Community event on May 9 will honor Class of 1973 grads
LOS ANGELES – Green Dot Public School will name the newly renovated baseball and softball fields at Alain LeRoy Locke College Prep Academy after two of Locke High School’s most famous alumni: baseball Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith and Eddie Murray. Both graduated from Locke in 1973 and will be at the field dedication event, which takes place at 10 a.m. on May 9.
“We’re extremely excited to be able to recognize two of baseball’s all-time greats, not just for all they did on the diamond but also for being such terrific role models and demonstrating the value of hard work and determination,” said Cristina de Jesus, Green Dot Public Schools CA CEO. “We believe they both will be very enthusiastic to see the new fields and how our students are progressing at Locke.”
Locke College Prep Academy is located at 325 W. 111th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90061. A Boys Varsity Baseball game against Manual Arts High School will follow the event at 11 a.m., with both Smith and Murray staying to cheer on their alma mater. Tickets for the event cost $12 and can be purchased in advance athttp://bit.ly/MurraySmithField. A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the event.
To baseball fans, neither Smith nor Murray need an introduction.
Known as “The Wizard of Oz,” Smith established himself as one of the sport’s all-time great defensive players. He helped redefined the shortstop position with his acrobatic flair and was a 13-time Gold Glove Award winner and 15-time All-Star during a career with the San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals. Smith helped the Cardinals win a World Series and set multiple Major League records for his position. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.
Murray was the third player in Major League Baseball to record 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, following Hank Aaron and Willie Mays. He won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1977 and played more games at first base than any other player. In 1983, he helped lead the Baltimore Orioles to a World Series victory. Murray played three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1989 to 1992 before returning to the team in 1997. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.
“This New Baseball Field brings new opportunities for future successes for Locke High School, for the future of our baseball players, and our community,” said Locke baseball coach Angel Trujillo. “It takes a village to motivate and grow, in our case, it’s a baseball field.”
The Locke High transformation dates back to 2008, when Green Dot Public Schools joined with teachers, parents and the community to transform the school and split it into several small, safe, personalized learning academies. Green Dot instilled a college-going culture of safety, accountability, and personalized learning. B y 2012, the first full cohort of 9th graders graduated, at rates significantly higher than at comparable schools across Los Angeles Unified School District. According to a study conducted by UCLA’s National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), students at the transformed Locke were 1.5 times more likely to graduate and 3.7 times more likely to complete coursework that prepares them for college.
“Our mission at Green Dot is to transform public education so all students graduate prepared for college, leadership, and life,” de Jesus said. “Included in a great public education is the character-building that extracurricular activities such as sports provide. We are thrilled that we can provide our students with facilities such as our new playing fields.”