Dodgers News: Joe Kelly Nearly Didn’t Have Trade For Mariachi Jacket
Joe Kelly, White House visit
Julio Cortez/AP Photo

When the Los Angeles Dodgers visited the White House back in July, Joe Kelly wore a mariachi jacket that stole headlines and took social media by storm.

Kelly, whose mother is Mexican-American, traded for the jacket with Grover Castro, a California State University, Northridge alumnus and trumpet player for Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar.

Castro and the band were performing for Viva Los Dodgers and while doing a soundcheck were invited by Kenley Jansen onto the field.

Castro said that was when Kelly asked the group if anyone would want to trade with him, according to Stephen Nesbitt of The Athletic:

“We played a few songs. After that, on our way out, Joe Kelly was like, “I’ll trade with one of you guys.” I was just so excited to be there. I didn’t even hear what he said. I was like, “I’ll do it!” That’s when (Kelly) goes, “OK, I’ll trade your jacket for my jersey.” I was like, ohhhhhh man, I can’t do that. I needed it for the performance. It’s essentially my work uniform. I just couldn’t do it right then and there. … He said, “I’ll be in the bullpen during the game. We did our performance. That moment was just so surreal to me. I came home, and I was telling my mom, my sister, my uncle, everybody at home about it. They were like, “That’s so crazy. You should have traded it. It would’ve been so dope.”

After rethinking Kelly’s proposal at home, Castro regretted not making the deal and got to work on making it happen:

“After maybe an hour or two of just conversing over what happened that day, I went to bed and I was like, Man, maybe I should have done it. I woke up on Monday morning and decided to call the guy who makes the suits in Tijuana to see if he has the cloth left and the design. I made a lot of phone calls trying to track down who can make me another one of these jackets. Finally, I found someone who had one, I’d just have to get it altered to my size. I just needed to know that I had a replacement so that I could go to Dodger Stadium on Monday night and do the exchange.”

When Castro found a replacement jacket on Monday, he went to the stadium that night to try to make the exchange, but he wasn’t sure if Kelly still wanted to do it:

“I was like, man, what if he doesn’t want to anymore? What if he was joking? What if he was like, no, (the offer) was just for yesterday. I just decided to wing it, man. Luckily, when he saw me he was like, “You did come back!” And he came through.”

Along with wearing a jacket he obtained from a trade with Castro, Kelly later revealed he also needed to borrow pants from Mookie Betts. “That’s why they were a little bit too short,” Kelly quipped.

“My whole outfit was borrowed.”

Will Dodgers re-sign Kelly?

The Dodgers began the offseason with 11 players reaching free agency, then added Kelly to that group when they declined a $12 million team option for the 2022 season in favor of a $4 million buyout.

However, that’s not to suggest the right-hander’s tenure with the team has come to an end. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman openly acknowledged the team intends to pursue re-signing Kelly.

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