For many children, the baseball diamond is a place to learn sportsmanship, strategy and self-confidence. And this summer, a freshly renovated baseball field has opened in Watts.
“Beautiful baseball diamonds like these create an inspiring platform for our young players to learn about teamwork,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
The Dodgers Dreamfield at Ted Watkins Park, a 28-acre park in the heart of South Los Angeles named after the founder of the Watts Labor Community Action Committee in 1995, is the latest of eight fields built with funding from the Dodgers Foundation, LA84 and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Created in 1998, the Dodgers Foundation provides educational, athletic and recreation opportunities for children in the Los Angeles area, with a special emphasis in helping underserved youth. LA84 was endowed with surplus funds from the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles to serve children through sports. Ted Watkins Park is the eighth partnership in the second district following the renovations of Jesse Owens, Athens, Lennox, Mona and Campanella park fields. Dreaming in the batter’s box is Roosevelt Park, which Supervisor Ridley-Thomas hopes will be completed by the end of August.
“This wonderful addition to the park will make it possible for youngsters in the area to learn and practice their baseball skills under the tutelage of coaches and other caring adults while having fun,” said Patrick Escobar, LA84 Foundation Vice President of Grants & Programs.
As part of the dreamfield renovations, Ted Watkins Park received $156,000 worth of upgrades including new bases, paint, remote controlled solar powered scoreboards, signage, dugout roofs and fresh green grass. These renovations follow an $8.7M renovation completed in 2011 and an additional $1M renovation completed last year.
“We are grateful for this partnership,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “And we know there will be many more opportunities for us to work together to build more fields of dreams for children and families.”