09/16/10 10:45 PM ET
Dodgers' La Gran Fiesta set for Sunday
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
La Gran Fiesta: Viva Los Dodgers will include live music from Ricardo Cerda "El Gavilan," Yolanda Perez's Band, Vital, Sonsoles and Dulce Maria formerly of RBD Rebelde. Dodgers broadcaster Fernando Valenzuela and alumni Jimmy Campanis, Al Ferrara and Rudy Law will be at the MasterCard autograph booth and Hall of Fame Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrin will sign for fans at the Time Warner Cable booth.
Prior to the game, the Dodgers will also celebrate the 30th anniversary of Valenzuela's Major League debut (Sept. 15, 1980). Juan Marcos Gutierrez Gonzalez, consul general of Mexico in Los Angeles, will represent the Mexican government and participate in the pregame ceremony honoring the legendary pitcher's anniversary and the bicentennial of Mexico's independence. Valenzuela will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Jenni Rivera, Mexican recording artist and executive producer of mun2's "Jenni Rivera Presents Chiquis and Raq-C," will sing the national anthem, and the stars of her show, Chiquis and Raq-C, will also be on hand as part of Sunday's pregame ceremonies.
La Gran Fiesta: Viva Los Dodgers will take place in Lot 6. Parking gates open at 9:45 a.m. Admission is free for fans holding a ticket to Sunday's game. Tickets can be purchased now at dodgers.com or losdodgers.com, or by calling 866-DODGERS. Tickets will also be on sale at the event starting at 10 a.m. via the Dodgers' Ticket Truck.
Interactive family-friendly areas will be provided by several sponsors, including La Gran Fiesta: Viva Los Dodgers presenters Hyundai and Coca-Cola. Fans can take souvenir photos at the Bank of America booth, Farmer John will have its Tailgater on hand to provide sample sausages and Bud Light and Miller will have beer gardens at the festival. Other giveaways and activities will be provided by State Farm, San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, Kaiser Permanente, MetroPCS, Chipotle, Welk Resort, Staples, AAA, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Bally's Total Fitness, Nestle Chocolate Abuelita, Verizon Wireless and Sparkletts.
The Dodgers are also offering seats in the all-inclusive My Town: Mexico section. Fans sitting in My Town: Mexico will receive a free Dodgertown, Mexico T-shirt and will enjoy special menu items including carne asada tacos and elote a la parilla in addition to unlimited Dodger Dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn and soft drinks. Tickets can be purchased by visiting dodgers.com/mytown or by calling 866-DODGERS.
The Dodgers' connection with Mexico dates to the Brooklyn days, as the first Mexican team to win the Little League World Series spent a day in 1957 at Ebbets Field with the Brooklyn Dodgers, including catcher Roy Campanella, who had played in the Mexican League and was elected to the Mexican League Hall of Fame.
The Dodgers have had 17 players born in Mexico. The Major League record for most career wins by a Mexican-born pitcher is topped by two former Dodgers, Valenzuela (173) and Esteban Loaiza (125). Dodgers of Mexican descent include Nomar Garciaparra and current Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas. Outfielder Andre Ethier also paid tribute to his Mexican heritage last year by hosting a "Carne Asada Sunday" event and this year spoke to a visiting contingent of Mexican media during Spring Training.
The Dodgers have traveled to Mexico for exhibitions in 2003, 1991 and 1964. Last year, Valenzuela, Jarrin and fellow broadcaster Pepe Yniguez made a trip to Mexicali, Mexico, and participated in a news conference during the Caribbean World Series.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.