Dinner with the Ambassador – Josh Rawitch

Last night was one of the unique experiences that this job sometimes affords us PR guys. After the game against the Marlins, I went to dinner with dodgers.com beat writer Ken Gurnick and our Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin. While I’ve gotten to know both of these gentlemen quite well over the years, it was the guests who joined us that made last night’s dinner a little different.

Ken Gurnick is longtime friends with Craig Kelly, who happens to be the U.S. Ambassador to Chile. Craig was in Miami for a conference so he joined us for dinner along with Colonel Jeffrey Smith, the Military Group Commander at the embassy in Chile. Needless to say, it was an interesting dinner, but what makes Craig different than most ambassadors is his passion for baseball and specifically, the Dodgers.

Craig grew up in Los Angeles and in his office in the embassy, he has a photo of the day he came to Dodger Stadium and spent an inning on the air with Jaime (he speaks five languages, incredibly). But he’s also one of the main reasons that baseball as a sport is growing in Chile.

When he arrived as ambassador there nearly two years ago, he and his wife, Kim, began starting Little Leagues around the Santiago area and their hope is that someday, that country will feed Major League Baseball the kind of talent that you see from the Dominican, Venezuela, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

On the embassy’s website, there’s some interesting articles about some Latin Little Leaguers who recently met George Bush. Even more impressive is an article written about Craig and Kim’s efforts to bring baseball to Chile.

Craig also mentioned that the ambassador in Argentina is a big Dodger fan, so both men now have their own copies of the Dodger media guide to bring back to South America.

Safe to say, the global reach of Dodger baseball never ceases to amaze me.

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