Cody Bellinger, Clayton Kershaw & Justin Turner Name Manny Ramirez, Will Clark Among Favorite Players Growing Up During Dodgers Zoom Party
cody bellinger
Wilfredo Lee-AP Photo

The Los Angeles Dodgers held their second Zoom party last week, and among the attendees included current and former players, broadcasters and celebrities.

The event began on a humorous note as Cody Bellinger attempted to answer a question while he was muted. Clayton Kershaw was also a source of jokes throughout the night for his reputation and serious mood on start days.

While the chat was lighthearted for the most part, the players also took questions from fans that tuned in. Kershaw, a Texas Rangers supporter growing up, revealed that former All-Star first baseman Will Clark was his favorite MLB player as a child:

“Tim Wallach might be one of my favorites. He’s the man. I had so much fun playing — he didn’t really coach me since he was a third-base coach — but getting to hang out with him and hanging out after games in the hotel lobby, talking with him, he’s the best. But my favorite player growing up was Will Clark. Not the Giants’ Will Clark. The Texas Rangers’ Will Clark. He was a first baseman, I played first base, and that’s why I wear 22.”

Justin Turner noted that he kept tabs on players drafted out of his alma matter, Cal State Fullerton, such as Mark Kotsay, Aaron Rowand, Reed Johnson and former Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach:

“I had a really close connection with Cal State Fullerton. I was a bat boy for a few years, so I followed guys like Mark Kotsay, Aaron Rowand, Reed Johnson, and they all got to the Major Leagues. Ironically, I made it to the Major Leagues and got to play against them, so they all felt really old. … [Wallach] is actually part of the reason why I ended up signing with the Dodgers. I talked to him a little bit at a Cal State Fullerton alumni game and told him I hadn’t signed yet. He went back and told Ned Colletti, who gave me a call.”

Bellinger, who often visited the New York Yankees clubhouse as a child while his father, Clay, played for them, deemed Derek Jeter his favorite player:

“Derek Jeter and I eventually grew to love Manny Ramirez. I loved the way Manny played and his baggy jersey back in the day with his dreads.”

While the bulk of players named by Bellinger, Kershaw and Turner are retired, Ramirez, who turns 48 later this month, is hoping to resume his playing career in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL).

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