flew to the site for the announcement of the big changes.

Years of talks culminated when MLB took operational control of Historic Dodgertown on Jan. 2. Tuesday, its new name was revealed: The Jackie Robinson Training Complex. Commissioner Rob Manfred flew in from New York to announce the change. Peter O’Malley and his sister, Terry O’Malley Seidler, flew in from California. Jackie Robinson’s family – wife Rachel, daughter Sharon, son David – flew in from all over; David Robinson lives in Africa.

But what will be done with Dodgertown now that it no longer houses the Dodgers?

Along with the new name came a new mission statement. MLB dedicated the facility as “a year-round hub of amateur development initiatives and events designed to diversify and strengthen the talent pipelines of baseball and softball.” A preliminary slate of five summer events was announced. Former major league players and coaches will work with participants during at least one event, the Hank Aaron Invitational, from July 21-Aug. 2. The league will not charge players and their families for participating – a deliberate response to the expensive travel ball circuit that typically excludes youth from low-income backgrounds.

Honestly, it’s great to see such a rich, diverse, and historic site maintained and still flush with baseball activity. Since my childhood, I remember hearing stories in the spring time about the site. It’s obvious after reading Hoornstra’s article that the players had an attachment with the facility for good reason. It was a huge part of Blue Heaven.

The terms of the lease with Major League Baseball are set to be for a 10-year pact, with three-five year options tacked on.

Dodgers Nation Memories of Dodgerstown

What are your memories of historic Dodgertown? Did you ever make a trip to Vero Beach? Let us know your story or memory in the comments section below!

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  1. My brother and I went in 1994 and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Access to the players was amazing. They walked the same route as the public from the locker rooms to the game field. It was a great place for Spring Training.

  2. I get it but dogertown put vero beach on the map. I lived there from 74-00. Saw many many of single A games and spring training. Met many of up and coming major leaguers. Very found memories of conversations with them. They should have kept the dodgetown name and named the field Jackie Robinson field. I’m glad to see it’s being put to good use.

  3. Went to Vero a couple of times. Beautiful complex…..cozy……not like Glendale which feels more like any typical MLB stadium……Best part of Vero………you could walk around the grounds pretty much unimpeded and talk with the players as they went back and forth during practices and games. The stands were so close to the playing field you could talk to the players who we’re on deck and along the foul line areas, nothing separating you there but a small chain link fence. It was Dodger heaven……..Glendale killed that feeling.