LOS ANGELES -- Throughout his Dodgers career, Yasiel Puig has enjoyed a special connection with children, and he brought some joy to special kids on Thursday.Puig had his head shaved in a show of solidarity and support for pediatric cancer patients and their families who journeyed from Cedars-Sinai Hospital to
LOS ANGELES -- Throughout his Dodgers career, Yasiel Puig has enjoyed a special connection with children, and he brought some joy to special kids on Thursday.
Puig had his head shaved in a show of solidarity and support for pediatric cancer patients and their families who journeyed from Cedars-Sinai Hospital to Dodger Stadium for Puig's Pizza and Shave Party, part of the week-long Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour.
Helping with the shaving were the patients, some having lost their hair from treatments for their cancer.
Puig took selfies of each young barber wielding the shaver, mugging for his phone, often wagging his tongue as he did on the field last year.
"I get excited to do this for the kids," said Puig. "These kids are fighting for their lives. I want to come here for the kids. I like children. Sometimes they have situations like these with cancer, spend a lot of time in the hospital, have a lot of surgeries. Maybe this makes them excited, and that's why I want to do something for the kids. And I like it."
And the hospital likes Puig.
"We're phenomenally grateful to the Dodgers' organization for this; it's a great team effort, and we feel very privileged to serve the families and communities that need our services," said Dr. Charles Simmons, professor and chairman of pediatrics at Cedars-Sinai.
"The kids and their families are so resilient, and we are reminded all the time that it's not just about yourself and how you adapt, but the people around you. And the Dodgers give them a sense of self and part of a team effort. It's very impactful."
Joanne Ordono, child life specialist for pediatric hematology, said the Dodgers reached out to the hospital to select patients and their families to participate in the event.
"The Dodgers add life to an otherwise new normal of being in and out of the hospital, not being able to go to school," Ordono said. "This is huge for us and the families."
"It's so amazing to see them out of the hospital, in regular clothes, not getting medication or not feeling well, just being kids," said Dr. Shivani Upadhyay, a pediatric oncologist. "It's really fun as providers to see them enjoy themselves."
Puig took orders and worked the drive-thru window at a McDonald's earlier in the week.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.