Love of bowling inspires Mookie, wife Brianna to give back to LA

February 9th, 2023

LOS ANGELES -- From the age of 3, bowling has been a huge part of ' life. That’s when his mother, Diana Collins, introduced him to the sport, and -- as many fans know by now -- it’s been a passion of his ever since.

Not only is bowling a way for Betts to bond with his family and friends, it also allows him to release his competitive energy outside of baseball season. Just this past week, he competed at the PBA Tour’s U.S. Open in Indianapolis.

Now, Betts and his wife, Brianna, have found a new purpose for bowling: giving back to their community.

“Brianna and I are committed to helping break barriers that impact the next generation of children, and what better way to raise money than by bowling for a good cause,” Betts said in a statement.

In support of their new charity, The 5050 Foundation, the Betts family hosted the inaugural Mookie Betts + Friends Bowling Tournament on Wednesday night at the Lucky Strike L.A. Live. According to its site, the foundation’s focus is ensuring equal access to opportunity for the youth of Los Angeles, “especially when it comes to their medical and financial needs.”

“L.A. is like home now,” said Brianna Betts, whom Mookie credited for doing the heavy lifting in running the foundation. “We're getting acquainted, it feels like, when we've been here for a couple of years now. So it feels good to give back to the community.”

While the 5050 Foundation launched over a year ago, it wasn’t until now that Mookie and Brianna were able to host their first event. They intend for the tournament to be an annual occurrence, and the enthusiastic turnout Wednesday shows they’ve got plenty of support.

Participants enjoyed food, drink and, of course, bowling a few frames, with the two teams totaling the most pins heading to a roll-off to determine the winner. The evening also featured a toy drive and a silent auction. Available for bidding were signed items from an array of sports figures, including Magic Johnson, LeBron James, Barry Bonds, Eddie Murray, Jalen Ramsey and Torii Hunter, as well as a round of golf for two with former Dodger and six-time All-Star Kenny Lofton.

Dodgers players in attendance included J.D. Martinez and Miguel Vargas. Other guests included president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, general manager Brandon Gomes and former L.A. first baseman James Loney.

Also present was the woman responsible for Betts' love of bowling -- and baseball, and so many other things. Collins has been blown away by how the L.A. community has embraced Betts and his family. Above all, she’s immensely proud of her son’s achievements.

“Mookie’s always had a heart for kids,” said Collins. “... I think it's very important that we give back now. Being able to do that is important to us. So I feel blessed and he feels blessed. And so if we can do something, then we will.”