The Academy stands on a 15+ acre complex on the campus of El Camino College Compton Center, consisting of: –4 fields – 2 Major League-dimension fields, including a spectacular lighted show field with a 200-seat grandstand – 2 youth fields for softball and younger players – Batting cages and pitching mounds – State of the art 12,000-square foot clubhouse – Administration offices, weight training room, boys and girls locker rooms, trainer?s room, equipment room, computer lab – On site maintenance building
Major League Baseball broke ground on the facility in June 2003. More than 55% of the contractors, subcontractors, and vendors used in the development and continued operation of the facility are qualified minority- and locally-owned contractors. The Academy is a California non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.
Major League Baseball selected Compton as its choice for the first Urban Youth Academy. Fifteen miles southeast of Los Angeles, Compton and its surrounding areas reflect diverse populations and economic hardships. Roughly 99% of Compton residents represent minority populations, including 40% African American, and 55% Hispanic.
Working with the Compton Unified School District, various chapters of the Boys & Girls Club of America, and the Department of Parks and Recreation, along with the support of MLB, the Urban Youth Academy provides year-round clinics and seminars free of charge to thousands of local kids, ages 8 to 17.
Through the splendor of the National Pastime, Major League Baseball’s Urban Youth Academy aims to set the standard for instruction, teaching, and education in Urban America, as well as enhance the quality of life in the surrounding communities. It serves as a brick-and-mortar testament of MLB’s commitment to urban youth. Major League Baseball, under the leadership of Commisioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and due in large part to the efforts of Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Jimmie Lee Solomon, set out four facets to its Urban Youth Initiative:
- grow the game of baseball while, at the same time, cultivating diversity in all aspects of the game.
- make meaningful contributions to the development of urban communities
- provide safe, organized recreational activities for urban youth
- prepare urban high school players for college and professional baseball and softball programs.
Commisioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Jimmie Lee Solomon