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Dodgers wrap up another successful caravan tour

Dodgers wrap up another successful caravan tour

LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers completed their latest winter caravan on Friday with four scheduled stops of community outreach involving the largest contingent of roster players to take part in the event.

The "Pitching in the Community" finale included manager Don Mattingly, 14 players, five wives and one newborn who were on Friday's Southland tour: Clayton and Ellen Kershaw; Brandon and Sasha League; A.J., Cindy and 3-month-old Audrey Ellis; Andre and Maggie Ethier; Shawn Tolleson and his wife, Lynley; Luis Cruz, Tim Federowicz, Adrian Gonzalez, Javy Guerra, Matt Guerrier, Kenley Jansen, Nick Punto, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Skip Schumaker filled out the roster.

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That set the stage for the club's first off-season FanFest, which will be presented Saturday by State Farm at Dodger Stadium, beginning at 11 a.m.

Scheduled to appear: Matt Kemp, Zack Greinke, Mark Ellis, Mattingly, Cruz, A.J. Ellis, Ethier, Federowicz, Guerra, Guerrier, Jansen, League, Punto, Ryu and Tolleson. Joining them will be Tom Lasorda, Fernando Valenzuela, Tim Wallach and Mark McGwire and 10 former Dodgers: Ron Cey, Al "The Bull" Ferrara, "Sweet" Lou Johnson, Lee Lacy, Kenny Landreaux, Paul Lo Duca, Tim Leary, Dennis Powell, Bill Russell and Derrel Thomas.

Hall of Fame broadcasters Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin, general manager Ned Colletti, broadcasters Charley Steiner, Pepe Yniguez, Jorge Jarrin and organist Nancy Bea Hefley will also participate in the FanFest, which will be held in parking lot 6 and is free to the public.

The FanFest also will coincide with the first day of sale of single-game tickets for the 2013 home schedule. Friday's caravan completed a week of bus tours involving current and former Dodgers giving back to the community as the club expands its efforts to promote sports, literacy and wellness in the Southland, particularly for area youth.

The first stop on Friday's caravan, which was presented by jcpenney, was at the Santee Educational Complex in south Los Angeles, a member of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools that provides relief for overcrowding at nearby Jefferson High School.

After a greeting from Los Angeles Unified School District board president Monica Garcia and introductions by broadcaster Steiner, players and wives worked in the kitchen with culinary arts students preparing pizzas, with which new Korean pitcher Ryu appeared very familiar.

The second stop was at Inner-City Arts, which provides an arts education to students from some of the poorest neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

There the Dodgers joined students in art projects that included drama, dance, animation, multimedia storytelling and visual arts.

Next on the itinerary was Tobinworld in Glendale, a special education school for children and young adults with behavior problems. The Dodgers took part in the school's program that rewards good behavior.

The last stop on the journey was at the L.A. Boys and Girls Club Dreamfield, which was renovated three years ago by the Dodgers Dream Foundation. Rain moved a clinic for 200 children indoors.

Earlier on the day's tour, the caravan bus was involved in a very minor traffic accident with no injuries, when a truck passed too close to the bus and side-view mirrors of the two vehicles made contact.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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