Local baseball players have a newly improved place to swing their bats in Highland Park, where two renovated baseball fields were dedicated on April 20.
Located at the Highland Park Recreation Center, the two fields received substantial upgrades, thanks to a combination of government and private funding.
The renovations, completed in time for spring ball, include everything from new backstops and bases, to new roofs over the dugouts on the main field. New solar scoreboards and field signage have also been installed.
Funding for the renovations was provided by the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, the LA84 Foundation, which manages Southern California’s share of the surplus from the 1984 Summer Olympics, and the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.
The fields are the 27th and 28th to be renovated or built in the Los Angeles area under the Dodgers Dreamfields program started in 2003 when the team was owned by News Corp. These two are the second and third completed under the team’s current ownership.
Dodger coach Manny Mota and Dodger alumni Bobby Castillo, Tommy Davis, “Sweet” Lou Johnson and Derrel Thomas were in attendance and also conducted a clinic on the new field following the dedication for youngsters from the 2013 Spring Youth Baseball and Softball League at Highland Park Recreation Center.
“The fundamentals that come with the game of baseball are critical components that lead to the success of our youth on and off the field” said Renata Simril, Senior Vice President, Los Angeles Dodgers and Board Member, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. “Dodgers Dreamfields, such as the one here in Highland Park and the many more throughout the Los Angeles region, allow us to utilize baseball as a means to instill important life lessons in our youth while at the same time contribute to the positive development of our communities”
“The Dodgers Dreamfield is a great gift to the children and families in the densely-populated community of Highland Park,” said Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, whose district includes Dodger Stadium and the Highland Park Recreation Center. “We have teamed up with the Los Angeles Dodgers with the collective goal to improve the health and education of our children in a fun way. The Dreamfield sends a powerful message that we are investing in our youth and in our neighborhoods,” he said.
Patrick Escobar, Vice President, LA 84 Foundation, said his organization was pleased to be a part of bringing “a state-of-the art baseball field to Highland Park.
“We are delighted that youngsters will be able to improve their skills and dream of the big leagues at this great facility.”
L.A Recreation and Parks General Manager Jon Kirk Mukri said the field rebuilds and renovations have brought “a myriad of upgrades that promote youth sports and an active lifestyle,” helping “to build healthy communities through people, parks, and places”