San Diego Padres, Bank of America, Little League Urban Initiative Unveil Latest Field Renovation
Through Little League International’s Urban Initiative, in combination with Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres, Bank of America and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, the Encanto Little League facility has been revitalized by this project that included a new playing surface, instillation of a field irrigation system, new fencing and an electronic scoreboard.
“I’ve been affiliated with Encanto Little League for 22 years and
this is something I dreamed about,” Michael Ivory, Encanto Little
League president, said. “This has beautified the area and given our
youth some pride and ownership in our field.”
Among those attending the dedication ceremony were David James (director of the Little League Urban Initiative); Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield (vice president and senior advisor of the San Diego Padres); Patrick Davidson (consumer marketing executive, Bank of America); Jerry Sanders ( Mayor of San Diego); Tony Young (San Diego councilman); Tim Katzman (director of corporate communications for the San Diego Padres); Michele Anderson (vice president of community relations for the San Diego Padres); Randy McPhillips (project contributor); and Matt Russel (project contracts, The Brickman Group).
“For more than 50 years, Encanto Little League has served as a cornerstone for its community, and proudly stands as a testament to the resourceful spirit of Little League volunteers,” Mr. James said. “Now, through its association with the Little League Urban Initiative, that commitment was publicly honored and recognized by this field dedication.”
The project was a collaborative effort between Little League Baseball and Softball, the San Diego Padres and Encanto Little League. The Little League Urban Initiative contributed $15,000, which was earmarked from a $500,000 grant provided by Bank of America. Other funding for the Little Padres Park was provided by the San Diego Padres.
“If something looks good, you feel good and you’ll probably play good,” Mr. Ivory said. “Everybody who comes by to see the field is excited, and it has become a bright spot for the community. We are on the rise.
|David James, director of the Little League Urban Initiative, offers remarks during the dedication of Encanto Little League’s renovated field complex in San Diego.|
“This project would not have happened without Randy McPhillips,”
Mr. Ivory said. “He has been our principle contributor, title
sponsor and benefactor, and was the person who brought our league to
the attention of the Padres. By coordinating the park’s cleanup
efforts and spending many hours working on the field complex, Mr.
McPhillips has helped us build Encanto’s field of dreams.”
Encanto Little League was founded in 1956 and continues to thrive in the urban settings of San Diego. It furnishes physical facilities, volunteer services and resources to provide a program for the children. The program helps impart the values of teamwork, sportsmanship, and fair play to the children of the community so that they may someday use these values in becoming good citizens.
The Verna Quinn Field facility is owned by the city of San Diego. Volunteers of Encanto Little League help maintain the facility throughout the year.
During the 2007 season, four Little League Major Division teams (ages 10-12) and four Minor division teams (ages 8-12) are playing on the renovated field.
This spring, Little League International will host the fourth annual Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree. Through support provided by the Torii Hunter Project, 14 Urban Initiative leagues will send regular season teams to Williamsport, site of the annual Little League Baseball World Series, to experience the thrill of a weekend of friendly games, instruction, and education. The Torii Hunter Project, founded by Minnesota Twins’ outfielder Torii Hunter and supported by several fellow major leaguers, aims at exposing children in metropolitan settings to the sport of baseball.
A team from Encanto Little League traveled to Williamsport last summer and participated in the third annual Urban Jamboree. In 2005, Mr. Winfield was Little League International’s guest at the annual Jamboree.
Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, second from left, participates in the dedication ceremony at Encanto Little League’s “Little Padres Park” in San Diego. Mr. Winfield is the senior vice president for Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres.
Encanto Little Leaguers join Dave Winfield and the San Diego Padres mascot following the dedication ceremony.