Friday, October 01, 2004

Dodgers Win! Dodgers Win!

" !!!"
That's about the extent of the shouting I can do today. I have thwarted any attempt to record vocals this weekend by going to last night's dramatic game at Chavez Ravine. Out of the (literally) hundreds of baseball games I've attended this was the most exciting and had the most on the line. Walking into the stadium, I said, "Self, we want the Dodgers to win, but we also want to see a great game, don't we Preciousssssss?" And we got a pitchers' duel, on a crisp September evening, between Birthday Boy Jose "Lima Time" Lima and former Rookie of the Year Jason Jennings of Colorado.

The game was tied 1-1 going into the top of the 10th. After an exciting swap of runs in that inning the Dodgers, the Dodgers came up with a chance to control the division in the bottom of the 12th. With 2 outs (and almost all of the subs and pitchers used, making the prospects of extra-extra innings daunting), Alex Cora was hit by a pitch. That brought up lite hitting backup catcher David Ross, who hit a walk off homer that bounced off the top of the left field fence. I've never yelled that loud at a sporting event. Never seen a stadium go that wild. Never seen a team so elated. Jose Lima came screaming out of the dugout to greet Cora at home plate and Ross was mobbed by the whole team. Ross had to make 2 curtain calls for the hometown crowd. Lima stayed on the field whipping the crowd into further frenzy while Randy Newman's "I Love L.A." blared over the PA.

After years of watching, frankly, shitty teams in Cleveland and fade-away lineups in L.A., it was a dream to see my home team win a truly meaningful game. With one more win against the Giants this weekend, the Dodgers win the NL West pennant. I'm sure that when I'm a cranky old man in 2054, this will be the game that I tell everyone: I was there. Yes, the Tribe are my first love, but I have been a fan of the Azul since I was a kid going with my Granddad to Dodgertown for spring training. As a child, I got to meet Tommy Lasorda, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Fernando, Sandy Koufax and recently I met Brooklyn legend Don Newcombe. But my appreciation for the Dodgers comes from my Dad, who grew up in New York while they were there. Here's a legacy, Vin Scully who did the play-by-play for the Dodgers in '50s, STILL does the play-by-play for L.A. 50 years later!!

Go Dodgers. Hail David Ross. I love L.A.

Love, Power, Peace


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