LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers on Saturday hosted roughly 300 veterans and active duty service members and their families for batting practice and a tour of Dodger Stadium for Veterans Day.
Among the former Dodgers players on hand for the event was Ron Cey, Manny Mota, Billy Ashley and Dennis Powell.
“These men and women, they put their lives on the line for us. That is something we can’t take for granted,” said Naomi Rodriguez, the Dodgers vice president of community relations. “We want to honor these men and women and their families. There’s a lot of children here today, wives, husbands, parents, grandparents. We’re honoring them, too. it’s not just those who serve but those who surround them. This is our way of thanking them.”
Ashley’s father served in Vietnam.
“He was a Marine, a Purple Heart recipient. Everything that he went through, his sacrifices, led me today to being in these people’s debt,” Ashley said. “The sacrifices that they’ve gone through, both home and abroad, is mind-boggling.”
The veterans and service members were given a behind-the-scenes tour of Dodger Stadium as well as lunch in the Dugout Club afterward.
“They’re going down to a batting cage where Justin Turner practices, where Puig hits,” Rodriguez said. “If you walk down there and you see their faces, it’s a great honor for the Dodgers to do this.”