LA Dodgers Visited A School To Hand Out Grocery Gift Cards And This Is Why We Love Them
Sports teams are more than just a source of entertainment for the masses. Teams work as hubs for community cohesion and as a social glue that brings people from different backgrounds together. We can’t think of Boston without its fierce and amazing Red Sox fan communities. We can say the same of our good old Los Angeles, which the great late novelist Carlos Fuentes described as the multicultural city of the future. Los Angeles is in equal measures the city of dreams, tinsel town and the place where millions of people from all over the world come to get a piece of the American Dream. Besides the rich Latino presence in the city, there are equally strong ethnic communities such as the thriving Korean, Ethiopian and Central American comunidades.
It only fitting, then, for the city to have a baseball team that represents the spirit of solidarity of these communities. That team is the MLB organization Los Angeles Dodgers.
They did not originate in Los Angeles, but Los Dodgers are as Cali as it comes!
Contemporary fans might not know this, but Los Dodgers were established in Brooklyn, New York, in 1883. They moved to Los Angeles in 1958 and the rest is history. They have been part of the community for decades due to their charity efforts and just plain awesomeness. The Dodgers Foundation holds multiple events throughout the year. Here, we can see player Ross Stripling reading to more than 100 chamaquitos at the Enendale Library.
This week The Los Angeles Dodgers and Mayor Eric Gracetti visited children in need.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was joined by the extraordinary L.A. Dodgers, L.A. Dodgers Foundation, and the Getty House Foundation to present gift cards to young people experiencing homelessness. This initiative was part of MLB’s ‘Home Plate Project’ to take action against food insecurity. More than 650 kids whose families are experiencing homelessness received $50 dollar gift cards. This is a a huge help for families who are basically surviving meal by meal. Said Garcetti during the event: “Who’s been hungry in this room before? … We believe that it’s the right of every little boy and girl and big boy and girl and young men and young women to make sure that they don’t have to worry about their next meal”. Many of these kids come from Latino and African-American families.
The Dodgers have deep roots in the Latino community.
Latinos have a deep and cherished sense of solidarity. Mario Lopez, who was raised in a working-class Mexican Catholic family, is a big fan. Just look at those dimples, totally happy being there with his kid under the Los Angeles sun, just watching the game and enjoying a much deserved chelita.
We still can’t get over Karamo’s Dodgers hat collection!
And of course one of the Latinos of the moment, Karamo Brown from Queer Eye (yes, he has Cuban blood sabor!), has a huge LA Dodgers hat collection. His overall awesomeness and love for just causes just fits with the Dodgers, right?
And being a Dodgers fan is a family tradition for many proud Cali Latinos.
If you go to Dodger Stadium in Elysian Park you will see a lot of Latino families enjoying the game. Nothing cutter than seeing a gown-up Latina watching a game with his papito santo or their abuelo.
Los Angeles Dodgers are basically el equipo de la gente.
According to estimates drawn by Jaime Jarrin, the Dodgers’s Spanish-language announcer, an average crown at Dodger Stadium is 45% Latino!
They have a whole Spanish-speaking media team to connect with the community.
Yes, you can follow the team in the official Spanish-language website https://www.mlb.com/es/dodgers. And of course los puedes seguir on various social media platforms. The management really knows how to connect with aficionados!
And of course, the love Mexican-Americans have for Los Dodgers started with the legendary Fernando Valenzuela.
It all changed in 1981, when Mexican pitcher Fernando Valenzuela became a huge star. In a New York Times article Dodger fan Angie Varela said: ““In the ’70s, I didn’t feel the love so much. Then, in the ’80s, there was a huge number of Mexican-Americans that came out because of Fernando Valenzuela. But now? This is the most I’ve ever seen”. Yes, Dodger fandom is alive and well!
Valenzuela is a cultural icon that went far beyond sports and defined what hard working talented migrants look like!
For many Mexican-Americans, Valenzuela was the hero they had long waited for, a sports figure that mainstream America could learn to respect. And he is still admired by all, including our very own amazing Latino Danny Trejo, a community leader in his own right.