Dodgers Clinch: The Heart of A Champion Never Dies

The Los Angeles Dodgers are National League West Division Champions. For the sixth year in a row – they have conquered and won. The pennant race is over. I wanted to give you the look at the race through my eyes over the final stretch, and in this post I try to capture the emotion of a final day and a season on the brink. One that was culminated ultimately by a picture-perfect win at Dodger Stadium

The 2018 Dodgers were such an exciting version of themselves, 162 games just wouldn’t do. And so – in game 163 – the Dodgers gave everyone who was along for the ride an unforgettable finish.

When you watch as much baseball as I do, the games have a way of blending together at some point. Memories and moments get mixed up, small details are displaced. However, no matter how long I live; regardless of how many more games I watch, I will never forget October 1st, 2018 and game 163.

There are so many directions I can go with that. Because the adversity that this group overcame, and how unlikely it appeared at several points. Or the manner in which they won the game Monday 5-2. It was two of the young core who could still be doing this in 15 years; Walker Buehler throwing shutout baseball and Cody Bellinger hitting a ball into the bleachers.

With all the chips pushed to the middle of the table, the 2018 Dodgers pulled it off and won’t allow us to ever dream about what might have been in this game. The most satisfying outcome pretty much became reality in how it played out. It was in many ways; the happy ending that a Hollywood script calls for.

Undeniably, if you’re a person who bet against this group; you lost.

Sure, the Dodgers have more left to do. The 2017 team seems mightier and may have come up with more improbable wins that remain in the memory bank. However, with the way that this race unfolded and the excitement combined with game 163; I can’t say I love any team more than this one.

I am really, really happy right now as I write this up. Accordingly, sometimes when you need baseball to come through for you most in your life; it does. Hence – no matter what happens from this point – I feel fulfilled. This is a good, high-character bunch that has the fight and determination of a champion. For most, they will need to win the final game of the year and slap hands to be remembered. I will not look back and feel that way.

To this guy, they provided me with one of my favorite baseball seasons ever.  At many points, that seemed like an unrealistic fantasy. As you read this post – sure as the sun rises – there’s no need to pinch yourself. Disappointment and despair dodged at every turn; Los Angeles delivered.


I’m at a point in my life where I have realized you can’t take moments for granted. I really took the last couple weeks of Dodgers baseball; and today, and I made sure to savor it. Sometimes in life, we’re defined by the climb and not the final result. Therefore, the same can now be said of these Dodgers. This is a team I see as overachievers, survivors, and grinders. Because of their make-up, I feel certain that the best is yet to come.

Pennant Race: Dodgers Force Game 163

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  1. Once again, Clint, a great essay, with which I agree entirely, and I hardly ever agree with anyone anymore.
    Every time this year’s team had to win to avoid falling out of realistic contention or ultimately elimination, they found a way to win. (Despite a terrible bullpen which blew 27 leads – I cannot get over this fact)
    Perhaps they can overcome the odds and superior teams, like 1988, and bring the championship back to the city of angels.

    1. Thank you Jim! Unforgettable finish coming for the 2018 Dodgers, one way or another. Just execute!

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