The city of Compton and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) broke ground recently for a multi-million-dollar renovation of Gonzalez Park as part of the team’s Dreamfield Project.
Both the city and the Dodgers organization will renovate the Jackie Robinson Stadium and will build two additional fields. Also included will be a fitness and training zone, an outdoor training area, batting cages and bullpens, new lavatories and a number of other amenities.
The Gonzalez Park renovation is one of four sports and recreation projects completed in the past year in Compton. Gonzalez Park has hosted the early years of some of the most successful professional baseball players hailing from South Los Angeles, including Eddie Murray, Ozzie Smith, Ken Landreaux, George Hendrick, Lonnie Smith, Lenny Randle and Enos Cabell.
“Whenever you can practice and play on a first-class field, it makes the game all-the-more rewarding,” said Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw who participated in the groundbreaking ceremony. Kershaw’s charity, Kershaw’s Challenge, was among the organizations providing funding for the project.
The project’s Field 42, named in honor of the family of Jackie Robinson, will be designed for baseball and softball players ages 5 to 8 years. The Rachel Robinson field for baseball players will cater to 9- to 12-year-olds, and softball players ages 9 to 18 years. The new facility will be the first set of Dreamfields to incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and the LADF Science and Baseball curriculum.
Since 2003, the LADF has refurbished 51 Dodgers Dreamfields while supporting programs in sports and recreation, education and literacy, and health and wellness benefiting children and