Historic Dodgertown Mourns the Passing of former Little League Baseball President Dr. Creighton Hale
VERO BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2017) — Dr. Creighton Hale, the longtime Little League President and CEO, passed away last night. A frequent visitor to Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Florida, Dr. Hale played a significant role in the growth of youth baseball internationally. He attended numerous exhibition games and St. Patrick’s Day parties at Dodgertown. Dr. Hale’s many friends in Vero Beach mourn his passing.
Historic Dodgertown Chairman Peter O’Malley, a longtime Little League Foundation Trustee and President of the Little League Foundation from 1991-2002, said, “My father and I had the greatest admiration for Dr. Creighton Hale and we both served as Trustees on the Little League Foundation Board. Dr. Hale was a pioneer and his vision to innovate equipment for safety was internationally recognized. His passion for growing inner-city baseball was instrumental in giving more children an opportunity to enjoy playing our national pastime. Our thoughts are with Mrs. Hale and their family.”
About Dr. Hale
Dr. Hale was only the second full-time Little League President, from 1973-1994. He was appointed CEO in 1983. Dr. Hale built and ran the world’s largest youth sports organization with 2 million participants in 80 countries. From 1994-2001, he served as special advisor to Little League President and CEO Stephen D. Keener. From Hardy, Nebraska, Dr. Hale first joined the Little League Program in 1955 as Director of Research. In 1953, he was an associate professor of Physiology at Springfield College studying “safety requirements of Little League Baseball and the effects of athletic competition on young boys.” He had received his Doctorate Degree (specializing in the physiology of muscular activity) from New York University.
On Sept. 12, 1986, Dr. Hale was part of a delegation that attended dedication ceremonies for “Dodger Baseball Field,” privately built by O’Malley, in the People’s Republic of China at the Tianjin Institute of Physical and Cultural Education. Li Menghua, Minister-Commissioner for Physical Culture and Sports of the People’s Republic of China and President of the Chinese Olympic Committee, presided at opening ceremonies.
On June 27, 1988, O’Malley and Dr. Hale were in Tokyo for the announcement that the first Little League Baseball field in the People’s Republic of China would be constructed in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. The arrangements were a gift to Little League by former Mitsui Chairman Tatsuzo Mizukami. On July 4, 1990, the dedication ceremonies for the first-ever Mitsui Little League Baseball Friendship Field were held in Guangzhou, as both Dr. Hale and O’Malley, a Little League Foundation Trustee, participated.
On January 18, 1992, Dr. Hale attended the opening of “Little League Friendship Field” in Managua, Nicaragua, privately built by O’Malley. Nicaraguan President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro participated in the ceremonies.
On June 27, 1994, Dr. Hale, Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, legendary USC baseball coach Rod Dedeaux and O’Malley traveled to Beijing, China to encourage Little League Baseball in that country. The delegation met with Wu Zhaozu, Minister of Sports; He Zhenliang, President of the Chinese Olympic Committee; and We Ming, responsible for all sports in China, including the China Baseball Association, to support the growing youth baseball program.
On July 4, 1998, Dr. Hale was also with O’Malley for the opening of two baseball fields, donated by O’Malley, at Corkagh Demesne Park in Clondalkin, West Dublin, Ireland. One was an international standard Little League Field (“O’Malley Little League Field”) and the other a regulation-sized adult field (“Dodger Baseball Field”).
Photo caption: Peter O’Malley (far right) privately built two baseball fields in Ireland, opened on July 4, 1998. Jean Kennedy Smith, U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, throws the ceremonial first pitch (center). O’Malley is joined (L-R) by Aldo Notari, President of the International Baseball Federation; Dr. Creighton Hale, special advisor to Little League Baseball; Ed Piszek, Little League Foundation Trustee; and Rod Dedeaux, legendary baseball coach at USC.