Justin Turner grew up loving the Dodgers, dreaming of one day playing for his favorite team. In 2014, JT got the opportunity to live out his boyhood dream, signing as a free agent with Los Angeles after the Mets non-tendered him.
Most of us never get to live out our dreams, and when we do, it’s rare that they turn out even better than we could have imagined. But for Turner, as Bill Plunkett reports in the Orange County Register, winning the 2022 Roberto Clemente Award is just the latest in a long list of ways his life has changed since he became a Dodger.
“It’s crazy looking back and seeing how everything on all fronts kind of took off for me once I became a Dodger,” said Turner, a Lakewood native and College World Series champion at Cal State Fullerton. “Obviously, I grew into an everyday role. I rehauled my swing and started performing better and slugging better. Off the field, I got married to my wife, started a foundation and really have grown that to bigger than we ever thought it would be honestly.
“Just all around, everything kind of in my life I feel like it has really taken off since the day I put the Dodger uniform on. So obviously it’s very special to me, growing up in Southern California and getting to wear that jersey and getting to be a part of an organization that has so much history and has so many people who have impacted the game in so many different ways. I’m just trying to do my little part.”
As Plunkett notes, JT is being modest in referring to his contributions as “little.”
Turner started his charitable foundation in 2016 with a mission to help support homeless veterans and families battling life-altering illnesses. He continues to work closely with the Dream Center’s community outreach programs to help the hungry and homeless in the Los Angeles area. Turner’s work with the Dream Center has been so impactful its food bank has been renamed The Justin and Kourtney Turner Food Bank.
In 2022 alone, Turner’s charity golf tournament raised more than $650,000 for The Dream Center and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
Justin and Kourtney are living the best kind of dream-come-true, blessing the lives of everyone around them. It’s pretty great for them to do it as Dodgers.
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