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Padres parks to go in at Frazier, Sunflower fields

September 21, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The public is invited to attend an announcement involving the San Diego Padres, the city of El Centro, the El Centro Elementary School District and El Centro Little League regarding the establishment of Little Padres Parks at Frazier and Sunflower fields.

El Centro Mayor Cheryl Walker said the fields will be the first ones outside of San Diego County and Tijuana.

"This is for the public," Walker said. "This is a celebration for our entire community."

The event is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Frazier Park, near McKinley and Kennedy schools, on Sixth Street in northeast El Centro.

The scope of work varies from field to field, according to background information provided by the Padres. All Little Padres Parks share three common features: palm trees, a manual scoreboard and a blue-coated outfield fence with an orange top-rail.

Walker said the Padres will also plant new grass and ensure the fields are of the proper size.

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The supplied information says the reason for Little Padres Parks is to ensure children have access to clean, safe places to play baseball.

The program began in 1996. Other fields are in Tijuana and the San Diego communities of Lakeside, Clairmont, City Heights, North Park, National City and Coronado, among others.

The El Centro facilities are used by both the city and the school district.

Walker credited former Imperial Valley attorney Jay Jeffcoat with using his contacts at the Padres to land the sponsorship. She said she met Jeffcoat for dinner in February, and in April, Padres officials showed up for a tour of local ball fields. Soon after soils experts tested the fields, followed by the decision to move forward.

Speakers at the event will be Walker; Ron Hull, president of the school district board of trustees; Pat Cruz, outgoing president of El Centro Little League; Lisa Winkler, chairwoman of the city's community services commission; and Padres representatives.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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