The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation unveiled its phase one completion of a multi-million dollar Dodgers Dreamfields complex at Gonzales Park in Compton on Jackie Robinson Day.
LADF partnered with the City of Compton, Kershaw’s Challenge and the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation to support youth baseball and softball with upgrades to the Dodger Dreamfields at Gonzalez Park, which feature three fields (Field 42, Rachel Robinson Field and Jackie Robinson Stadium) with new playing surfaces, fencing, dugouts, irrigation renovations, lighting, paint and scoreboards. The project also included LADF’s Science of Baseball outdoor classroom and the Kershaw’s Challenge Training and Fitness Zone.
A ribbon-cutting event highlighted this year’s return to youth sports after the COVID-19 quarantine.
“The weight of a pandemic and calls for social justice magnify the importance of an already impactful Jackie Robinson Day,” said Nichol Whiteman, CEO of LADF. “In celebration of a legacy rooted in service, LADF has amplified its efforts to serve LA’s most vulnerable populations. With a history of dwindling resources and support, Compton deserves exceptional recreation spaces and comprehensive tools to thrive.”
Field 42 is designed for baseball and softball players ages 5–8. Rachel Robinson Field is for baseball players ages 9–12 and softball players ages 9–18. Jackie Robinson Stadium is for baseball players ages 13 and up and collegiate play, and includes new safety netting from Dodger Stadium and refurbished grandstand area with new railings, foundation and walkways.
The Kershaw’s Challenge Training and Fitness Zone features two batting cages, two bullpens, a practice infield and outdoor fitness equipment. The Science of Baseball outdoor classroom will introduce the science, math, and physics of the game to everyone that uses the facility.
“The upgrades to Gonzales Park will positively impact the Compton community, especially our youth, for years to come,” said Mayor Aja Brown. “We thank the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation for their commitment and investment to restore Jackie Robinson Stadium, and we look forward to their continued partnership as we collectively invest in Compton youth and families.”
Since 2003, LADF has refurbished 51 Dodgers Dreamfields and invested more than $10.6 million throughout the Greater Los Angeles area, providing 360,000 kids access to playable baseball and softball fields. In 2019, LADF partnered with the City of Compton to revive youth baseball and softball through its Dodgers RBI program.
Gonzales Park, named after Ramon Gonzales, a local business owner who raised money to build ballfields, has been known for the large amount of Major League caliber talent that it nurtured, such as Eddie Murray, John Young, Hubie Brooks, Ozzie Smith, Eric Davis, Darryl Strawberry, Duke Snider, Kenny Landreaux, and more.
Phase two of the project will be unveiled in the fall of 2021 and will include solar arrays, PV carports, EV charging stations, locker rooms, concession stands, press box, ADA paths and restrooms.
LADF unveils phase one completion of Dodgers Dreamfields project on Jackie Robinson Day was originally published in Dodger Insider on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.