Dodgers celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at La Gran Fiesta
By Yvonne Carrasco
The Dodgers will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, an annual commemoration celebrated nationally through October 15, starting today and La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers presented by State Farm, Time Warner Cable and Coca-Cola takes place Saturday, September 24 (6:10 p.m. vs. COL) from 2:10 – 6:00 p.m. at the historic 76 station. Auto gates open and La Gran Fiesta begins at 2:10 p.m.
La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers will feature autographs with broadcasters and current and former players including Jesse Chavez, José De León, Jaime Jarrín, Julio Urías and Fernando Valenzuela. It will also feature musical entertainment and giveaways from Dodger partners. A complete list and schedule will be announced later. Also in celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, prior to Saturday’s game at approximately 5:30 p.m., a mariachi performance will take place on the field by Mariachi Sol De Mexico de Jose Hernandez, who will also perform the national anthem.
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, the Dodgers are offering fans a special-event ticket package that can be purchased for either Thursday, September 22 (7:10 p.m. vs. COL) or Saturday, September 24 (6:10 p.m. vs. COL, La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers). It includes a ticket to the game, Thursday or Saturday, and a limited-edition Fernando Valenzuela/Hispanic Heritage T-shirt (image attached) which was chosen by Valenzuela. It features “Los Dodgers” on the front and Valenzuela and number 34 on the back. It incorporates green, red and white, the colors of the Mexican flag, in honor of Valenzuela’s Mexican heritage. The Dodgers’ Hispanic Heritage ticket package, which includes the Valenzuela T-shirt, can be purchased exclusively at www.dodgers.com/Latino.
Adrián González will play host to his final group of the season through his Viva Los Dodgers program, which celebrates Hispanic Heritage throughout the season, on September 24. The González family plays host to 72 fans per Sunday home game, Viva Los Dodgers, (18 families of four) and provides one parking pass per each group of four throughout the 2016 season and has done so since 2013. Tickets in the All-You-Can-Eat right-field pavilion are provided and include unlimited Dodger dogs, nachos, popcorn, peanuts and Coca-Cola products.
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, Carlos Ruiz will bring his popular Chooch’s Chicos community program to Dodger Stadium. Ruiz will play host to 100 guests, 700 total, for each of the remaining home games starting today through Sunday, Sept. 25. Ruiz will provide a special gameday experience for low-income families in partnership with the Housing Authority of Los Angeles (HACLA) in these HACLA locations: Ramona Gardens in Boyle Heights, Estrada Courts in Boyle Heights, Imperial Courts in Watts, Pico Gardens in Boyle Heights, Pueblo Del Rio in Vernon, Nickerson Gardens in Watts and William Mead in Chinatown. The Dodgers will provide transportation to and from Dodger Stadium. All groups will meet Ruiz and each child will receive a Dodger hat and T-shirt. Each participant will receive one ticket, courtesy of Ruiz, in the All-You-Can-Eat right-field pavilion which includes unlimited Dodger dogs, nachos, popcorn, peanuts and Coca-Cola products.
The Dodgers’ current roster includes several Latin American-born players: Luis Avilan (Caracas, Venezuela), Pedro Baez (Bani, Dominican Republic), José De León (Isabela, Puerto Rico), Yasmani Grandal (Havana, Cuba), Kiké Hernández (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Yasiel Puig (Cienfuegos, Cuba), Carlos Ruiz (David, Panama) and Julio Urías (Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico).
The Dodgers were the first MLB club to implement a Spanish-language radio broadcast in 1958, which is now the longest running in all of baseball. Broadcasters Jaime Jarrín and Jorge Jarrín can be heard on Univision America 1020 KTNQ. The team broadcasts the Dodgers’ 162 regular-season games, select Spring Training games and all potential postseason games. Dodger broadcasters Fernando Valenzuela and Pepe Yñiguez are in their second season on TV and broadcast all Dodger games in Spanish on SportsNet LA, the home of all local Dodger game telecasts. Emmy-award winning broadcaster Diana Alvarado provides pregame interviews with Dodger players and coaches. Spanish-language Dodger game telecasts in high definition are available for Time Warner Cable customers on channel 324.
The Dodgers join MLB in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic Heritage Month is an extension of the league’s Ponle Acento campaign, which translates into “put an accent on it.” Ponle Acento was created to highlight the distinctive mark that MLB’s Latino players and fans leave on the game. MLB has added an accent mark to its silhouetted batter logo in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month. The special MLB Acento logo will be used in ballparks, MLB traditional and social media, and on batting practice T-shirts worn by players prior to select games.
All 30 MLB clubs will wear the T-shirts, with the MLB Acento logo in their team colors, at least once prior to the end of the regular season. At least 235 players who appeared on Opening Day rosters were of Latino descent, which is more than 27 percent of the league. At least 25 players and on-field staff have added diacritics (i.e. accent, tilde) to the last name on their uniforms in the past two seasons, including De León, González, Hernández and Urías of the Dodgers.
According to Nielsen Scarborough research, 52 percent of Dodger fans are Latino, and each season the Dodgers play host to more than two million Latino fans. The Dodgers have the largest Latino fan base among all U.S. sports teams. The Dodgers’ 2015 Latino attendance (2.2 million), is larger than, or as large as, 10 MLB teams (Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Miami, Chicago White Sox, Oakland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Arizona, Houston and Seattle) combined. The Dodgers’ official Spanish-language web site is www.losdodgers.com and the club’s official Spanish-language Twitter handle is @losdodgers.
The Roberto Clemente Award is the most prominent individual player award that MLB grants. Each year at the World Series, MLB recognizes with this award the player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field. González was named the Dodgers’ 2016 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. Fans can vote for González on Twitter and Facebook by using #VoteAdrian.
The Dodgers celebrate Hispanic Heritage throughout the season. Viva Los Dodgers, a season-long initiative now in its seventh year celebrating Latino culture in Los Angeles and the legacy of Latino Dodgers past and present, takes place throughout each season. This family friendly pregame festival is held two hours prior to each Sunday home game at the historic 76 station. All fans are welcome and can enjoy live music, player autographs and various family friendly activities. For more information on Viva Los Dodgers, please visit www.dodgers.com/viva or www.losdodgers.com/viva.