LOS ANGELES (January 31, 2014) – The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, in partnership with the LA84 Foundation, the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation and Hollywood Indies Little League dedicated its 32nd and 33rd Dodgers Dreamfields at Jesse Owens Park. Executive Director, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, Nichol Whiteman, Los Angeles County Supervisor, Second District, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Director, County of Los Angeles, Department of Parks and Recreation, Russ Guiney and Vice President, Grants and Programs, LA84 Foundation, Patrick Escobar were on hand for the event.
The Dreamfields dedication concluded the Dodgers’ 11th annual Community Service Caravan, Pitching in the Community, yesterday. Dodgers Mike Baxter, Nick Buss, Drew Butera, Carl Crawford, Tim Federowicz, Stephen Fife with wife Alyssa, Dee Gordon, Javy Guerra, Alex Guerrero, Kenley Jansen, Matt Magill with wife Melissa, Jarret Martin, Paco Rodriguez, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Justin Sellers, Scott Van Slyke, Brian Wilson, Yasiel Puig, Seth Rosin, assistant hitting coach John Valentin and broadcaster Charley Steiner participated in the dedication. At registration, each child received a Dodger cap, Dodger T-Shirt and Dodger #42 wristband in honor of Jackie Robinson’s birthday.
The brief program emceed by Steiner was followed by a one-hour youth baseball clinic. Puig, Federowicz, Van Slyke, Baxter and Valentin conducted a hitting clinic. Jansen, Wilson, Guerra, Ryu, Magill and Fife led a pitching clinic. Gordon, Crawford, Buss and Butera led a base running clinic and Rodriguez, Guerrero, Sellers, Rosin and Martin instructed in a fielding clinic. Crawford also addressed the youngsters prior to the clinic.
“We are two Dreamfields closer to our commitment of building 50 and remain focused on our goal of increasing baseball and softball participation but also promoting values in underserved communities,” said Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Executive Director Nichol Whiteman. “Dreamfields give us the opportunity to provide a place of play for youngsters in our community; they provide opportunity for healthy activity and become spaces where we can develop future leaders.”
“The LA84 Foundation is pleased to have partnered with the LA Dodgers Foundation and the County of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Department to improve two baseball fields at Jesse Owens Park. We encourage the boys and girls who live in the area to sign up with the local clubs and play ball on these fields,” said Patrick Escobar, LA84 Foundation Vice President of Grants & Programs.
Los Angeles County Supervisor, Second District Mark Ridley-Thomas added: “I would like to thank LA84 Foundation and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation for the investment they have made not only in this community, but in so many others around the Second District. Having safe and beautiful parks with brand new fields like this one, go a long way toward instilling positive values and healthy lifestyles.”
“We are grateful to the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and the LA84 Foundation for their support and partnership,” said Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation Director Russ Guiney. “The two new Dreamfields at Jesse Owens Park will provide young people in this community with amazing opportunities for healthy recreation and beautiful fields on which they can learn important values of teamwork and sportsmanship.”
“Twenty years ago I learned that County budget cuts had eliminated Little League baseball in historic South Central parks, where legendary players had played their first games. As a parent of three boys and a lifelong Dodger fan – I couldn’t sit by and let this happen. Together with close friends in the independent television and feature business – and Andrew Jackson and Art Jones from LA County Parks & Rec – we formed The Hollywood Indies Little League partnership that is about to celebrate the end of its second decade. Thousands of young kids and families have enjoyed Little League every summer since 1994. We forged a relationship with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation several years ago and cherish their participation. We couldn’t be more honored to be designated the 32nd and 33rd Dodger Dreamfields. For us it’s a Dream come true,” said Stan Brooks of Hollywood Indies Little League.
Jesse Owens Park’s two Dreamfields include a high school size and youth size baseball field. Field renovations include new chain link on existing backstops and side fencing, newly painted posts and rails, new dugout roofs and outfield fencing, renovated infield surface with laser grading and new infield mix, amended infield and outfield radii to establish a uniform perimeter edge. Laser grade and prep outfield for new sod, renovated irrigation system, newly installed scoreboards, signage and bases. The high school field include new grass on infield.
The Dodgers Dreamfields program is one of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation’s signature initiatives and its goal is to provide baseball fields where youngsters can learn the game of baseball in an organized program that is administered by the City or County in a safe environment while learning the importance of playing team sports and key characteristics like sportsmanship, ethics and fair play.