Thursday, October 17, 2013

Those Mickey Mouse Dodgers

If you pay any attention at all, you'll notice I'm a bit of a Dodger fan.  #Sorrynotsorry about all those Twitter rants...  Well, those Mickey Mouse'ing Dodgers happen to be a fantastic team both on and off the field - this year's squad in particular.

Photo Credit: Think Blue LA

There's Adrian Gonzalez, my favorite of the poor Padres when I lived in Sandy Eggo for 9 years, who has been making a big difference in the Los Angeles community.  His work with PADRES Contra El Cancer (no relation to the baseball team) works to improve the quality of life for Latino children with cancer and their families.  I attended PADRES' Annual Family Picnic and Carnival with UCLA last summer and had a wonderful time playing carnival games, face painting, and running around in the sun.  In addition to his work with PADRES, he has created the Adrian Gonzalez Scholarship to provide financial assistance to underprivileged students to go to college.  He and his wife also support two baseball fields in Tijuana, low-income families to attend Viva Los Dodgers Days at Dodger Stadium, distribute toys and other gifts to children, and so much more.

Photo Credit: Kershaw's Challenge

And of course, with the biggest heart of them all, there's Clayton Kershaw.  Kershaw won the Roberto Clemente Award in 2012, which recognizes a baseball player who best represents the game through positive contributions both on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.  He was also the youngest person to ever receive the 2013 Branch Rickey Award, to honor his community contributions and for being a strong role model for youth.  Through the non-profit Kershaw's Challenge, Clayton and his wife Ellen have made an enormous difference to at-risk children and communities in need.  He builds and sustains orphanages in Zambia through Arise Africa, creates after-school education and sports programs for inner-city kids in Dallas with Mercy Street Ministries, and empowers middle and high school students to graduate and acquire a higher education through ShareFest.  Oh, and he writes inspirational books about how you can save the world too!  Sandy Koufax loves him, and so do I.

The entire Dodgers organization gives back in Los Angeles and around the world through the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, the yearly Dodgers Caravans around the community at dozens of local non-profits, individual player programs like Kemp's Kids, Chad's Camps, and more.

No matter how 2013 ends, the Dodgers have and will forever be my True Blue home.

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