LOS ANGELES (FOX 11) - Law enforcement and a love of baseball! That's what brought out the community and some VIP Dodgers! It was the 2019 annual LAPD swing-athon. Baseball icon Manny Mota, a volunteer, was honored for 50 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The LAPD swing-athon is multi-purpose. It ends with a baseball game between players from law-enforcement agencies, the Los Angeles police department and the Los Angeles sheriffs department. It starts with a baseball clinic and festival for kids. This year Dodger pitcher Kenley Jansen offered words of wisdom to the crowd of youth.
Wearing LAPD and LASD baseball jerseys members of law-enforcement coach kids in batting. Lending their expertise, Mota and former Dodger Kenny Landreaux.
Organizer, LAPD officer Michael Scott, says it the largest baseball clinic of its kind on the West Coast. It's a chance for the community and kids to interact with law-enforcement in a positive way. Scott, Who played high school baseball, says he spent 20 years in the LAPD making arrests, now it's a chance to empower youth.
Scott has called on Mota as a mentor and says "he's always there for me whenever I call." Dressed in a blue Dodger jacket Mota coached the kids behind a batting cage and also was seeing teaching them how to bat. Photos of Mota as a young Dodger player hung on the field fence. Mota says he's grateful to have spent 50 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers. As for advice to current players he says "be humble."
The event is free to the public, and activities include free baseball and soccer skill clinics, public safety displays, interactive games, giveaways, prize drawings, fun contests, community booths, music.
Specialty units like the swat team, canine, horse patrol, helicopter, and bomb squad were all there to interact with the kids. Kids come from community groups, baseball teams, and some were the children of law-enforcement. Hundreds of Dodger tickets and prizes were given away.
The LAPD swing-athon is held each year in Elysian Park near the LAPD academy.
The grand finale baseball game LAPD vs. LASD, is a rivalry dating back 132 years. The first game wss June 11, 1887 at Sixth Street Grounds in Los Angeles. While the LASD baseball team won last year, this year it was team LAPD, score 6 to 4.