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Campo Las Palmas celebrates 20th anniversary
03/21/2007 12:53 PM ET
GUERRA, Dominican Republic -- The Los Angeles Dodgers' baseball academy in the Dominican Republic, Campo Las Palmas, enters its 21st year of helping develop future Dodgers. Campo Las Palmas, which opened its doors 20 years ago today on March 21, 1987, was the first-of-its kind facility and has since been replicated by numerous teams throughout baseball.

"Twenty years ago, Campo Las Palmas set the standard for baseball development in Latin American countries," said Dodger Owner and Chairman Frank McCourt. "As we renew our commitment to developing young players and bringing them up through our minor league system, Campo Las Palmas will play an integral role in the future of the Dodger organization."

Among the long time staff is Eleodoro Arias, who serves as the director of Campo Las Palmas and has been with the club since 1985. Arias oversees the development of Dodger prospects each year. Longtime Dodger executive Ralph Avila joined the club in 1971 and is currently the Senior Advisor, Latin American Scouting, actively leading Dodgers' scouting operations throughout Latin America.

"We have a dedicated staff that continues to focus on furthering the two-decade old academy through innovative programs both in baseball instruction and in American cultural and language education," said Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti. "Campo Las Palmas has produced some incredibly major league players and we are going to build on this great tradition."

Campo Las Palmas is located in the town of Guerra, just east of the Dominican Republic's capital city of Santo Domingo. It is located on 75 acres of land and 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.

Among the notable alumni currently on the Dodgers' 40-man roster is Tony Abreu, while others to reach the Major Leagues from Campo Las Palmas are former Dodgers Willy Aybar, Franquelis Osoria, Adrian Beltre, Pedro Martinez, Raul Mondesi and Pedro Astacio, among others.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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