Major League Baseball began play for the 2020 season last week without fans in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic, but some teams are doing their best to create a game day atmosphere by placing cardboard cutouts in the stands. The Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams participating in this trend, allowing fans to purchase cardboard cutouts on the team’s website, an offer superfans Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley happily accepted.
Last week, Paisley posted a photo of the cutouts of himself and Williams-Paisley propped up with other fans in Dodger Stadium, all of whom were in Dodger blue. "Because 2020. #baseball #mlb #letsgododgers," he wrote. His wife commented, "What are we gonna do for the 7th inning stretch??" Proceeds from the fan-purchased cutouts go to the Dodgers' official foundation, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, and other faces in the stands include the SportsNet LA broadcast team, actors Mario Lopez, Bryan Cranston and Rob Lowe and musicians Daddy Yankee and Natti Natasha.
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"The electrifying energy of Dodger Stadium is rooted in the passion of our fans. While we are saddened that they will not be part of the live experience, the personalized cutouts will bring a bit of color to the stadium during these challenging times," LADF CEO Nichol Whiteman said. "Thanks to the generosity of our fans everywhere, this campaign will fund our critical work. Together we will help Angelenos when they need support the most."
Paisley has been a Dodgers fan since he was young, and in 2017, he performed the National Anthem ahead of the World Series Game 2 at Dodger Stadium and again in 2018 ahead of the World Series Game 3. In 2019, Paisley and Williams-Paisley were honored with the Kershaw’s Challenge Impact Award for their history of philanthropy. The award was given at Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and wife Ellen's Kershaw’s Challenge 7th Annual PingPong4Purpose at Dodger Stadium in August, where Clayton and Ellen praised Paisley and Williams-Paisley for their efforts, which include their non-profit free grocery store in Nashville, The Store.
"What they’re doing with their nonprofit is truly an incredible thing," Clayton said during the event. "It’s such an incredible idea, for people who might not be able to have a grocery shopping experience with their kids and families. We’re so happy and proud to get to present this award to Brad and Kim."