Wednesday, September 30, 2015

27 Years Later

Last night I witnessed something I have been waiting to see most of my baseball life. I finally saw an on field celebration after a team won a division title. It happened to have been my favorite team, the LA Dodgers. But I should have seen this happen 27 years ago, but it didn't happen. Allow me to explain.
September 1988. I was 16 years old without a car. (I was a bike riding, walking to school loser. One other reason I didn't have a girlfriend in high school. Thanks mom! Ha!) I had tickets to a Giants/Dodgers game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. It was a Sunday afternoon game. I had four tickets that cost $11 each. I arranged a ride with a friend. His uncle was supposed to take us along with his younger brother.
So I show up to my friends house to get ready to leave. Then I was told of a slight problem. Turns out my friends uncle wouldn't take us unless I got a 5th ticket for his friend to go. This was blackmail! This was Giants/Dodgers with playoff implications on the line. This is one of the most storied rivalries in sports. We call Ticketron (Before there was Stubhub, there was Ticketron to all you young readers out there. You called for tickets. This was before cell phones mind you.)
The game is sold out. So it looks like my friends uncles friend was bleep out of luck.
It turns out we were bleep out of luck.
No extra ticket, no ride was his rebuttal. He bailed on us.
So now we're three teenagers without a ride. My friends parents had plans. I called every relative I knew and they all said no chance. I was calling everyone I knew who had a car to take me. No luck. (On a side note, my friends mom said she'd pay me back the $33 for the tickets we couldn't use. I'm still waiting for it. What's $33 with 27 years interest?)
So I had to watch the Dodgers possibly clinch on TV at home. Imagine watching the game with tickets to the game in your hands and there's nothing you can do about it. I was torturing myself by watching the game. But I had to see the Dodgers win the NL West pennant.
They didn't. They lost that day. I felt they would have won if I was there. Wishful teenage thinking.
The Dodgers went on to clinch the title in San Diego.
Who knew that day I would have to wait 27 years for that situation to happen again.
It happened last night.
Clayton Kershaw threw a masterpiece. 13 strikeouts and allowed one hit in a complete game shutout. One of the best pitching performances I ever saw.
Funny thing is, Clayton Kershaw was born in 1988. He was 6 months old that fateful day. Who would have known a new born baby would one day control my destiny. (I know, I'm being dramatic for literary purposes).
So I can finally cross something off my bucket list. Life is good!

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