LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Dodgers Dream Foundation hosted 300 children on Wednesday for the annual Children's Holiday Party at Dodger Stadium. The club has been holding the event for more than 30 years. Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten, current players Adrian Gonzalez and Luis Cruz, Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda, legendary southpaw and broadcaster Fernando Valenzuela and coach Steve Yeager were joined by former Dodgers Billy Ashley, Bobby Castillo, Tommy Davis, Darren Dreifort, Lou Johnson, Ken Landreaux, Tim Leary, Paul Lo Duca, Matt Luke, Dennis Powell and Derrel Thomas at the event. The Dodgers Dream Foundation donated a set of books to each of the 11 schools and organizations in attendance.
Valenzuela, Gonzalez and Cruz will participate with Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic in March, Valenzuela as pitching coach, Gonzalez and Cruz as players. "It's a great honor to represent your country and be part of something this big," said Gonzalez. "The goal is to make it like the World Cup of soccer." Unlike the established Gonzalez, Cruz will be representing his country while still trying to make an impression on Dodgers management after two solid months during the 2012 season. "I'm ready for it," he said. "They expect a lot from me. I expect a lot from myself. I'm working hard to prove to everybody I can do it." Valenzuela will be making his third appearance as Team Mexico's pitching coach. "It's very exciting for me. When they called me, I said yes right away," he said.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.