“There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
Your favorite player. The guy that you pretended to be when you were playing baseball in your backyard. The guy that you felt you had a connection to in some way. The guy you miss, long after he’s retired, or worse, moved on to another team.
The Dodgers have a great and varied history of players suitable for your adoption as favorite player. With 17 Rookies of the Year, 13 NL MVPs, and 12 Cy Young Awards, plenty of greatness to choose from. Some of the answers I expected (Kershaw, Koufax, Valenzuela). Some of the answers I did not.
Clayton Kershaw is definitely high on every fan’s list.
You don’t need me to go on and on about how much we all love Kershaw. He’s an amazing human, and person, and we’re so lucky to have him.
Fernando Valenzuela also inspired a lot of fans.
FernandoMania, who can forget it? All-Star, World Series Champ, NL Cy Young, NL Rookie of the Year in 1981. Not bad for a debut. I love Jose’s tweet — he was a player that his family connected with, enough to go to a game when they otherwise wouldn’t have.
Some players go way back —
Duke Snider, “The Silver Fox”, center fielder on the Dodgers’ first World Series winning team in 1955. He hit 40 or more home runs in five consecutive seasons (1953-57). He came in second to Roy Campanella in the somewhat controversial 1955 MVP.
Good old Tommy Lasorda — this guy sums up “why” well:
Sandy Koufax gets some love —
Oh, and Jackie for sure. Trailblazer, incredible player, incredible man.
Steve Garvey, that handsome devil:
Hal enjoyed watching Billy Ashley — remember him?
And Paul Lo Duca also gets some love:
How about Eric Karros? Right there at the start of the string of Rookies of the Year from 1992-1997.
Joseph fondly remembers Dave Hansen:
And of course, Vin Scully. While he never played a game for the Dodgers, no one epitomizes Dodger baseball more than he.
The saddest is when you love a player, and they get injured and are never the same. Matt Kemp, what might have been…
For me, pre-Kershaw, it was Brett Butler. He played when I was in high school. I played softball, and was lead off and played center field, just like he did. I loved to watch him steal bases. I still have my Butler Starter jacket today.
That’s one of the great things about baseball. Players have so many varied things for which to love, be it a Mania about them, the way the batted, ran the bases, or conducted themselves on and off the field. As always, I am open to ideas on future articles and questions. I loved hearing your stories, and thanks to all who answered!