Watching Mookie Betts play baseball for the last four years has been a pleasure for Dodgers fans. Traded to Los Angeles in 2020, Betts delivered by helping the team win its first championship in thirty-two years. The 2018 AL MVP has been one of the best athletes on the planet since his debut making it no surprise that he also excels off the field.
Considered a five-tool player, Betts is elite in almost all aspects of the game. His versatility exceeds far beyond the diamond; he is also an All-Star away from the ballpark. When he is not hitting home runs, Betts is bowling a perfect game, getting up shots in the basketball gym, playing a round of golf, or putting his cooking skills to work. To top it all off, he is a role model in the community and a devoted family man.
“I love to do different things other than baseball during the offseason, and basketball is one of them. So we are here today and gonna get a little workout in, and this is just another aspect of a day in the life of Mookie,” he said while at the Air Jordan basketball facility in a video he posted on youtube.
In 2017, he bowled a perfect 300 in the PBA World Series of Bowling and also won Chris Paul’s PBA Celebrity Invitational in 2019. Betts has been bowling for longer than he has played baseball, which he has continued to work on and takes great pride in.
“My family and my friends, we go bowl at least two to three times a week… I am not sure how many perfect games I have bowled, it has been a few, just one PBA perfect game, that is my claim to fame,” Betts said.
The man who can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under two minutes is also a seasoned chef. While on the road, Betts has groceries delivered to his hotel room, which he cooks using his “suitcase kitchen .” He travels with a bag full of all the cooking equipment he needs for out-of-town meals. Betts has been showing off his design and encouraged his WBC teammate Cedric Mullins to consider getting one.
“My traveling kitchen… I got my pots and my pans. I got the burners. I got the seasonings. I got the jellies, the peanut butter, anything, and everything, so if your hungry tonight after the game, I got you. I’ll chef us up some food,” Betts told Mullins on his podcast.
As one of the most successful Black players in the league, Betts takes on a leadership role when it comes to being an ambassador for the sport. He is always heavily involved in events such as Jackie Robinson Day and works within the community to continue the legacy of the trailblazers before him. A common theme of his podcast, launched earlier this year, has been asking his guest what they do to promote the game as a Black athlete.
“I take the responsibility of growing the game in the black culture, and it is hard to do because we’re the minority,” Betts told Rookie of the Year, Michael Harris II, in another episode of his podcast.
Betts’s philanthropic endeavors can not be understated as he is actively involved with ten charities and started The 5050 Foundation with his wife, Brianna. Their foundation helps kids with barriers holding them back from reaching their full potential.
“It is something dear to us. We are big on the youth and the community. One of the things we want to do is give back and give kids a chance, chances they may not usually get, and opportunities they may not get, whether it’s medical or financial or skill sets in life,” said Brianna at the first 5050 Foundation Bowling Event.
The couple has been together since middle school and are the loving parents of two children. Betts put together a list of 10 things he could not live without for GQ back before the birth of his second child.
“Last but definitely not least is a picture of my little family I have with Bri and Kyn. Always gotta have them with me, they are both a blessing to me, and I love them both to death. As long as I got them there, I know everything is gonna be alright,” said Betts.
Betts and the Dodgers just returned from the All-Star break as they will look to compete for another World Series. Betts is having an MVP-like season hitting 26 home runs before the break, and his team currently sits at the top of their division.
Benjamin Verbrugge is a student at CSU Dominguez Hill studying journalism. “Sports have brought me much joy throughout my life, and I want to be able to give a little back to something that has meant so much to me. I grew up in Los Angeles primarily following the Lakers and Dodgers, but I am also an avid fan of sporting events, news, and stories in general.”