RAFAEL AVILA


Baseball
Los Angeles Dodgers
Vice-President
Instructor-Scout
Founder D.R. Baseball Academy
Dominican Republic
1997

Rafael Avila, involved with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a scout in Latin America since 1969, will join the Laredo Latin
American International Sports Hall of Fame this year. Avila, 72, a native Cuban, was promoted to fulltime Dodger scout in
1971, scouting South Florida. In 1972, he was scouting all Latin America, except Mexico. Avila, whose son, AI Avila, was
formerly an executive with the Florida Marlins and now assistant GM with the Detroit Tigers, moved to the Dominican
Republic in 1974. From '74 to 1986 Avila was Dodgers' scouting supervisor in Latin America .
Avila helped open the doors of U.S. pro baseball to hundreds of Latin American players. In 1986 he identified the site for
Campo Las Palmas and supervised the construction of the camp, which opened in 1987 as the National Academy of
Baseball at Campo Las Palmas. Avila was named a Dodgers vice president in 1988. Professor and author Alan Klein of
Northeastern University in Boston notes, "Until you watched him operate the Dodger Academy, you couldn't realize how
instrumental Ralph was in Dominican baseball. "He forged the Dodger presence into the elite academy it is. To a generation
of players and staff he was a consummate professional ; a superb evaluator and teacher, fair, tough, caring and a
devotee of Afro-Cuban music too. "A generation of Dominican players was better prepared for their baseball careers
having passed through his program ." Avila has been an amateur baseball instructor since the 1950s, working with
National Teams at the World Olympics level. He is also a member of the Dominican Republic Hall of Fame.