The Lakewood “Dirtbags” Special Olympics softball team has earned a spot representing Southern California in the U.S. Special Olympics games in 2018. To honor their achievement, the Los Angeles Dodgers sent a bus to Lakewood on July 28 to bring the Dirtbags’ 15 athletes and three coaches to Dodger Stadium for a day of fun and excitement.
The Special Olympians worked out and took batting practice with centerfielder Joc Pederson and got to meet manager Dave Roberts and players Andre Ethier, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor and Mayfair High School alum and Dodger third baseman Justin Turner. See photos of the visit to Dodger Stadium at www.lakewoodcity.org/DodgerVisit.
The event culminated with attendance at the evening’s Dodgers-Giants game. The Lakewood team got a stadium-wide introduction on the big screen, and four Lakewood athletes were invited onto the field while Lakewood team member Paul Lapre threw out the first pitch.
Lakewood is proud of its adaptive recreation services—including Special Olympics—which the city has run for over 25 years. Hundreds of local residents have learned valuable life-skills through these programs, which have helped them and their families and enriched our community. Lakewood’s Special Olympics athletes have competed successfully at many levels, creating sources of inspiration for them and the community as a whole.