Hello Dodger fans !!! Can you believe we’re one month away from Spring Training ? Do the off-seasons seem to get shorter every year ? If so, I certainly have no problem with that as I’m sure many of you feel the same.
To pass the time between now and during Spring Training and Opening Day I will be looking back upon games I attended both at Dodger Stadium and on the road and I hope that I can hear of some of the games you attended as well. OK, to lead off, we’re gonna go back to August, 1982 .
The first game I would attend would be on my 8th birthday, August 5th with my mom and some guy she was dating ( He would end up being my stepdad 4 months later…) Of course as a kid going to his first ballgame just being there was special enough. Little did I know that we we’re in a heated battle for the NL West with that night’s opponent the Atlanta Braves, managed by some guy named Torre. Fernando pitched that night but was knocked out in the 5th by a line drive that hit his knee ( Boy was I miffed, I was so excited to see Fernando . Anytime he pitched it always seemed there was more electricity in the air. ) The Braves had a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs when Rick Monday’s grounder went through Jerry Roysters leg and tying the score. The Dodgers would win in the 10th on Ron Cey’s sac fly. It would be the Blue Crew’s 5th straight win over Atlanta , whom they would beat 8 times in a row en route to erasing a 10.5 game deficit in 2 weeks !!!
That first game was also special because, the previous year, 1981, everyone was just nuts about the Dodgers and though I was only 7, even in grade school everyone and the nuns ( Yes I went to Catholic school…) we’re excited about the Dodgers. It was during that year’s World Series against the Yanks that my uncles kept asking me to give them a high-5 so that the Dodgers would win ( It was also my uncles who taught me to hate the Evil Empire…..) . Also whetting my appetite to see a Dodger game live was the first time I ever saw Dodger Stadium on the way to see my mom’s boyfriend ( My stepdad grew up in Echo Park…) . And that day finally came, and it’s been my summer home since.
It would be one year after Lopes left, so I never saw the longest running infield in action as I would miss it by one year.
Steve Sax’s rookie year, he would be the 4th straight Dodger to win the ROY Award
That ’82 season would be the year I was introduced to the Dodgers/Giants rivalry, thanks to Joe Morgan. Had we won that final game and tied Atlanta, we had tickets to the one-game playoff the next day, and I would have played hookie. That day to play hookie from school to go to the game would have to wait ’till Opening Day in ’88.