The Los Angeles Dodgers visited the White House last week to celebrate their 2020 World Series title, and among the players who stole the show was Joe Kelly.
The right-hander arrived in a charro jacket he acquired just three days prior from mariachi player Grover Castro Tiburcio, giving up his game jersey as part of the trade.
“Originally I just wanted the jacket. It’s one of those things that was kind of spur of the moment,” Kelly explained. “I saw they were going to perform before our game, and Kenley saw them and brought them down to the field.
“It’s one of those things where I thought in my head, ‘These things are sweet.’ I asked if they wanted to trade, and at the moment I don’t think any of them really wanted to. They’re beautiful pieces of work with outstanding embroidery on it, outstanding fabric on it. I didn’t get a glimpse of it up close until I actually made the trade. After I made the trade, I wasn’t planning on wearing it to the White House. I totally forgot we were even going to the White House.
“So it was one of those things like, ‘I should try this on to see if it fits.’ I tried it on after the game and thought, ‘Man, this fits great.’ And those were actually Mookie Betts’ pants, that’s why they were a little bit too short. My whole outfit was borrowed.”
Kelly, whose mother is of Mexican heritage, was proud to wear the jacket at the White House and hopes to eventually sign the jersey he gave Tiburcio. “Yes, definitely. I’m definitely proud of it,” Kelly said of his Mexican roots.
“To see the way it was accepted from him, obviously we traded uniform for uniform. It means a lot to him. It was pretty cool to see him come back the next day and us make the trade. I would love to meet him.
“It was during the game and kind of my time to get ready and focus for the game. We made the trade in the early innings and it was so spur of the moment, I forgot to sign that thing. I definitely want to sign it. I was just so excited. When he said yes and brought the jacket I was like, ‘Alright, I’m going to go get my jersey.’ It was pretty cool. The only thing was I forgot to sign it. I was too excited to get it and be able to wear it.”
When asked about it on Tuesday, Betts made sure to let it be known that he wants his pants back.
“No, I need to get those back,” Betts joked. “I’m glad you said that because I have not asked for them back. So when we get home I’ll make sure I get those back and I’m gonna hang them up or something.”
Kelly created ‘Joseph’ alter ego
Kelly, in the midst of a resurgent season, is thriving under his strike-throwing, mustache-growing alter ego known as “Joseph.”
“Joe came up with it himself,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s his alter ego and a strike-throwing person. I joke with him all the time about it. I like Joseph.”