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MLB youth academy holds 2nd annual community day

Centennial High School Drum Squad
Centennial High School Drum Squad
Rodney Gilmore

Major League Baseball’s Urban Youth Academy in Compton, CA. held its 2nd Annual Community Day on February 1st. The academy in partnership with El Camino College, Compton Center provided an umpire clinic, college, health, and resource fair, battle of the bands (CUSD and USC), community day ceremony, season opener between Compton College and Fullerton College, softball all-star game (local high schools), academic and informational vendors, food, music, special guests, and celebrity appearances.

l-r Tony Hicks, Dodger's 1981 World Series Champion Ken Landreaux, Rev. Charles Brown, Minister Pauline Brown.
Rodney Gilmore

Down on the baseball field during the ceremony was assembled a who’s who of celebrities, elected officials, and other special guests. Rev. Charles Brown (Compton native) of First Charity Church, and Chair of Compton 125 Birthday Committee gave the invocation. Rising musical sensation Jessica Childress (of The Voice) moved the crowed as she sang the National Anthem.

Don Buford, USC World Series Champ, Manager of the Compton Academy, and MLB hall of famer welcomed the audience and introduced legendary MLB hall of famer, and first African-American major league manager Frank Robinson, who currently serves as Executive Vice President of Major League Baseball. Mr. Robinson shared some history of the Compton Academy, the first established in the U.S. in 2006. He said also that the main purpose of the academy is to provide opportunities for youth to learn baseball, and gain experiences via the educational, vocational, mentorship, and leadership programs offered through the academy.

Assembly member Isadore Hall III (64th District), greeted the audience with his memories of the academy’s grand opening eight years ago – and said that the facility is a great resource for the youth in the community. Compton Mayor Aja Brown threw out the first pitch to Dominguez High alum, and 1981 Dodger’s World Series Champion Ken Landreaux. And Dr. Keith Curry (Compton native) Chief Executive Officer, of Compton Community College District welcomed everyone.

The major sponsors of the event were the Los Angeles Dodgers, Anaheim Angels, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Galaxy, Quakes Minor League Baseball Team, University of Irvine, City of Compton, Compton Unified School District, California State University, Long Beach, Panda Express Restaurant, Assembly member Isadore Hall’s Office, Community Career Development Inc., Crystal Stairs Inc., Southern CA. University of Health Sciences, and other supporters.

And a special thank you to all of the elected officials, celebrities, businesses, family, community, and friends, who traveled near and far to help Compton’s MLB Urban Youth Academy celebrate its 2nd Annual Community Day. Great job!