2022 marks the 25th season that Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium has been home to professional baseball, and its fans have much to celebrate about their favorite ballpark.
Since opening in 1998, Roger Dean — named after the legendary local car dealer — has been the Spring Training home of three clubs: the Montreal Expos and, currently, the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals. Now, it’s also the only stadium that hosts four minor league teams: the Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, and the FCL Marlins and FCL Coast Cardinals of the Rookie-level Florida Complex League. Just like in years past, it’s the place to catch up-and-coming talent before they become megastars, all summer long.
To celebrate the 25th year of Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, here’s a look back at its storied history and all the exciting, unique features it has to offer. So, come out to a game this season to join the festivities.
Visit Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium’s website
to purchase tickets to an upcoming game!
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Chevrolet Stadium kicks off
By: Dan Reilly, for Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium
Roger Dean, who served in the Navy in World War II, opened his Chevrolet dealership in Palm Beach County after years of successfully selling cars for Ford. His daughter, Patty Dean, and her husband, Park Miller generously purchased the naming rights to the stadium when it opened. On why Patty wanted the naming rights:
In February of 1997, the stadium holds a groundbreaking ceremony to begin construction on the stadium. The stadium, and its facilities, becomes the heart of Abacoa as its first major development and accelerates more development at an incredible rate.
The ballpark opens, with the Expos and Cardinals sharing the complex. Major leaguer Cliff Politte threw the first pitch at the stadium, and legendary slugger Mark McGwire soon became the first player to hit a home run.
The stadium hosts the Florida State League All-Star Classic. Notable players included Kissimmee Cobras’ pitcher Tim Redding and Travis Wade, catcher Scott Chapman and infielder Royce Huffman. The Jupiter Hammerheads’ top outfield prospect Matt Cepicky and Dunedin Blue Jays’s star catcher Joe Lawrence also played in the game.
As part of the Marlins’ new ownership deal, they take over the Expos’ spot as one of the two teams to call Roger Dean home during the spring. The stadium is now one of only two ballparks in Florida that hosts multiple teams for Spring Training, and the only one in the country that hosts four minor league teams. Eric Reed, Denny Bautista and Chris Narveson are among many of the stars who played here before they got called up to the majors.
The stadium is selected to be one of the four venues to host the qualification rounds for the World Baseball Classic, which featured teams from Israel, France, South Africa and Spain for five days of baseball. The teams competed for a chance to play in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
The stadium’s suites are fully redesigned by tennis star Venus Williams’ design firm V Starr Interiors. The suites are decorated with Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals art and memorabilia.
The stadium hosts the Florida State All-Star League Game, the 58th all-star game for the former minor league. The game weekend was full of festivities, as it was the first time the all-star game was played in Jupiter since 2000. The South defeated the North, 2-0. Bradenton Marauders outfielder Travis Swaggerty hit a home run and the lights went out, which halted the game momentarily until they came back on!
The stadium celebrates 25 seasons of action-packed baseball and entertainment. Baseball fans reminisce about their favorite memories of the park and
look forward to many more.
- Patty Dean
We are proud of my father’s contributions to our community and are extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful facility. We invite everyone to come out and enjoy this season and all the ones to follow.