MLB welcomes Make-A-Wish kids to All-Star Week

LOS ANGELES — For three young boys from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Friday night was the start of an unforgettable All-Star weekend.

In a private room at the JW Marriott Hotel, Major League Baseball and the Dodgers hosted a welcome reception for children and their families, who had come from all over the country for a front row seat at the All-Day festivities. Starweek. Brody, a 6-year-old from Northbrook, Illinois; Bryan, a 17-year-old from Pomona, NY; and Ethan, a 17-year-old from Fredericksburg, Texas, all used their wish to attend the 2022 Midsummer Classic on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

As special guests of both organizations, the Make-A-Wish party will also be at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and Celebrity Softball Game on Saturday and the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday, along with other activities like Capital One PLAY BALL Park in downtown Los Angeles

Mike Kallhoff, general manager of the greater Los Angeles chapter of Make-A-Wish, was on hand to greet the children and their families, giving them a hug as part of a group of more than 100 children who had wishes All -Star Game filled in the last 20 years.

“The wish is usually the turning point in a child’s recovery, and that’s why it’s so important to us,” Kallhoff said. “We see the wish as a way to help children through their illness and live better days. It really is a chance to take a break from whatever you are going through. And I say that from personal experience, as a wish dad who had a daughter on the program – but with a wish not as cool as the one you get this weekend. But having seen it before, I know how special it is. And I’m just happy that we can be part of your journey.

Brody, Bryan and Ethan were greeted by a few MLB mascots, including Mr. and Mrs. Met, Mariner Moose, the Oriole Bird and Southpaw (of the White Sox), all of whom have plenty of experience hosting days children at home. baseball stadiums. MLB and its clubs have worked with Make-A-Wish since 1980 to grant children’s wishes, donate tickets and raise funds for local chapters.

But an even bigger surprise came courtesy of a trio of SiriusXM Futures Game players, who showed up a day early to present Brody, Bryan and Ethan with their All-Star gifts. Rays organization right-hander Taj Bradley (#33 MLB prospect by MLB Pipeline); Phillies wide receiver Logan O’Hoppe (No. 88 overall); and Nationals second baseman Darren Baker (son of Astros manager Dusty) walked around introducing themselves to the Make-A-Wish kids, while wearing their respective American League and National jerseys.

Players then proceeded to the front of the room and handed out each child’s memorabilia collection, including an ASG-branded bat, ball, caps and shirts, and most often, a personalized replica of the All uniform. -Star 2022 of their favorite team. .

It’s all part of the warm welcome that MLB and the Dodgers hope to provide as they seek to make every child’s dream come true during their time in Los Angeles. As Naomi Rodriguez, vice president of external affairs and community relations for the Dodgers said, “We are each other’s stories.

“The Dodgers story is not complete without our community. These children and these families in there are part of our community. [We] accept the responsibility that by being part of the Dodger organization we are obligated and want to give back to those in need. So it’s more of a privilege and an honor to invite these families to our house if you want.

“By what they’re going through today and the rest of the week and going to the All-Star Game and meeting the players, you can change the narrative of their life. It’s something they’ll never forget.”

Neal T. Doss