I have been a die-hard Dodgers fan for nearly 25 years. I remember the day my grandma Marion showed me a signed photo and a hand-written letter sent to her from the great Tommy Lasorda. Grandma had written him a letter while the Dodgers hit a slump after the ’88 World Series, and encouraged him and his team to never give up. The letter meant so much to Tommy that he took the time to write her back. My eyes lit up as I marveled over the letter and photo. As I handed them back, Grandma stopped me and told me to keep them and to keep them safe. I was elated and gave her a huge hug. From that day on I was a loyal Dodger fan.
My grandma passed away shortly after that day after a long battle with cancer. I wished I had more time with her to watch the Dodgers play, but my grandpa took over as my fellow Dodger enthusiast and together we watched the games and talked about the many seasons until he passed away a few years ago. Grandpa Jack told me that he and his parents were Dodgers fans while they were still playing in Brooklyn. My Grandpa Doyle on my mom’s side of the family was also a Dodgers man and gave me several photos he took at Dodgers stadium which included the likes of Sandy Koufax, Duke Snider, and even Dean Martin as he watched from the stands. I keep telling myself to get these photos blown up and hung on my wall, but time always gets away from me.
I grew up idolizing Mike Piazza and fantasized about playing alongside him in the big leagues. During my first Dodgers game ever, I watched Piazza hit a dinger out of Dodgers Stadium against the Atlanta Braves in 1995. That was a day that will live with me until I die. I remember the crowd going CRAZY and some guy spilled his beer all over me and my poster of Mike Piazza! Totally worth it!
I watched the Dodgers play through ups and downs these past 25 years and the torture of them losing in the playoffs year after year was torture. But now I get to watch them play in the World Series alongside my own family (although my wife and my 6 year old are Giants fans–talk about torture!). I just can’t wait for the series and see what magic Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Clayton Kershaw, and the other beasts bring to the Series. I only wish my grandparents were alive to watch with me. But I know they’re asking God to shower the Dodgers with the graces to win the Series. Here’s to an L.A. victory!