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Pro baseball returns to Vero Beach — for a day

Holman Stadium

Worth the trip: the High Class A Florida State League Brevard County Manatees and Lakeland Flying Tigers are playing a single game at Historic Dodgertown’s Holman Stadium on Tuesday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m. in celebration of Jackie Robinson Day in baseball.

This will be the first time that a Florida State League game will be played at Holman Stadium since August 30, 2008. Dodgertown formerly hosted spring training for the Brooklyn Dodgers and then the Los Angeles Dodgers between 1948 and 2008 before the team shifted spring operations to Arizona. Today Dodgertown is managed by former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley 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.

“Historic Dodgertown is truly the cradle of baseball’s racial integration,” said Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O’Conner. “The activities on those hallowed grounds and the exploits of Jackie Robinson changed not only baseball, but America and the world.

“There is no more fitting tribute to Jackie Robinson’s legacy and Historic Dodgertown’s place in history than to play a professional baseball game in Vero Beach on April 15. I applaud the efforts of Peter O’Malley and the Florida State League in giving Minor League Baseball a role in the celebration.”

“We would like to thank the Lakeland Flying Tigers for participating in this year’s Jackie Robinson Day event,” said Manatees General Manager Kyle Smith. “There is no greater way to pay homage to Mr. Robinson than to play the game he loved at Historic Dodgertown.

“Historic Dodgertown is thrilled to host a regular season Florida State League game between the Manatees and Flying Tigers,” said Historic Dodgertown VP Brady Ballard. “This is a great community event that brings professional baseball back to Holman Stadium for a night and provides an exciting event to benefit the United Way of Indian River County. We would like to thank both teams and their management, the Brewers and Tigers organizations, the Florida State League and Minor League Baseball for helping to bring this event to Vero Beach.”

Holman Stadium is a classic throwback spring-training facility, with no dugouts (players sat on benches) and a ton of ambiance.

Image from Los Angeles Dodgers spring-training game in 2007.


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