As the Los Angeles Dodgers began the postseason, they found an opportunity to pay it forward. On Monday, October 2, alumni of the club travelled to Crenshaw High School to reward 30 high-performing students and student-athletes with tickets to the Dodgers’ first playoff game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.
Baseball fans of the 80’s will recall that former Dodger, Darryl Strawberry, was a national high school baseball standout at Crenshaw.
“The Dodgers are part of the cultural fabric in Los Angeles,” said Naomi Rodriguez, Dodgers vice president of external affairs and community relations. “Crenshaw High School is our community. We’re each other’s story.”
Along with a free ticket to the game, the Dodgers provided free round-trip transportation to Dodger Stadium, a baseball cap, Dodgers t-shirt, and a food voucher.
One of the students who was awarded was Nigel Lewis, who was grateful to the Dodgers for being the team to “give kids the opportunity just to see something different.”
“I’ve never been to this type of playoffs game,” Lewis said. “I appreciate the opportunity.”
Dodgers alumni Dennis Powell and Kenny Landreaux helped deliver the tickets to the deserving students. Rodriguez noted that she “felt a good spirit” at Crenshaw high school.
“I know a lot of students … we have dreams and we don’t [ever] think that things like this can happen to us,” said playoff ticket recipient Vivienne Kane. “I think this is just one of the greatest things that can happen for us because a lot of people deserve it.”
Earlier this year, general manager Dave Roberts, along with several Dodgers players, including pitcher Rich Hill, and catcher Austin Barnes, visited Crenshaw to award 16 youths with Dodgers community medals. The students were awarded for overcoming personal and academic obstacles, according to Rodriguez.
“Part of the goal of bringing the two alumni there and the excitement of the tickets and the whole thing is to let them know that we see them, we acknowledge them,” said Rodriguez. “We see what they’re doing, the good things that they’re doing in their school, for themselves and for the community.”