By Jessica Creagan
VERO BEACH -- Rebranding is nothing new to Craig Callan, but this newest rebranding effort has a lot of excitement for everyone involved.
Last week, Mr. Callan, vice president of Vero Beach Sports Village and Peter O'Malley, former Los Angeles Dodgers president and current partner in a joint venture investment at the sports facility, announced that legal permissions had finally come through so that the sports facility could once again use the name "Dodgertown."
"It's a great feeling, it's a great day," Mr. Callan said.
The state-of-the-art sports facility used by the Dodgers for 60 years, and more recently used for training camps by a variety of sports teams from around the country and world, will be known as "Historic Dodgertown - Vero Beach, Florida," Mr. O'Malley said.
The facility's logo is reminiscent of an older Dodger logo, a blue pennant with two points. The sports complex is being retro-fitted with its new name and the marketing of the facility for further sports teams and conferences are quickly being converted to the new logo and name, administration said.
In a press release, members of Indian River County leadership said they were very excited about the change and the hard work by Mr. O'Malley to restore the widely recognized name to Vero Beach.
"We are excited that going forward the site will be known as Historic Dodgertown - Vero Beach, Florida," said Joe Flescher, Indian River County Commission chairman.
"It embraces the rich tradition of the property and what it has stood for since 1948. We appreciate the leadership of Peter O'Malley to seek the new name, so it accurately reflects this community icon," he said.
"The name change will put us on the map again," said Mr. O'Malley at the press conference when the announcement was made.
In June, Mr. O'Malley's group worked with Indian River County, the owners of the 79-acre property and sports complex, to a lease agreement through April 2019.
Former members of the Dodgers organization gave statements in response to the "new" name for what they knew as Dodgertown.
"Dodgertown is a very, very special place," said Manny Mota, a former pinch-hitter for the Dodgers.
"Just hearing the word `Dodgertown' brings back a lot of great memories. I cherish the time I got to spend there with Walter O'Malley and the entire O'Malley family.
"I have great respect and admiration for the O'Malley family. A few years ago I asked my wife where she wanted to go on vacation and she said `Dodgertown'" he said.
Former Dodgers all-star second baseman, major league manager and now Dodgers' coach Davey Lopes also commented.
"Dodgertown was ahead of its time as a baseball training complex. Dodgertown was Vero Beach," Mr. Lopes said.
Vin Scully, Dodgers' Hall of Fame broadcaster, said, "No other place in the world holds as many memories for me as Dodgertown."
For more information, visit www.historicdodgertown.com.