From the very beginning, all I can remember is how important baseball was to my dad. I went to my first game at Dodger Stadium when I was one and made it onto, what they call now, Dodger Vision. I mean, the only reason my dad ever used to let my brother and I stay up late on a school night, was to watch a Dodger game. I honestly couldn’t tell you any non-sport shows I ever watched with my dad besides “The King of Queens.” Other than that, it was baseball games, “SportsCenter” or something else on tv that related to baseball/sports, 24/7, 365.
As you can probably tell, I was brought up around baseball from the day I was born. From there, it turned into a love for something I didn’t even know I could have. I played baseball for the first time when I was 12 and only played for two full seasons. I was never all that good at hitting, but I was fast, understood the game and had a decent glove. Not being good at hitting takes the fun out of it pretty quickly though.
I remember my dad taking me to game 3 of the 2008 NLDS against the Chicago Cubs. One of my most memorable experiences happened before we even made it into the stadium that night. We parked our car on the hill where the “Think Blue” sign used to be, and I could see the stadium in the distance, it was packed. But the craziest part about all of that, to me, was how loud everyone in the stadium was and the game hadn’t even begun yet. I could clearly hear the crowd keeping up a constant cheer and the sea of white rally towels that covered all of the seats in the stadium were waving, nonstop, throughout the stadium. To this day, I still remember that moment so vividly. The Dodgers won that game and it was easily the best moment I had as a fan up until then. Not too long after that, things started to change for me. When I was 17, I moved out of my dad’s house and decided to go live with my mom. I happened to also be dating a guy at the time who didn’t care for baseball at all. I know, it’s crazy. Anyways, for about four years, baseball sort of faded out of my life. I still went to a couple games and even managed to drag him to game 3 of the 2013 NLDS. But it just wasn’t something I paid a lot of attention to.
Then, in 2014, everything changed. I met my boyfriend that year and the first date he took me on was at Dodger stadium. That year, we went to seven games and that was the most I’d ever been to in a season. I live in Orange County, so my Dodger game numbers weren’t very impressive. I even went on my first stadium tour that year, thanks to him. That’s when I started to remember how much I loved the game of baseball again.
After the 2014 season, I was ready for more baseball. In 2015, I ended up at my first Fan Fest, first Opening Day and first Quakes game. Since then, I’ve gone to Opening Day every year at Dodger Stadium. I even went to nine Dodger games that year, just a couple more than the year before. I was doing my best, as a 22-year-old, to try and get to more games than the season prior.
In 2016, I was finally able to attend Dodgers’ Spring Training for the first time. On top of that, I was able to go to 20 games that season, which easily doubled my games from the 2015 season. I also went on my first Pantone 294 trip to San Francisco, and then another in Arizona. It was one of the most enjoyable years I’d ever had as a Dodger fan.
Up until that point, I’d never had such a crazy year when it came to baseball. I felt like I had gone to so many games, so many fun events and even made a lot of new friends along the way. However, nothing will ever compare to the year I had in 2017…