Being born and raised in LA, it was only a quick 20 minute drive to Dodgers Stadium from Pasadena. My family bled Blue, so I bled Blue. At 10 years old, I remember the ‘88 championship vividly, celebrating with them. There may have been years I wasn’t invested in it, but I’ve never wavered. I love LA sports and the people who play them. I always will.
In 2014, I left my Dodger-family and friends and made the move to the Bay Area in the middle of the Giants’ run. I remember thinking how much fun it would be around rival baseball fans and with the opportunity to have more critical discussion, but instead found mostly the fair-weather crowd that was more interested in gloating than they were about the actual sport. I wore the blue when I could, but I’m not gonna lie. It was really sucked a lot of days and it made my already difficult transition up here harder than it should have been, but I eventually got use to it. The Giants would win and the fans would gloat. In time, that would stop, but it didn’t matter because the Dodgers continue to not finish and that was enough to make other fans happy. Sure, we’d get close several times, but just never finish. It was frustrating, sad, and would make me mind-numbingly angry at times.
During this time, my family grew. My five-year-old Luke had been primed to bleed blue, knows the Giants suck, and is prepped for the opposition he’ll face. 2-year-old Logan isn’t far off from getting it all either. Maybe, though, maybe they wont have to deal with it as much as I thought they might have to?
Last night, 32 long years later, as the last pitch was thrown and the cheering begun, I got to see Luke rush in yelling, “We won! We won! Go Dodgers!” and it was just the best. As my family high-fived and hugged and my eyes watered endlessly, I was flooded with memories from my own childhood. My phone starts ringing and I’m connected with my LA family and we watch the celebration together. What a moment. This morning, the Dodgers and fans everywhere wake up champions. As hard and as dark as it’s been at times, today we all join together in the sun.
It’s funny. Sports, at least on paper, are just so silly. I can completely understand someone looking at it and thinking, “What’s the big deal?” and you wont hear an argument from me about it. Still, it’s amazing how much of a catalyst it can be to help revisit the past, enjoy the present, and anticipate future memories. And now it was my turn to enjoy with my own family as this big old circle of life chugs on. It’s pretty damn fantastic.
I can’t imagine ending any season without our Vin putting the period on it… “There will be a new day and, eventually, a new year. And when the upcoming winter gives way to spring, ohh rest assured, once again it will be time for Dodger baseball.”