The Los Angeles Dodgers won the 2020 ESPN Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year Award in recognition of work completed through the organization’s official charity, the L.A. Dodgers Foundation. The announcement was made during the broadcast of the annual ESPYS.
The LADF was recognized for tackling the most pressing problems facing Los Angeles with a mission to improve education, health care, homelessness, and social justice for all Angelenos. The Dodgers organization earned a $100,000 award, which the foundation will use to fund proven programs that help level the playing field and invest in on the ground solutions.
“Our goal is to achieve the same level of excellence off the field that our fans demand from us on the field,” Dodger owner and LADF chairman Mark Walter said.
“This is much bigger than baseball. We want to tackle the city’s most significant challenges, such as unequal access to education, and we are striving to become the best philanthropic organization in the city working on these issues.”
In addition to the Dodgers/LADF, other finalists for Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year were the Denver Broncos (NFL), New York City FC (MLS) and Sacramento Kings (NBA).
The LADF has invested more than $30 million in the community and has grown to impact over 2.3 million youth through direct programs and grants to local nonprofit organizations.
Included within that is providing for over 10,000 youth annually through its sports-based youth development program, Dodgers RBI; 10,000 youth through its L.A. Reads literacy initiative; over 9,000 students through the use of baseball as a STEM textbook in its Science of Baseball curriculum; and providing 368,000 youth access to safe, playable fields in their neighborhoods with 51 completed Dodgers Dreamfields, including two universally-accessible adaptive fields.
The Dodgers Foundation has also spearheaded COVID-19 relief efforts, providing meals, essential products and donations to an array of individuals and organizations.
“LADF was built for this moment in time,” Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation CEO Nichol Whiteman said. “The trauma of a pandemic and social justice events has exacerbated the significant disparities in our communities. We know that inequality can only be dismantled through proactive and strategic interventions, and we are starting with the root causes.
“This award is a celebration of our organization’s accomplishments, but we are far from done. LADF will not waver. We will be part of the solution.”
LADF supports more than 100 nonprofits annually; has grown to serve over 10,000 youth annually through its sports-based youth development program, Dodgers RBI; and earlier this year broke ground at Gonzales Park to signal the beginning of construction on its largest Dodgers Dreamfields project to date.
The multi-million dollar renovation aims to provide safe park access to 28,000 local youth under the age of 18. The Dodgers Dreamfields at Gonzales Park — Nos. 55, 56 and 57 — will honor the Jackie Robinson family and revive baseball and softball play in the area among youth.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in our shows, and more!