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Confronting Barriers - Academies


The Dodgers hired Cuban-born Ralph Avila as a scout in 1970. Two years later, Los Angeles assigned him to the Dominican Republic, where he became a leader in creating the modern academy system.

Radar gun and stopwatch used by Ralph Avila beginning in the early 1970s

In 1987, the Los Angeles Dodgers opened Campo Las Palmas, Ralph Avila's visionary Dominican baseball academy. His many major league signees included Pedro and Ramón Martínez, Raul Mondesi and José Offerman. Plaque honoring Ralph Avila's contributions in the creation of Campo Las Palmas

Today, nearly all major league teams have a presence in the Dominican, making baseball second only to tourism as the country's biggest industry. Ralph Avila received this medal when the Dominican president knighted him for his role in advancing baseball.