Last week, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF), in partnership with Kershaw’s Challenge and the City of Compton, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony at Gonzales Park to signal the beginning of construction on its largest Dodgers Dreamfields project to date.
Actor and Compton native Anthony Anderson served as emcee of the event, with Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation CEO Nichol Whiteman, Clayton Kershaw, and Ayo Robinson, granddaughter of Jackie Robinson, among those to speak.
The multi-million dollar renovation further continue the LADF’s partnership with the City of Compton to provide safe park access to 28,000 local youth under the age of 18. The Dodgers Dreamfields at Gonzales Park, Nos. 55, 56 and 57, will honor the Jackie Robinson family and revive baseball and softball play in the area among youth.
Specifically, “Field 42” will be designed for baseball and softball players ages 5-8, Rachel Robinson Field will be designed for baseball players ages 9-12 and softball players ages 9-18, and Jackie Robinson Stadium will be designed for baseball players ages 13 and over.
The project also includes Fitness and Training Zones, named for Kershaw’s Challenge, complete with an outdoor training area, two enclosed batting cages and bullpens, an infield practice area and outdoor fitness equipment.
“This is cool to get to be down here and see this” Kershaw said. “I’m here on behalf of Kershaw’s challenge and our incredible donors, so thank you to them. Thank y’all for being here today.
“When I look back and see the guys and girls that are going to get to play here, it’s a special thing. It’s really a special thing. Like Anthony and Nichol were talking about, baseball is not just a game. It’s an opportunity for so many people to get to do so many different things.”
The Dodgers Dreamfields at Gonzales Park will host the Dodgers RBI program and be the first set of fields to infuse STEM and LADF’s Science of Baseball curriculum, created with its grantee Science of Sports.
Gonzales Park also will be the first Dodgers Dreamfield location with significant energy efficient capabilities and solar features. The solar will include solar arrays on the fire station, community center, and Jackie Robinson Stadium parking lot, carports and electric vehicle charging stations, all complementing the solar scoreboards.
The project is another step toward the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation committing to reaching 75 Dreamfields by 2033. The target date was selected to represent the 75th anniversary of the team’s move to Los Angeles.
The announcement came on the heels of the LADF fulfilling a 15-year promise last February of reaching 50 Dodgers Dreamfields.
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