Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodges Foundation and Kershaw’s Challenge unveiled Phase 2 of the Dodgers Dreamfields complex at Gonzales Park, which is being completed in partnership with the city of Compton and the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation (MLB-MLBPA).
LADF CEO Nichol Whiteman, Clayton Kershaw, Ellen Kershaw, Rachel Robinson, David Robinson, Ayo Robinson and Compton mayor Emma Sharif were among those in attendance. The festivities included an Opening Day parade for Compton Dodgers Dreamteam players, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field day, and high school baseball game between Centennial and King Drew Magnet high schools.
The second phase of the $2.7 million-dollar project included solar power installation to power park lights, solar carport with public electric vehicle charging stations, rooftop photovoltaic arrays (expected to save the city $1 million in power costs), and the scoreboard and sound system at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Phase 2 of the Dodgers Dreamfields location also featured a completed Kershaw’s Challenge Fitness and Training Zone which includes an outdoor training area, two enclosed batting cages and bullpens, an infield practice area and outdoor fitness equipment.
Kershaw, who was on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony in February 2019, couldn’t be present when Phase 1 was unveiled last year due to MLB’s health and safety protocols preventing players from making such appearances.
“Man, what a day. How cool is this place? This is so great. This looks so good,” Kershaw said while standing on home plate at Jackie Robinson Stadium. “I cannot believe how it all turned out. To everybody here, thank you so much for letting my family be a part of it.
“To the parents and families in the stands, thank you for being a part of this. For the kiddos, this is for y’all. Everybody here, everybody that is behind you, everybody that’s in front of you, everybody that’s int he stands, we’re all here for you. We want you all to have the opportunity to play this great game.
“But more than that, we want you to have fun playing this great game and we want you to have memories when you play this game. We want you to have fun with your friends and encourage your teammates and be great, great kiddos on the baseball field.”
Robinson sees importance of Dodgers Dreamfields
The unveiling event came one day after the Dodgers and all of MLB celebrated the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, which made the event all the more noteworthy.
“This is what the objective was in 1947, was to bring people together, to break down laws and traditions that divided and discriminated, segregated and abused. That historical moment was a success in 1947,” David Robinson said to the young athletes.
“I think Jackie Robinson would look at this field and say we have moved those agendas and ideals forward into 2022 with a facility such as this. But again, it’s the utilization, and the mindset and the way we actually implement the work of this facility that will give us a chance to succeed in a maximum way to bring communities together and make this area, this state and this country a better nation, because we all are working together.
“To all of the sponsors and parents, and especially to you young kids, congratulations. On behalf of the Robinson family, we are extremely honored to be with you.”
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