On Friday, the Los Angeles Dodgers became the first championship team to visit the White House since the start of the pandemic.
33-year-old pitcher Joe Kelly wore a mariachi jacket after a member of the band asked if they could switch jackets with him earlier in the week.
Afterwards, people were curious about Kelly’s parents and general family life.
Profile of LA Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly
Joseph William Kelly Jr was born 9 June 1988.
Kelly was born in the city of Anaheim, California, to parents Andrea Valencia and Joe Kelly Sr.
Kelly played collegiate baseball for the Highlanders of University California, Riverside. He attended UCR on a baseball scholarship out of Corona High School, helping his team to the Big West Conference Championship in 2007.
On his 21st birthday, Joe was selected by the St Louis Cardinals in the third round of the 2009 MLB first-year player draft. Kelly made his Major League debut on 10 June 2012.
Kelly would later be traded to the Boston Red Sox, where he appeared in 250 regular season games, winning one World Series Championship.
Following the 2018 World Series, Kelly signed a three-year, $25M deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He married long-time girlfriend Ashley Parks in November 2013. They have one son, Knox, and twins Crue Jaxon and Blake Tyler, who were born on 17 April 2020.
More on Joe Kelly’s parents: his mother, Andrea
Joe Kelly’s mother is Andrea Valencia, who is Mexican-American. Kelly is therefore of mixed heritage.
When Kelly was in junior school, his mother convinced him to take salsa dance classes with him.
He went, and in the 2013 season Kelly was spotted dancing salsa in the outfield, a talent he attributes to his mother.
His relationship with his father
Kelly’s parents separated when he was 11 – soon after they moved from Anaheim to Corona.
During those early years, Kelly and his father had a difficult relationship, complicated by Kelly Sr’s alcohol dependancy.
Joseph William Kelly excelled at football and throwing the javelin and earned a scholarship to Vanderbilt.
The Athletic reports he was in training camp with the San Diego Chargers when he and his college sweetheart Andrea had their first child, a daughter.
Joseph Kelly Jr was born three years later, and was soon taught hand-eye co-ordination skills by his father (which would serve him well as a professional baseball player).
It took three years for Kelly’s parents to get back on speaking terms after their split.
They reportedly reconciled when Kelly Jr was called up by the Cardinals and they went to watch him play.
Kelly’s father and stepfather grew to “like each other” and Kelly Sr became friends with his first wife once again.