The 2017 Dodger Season Was One for the Ages

Saturday, May 23, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020

Since it is Memorial Day weekend, it seems strange to not have Major League Baseball either on the radio or TV. For the first time in 20 years, I will have Memorial Day off, and I do not know what to do with myself.

I have been thinking about which Dodger season was my favorite. Over my 43 years of following the Los Angeles Dodgers, I have been privileged to watch many fantastic teams. For my high-school graduation gift, the Dodgers won an improbable world championship.

It would be easy to say the 1988 season was my favorite. After all, the Dodgers gave me an example of not listening to “experts” to determine what I can or cannot do. Mickey Hatcher played with such enthusiasm and passion for the game, and he still is the fastest crawler to ever play Major League Baseball. Kirk Gibson was a true leader of the team. What Orel Hershiser did at the end of the 1988 season was unbelievable and is something that I will never forget.

However, I cannot say the 1988 season was my favorite. I was a kid, and I did not write about the team until after they won. Although that team inspired me to begin a Dodger Journal, which turned into my career, I was not a part of the team. I had no responsibility for the 1988 Dodgers, and I even went to my high-school homecoming football game while the first game of the World Series was being played. Thank God for VCRs that allowed me to see the magical Kirk Gibson ninth-inning home run after the fact.

Although the 1988 season solidified my desire to have a career involving baseball, it was not my favorite. The 2017 season was. Little did I know, it would be my last writing for Major League Baseball Advanced Media.

The Dodgers should have won the World Series, but the Astros with their sophisticated cheating did. The Dodgers were the best team in the Major Leagues though they had a terrible September. Rich Hill should have had a perfect game, but his team did not provide any offensive support in Pittsburgh.

Cody Bellinger won the unanimous National Rookie of the Year though he, as the youngest player to perform in the World Series, struggled mightily. On the 29th anniversary of Gibson’s miraculous home run in the 1988 World Series, Justin Turner had a walk-off home run against the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS, and later he shared the NLCS MVP with Chris Taylor. I will never forget Kiké Hernández’s three home runs, including a grand slam, in the last game of the NLCS.

Clayton Kershaw did not disappoint during the 2017 postseason, even though he had a blowout game in Houston. Now, we know what caused Kershaw’s disappointing performance in Houston, and the cheating tarnished Kershaw’s pitching reputation in high-pressure game situations.

In 2017, Kenley Jansen was the undoubtedly best closer in the National League. Though he struggled in the World Series, he should be remembered for his 2017 performance.

As the owners and the Players’ Association bicker about money and determine if we will have Major League Baseball again in 2020, I feel for Turner, Kershaw, and Jansen who might have lost their final opportunity to return to the World Series and win a well-deserved world championship. We as fans miss baseball, but if we live, we will have many more opportunities to witness another Dodger world championship. However, this generation of Dodgers will not. Like most baseball-knowledgeable people, I thought the additions of Mookie Betts and David Price almost guaranteed the Dodgers a world championship in 2020.

Now, we may never know.

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