Moment in the Major League

A moment in the major leagues is the dream of every baseball fan. The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation is just one organization that helps make that dream come true. Every year the Dodgers Foundation offers youths, ages 7 to 12, the opportunity to play ball in Dodger Stadium during their annual Dodger Youth Baseball Camp.

The camp is broken up into two sessions, both begin at the end of the months June and July. This year’s first session began on June 26. Applications are open for anyone willing to pay, however, the Dodger Foundation graciously gave away five spots to a non-profit organization called Sharefest’s Youth Development Academy.

With a total of 140 campers supervised and coached by alumni Dodger players and coaches, the young players learn some of the fundamentals of baseball said David Brennan,  the Dodgers Director of Programs and Fundraisers.

The campers spent their first day learning all the plays and positions that come with being on the field and spent the following day playing on the same field as Hall of Famers and World Champions. “We have five kids on scholarships…and are able to come out to this camp at no charge and experience an amazing four days of baseball,” Brennan said.

This opportunity has changed the lives of the five students participating this year. Kristin Baldonado was more than grateful when her son, Ben, was chosen to be one of the YDA’s picks. “It’s been a great experience so far,” she said. “Memories are being made.”

Just like the big league players, every child involved in the camp was outfitted in Dodger blue from head to toe.  They were also treated to a full, behind-the-scenes tour of the clubhouse areas of the stadium.

“It feels unreal right now to be here,”Ben Baldonado said. “I’m just speechless. Thank you Sharefest and the Dodgers Foundation.”

Baldonado has been interested in baseball and loves the sport on and off the field. Each YDA member has their own story, which made choosing five students difficult but rewarding. Another student by the name Ben Garcia recently lost his grandmother a few months ago, with whom he would watch every Dodger game on TV. Garcia has had a hard time copping with his loss and this event has brightened his spirits.

“Well I’d just want to say, ‘Grandma I finally made it, finally here,’” Garcia said. “I love baseball and one day I’ll be playing here.”