First things first at Dodgers RBI PlayerFest
By Erin Edwards
There were a lot of firsts at the third annual Dodgers RBI PlayerFest.
For many, it was their first time at Dodger Stadium. Others got to go rock climbing for their first time. Some got the thrill of running around the bases at Dodger Stadium for their first time.
But for 15-year-old Miranda, it was her first time getting a pair of much needed eyeglasses. PlayerFest had varying impacts ranging from quality family time, team bonding, and even the gift of sight.
All 6,000 Dodgers RBI (Reviving Baseball In Inner Cities) players were invited to bring their families to spend the day at Dodger Stadium. With the help of Dodgers RBI Gold Sponsor Bank of America, volunteers filled the ballpark to assist with various booths.
“The Foundation, our partners and volunteers work together to create this special day,” LADF executive director Nichol Whiteman said. “By bringing together our players, families, coaches and partners it is a community, family affair.”
The Dodgers RBI program is part of Major League Baseball’s larger program to give children in underserved communities access to baseball and softball while also providing education and life resources. PlayerFest included resources such as LADF partner Vision to Learn’s mobile clinic that provided free eye exams and glasses, Read Conmigo’s distribution of hundreds of bilingual books, Gazillion Bubbles 5-foot Bubble Machine, Dodgers Alumni autographs, the rock-climbing wall, face painting and more.
To wrap up the day, many watched the Dodgers take on the Pirates on DodgerVision, and also enjoyed one more first: their first Dodger Dog. RBI players and family members were tired but smiling as they exited the stadium with their new LADF t-shirts.