News Release


DATE: March 21, 2006

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108



LEMON GROVE - Lemon Grove Little League will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a dedication ceremony celebrating the completion of a Little Padres Park field renovation project that included a new playing surface, instillation of a field irrigation system, new fencing and an electronic scoreboard at Monterey Heights Park.

Through Little League International’s Urban Initiative, in combination with Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres and Dianne Jacob of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, the Lemon Grove Little League facility at Monterey Heights Park has been revitalized by this project.

“We have a great volunteer base, but being part of the Urban Initiative brings us more local recognition and gets more community businesses involved,” David Doane, Lemon Grove Little League president, said. “There has been some disconnect over the years, and being involved in the Urban Initiative gives us the opportunity to bridge the gap and make it more widely known that this league is for the children of the Lemon Grove community.”

Among those attending the dedication ceremony on Saturday, at 1:30 p.m. will be Stephen D. Keener (president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball); Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield (vice president and senior advisor of the San Diego Padres); Shirley Horton (California State Assemblywoman); Mary Sessom (mayor of Lemon Grove), Dianne Jacob (San Diego County District 2 supervisor); Jim Gerstenslager (Little League Western Region director); Tim Katzman (director of corporate communications for the San Diego Padres); Michele Anderson (vice president of community relations for the San Diego Padres); Matt Russel and Ross McTrite (project contracts, The Brickman Group).

“For 50 years, Lemon Grove 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. Keener said. “Now, through its association with the Little League Urban Initiative, that commitment will be 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 Lemon Grove Little League. The Little League Urban Initiative contributed $20,000, which was earmarked from a $250,000 grant provided by Major League Baseball. Other funding for the Little Padres Park was provided by the San Diego Padres. Also, additional facility improvements to the Monterey Heights Park facility were provided through a $100,000 grant from the County of San Diego at the recommendation of County Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

Lemon Grove Little League was founded in 1957 and continues to thrive in the urban settings of Lemon Grove. 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.

Ownership of the Monterey Heights Park facility is shared by the City of Lemon Grove and Lemon Grove Little League. Three fields are located on the Lemon Grove Little League property and two fields are located on the City of Lemon Grove property. Volunteers of Lemon Grove Little League help maintain the facility throughout the year.

During the 2006 season, six Little League Major Division teams (ages 10-12) will play on the renovated field, as will tee ball and minor division teams.

Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program with nearly 2.7 million participants and 1 million volunteers in all 50 U.S. states and scores of other countries. For more information on the Urban Initiative, please visit