Dodgers Dugout: What the World Series title means to you
Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and today the stage is yours.
Here’s what the 2020 World Series title means to various readers of this newsletter. Thank you all for writing in.
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April Janow of Atlanta writes: Been a fan since I was a little girl, because of my dad. In 1976, he got the Dodger logo tattooed on his butt. When I was a little older, there was many a game at Candlestick, where he would be wearing his Dodger blue, and the San Francisco fans were merciless. Still, he soldiered on. My first World Series was when the Astros cheated. My second was in Boston, and everyone around was really a good sport, unlike the Astros. I really hate the Astros.
Last night, amidst the texting with 10 friends in various locations and calling my dad, we watched together as Urías threw that last pitch. To be able to see it long distance with him was fantastic. Thank you to the Dodgers and Dave Roberts for bringing this home.
Eric Dosch of Louisiana: I live just outside of New Orleans. I am from Pasadena originally. My 11-year-old son and I were watching the game last night when in the pivotal sixth inning the local Fox station broke away for hurricane coverage. We panicked and started searching channels, I called my brother in California who kept me updated, and then we finally found the uninterrupted game on Fox Deportes. We watched our Dodgers win the championship in Spanish which was appropriate since our new Dodger hero Urías hails from Mexico.
I felt a major sense of relief and gratitude. I was 10 in 1988 when we last won it. I took my son to Game 2 in 2017 when Marwin Gonzales hit the home run off Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning. My son cried on Saturday night when history repeated itself during Game 4 but last night we cried tears of joy! Go Dodgers! I look forward to coming back out to Dodger Stadium when things get back to normal.
Don White of Toledo, Ohio: As displaced Dodgers fans, my wife and I love to keep track of our team. In fact we are on a mission, one that obviously was interrupted this year, to see the Dodgers play in every park.
Thirty-two years ago I was glued to the TV (in Buffalo, N.Y.). This drove my wife nuts because we had a baby in the middle of that fabulous postseason. This year we were both glued and had a blast. But the absolute highlight for me was the speech by Mark Walter which expressed over and over in so many powerful ways that if this season deserves an asterisk it should be to say how much more it means than the typical season. The hurdles to be overcome as well as the tremendous value of a gracious and hard-fought victory combine to make this victory sweeter than any other.
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Sergio Casarrubias: I heard the sixth game of the 1981 World Series on an obscure Spanish AM radio station from my home in Guadalajara. I was only 10. Playing it forward 39 years later I was able to see all 78 games live through all my devices, and finally saw this year’s final win with my 15-year-old son by my side. He was happy, but I could tell he was happier for me. It’s been a difficult journey but full of gems in the last few years. 2020 is a great culmination of all that. Thanks to all the blue men for making it possible.
Ed Arvizo of Albuquerque: Met my wife in Sep. 1981 and we spent many hours getting to know each other while watching the ’81 Series. She was from New Mexico, had been to the Dukes games in Albuquerque, and was a Dodger fan! She knew the Dodgers meant a lot to my family and me as I had been to the ’63 Series (4th Game- Sandy Koufax vs. Whitey Ford) and the ’77 and ’78 Series. I am very blessed to have met her. I have been alive for seven World Series titles. Father to six and only the last two are Dodger fans as the older four were all born in the Anaheim area and for whatever reason they like the Angels. They all know the Boys in Blue are my No. 1 sports team.
Getting a chance to share this memory with my wife and two youngest adult children is special. My son and daughter acted nervous throughout the series and Game 6. I just sat back enjoying every moment knowing they might soon get a chance to experience what I have felt many times. After the game was over my daughter asked “can we watch the last inning again?” Her name begins with “L” and our last name begins with an “A.” When she calls me “LA” pops up on my phone bringing nothing but great thoughts and great memories. Some might say the shortened 2020 season deserves an asterisk but the challenges the players, coaches and families faced throughout the year can never be understated. Thank you Dodgers for being part of my life and giving my families some of our greatest memories.
Kevin Juliano: I was 12 when the Dodgers won it in ‘88.
I’m a upstate New Yorker, my family and I try to see them play every summer (except 2020) whether it be Citi Field, Nationals park, Philly, Pittsburgh etc. we actually plan our summer vacation around them being on the east coast.
My family and I pour our hearts and souls into the Dodgers. I am overcome with emotion. One of the happiest times in my life. I’m so happy for the team especially Clayton Kershaw.
Joseph Duncan: It hit me last night as I watched the team celebrate in Texas instead of Blue Heaven. This is something I have literally been waiting for half of my life—32 years. My 25-year-old daughter is a loyal Dodger fan who has never seen the Dodgers win a World Series. (Yes, I passed it down to her.)
Generations have grown up thinking that all the Dodgers could do is make the playoffs and then come up short. That is why so many of us are smiling behind our masks today. Job’s done!
Hugh Gwyn of Isle of Palms, S.C.: I became a Dodgers fan in 1955. My Mom was an avid Brooklyn Dodgers fan and seeing how happy she was when they won the World Series that year made me a fan also. I was 12-years-old. Through the years they were in the World Series many times and won a few but I never thought after the 1988 win that there would be no more for 32 years. The win this year is really sweet and I am glad that I lived long enough to see it. I really wish my Mom could have seen it too.
Aloha Allen of Honolulu: I was 12 the last time the Dodgers won the World Series. I vividly remember it. I have remained a steadfast fan all these years, but the last few (five, six?) I have tried so hard to not get my hopes up. 2017 was devastating to me, and I’m sure thousands of others. I’ve lived in Hawaii most of my adult life, and my husband surprised me with a trip to Game 5 of the 2018 WS. Although another extremely disappointing loss, I’d learned not to get my hopes up.
When it came down to the last inning, standing in my living room, thinking “this could be it,” the last strike, all I could do was cry. Seeing Kershaw’s face, elation doesn’t quite explain it. I just wish I’d bought that champagne to pop and spray all over the house. (I didn’t want to jinx it.)
Connor Layden: Being 23-years-old, I never knew the Dodgers of the 1988 World Series; my father did, and remembers the night well as he moved to L.A. the same year. All I knew were the stories of legend, the hobbling Kirk Gibson, and the famous call. What I came to know was the Frank McCourt days, the early 2000s Dodgers, the Don Mattingly era, and where they stand now. A team that frequented the playoffs, yet never quite could finish the job; but each time they lost the last game of the year, I welcomed the start of a new season with my dad and we’d frequent many regular season games, and a couple postseason games if we were lucky.
We’ve experienced the Dodgers in many ways. My first playoff series I remember in 2004, with names like Rafael Furcal and James Loney. From being grounded as a kid and forced to listen to a radio under my pillow hearing Jonathan Broxton blow Game 4 of the 2009 NLCS, to the 2013-2016 years where a World Series stage seemed unattainable. Then the last few years, where dreams of a title dangled in front of fans, only to be quickly awoken with losses. But this is the experience I’m most grateful for, despite how strange it is: working from home in a pandemic-stricken world, watching the Dodgers finally climb the mountain. While I would have loved to attend any playoff game this year, this October had a silver lining: I was able to watch them win it all with my dad at home, a situation only these circumstances would allow. And it was worth the wait.
Harvey Eisner of Henderson, Nev.: I’m a lifelong Dodger fan as I was born in L.A. three weeks after the Dodgers played their first game in LA in 1958. Back in October 1988, my then girlfriend and I were not engaged yet, but we were a new couple. We were watching Game 1 of the World Series with friends & my parents. It was the bottom of the ninth and Kirk Gibson limped out of the dugout to hit the most iconic winning home run in World Series history.
Everyone in the room, except my non-sports minded girlfriend, had given up on the Dodgers. Against the heavily favored A’s, that one game laid the foundation for winning the 1988 World Series in five games. We celebrated our 31st Anniversary this year, and finally it has come full circle.
Maria G. Flores: I must say that, just like many other people, I lost my dad in 2004. This title means that my father was right when he made me a Dodger fan. I was 15 years old in 1988 when the Dodgers were champions, and he asked me to buy all newspapers in the city to read about the fantastic news. We ended up making an album with all those newspapers.
After 32 years, I wish my dad was here to celebrate again... Now, technology has lots of ways to read news, but I know he would appreciate the content in your emails; he was like you that never doubted and always believed in the Dodgers!
I feel closer to my dad, and I miss him a lot, but I know he is happy in heaven because his boys in blue did it again!
John Louie: Like many Dodger fans, I have suffered with the agony of the 32-year drought as well as the heartbreak of witnessing the 2017 and 2018 losses in person. My whole family and I have been blessed to attend some incredible highs, from the Opening Series in Sydney Australia to the incredible 18-inning Max Muncy-winning 2018 WS Game 3; my mother actually attended all seven 2017 WS games in person. But with the Houston cheating episodes abrading already raw and open wounds further, I became convinced that the baseball gods wanted my anguish, and that suffering would be my Job-like fate.
During the final at bat of this 2020 World Series, my immediate family and I were transfixed on the television, the tension so palpable it was difficult to breathe. With two strikes, my daughter leaned over and whispered something into my son’s ear. Urias got Adames on a called strike three. I erupted in tears of joy, marking perhaps the first time my 15-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son have ever seen me cry. “I knew you would start crying, Dad!” Then they gave me a big hug. Thank you, Dodgers, for that family moment, for this team victory, for this Dodgers championship. Thank you, baseball gods.
Olivia Martinez: Growing up in East Los Angeles, not having much but baseball season to look forward to. Always rooting for the dodgers win or lose. Never wavering.
Most memorable was the 88 World Series win and my father driving us kids to downtown L.A. for the parade. Pretty sure we skipped school! I will never forget watching the Dodgers pass us by waving to all the crowd as Hershiser raised that World Series trophy high! My dad could only afford to buy one championship T-shirt (bootlegged one $5). We all took turns wearing that shirt to school proudly.
Steve Freeman: Obviously we have a lot going on in the world and in this country right now. Baseball is nothing more than a diversion. But those who know me also know it’s been a big part of my life, as a player, a coach, and as a fan. I’ve loved the Dodgers since I was a little kid. Baseball is, in my opinion, a microcosm for life itself in so many ways. When I think of all that has come and gone in my life since the moment Orel Hershiser struck out Tony Phillips to win the 1988 World Series - the people I’ve loved and lost, the successes and failures, the dogs, the jobs, the youth turned to middle age - (I can only imagine how Red Sox fans felt in 2004.) - it brings tears to my eyes. Last night I sat in my living room and watched it unfold by myself, imagining Vin Scully’s voice in my ear. Urias overpowering, like the years in a lifetime. Adames seemingly frozen by the awesome certainty of fate. I screamed. The dog barked. I had a whiskey and a cigar on my porch and thought about summers past. This is why we’re fans.
Ron Jacobs: In 1988 I watched Kirk Gibson hobble around the bases after ending Game 1 of a World Series they would win four games later. The couch I sat on in Pennsylvania as I viewed that Fall Classic was henceforth referred to as my lucky couch. My intentions were to enjoy the 2020 postseason and cheer the Boys in Blue on to victory from that same vantage point. But fate intervened.
My brother needed open-heart surgery to replace his aortic valve. The procedure took place at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia last Tuesday morning. The operation was successful. Later that day in my nearby hotel room my nerves were tested further as I tuned into Game 6. Needless to say Oct. 27, 2020 was a momentous day in my life. Most importantly my brother’s heart was repaired and the Dodgers prevented my heart from being broken again.
Max Schwartz: I am so excited and happy to be able to be able to say the Dodgers are World Series champions. It is absolutely thrilling, and watching the Dodgers win was amazing. I’m 26, and I was beginning to wonder if I would see a World Series victory any time soon. This victory is so good for all of us because it is our pond of positivity in the sea of negativity drowning the entire world. This is what Los Angeles and Dodger faithful needed at this moment.
My great grandfather was a season ticket holder for decades. He passed away in 1999. I wish he would have been able to see this. He loved the Dodgers, and this would have made him so happy. After the game, I couldn’t help but think of him.
Jason T. Phillips: This win was emotional and also bittersweet. I love the Dodgers and grew up a Dodger fan. My dad taught my brother and I all about it and we would watch almost every night even as we got older and moved out. Unfortunately he passed away in May from cancer. Last night my brother, his girlfriend, my wife, my mother and I all watched together and when they won we yelled but all cried because we wanted so bad over the past few years to watch them win. This win was long overdue and we still love the Dodgers. We got to celebrate like he would have.
Alan Valentine: My dad and I have never been as close as I would have liked, but we shared a love for Dodger baseball. When I was a kid we would go to all the Sunday home games. We sat at the top because money was tight but always had fun. Over 50 years of great memories. As soon as the Dodgers won I called him and he was crying, he said you know my health is not great and all I wanted to do was see them win it one more time and share the moment with you. We don’t live close but that phone call was special. He said I’m so proud to share this moment with you. I can’t remember the last time he said that. Sports has a way of bringing people close again. Thank you to the Dodgers and my Dad. I will remember this forever.
Tom Chisari: It’s hard to put into words. This win bridges all divides. The last time the Dodgers won the World Series, my then-wife and I whooped and hollered and celebrated Gibby’s homer and the title so much, we scared our toddlers who cried. Now some 32 years later, having been divorced for 20 years, amazingly we texted each other (she first!) throughout the eighth and ninth innings and reveled in those memories, and when the game was over we celebrated and cried tears of joy over our smartphones. This win bridges all divides.
Glenn Lavallie: My wife can not get the smile off my face. I have been a Dodger fan for over 61 years and I thought with my health issues I would possibly not see my Dodgers win another World Series. Now the good Lord will not be able to take the smile off my face.
Chris Hunter: This year was special, my youngest son (19) can’t stand the pace of baseball, he is a runner and soccer player. However all season he was up while I was watching the Dodgers games from the west coast and I noticed he routinely had one eye on the game. Then when the playoffs started, he began to ask me if the Dodgers were playing tonight. Needless to say, I think he was nearly as elated as I was last night after the Dodgers won it all. We may have a new Dodgers fan in the making. We shared a good laugh when I said I was glad that we won it all and I was glad the season was over because I didn’t know if I could survive a Game 7.
Joe Meehan of Bloomington, Ind.: I grew up in Pennsylvania with a father whose aunt was a secretary in the front office for the Dodgers in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Edna Ward has been my blessing for 50 years. My love of the Dodgers has carried with me all these years. I have connected with other Dodger fans in my adulthood now in Indiana - many because of Gil Hodges’ Hoosier upbringing and later stardom. I graduated from high school and went to college in 1988. So, in a nutshell, what a year.
Like you, I thought it seemed natural for the Dodgers to be in the World Series every few years. When they finally broke through in 2017 and 2018, even though they came up short, it seemed like my youth all over again, and that it was just a matter of time. This has been a crazy year. And just like the crazy year of 1981, it has been satisfying and rewarding. The trophy is still the same hardware that is handed out any other year. Start installing the new banner at Chavez Ravine. It has been a long time.
My dad passed in 2000, but somewhere today he is smiling.
Steve Aronson of Ephrata, Pa.: My love for the Dodgers began the last year they played in Brooklyn -– guess that’s a tell-tale indicator of my age. My first baseball glove in Little League was a Duke Snider model -– and because of that I became an instant fan. I have followed them every year since, and despite many heartaches, I have been blessed to have seen and followed some of the greatest players in baseball history, and have celebrated many victorious seasons.
But this year’s World Series win was different in some way. Despite being a long time coming, I watched a team of great athletes with more heart than any team could ever dream of having – determined and upbeat –- come together to make it happen. They played hard -– not just for the prestige or the ring, but for the fans and the city of L.A. It was like watching all of the greats from the past only with different names and faces. I am praying that this is not the last World Series won by the Dodgers in my lifetime –- but if that comes to be, I feel like “my team” has not let me down. They are true champions in every way -– they are greatness personified.
Andy Greher: I was 13 when Orel Hershiser threw that final pitch in ’88, and for the final out last night I sat with my 14-year-old son, my 12-year-old daughter and my supportive yet Yankees’ fan wife (interfaith marriage to its fullest). In some ways 32 years had gone by in a blink as I sat with my own family and celebrated like that 13-year-old kid all over again. In a year full of chaos the Dodgers brought my household a welcomed diversion and after years of getting close and watching my kids lose their minds over tough losses, to hold their hands for that final out, was pure joy.
It is not easy raising kids in Yankee country to root for a team that plays their games on the other side of the continent, often past my kids (and sometimes my own) bedtime. After so many years in the playoffs, I hope my kids learned that winning isn’t everything but it sure was nice to toast glasses of champagne and seltzer late at night and send them to bed after watching the Dodgers clinch their first title in 32 years. Sweet dreams indeed.
James Landon of Apache Junction, Ariz.: I’ve been a huge Dodger fan for almost 70 years, living through the highs and the lows that all Dodger fans have experienced, from the crushing blow of Bobby Thomson in ’51 to the thrill of Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run in ’88. Watching the team celebrate last night was a joyous but bittersweet moment. The emotions poured out as everyone enjoyed the moment after dealing with this difficult season. Great that the 32-year drought finally ended. It was way too long for this franchise. Sorry that last night couldn’t be at Dodger Stadium in front of 56,000 fans. Dodger fans and the City of L.A. deserved to win the title at home.
I’m sure that Vin Scully is as happy as anybody about this title, just wish we could have been listening to his voice calling every game. Too bad for us fans that he retired a few years too early.
Jason Barr: This World Series means everything to me. To be able to share it with my 11-year-old and 8-year-old boys and wife who has been turned into a huge Dodger fan being married to me is incredible. My father would surprise me and pick me up from school and head to impromptu Dodger games every so often. As I grew up attending Dodger games with friends and family was my favorite times ever. And to experience the magic season of 1988 was something so amazing and something I didn’t think I’d have to wait 32 years for.
As for this year, regardless of 60 games, COVID and not traveling as much it almost means more for what these players had to go through. Would I have loved to be in the stands to witness the road to the World Series yes, but my family still didn’t miss a game on TV and it still brought us together during a time we needed it most. We shed tears and hugs and screams of jubilation with Julio Urias’s final strike and for a moment, forgot about the craziness around us. Kids, and I, wore our Dodger gear to school and on my company’s Zoom calls today and had a pep in our step that wasn’t there yesterday and for that ... I couldn’t be more grateful.
Michael Green: During the playoffs, I stopped watching because I was the opposite of your lucky shirt. When I saw on mlb.com that it was down to the final batter, I felt that I could safely watch the ending. And when Joe Buck and John Smoltz started talking about fathers, and Vin, I burst into tears.
My father died on Jan. 28, not of COVID. He was 86 and with it to the end. He and my mother introduced me to the Dodgers and supported my childhood dream of one day succeeding Vin, to the point of writing to him to be allowed to meet him (which I did, at my first Dodger game in 1974). When we won in 1988, I was in school in New York City and called home to share it with my parents. Now they’re both gone, but, somewhere, I think, they’re happy about it, too.
Kristen Lazalier of Norman, Okla.: Our late father, Jim, was a young lad when he became a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, listening to their games on the radio. When the team made the move to the West Coast, our dad’s devotion followed. Because it was ingrained in us early on, our mom, along with my brother, sister and me (as well as our children) all bleed Dodger Blue. My oldest daughter was born on Sept. 30, 1988. My brother came to visit his new niece two short weeks later, which coincided with the magical World Series. When Kirk Gibson launched that historic home run in Game 1, we found ourselves jumping up and down, covering our mouths so as not to wake the baby with our giddy excitement.
In Dec. of 2014, our beloved father passed away. Ironically (or not), he died the same day the triple-A minor league team took the name: the Oklahoma City Dodgers. How bittersweet that day was for the Lazalier family. Over the heartbreaking and disappointing six years since that time, we have remained resolute in our love of and support for our Boys in Blue. This season has been unlike any other for countless reasons, many of which you’ve covered in your newsletter. The World Series victory brought shouts of joy, congratulatory calls and texts, and many tears of relief and happiness. We know our Dad (along with your parents and innumerable others) was with us in spirit and cheering right along throughout the shortened season and glorious postseason that ended with the proclamation that our Los Angeles Dodgers are the 2020 World Series Champions.
Lisa Gomez of Arizona: There are no words to express the joy I had once that last pitch came from Julio. I cried because it was a long overdue Series to one of the best teams in MLB and so well deserved! I remember the 2017 Series like it was last week and I was dumbfounded at how the Dodgers could have the best team players and seem like they couldn’t do anything and Kershaw as one of the greatest pitchers I have seen in awhile could not pitch anything that could not be hit. The Dodgers earned this and deserve this.
Jacki Rodriguez: Today’s Dodger Dugout helped me retrace our Dodger family tradition. And while both of my parents have passed, it was they who introduced me to the Dodgers when I was about 7-years-old. As Latinos living in East Los Angeles, Dodger pavilion seats were an accessible, affordable family event. I still remember how lucky I was at about age 8 to witness Koufax’s 1963 no-hitter in the stadium. My normally quiet mom was a bit of a maniac fan, a tradition I’ve carried on, although I tend to be more judgmental than she was about managerial decisions. I remember fondly the times my dad and I attended games courtesy of the Dodger’s “A” Student Ticket series. What a gift these reserved tickets were because they gave us time together –- although my dad misjudged so many popups to the catcher as “out of here” and insisted on parking far away so he didn’t have to pay for stadium parking. What would he think about Dodger parking costs now? One of my fantasies was purchasing season tickets for the family after my dad retired -- but he never made it to retirement. He died in 1994 at age 62. This year I put up a Dia De Los Muertos altar and the altar includes a Dia de los Muertos Dodgers Bobblehead in their honor.
I felt that this year was our year because (in addition to the Dodger’s talent) my parents and grandfather were uniquely connected to this series. Game 1 occurred on Oct. 20, the anniversary of my grandfather’s passing; Game 6 occurred on Oct. 27, what would have been my parents’ 71st anniversary. The Dodgers won both of these games and Kershaw spearheaded the start. Mom, Dad, and Grandpa were sending good vibes during a year that we truly need goodness. This is a long-winded way of sharing what this title means to me: family, community, legacy and hope. Thanks to the Dodgers for fighting together for LA, for standing alongside those of us who seek social justice (even in sports), and for reminding us that there are some long-standing, cross-generational, ties that bind. I’m happy for everyone but I’m ridiculously happy for Kershaw.
Dave Lottman: Growing up in the 80’s in Arizona as the son of a Brooklyn native and huge Dodgers fan sealed my fate pretty easily. Gibson’s home run, Vin’s call of Gibson’s homer, the Bulldog all stuck with me and became a big part of my life and relationship with my dad. I grew up to stories of him running home from school to listen to Vin call World Series games in 1955 with guys like Duke, Pee Wee, Hodges and Jackie.
When Dad passed away in 2000, it was devastating to think that he would never again get to see the Dodgers win the World Series. But he was with me when my son, Reese (named after Dad’s favorite player) was born in 2005. He was with me when Reese had a blood transfusion in 2010 and I asked the nurse what blood types were compatible with Dodger Blue. He was with me when Reese and I went to Vin Scully Day in 2016. And he was with me on Oct. 27, 2020 to see the final pitch of the well-deserved 2020 World Series Champions.
Marcus Ziemer: My dad was born in Germany and his mom was Jewish and they fled to England right before the war. He lived there through the war and ended up coming to Canada to live with an uncle before settling into Brooklyn on his own as a teenager. He remembered going to Ebbets Field and falling in love with the Dodgers. Fast forward many years and he ended up in San Francisco, married my mom and had five kids, four boys and one girl. We ended up moving 50 miles north where we grew up, but he raised us as Dodger fans.
We used to listen to the Dodger games on the radio station out of Las Vegas, but we could only get it after dark. I remember getting up in the morning and rushing down to get the newspaper to see the score and then going to the radio to listen to the baseball scores if the game had gone late and it would just have an “N” for night, but no score in the paper. I remember going to Giants-Dodgers games at Candlestick Park with my Dodger hat on and getting yelled at and water thrown on me. Several summers we went down south for a week and went to the beach, Disneyland and a few Dodger games at Chavez Ravine. My dad even took me to a World Series game in Oakland in ‘74. I still have the game programs.
To wrap it up, my dad passed away a couple of years ago and us boys and my mom are all Dodger fans of varying degrees and we texted back and forth dozens of times during the playoffs. After the final pitch I unexpectedly burst out into uncontrollable tears and grieved for the first time since my dad’s funeral 2 1/2 years ago. They were happy/sad tears as I remembered all of the great times with him and the Dodgers. He was a good man and he raised us “right.”
Rex Stults of Napa, Calif.: My dad was a Marine Corp aviator. That means I grew up all over the country. In the mid 70s I was in elementary school in Yuma, Ariz. That’s a time a lot of young boys start playing Little League and getting into baseball. My buddies were all Padres fans. But being a natural contrarian, I needed to be different. My favorite color is blue, so I became a Dodgers fan. Those were the days of Garvey, Lopes, Russell and Cey. They competed year after year, seemingly routinely in the World Series. In 1988 I was at Washington State University. My tiny dorm room became Dodger central. It was so much fun. Then ... the lights turned off for 32 years.
In that span I graduated, moved to Napa Valley for work, got married, bought a house, had a couple kids, and kept thinking year after year that the drought would end. It didn’t. I suffered through three Giants titles in the heart of Giants territory. It was almost unbearable. When I saw Dodgers President Stan Kasten claim that Dodgers fans were satisfied with what the team was doing I flipped a lid and wrote him a letter describing the agony of being a Dodgers fan in NorCal. To his credit, Stan called me to ensure the team was doing all it could to win a title but wasn’t going to hand out bad contracts they’d later regret. He said to keep the faith. And I did. It feels so good, perhaps unreasonably so, to have this championship. Perhaps it’s the weird COVID state the world is in. Maybe it’s the general unrest due to our political climate. But whatever it is, it feels damn good.
Mike Marmor: My first season following the Dodgers was 1971 (I was 8). My Dad and I talked baseball all the time, and went to a few games a year. We agonized over the ’74, ’77 and ’78 series losses. He died in August, 1981. He missed that championship and ’88.
My oldest son is now 26. His heart broke every year these last eight years. Last night, on the final pitch, he jumped up and hugged me hard. He said over and over “we did it Dad, we did it”. He’s right. We held faith. What a team. A great night.
Catherine Haight: I grew up a Dodger fan -– posters of the 70’s Dodgers all around my bedroom; hopping in the car with my Dad during the fourth inning of a great game to drive the short distance to the stadium to see the end of a game; later having season tickets in the loge section above third –- woo hoo; being ticked off when my sister (who was not the fan I was) was at the Kirk Gibson game since we drew straws for which World Series games we went to (I recently cried when she showed me the completed scorecard she still has from that night); being hit with a full soda from a Giants fan for wearing Dodgers gear in Candlestick Park; passing along to my daughter real baseball knowledge I had learned from my Mom who had season tickets to the Cardinals as a kid in the 40’s and then worked for them (specifically, Harry Caray); being furious that the Astros cheated us out of a championship; yes, a True Bluer I am. Each of the last 32 years I thought was just an aberration when we lost, since my Dodgers were always amazing.
My 92-year-old mom is now in hospice care. Last night at 8 p.m., my Dad sat by her bed along with their priest, Father Tony, who was giving my Mom last rites, mask donned. All three are Dodger fans. The Dodgers win was perfect timing for my mom, the lifetime baseball lover. And it was perfect timing for my Dad, who was able to experience this wonderful win with his wife/best friend for 69 years. My whole family was texting love and happiness and tears from across the country, appreciating this moment on behalf of our parents more than we could possibly express. This title meant a joyful, rather than depressing, time for us. The memory will most assuredly last for our lifetimes and will be shared for generations to come.
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