Jackie Robinson Stadium

Jackie Robinson Stadium is a college baseball park in Los Angeles, California. It is the home field of the UCLA Bruins of the Pac-12 Conference. Opened 42 years ago in 1981, it is the smallest ballpark in the conference, with a seating capacity of 1,820.[1] It is named after former Bruin athlete Jackie Robinson, the first African-American major league baseball player of the modern era.

Jackie Robinson Stadium
With the old scoreboard in 2011
LocationLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Coordinates34°3′33.1″N 118°27′33.5″W
Capacity1,820
Field sizeLeft Field – 330 ft (101 m)
Left-Center – 365 ft (111 m)
Center Field – 390 ft (119 m)
Right-Center – 365 ft (111 m)
Right Field – 330 ft (101 m)
SurfaceNatural grass
Opened1981 (1981)
Tenants
UCLA Bruins baseball (NCAA) 1981–present

Robinson (1919–1972) attended UCLA from 1939 to 1941, after graduating from Pasadena Junior College. He was the first UCLA athlete to earn varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football, and track. He played in the major leagues for ten seasons (1947–56), all with the Brooklyn Dodgers. A statue and a mural of Robinson can be found at the entrance concourse of the stadium.

The venue is located about one mile (1.6 km) southwest of campus, just west of the San Diego Freeway (Interstate 405), on the grounds of the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center. Robinson's classmate, Hoyt Pardee (UCLA '41), gave a gift to help with its construction.

The stadium's "Steele Field" was dedicated in honor of the Steele Foundation on May 3, 2008, prior to a game against Arizona State, for its support of the stadium. The hitting facility at the stadium is named Jack and Rhodine Gifford Hitting Facility.[2] Gifford played baseball at UCLA and graduated from its engineering school with a BSEE degree. He was a founder of Advanced Micro Devices and Maxim Integrated Products.

In 2010, a capacity crowd of 2,613 saw the Bruins defeat the defending national champion LSU Tigers 6–3 at the Los Angeles Regional of the NCAA Tournament on June 5. That season, the Bruins ranked 48th among Division I baseball programs in attendance, averaging 1,178 per home game.[3] The ballpark's record attendance of 2,914 was set in 1997, against rival USC on March 23.[4]

The diamond is aligned nearly true north (north by east, home plate to center field) at an approximate elevation of 360 feet (110 m) above sea level.

The stadium is not to be confused with the Jackie Robinson Memorial Field (dedicated on January 30, 1988) at Brookside Park in Pasadena, next to the Rose Bowl, where UCLA plays its home football games.[5]

Court case

On August 30, 2013, a federal judge ruled that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs misused the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center campus where the stadium is located for a variety of uses, including the stadium, but stopped short of ordering the tenants off the property.[6] However, the judge's ruling left open the possibility that, if not modified or reversed, UCLA could lose the right to use the stadium.

Notable events

UCLA Bruins playing at the L.A. Regional on June 1, 2013, with the installation of the new video board (16'6" x 49'0")
  • January 26, 2013 – The presentation of the new 16.5-by-49-foot (5.0 by 14.9 m) LED video board which was donated by the Gifford Foundation, one of the largest video displays in the Pac-12 Conference.
  • April 14, 2013 – Jackie Robinson Day was held to unveil a new mural of Robinson by Mike Sullivan and to celebrate the release of the movie 42, the True Story of an American Legend on April 12. Former player Tim Leary represented the Los Angeles Dodgers at the ceremony.
  • June 1, 2020 – Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) used the stadium parking lot to detain and process arrests of UCLA students and alumni engaged in protest against police brutality.[7] UCLA administration confirmed prior knowledge of a request by the LAPD to use the stadium parking lot as a staging area.[8]

Regionals and Super Regionals, NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament

  • 2013 NCAA Tournament
    • Regional, May 31–June 2: (1) UCLA, (2) Cal Poly, (3) San Diego, (4) San Diego State. Winner: UCLA.
  • 2015 NCAA Tournament
    • Regional, May 29–June 1: (1) UCLA, (2) Ole Miss, (3) Maryland, (4) Cal State Bakersfield. Winner: Maryland.
  • 2019 NCAA Tournament
    • Regional, June 1–3: No. 1 (1) UCLA, (2) Baylor, (3) Loyola Marymount, (4) Omaha. Winner: UCLA.
    • Super Regional, June 7–9: No. 1 UCLA vs. Michigan. Winner: Michigan.

Motion picture set

Jackie Robinson Stadium was the location used[9][10][11] for the climactic scene in the 1999 film Never Been Kissed[12][13] in which Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore) waits for her first real kiss from Sam Coulson (Michael Vartan).

Notes

  • August 29, 2013 – U.S. District Judge S. James Otero ruled that the West Los Angeles Veterans' Administration land leased for a baseball stadium, film studio storage lot and other businesses is illegal.[14]
  • October 21, 2013 – UCLA was given permission to appeal the court decision on the use of the stadium[15]

See also

  • List of NCAA Division I baseball venues
  • UCLA Bruins
  • UCLA Bruins baseball

References

  1. "UCLA Baseball to Install Additional Seats at Jackie Robinson Stadium". UCLA Bruins. UCLA Athletic Department. October 18, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-11-19. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
  2. Former UCLA Baseball Player Jack Gifford Passes Away Archived April 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, UCLABruins.com, January 16, 2009
  3. Brian Foley (January 6, 2011). "2010 NCAA Baseball Attendance Leaders". Archived from the original on 2011-05-27. Retrieved February 4, 2011.
  4. Bauer Pitches No. 1-Seed UCLA Past No. 2-Seed LSU, 6-3, in NCAA Regionals Archived 2012-04-05 at the Wayback Machine, UCLABruins.com, June 5, 2010
  5. Rose Bowl Stadium Overview Map Archived 2009-12-29 at the Wayback Machine, Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association
  6. Federal judge rules VA misused its sprawling West L.A. campus, Los Angeles Times, August 30, 2013
  7. ‘Violation of our values,’ UCLA chancellor says of LAPD’s use of Jackie Robinson Stadium, Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2020
  8. Statement on LAPD using Jackie Robinson Stadium, UCLA Newsroom, June 4, 2020
  9. Demster, Chas. "Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles". It Was Filmed There.
  10. "Never Been Kissed - Filming Locations". Filmedthere.com.
  11. "Los Angeles Sports Venues Starring in Movies & TV Shows". Discover Los Angeles. Mar 13, 2019.
  12. "Secrets of Never Been Kissed". E! Online. October 12, 2020.
  13. "Jackie Robinson Stadium from "Never Been Kissed"". IAMNOTASTALKER. April 20, 2011.
  14. Judge says LA land meant for veteran use, The Modesto Bee, August 29, 2013
  15. Update on Jackie Robinson Stadium from Dan Guerrero , UCLABruins.com, October 27, 2013
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