Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly is known for having one of the most fun-loving personalities in all of baseball.
He does the worm.
Joe Kelly does it all, even THE WORM, to try to disrupt Shelby Miller's interviewwww.youtube.com
He has a crush on Justin Beiber.
He plays rock, paper, scissors with young fans.
He also won ESPN's award for the Best Meme of 2020 for the pouty face he made at Carlos Correa of the Astros after striking him out in a heated contest. After the strikeout, there was a bench-clearing and Kelly was suspended for five games for throwing at two players.
2020 has brought us countless memes, but only one can be the best of the year. And who better to declare the winne… https://t.co/WwUY6r6gIH— ESPN (@ESPN) 1608592166.0
But Kelly isn't only known for being a larger-than-life personality, he also has a helluva fastball that helped the Dodgers win the 2020 World Series. The Dodgers' championship earned them a trip to the White House to meet president Joe Biden on Friday.
When Joe Kelly arrived at the White House, he caught a lot of attention on social media for his amazing outfit. He wore a stunning blue mariachi jacket, a white dress shirt, and blue flood pants.
That ain’t Joe Kelly.. that’s José Kelly https://t.co/bRecR8LO30— Jonathan (@Jonathan) 1625247409.0
Joe Kelly said, “this is my Sunday best!” https://t.co/CWvMDwwODb— MariachiJoe🙌🏼 (@MariachiJoe🙌🏼) 1625244581.0
He was also the only Dodger to pose for a photo with the president wearing a face mask.
Kelly's audacious outfit was par for the course for a player who's known for being a cut-up. But it may have been about something more. Kelly's mother, Andrea Valencia, is Mexican-American and the jacket could have been a nod to his heritage.
Eagle-eyed Dodger fans quickly realized where Kelly got the jacket. On Sunday, the team had a Viva Los Dodgers event celebrating Mexican heritage before their game against the Chicago Cubs.
While Kelly and the rest of the Dodgers were warming up before the game, pitcher Kenley Jansen invited a mariachi band that was to perform the national anthem to come on the field and play for the team.
Mariachi Garibaldi serenaded the Dodgers during pregame workouts on Sunday, and Joe Kelly traded his jersey for a m… https://t.co/qLSX3RDD9s— True Blue LA (@True Blue LA) 1625054945.0
"We didn't anticipate being on the field, and being that close to the players, so as soon as we got that chance, I think we were all just shocked, we were just in awe," said one of the Mariachi Garibaldi band members. "It was amazing."
Kelly thought that the mariachi outfits were impressive so he offered to trade band member Grover Rodrigo his jersey for his jacket. Later, after the band played the national anthem, the deal was made from the bullpen.
Joe Kelly traded his actual game jersey for this fan’s mariachi jacket (via @mgarijc) https://t.co/vGSrTFDD5D— Jomboy Media (@Jomboy Media) 1624989230.0
"Really glad he kept his word," said Rodrigo. "A little bit of me had a little bit of doubt, but I'm so glad it happened. I hope he treasures his jacket as much as I treasure his jersey."
Rodrigo had to be super excited to see his old jacket show up at the White House.
Kelly may have caused a stir at the White House but the drama-free departure from the previous administration. During the Trump years, White House visits from professional athletes became cultural flashpoints that often led to public conflicts between the president and the athletes.
But this time, it was all about baseball and its power to bring people together during the pandemic.
"When we go through a crisis, very often, sports brings us together to heal. To help us feel like things are going to be okay. Are going to get better," Biden said. "For a few hours each day, feeling, sensing, and experiencing something familiar. Something normal. Something that's fun in the middle of the chaos."
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