Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Although the Los Angeles Dodgers are on a road trip to New York, Dodger Stadium hosted more than 5,000 kids on Saturday for the annual Dreamteam PlayerFest.
Now celebrating its 10th year, Dodgers Dreamteam is a youth development program that uses sports to provide critical resources and services to communities that are experiencing social injustices.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) works with 14 affiliate partners to deliver sports-based programming and services for 11,000 youth and to support communities and families across L.A.
All members of the Dreamteam were invited to Dodger Stadium for PlayerFest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with roughly half deciding to attend the event.
“This opportunity to celebrate today with all of our families who have been in the program from various neighborhoods and communities across Los Angeles, it’s very important,” LADF chief executive officer Nichol Whiteman said.
“It’s important for us to not only provide baseball and softball to underserved communities, but to be able to make sure that they have these health resources and education resources, and they get them in their neighborhoods, but today we bring it to Dodger Stadium when we bring them to our house.”
PlayerFest featured essential services such as health screenings and dental checkups from UCLA Health, eye exams from Vision to Learn, and additional education resources.
The event also had numerous games and activations for Dreamteam players, including rock climbing, cornhole, pitching challenges and the opportunity to win prizes at many of the stations. DJ Severe was playing music throughout the day as well.
In addition, some of Los Angeles’ other sports teams were in attendance with their own activations, including the Lakers, Kings, Chargers, Rams and LAFC.
A few of the Laker Girls were attending to sign autographs, in addition to Al Ferrera, Billy Ashley and Derrell Thomas who were signing throughout the day. The 2020 World Series trophy was also available as a photo opportunity.
“You know, my favorite part is always the feeling of just the families pouring in and the smiles on the faces,” Whiteman said. “I think a smile on a face is such a gift to us at the Dodgers Foundation. It’s a sign that we have of the reward that we’re receiving for what we’re giving and the impact that we’re having on these families.
“Particularly again, as we’re celebrating 10 years of this particular program and 10 years of our Dodgers Foundation reimagined, is really special today.”
While most of the event was held in the left field parking lot and center field plaza, Dodger Stadium was also open for attendees to walk the warning track, throw in the bullpen, take photos in the dugout and go on a tour.
Frank Martinez, who works as a field champion with Dodgers Dreamteam, was in the bullpen helping players throw during the event. He began coaching when his 13-year-old son was seven-years-old and said the program has been a huge blessing to him and his family.
“And so all those years in between, I’ve seen him develop through the program and take advantage of all the different opportunities, all the resources,” Martinez said. “And ultimately just the program in and of itself has been huge for us.”
Dodgers Dreamteam unveiled
In February 2022, the LADF unveiled a rebranding of their sports-based youth development program, formerly Dodgers RBI, to Dodgers Dreamteam.
The announcement was made at Dodger Stadium, complete with a new logo, and Magic Johnson and Adrián González among those in attendance.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!