Hall of Famer Winfield, Serra 2013 CIF Championship team makes Jan. 8

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By Thomas Stafford

Hall of Famer Davie Winfield, the former San Diego Padre, New York Yankee greatr and current advisor to the executive director of the MLB Players Association, attended the first-ever Community Baseball Festival presented by the Inglewood Baseball Fund Jan. 8 on the campus of Junipero Serra High School in Gardena.

The half-day event was made possible with the generous support of sponsors including AttaTeam!, Baseball Generations, The Coca-Cola Co., Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Panda Restaurants and Peninsula General Insurance, among others.

By Thomas Stafford

Hall of Famer Davie Winfield, the former San Diego Padre, New York Yankee greatr and current advisor to the executive director of the MLB Players Association, attended the first-ever Community Baseball Festival presented by the Inglewood Baseball Fund Jan. 8 on the campus of Junipero Serra High School in Gardena.

The half-day event was made possible with the generous support of sponsors including AttaTeam!, Baseball Generations, The Coca-Cola Co., Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Panda Restaurants and Peninsula General Insurance, among others.

“When Derek Jeter was first coming up, he was inspired by Dave Winfield, and many of our kids were inspired in their time by Derek Jeter. We want to continue to honor that tradition and develop young men and women to continue to translate their on-field skills to become exemplary citizens and leaders within their communities,” said Erikk Aldridge ’86, founder of the event and founder of the Inglewood Baseball Fund. Aldridge is a proud Serra alumnus from the Class of 1986.

Winfield, who spent more than four decades in-and-around the MLB, often earning as much praise for his commitment to youth development and philanthropic efforts as his 12 All-Star appearances and seven Rawlings Gold Gloves, will be featured along with several others from the local community. They will be joined by current MLB and college players, top prospects and potential draftees.

“I (enjoyed) this opportunity to spend an afternoon at the inaugural Community Baseball Festival…,” Winfield said. “With so many community partners and others in attendance, we can take youth baseball in Inglewood, Gardena and surrounding communities to the next level and create an even stronger foundation for positive youth development.”

New York Mets AAA player and the No. 2 ranked player within the organization, Dominic Smith, was also in attendance.

Smith was the 2015 Florida State League Player of the Year. Also in attendance was Arizona Diamondbacks Single A outfielder, Marcus Wilson (No. 25 ranked prospect), Devin Davis of the Tampa Rays, Dodgers and Angels prospects, Brendon Davis (No. 18 ranked prospect) and Dalton Blumenfeld, as well as Baseball America’s top-ranked 2017 prep prospect, Hunter Greene.

These stars of the future joined other top players to give a baseball clinic for youth ages 9-12, a skills competition for 13-14 year-olds and a college recruiting seminar for parents moderated by motivational speaker Ramsey Jay, Jr. The clinic and skills competition will be conducted by Baseball Generations.

The half-day event recognized the 2013 Serra Cavaliers CIF championship-winning baseball team, including former teammates Smith, Wilson and Pepperdine Waves infielder Duncan McKinnon. There was also a presentation of the Inglewood Baseball Fund’s annual “Coaching Impact Award” given to MLB Urban Youth Academy’s Jason McLaughlin, Kevin Martin, Carl Nichols and Calvin Young (posthumous). A “Community Impact Award” will be given to Russell Greene, Alan Llorens, and Michael McKinnon for their ongoing dedication towards youth baseball.

All registered attendees received a gift bag and an afternoon meal courtesy of Panda Restaurants. Proceeds of the event  benefitted the Inglewood Baseball Fund.