Dodgers Foundation hosts annual gala

Dodgers Foundation hosts annual gala

LOS ANGELES -- Droves of celebrities, current and former Dodgers players, front office executives, coaches, NFL players and more gathered on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium for the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation's third annual Blue Diamond Gala, presented by the team's ownership group.

The sold-out event had over 1,500 people in attendance.

The evening started with the star-studded lineup making its way down a blue carpet into a pre-show dinner party before Grammy Award-winning artists Maroon 5 and Earth, Wind & Fire performed concerts in center field.

Proceeds from the event went to the Dodgers Foundation in the hopes of reaching its goal of building 50 baseball fields for underserved communities in Greater Los Angeles.

"This event has been pretty incredible over the last few years in helping build the foundation," Adrian Gonzalez said. " [The gala] is definitely a lot of fun and it's doing great things for kids in the Los Angeles community."

Clayton Kershaw, Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner, Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and nearly the rest of the Dodgers' roster joined Gonzalez on the blue carpet just outside Dodger Stadium.

"To be here tonight and to be able to give back to the foundation means a lot to me," Turner said. "The foundation does so many things like letting kids run the bases after games, holding summer clinics -- the list goes on and on."

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and most of the team's coaching staff were present, as well as team owners Mark Walter and Todd Boehly and former general manager Ned Colletti. Former Dodger greats Steve Garvey, Manny Mota, Orel Hershiser, Fernando Valenzuela and Ron Cey were also in attendance.

"For those of us that are no longer playing for the organization, the foundation is the sparkling gem for being able to continue to give back," Garvey said.

The Dodgers shared the blue carpet with exclusive company, with Larry King, Mario Lopez, "Modern Family" star Eric Stonestreet, Heather Morris and Lea Michele from "Glee," Haley Joel Osment, Prince Jackson, Alfonso Ribeiro and Nick Viall and Vanessa Grimaldi from "The Bachelor" making up just a sampling of the celebrities in attendance.

"This foundation affects Little League baseball, high school baseball and all kinds of organized baseball," King said. "I've been a fan of the team since they were in Brooklyn -- 70 years. To have a charity that helps kids like this, you couldn't do better."

Former United States women's soccer star Mia Hamm and members of the Los Angeles Chargers attended the Blue Diamond Gala as well.

Along with raising money for the team's foundation, being able to see Maroon 5 and Earth, Wind & Fire in the intimate setting had attendees buzzing on the blue carpet.

"It's kind of nice to get out of your element of baseball for a minute and do something like this," Seager said. "It's definitely pretty cool to have the concert in the outfield, too."

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation hopes to impact the lives of over 10,000 young boys and girls through sport in the Los Angeles community through its programs like Dodger Dreamfields and Dodger RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities).

"We've been able to take this amazing Dodgers brand and use it to make positive impacts throughout the Los Angeles area," said Nichol Whiteman, executive director of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation "Events like tonight aren't possible without the backing of the organization."

Ryan Posner is a contributor to based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.