01/28/2008 6:48 PM ET
"50th Anniversary Dodgers Community Caravan presented by Aeromexico and New Era" features tribute to Jackie Robinson, tickets to ThinkCure game at Coliseum, and numerous player appearances
"Eight-Day Week" is club's longest Caravan ever; Stars of History include Don Newcombe, Tommy Lasorda, Tommy Davis, Fernando Valenzuela, Ken Landreaux, Bobby Castillo, Eric Karros, and "Sweet Lou" Johnson; Stars of Today include Russell Martin, Nomar Garciaparra, James Loney, Jeff Kent, Matt Kemp, Brad Penny, Andre Ethier, Hiroki Kuroda and Takashi Saito
LOS ANGELES -- Celebrating their 50th Anniversary in Los Angeles and launching their fundraising for ThinkCure, the Dodgers will embark on their "50th Anniversary Dodgers Community Caravan presented by Aeromexico and New Era" starting this Thursday, January 31, and running through next Thursday, February 7. The series of events, spanning eight days, is the largest in club history and includes visits to Pasadena, Santa Monica, Universal City, and Playa Vista.
All-Star pitchers Brad Penny and Takashi Saito, infielders James Loney, Jeff Kent, and Nomar Garciaparra, outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, 2007 NL Silver Slugger, Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner Russell Martin, and Dodger Vice President and Assistant GM Kim Ng, join a host of legends including Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, Don Newcombe, Fernando Valenzuela, Wes Parker, "Sweet Lou" Johnson, Ken Landreaux, Bobby Castillo, and broadcasters Jaime Jarrín, Pepe Yñiguez, and Charley Steiner.
Salute to Jackie Robinson this Thursday
The Caravan begins Thursday, January 31, the eve of "Black History Month," with a tribute to Jackie Robinson on what would have been the pioneering Dodger Hall of Famer's 89th birthday. Newcombe, Lasorda, Johnson, Jackie's niece, Kathy Robinson-Young, and his grandson, Jesse Simms, will teach several hundred Los Angeles school children at Dodger Stadium why they should remember Robinson.
"No sport in our time connects generations the way baseball does, and no team in our league connects generations the way the Dodgers do," said Vice Chairman and President Jamie McCourt. "It is essential that we continue to teach this story to families, to the entire Dodger Family.
"Jackie's efforts, together with Branch Rickey, made it possible for all children in our city and our nation today to pursue the ideal dream of their careers, without having to narrow the list because of closed doors, doors that he opened. His is a story that must be told in perpetuity, and we must recognize how fortunate we are that we still have primary sources who can explain first-hand the character of this Dodger legend and American hero."
Tickets to the Dodgers-Red Sox Game at the Coliseum Go On Sale
Continuing their pioneering efforts, the Dodgers will break new ground Saturday when tickets to the ThinkCure fundraiser game March 29 against the Boston Red Sox go on sale. The venue, where the Dodgers first played after their move here in 1958 and which holds more than 100,000 when full, could draw the largest crowd ever for a professional baseball game. The net proceeds will fund this bold new oncology effort.
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. at the box offices of Dodger Stadium and the Coliseum. Fans can also call 866-DODGERS or visit dodgers.com, where they can also purchase tickets to the Dodgers' Spring Training home games.
On Sunday, the Dodgers will hold a party at Dodger Stadium for families in the stadium's neighborhood. The private event, which is open to the media, celebrates the end of the football season and beginning of baseball season.
On Tuesday, the Caravan visits the first of the two hospitals that are partners in the ThinkCure effort, Childrens Hospital. The entourage then visits more than 1,100 students at John Marshall High School, and presents a clinic at the Dodger Dream Field for the Culver Marina Little League. The Caravan ends at Yankee Doodles in Santa Monica from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., when the personalities are available to meet with the public and sign autographs.
"Our point here is to reach as many children as we can," McCourt said. "A hospitalized child often derives so much benefit from the spiritual uplift a visit from a Dodger hero provides, and children in schools will often remember the message of a baseball star the rest of their lives. A clinic at a Little League field gives children another day they'll never forget, and an open house helps ensure that all fans from all over our community have the opportunity to see the players up close and in person. As is usually the case in baseball, it's personal, and it's all about family."
Wednesday's journey starts at Dodger Stadium, where players and fans can join together to give a send-off to the official Dodger Equipment Truck that will make its drive to Vero Beach, Florida, to launch Spring Training. The Caravan will then visit the second ThinkCure partner, City of Hope Hospital in Duarte. In Pasadena, the Dodgers visit Washington Accelerated Elementary School and the Panda Inn, where the Dodgers will serve lunch from 1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. (Fans can make reservations by calling (626) 793-7300.) After lunch, the Caravan will reach City Walk, a finale which again is open to the public, from 4-6 p.m.
The Caravan concludes Thursday when the Dodgers attend and support the annual RBI Dinner. Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities is a Major League Baseball program with roots in Los Angeles. Among current Dodgers, James Loney is an alumnus of RBI, and is expected to attend, along with Matt Kemp.
The public events provide the best opportunities to meet players and receive autographs. Fans should keep in mind, however, that even though the Dodgers will limit the number of autographs a fan can receive to ensure that as many are accommodated as possible, the club cannot, of course, guarantee everyone an autograph, as attendance will determine the number of fans the Dodgers can accommodate.
Also, while the players, coaches, legends, and broadcasters listed are expected, unforeseen events can of course cause last-minute changes to the Caravan roster.
|Tuesday, Feb. 5 || Wednesday, Feb. 6|
|Jeff Kent, Russell Martin, Brad Penny, || Andre Ethier, Nomar Garciaparra,
|Fernando Valenzuela, Jaime Jarrin, || James Loney, Tommy Lasorda, Matt Kemp,
|Takashi Saito, Charley Steiner, Kim Ng, || Hiroki Kuroda, Eric Karros,
|"Sweet" Lou Johnson, & Wes Parker || Pepe Yniguez, Bobby Castillo &
| || Kenny Landreaux |
|10:30 a.m. || Childrens Hospital Los Angeles || 9:30 a.m. || Dodger Stadium - Lot A |
| ||(Closed to public) || ||(Open to Public - NO AUTOGRAPHS) |
| || 4650 Sunset Blvd. || ||1000 Elysian Park Avenue |
| || Los Angeles, CA 90027 || || Los Angeles, CA 90012 |
| || || |
|2:00 p.m. || John Marshall High School || 10:30 a.m. || City of Hope|
| || (Closed to public) || || (Closed to public) |
| ||3939 Tracy St. || || 1500 East Duarte Rd.|
| || Los Angeles, CA 90027 || || Duarte, CA 91010|
|3:45 p.m. || Dodgers Dream Field at Culver Marina || 12:00 noon || Washington Accelerated Elementary School|
| || Little League Clinic || || (Closed to public)|
| ||(Closed to public) || || 1520 N. Raymond Ave. |
| || 13120 Culver Blvd. || || Pasadena, CA 91103|
| ||Playa Vista, CA 90230 || |
| 5:30 p.m. || Yankee Doodles || 1:15 p.m. || Panda Inn|
| ||(Open to public) || || (Open to customers)|
| || 1410 3rd St. Promenade, Santa Monica || || 3488 E. Foothill Blvd.|
| ||*AUTOGRAPHS LIMITED TO THE FIRST 150 WRISTBANDED FANS || || Pasadena, CA 91107|
| || || 4:00 p.m. || Universal City Walk |
| || || || (Open to public)|
| || || ||1000 Universal Center Dr., Universal City|
| || || || *AUTOGRAPHS LIMITED TO THE FIRST 150 WRISTBANDED FANS |