ANAHEIM -- The Angels held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday for two newly renovated baseball fields at Anaheim Hills Little League that have both been renamed “Big A Ballpark.”
Angels owner Arte Moreno, chairman Dennis Kuhl and president John Carpino attended the event to represent the organization, while the event was also attended by Anaheim mayor Harry Sidhu, mayor pro tem Trevor O’Neil and Orange Unified board of education trustee Andrea Yamasaki. It began with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Little Leaguers and students from neighboring Anaheim Hills Elementary School, before the red ribbon was cut by Sidhu.
“This field was in terrible shape,” Kuhl said. “We wanted to do it right. We wanted it to look like a Major League park. If we were going to put our logo on this, we wanted it to look good. The cooperation on this was unbelievable.”
The project started when the Angels reached out to O’Neil more than a year ago about how they could help the community of Anaheim Hills. After some discussion, it was determined that the two Little League fields needed refurbishment. Both sides agreed, and the Angels used funds from the Angels Baseball Foundation to make the project a reality.
The Angels, along with the help of Angel Stadium head groundskeeper Barney Lopas and the company Magical Builders, completely renovated both fields. The original grass and infield dirt were replaced after the land was evened, and new mounds were also installed on both fields. The original fields were replaced with 6,500 square feet of hybrid-Bermuda grass and 75 tons of infield mix.
“This field was in a pretty sorry state and riddled with gopher holes,” O’Neil said. “And the turf was in disrepair and really uneven surfaces. It was an effort that took almost a year. … Everything was stripped, and they spent days leveling it out. We had to strip out the turf, and then the tractors just went back and forth.”
Sidhu, who has worked closely with Moreno to keep the Angels in Anaheim long term, praised the organization for its work in the community.
“It’s absolutely great to see the Angels invest from their foundation to invest here in Anaheim and Anaheim Hills,” Sidhu said. “It tells you how committed the Angels are in Anaheim. They've been here 50 years, and we’re hoping to see another 50 years. So I'm so excited and glad to see that they are doing something special for the kids, especially with these ballfields. It will be great for the kids, and they’ll remember that the owner Arte Moreno actually came out."