Welcome to the first of what I hope will be many happy entries regarding my life and baseball. More specifically, my Dodgers (or as I’ve heard many Mexicans call them, “Los Doyers”). While I might be tossing around a few opinions on our great national pasttime, there will be plenty of stories, a few fun anecdotes from past games and ballpark visits, and pictures for all to see. I truly hope you guys enjoy reading the coming entries, and may comment on them, as well!
First off, I should divulge a brief snippet about myself and why I love baseball. I was born and bred in East Los Angeles before moving around a couple times, finally ending up in Ontario, Cali for a few years. Since then, I’ve loved living in the Inland Empire for most of my life, including going to a few RC Quakes games. I always tried to play a little baseball at school and found that while I didn’t have a great bat, I had an excellent glove and exceptional range. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite have a glove like Andruw Jones, so I didn’t get very far playing the game, but I remained a fan and enjoyed all the pickup games at school.
Of course, growing up in SoCal, you are either a Dodgers fan or an Angels fan. Admittedly, I have a great respect for the Angels and their franchise… but the Dodgers are numero uno in my book, and you’d better believe I bleed Dodger Blue. When I saw my team win the 1988 World Series, I was happy.
However, I really became a fan of the Dodgers (and baseball in general) on Sunday, August 28th, 1991. I bet you’re asking yourselves, “Hey JD, how and why did you pinpoint that particular day?” Well, before the game, it was a special day for me. PICTURE DAY! It was the day where you could meet and greet players from the team and take pictures of them, or maybe with them! As a kid, I was very excited for this opportunity. I may have to look for those pictures, but I am certain that I got my picture taken with at least one player from that 1991 Dodger team. But that wasn’t the highlight.
The highlight was the game. Our home team played the Montreal Expos. On the bump for Les Expos was a veteran by the name of Dennis “Denny” Martinez. After a few innings, I was sad because my home team was losing and we can’t hit the ball at all! As the consecutive outs piled up, it was becoming clear to the fans at Chavez Ravine that something extraordinary was happening. Clear to almost everybody, that is… I was not a happy camper. It was at this time that someone explained to me what exactly was going on. It wasn’t until the 8th inning that I actually comprehended what was such a big deal about this…
…Denny Martinez was hurling a perfect game. Only in the 9th inning did I get excited and root for the other team. At least I wasn’t alone. I remember as it came down to the final out, nearly everybody was cheering to see this perfect game happen, and it did! Yes, I was witness to a perfect game. That’s when I knew that I was a fan of baseball.
Now that I typed all of that out, I will just say this about the current team in honor of Viva Los Dodgers and the fact that it is Mexican Heritage Month.
I promise to talk more about the current team on my next post.