I feel like for the past two years I have had to write a Dodgers season postscript that is painful to write. Dodger fans have felt a lot of anguish and heartbreak over the past four seasons. This time I finally get to write something joyful. Something happy.
This year, we are champions. Over the past few days I have perused social media, observing people’s thoughts and emotions, as well as my own. I decided to compile a short list of these emotions and feelings, other than ‘pure joy’ since that is obvious.
When I tweeted this I essentially had my fingers crossed, wishing it into existence. My sister was born in September of 1988, the last time the Dodgers won the world series. In March of this year, my son was born. I’m not going to pretend that these weird symmetrical coincidences are anything more than that. because we all know that life is random. Anyone can, and has, taken two events and combined them in “24” this year to relate it to our late hero Kobe Bryant. That said, in our hearts there is a fine line between coincidence and fate. The Lakers and Dodgers both won championships in 1988. I saw at least 10 different social media posts over the past few days, where people’s own life experiences made this 2020 championship feel like fate. What about this has felt like fate to you?
Oh sweet relief. I could make a pun about our bullpen problems and ‘relief’ but the Dodgers won, so they deserve that reprieve. I dare to say Dodger fans are feeling relief almost as much or more as they are feeling joy and elation. After 8 years of winning the division without a title to show for it, there was bound to be some trauma. Particularly after the
heartbreaking loss in 2017 being cheated out of a beautiful 2017 title by cheating cheaters, the trauma was multiplied. The internet is a scary place. Internet trolls, absurd narratives, replays, jerks like me who relitigate past losses, Dodger fans have carried a lot of trauma. I am still in awe of the emotions I felt after this years game four loss in the World Series. That was less than a week ago from me typing this. It feels like decades. Dodger fans have felt like we have been literally cheated out of a title, and somehow cheated it out of one by the baseball Gods. When Julio Urias got that called strike three, I shouted for about 30 seconds, and then (photo below) I simply started crying. In the immortal words of our own Joe Davis, “it’s HAPPENED!”
After so many years of getting close. After a few times of getting REALLY close, the Dodgers gave us sweet relief, and won the World Series.
Pride (In Three Parts)
I cannot describe the amount of social media posts I have seen about people punishing their bank accounts buying World Series merchandise. It is almost as if Dodger fans are trying to pay for Mookie Betts’ contract in a single week. Yesterday when I went to go vote, I did not need my hat. I wore it anyway. I was so happy to go out in public wearing my Dodger hat. In 2020, going out in public is a much rarer occurrence for me.
Coupled with pride, many Dodger fans toasted this championship to the memories of those no longer with us.
— Clint Pasillas (@realFRG) October 28, 2020
I know I dedicated this to my Aunt Gemma, my Uncle Rick, and My Grandpa and Grandma. I imagine every single Dodger fan had this feeling of pride, dedicating this win to our departed family and friends. This win was for all of us, and we celebrate for our loved ones whose souls are at rest. I could not be with my parents or sister, or with the gargantuan amount of family I have in the LA area that all celebrated this win together. I messaged them, sent them videos of me popping a cork and drenching myself, and it was fun.
Many Dodger fans celebrated this by passing their Dodger fandom onto their children. I live in central time. Allowing my daughter five-year-old to stay up until 11 was a big choice for my wife and I. It was absolutely worth it. We both got excited and cheered when the Dodgers finally scored in game six. We counted every strike and every out in the ninth inning. She gave me a hug when I cried. Then, we had an impromptu dance and celebration.
I labeled this ‘rivalry pride’ because it certainly sounds better than ‘trolling pride’ or ‘snarky pride.’ Generally, most people agree that trolling other fanbases because of a victory is not the best look. I know that overall, this is how I feel as well. That said, Dodger fans have put up with a lot of abuse over the past few years. I’m sure if another fanbase read that sentence they would say that is false, but that is how fandom works. It is fun and easy to hate a team that is always winning. The Dodgers have won eight consecutive division titles and had been to two World Series in the past few years. Unfortunately, the Dodgers had not won a title. This is a recipe for narratives, abuse, and Dodger fans biting their tongues (and social media fingers.) I cannot pretend that I did not find a few bookmarked tweets and social media posts, making fun of the Dodgers failures, and asked the person for a snarky ‘update?’ It has been less than 72 hours since they have won. Since then, there are already social media accounts dedicated to invalidating this title. Dodger fans can make two choices. Let it go and remember the Dodgers are 2020 World Series champions, or not…
This will never go away in the days of social media, but that is okay! Take pride in our Dodgers being 2020 champions, and do your best to be nice about it.
When the leaves have composted and the weather turns cold (at least here, you lucky Californians) am I still going to feel this happy? I would like to think so. The fact is, we do not know what the 2021 season is going to look like, bring, or even whether it will happen as normally. Covid-19 has changed our society and the sport we love so much, but baseball will be back. What emotions are we going to feel now? What emotions are we going to feel when the next season starts?
Let me know in the comments or on social media what emotions I may not have mentioned. Also remember: The Los Angeles Dodgers are 2020 World Series Champs