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Return To the Innocence

Dave Randall

Posted on October 20, 2017 11:35

3 users

World Series berth is a long time coming for a storied franchise and its fans.

In the vortex of modern technology, with the withered attention span it has spawned, it's quaint when a man can have his eyes mist over with joy when the baseball team he's followed since childhood wins the pennant. It was, in fact, a storied Brooklyn Dodger, Roy Campanella, who'd say of baseball, "to play this game you gotta have a lot of little boy in ya." That would also stand true for being a fan.

As the Los Angeles Dodgers walloped the defending National League Champion Chicago Cubs, and earned their first World Series appearance in 29 years, I thought back on the greats who will more than likely be at Dodger Stadium for Game 1 and 2.

A now 80-year-old Sandy Koufax, Maury Wills, Tommy Davis from the '60's, with memories of Don Drysdale and Willie Davis heavy in the air. Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, Rick Monday, Steve Yeager from the '70's, and Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser, Steve Sax and Kirk Gibson, from the 80's.

The lineage of their accomplishments, like footlights, illuminating these current National League Champions - few of whom were born when L.A. - beat the Oakland A's four games to one in the 1988 Series. This return to the innocence of winning, and restoring the franchise to its elite place in sports, is a heightened delight to those of us with some mileage on our tires. Younger fans don't know of the past.

They're delirious that Chris Taylor came out of nowhere to be a star, that Kike Hernandez is having the year of his life, that Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen are all-stars, that Cody Bellinger will be the N.L. Rookie of the Year, as Corey Seager was, last year. And that Clayton Kershaw will be in the Hall of Fame once he hangs up his glove. They're experiencing, for the first time, a real ball club, one that won 104 games, took a dip in September, righted the ship, and slammed through seven of eight post-season games, hungry for four more to win that elusive World Series ring. 

That 29 years have passed since their last series, along with the lives of loved ones who would have enjoyed this moment, cannot be overlooked. Late family or friends who worshiped this team would have reveled, today. To see a 90-year-old Tommy Lasorda still full of fire about the Fall Classic is inspirational. And the voice of  a now retired Vin Scully will echo forever, the voice of summer, the voice we grew up with, the voice of life.

The job is not done. A World Series has yet to be won. The ecstatic nature of getting there cannot supplant the need to seize the day and make a memory that a new generation will reflect upon when times are lean. Then and only then, the little boy (or girl) in all of us will be satisfied. Until that time, this feels great! 

Dave Randall

Posted on October 20, 2017 11:35

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Source: FOX Sports
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