Last week the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) and Kershaw’s Challenge, in partnership with the city of Compton and MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation (MLB-MLBPA), unveiled the completion of phase one of a multi-million dollar Dodgers Dreamfields complex at Gonzales Park.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on the 74th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier.
“The weight of a pandemic and calls for social justice magnify the importance of an already impactful Jackie Robinson Day,” LADF CEO Nichol Whiteman said. “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.”
The Dodgers Dreamfields at Gonzales Park feature three fields with new playing surfaces, fencing, dugouts, irrigation upgrades, lighting, paint and scoreboards.
“As we celebrate the legacy of Jackie Robinson, Kershaw’s Challenge is proud to partner with LADF to restore Gonzales Park to its baseball glory and create a welcoming environment for all ages,” Clayton Kershaw said.
“What was once baseball heaven became a challenging place to play, making the sport inaccessible to kids in the neighborhood. With these hurdles in mind, Ellen and I are honored to help make a difference.”
Kershaw was among those on hand in February 2019 for the groundbreaking ceremony at Gonzales Park. The site includes a “Field 42” that is designed baseball and softball players ages 5-8, “Rachel Robinson Field” for baseball players ages 9-12 and softball players ages 9-18, and “Jackie Robinson Stadium” designed for baseball players ages 13+ and collegiate play.
The stadium features new safety netting from Dodger Stadium and a refurbished grandstand area with new railings, foundation and walkways. The “Kershaw’s Challenge Training and Fitness Zone” consists of two batting cages, two bullpens, a practice infield, and outdoor fitness equipment.
In partnership with Science of Sport and Edison International, LADF’s Science of Baseball outdoor classroom will introduce the science, math, and physics of the game to everyone that uses the facility.
Dodgers Dreamfields goal
After fulfilling a 15-year goal to construct 50 Dodgers Dreamfields locations, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation set a new target of reaching 75 by 2033. Gonzales Park represents Dodgers Dreamfields Nos. 55, 56 and 57.
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