"The Dodgers are dedicated to making baseball and sports accessible for people of all ages," said Naomi Rodriguez, the Dodgers' Senior Director, External Affairs and Community Relations. "As part of the cultural fabric of Los Angeles, the Dodgers are proud to support this humanitarian effort because the Special Olympics World Games showcases not only the journey of these athletes, but also their courage and passion. The World Games break down barriers on so many levels, and the beautiful thing about this event is that it brings together hundreds of cultures from around the world. It's truly inspiring and the Dodgers are excited and honored to be a part of it."
The Dodgers have been promoting the World Games by participating in the LA2015 Circle of Inclusion social media campaign. The Circle, which is part of the World Games logo, represents the mission of the World Games - to create the awareness that leads to acceptance and
inclusion of all people with intellectual disabilities. Among the Dodgers participating in this campaign are:
Dodger manager Don Mattingly, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, outfielders Joc Pederson and
Andre Ethier, infielder-outfielder Justin Turner, former Dodgers Orel Hershiser, Fernando Valenzuela, Al Ferrara and Maury Wills and Spanish broadcasters Jaime and Jorge Jarrin. Photographs may be seen on various Dodgers social media sites in the month of July leading up to the Games and for the duration of the competition.
On Friday, July 10, prior to the Dodgers game against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America presented by Bank of America will culminate at Dodger Stadium. The first of its kind relay covered 50 states over 46 days with the final leg ending at the stadium. The Special Olympics Flame of Hope will then continue on its journey throughout California by the Law Enforcement Torch Run® Final Leg team, presented by Bank of America, for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, culminating with the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony on July 25.
The first 40,000 fans in attendance at the 7:10 p.m. game will receive a Special Olympics World Games commemorative Pin, presented by Bank of America.
The Dodgers will also invite fans to participate in the Circle of Inclusion social media campaign. During pre-game activities, beginning at 5 p.m. at the left field plaza, fans can meet Dodger Alumni, World Games Staff and Special Olympics athletes, and pose with the Circle of Inclusion. Fans are encouraged to share their pictures on social media using the official campaign hashtags #ReachUPLA, #LA2015, @LA2015 along with the Dodger Official hashtags #Dodgers @Dodgers.
As a sports organization the Dodgers have continuously supported efforts that enrich people's lives through sport. Partnering with the Special Olympics World Games goes hand in hand with a continuous effort to make sports and more specifically baseball and softball accessible for all. This season, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) is serving over 4,000 youth through its Dodgers RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program. And in efforts to include those who sometimes get left out of the game due to physical or intellectual disabilities, LADF announced that it was building the first universally accessible Dodgers Dreamfield at the Baldwin Hills Recreation Center, a $650,000 project funded by the Dodgers and to be dedicated this summer. With the goals of promoting the inclusion of under-resourced youth and a focus on teamwork, fun and fair play, LADF instills sportsmanship and teamwork in the youth who participate in their programs. To further reinforce these principles, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation will invite all of its 4,000 Dodgers RBI Baseball and Softball participants and their families to be Fans in the Stands at the final Softball Competition of the World Games, Saturday, August 1 at 11 a.m. at UCLA's Easton Stadium for a Dodgers RBI Day at the World Games.
At the conclusion of the Softball competition on Saturday, August 1, Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda; Senior Director, External Affairs and Community Relations Naomi Rodriguez; and Executive Director of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Nichol Whiteman will participate in the medal ceremony, honoring the World Games Softball Champions.