2019 Grants Challenge
🎉 Finalist

BIGGER THAN BASEBALL: Creating Major League Communities

Through Dodgers Dreamfields, we create vibrant spaces for communities to play and provide ample opportunities for community involvement at these sites. Through Dodgers RBI program, we aim to increase participation in baseball/softball by utilizing fitness clinics, baseball/softball clinics, mini festivals and MORE! We are confident that we will create access for over 310,000 youth this year alone, along with their families across 50 Dreamfields and 85 baseball/softball locations in the LA area.


Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.


City of Compton Parks and Recreation Department

Kershaw's Challenge

Easterseals Southern California

City of Fontana Department of Community Services

Security Benefit

LA84 Foundation

Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians


Bank of America

99 Cents Only Stores


California Resources Corp & IBEW Local LA

Los Angeles County of Public Works and iHeartMedia

Helen and Will Webster Foundation

LA84 Foundation

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

California Masonic Foundation

Under Armor Freedom Initiative

UCLA Health

Program Partners




Read Conmigo

Vision to Learn

Lakers Youth Foundation

University of Southern California

Loyola Marymount University

California State University Los Angeles

Pepperdine University

Positive Coaching Alliance

Up2Us Sports

State Farm

League Apps


Pitch in For Baseball/Softball

Affiliate Partners

City of Compton Parks and Recreation Department

Boys and Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley

City of Hawthorne Recreation & Community Service Department

YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles

City of Lynwood Recreation and Community Services Department

City of Inglewood Parks, Recreation and Library Services Department

City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation, & Marine

City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks,

County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation Easy County Community Services Agency

County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation South County Community Services Agency

Hollywood Indies Little League (HILL)

Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club

MLB Youth Academy in Compton

Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.

A story from RBI Coach Clemente Arrizon from Lincoln Park Recreation Center:

“I had a young man who played baseball here go through some hard times. During his baseball season, his mother passed away. I got the call from his grandma during one of his practices and she was coming to pick him up. I brought him to the office with his grandma and we were able to talk together. The young man was sad, obviously. He cried but before he left to go be with his grandma, I told them to come back to the practice and games. There’s a lot of gangs in our neighborhood, and I knew that this kid needed to stay involved. The team, the coach, and the structure helped him get through a hard time and stay safe. The park became his second home and it really, in my eyes, saved his life. I think that the Dodgers Foundation, the Dodgers Organization, all these sponsors.... they really need to know that. I know they cut a check and help communities, but they need to know that they are saving lives. I want to let them know that. You drive by from Monday to Saturday and the entire park is Dodger blue. The department of recreation and parks and management believe in me. With their support and Dodgers RBI we save lives, guide kids to college and make our community safer. But most importantly, Dodgers RBI gives us the opportunity to turn the T-Ball and Coach pitch players into responsible teens and it gives the minors, majors, junior baseball and girls softball players the opportunity to become responsible adults”.

Which of the PLAY metrics will your submission impact?​​

Number of children enrolled in afterschool programs

Number of parks with intergenerational play opportunities

Number of residents with easy access to a “vibrant” park

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?​

County of Los Angeles

How will your project make LA the best place to PLAY?

From 2014-2019, both Dreamfields and RBI programs have grown substantially within the LA community, from serving 2,700 RBI participants (2014) to 9,300 participants (2018) and refurbishing 50 Dreamfields across LA. LADF promotes play to a level that has increased access to parks, enrollment of kids in after-school programs, and increased opportunities for inter-generational play in LA. LADF has responded to the lack of LA park space in large urban zones by completing 50 Dodgers Dreamfields in some of the most underserved communities across LA. By doing so, we have created access for over 300,000 youth. LADF will not stop and recently committed to completing 50 additional Dreamfields by 2033 which will significantly impact PLAY in LA and help commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Dodgers historic move to LA. This year, we will refurbish Dreamfields 51, 52, and 53. Our 51st Dreamfield will be designed for youth with special needs at Jack Bulik Park, located in the City of Fontana, an area in the Inland Empire that serves 3,000+ special needs children. This universally accessible field will meet the needs of individuals with both mental and physical disabilities. Dreamfields 52 and 53 will be located at Gonzales Park in Compton. With a 10,397-youth population and a poverty level of 26.60% refurbishing Gonzales Park can help increase park access and contribute to positively community outcomes. By refurbishing Jackie Robinson Stadium, this will help commemorate the 100th birthday of this remarkable baseball legend.

In 2019, LADF will serve over 10,500 youth in our RBI program, across 85 locations and in collaboration with 13 affiliate partners. This year, there will be significant growth in East Los Angeles and Long Beach and the City of Compton Parks and Recreation will join RBI with a total of 360 participants, ages 5-15 across 8 locations. We also anticipate growth in teams at additional locations throughout South Los Angeles. LADF has placed emphasis on growing girls’ participation in the sport by adding more softball teams throughout the program, creating more opportunities to play. On average, girls’ participation in RBI grows by a rate of 49% each year. In 2019, the RBI softball program will expand from 92 teams to 126 teams. This does not include the estimated 2,000 girls ages 5-12 that will play baseball in a co-ed format. Creating space for young women to play softball amongst their peers can be a valuable and empowering development zone, especially when coupled with a positive female coach/role model. Finally, RBI will partner with Up2Us Sports to implement trauma informed workshops to assist coaches positively engage with youth in low income communities who may experience stress and trauma. By providing these workshops LADF is attempting to help youth thrive in their environment regardless of the negative behaviors they may experience, ultimately ensuring that even the most vulnerable communities are ready to PLAY in LA.

In what stage of innovation is this project?​

Lateral application (testing feasibility of a proven action/solution to a new issue or sector)

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

LADF administers a comprehensive evaluation system for both Dreamfields and RBI, which provide direct insight on participants’ experiences, program elements, and community needs. LADF gathers qualitative data by conducting pre and post interviews, surveys, and focus groups with program participants, partners, volunteers, and community members. By doing so, LADF evaluates their programs and activations. This year the Hello Insight Sports Tool will be fully implemented to youth ages 9-18 at all RBI locations in Los Angeles. Hello Insight Sports Tool, is a youth development tool designed to help organizations evaluate social and emotional learning (SEL) amongst their youth. Last year, the sports tool was administered to Dodgers RBI players ages 9-18 at seven pilot locations. The tool focuses on development in the areas of: Academic Self-Efficacy, Contribution, Goal Orientation, Positive Identity, Self-Confidence, Self-Management, Social Capital, Social Connections, and Social Skills. The tool will allow Dodgers RBI staff to have instant access to the program’s aggregated data to make data informed decisions about resources and training interventions for coaches and staff that can positively affect youth development outcomes.

Additionally, LADF will continue to measure the impact of the Dodgers Dreamfields program by selecting Dreamfield sites based on the following criteria: High need for youth baseball/softball recreation space, racial diversity, high park need metric, amount of youth living in the surrounding community, and current baseball/softball popularity and participation rates.