Dodgers hold Bowling Extravaganza
Players, celebrities, fans raise money for the Dream Foundation
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Although the Dodgers will not have another day off until Sept. 4, 11 players spent Monday evening at the team's fourth annual Bowling Extravaganza, helping the Dodgers Dream Foundation raise about $100,000, according to community relations manager David Brennan.The players joined celebrities such as James Denton, James Van Der Beek, Jonathan Silverman and Doug Savant, and Lakers guard Jordan Farmar at the event hosted by James Loney and Brad Penny at Lucky Strike Hollywood. "I just like to see people smile, have a good time," Loney said. "I think a lot of people like to interact with us, kind of get a feel for who we are, and a lot of guys showed up today. It's great that we got a bunch of guys out here to have fun." Added Penny, "Any time you can get out and help some people in need it's nice."
Along with donating a lane to Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA, the Dodgers sold out the other 11 lanes at the pricey charity event that cost $850 per person, or $7,500 per lane, one of which was bought by CNN's Larry King for his family. Each lane got to bowl with a player or celebrity.Brennan said the money will go toward a number of programs involved with the Dream Foundation, including rebuilding and refurbishing the Dodgers' Dream Fields and helping the kids at Mattel Children's Hospital. The Bowling Extravaganza also featured a silent auction with a number of baseball-related items, including Russell Martin's autographed game-worn Nike baseball cleats that fetched a bid of $4,500. There were also prizes for bowling well, a raffle board, and food. Martin enjoyed interacting with the kids who wanted him to sign their shirts and to just talk to him. "I remember how it was for me as a kid growing up," Martin said. "I met a couple guys that played in the big leagues, and it just meant so much to me just to see them and be in the presence of them and just to get to talk to them. It's just my way of giving back now. I can tell by the kids, the way they smile at me and stuff, I know they enjoy it. I'm the same way, I enjoy it, too." The catcher added that such an event helps team camaraderie with the players being able to let loose together away from the stressful environment of the ballpark. Besides Martin, Loney and Penny, Matt Kemp, Casey Blake, Joe Beimel, Juan Pierre, Clayton Kershaw, Ramon Troncoso, Danny Ardoin, Gary Bennett and former manager Tommy Lasorda attended the event. "It changes everything, having the opportunity to hang out with the boys," Martin said. "They're not just teammates, they're friends as well. It's always fun to hang out, especially when our team's doing good, too, so it makes it better." Kershaw said he had a lot of fun interacting with the fans and bowling. The left-hander even held his own on the lanes despite bowling as a righty to rest his golden left arm that threw six innings of one-run ball on Sunday. "I'm just saving the arm," Kershaw said. "I just pitched yesterday, so probably not the best idea to bowl today." Blake, who said he's an inconsistent bowler, also enjoyed himself while getting to know Dodgers fans and knocking down a few pins. "I always try to support good causes in the community," Blake said. "This is a great one."
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.