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Saturday, October 02, 2004

My Life as a Dodger Fan: Do You Believe in Miracles? 
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've been a Dodger fan my entire life. Sandy Koufax was and is still my pitching hero. Well, him and Orel Herscheiser. I was six years old when Andy Messerschmidt became the reliever's reliever of the modern era. I watched the TV in horror when Ron Cey took a Goose Gossage fastball in the head. "Let's see that again in slow motion!"

I remember Jerry Reuss's no-hitter. Steve Garvey's fall from studly grace. I remember his upright stance, his five o'clock shadow in the late innings, his popeye forearms. His brawl with Don Sutton over lewd remarks about Garvey's wife.

I remember being nine years old and being more outraged than a Florida Democrat during the 1978 World Series when Reggie Jackson stuck his hip out and broke up a double-play throw in the most obvious bit of cheating since Daley made registered voters out of the Chicago's dead. My faith in the fairness of the universe was shattered for all time. I could have CLEP'd out of having to read "To Kill a Mockingbird."

The batter-runner that play was the late, great Yankee catcher Thurmon Munson, an all-around class-act, who was soon to lose his life in a tragic plane crash. As if we needed any further proof that karma was both unfailing and clumsy.

I remember watching Bob Welch come of age that year.


I cried my eyes out when the Dodgers blew the 1980 playoff game against the Astros. The ASTROS for God's sake! It's like losing to the Girl Scouts!

I danced on my parent's bed in 1981 when Rick Monday won the pennant with a 9th inning homer off of Montreal's Steve Rogers--the September 11th of Canadian baseball--a date referred to by Expos fans to this very day as "Blue Monday."

Heh.

I remember Fernandomania.

I remember Fernando Valenzuela squaring off against Dave Righetti in the 1981 World Series.

I remember wincing with dread every time someone hit a baseball in 2nd Baseman Steve "Chaos Theory" Sax's direction.


When Dave Stewart got arrested after getting a blow job from a prostitute in 1985, and didn't realize until after the arrest that the 6'3" pro was actually a transvestite, I learned to accept the good things in life as the precious gifts that they were. And I gained new appreciation for Immanuel Kant.

I was in college in Los Angeles when Kirk Gibson made history with a 2 out, 3-2 pitch pinch-hit home run and the greatest baseball moment since Bernard Malamud wrote "The Natural."

I remember Dodger security kicking two lesbos out of the park for making out in the stands.

I eventually forgave them.

I think Juan Marichal was tremendous. I copied his high leg kick as a kid, for kicks, as it were. My grandmother, though, hates Marichal to this very day, for bashing Johnny Roseboro over the head with a baseball bat a couple of times.

Roseboro, you should know, is sort of the Chinese monk dude to Koufax's Grasshopper, since Roseboro was the guy who told a young and wild-armed Koufax "maybe instead of throwing 104 mph, you should just throw 99 mph and get the ball over the plate once in a while."

Marichal and Roseboro became close friends in later years.

My grandmother still can't stand him.

I grew up on Vin Scully's voice.

I cheered when Tommy Lasorda showed us all what a man of will really was, and kicked the Philly Fanatic's ass.

I still buy Farmer John.

The last conversation I had with my grandfather, in the summer of 2001 when he was dying of lung cancer, he told me about somehow finding the strength to walk up the bleachers at Dodger Stadium one last time to get a hot dog, and how he thought that God had reached down from above to help make the day and his final weeks on earth special.

I was a Dodger fan even when they sucked.

When I was ten, we moved from KTLA territory to Hawaii, out of reach of nightly Dodger broadcasts, and Ted Turner created a cable TV juggernaught out of Putt-Putt, Braves Games, and Japanese Psychotic Lady Midget Wrestling, and my so-called "brother" somehow became a RC Cola-swilling, Dale Murphy card-collectin' Braves fan.

The Dodgers to me, are like family.

Poor dumb, dysfunctional bastards.

I bleed blue.

Yeah, it's infantry blue. But I got my start from the Dodgers.

Splash, out,

Jason






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