Ethier’s presence felt in Dre Dayz
By Erin Edwards
The Dodgers miss Andre Ethier on the field and at the plate, but his young fans continue to feel his presence.
Participants in MLB’s Urban Youth Academy in Compton were invited to the stadium May 25 as part of Ethier’s Dre Dayz, a program that provides underserved youth a ballpark experience they won’t soon forget.
Players selected to be part of Dre Dayz get to watch batting practice from the field and enjoy the game in a premium suite. Each participant receives New Balance gear from head to toe, including a new pair of shoes. The suite was all smiles, as many of the kids put their shoes and gear on immediately.
MLB’s UYA in Compton aims to set the standard for baseball and softball instruction, educating local youth and enhancing the quality of life in its surrounding communities. All are welcome regardless of their economic situation, experience or skill level.
UYA is one of 8 partner organizations that make up Dodgers RBI (Reviving Baseball In Inner Cities). All 675 UYA Dodgers RBI players receive uniforms, equipment, education and health resources, along with trips to Dodger Stadium. Additionally, this year LADF awarded UYA with a grant for $22,880 to support the program.
The UYA players are among the many that are awaiting Ethier’s return. But there is no doubt that Ethier created some lifelong fans without even being on the field.