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Caravan commences at USC hospital

Dodgers caravan begins at USC hospital

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers began their seventh annual Community Caravan on Monday with a private visit to USC Community Hospital, the club's official hospital.

Mitchell R. Creem, chief executive officer of USC University Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Hospital at the University of Southern California, welcomed the Dodgers. More than 1,500 hospital employees enjoyed free Dodger Dogs and ice cream and toppings.

Signing autographs for the group were Dodgers greats Don Newcombe, "Sweet" Lou Johnson, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey and Hall of Fame manager and special advisor to the chairman Tommy Lasorda. The Dodgers' Ticket Truck manned by Dodger sales representatives shared season-, mini-plan and Spring Training ticket opportunities with guests, who also received a baseball provided by the hospital.

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On Tuesday, the caravan will make a private morning stop at the Dodgers' ThinkCure partner, City of Hope. After lunch there will be a 1:45 p.m. public visit to the Trader Joe's in Hastings Ranch.

At 3:15 p.m., the Dodgers will join youngsters from the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club for the dedication of the ninth Dodgers Dreamfield in Los Angeles, followed by a clinic. Attending will be Andre Ethier and Hiroki Kuroda; former Dodgers Kenny Landreaux, Rudy Law, Bobby Castillo and Tommy Davis; and Dodgers broadcaster Eric Collins. The dedication is open to the public, but the clinic is for Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club youth only and fans are asked to not solicit autographs.

There will be an autograph session when Tuesday's caravan concludes at the ESPN Zone at L.A. LIVE across from Staples Center at 5 p.m. Autographs are available to the first 150 fans in two lines. The first 80 fans in line will also get the chance to have priority seating for dinner in the screening room where the autograph signing will be held. Guests will be seated in groups of four. Diners must spend $20 each on food and beverages, will receive a $25 game card and be the first to get autographs at 5 p.m. KABC 790 AM will be on hand.

Afterward, Ethier will drop the puck before the Kings-Rangers hockey game at Staples Center.

On Wednesday, the caravan opens privately at the Dodgers' ThinkCure partner, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, followed by a 12:30 p.m. lunch at Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles. On the caravan for Day 3 will be Matt Kemp, James McDonald and Ramon Troncoso; Charley Steiner; and Spanish language broadcasters Fernando Valenzuela, Jaime Jarrin and Pepe Yñiguez.

After lunch, the caravan moves to the Best Buy at the Westfield Culver City Mall at 3 p.m. for autographs and photos, then concludes with a 5 p.m. Olvera Street public rally. Fans will be asked to join two autograph lines and the first 150 fans in each line will get an autograph. KHJ La Ranchera 930 AM will be on site.

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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