By Emilie St. John
INGLEWOOD — Two Dodger Dreamfields for baseball and softball players from 5 to 18 years old in Edward Vincent Jr. Park were unveiled May 13.
The $1 million project includes a new playing surface and grass, enclosed fields and fencing, upgraded dugouts, upgraded irrigation systems, new pitchers’ mounds, bases, home plates and scoreboards.
“It was great to celebrate the two Dreamfields at Edward Vincent Park and more importantly celebrate all the different improvements being made to our parks,” Mayor James Butts said during the May 16 City Council meeting.
“I want to thank Parks & Recreation Director Sabrina Barnes who has been a good shepherd for all that we’ve done,” Butts added.
The newest Dreamfields are the 59th and 60th fields in Greater Los Angeles, and third and fourth in Inglewood, in the program begun in 2003 when the team was owned by the Fox Group. It continued when Frank McCourt owned the team from 2004-2012 and under the current ownership.
“Whenever folks take a look at our city they used to come because we were in such great need and now they come because we are the greatest balance of diversity,” Councilman Eloy Morales said. “If you grew up here, gopher holes were part of the field and there is now fencing, in the ground, to protect from the gophers which is amazing.”
Funding for the new fields unveiled was provided by the city, Dodger pitching star Clayton Kershaw’s charity Kershaw’s Challenge, Security Benefit, FundPlay/League Apps, Annenberg Foundation, Nike, Delta Air Lines, LA84 Foundation, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Helen & Will Webster Foundation and Norris Foundation.
The city has declined to release documents through public records requests for the amounts paid by Inglewood taxpayers towards the refurbishment of the baseball fields.
The program is conducted by the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, the team’s official charity, which supports programs in sports and recreation, education and literacy, health and wellness benefiting children and families throughout the Greater Los Angeles area.
The foundation’s programs are funded through private donations and various fundraising events. Team finances are not used.
The foundation has pledged to complete 75 fields by 2033, the 75th anniversary of the Dodgers’ move to Los Angeles.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist covering the areas of Carson, Compton, Inglewood and Willowbrook. Send tips to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.