PAST AND PRESENT: The Compton Little League thrived in the 1960â€™s and 70â€™s (a team from 1974 is shown at top) and after a 30 year hiatus, it returned last spring to Sibrie Park. A team (bottom photo) gets ready for their game as the league is currently continuing its second season.
By Luther Keith, Jr.
Compton Little League
On behalf of The Compton League Players, parents and coaches, Coach Luther Keith, Jr. expresses his gratitude and thanks the City of Compton’s officials of the Park and Recreation Department, for fixing the Sibrie Park, located, at 1300 West El Segundo Boulevard, and other parks within the city, for making it possible to bring Little League teams back. “It has been over 30 years since the Sibrie Park has had a Little League.” Coach Luther Keith, Jr., Davis O’Neal, Richard Neal, Richard Neal, Jr., Wayne Randle and the T-Ball coach, Coach Paul, said, “We are now successfully going into our second year.”
“I would like to thank the coaches of old, back in 1960-1980, when Sibrie Park was named El Segundo Park. The coaches were Charles Williams, Darryl Rose, Bruce White, West Lewis, “Big Willard”, “Mr. Troop”, “Mr. James”, Charles Wood, Sr., Richard Neal, June Neal, Pat Neal, John Bryant, Billy William, Gary Ballou, Sr., and Jesse Brew, Sr. Â Mr. and Mrs. Moore were the Compton Little League President and Vice President, during that time. Mr. Israel was the umpire and Ms. Piggie was the Treasurer of he League. The Team Mother was Mrs. Wilson and the new President was James Moore and the Vice President was Mr. Miller. Â Mr. Hooper, of the former Texaco Gas Station, on Compton Avenue and 120th Street, sponsored these local teams and purchased their uniforms. There was a strong community presence and a lot of support back then.”
El Segundo Park was responsible for the success of a lot of recognized professional ball players, such as Lonnie Smith (St Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves), Reggie Smith (Dodgers), Roy White (NY Yankees), Ronnie Norwood (Greatest pitcher in the history of Centennial High School), June Neal (Pitcher and First Baseman, Centennial High School), Greg Townsend (Oakland Raiders), Gary Ballou, Jr. (Atlanta Braves), Jesse Brew, Jr. (San Francisco Giants), Dale Charles (Centennial High School), Ethan Charles (San Francisco Giants), Ricky Wood (Milwaukee Brewers), Booker Taylor (Southern University, Second Baseman), Hubie Brooks (NY Mets), George Hinshaw (San Diego Padres), Luther Keith, Jr. (Outfield, Southern University), Hedgeman Brothers (Top Little League Player in the 74’s), Kenny Landreaux (Minnesota Twins and LA Dodgers), Charles Innis (Centennial High School, Pitcher), Chris Smith (NY Yankees), Andrew Toussant (LA Angels), Albert Johnson (Staff Photographer for Oakland Raiders) and Leland Chamber (Top Little League Pitcher, 1974-77) to name a few.
My goal is to teach student athletes to be “Team Players”, Â on and off the field. I enjoy helping the youth by keeping them out of gangs and off the streets through extracurricular activities such as sports. Â I currently work as a Gang Intervention Specialist for the Kush, Inc. organization, where our motto is, “Today’s
Future…Tomorrow’s Leader!” As an Intervention Specialist with Kush, Inc., I work with Gregory Thomas, the founder of the organization, within the neighborhoods and around the schools in the South East area. We have implemented programs to employ men and women, ages 14-25. We also assist with transitional services, including state prison releases, supplemental education programs and halfway house inceptions. On Saturdays, I enjoy counseling between 25 and 30 youth that are on probation, We discuss gang awareness and drug prevention at the BLWC, founded by “Ms. Bernie.”
Thank you again and we look forward to your support in 2010 and beyond.