Well that was quite the year, wasn’t it? One that Dodger fans and the world at large won’t forget for some time.
For Dodger fans, it was the year that so many had been waiting for—the Dodgers finally winning the World Series. Clayton Kershaw has his ring. For that moment, all was right with the world. It almost didn’t matter that it was only a 60-game season, that the World Series was played at a neutral site and not at Dodger Stadium. Of course, those things all would’ve made it better, but in such a year with so much other heartbreak, we’ll take what we can get.
When baseball resumed after a three-month hiatus, there weren’t any fans in the stands. There was limited travel, and the Dodgers only played teams within the boundaries of the AL and NL West divisions. But still, the team went on to amass a 43-17 record in 60 games, a .717 winning percentage. They were the best team in baseball and carried it through to the World Series.
But beyond the World Championship, there were other incredible moments worth remembering.
First came the trade of Mookie Betts and David Price, setting up the aforementioned World Championship. And through the time off due to the pandemic, President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman kept up the discussions with Betts. Before the season even started, the team announced that Mookie would be a Dodger for life. Friedman has finally landed his big-name free agent, and it paid off immediately.
Regardless of what schedule was played, the Dodgers were set to take on the Houston Astros in their third series of the season. In the offseason, much more information came out about the Astros’ cheating in 2017 and beyond, and that was again fresh on everyone’s mind. Fireworks happened right away. There was jawing from both sides, and one of the most memorable strikeouts of the year took place when Joe Kelly set down Carlos Correa, who decided to complain about it. Kelly didn’t care for Correa’s crying, giving us the best face of the year and a meme that will live on in infamy.
The playoffs were when things really got going for memorable moments. They began with CKershaw absolutely dominating the Milwaukee Brewers, striking out 13 to sweep the Wild Card round.
The Dodgers then moved on to face division rival San Diego Padres in the National League Division Series. The games were close, tense and action-packed. It looked as though the Padres were threatening to take down their big brothers to the north, but Cody Bellinger robbed a would-be home run off the bat of Fernando Tatis Jr to preserve the win in Game 2, and the Dodgers ended up sweeping the NLDS also.
But the Atlanta series. It looked the Dodgers were again on the verge of getting just so far and not making it to the promised land. The Dodgers lost the first two games to the Braves. They then exploded for 11 runs in the first inning of Game 3, going on to win 15-3. And then they once again fell flat on their face, losing Game 4 and a Kershaw start. They were down 3-1 in the series, and it seemed like hope was slim.
But they battled back, energized by what now was the turning point of the series. Catcher Will Smith of the Dodgers hit the go-ahead home run off of the Braves’ relief pitcher Will Smith. Bellinger and Betts continued their stellar defense, and with Corey Seager’s hot bat, they finished off the Braves and moved on to the World Series.
The rest, as they say, is history. The Dodgers finally won their first Championship since 1988. They got their marquee player. We got baseball when we didn’t know in mid-March if that would actually happen or not. In a year that was different and heartbreaking and eye-opening in so many ways, we Dodger fans will always have that.
On a personal level, Dennis and I and the whole staff of Think Blue Planning Committee would like to thank all our loyal readers for another incredible year. Even with months of no news and not much to talk about, we have had our best year yet. We are forever indebted to you, our readers, to allow us to continue to write about the team that we love.
Wishing all of you health, happiness and a repeat World Series win in 2021!