A 32-Year Awaited Victory

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The Los Angeles Dodgers swarm the field on Tuesday, October 27, following pitcher Julio Urías’s final strikeout of the ninth inning. Overjoyed, the Dodgers celebrate their hard-earned win as Game 6 of the World Series comes to a close. Photo courtesy of Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times.

Lauren Ng, Staff Writer

   100 less games, partially-filled stands, and cardboard cutout fans: despite the several changes to this year’s Major League Baseball season, it was all worth it for Los Angeles. On Tuesday, October 27, our very own Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, winning 3-1 in Game 6 of the 2020 World Series.

   The path to a well-deserved victory has been long and difficult for the Dodgers. Their last championship win was in 1988: 32 years ago. In 2017 and 2018, the Dodgers made their return to the World Series, only to lose to the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox respectively. However, this year brought better fortune for L.A. sports.

   Although perhaps not as nail-biting as Game 4, the final face-off still had several notable moments leading up to the Dodger victory. Game 6 was off to a jolting start with a solo home run by Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena; however, this was the first and final run scored by the Rays. After several innings of strikeout after strikeout for both teams, the Dodgers finally took the lead in the sixth inning. A wild pitch allowed catcher Austin Barnes to reach home, followed by a run scored by right fielder Mookie Betts

   The icing on the Dodgers’ cake came in the eighth inning, as Betts hit a 434-foot home run, shifting the scales to a 3-1 lead. Once pitcher Julio Urías struck out the final batter, all of the pieces of the puzzle fell into place: the Dodgers won their first World Series in 32 years.

   Mr. Cueva, West High Varsity Baseball coach, noted some of his favorite moments throughout the World Series: “I really enjoyed Mookie Betts and all the excitement that he added to the team.” In Game 1, Betts “walked, stole second, stole third, [and] scored on a ground ball on the infield,” Mr. Cueva explained. He additionally mentioned that “it was really exciting to watch [Corey] Seager play [and] contribute as much as he did.” Dodgers shortstop Seager was named MVP of the World Series and the National League Championship Series. With eight home runs under his belt, he has hit more homers than any other shortstop in a single postseason.

  Mr. Cueva also described how difficult it is for teams to achieve a World Series win: “[Having to put] a team together, having the right pieces of the puzzle, and… having a manager that can manage the personalities makes it really tough. Especially the way the game is nowadays, with high salaries, high demand, and multi-million dollar rosters, it’s a completely different game than it was 32 years ago.”

   Despite being a long-time L.A. fan, Mr. Cueva still commended the Tampa Bay Rays for their performance throughout the World Series: “Just being a fan of baseball, watching them… keep coming back and not making it easy on the Dodgers… made for an exciting World Series.”

   West High student Nolan Gilman (10), who has been a Dodgers fan for as long as he can remember, expressed his thoughts during the final moment of the Series: “I really [hoped] that the same thing [didn’t] happen that happened in Game 4… that was very disappointing.” As a result of a string of errors, the Rays beat the Dodgers in Game 4, scoring two runs at the bottom of the ninth inning and tying the Series 2-2.
      Gilman added that Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has “been definitely trying to push and win a World Series, and to finally know that he’s definitely going to have that is nice.”

   Not only has a World Series win for Los Angeles been long overdue, but a victory occurring particularly in 2020 holds significant meaning. Gilman expressed that “for me, [the Dodgers’ win] brings light to this year.” Let this victory be a reminder for our city: in the midst of unpredictable times and difficult hardships, we will find a way to emerge stronger on the other side.