So far, the Dodgers are having a great season in Los Angeles -- and they're having a great year in Fontana as well.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) officially unveiled its 51st Dodgers Dreamfield at Jack Bulik Park in Fontana on June 22.
“Dodgers Dreamfield No. 51 is home to our second universally accessible field that will provide children of all abilities a safe place to play baseball and softball,” said Tiffany Rubin, the youth program director for LADF.
The historic occasion brought together hundreds of fans, young players, city officials, and some very significant guests -- Dodger pitcher Joe Kelly and Dodger third base coach Dino Ebel, both of whom live nearby in Rancho Cucamonga.
"This is pretty special," Kelly told the crowd during the grand opening ceremony. "This is near and dear to me since I grew up in Corona and went to UC Riverside."
Kelly said that in his younger days, he enjoyed playing baseball but also loved skateboarding, and he was very thankful that Corona provided a skate park where he could go on a regular basis.
"I went through a tough childhood," he said, and the skate park offered a way to leave his problems behind for a while (until he kept getting hurt in skateboarding, resulting in him deciding to concentrate instead on baseball).
Now, he said, Fontana is offering a similar type of venue for kids to have fun -- a deluxe baseball diamond.
"Hopefully this will be a place where you can escape reality for a couple of hours and enjoy the nation's pastime," Kelly said.
Ebel also was delighted with the brand new field, where participants with special needs in the Little League Challengers Program gathered for a game after the ceremony.
"I'm extremely, extremely proud to be on this stage," Ebel said. "This is so awesome. Truly, truly this is a dream field. We spend a lot of time here in the offseason; my family and my boys play here all the time. I feel like we're in the big leagues right now."
As the crowd cheered, Ebel concluded: "Have fun here and I'll be seeing you here this winter when our season's over, celebrating a championship."