Mi Hermano Domincano

It is good to be back with Ralph Avila.  I want to re-welcome Ralph to the Dodger organization, as he has dedicated his life to baseball, and spent so many wonderful years as a Dodger.

Many years ago, Peter O’Malley called upon Ralph to design and operate a baseball Ralph_avila academy in the Dominican Republic.  This academy was the first of its kind, and has changed the face of baseball forever.  Now, most teams have at the very least a presence in the Dominican, and try to sign and develop young talent year-round.  Ralph was a pioneer, and is responsible for the development of many Dodgers. 

Ralph opened the doors to Campo Las Palmas just over 20 years ago on March 21, 1987.  It is located in the town of Guerra, just east of the Dominican Republic’s capital city of Santo Domingo.  At breakfast this morning, Ralph was recounting the trip he took with Peter O’Malley when they found the land on which it now sits. 

It has since been replicated by numerous teams throughout baseball. Located on 75 acres of land, the academy is equipped with two full and two half baseball fields, a dining room, kitchen, recreation room and two two-story dormitories that accommodate up to 100 players.

In addition to their baseball instruction, Dodger prospects receive academic instruction, including English lessons. There are also lessons on American culture and assistance in dealing with situations that will confront the players when they arrive in the United States.

Here is a partial list of the 29 players that made the big leagues who developed at Campo Las Pamlas under Ralph’s leadership:

Pedro Martinez, Mariano Duncan, Jose Offerman, Raul Mondesi, Ramon Martinez, Omar Daal, Ismael Valdez, Pedro Astacio, Alfredo Gonzalez, Angel Pena, Jose Vizciano, Henry Rodriguez, Miguel Cairo, Roger Cedeno and Henry Blanco, Franquelis Osoria and Felix Rodriguez.

7 Comments

Im so proud to be a Dodger!

I love our deep and storied tradition. I get that warm fuzzy feeling when I think about how, Our Dodgers, have consistantly led the way; pioneers, visionaries.

I love everything about our team, nay, our family: Brooklyn, Hall of Famers, Jackie Robinson and racism, World Series appearances, World Series TITLES, taking risks and moving to Los Angeles, the man – Walter O’Malley, one of the first teams to go international, our one of a kind stadium, and the list goes on.

Mr. Lasorda….I can’t have anything but respect for not only you, but for the whole family, including the fans.

I enjoyed your post about Ralph Avila and Campo de las Palmas. May I correct one small error? Raul’s last name is MONDESI, not Mondeci, as you had it. (I’m sure it’s a typo )

Raul is one of my favorite all-time Dodgers. I’m sorry he didn’t finish his career with us.

Mondesi could have & should have been a great Dodger to bad “bad influences” took the best of him. In any regard when he was with the Dodgers he was a dandy! awesome arm, speed, power, hit for average & great D.

I guess Tommy is really busy because he hasn’t updated his blog in about a week!!?

Perhaps by far the biggest mistake the Dodgers have made in the past few years ? a mistake which is still costing them dearly ? is to have let Beltre go. In my view, Beltre is not doing well in Seattle only because he wants to be in LA., as he himself hinted to the LA sportswriters during Seattle?s last visit to LA. The Dodgers desperately need his power and his presence would greatly improve the entire team. He is obviously doing Seattle no good, so why is he not back with the Dodgers? Is anyone in the Dodgers front-office making an effort to get him back?

I had the chance to visit Las Palmas last year on a tour and it was paradise. Talked with young players and saw the gallery with all of the famous players that have passed through the academy. Fantastic. Check out the tours a dominican-baseball-tours.com

I will be in the DR in Nov 06. How can an individual visit Campo Las Palmas? I cannot make the multi-day organized tour, but would like to visit the facility and talk with locals. It is just a Senior Fling for me.
Thanks,

REY

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