On Saturday morning, Dodger Stadium employees showed up clutching coffee cups and asking each other what time they got to bed.
The night before, they and Dodger fans all across Southern California fought sleep to watch the longest game in World Series history.
For the Dodger faithful, this World Series has been all about perseverance.
The stands stayed full for the entirety of Game 3, which ended after midnight Saturday in a 3-2 Dodgers victory after 18 innings and seven hours and 20 minutes of play. They truly meant it when, during the 14th inning stretch, they stood for Take Me Out to the Ballgame and sang, “I don’t care care if I never get back.”
All across Southern California, Dodgers fans fought sleep to watch the marathon game.
Arturo Delgadillo started watching at home in Whittier on Friday night with his family. He ended it Saturday morning, sitting in the dark, drinking Tang alone, trying not to wake his wife and young daughter who went to bed during the ninth inning.
“I had to keep my emotions in check and keep my celebration to a minimal decibel level,” Delgadillo said Saturday night from Dodger Stadium, where he could be as loud as he wished. When the Red Sox tied the score in the eighth inning, Delgadillo felt pessimism creeping in. He quickly snapped out of it, though. And he never woke his family.
"It was a very contained emotional roller coaster," he said.
When Max Muncy hit a home run to end it in the bottom of the 18th, he stepped outside to yell, “Yeah!”
Before Game 4 on Saturday afternoon, a man in a blue kilt said he felt confident the Dodgers would win. But, he snorted, “it’ll take them 27 innings.”
Balancing his 1-year-old daughter on his hip on the loge level, Ray Barajas said he couldn’t imagine himself being anywhere other than Dodger Stadium, even though he and his fiance, Ruby Molina, were operating on three hours of sleep.
They had attended Game 3 with their 1-year-old Rayleen, the night before. They stayed the whole time, despite the hour-and-a-half-drive home to Moreno Valley.
For Game 4, Ruby was fueled by coffee. Ray was fueled by excitement. Rayleen, wearing a pink shirt that said “World Series Princess,” was fueled by her bottles.
“We’ll sit her down one day and watch it all,” said Ruby, pulling out a video camera she’d been toting all weekend. “She was there. The 2018 World Series.”
After a regular season that ended with a tiebreaker 163rd game against the Colorado Rockies, a National League Championship Series with the Milwaukee Brewers that stretched to a full seven games and an early two-game World Series lead by the Red Sox, fans understood the fragility of every lead and cherished every good moment.
During Game 4, the ball rocketed off the bat of Yasiel Puig and over the left field wall in the bottom of the sixth inning. It was a three-run home run. A 4-0 game lead.
Out of seats the fans jumped, spilling beers, high-fiving strangers, hugging their children and roaring. One man threw both hands in the air, stood in the aisle and let out a deafening, “Wooooo!”
In the eighth inning, a repeat night of extra innings threatened as the Red Sox tied it up. By the top of the ninth, fans clutched their beers a little tighter and a little quieter, as Boston took a shocking 9-4 lead.
Sal Real, 42, of Montebello, has a lot riding on the rest of the matchup. If the Dodgers manage to win the World Series, he told his girlfriend, Michelle Santisteban, 50, he would propose to her.
The couple met three years ago in the beer line years at Dodgers’ Spring Training in Glendale, Ariz. They tried watching Game 3 Friday night together, but, after a long day of work, Santisteban fell asleep in the bottom of the ninth.
Real watched their bedroom TV from the edge of the bed, trying not to wake her, hopping up and down in the dark quietly.
“I didn’t get too loud,” he said. “I kept it all inside.”
When he awoke later Saturday morning, the scent of coffee wafted out of the kitchen. Santisteban sat there with a surprise: She’d just purchased Game 4 tickets because she was so sad she’d missed watching the victory the night before.
“I love it,” she said of this roller-coaster series. “We’re rocking October. I’m tired. I’m sure everybody’s tired. But we will always remember this.”
As the stadium cleared out Saturday night after the Dodgers lost 9-6, a fan in an Andre Ethier jersey threw her hands in the air and shrugged.