A couple of years ago, Don Mattingly became aware of the challenges faced by kids in low-income communities in Los Angeles who want to play baseball.
“Some of their biggest issues was that kids don’t have gloves,” Mattingly said. “They don’t have bats and balls and tees. I was like, ‘Really?’ That seems crazy.”
The Dodgers manager is trying to do something about it.
He hosted a fundraising event at the Sports Museum of Los Angeles on Thursday night that was headlined George Lopez. Comedians Josh Wolf and Bob Glieb performed. There was also a silent auction.
The event included a tour of the museum’s Dodgers artifacts and ended with a question-and-answer session with Mattingly.
Several Dodgers, including Clayton Kershaw, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier, are expected to attend.
The proceeds benefited Mattingly Charities and the Dodgers Dream Foundation.
Mattingly Charities intends to help sports programs in poor communities purchase baseball equipment.
“I didn’t grow up in the inner city but I grew up in an area where I was fighting a couple times a week,” Mattingly said. “I just know that the people that were around the game — the Little League coaches, the mentors that you get — really kind of helped me get away, turn that corner from that type of activity. It’s something I always look back on. If I had a chance, that’s what I wanted to get involved with. It’s a great opportunity for me in L.A. to do something that’s kind of getting into the inner city and getting to the kids that are below the radar.”