Play Ball

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Dodgers Foundation recently celebrated the groundbreaking of two All-Star Legacy projects, the All-Star Dodgers Dreamfield and All-Star Teen Center at William Mead Homes in Chinatown. 

Located less than 2 miles from Dodger Stadium, William Mead Homes is home to more than 400 low-income families. 

In partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley and the Housing Authority of the city of Los Angeles, this project will renovate an unplayable ballfield into a new Dodgers Dreamfield, a safe and state-of-the-art place to play more than 200 Boys & Girls Club members and nearly 3,500 youth in the surrounding community.

“We’re so excited, honestly,” said Nichol Whiteman, chief executive officer, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. 

“Obviously, in 2019, together with the Dodgers and the Major League Baseball, we started a plan for the 2020 All-Star Game being hosted at Dodger Stadium. What comes with the 2020 All-Star Game are legacy projects.”

Legacy projects are those that are invested in the community left behind after the All-Star Game. Whiteman said her organization had its eye on William Mead after youth from there participated in Dodgers RBI sports-based youth development program. 

“The community is so important to us. William Mead has a Boys and Girls Club. Major League Baseball has had a national partnership with them for many years.”

The Dreamfield is No. 54, and the foundation hosted a virtual groundbreaking two weeks ago. 

“I am glad we have been able to share this with the world,” Whiteman said. “This project is very important to us.

“Our Dodgers Dreamfield program is focused on building fields in underserved communities throughout the Los Angeles area and beyond. We do not write a check to an organization to make it happen. We will partner with a municipal agency, with the city of Los Angeles or the county of Los Angeles, city of Compton. We essentially handle the construction. We go through all of the appropriate permitting. They’re turning the field over to us to transform it over to something else.”

After these fields open, park usage increases, the number of volunteer coaches goes up and additional amenities are usually added, like soccer fields. 

Earlier this year, Major League Baseball announced the cancellation of the 2020 All-Star Game, which was to be hosted by the Dodgers. The team will host the next available Midsummer Classic in 2022. Despite the postponement, Major League Baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Dodgers Foundation will honor their $1.7 million commitment to four All-Star Legacy projects. The William Mead Homes project is the first of the All-Star Legacy projects to be celebrated. Renovations include a complete field makeover, installation of fencing, windscreens, a brand-new scoreboard and backstop signage. In addition to the field renovation, upgrades will also be made to the club’s outdoor area.

In addition to William Mead Homes, updates on the other All-Star Legacy projects will be shared later this year and will benefit the communities of South Los Angeles, Downtown Skid Row and Lincoln Heights.

In Downtown Skid Row, the All-Star Veterans Courtyard is a collaboration with the veteran-led organization The Mission Continues. This effort will upgrade existing outdoor gathering space facilities in the area for veterans receiving day services and those in long-term housing on-site.