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.
Also, on Dodgertown’s new name and new purpose for a new generation in Vero Beach: https://t.co/tCqA5gUDfE
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) April 4, 2019
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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