Los Angeles Dodgers Fandom: A Long-Distance Relationship

You may obsessively watch every inning of every game, or you only catch the scores the next day. Perhaps you worship the very ground that Clayton Kershaw walks on, or instead, prefer to live in a world where Sandy Koufax is still the greatest Dodgers pitcher who ever took the mound. You can recite the names of every man on the current 40-man roster, or you know only that the starting shortstop is some kid named Seager and was pretty good in his rookie year. You live in Los Angeles and attend all of their games, or you live several time zones away and only hope to one day get out to Dodger Stadium.

It doesn’t really matter, for wherever your level of depth of Dodgers fandom resides, you are welcome here. Whatever your path, it is likely that your journey to the Dodgers is unique, as each of us has our own story about the the circumstances that led us here.

The Dodgers organization is a storied one, and its generations of fans come from not only California, but also from across the country and beyond. Ask anyone who calls the Dodgers “their” team, and we will tell you: one can be a “Real Fan” and not live in LA, California, or even the United States.

Here are a few of our stories.

Jason Davidson (@JasonD79) of Toronto, Ontario, the proud “2nd biggest Dodgers fan in Canada”, grew up in Montreal playing Little League ball and cheering for the Expos. He fondly recalls his mother, who had grown up as a Dodgers fan, taking him to see the Dodgers play the Expos at Olympic Stadium in the late 80’s, and once having Pedro Guerrero wave to him. His Mom had loved Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale growing up, and she had been one of the very few Montrealers cheering on October 19, 1981, when Rick Monday hit his now infamous HR off of Steve Rogers to take the Dodgers into the World Series. Jason had fond memories of the Dodgers growing up, watching them with his mother when they were on TV, well before the internet/all-access age, and it was his mother’s love for her Dodgers team that eventually led to Jason’s decision to get back to the game he had loved as a youngster in Montreal and start cheering for them himself, after losing interest in the game like many other bitter Expos fans after the strike-shortened 1994 season.

“As a child, I remember Kirk Gibson’s walk off homer to win Game 1 of World Series and of course, Orel Hersheiser’s complete game in Game 5 to secure the World Series in Oakland. I remember Lasorda having Youppi! ejected during 22-inning game in ‘89, and of course, ‘El Presidente, El Perfecto!’. The Dodgers fans showed nothing but pure class that day”, Jason recalled recently, about Dennis Martinez’s perfect game against the Dodgers on July 29, 1991, punctuated perfectly by Dave Van Horne’s now legendary call.

On other reasons for choosing the Dodgers as His Team, Jason goes on to add the following: “The Jackie Robinson angle with the Montreal Royals and the affiliation with Brooklyn Dodgers seemed cool. Walter O’Malley was always a proponent of baseball in Montreal. He was a supportive voice for the Expos being granted an expansion franchise for 1969. The Dodgers did so much for baseball in Montreal, more than any other team. Also, the Dodgers are one of the most progressive-minded franchises in sports. Very inclusive. I love that.”

Peter Schlarb grew up in Ottawa, Canada’s beautiful capital city, about an hour’s drive to Montreal, and was a young Canadian Dodgers fan on Blue Monday. He recalls proudly being the only kid in his school (and likely in the city) wearing his Dodgers jersey to school while the rest of the kids were all cheering for the Expos to become the first Canadian team to make it to the World Series. Peter now lives in Moncton with his wife and 2 daughters and is fortunate enough to have met the only other known Dodger fan in the city, this author, so that he has someone else to talk Dodgers baseball with at parties. Peter works overnight shifts as an air traffic controller and is busy with his family, so not able to catch many games, but considers himself a loyal fan just the same.

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Andy Lane Chapman (@DodgerGirlInPA) of Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania (“the other LA”) was the first Dodger fan I met through Twitter back in 2014, and all because she had sent out a short tweet saying “I like Tim Wallach’s glasses”. Through Andy, I have become acquainted with several other equally as fanatic Dodger fans, and we watch most games along with the ever-growing “Dodgers Fam” on Twitter. Living on the East Coast, 3 hours ahead of Los Angeles time, Andy is a proud, vocal, passionate fan as well as a knowledgeable writer, and has her own unique answer to the inevitable “Why the Dodgers?” question.

She explains: “My mother used to visit Ebbets Field in the early 1950’s, and continued to follow the Dodgers all through her life. My first Major League Baseball game was at Dodger Stadium at the age of 1, as we lived in Arizona when my Dad was stationed at Ft Huachuca. We moved to PA in 1979, and I’ve been a fan from afar ever since.” Growing up, she would spend many mornings reading the recap in the paper, or watching highlights on Sportscenter because the game ended too late to make the morning paper. I recently asked Andy to share any tips and tricks she has learned on how to make the most of being an East Coast Dodgers fan. “Don’t drink when you’re already tired, or you’ll pass out in the fourth inning (which I may or may not have done last night)”, she offered.

Hunter Thompson, fellow Dodgers Nation contributor who live tweets most games, lives a few hours away from Andy, near Harrisburg. “I come from a family of Dodger fans, but mostly my Grandpa. He became a Dodger fan as a kid when they were in Brooklyn, and when I was little he always told me stories about the Dodgers growing up. I’ve loved the team pretty much my whole life, but always had everyone give me a hard time about my favorite team not being local. It never bothered me because I always loved the team and wanted to learn all I could about them.

“Last year when I was hired by Dodgers Nation, it was a dream come true getting the opportunity to work with something related to my first and still strongest love”, Hunter added. “My first favorite player was Adrian Beltre but my all time favorite is Matt Kemp because I met him his rookie year in Philly, and he gave me a ball. I would always go to one game a year in Philly and it was hard only getting to see them that much, but then MLB.TV gave me the chance to watch them every day.” Hunter believes that even without his live tweeting for DN, he’s be up watching the Dodgers every night anyway, and that baseball is most definitely better than sleep.

My journey as a young baseball fan in Canada was also what eventually led me here. I grew up admiring Expos third baseman Tim Wallach, and eventually followed his playing and then coaching career to the Dodgers organization. When, like Jason, I was inevitably drawn back into the game I had loved in my teens, the Dodgers were a natural choice, since I was still pulling for Tim to get the World Series ring he never got in his 12-year career as an Expo. I like to think this was fate, as although Wallach has since moved on, I now proudly bleed Dodger blue, and am here to stay for better or for worse. Ever since staying up until 3:30am my time to watch Clayton Kershaw’s masterful no-hitter vs the Rockies on June 18, 2014, I haven’t missed a game. It is now part of who I am, and I accept the late nights and lack of sleep as just a small part of the privilege of being able to do what I do. As I like to tell people who may question my sanity: “I’ll catch up on my sleep in the off-season”. Though life has taken me down a few wrong turns and back again, Dodger baseball has become the home I come to at the end of the day.

Of course, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the occasional afternoon or Eastern Standard Time game, just to catch up a little on my sleep, though if I had to choose, I most definitely prefer home games. There is just something about the energy at Dodger Stadium – from the way it looks under the lights, to the pristine white of the jerseys at first pitch, to the clever organ riffs of Dieter Ruehle and the booming voice of PA announcer Todd Leitz – that makes it unique, and very special. I’ll gladly sacrifice a few hours of sleep to stay up late any night to watch a home game over watching a road game that happens to end before midnight.

But how can you be a real fan if you’ve never seen them play in person?”, some may wonder. I can tell you from personal experience that one can be a proud fan and never even set foot in the stadium of their beloved team, although I was fortunate enough to scratch an item off of my bucket list when I finally visited Dodger Stadium in September 2016, meeting up in person with Andy and several other Dodgers fans I am now proud to know. Some people are not as lucky and have never been able to see the team play in person, but that doesn’t mean they are any less devoted. Media coverage makes team info and players more accessible than ever, so if your answer to the “Who is your favorite team?” question is “Dodgers”, then that is the only answer you need to be sure about.

So what have I learned in my time as a true blue Dodgers fanatic living in the Atlantic Time Zone? Be proud, have faith, develop an addiction to coffee (necessary for next morning survival)…and don’t go to bed during the game, even if the Dodgers are down 5-2 going into the bottom of the 9th and have looked lifeless at the plate all night. Firmly believe that right now, baseball is better than sleep, or you just might miss out on some “Absolute Madness!”.

These are our stories, now hit the comments and tell us about yours, long-distance Dodgers fans!

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Gail Johnson

Biggest Dodgers fan north of the border, living about 3,500 miles from my beloved Boys In Blue, in Moncton, NB, Canada. I think Dodger Stadium is the happiest place on Earth. I'll catch up on my sleep in the off-season.


  1. Lived the first 60 years of my life in wonderful SoCal until my job decided to send me to DC and subsequently to Dallas in 2014. I have MLB Extra Innings and watch at least portions of most games (The 2 hour time difference is a bear). I recently was able to bid on and win the lottery for personalized plates for my car. Yes, I am the proud owner of the only plates in Texas that reads, DODGERS. My son moved here last July and we both wear Dodger gear all the time. We’re amazed at how many Dodger fans we meet here. It’s not SoCal but at least we still have our Dodgers.

  2. I am 52 years old and have been a Dodgers fan since I was a young kid. I remember Ron Cey, Steve Garvey and the guys. Living in NY it’s hard to stay up late to catch a game. Love it when they are on the East coast and on TV. My favorite jersey is my Jackie Robinson. Wear it all the time. My bucket list includes a trip to LA to see a Dodger game. Dodger Blue till the end!!

  3. My Dad was a Dodgers fan from the time he was a young boy. He suffered from a kidney disease called Nephritis that kept him out of school for a year. During that time his days were spent collecting and perusing baseball cards and his love for the Brooklyn Dodgers began. Even though he was from Kansas City, there was just something about the Dodgers that made him fall in love with the team and it would become a lifelong obsession that he passed down to me, his only child. I was born, raised and still live in Lexington, KY where the closest major league team is about 80 miles north in Cincinnati, Ohio. While everyone else around here is a diehard Reds fan, we always remained loyal to our beloved Dodgers and took a lot of grief for not supporting the Big Red Machine! My Dad is now deceased, but every time the Dodgers play in Cincinnati my husband and I make the trip just up the road to see them play in person, me sporting my 294 Blue and him in his disgusting Red. I watch every game on TV when they are on in our area and I follow them on ESPN, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. The number one thing on my bucket list is to one day get the chance to see my Dodgers play at beautiful Dodger Stadium!

  4. We are bleeding Dodger Blue here in Reno, NV. We have the Direct TV MLB package, so we watch every game we can and take at least one family vacation each year to go to LA to watch games live!! We’re among the minority here in Giants country but there’s nothing more fun than being a Dodger Fan and watching the Giants fans (friends and family) all around us throw their tantrums and pout when they lose, especially now that they have the worst record in the league ??? Let’s Go Dodgers!! #ITFDB

  5. Well my husband must be the biggest long distance fan!! We live in Perth, Western Australia and he watches every game he can on mbl.com. Now that’s a long way from LA!!!

  6. Surprised when I was reading this, I too live in Moncton, been a dodgers fan since first visiting LA in 2009, have returned every summer for a few games and usually catch them once or twice on the road every year if it works out schedule wise. Part of my basement is dedicated to a small but growing collection of player and stadium memorabilia. The days off that come with working shift work is a blessing for the time zone change challenges, and a MLB at bat subscription for sneaking in audio coverage when working. I figured I was alone up here, nice to see their are others!

  7. While I have lived in Omaha, Neb for the last decade (with a prior 10-year stint in NYC and a 20-year period in the SF Bay Area), I’m a 3rd generation Angelino, so bleeding Dodger blue came naturally. I was 9 when the Dodgers moved to LA, right before I began playing my first year in Little League in Manhattan Beach. Our team included a new family from Brooklyn, Carl Furillo’s two sons, Ben and Bud. Carl would watch on the occasion when they were in town and had an off day. I platooned with his youngest son in right field, and he would stand at the wire fence (I think to avoid being hounded by parents in the stands) and talk to us about the game and our positioning.

    In those days, my grandfather and I would listen to games on the radio (only games against the Giants in SF were televised) being called by Vin Scully, and he would explain the game to me along with Vinnie’s calls. Those were defining moments in my early Dodger fandom.

    When my son was born in 1986, much to my wife’s dismay, I hung an autographed picture of Fernando Valenzuela on the wall, saying nothing could make me prouder than to have Trevor grow up to be a Dodger.

    In the summer for 1987, working in SF, my business partner invited me to see the Dodgers v. Giants at Candlestick as a birthday gift. The surprise was the seats were in the first row, at the first base end of the Giants dugout. I got to talk to former Dodger, Roger Craig, then manager of the Giants, and was jokingly chided my Mrs. Craig, sitting behind me, saying, “Son, you can’t sit in those seats, if you’re going to root for those Dodgers!” Good times!

    On Christmas 1990, living in Marin County, I received a gift from my sister, a Hollywood script supervisor, who had worked on the film, Major League. Under the tree was an autographed ball, signed by Steve Yeager, who served as a technical adviser to the movie, “To the World’s Greatest Dodger Fan.” That was a special gift! Years later I had the chance to meet Tommy Lasorda, and that was a real treat.

    Along the way, I’ve seen the Dodgers play at the Coliseum and Chavez Ravine, Candlestick and AT&T (PacBell), Wrigley Field and Coors Field, and always found ways to listen or watch when I was somewhere other than LA. Today, I stream most games on MLB.tv, when I can, and go to see the Oklahoma City Dodgers whenever they come to town to play the KC Royal’s Triple A team, the Omaha Storm Chasers.

    Thank you Dodgers, then and now, for all the great memories. Go Blue!

  8. Cut from my HS team in 1988 for standing up to bullying (which wasn’t considered an issue back then), I turned to MLB for my fix of the game I love. As I watched Game 1 of the World Series, I fell in love with the Dodgers for their passion and team comradery. From that moment, and still today, I bleed BLUE!!

    As I studied the history of the club my love grew deeper and deeper. As a lot of teenagers immaturely make decisions about their future, I decide at 15 my first born son (assuming I would have one) was going to be named Dodger. Well…..he is 19 years old and getting ready to graduate HS this year. When I told his Mother and Grandmother my stipulation to name him that, they just said that was silly and they will change my mind before he is born. Now, they wouldn’t have him named any other name. Everyone who knows me, knows I’m a Big Dodgers fan but still can’t believe I named him Dodger.

    Living in the heart of Indiana (a basketball state) has made it difficult to see games on a regular basis, but I do what I can. I have spent many nights watching them on TV until 1pm while having to be up and going early this next morning. I held off going to a game in person for quite some time, just because I wanted my first Dodgers game to be at Dodger Stadium. But I have broke down and traveled to St. Louis, Chicago and Cinncinati to see them. I think I’m somewhat of a good luck charm, because they have won 5 out of the 6 games I’ve been to.

    On my bucket list is to take BP at Dodger Stadium or at least with the Dodgers somehow. If not, seeing a game in LA would do.

    I love the game of baseball and the Dodgers are my one and only team and always will be.

    GO BLUE!!!

  9. My name is Fred Meyer. I am 80 yrs old and became a dodger fan while watching the Dodgers and Jackie Robinson play the Cubs in Wrigley Field in the late 1940s. I visited Dodger Stadium in 1963? and still have that program today. I lived my first 68 yrs in the Chicago Il area and now live in northern Alabama.

  10. My first dodger game was in August 1941. Dodgers beat the Cubs 8 6. Kirby Higbe beat Claude Passau. Dolph Camille and Pete Reser homered,.I have attended Dodgers home games in Ebbets Field, Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, the Coloseem and Chavez Ravine. I now live in Florida and watch every game on mlb even those that end at 4 AM. My favorite Dodgers Roy Campanella and Pete Rieser

  11. My name Michael and grew up just across the L.A. “river” from Dodger Stadium. 1970’s baseball was the best ever. Pete Rose said the road to the World Series went through the NL West. Got to see the Reds at their home last year. Wasn’t Riverfront, but Cinncinatti was on my bucket list.
    Best time of trip, was meeting Dodger fans from Iowa at Miller Park. What a brotherhood!

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