Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
On top of piping in cheers and other noises to mirror a usual game setting, the Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams providing fans with an opportunity to purchase a cardboard cutout to be placed in select sections.
With net proceeds benefitting the L.A. Dodgers Foundation, fan cutouts have filled seats in the Dugout Club, field level, loge level. Some have also opted to place their cutout in the new home run seats at Dodger Stadium.
That of course figured to make for an interesting scenario if and when home runs landed just beyond the fencing. Sure enough, such came to fruition last Saturday, when Will Smith launched a solo shot into left field.
It struck a fan cutout in the head/neck area, and suddenly Austin Donley had gone viral. He asked the Dodgers for the ball and Smith responded that he would send memorabilia. The rookie catcher delivered on his promise by gifting an autographed bat to Donley.
— Austin Donley (@adonley3) July 30, 2020
“I thought it was awesome,” Smith said of learning he’d broken Donley’s cutout. “Didn’t really realize it happened until I got home. I thought it was funny.”
Smith said he would likely apologize for taking Donley’s head off, which is what was written on the bat along with “Go Dodgers!”
Smith is one of the more reserved players in the clubhouse, but he is mindful of the important role social media can play in a unique season. “I think it’s great interacting with them that way,” Smith said.
“Every night they’re not lining the foul lines, asking for autographs. We can’t really interact with them this year like that. Anything to keep them engaged, watching and cheering us on from home, it means a lot. It helps keep us going. That’s why we have the best fans in baseball.”
Pet cutouts at Dodger Stadium
With a positive response to their fan cutout initiative, the LADF recently expanded it to include dogs. The program was further added to as fans asked for cats to also be involved.
All cutouts are available at Dodgers.com/FanCutouts.
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