July 19, 2024

IE COMMUNITY NEWS

El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

San Bernardino’s Blair Park to Become a Dodger “Dreamfield”

2 min read

(From left to right): Justin Briand, Manager, Program & Operations, LA84 Foundation; Dodger Outfielder Jonny Deluca; City of San Bernardino Mayor Helen Tran; Nichol Whiteman, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation; Dodger Coach Dino Ebel; and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation along with the San Manuel Mission Band of Indians joined the City of San Bernardino on December 14 for a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of three new Dodger Dreamfields at the City’s Blair Park. Also in attendance were Dodger outfielder Jonny Deluca and third base coach Dino Ebel.

The fields at Blair Park represent the 61st, 62nd, and 63rd baseball and softball fields built or refurbished by the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation since 2003. 

“Everyone deserves a space to play,” said Nichol Whiteman, CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring this vital resource to San Bernardino, a city with such great history.”

The $1.7 million investment will support youth baseball and softball with three refurbished fields at Blair Park. Refurbishments will include new playing surfaces and grass, enclosed fields, upgraded dugouts, upgraded irrigation systems, new pitching mounds, bullpens and LED scoreboards resembling Dodger Stadium. The project is expected to be completed by June 2024.

“This investment is not merely about refurbishing fields. It is about investing in our future,” said San Bernardino Mayor Helen Tran. “Much like Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels learned to play football on the fields of San Bernardino, tomorrow’s Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Shohei Ohtani can get their start on the fields we will be improving.”

Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel, who attended San Bernardino Valley College and coached the San Bernardino Spirit minor league team, was happy to be back in San Bernardino. “This is a dream come true for the neighborhood and especially the kids,” Ebel said. “I am so excited to be a part of this.”

The project was made possible by a nearly $1.3 million grant from lead partner, the San Manuel Mission Band of Indians. This is the largest gift for a Dodgers Dreamfield project to date. Additional project sponsors include Security Benefit, LA84 Foundation and the Helen and Will Webster Foundation.

“Youth sports in San Bernardino play a valuable role in helping our youth build character and learn life skills that will guide them to success,” said Parks and Recreation Director Lydie Gutfeld. “This starts with having access to elite playing fields. Thank you to the Dodgers Foundation, San Manuel, and all the sponsors.”

The Dodgers Foundation has invested nearly $20 million to date and has a goal of building 75 Dodgers Dreamfields by 2033 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Dodgers’ move to Los Angeles in 1958. 

“These fields not only represent a place to play, but a place to dream,” added Mayor Tran.

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