Loney hosts RBI kids for video game party

Loney hosts RBI kids for video game party

Loney hosts RBI kids for video game party
LOS ANGELES -- James Loney traded in his bat for a guitar and an Xbox controller after Sunday's game as he hosted the Loney's Lounge Video Game Party in the First Base Prime Ticket Club.

A couple dozen boys ages 9 to 16 from the Boys & Girls Club of Venice Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) were glued to four TVs playing video games. Loney took turns playing on each screen while hanging out and playing with the kids.

Teammates Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen stopped by to take pictures and sign autographs in support of the cause. The Dodgers Dream Foundation provided the TVs, video game consoles, games and T-shirts for the kids in attendance.

"It's awesome and puts everything into perspective," Loney said in between Mario Kart games. "For me to play with them, it's special too. These kids are having fun and it's a good experience."

This was the fifth year of the event created by Loney, who is an RBI alumnus. The kids got to watch the game from the Field Level before hanging out with some of their favorite Dodger players.

Loney sported a guitar on Rock Band and hit a 3-run home run with Rod Barajas in MLB 2K12 before moving on to Wii Baseball and Mario Kart, a game he said he played often as a kid on Nintendo 64.

"For these kids, seeing us face to face and talking, it's a great experience," said Loney, who also hosts a charity bowling tournament in August.

Linda Williams from the RBI program said events like Sunday's are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many of the boys, who don't often get the chance to watch a game at the Field Level. She was very thankful that Loney and his teammates were willing to spend the time with the young kids.

"The fact that these gentlemen and these Dodger players are taking the time after playing nine innings in the hot sun to be down here and entertain the boys lets the boys know they are important and someone is interested in what is going on in what they are doing," she said.

She added that the boys get opportunities to make life-lasting relationships as well as build life skills through programs like this.

The fact that they were doing it while playing video games was just an added bonus.

"Who gets to do something like this?" she added. "This is not an every day thing."

Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.