The last time the Los Angeles Dodgers inaugurated a season as Major League Baseball champions was in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell, sparking a series of social movements in Europe that led, among other things, to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the internet was born.
The Dodgers, who have won five of seven road games against the Colorado Rockies and Oakland Athletics, make their home debut on Friday at the start of a three-game series against the Washington Nationals, who won the championship title from them on Friday. last year.
Right-hander Joe Ross, a native of Berkeley, California, will make his first start in two years for Washington, while star right-hander Walker Buehler (0-0, 3.00) will make his second appearance of the young season. Buehler had no decision after allowing two runs in six innings in the Dodgers’ 6-5 win over Colorado on Saturday.
The team reported that it will wear special apparel with gold-edged lettering on the jersey and cap and a “World Series Champions” logo on one side of the cap in its first series. Before Friday’s game, the ring ceremony will be held for the players and coaches and the flag for the franchise’s seventh championship will be raised (1 in Brooklyn, 6 in Los Angeles).
Before Saturday’s clash there will be a tribute to the memory of former player and manager Tom LaSorda, who died in January at the age of 93. LaSorda, the manager for the Dodgers when they won their two previous World Series championships (1981 and 1988), was with the club for 71 years and was elected by the Veterans Committee to the Cooperstown Hall of Fame in 1997.
On Sunday, at the close of the series against Washington, there will be a celebration for the 40th anniversary of the “Fernandomanía” that Mexican pitcher Fernando Valenzuela unleashed in 1981, when the left-hander started the campaign with a 8-0 mark, ERA of 0.50, 68 strikeouts and 17 free walks in 72.0 innings and at the end of it he was left with the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards and the World Series ring.
Valenzuela and the Ecuadorian storyteller Jaime Jarrín, a Hall of Famer, will have a press conference on Saturday. Jarrín, who is in his 63rd season as “the Spanish voice of the Dodgers” will participate in the raising of the championship pennant.
“My thanks to the Dodgers for the invitation to participate, along with Magic Johnson and former tennis champion Billie Jean King, in the ceremony of raising the World Series champions emblem at Dodger Stadium. Honor that accepted it with emotion and humility, “Jarrín wrote on his Twitter account.
Around 15 thousand fans per day (33% of Dodger Stadium capacity), which is what Los Angeles County allows in this phase of the coronavirus pandemic, had the privilege of buying all the tickets that went to the sale for the inaugural series.
The Dodgers have not played with fans in their stadium since Oct. 5, 2019, when they lost to the Nationals in Game 5 of the Division Series.
Although the coronavirus forced to play a shortened calendar season without fans last year, the exception was the National League Championship Series and the World Series, which accepted a quarter of the capacity of the new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. .
After more than three decades of waiting, the Dodgers were crowned American baseball champions, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in six games of the fall classic at a neutral venue that wore blue for two weeks.
As now, the Dodgers began the 1989 season on the road (with series in Cincinnati, Atlanta and San Francisco) before playing their first home game against the Houston Astros on Thursday, April 13. More than 47,000 fans packed the legendary Dodger Stadium to see the Dodgers fall 4-2 to Houston, in the first game of a series of four that ended tied 2-2.
The outcome of the matches, however, was the least important that time, just as it will not be now.