Under the leadership of Peter O’Malley, President of the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1970-1998, the Dodgers made nine postseason appearances; captured five National League Pennants; won the 1981 and 1988 World Championships; had the best record in the N.L; won the Topps’ Minor League Organization of the Year award four times; and had five consecutive N.L. Rookies of the Year from 1992-96.
From 2012-18, O’Malley was Chairman, Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida, the site of Dodger Spring Training camps from 1948-2008. It was announced in December, 2018 that Major League Baseball would succeed O’Malley and become responsible with a long-term commitment to lease from Indian River County. On April 2, 2019, MLB renamed the site “Jackie Robinson Training Complex”.
In 1948, Dodgertown became MLB’s first fully-integrated spring training site in the South. On March 31, 1948, Jackie Robinson homered in the first Dodger game played at Dodgertown. All the Dodgers were housed and dined together on property. In 1962, as Director, Dodgertown, O’Malley integrated Holman Stadium, some seven years before Vero Beach public schools were integrated.
After the Dodgers’ final Spring Training in 2008, when the team moved to Arizona, Indian River County-owned Dodgertown was shuttered. It was reactivated by Minor League Baseball the next year. In late 2011, O’Malley stepped in when Dodgertown was about to be shuttered for a second time and saved the year-round, multi-sport training site. Professional, amateur and youth teams stay, play and dine together while enjoying the unique, campus-like environment.
O’Malley succeeded his father, Walter, the Baseball Hall of Fame executive, as Dodger president on March 17, 1970. During his presidency, Dodger Stadium was renowned for its beauty, family-friendly ticket prices and a clean, safe environment for fans, who attended in major league record numbers. On three occasions, the Dodgers were selected as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America.” They were the only sports franchise designated with that honor, twice in book form and once in Fortune. O’Malley was featured on the April 12, 1982 cover of Forbes.
O’Malley’s commitment to the worldwide growth of baseball is unparalleled, including his historic international player signings of Mexico’s Fernando Valenzuela, Australia’s Craig Shipley, South Korea’s Chan Ho Park and Japan’s Hideo Nomo. In 1987, O’Malley created “Campo Las Palmas” a model state-of-the-art baseball academy, opened in the Dominican Republic. He privately built youth and adult baseball fields in Tianjin, People’s Republic of China (1986); Managua, Nicaragua (1992); and Dublin, Ireland (1998).
O’Malley was a member of the board of directors named to the L.A. Olympic Organizing Committee for the 1984 Olympic Games and a driving force advocating the inclusion of baseball as a demonstration sport in the 1984 Games. The Dodgers hosted the sold-out exhibition tournament at Dodger Stadium, which provided momentum for the sport to earn gold medal status in 1992.
On July 8, 2015, O’Malley received the significant honor from the government of Japan as he was awarded “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon,” conferred by Emperor Akihito. There is no higher award to a non-Japanese civilian and it was in recognition of the contributions O’Malley has made for 60 years to promoting goodwill through baseball between Japan and the United States.