BY: SELENA GONZALEZ
The Dodgers look to deliver another trophy to the city of Los Angeles and legendary broadcaster Vin Scully after almost 30 years.
With the Dodgers making the playoffs for the fourth straight year in a row– a feat that has never been accomplished in franchise history– many Dodgers fans are optimistic about their chances of making it to the World Series this year and winning it all for Vin Scully.
Scully has been with the team since it came to Los Angeles, from Brooklyn, in 1958. After 67 years as its broadcaster, he is finally retiring. He is and will always be the eternal voice of Dodgers baseball.
“Chances are they will go all the way with this current team despite all the injuries that plagued them early on in the season,” Edward Ramirez, a kinesiology graduate from CSULB and lifelong Dodgers fan from north Long Beach, said. “It will be a team effort, taking everyone on the roster to get the job done.”
Ramirez said that shortstop Corey Seager, set to be this year’s National League rookie of the year, is his favorite player on the team.
The Dodger fandom on campus, spreads far and wide as students, not only from different parts of Long Beach and Los Angeles County but also every major on campus, can be found rooting for the Boys in Blue.
Fernando Avila, a senior history major and assistant general manager for KBeach Radio, was inducted into Dodgers fandom through his family. His late grandfather was a professional baseball player in Mexico.
When Avila’s family immigrated to Southern California, the local baseball team at the time was the famed Dodgers. Baseball was a big part of everyday life for the family. Avila said that his grandfather was forced to stop pitching due to a car accident, so he took to coaching his grandchildren in order to instill a love of the game in them.
Unlike Ramirez, Avila holds a not-so-optimistic view on the Dodgers’ playoff chances.
“While I would like to believe the Dodgers’ playoff chances,” Avila said, “I really don’t think the team has the depth to make it through a pennant race and into the World Series.”
His favorite Dodger of all time is of course the immortal and legendary Vin Scully because of how inspiring he is.
“There are few things as inspiring hearing Vin Scully’s catchphrases: ‘It’s time for Dodgers baseball!’; ‘Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good evening/afternoon to you wherever you may be,’” Avila said. He said he will definitely be watching the playoffs with family either at home or at a restaurant that broadcasts sporting events.
Jake McNeil, a senior journalism major and production manager for KBeach, said he is a Dodgers fan because of his love for sports. He also said he identifies more with Los Angeles and its teams than with Orange County’s sports teams.
He became a fan back in 2004 when the team was going through one of its good years. His mother was a Dodgers fan growing up, but had lost some interest in the team. When he began to show his love for the team, she quickly got back into them as well and the two would make constant trips to Dodger Stadium to catch games. He has remained a loyal fan because of the history and culture of the team and the passionate fan base.
“I think their chances [in the playoffs] are pretty good, but that has also been the case for the past four years,” McNeil said, “so I am cautiously optimistic when it comes to them.”
He added, “Kenley Jansen would be my favorite player because I like the way he carries himself, and because he is such a monster on the mound.”
McNeil said he will likely be watching the games at home because he likes to watch them with his mom, but catching them at work and class are also a possibility.
The Dodgers are usually pretty good during the regular season. In 2013 and 2015, they were 92-70, while in 2014, they were 94-68. However, when it comes to the playoffs it’s a different story. The past two seasons, they have been outed in the first round– last year by the Mets, and the year before that by the Cardinals, who also eliminated them in the second round in 2013.
Pitcher Clayton Kershaw, their ace who usually breezes through the regular season, has a 4-6 record in the postseason. If he struggles again this year, the Dodgers will surely not make it very far.
With a much better bullpen than in years past and its core of young stars, whose production has been off the charts this season, the Dodgers’ chances are better than in the past three years. They also seem to be inspired by Vin Scully and sending him out with one final ring.