While the Los Angeles Dodgers FanFest event at Dodger Stadium over the weekend marked the unofficial start of the 2018 season, there were still some loose ends to tie up from last year’s campaign. Specifically for Cody Bellinger and his family who were in New York.
Bellinger was unable to attend FanFest because his presence was required at the annual Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) Awards Dinner. He was formally being recognized for being voted the unanimous selection for the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year.
Bellinger was joined by his parents, Clay and Jennifer. The evening was particularly memorable for the father-son duo, as Clay presented Cody with his award.
Neither of the two view themselves as men of many words who excel with giving speeches, but both shared heartfelt messages.
After making his MLB debut last April — much earlier than anticipated — Bellinger shattered multiple records en route to becoming the Dodgers’ second consecutive unanimous Rookie of the Year selection.
He batted .267/.352/.581 with 26 doubles, 39 home runs and 97 RBI. He even showed speed and athleticism by stealing 10 bases in 13 attempts.
Bellinger focused on adding weight this offseason, which has resulted in adding 15 pounds of muscle to his frame. The 22-year-old said he’s mindful of an expected sophomore slump, but deemed it an issue he is not overly concerned about.