Major League Baseball, as part of its Urban Youth Initiative, opened the first ever Youth Baseball Academy in Compton, CA, February 28. The Academy will provide free baseball and softball instruction to Southern California youth, and will be open 365 days a year. Over the course of this year they expect to provide the free program to over 2500 children. The $10 million campus encompasses 10 acres, including four playing fields grassed by West Coast Turf.
“The opening of the Baseball Academy in Compton is an important and historic development for Major League baseball,” said Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. “There is nothing we value more than increasing interest and participation in baseball among the youth in our country, particularly among those that live in the inner cities. We in Major League Baseball recognize our role and responsibility as a social institution, and if we are going to meet the expectations of our fans in this area of diversity and equality, this platform—the Baseball Youth Academy—is a very significant step. This is the first of what I hope is a series of Academies all over America.”
In addition to baseball and softball instruction, those attending the MLB Urban Youth Academy will be given the opportunity to participate in other free seminars such as athletic turfgrass and field management.
“This project turned out amazing here in Compton—it’s a big deal. We’re just as proud getting the Academy geared up for their Opening Day as we are when we’ve been at the major league ballparks getting ready for theirs,” said West Coast Turf spokesperson, Tom Stafford.