Freddie Freeman hasn’t been a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers for even a year yet, but he is already familiar with Southern California after growing up in the area, which made him a perfect representative for the organization in their 18th annual Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour.
Freeman made three stops on the tour to give back to the community, which included visits to Garfield High School in East L.A., the Hollenbeck Community Police Station, and Solano Avenue Elementary School, located just minutes away from Dodger Stadium.
“I’ve been a Dodger for five months now, and it’s been a pretty special five months,” Freeman said. “So when they came to me a few weeks ago and said they want me to get out into the community, I jumped on it.
“We are very active in our family with giving back, so to start off the 18th year for Dodgers Community work of what they’re doing this week, I’m glad to kick it off.”
The first stop was Garfield High School for a pep rally where Freeman, his wife Chelsea, their three sons and additional family members interacted with students.
“I think just coming out here, putting a smile on kids faces, and they all get to go to a Dodger game, so that’s going to be pretty exciting,” Freeman said. “You’re given a platform, so you try to use it for good. When you come out here and see all the smiles, it just makes you feel good about yourself.”
The next stop was at the LAPD station, where Freeman took photos, signed autographs and passed out memorabilia. There was also a partnership with California Pizza Kitchen to provide lunch to the law enforcement officers.
“The LAPD, they take care of us, keep our streets safe,” Freeman said. “Obviously, I grew up in Southern California, so when I walked in there, I said, luckily, this is the first time I’ve ever been in a police station. And hopefully, it’s the last unless my kids become police officers.”
The tour concluded at Solano Avenue Elementary, where Freeman spoke on the importance of taking care of your skin and using sunscreen. Freeman and his family helped distribute sunscreen and lip balm to the kids, and they also received Dodgers merchandise and a toy baseball bat and ball set.
The stop included a partnership with UCLA Health, who provided the sunscreen and other dermatological resources, along with sending a nurse practitioner to speak to the kids and answer their questions.
It was personal for Freeman as his mom passed away due to melanoma, a serious skin cancer, and his brother had it in his ear as well. Freeman was also active to work with melanoma charities while he was with the Atlanta Braves. “It means a lot to us,” Freeman said.
“So just to let the kids know a little bit about sunscreen, I know they’re going to go off and play on the playground and do everything they want to do, as they should as kids. But for us just to maybe, it might stick in one person, one kid, one boy or a little girl that they might start putting sunscreen on and it could save their life, you never know.”
Overall, Freeman believed the Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour was successful and he was happy to give back. “We had a great time,” he said.
“And the one thing that was big for me was when I was talking to Dodgers in the offseason, they asked what my goals and how I do things, I said I care about winning and family. And as you can see they want my family to be just as big a part of it as I am.
“So from day one, the Dodgers have made sure my family has been included, bringing them out, letting Charlie hand out some sunscreen and do all the things today.
“It’s been special all day.”
Freeman sang at Garfield High School
Freeman rarely lets his nerves show in the batter’s box, but on stage at Garfield High School, the 32-year-old participated in karaoke for the students, which made him “pretty nervous.”
“I’m not very good at singing,” he said. “I could watch a movie and if you ask me to recite the lines, I can’t do that and I can’t do lyrics.
“As you can see, there’s a lot of ‘Cocomelon’ in our lives, so I don’t really know too many songs these days. But luckily they did some songs I’ve heard of, and I think I did OK.
“I know the signing wasn’t good, but at least I got the words right.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!