When running down a drive in the gap under the intense Los Angeles sun, the last thing Cody Bellinger wants to be concerned with is his allergies hampering his fly-chasing abilities. Playing in different cities across the country, Bellinger battled the flare ups that come varying pollens in each locale. They were symptoms those who suffer from allergies will find rather familiar.
“My eyes were watering,” Bellinger said during a recent interview. “You can’t breathe out your right nostril, or you’re sneezing.”
For the 2021 season, Bellinger partnered with Flonase to combat his long-suffering allergies so he can put his attention where it is most needed, on the field.
“I was always feeling these different symptoms, whether it was allergies or whether I thought I was becoming sick,” he said. “Just partnering with them has really helped me focus on the game a little bit more.”
While Bellinger thought partnering with Flonase was the right move not only to help remedy his allergies, it was also a cause close to his heart. He said the decision was less about branding and more about aligning with something he consumes.
“It’s just something that I believe in,” he said. “It’s not really necessarily about my brand, but it’s something that I use and something that I needed to use. … I understand what I think would benefit me. I don’t need all that branding stuff; that’s not me. I just want to play baseball.”
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In an era where stars are engrossed in social media campaigns, Bellinger is a throwback. Despite having almost 200,000 followers on Twitter, he spends little time on the app, tweeting only 782 times since 2012. He prefers to keep a low profile, evident from conversations he had with his father Clay who was a two-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees.
“The game now has changed a lot from when my dad was playing back in the late 90s, early 2000s,” he said. “Just mainly with social media and how there are always cameras on you; I mean not necessarily me, but everyone. For me, I just be myself, stay in my lane, and just try to ignore all the negativity that’s around you in social media and try to focus on the game.”
Turning away from the noisy worlds of Instagram and Twitter, Bellinger is returning from a shoulder injury he suffered during the 2020 National League Championship Series. Playing through the whirlwind pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he expressed his gratitude for being able to get on the field amidst the chaos.
“It was a combination of understanding how blessed we were to be able to have a season, when a lot of people were out of work and grinding with something to do,” he said. “On the other hand, it was like, ‘Man, this is a tough season to play.’ It really was, but at the end of day everyone did a good job to get through it, and hopefully we are towards the end of it all.”
With a full season ahead of him and his allergies under control, Bellinger is anticipating the opportunity for the Dodgers to defend their World Series championship.
“[I’m looking forward to] getting out there and playing again,” he said. “Just having that whole season to play the way that we want to play.”