Do You Bleed Dodger Blue? 10 Things I love About the Dodgers
OK I'll admit it. I am a die hard Dodger fan and there are far more than 10 things I love about this team so don't be fooled, I am just giving the list that comes to mind right now.
The list is interchangeable and that's OK. Being a Dodger fan is a state of being that is like a living breathing thing. It grows and matures like a fine wine but never grows old and can never die.
On a cold winter's day it is looking forward to spring training that puts a smile on your face. When you hear the words "pitchers and catchers report" you're thrilled that it has almost arrived.
In the dead of summer a pennant race consumes your thoughts and of course in the fall you pray that the Blue get to the promised land of the World Series.
I hope you enjoy my thoughts on the subject and I look forward to hearing your favorites to. Feel free to let me know yours in the comment section and we can smile about them together.
At No. 10 The "True Blue Tattoo"
I guess we all identify with others like ourselves and in my case those others are fellow Dodger fans. One of those fans is Landon Heying owner of True Blue Tattoo on the 1300 block of Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles.
What makes him so special? This is a guy who pursued a profession that would allow him the freedom to be at Dodger Stadium as much as he possibly could.
I live in northern California so I couldn't get my own Dodger tattoo from Landon but I was inspired by him when I got mine. One day I hope to meet him and exchange some of our favorite Dodger memories.
At No. 9 "Dodger Stadium"
Ballparks are one of my favorite places to be in general. I'm pretty happy being at Camelback Ranch for spring training, John Thurman Field for a California League game or our local little league fields to see the future major leaguers in action.
With all of that said there is Dodger Stadium. For me it is a Temple where everything is beautiful, every moment is to be savoured. From batting practice to the sounds of Randy Newman's "I Love LA" after the Dodgers have won again, this is my favorite place to be on this planet. It is roughly a 12 hour round trip for me to get there and it is worth every moment.
At No. 8 "Think Cure"
The Dodgers joined into a collaboration with City of Hope and Children's Hospital Los Angeles to fight cancer. An exhibition game was played at the Los Angeles Coliseum between the Dodgers and Red Sox to get the ball rolling and and they haven't looked back.
As someone diagnosed with an incurable form of lymphoma this battle is incredibly important to me and I appreciate the gesture by Frank McCourt and everyone associated with this cause. Anyone who would like to join the fight by making a tax deductible donation can do so online at http://www.firstgiving.com/lisehunt .
At No. 7 "My Dodger Memories"
James Earl Jones may have said it best in the movie Field of Dreams, "The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces..."
I have such vivid memories that conjure up both joy and misery and I wouldn't trade them for anything. My Dad took me to my first game in Dodger Stadium in 1970 where I watched Don Sutton throw a 1-0 four-hit shutout against the Pirates with Billy Grabarkewitz providing all the offense with a solo shot.
Wes Parker made two sparkling plays at first turning errant throws into sweeping tags for outs. It is as clear today as ever.
I have so many I need another article to make room for them but probably the most important memory was watching Sandy Koufax mowing down Minnesota Twins in the 1965 World Series. I watched that game in a Sears television showroom and saw the Dodger home whites for the very first time in color. That was the day I was hooked for life.
At No. 6 "Giant Fans"
I know. You're wondering what the heck am I thinking. It makes sense once you think about it for a second. Who was David without Goliath or the Hatfields without the McCoys? Would being a fan of Michigan football be as emotional without Ohio State?
That's right. As a Dodger fan, I need someone that I can explain the facts to... Los Angeles has five world championships and San Francisco has none.
During one of those seasons when the playoffs aren't in the Dodger's future beating the Giants is the next best thing. The Giant fan provides us someone whose nose can be rubbed in the fact that the Dodgers are spectacular and their Giants are simply here to provide us with amusement.
At No. 5 "The Dodger Dog"
Ahhh, the simple pleasures. The iconic food of Dodgertown. Farmer John's Dodger Dogs are something I treasure and look forward to every trip I take to the Southland.
Make no mistake that what I am referring to are the Grilled version and not it's steamed impersonator. That first delicious pop of the casing and you know you eating within hallowed ground. Long live the Dodger Dog with all the trimmings, amen.
At No. 4 "Kirk Gibson's 1988 World Series Home Run"
Any self respecting Dodger fan feels this one deep in their heart. The mighty Bash Brothers, the winningest team of 1988 against the weak hitting and banged up Dodgers.
Absolutely no one gave Los Angeles a chance in the Series. Kirk Gibson, with one swing of the bat, changed everything. As much as it lifted the Dodgers to a one game lead, I believe it demoralized the A's and put that all important doubt into their head. The next day a dominant Orel Hershiser put the screws to Oakland and the rest is history.
At No. 3 "My Dodger Family"
I started with my little sister. Twelve years my junior I began taking her to games when she was four years old and schooling her on Dodger's history that she had the misfortune to miss out on only because she wasn't lucky enough to have been born yet.
Today she is a beautiful woman, and a huge Dodger fan, living in Los Angeles because she had to move there, away from family and friends, in order to be closer to the Dodgers.
Today I am enjoying Dodger baseball with my eight year old son and teaching him the ways of the Blue. Watching him grow into a true blue fan is really an incredible delight for me.
I've had to part ways with two wives who just never understood and like Tommy Lasorda said when his wife accused him of loving the Dodgers more than her, "Yea but I love you more than football and basketball."
At No. 2 "Other Dodger Fans"
I have lots of friends who enjoy Dodger baseball but growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area and living 400 miles north of Los Angeles in the Central Valley now, I don't live near many of them.
I do, however, get to share with Dodger fans like never before because of the internet. I exchange emails and we read each others blogs and send pictures to one another.
There are a lot of people out there as passionate as I am but two stand out more than the rest. One of them is known as New Mexico fan. He writes a blog he calls "I Love This Game", ( http://newmexicofan.blogspot.com/ ).
He follows the Dodgers AAA team, the Albuquerque Isotopes of the Pacific Coast league, and allows those of us living too far away to stay abreast of what's going on in and around Isotopes Park. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank him here. Your love for the game is awesome and thank you for sharing.
The other is Roberto, (pictured above with the recently departed Dodger legend Willie Davis), author of the greatest Dodger blog of all "Vin Sculley is My Homeboy", ( http://www.vinscullyismyhomeboy.com/ ). I look forward to each morning when I drink my cup of coffee and pour over Dodger gems of information that Roberto has uncovered. He does such an incredible job that I recommend his blog to everyone who thinks of themselves as a true blue Dodger fan. I look forward to the day I can meet him in person as well, and want to thank him here for his tireless spirit and love for the Dodgers!
And At No. 1 "Vin Scully"
The voice of our team. When I hear his voice I feel comfort. Like the feeling of being home when you are actually far away. I, like most of us, grew up listening to Vin Scully.
No other announcer is like him because he is so much more than an announcer. He weaves his tales of heroics and history so smoothly he entrances you like you've been transported to another world.
As a child I used to listen to KFI, (which would only come in after dark in the Bay Area), on my transistor radio. On school nights I did it in bed and under the covers so my parents would think I was asleep like they expected me to be.
Vin has become not only the voice of the Dodgers, but the face of the franchise. Having him decide to comeback for the 2010 season brings joyous anticipation for me and others. Thank you Vinny for the 45 years I have been fortunate enough to listen to you.