On a late night in the fall of 2017, before the Astros would steal a championship, I was wandering through the aisles of a Northern California grocery store proudly donning a LA Dodgers hat. It was my first year of college, and the hat felt like a piece of my home was still with me. A symbol of my roots and a source of pride, the Dodgers were pushing their way towards what would be the first trophy since 1988.
As I trotted to the checkout aisle, my eye caught a familiar shade of blue peeking out above the heads of the people in front of me. It was another stranded Dodger fan. We made eye contact, and without hesitation, with six people between us, he asked, “What do you think of our chances?” We chatted as the two of us checked out and after talked for another ten minutes about the Dodger’s run. We covered as many topics as we could squeeze in. What is it like to be a Dodger fan in Giants territory for you? What do you think of our bats? Can Klayton get over the hump? We reveled in how nice it was to talk to another person about the excitement of a playoff push. Afterward, we thanked each other for their time and went our separate ways, excited for the games to come.
The most remarkable aspect of sports is their ability to bring people together. Sports allow a common ground for individuals across every walk of life. No matter your background, we all feel the same highs and lows when rooting for the local team. Sports are not a great equalizer, but rather a unifier for people who would otherwise go about life never acknowledging the other person’s existence. Here, through sports, we can laugh, complain, hug, and cry over the frustrating and elating reality of being a fan.
Years later, back in LA, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in currently the middle of a deep playoff push, and now more than ever, when I don my Dodgers hat, I’m greeted with warm smiles and chants of mutual support. The city of LA is blanketed in Dodger blue, unifying the city. Los Angeles, much like other big cities, is exceedingly diverse in multiple ways: demographics, wealth, location, etc. There exist hundreds of different forms of life. It is a sprawling city in which a myriad of different sub-cities exist, and yet baseball becomes the universal language come October.
Baseball is a particular type of excitement. In LA, baseball is beloved. But it is known that the sentiment is not shared, which makes the passion all the more tangible. Dodger baseball is unique and infectious, and it is solely ours (I’m sorry Brooklyn, but it’s been decades). The buses flash ‘Go Dodgers’ on their routes, storefronts wave Dodger flags, and the baseball playoffs are one of the few times when screams at a bar are a welcome sign. People take pleasure in the shared experience that is Dodger baseball.
DRAFTJS_BLOCK_KEY:1gvrgOn a late night in the fall of 2017, before the Astros would steal a championship, I was wandering through the aisles of a Northern California grocery store proudly donning a LA Dodgers hat. It was my first year of college, and the hat felt like a piece of my home was still with me. A symbol of my roots and a source of pride, the Dodgers were pushing their way towards what would be the first trophy since 1988.