SOUTH LOS ANGELES — Green Dot Public School, which operates Locke High School here, named the newly renovated baseball and softball fields after two of the school’s most famous alumni: baseball Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith and Eddie Murray.
Both graduated from Locke in 1973 and went on to Hall of Fame career. Both were on hand May 9 for the field dedication ceremonies.
“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, CEO of Green Dot Public Schools. “
Known as “The Wizard of Oz,” Smith established himself as one of the sport’s all-time great defensive players. He helped redefine the shortstop position 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 in 1985 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, 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.”