SportsNet LA, Dodgers Create Lasting Memory For Special Olympics Southern California Softball Team
Sportsnet La, Dodgers Create Lasting Memory For Special Olympics Southern California Softball Team

The Special Olympics Southern California softball team knew they’d been provided with tickets to attend Sunday’s four-game series finale between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins. Practice had been cancelled in favor of a trip to Dodger Stadium.

But unbeknownst to the group of 10 based out of Laguna Hills, Calif., were the arrangements made by Spectrum Networks public relations director Stacey Mitch. The proverbial red, er, blue carpet was rolled out at Chavez Ravine; field passes, meet and greet with SportsNet LA personalities and watching the early-afternoon contest from the comfort of a suite.

For many, it was their first time attending a baseball game. “The experience of my team and I to come out here is fantastic,” Joseph Gorin said.

“Most of my teammates will never be able to experience this again in their lifetime. I’d like to thank SportsNet LA for inviting us out here.”

Gorin had previously attended Dodgers games. He paused when asked who his favorite player is, then answered Clayton Kershaw, seemingly persuaded by others who suggested the left-handed ace. Gorin is also fond of Yasiel Puig.

Beyond the excitement that came with standing just off the Dodgers dugout and behind the set of “Leadoff L.A.,” the athletes were met by former Dodgers infielder and current SportsNet LA analyst Nomar Garciaparra. He shook hands, signed autographs and posed for photos.

After, there was a quick photo opportunity with Kelli Tennant and Jerry Hairston Jr. during a commercial break. Hairston and Tennant may be the public figures, but they both thanked the group for joining them.

First pitch drew near, which meant it was time for the team to take their seats. What was up the escalator and on the fifth level at Dodger Stadium was unknown. Program coordinator Ticky Gorin, who is also Joseph’s mother, wanted to preserve the element of surprise.


There were smiles all around as the group walked into an air-conditioned suite with enough chill that provide needed relief from the rising temperatures. It was complete with food and an assortment of beverages.

There was one final surprise for the athletes. Tennant visited the luxury box to do a hit coming back from a commercial break. The TV time could be called the cherry on top, but a dessert cart eventually made its way to the suite.

“This is so fantastic,” Ticky said. “Some of them may have another chance to go to a game, but probably not VIP. This is totally VIP. Thank you to SportsNet LA for making this happen.”