Dodgers’ Mookie Betts making Los Angeles dwelling on and off the sphere

Mookie Betts at all times had a tough time staying nonetheless. It’s a trait that runs within the household. 

Betts’ mom, Diana Collins, liked to bowl a lot that she did so on Oct. 6, 1992, the night time earlier than giving start to her son. Betts grew up in bowling alleys, constructing his arm energy by pushing balls down the lanes at 3 years previous. Quickly after, he picked up a bat, growing a preternatural energy from his diminutive body. 

By the top of his time at John Overton Excessive Faculty in Nashville, Betts was a three-sport standout, dazzling on the basketball courtroom, incomes Tennessee Boys Bowler of the Yr honors and getting drafted within the fifth spherical by the Boston Purple Sox. 

As his illustrious baseball profession took off, his different passions by no means light. He favored having completely different shops to relaxation his thoughts. Even now, as a six-time All-Star, the 30-year-old former MVP continues to be discovering new hobbies to discover.

“If I didn’t, I would drive myself crazy,” Betts advised FOX Sports activities. “These actions are type of my outlet. 

“Attending to do work is one other outlet. Not too long ago, the final couple years, I’ve type of turned to having the ability to get in entrance of a digicam and type of present a brand new aspect that I actually didn’t know I had.”

It was Betts’ longtime pals Cam Lewis and Jeff “One” Mason who convinced him of his on-screen ability — a talent he’s starting to embrace as a co-founder of One Marketing Group. The three friends came up with the idea for their media company during a conversation in Betts’ garage at the peak of the pandemic in 2020. 

It is Betts’ latest passion project, one that doesn’t involve a bat or a ball. 

Mookie Betts wishes Rachel Robinson happy birthday at 2022 MLB All-Star Game

Mookie Betts wishes Rachel Robinson happy birthday at 2022 MLB All-Star Game

“We had been collectively 12 hours a day simply dreaming, ‘What are we going to do?’” Betts recalled. “I feel COVID simply actually fast-tracked all of it.”

In fact, none of them might have predicted precisely how it might unfold. 

Like Betts, Lewis’ background was in sports. He played basketball overseas. Mason used to run a trucking company. But when Betts moved to Los Angeles, the group of friends set out on fulfilling a new, shared dream. They wanted to start a company that could create opportunities and, as Lewis put it, “present issues in our lives or within the city neighborhood that aren’t being seen within the truthful gentle.” 

“We wished a much bigger platform and issues like that to encourage, and the leisure business sounded proper up our alley,” Lewis continued. “None of us had the background, however we had hopes and actual intentions to make issues doable.”

Two years later, OMG partnered with Propagate to release its first project, a Jackie Robinson documentary entitled “Get to the Bag,” which premiered in October on FS1. Betts landed on the subject for the film after his first year with the Dodgers. He had been asked to do a lot for Jackie Robinson Day, and he wanted to learn more about the man himself. 

“I didn’t know rather more than frequent data,” Betts said. “As soon as we had been in a position to dig in and study slightly bit extra about Jackie, that’s when the floodgates opened on what we actually wished to study.” 

Jackie Robinson: Get To The Bag

Jackie Robinson: Get To The Bag

“Jackie Robinson: Get to the Bag,” a FOX Sports activities movie produced with Mookie Betts’ media firm, spotlights the exceptional profession of Jackie Robinson past baseball.

Betts helped produce the movie alongside Lewis and Mason and appeared on display screen as certainly one of many athletes interviewed within the documentary, which celebrated Robinson’s journey from the baseball area to company America and the lives he impacted alongside the best way. 

The documentary seems to be at components of Robinson’s story which may go neglected. 

“I didn’t know how big of an entrepreneur he was,” Mason stated. “But the main thing I did not know was that he opened up a bank, him and some friends of his, to provide opportunities for his community. That was mind-blowing to me.”

The movie, directed by Victorious De Costa and that includes the narration of Brooklyn rapper Skyzoo, took dwelling Cynopsis Media’s award for Greatest Social Justice Documentary Particular, an honor that Mason stated shed a lightweight on the arduous work the three pals put in to make the mission doable. 

Mookie Betts accepts Cynopsis award for ‘Justice Robinson: Get to the Bag’

Mookie Betts accepts Cynopsis award for 'Justice Robinson: Get to the Bag'

Mookie Betts accepts the award for Greatest Social Justice Documentary on the Cynopsis Better of the Greatest Rising Star Awards for the FOX Sports activities movie “Jackie Robinson: Get to the Bag.”

It additionally signaled how far Betts and his staff had come since they had been youngsters. 

Betts has identified Lewis for the reason that sixth grade. They met Mason via a shared private coach. In 2012, all three started figuring out collectively at The Coaching Nook in Tennessee. 

“We all started eating breakfast after all of our workouts, sitting around talking,” Mason recalled. “Then, that kind of led us into eating lunch. Then, it kind of led to us eating dinners together. Then, we just kind of gravitated to each other and really started creating this real tight bond and this brotherhood and friendship that we have, and that just kind of evolved over the years.”

Quick-forward a decade, and the conversations nonetheless proceed. They continue to be tight. Betts is appreciative of their assist, notably after he was traded to the Dodgers in 2020. 

“I’m a country boy, you know what I’m saying?” Betts stated. “Coming out west was not anything I really wanted to do. Actually, it was One who kind of told me I was going to love it because he’s from out here. I didn’t believe him, but we came out here, and we loved it. It has been probably the best move that’s ever happened in my life.”

Los Angeles has began to really feel extra like dwelling.

Three years in the past, he helped the Dodgers to a World Sequence title in his first yr with the membership. This yr, his management might be much more important because the Dodgers attempt to bounce again from final yr’s early playoff exit. 

Off the sphere, his voice has grown. He not too long ago began his personal YouTube channel to present followers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life, one thing he wouldn’t have tried years in the past. 

“I used to sweat when I got behind cameras and really had to monitor or think about what I said,” Betts stated. “Now, it’s just so natural that I’m starting to understand that I do pretty well.”

The older he received, the extra he understood the platform he had, the lives he might contact and the way his phrases and actions might assist create change, notably when it got here to shining a lightweight on social injustice. 

At OMG, he hopes to do the identical. 

“I was never the guy that wanted attention,” Betts stated. “I’m still not the guy that wants attention. But if there’s something that I can help with, I definitely will.”

Rowan Kavner covers the Dodgers and NL West for FOX Sports activities. He beforehand was the Dodgers’ editor of digital and print publications. Observe him on Twitter at @RowanKavner. 

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