Veterans Day at Dodger Stadium: Servicemen and women get baseball tips from Dodger greats (photos)

Veterans Day Batting Practice 1

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Veterans and their families and friends were invited to Dodgers Stadium for the Dodgers Veterans Day Batting Practice.

Veterans Day Batting Practice  2

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Nick Mendes, active duty Coast Guard, his son Owen and his brother Joel came out for the Dodgers Veterans Day Batting Practice.

Veterans Day Batting Practice 3

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Marine Maria Garcia and her son Xavier

Veterans Day Batting Practice 4

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Jorden Miller-Root chases after the ball while playing catch with is father Sgt. 1st Christopher Miller-Root at the Dodgers Veterans Day Batting Practice.

Veterans Day Batting Practice 5

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Army Reservist Sothy Kun gets pitching lessons from Roy Gleason.

Veterans Day Batting Practice 6

Ken Scarboro/KPCC

Active Navy Reservist Davis Sumida gets an autograph from Al Ferrara.

Veterans Day Batting Practice 7

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James Area come out with friends to the Dodgers Veterans Day Batting Practice.

Veterans Day Batting Practice 8

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Atip Viskul practices his pitch at the Veterans Day batting practice at Dodgers Stadium, Viskul served with the Army and is now active with the National guard.

Veterans Day Batting Practice 9

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Active Coast Guard member Rob Hunter and his son Max in the outfield of Dodgers Stadium during the Verterans Day batting practice.

Veterans Day Batting Practice 10

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Air Force member Jason Murray gets a glove signed by Al Ferrara.

Veterans Day Batting Practice 11

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Active Army Sgt. 1st Class Joe Parra, US Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew Parra and Steve Sueoka take a group picture in the Dodgers dugout.

Veterans Day Batting Practice 12

Ken Scarboro/KPCC

Miguel Alderete, active duty Navy, gets an autograph from longtime Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.

It’s no longer baseball season, but the Dodgers held batting practice on Monday.

On Veterans Day the Dodgers hosted about 100 active and former U.S. military servicemen and women at Dodger Stadium for the batting practice.

Former Dodgers Al Ferrara, Lou Johnson and Roy Gleason (an Army veteran and purple heart recipient) came out to give some batting and pitching pointers to veterans and their families. Veterans brought their kids to enjoy the day out on the Dodgers’ infield, playing catch and meeting famous Dodgers like Manager Tommy Lasorda.

Lieutenant Colonel Steven Cole, a righty, was one of those veterans. Cole has been in the Army for 8 years, and was deployed to Afghanistan.

He told KPCC's Nick Roman Sunday that the annual event come out of the team's close relationship with veterans.

“The Dodgers have a great relationship with the military here in Southern California," he said. "In the middle of the third inning at every game they honor a veteran of the game. I’ve been fortunate enough to help the Dodgers find some Army soldiers for those opportunities.”

“Being in the Army has been the only job I every wanted to do as a kid… The support that we get as service members on the streets here in Los Angeles is really overwhelming.”

One particular Dodger has a special place with Cole and his son:

“I’m not originally from here in Southern California but we moved here in 2012. During one of the games against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Henley Ramirez hit a home run ball – if he had thrown it to me it wouldn’t have been more perfect. It went right into my hands, and then from my hands to my son’s. Ever since that game we’ve been Henley Ramierez fans and certainly Dodgers fans ever since. It was a real special moment for our family.”

You can hear the full audio of Cole's interview at right.

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