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Dodger players issue fantasy football challenge

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LOS ANGELES - Grab your playbook and strap on your helmet because Dodger players Clayton Kershaw, Brian Wilson, A.J. Ellis, Chris Perez and Paul Maholm are taking on fans in fantasy football this fall in the inaugural Big Blue Fantasy Football League, with great prizes to the victors and proceeds benefitting a variety of charities.

Interested players will make a one-time donation ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 to join the league and will enjoy a live, moderated draft with the players at Dodger Stadium on Monday, August 4 at 10:00 a.m. in the Stadium Club at Dodger Stadium, facilitated by Real Time Fantasy Sports. The draft day experience also includes special guest appearances, a behind-the-scenes stadium tour, special batting practice access, tickets to that night's game against the Angels, goodie bags and more. Dodger broadcaster Jerry Hairston Jr. will emcee the event.

The Big Blue Fantasy Football League is operated through a partnership with Big League Impact, which has brought together baseball stars from teams in 10 cities around the country for charity fantasy football leagues. League winners will receive sponsor-donated prizes in order to maximize the proceeds to the charities, which include the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, the Orthopaedic Institute for Children and the Big League Impact Basic Needs Initiative, a non-profit organization with a mission to support essential needs causes (e.g. food, water, shelter and other basic needs) domestically and abroad.

More information on the league can be found online at BigLeagueImpact.com, where fans can also register their team to take on Dodger players on the fantasy gridiron.

"We're all excited to share our passion of fantasy football to raise money for some great causes," said Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis. "I'm looking forward to some good competition and a little trash talk in the Big Blue Fantasy Football League, but like all things I do, I'm playing to win, so bring your "A" game!"

Big League Impact held its first fantasy football league last year in St. Louis with Adam Wainwright and his Cardinal teammates launching "Waino's World," and this year, more than 60 big league players have agreed to participate in the charity initiative, including over a dozen 2014 All-Stars. Leagues will be hosted by Kershaw (Los Angeles), Wainwright (St. Louis), Freddie Freeman (Atlanta), Cole Hamels (Philadelphia), Tim Hudson (San Francisco), Justin Masterson (Cleveland), Max Scherzer (Detroit), Skip Schumaker (Cincinnati), Neil Walker (Pittsburgh) and David Wright (New York).

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