The Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday welcomed approximately 300 active duty service members and veterans from the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, and their families for batting practice at Dodger Stadium in honor of Veterans Day.
Dodgers alumni Billy Ashley, Ron Cey, Manny Mota and Dennis Powell were on hand for instruction and to interact with attendees. “I remember doing this eight years ago for the first time and what a joy it was for me,” Ashley said. “It was always my favorite time of the year.”
While the event is organized for pre-selected service members to enjoy a memorable experience on the field at Chavez Ravine, the involvement of their families is a point of emphasis for the Dodgers.
“These men and women put their life on the line for us,” Dodgers vice president of external affairs and community relations Naomi Rodriguez said.
“That is something we can’t take for granted. We want to honor these men and women, and their families. It’s a great honor for the Dodgers to do this.”
The Dodgers provided a special-designed Veterans Day t-shirt, behind-the-scenes tours of Dodger Stadium, family photos courtesy of Blue Prints, and lunch in the Lexus Dugout Club.
The annual Veterans Day batting practice is an extension of the Dodgers honoring a Military Hero of the Game during every home game throughout the season. After the service member is introduced on the field, multiple players will make their way to the end of the dugout to offer their gratitude.
“I know our players are very grateful for those that served,” Rodriguez said. “It’s part of our culture to honor our military. Any time we need the players to step in to do that, they do.”
For information on the Dodgers’ military programs and ticket promotions, visit here.