Lasorda, Newcombe go to Washington

Hall of Fame Manager and Special Advisor to the Chairman Tommy Lasorda, Director of Community Relations and former Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe and Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Howard Sunkin will lead a contingent from a Los Angeles Little League to play a tee ball game on the South Lawn of the White House at the invitation of the White House and the Little League Foundation.

    The game will be played on Sunday, July 15.

  "It is an honor and a privilege to continue to commemorate Jackie Robinson's accomplishments and honor his legacy," said Dodger Owner and Chairman Frank McCourt.  "The Dodgers Dream Foundation is proud to send the Wrigley Little League Dodgers and their coaches and families to Washington D.C. for this once in a lifetime experience.   

President George W. Bush will host the White House tee ball game in honor of Jackie Robinson's 60th anniversary of breaking the color barrier.  The game will be played by teams from the Inner-City Little League of Brooklyn, NY and the Wrigley Little League Dodgers of Los Angeles, CA, the two home cities of Robinson's team, the Dodgers.  The Wrigley Little League Dodgers play on a Dodgers Dream Field that was built by the Dodgers Dream Foundation in April 2005.  This will be the 17th tee ball game at the White House and it will bring together some of Robinson's original teammates and other notable baseball icons.   

Travel costs for the local team and their chaperones will be covered by the Dodgers Dream Foundation on behalf of Frank and Jamie McCourt, as well as by former Dodger owner and president, Peter O'Malley and the chairman of the Poongsan Corporation, Jin Roy Ryu.  Both O'Malley and Ryu are trustees of the Little League Foundation.   

In keeping with the tradition of Tee Ball on the South Lawn games, no score will be kept between the Wrigley Little League's Dodgers and the team from Brooklyn. Each player in the game will wear number 42 in honor of Robinson and will play on defense and bat once in the one-inning game, which will be followed by a picnic on the South Lawn for players and families. President George W. Bush will present a commemorative baseball to each player, manager and coach.   

Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, a Brooklyn Dodger, became Major League Baseball's first African American player in 1947, and a pioneer in the nation's civil rights movement.   Robinson, who played for the Dodgers from 1947-56, was a member of six pennant-winning Dodger teams, including the 1955 World Championship club.  He passed away at age 53 in October 1972.  He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.   

In 1997, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Robinson's historic entrance into Major League Baseball, his uniform No. 42 was retired throughout the big leagues.  On April 15, 2007 which is Jackie Robinson Day, a day celebrated throughout Major League Baseball, every player on the Los Angeles Dodgers wore No. 42 in honor of Robinson, as did various other Major League players.  

In March 2005, Robinson received the Congressional Gold Medal.  In doing so he became just the second baseball player and fourth athlete to receive the prestigious honor.

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