Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and other Dodgers travel for charity game
Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier could have played Friday in the Phoenix suburb of Surprise, where a Dodgers split squad is scheduled to face the Kansas City Royals.
Instead, they were in Tucson, which is more than two hours from the Dodgers’ spring training complex. In fact, most of the Dodgers’ starting lineup was at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium for a charity game against the Chicago White Sox to raise money for the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation.
The daughter of Dodgers scout John Green, Christina-Taylor was killed in the 2011 shooting in Tucson that wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Other Dodgers making the trip for the game included projected starters Dee Gordon, Juan Rivera, Mark Ellis and A.J. Ellis. Tony Gwynn Jr. and Jerry Hairston Jr. also made the trip.
So, how did so many players end up making the trip?
“Tucsonology,” Manager Don Mattingly said.
Some players, such as A.J. Ellis and Hairston, volunteered. Others, such as Juan Rivera and Mark Ellis, were selected because their names were drawn out of a hat.
Players who volunteered or were randomly selected got to pick another player to come along.
Rivera picked Kemp. Mark Ellis selected Ethier.
“It was kind of a fun thing,” Mattingly said. “I knew they would laugh.”
Mattingly said he was pleased that Kemp and Ethier were open to participating.
“They’re the ones who people want to see,” Mattingly said. “It’s good to see your top guys want to be involved.”
Mattingly had personal reasons for wanting to participate. He said he wanted to support John Green, the son of longtime baseball executive Dallas Green. Dallas Green managed Mattingly on the New York Yankees in 1989.
“I think it’s something we should be involved with,” Mattingly said. “Let’s keep the memory alive, you know?”
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