Dodgers Fans Remember

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For Dodgers fans, the time has finally come. For 29 excruciatingly long years, fans young and old have waited for the Dodgers to return to the World Series. With a 3-1 series win in the NLCS over the Chicago Cubs, who defeated the Dodgers last year in the same series, Los Angeles will be taking on the Houston Astros.  I decided to go on to Twitter and ask fans just what the Dodgers returning to the Fall Classic meant to them.

First, what it means to a Cubs fan:

I shouldn’t be snarky, but we fans definitely know this pain all too well.  After winning the division each of the last five seasons, and all those years the Dodgers made the playoffs earlier in the decade, so many times getting so close, only to have a home run or three ruin it, it’s finally our time as Dodger fans to celebrate our Boys in Blue.

Shanksalot says that he started his teaching career during the ’88 run, and now he is retiring. Moving east, he will continue to rep his Dodger fandom.

Jim P. says that he’s mostly in it for the regular season. All of the playoff fun is just icing on the cake.  He would like to see a World Series win for the team leaders though, because this team would be nowhere without them. He was 13 when they won in 1988, and will mostly be listening on the radio while he works.

Eephusblue says that winning it all will mean release. I agree. Referring back to what I said before, we’ve all endured so much with the close calls, and the lean Frank McCourt years. Watching so many other teams make it and not us. It just means a huge exhale.

Rob G. agrees:

Frank Guzman also concurs: “My youth was spent listening to Vin and Jerry imagining the magic at the Ravine. Always hoping to win. Thinking we would win many World Series. It’s been 29 years. This WS means everything! It means we matter!!”

Shady believes that it shows that nice guys don’t always finish last.

Scott L. sent this: “I’m from Southern California but I have spent the last 6 plus years in the Bay Area! When I wear anything dodger or LA, I get cat calls, disparaging comments, or rude looks. My wife gets an uneasy feeling when I wear my dodger gear. I have gotten to the point wear I hardly wear anything LA. The last few months, I proudly fly my colors. In the last few weeks, I have received more positive comments in the Bay Area than I received in the last 6 years! Making it to the World Series provides me validation. I will be wearing Dodger Blue all week and if they win…maybe everyday!”

Stay safe up there, Scott! So happy to hear you are receiving positive comments!

Michael W. relays that this is the first time he’s seen them in the WS since he wasn’t alive the last time. Them making it is a big accomplishment in itself. Regardless of how it turns out at least he’s seen them play in a WS now.

Gail J., a Canadian in New Brunswick Canada, is making another cross country trip to see the Dodgers – “I grew up an Expos fan and only started watching Dodgers games in spring of 2014, so I’ve never, until now, had the privilege of seeing “my” team make it past the NLCS! I live 4 time zones away from Dodger Stadium so have to stay up pretty late to watch their games during the season, and am beyond thrilled that I’ll be able to make the 3,500 mile trip out to LA to see them play in person – this time for their first World Series since I was 16!”

But for most of us, the memories of past Dodgers championships are tied to family.

Michele T. shares, “I was 41-my boys were 3 & 11. We are Blue all the way. We are going to Game 1 together-grandson too-he’s 11. My 1st postseason game ever. WOW!”

Nurse B remembers the 1988 year well. “I definitely remember the games, and I made a whole scrapbook of the newspaper clippings. I was a fan because of my parents. My dad played baseball and they both grew up in the South Bay and were huge Dodger dans.We listed to every game.”

Donnie remembers the 1981 Pennant. “1981 team was my fave I was a kid. Spent last few postseasons watching while working. Just again part of this season, also watching with my fam would be amazing!”

Dr. Snarky also remebers the ’81 squad: “Last time I went to a Dodgers World Series was 1981. Thanks to Fred Claire & Dodgers marketing they did a Battle of the Bands. Our HS won and we went to each round of the playoffs. Saw the Dodgers win. Everyone I know from HS still talks about that year. This year will be special because it’s the first year my GF has ever attend a Dodgers WS. Dodger games were something she shared with her dad, but he’s gone now. I’m in my 50’s. I’ll be watching the Game 1 *LIVE* after holding the flag during pregame at NLDS & NLCS Game 1s.”

JustTheTip shares: “Grew up in LA. Great memories of my dad taking me to Chavez, I always had to jog to keep up with him as he walked so fast. My grandmother listened to vin every game as she fell asleep until she died. Moved to Utah in ‘85. Watched Gibson by myself at 17 in parents basement. Screaming and jumping all by myself. Lost track of team in the 90’s but started following again about 8 yrs ago. Now just love this team. Good guys, and hope they compete well and come out on top.”

Clyle Alt‘s memories go a bit further back: “I was in kindergarten when the Dodgers arrived in LA in ’58. My 1st Dodger game was at the Coliseum in ’60. We were at the 1st night game played at Dodger Stadium in ’62. From ’58 to ’88 (my childhood, teens, college years, early teaching years & heading to middle age), the Dodgers were winning the WS, in it but losing, or near misses. If anyone had told me then that I would be the age I am now w/o another WS appearance, I’d have said they were nuts! I’m hoping this gets them back on track for the rest of my life. It also means I can check attending a Dodger WS game off my bucket list! It’s also bittersweet because it’s the first WS I’ll experience without sharing it with my dad.”

Matt G. is a little younger, but has wonderful memories just the same – “I was born in 1991, so I’ve never seen the Dodgers in the World Series. My entire childhood growing up in Los Angeles was just year after year of mediocrity from the team my father taught me to love, the team that had filled his own Los Angeles upbringing 30 years earlier with so much joy–he, like the team, moved to LA in 1958, when he was 7. They had a star then who was left-handed and Jewish, just like he is, who taught him he could be a success, too. These last five years have finally given me a taste of what those great Dodger teams of old must have been like. My dad and I have been cheering for them together since before I can remember, and when we sit in front of the TV, him in his #32 jersey, me in my #22, it just drives home how special this team is, and gives me hope that the 2017 Dodgers can get over that last hurdle and be the next in a long line of Dodger champions.”

And for some of us, it is a reminder of who we used to share our love of Dodgers baseball with, but are no longer with us. Jamaal A. says, “The Dodgers making the World Series is a reminder of my father who taught me about the game of baseball, how to keep score, and took me to my first Dodger game when I was 4…Every year regardless of how the team looked he would say the Dodgers were going to go to the World Series…He would have loved this team.”

Mike R. had this to say – ” I was a scrawny 16-yr old high school kid last time they won in ’88. Watched Game 1 at my Grandma’s in East LA while parents were out of town. Went to Game 2 next night with my Dad. Best. Night. Ever. Wish he was still here. I’ll be watching with local Dodger fans here in DFW. 88 Series clincher was last time Dad and I celebrated a Dodger playoff win together. He passed in October 94.”

Tyler A. just has a lovely story to share, and like me, gets her love of Dodgers baseball from her mother. “While, yes, I grew up in San Diego, but I was raised by the most mighty (tiny) Dodgers fan there ever was. My resilient, 5-foot-one mama, Annarose, fell in love with the voice of Vin Scully and baseball in the 1970’s after moving out to SoCal from Chicago. She raised me as a super fan, spending nights doing my homework in local sports bars to catch games, listening to the final outs in her car in the garage (even after the lights had turned off), and once she moved to Arizona, she caught a Manny Ramirez foul ball at Camelback Ranch and couldn’t have been more happy. I read her Bill Plaschke articles and stats on my way to school from elementary school til high school. After she was killed by a drunk, wrong-way driver six years ago, I have only become a more dedicated fan to continue her legacy. While I live here in San Diego, I have gone to three games this year, including NLCS Game 2, which was one of the most electric moments of my life. Someday, I hope to go to attend a Dodgers’ World Series game. This time last year, I was in Mexico closely watching Twitter and had no way to listen to Vin’s emotional last game at AT&T Park (live, at least). My college roommate, a die-hard Giants fan, attended the game and texted me all the Vin memorabilia she kept for me. I immediately started sobbing in the middle of a Oaxacan restaurant. They thought I was nuts. I love Vin like a grandfather, much like Chick Hearn. So, all this to say, I am a die-hard fan, raised by a die-hard fan. Its almost cruel to fathom how far we’ve come this year without phone calls and screaming with her. I can’t believe I’m watching these games without her, and when we beat the Cubs, I could barely move or breathe. But this moment wouldn’t mean a thing if it wasn’t for her dedication to this team. Life is so much richer being her diehard, Dodgers fan daughter. (Not to mention sharing real-time tears and laughs with such an incomparable Twitter community.)”

I agree, Tyler.  Most of you know I am an East Coast fan, raised to be a Dodger fan by my mother, who sat in the bleachers of Ebbets Field when she was a young girl, and carried her Dodger fandom throughout her life.  My first baseball game was in Dodger Stadium at the ripe old age of one year old, and my first memories are of watching Steve Sax. The memory that solidified my fandom was Kirk Gibson’s Game 1 epic homer.My mother now is in a nursing home with dementia, so I also can’t share this team with here. Twitter and social media have been a Godsend for me, to be able to connect with other fans and shre the highs and lows of being a Dodger fan.

Win or lose, the Dodgers did it.  They have made it to the World Series after so many failed tries, and are poised to give all of us new memories with our loved ones to cherish for years to come.

(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERSANDYINPA)

 

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