Dodgers’ Joe Kelly wears mariachi jacket to White House

Joe Kelly makes quite a statement at the White House.

Joe Kelly makes quite a statement at the White House.
Illustration: AP

Los Angeles Dodgers’ relief pitcher Joe Kelly should be every fan’s favorite player (unless you cheer for the Houston Astros). The man who gave the Astros ‘the look’, which famously earned the pitcher an eight-game suspension (eight more games than any Houston Astros player received for cheating their way to a World Series title), gave us another reason to root for him yesterday.

While the Dodgers have been a pretty decent team in 2021, becoming the third in the league to reach the 50-win threshold, they haven’t lived up to their preseason expectations. After winning the 2020 World Series, the defending champs went out and continued to bolster their roster. There were some people thinking that the Dodgers could perhaps break the league’s win record. Instead, the Dodgers aren’t even leading their division. Despite the minor disappointment, they still earned a trip to the White House for their World Series title win during the COVID-shortened 2020 season, and they took it yesterday during the team’s first road series against the Washington Nationals.

Clayton Kershaw gave a nice speech. Cody Bellinger set the vibes, but Joe Kelly stole the show when he showed up in a mariachi jacket.

This isn’t any old mariachi jacket though. Flashy? Sure. Sparkly? Absolutely. Reminiscent of something Joe Exotic would wear? Indubitably. But ordinary? Absolutely not. This jacket in particular was acquired by Kelly just three days prior during the Dodgers’ game against the San Francisco Giants. Kelly traded his game jersey for it.

The man who traded Kelly the jacket, Grover Rodrigo — the trumpet player for the band sent to serenade the Dodgers prior to their Friday night game — said he “hopes [Kelly] treasures his jacket as much as I treasure his jersey.” From the looks of it, Kelly is indeed enjoying that jacket.

Kelly’s mother is Mexican-American, and Kelly has embraced his Mexican ancestry all his life. While some old-heads consider Kelly wearing the jacket to visit the White House “unprofessional” or “classless,” that particular jacket, a Charro jacket, is considered to be the Mexican equivalent of a tuxedo, and is a very important piece of Mexican culture. To imply that Kelly’s outfit was unprofessional would also imply that the traditions Kelly and Rodrigo have lived by are also unprofessional. I think we can all see the problem with that, can’t we?

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