Category Archives: 2017 World Series

Flashback Friday…The H-Town Experience and Minute Maid Park, 2005 & 2008

wp-1509064839576..jpg With my buddy Josh, May 2005, when Josh had really “short” hair…

Minute Maid Park. Houston, TX. Site of Games 3, 4 and 5 of the 2017 World Series, where our Boys in Blue head into with the series all tied at one. Prior to 2013, the Astros we’re a National League franchise dating back to 1962. From 1969 to 1993 the Astros we’re part of the NL West, winning 2 NL West titles in 1980 and 1986. 

wp-1509064567988..jpg Sportin’ my Dodger Blue cap, May 2005. 

Josh and I would make 2 trips here. In 2005, we had a stopover for the day on our rail trip from St. Louis back to L.A. so we decided to stop on by. It was fitting our ballpark rail excursion would take us to Minute Maid Park, especially with all the nods to the former Union Station that once resided on the site. 

wp-1509064742576..jpg The lobby of old Union Station. Now the left field entrance from Crawford Street, this now serves as the grand entrance to Minute Maid Park…

Back to H-Town, 2008

wp-1509063560014..jpg Matt Kemp, making some autograph seekers happy, July 2008

Josh and I would make a return to H-Town in 2008. This time, it would be a 3 day stay. During the 3 days, our appetites would be satisfied, or filled if not completely satisfied, by…

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Taco Cabana. As I said, if not completely satisfied. Don’t go there if your sober. Or as one of my former co-workers from Texas says, “Don’t go there at all…”

We would also venture into a House of Pies. Not affiliated with the one on Vermont Avenue, but both serve diner style food. Though the HOP in Houston charges $2.50 for coffee refills past the second cup, my waitress kept generously filling my cup. Between our HOP and Houston’s, I say it’s a draw…

Our “foodie run” would also take us to Whataburger. Most of their locations are open late, serving up huge hamburgers. But between these two…

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I’ll take my 3X3 animal style any day. (OK, maybe an “occassional” 4X4 if no one is looking…LOL). 

And our final H-Town “foodie run” would take us to Good Company BBQ. The highlight for me, other than the usual BBQ meats, had to be the Czech Sausage. Good Company has to be the only place i’ve had Czech Sausage. If you’re a Houstonian reading this, I’m sure you could probably name other favorite BBQ places of yours, but I sure enjoyed the experience of eating BBQ in Texas, especially Goode Company BBQ. 

Getting our NASA On…

20171026_174624.jpg Johnson Space Center. I like to call these two “The Twin Towers. Hakeem and Ralph…”

Our venture into Houston would also take Josh and I to the Johnson Space Centerwp-1509064058689..jpg

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Speaking of the Johnson Space Center, they seem to have a friendly battle with Pasadena’s JPL

But you know Houston, we do have a prized possesion of our own at the California Science Center

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Back to The Juicebox…Minute Maid Park

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Though the picture above was taken in 2005, Josh and I would return in 2008 to see The Blue take on the ‘Stros. This time, the roof would be closed during the 3 games we’d take in. 

wp-1509064630822..jpgwp-1509064651712..jpg HI MR. CONDUCTOR !!!

A favorite feature among many Astros fans, this replica locomotive chugs atop the left field Crawford Boxes prior to the first pitch and after an Astro home run. 

wp-1509064413116..jpg R.I.P. Tal’s Hill….

The hill, meant to pay homage to past classic’s such as Cincinatti’s Crosly Field, was removed after the 2016 season to make way for more dining spots. Though a nice nod to the past, the hill just looked forced and was hardly in play. But back in ’02, some center fielder for the Dodgers would make a nice running catch on the fly up that hill without breaking stride. I think that former centerfielder would have a future in managing some day…

Minute Maid Park is literally a band box. Very intimate, MMP is a very friendly hitters yard. Because if it’s intimate settings, no seat is really too far from the action. Now, if you don’t mind standing for an inning or two, you’ll want to take in some action at the porch literally located above the warning track in left center field…

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It’s almost game time ! Here’s to the Blue and an H-Town takeover !!!

wp-1509063983683..jpg Josh and I hanging with The Little Pumas, Lance Berkman’s unofficial fan club, July 2008. 

wp-1509064713241..jpg May, 2005. I wonder if this fan would know that orange cap would make it back to the rotation some day…

Astros fans and Houstonian’s we’re so hospitable so we could only return the favor…

20171025_143911.jpg The lil’ bro, Daniel and I, with this nice couple from Houston prior to Game 2. This couple would share with us that everyone in L.A. was very warm with them…

20171025_214543.jpg In the end, one of us will be smiling…The other crying… I intend to be the one smiling…

9th Inning…From H-Town

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LETS GO DODGERS !!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Moments After Moments…1988…What This World Series Means To Me

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19:  The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate defeating the Chicago Cubs 11-1 in game five of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 19, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Dodgers advance to the 2017 World Series.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)Stacy Revere/Getty Images

For the first time since 1988, we can all finally say it…

“WE’RE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES” !!!

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 19:  The Los Angeles Dodgers pose after defeating the Chicago Cubs 11-1 in game five of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 19, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Dodgers advance to the 2017 World Series.  Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Leading Off…Game 1…Gibson Makes An Appearance

Oh yeah, Debbie Gibson with the national anthem. Thank you Debbie for not making the anthem a 5 minute affair. Something magical about Gibson and Game 1 of the 1988 World Series…

It’s been 29 years since we’ve seen our Boys In Blue in the big dance. They will be facing off against an old NL West foe, the Houston Astros…

1988…A Special Time for L.A. Sports Fans

Aside from the magical season from the Boys in Blue, 4 months prior, L.A. celebrated another championship…

Other happenings from 1988…

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1988 would mark the last year of the Reagan administration

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was the box office topper…

Bobby McFerrin’s words to us…” Dont Worry, Be Happy”

Drei’s Favorite 5 Moments Since ’88

In the 29 years that we’ve waited, there have been lots of moments after moments, both joyful and heartbreaking. My 5 favorites that I witnessed at The Ravine, since ’88…

5. Back to Back NL West Titles

The 2nd of 5 consecutive division titles would be clinched against the hated ones. Though a magical night, it would be the hated one’s with the last laugh in October…

4. ’08 NLDS Clincher Against the Cubs

The Chicago Cubs, baseball’s best regular season team in 2008 with 97 wins, entered the NLDS as heavy favorites over The Blue. The Blue would not only knock off the Cubbies, they would sweep them in 3 straight en route to their first NLCS appearance in 20 years

3. 100 Wins and Not a Wild Scene in The Bay

In the final season of the pre Wild Card era when only division champions went to the playoffs, the 103 win San Francisco Giants needed to win on the regular season’s final game to force a one-game playoff against the Braves for the NL West. The Blue, having had their party ruined in 1951, 1962, 1982 and 1991 by the hated ones, we’re more than glad to return the favor. For the Giants, in Barry Bonds first season in the dreaded Halloween colors, 103 Wins and Not a Wild Scene In The Bay

2. 2009 NLDS, Game 2, A Happy Holliday at Chavez Ravine

Down to their last out and having the series tied at one, James Loney would hit a fly ball to Matt Holliday in what appeared to be the final out of the game. 

Holliday’s error would prolong the inning, and 2 batters later, Ronnie Belliard would tie the game with an RBI single. After a walk to Russel Martin to load the bases, Mark Loretta would come off the bench and deliver…

Loretta’s game winner would send the Dodgers up 2-0 to St. Louis. The Dodgers would complete the sweep 2 nights later en route to an NLCS rematch with the Phillies.

1. Wherever It Lands…The Finley Slam, October 2, 2004

Down 3-0 heading to the home 9th, the Jints we’re 3 outs away from cutting the NL West deficit to a single game heading to the regular season finale. The Jints ( Yes I said it…) bp would implode, and after tying the game at 3, Steve Finley, acquired in late July in a 3 team trade that sent Paul Lo Duca to the Marlins, would step up to the plate…

Finley’s walk-off slam would give the Blue the 2004 NL West title. It would be their first division flag since 1995 and their first post-season appearance since ’96. The Blue would make 8 other post season appearances since, finally leading to the 2017 World Series !!!

What This World Series Means For Me ?

I’ve done this blog for 12 seasons. I’ve gone to countless games both at home and on the road, experienced many a thrill and many a heartbreak. For those of you who we’re around in ’88 you couldn’t have imagined the next time The Blue would be in the World Series you would be long past your undergrad years, have some salt on top assuming you aint got a dome, be into our 6th different administration, one that seems to do a good job of dividing this country…

In spite of our differences, after 29 years of waiting and many a new generation of Dodgers fans, our Boys in Blue are FINALLY back ! They’ve united a city like I haven’t seen united in quite some time. Yes, we’ve had the Lakers bring us 5 titles during the Shaq-Kobe era and the Kings have brought us a couple of Stanley Cups. But there’s just something about The Blue, a team with a deep rich history, that makes the wait all the more special. 

As for me, in 1988, I was a freshman in San Gabriel High School. I’m sure many of you have been recalling where you we’re in ’88 and the events that we’re happening in the world, in pop culture, or even in your personal life. The passage of time does that to us. Especially when we look back upon a time that brought us plenty of joy, often times making us yearn for nostalgia. 

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Me and my little bro, Daniel. I was 14, he was 3 in ’88. One of my memories of Game One was watching with him and my dad in our living room, listening to our dad read 101 Dalmations during the game. “C’mon dad ! It’s the World Series !!!” 

For the lil’ bro, this World Series is one he and plenty of Dodgers fans born in the mid 80s and after can actually enjoy, rather than saying they won one in their lifetime…

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For me, I’ve experienced two in my lifetime, ’81 as a 7 year old kid still learning baseball and being taught by my uncles to hate Reggie Jackson and the Yankees. The Yankees would be the first team I would be taught to hate. ’88 I experienced as an early teen, viewing our chances of winning the World Series, as good ol’ Vin would say, ” Viewing it with our hearts…” Because really, if not for being a naive teenage Dodger fan, if I saw it from a realistic and objective viewpoint, there really could have been no way we stood a chance against the A’s and their Bash Brothers duo of Jose Conseco and Mark McGuire. 

But it was just that, HEART. The ’88 Dodgers had plenty of it….

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As I write this on the eve of Game 1, words just can’t really express what this means to me. Over the years I often said The Blue will get there before I turn 50. As I said earlier, I’ve enjoyed 2 World Series titles, one as a kid, one as a teen, now as an adult less than 7 years from mid-life and 29 white hairs later (OK, more than 29, but who’s counting?)

This is just a small sampling of memories form ’88 on that I’d like to share. Fellow Dodgers fans, young and forever young, enjoy this moment. It’s been 29 years. We’re 4 wins away from coming completely full circle. LETS GO DODGERS !!!