Bid to rename Toronto's Caledonia Park to Santo Domingo Park

 Former Blue Jays SS Alfredo Griffin, who shared American League Rookie of the Year honours in 1979, is one former Toronto player behind a move to rename Caledonia Park to Santo Domingo Park. Griffin is now a coach with the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim.

Former Blue Jays SS Alfredo Griffin, who shared American League Rookie of the Year honours in 1979, is one former Toronto player behind a move to rename Caledonia Park to Santo Domingo Park. Griffin is now a coach with the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim.

Plans to Renaming Caledonia Park Santo Domingo Baseball Park

Prepared by Ken Jeffers

Background

The Ministry of Energy and Mines, Department of Investment and Competitive Intelligence of the Dominican Republic states in part in its document entitled “Invest in Dominican Republic Mining: “The Dominican Republic is one of six countries to hold trade Agreements with both the European Union and the United States. It is also a signing member of trade agreements with North America, Central America, Panama, the Caribbean and European Community ...”

In keeping with Dominican Republic’s interest in establishing productive and enriching relationships with Canada, a committee of Dominican Canadians were recently established to recognize and promote the proud contributions of Dominican baseball players to the sport of in Canada in general and Toronto in particular.  This committee, in consultation with Ken Jeffers, a retired manager with Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, would like to rename Caledonia Park (1141 Caledonia Road in North York) in the City of Toronto, Santo Domingo Baseball Park in recognition of the continuing development and sharing of the enjoyment of the sport of baseball by the Dominican community with the residents of Toronto.

 George Bell, like Griffin from San Pedro de Macoris, was the first Blue Jays to win an MVP award in 1987. 

George Bell, like Griffin from San Pedro de Macoris, was the first Blue Jays to win an MVP award in 1987. 

Baseball in Toronto

The Toronto Blue Jays and their farm teams have always had a significant amount of Dominican players who have demonstrated great affection and love for the City of Toronto.  When we reflect on the past and present stars and superstars such as Tony Fernandez, George Bell, Alfredo Griffin, Damo Garcia, etc, it becomes very clear that there would likely be great appreciation if the City of Toronto and the province of Ontario officially support this wonderful initiative. Currently, Caledonia Park is the  “unofficial baseball home” of that community where one can see baseball being played each weekend by all ages in a festive spirit of community.

Since there are so many worthy players of Dominican heritage who have contributed to the Toronto Blue Jays, it will be prudent to rename Caledonia Park Santo Domingo Baseball Park.  In view of the fact that there are no monuments at this time that recognize the proud contributions that the Dominican community have made to the City of Toronto in particular, this recognition will be timely.

Luis Feliz, well known in the Dominican community consulted with Ken Jeffers regarding the official recognition of the Dominican community and Jeffers suggested that the renaming of Caledonia Park will be the most appropriate way to do so at this time. Luis “Cambumbo” Feliz, Yandira Feliz and Alfredo Valenzuela are the key leaders of the Park Renaming Committee as they continue to volunteer their time and resources with many other Dominicans in developing baseball in the City of Toronto over many years. 

A successful renaming will be a major historical accomplishment for them and the entire Dominican community both here, in the Dominican Republic and perhaps in all of North America because there are no known parks outside of the Dominican Republic that honour their significant contributions to the sport of baseball.  The support and endorsement of all sectors of the community, including the private and public sector and the Blue Jays will be greatly appreciated.

The committee will welcome the opportunity to discuss and present their plans for consideration to all of the stakeholders mentioned.

Canadians of Dominican descent are anxious to share their love for the sport of baseball with the entire Toronto community. For further information, please get in touch with the following committee member:

Yandira Feliz 

Chair of Toronto Dominican Renaming Committee
 

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Alfredo Valenzuela, from left, Yandira Feliz, Mayor John Tory and Luis Feliz Cambumbo.