--Field is the second Dodgers Dreamfield dedicated in 2011--
LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers Dream Foundation, in partnership with the LA84 Foundation and the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks, unveiled a new Dodgers Dreamfield this morning at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center. Those on hand for the dedication ceremony included Dodger Owner and Chairman Frank McCourt, LA84 Foundation Vice President of Grants and Programs Patrick Escobar, Councilmember 8th District, Bernard C. Parks, Councilmember, 9th District Jan Perry, State Senator, 22nd District Kevin de León, General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation Jon Kirk Mukri and President, University Little League Raul Claros.
Former Dodgers in attendance included Fernando Valenzuela, Maury Wills, Tommy Davis, Bobby Castillo and Kenny Landreaux. Valenzuela and Wills are depicted in murals recently painted overlooking the field, as is former Dodger manager Joe Torre. Former Dodger outfielder and current broadcaster Rick Monday emceed the event.
“Baseball teaches the value of teamwork, dedication and many other important life skills, and we hope this field at Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center will provide those opportunities for thousands of kids for years to come,” said Dodger Owner Frank McCourt. “We are grateful for this partnership with LA84 and the Department of Recreation and Parks that is making a difference in the lives of the youth of Los Angeles.”
Renovations to the new Dodgers Dreamfield at Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center include a new batting cage, a new outfield windscreen, a new LED scoreboard and new field signage. The field fencing and dugout covers were also refurbished.
“I am very pleased that even in this difficult financial time, through the efforts of the Dodgers Dream Foundation, the LA84 Foundation and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, we will be able to install a total of eight new Dodgers Dreamfields in parks throughout the City of Los Angeles,” said Mukri. “Through this partnership we will rebuild and renovate these fields to give them a myriad of upgrades, as well as a whole new look and better playability. The rebuilding of these eight fields is a big step forward in achieving our collective goal of providing youth a safe and clean place to play. We are sincerely thankful to both the Dodgers Dream Foundation and LA84 for their generous donations."
All 17 University Little League teams were on hand for the dedication ceremony, which was followed by a clinic led by the Dodger alumni in attendance.
"Youngsters who love to play baseball deserve quality facilities where they can play the game to the best of their abilities,” said Escobar. “This is why the LA84 Foundation has teamed up with the Dodgers Dream Foundation and the City of Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department to improve the field at MLK Park and others throughout the area. MLK Park has a long tradition of instilling the love for the game and developing excellent players. We are pleased to be a small part in helping this tradition continue."
"On behalf of the families and volunteers of University Little League, Life Skills Sports Academy and the MLK Park community, I'd like to thank the great people at LA84 Foundation, the Department of Recreation and Parks and the greatest organization in professional sports, the L.A. Dodgers, for partnering with us in structuring the lives of tomorrow's leaders,” said Claros.
This past summer, the Dodgers Dream Foundation, the LA84 Foundation and the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks committed to creating eight new Dodgers Dreamfields in the Los Angeles area, with a ninth field in partnership with LA County. The commitment will double the current number of Dreamfields to a total of 18. The Dodgers Dreamfield at Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Center marks the second of those nine and the second completed Dreamfield in 2011.
Seven of the next planned fields are within Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks properties in the San Fernando Valley, Eastside, South Los Angeles and Central and Harbor areas. An additional field is located in Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas' district.