So I’m not going to front like I’m some lifelong fan, as though I have some childhood memories of me and pops heading to the ballpark to root on our favorite team. The truth is, I was pretty late to the party, I’m talking about just about seven years or so ago late. But wait before you turn your nose up to me in pure judgment, hear me out. In all fairness, where I’m from baseball wasn’t the hot sport growing up. Unfortunately, especially back then, it just wasn’t something they apparently thought would interest black kids. But the thing is, once you gain my fandom, I am like THEE fan. I take this shit serious, like rearrange my schedule for important games, wear my gear even when I’m at home watching, serious. I learn the roster, sport and everything there is to know about any and everything that has to do with the team kind of fanning. I truly begin to bleed blue, and suddenly I’m the person in the bar leading the “Let’s go Dodgers” *clap. clap. clap clap clap.* chants. Like, the point is, it gets real. So now I’m in. I’ve been in since Kershaw took his rightful place on top of the mound to claim it as his very own. To watch the beauty in motion and nastiness of his curveball. I’ve been there for both Matthew “fine as hell” Kemps stints with us. I loved the consistent veteran at first place Adrian Gonzalas and his mariachi walk-up music all the way until his last game in our jersey. Of course, I cried on Dre day as we honored a guy who’d been a rock for this team for so many years. I’ve cheered on countless of clutch Justin Turner moments. I still get chills everytime the big guy’s theme music blares through the speakers at the ravine, and as he very business-like, casually trouts out representing the greatest state in the world, Kenlifornia is my favorite Dodger. I am continually praying for his continued health while greatly admiring and appreciating his dedication to the team. I’m old enough to remember mannywood pt 1 and am enjoying 2.0. Eff what the critics have to say, he sure did hustle tonight!
The point is, I’ve been fanning, and I’ve been fanning hard. And so now, as we find ourselves in the midst of yet another postseason run, I ask just one thing of you; please don’t break my heart…again. Like, I know you are working hard, and you obviously want it worse than I do but it’s just, I need you to understand what it’s like for us fans. And this in no way takes away from the blood, sweat, and tears you’ve put in your whole life to play for this moment. I’m sure you feel the pressure and intensity as each game goes on. It’s just that like as a fan, I’m sitting there in angst with no power or control over what happens, well except for making sure that I have on at least a Dodgers shirt if not a whole outfit which includes jacket and cap. And of course, if I leave the room and we get down then I’m not to go again. Or if I predict a score for us and it happens, then I must stay in the same spot, even if I have to use the restroom until the game is over. Outside of that, I have no control over what happens. All I can do is sit there and will you to a strikeout, a hit, a home run, a score, a win. I’m not sure if you understand how helpless that feels or how difficult that is but its tough man. Now I know that you all experience similar feelings as you sit in the dugout or stand on the field and watch the pitcher do his thing hoping he can get the job done. Or as you wait for your turn up to bat, praying that those that come before you can get on base and allow you a chance to contribute. I can imagine the thoughts going through your minds and nerves going through your bodies. I get it. It’s…it’s just that like, I remember the years when the Cardinals had our number, and people doubted whether or not Killa Kersh could get it done in the postseason. I remember the many players left stranded on the bases or the weak bullpen era. Then finally, finally we seem to turn a new leaf and last season comes, and it was magic. You could just feel all season long that it was something special about #ThisTeam. And then the playoffs come, and we’re doing it, we breeze through the Diamondbacks. We let the Cubs get one in the NCLS but whatevs, we got the job done. There we were, in the world series for what was if I was just the average spectator, an unforgettable world series. Filled with all the drama and intensity any lover of the game could dream of. That is unless you are a fan of the Dodgers or Astros, then the stress was at times unbearable. Then came game 7, we had game 7 at home with Clayton Kershaw available and Alex Wood in the bullpen and we. I just. You know what, nah, I’m not going to do this to myself. I just that, I can’t believe it ended that way. I just sat there in a crowded bar in Long Beach, Ca with a room full of people in complete shock at what we just witnessed. We were heartbroken and not to take away from the sadness you all must have felt. Like you work your whole life for this moment and just like that you fall short. Woof, that must have been devastating. Now try to imagine how we felt. Us the fans. We rooted you on relentlessly. Believed in you even when things looked glim and then nothing. We were left with nothing.
Anyways, here we are, back in the NCLS for the third straight year. Series now tied up 2-2 after a five-plus hour game that took us through every range of emotions possible. We did it, we held on, and we won. As I head to dodgers stadium today to root for what will hopefully be a win, I’m just asking, please…whatever you do. Please, don’t break my heart…again. I need you to dig deep and muster up everything you have in you to win. Us fans deserve to celebrate. We deserve to party like its 1988 and line the streets of Los Angeles and show you our appreciation for bringing the kind of joy into our lives that only sports can give. Look, we are all struggling to stay afloat in an unreasonably priced city with few opportunities and a world that seems to be slowly catching on fire around us. If we are to only have but so long on this planet since apparently, the people in the position of power don’t believe in the undeniable warming of the globe happening, then give us this. Give us this moment. I know you want it. I know you’re doing all you can but like just try to do, you know, a little more. All season you’ve shown grit. You’ve battled back and stayed the course. You’ve frustrated us but ultimately made us proud at every turn. I promise we the fans will not let you down. For every home game and even the away ones that the Dodger faithful are able to make it to, we will be loud, we will believe, we will give you every once we got, all we ask in return is for the mountaintop. For the glorious opportunity to once again to call ourselves champions. I was just three years old the last time you did it and wasn’t quite aware of just how beautiful the sport is. I didn’t know that the slow and steady nature of the game can make for some of the most agonizing moments of my life but can be followed by such elation with just one solid stroke of the bat or powerful sound of a strike. I didn’t know how masterful a pitchers pitch could look or how artful a batter’s swing could be. I know now, and there is no turning back for me. So I just need you to pull this off, obviously for yourselves cause I know what that dream is like. I’ve wanted to be an actress since I was four years old, I’ve been practicing my Oscar award acceptance speech for like twenty years. Believe me, I know what it’s like to want something so bad you can taste it. To refuse to give up until you get it. So I’m asking you not just as a fan but as a fellow dreamer when it gets tough, keep fighting and when the opportunity comes, win the damn thing. This is our year, it’s our destiny. This is not the time for another year ending in heartache that quite frankly I can not afford to experience. This heart of mine has been through enough. No pressure though, I mean ultimately it’s just a game that’s not to be taken that seriously and has no real barring on our lives, right? Except it feels like it does. Its the rare thing besides music that can unit hundreds of thousands, if not millions of fans from all walks of life. The sixty plus thousand of us stand together in the stadium on one accord as we use the oldest past time to give us a reprieve from the various challenges life presents. We’re invested, our pride is on the line and if we’re going to invest ourselves into something that is beyond us, then it gotta yield great rewards. So like, kinda all the pressure is on you but don’t worry, you got this. *inset confident nod here* So, let’s do this, boys!!! Let’s go out there and show them what we got. Let’s become champions!!! #GoDodgers #BleedBlue #LADetermined