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'Dance Crew,' 'Extra' host Lopez to make a pitch to the kids this fall -- one for the Dodgers tonight

May 18, 2009 | 12:36 pm

Last year, “America’s Best Dance Crew” host Mario Lopez was more than double-booked. The popular television personality  --  he’s anchoring “Extra” nightly -- was also making his Broadway debut in “A Chorus Line.”

“Dance Crew” picks up again in August, and Lopez currently doesn’t have any plans to jet off to Broadway. Instead, he’ll be aiming for a far younger audience. Lopez will release his first children’s book this fall: “ Mud Tacos,” which he penned with his sister.

“It’s like a ‘Dora the Explorer’ but focusing on a brother-and-sister bond," Lopez said, "and encouraging kids to use their imagination."

Tonight, Lopez will get to play the role of major league pitcher. He’s set to throw out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium as the first-place Dodgers take on the New York Mets at 7:10 p.m. If you hear any boo’s in the crowd, it’s not angry JabbaWockeeZ, but it may be fiercely loyal Dodger fans.

“I grew up a Padres fan,” Lopez said, who cites the San Diego team's come-from-behind win over the still-hapless Chicago Cubs in 1984 as his most memorable baseball moment.

But one of his childhood heroes has Dodger roots, if that helps. “Steve Garvey was my favorite,” he says.

-- Todd Martens

Photo: Associated Press