Date: May 1, 2018


SANTA ANA, Calif. – Approximately 2,000 at-risk youth will be treated like VIPs at tomorrow night’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Angels) game in reward for refusing to join a gang while improving school attendance and behavior. This special event marks the 10th year in which students who rose to the challenge issued by Orange County Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership (OC GRIP). The OC GRIP kids will attend a game, be greeted by the players, watch the team warm up during batting practice, and will receive dinner. The name of each school in attendance will be displayed on the Angel Vision JumboTron during the event. Angels players Noé Ramirez and Justin Upton, as well as 3rd base coach Dino Ebel, mental conditioning coach Will Lenzner, manager Mike Scioscia, and Angels broadcaster Jose Mota will motivate the students with their experiences.

OC GRIP invites the media to arrive at Angel Stadium tomorrow, May 2, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. Credentialed members of the press interested in attending are encouraged to call the OCDA Spokesperson Michelle Van Der Linden at 714-347-8405 or via email at to make arrangements.

Thanks to the generosity of the Angels, approximately 2,000students in 4th through 8th grade accompanied by roughly 100 teacher chaperones will all attend the game for free. Due to the partnership with law enforcement organizations, personnel from various departments will also be in attendance to congratulate the students on their accomplishments, including Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

“The GRIP kids who earned their attendance at this game showed their teachers and community every day that they will work hard for the rewards they want in life,” said Rackauckas. “Many Angels players had similar upbringings, and hearing their first-hand accounts has inspired GRIP students for 10 years now. I especially want to thank Angels Vice President of Communications, Tim Mead, and the entire Angels organization for helping to create such a memorable day for these kids.”

“The short and long-term results of this most impressive program should serve as a model for other communities not only in our state, but across the country,” said Mead. “GRIP is a proactive concept that makes a difference in the lives of youngsters at such a formative time in their lives. We are proud and privileged to assist District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Senior Assistant District Attorney Tracy Miller and all those involved in this impactful effort.”

Students will arrive at 3:00 p.m. and have early access to Angel Stadium, where they will sit behind the dugout and be greeted by Angels players and staff before the team stretch and warm up. The game begins at 7:07 p.m. when the Angels face the Baltimore Orioles.

Representatives from Saddleback Church will entertain the students with games and prizes between batting practice and the game. Participating law enforcement agencies include police departments in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Orange, Placentia, and Santa Ana, as well as the Santa Ana Unified School District Police, California State University Fullerton Police, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County Probation Department, and OCDA’s Bureau of Investigation.

“We are pleased to see so many students meet the OC GRIP/Angels challenge by making good decisions and demonstrating excellent behavior,” said Santa Ana Police Department Chief David Valentin. “The OC GRIP/Angels baseball game incentive and this extraordinary partnership continues to demonstrate the power of the community and positive influence coming together to keep at-risk students out of gangs and in school.”