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Leaders break ground on Jackie Robinson YMCA all-star legacy project

SAN DIEGO -- Major League Baseball officials, representatives from the San Diego Padres and city leaders helped break ground on a so-called  "All-Star Legacy" initiative project at the Jackie Robinson YMCA.

The project is not only paving the way for a new 50,000 square foot building at the massive complex, but it also signals the start of the development of the youth baseball and softball fields, which will be located nearby.

" It will get brand new lighting," said Tom Seidler, Senior Vice-President of Community Affairs for the San Diego Padres. " Brand new top of the line sports fields, new backstops, scoreboard and dugouts."

The effort will allow the facility to put a renewed emphasis on baseball and softball for boys and girls living in one of San Diego's most high-risk communities. Other groups are also benefiting from the $5 million in funding.

"A Boys and Girls Club in Tijuana, all the way up to the North County," said Seidler. "It's one of the great ways the All-Star Game here in San Diego leaves behind a major impact on a number of organizations."

The center's programming focuses on youth development, encouraging healthy living and embracing social responsibility. The facility has served an ethnically diverse community of more than 250,000 southeastern San Diego residents since 1943.

"It took an awful lot of people 14 years to get to this point," Seidler said. "We are excited to have the Padres be a part of it."

This year's Major League Baseball All-Star Game is being held in San Diego on July 12, and will be seen on Fox 5 San Diego.