I’ve always considered myself a tomboy.
The Mary-Kate Olsen to my sisters Ashley Olsen.
High five if you get that reference.
I liked running around and getting dirty outside.
I also loved sports, and still do.
I get super into March Madness and love college football.
And fantasy football has filled the last 5 NFL seasons for me.
But nothing gets me quite as excited as baseball.
I never played baseball growing up, and didn’t really care for it either.
I thought it was so boring.
I would just cheer for the dodgers because my dad did.
It made the most sense.
My parents took us to Dodger Stadium when I was 16 and I thought it was so cool.
They were playing the Giants, their rival.
Yelling at Barry Bonds from the third baseline with all of the drunk fans around me. I learned to hate him so fast.
It was so much fun.
I was intrigued.
Flash forward to the summer of 2009.
I was bored and stumbled across an ESPN magazine that belonged to my dad.
There was an article that featured new players for that season.
I found a new dodger player, Clayton Kershaw.
There were some baseball stats that meant absolutely nothing to me, followed by some fun facts that got my attention.
He was asked “if we turned on your iPod what song would you have listened to last” and he answered with Taylor Swift.
A baseball player who liked Taylor Swift.
SIGN ME UP.
I started watching with my dad to see this Clayton Kershaw in action.
Turns out he was a pitcher, and that pitchers don’t play every game.
I was determined to watch him, and since I had no idea when he would be starting, I would just end up watching the games anyways.
What I thought were boring games, turned out to be a test of my patience.
I learned to appreciate the strategy behind every decision and pitch.
I would ask my dad as many questions as I could.
And I still do.
Because I know there’s still so much to learn.
I filled my summer that year with baseball, and every summer after that.
So many hours were spent on the couch next to my dad, learning about different players.
Next thing I knew I was forming all of these superstitions that mimicked his.
I fell in love with not only the sport, but the act of watching it with my dad.
Picking his brain for everything that he knew about Baseball, and listening to his stories about watching it when he was younger.
I was obsessed.
I bought shirts, hats, phone cases, anything that was dodger blue I was all over.
My dad even gave me a couple of his old shirts that I love dearly.
I started memorizing their schedule and getting excited for upcoming games.
People wouldn’t believe me when I said I loved the dodgers.
In college someone actually called me out and said to name more than 4 players on the team.
It blew his mind when I busted out the entire starting roster.
I was so passionate about the team, so much that I learned to loved the sport in general.
There’s just something about a sport that’s played from April to October, and can take hours to finish.
And there’s nothing like getting free baseball when games go into extra innings.
I can hear Vin Scully now.
I’ll never forget how mad I was when I missed Clayton’s home run on opening day of 2013.
Or that same year when they lost the NLCS to the cardinals. I just sat there and cried.
I wanted it so bad.
Not for me, but for my dad.
Coming to learn and love Dodger baseball with him brought me so much closer to him, closer than we already were.
In July of 2016 Jason and I went to a Dodger game in LA.
I was so excited before the trip, because Clayton was supposed to pitch the day our game was.
I got a sports center alert to my phone saying he had been ruled out for the game,the day before due to a shoulder injury that would eventually take him out for most of the remaining season.
I was heartbroken.
All I’ve ever wanted was to see him pitch in person.
To lighten the blow, we decided to do something special before the game.
We took a pregame tour of the facility and it blew my mind.
We even got to walk behind home plate while the players were warming up.
I actually heard Yasiel Puig as he joked around with other players.
The game was on a Friday night, and on Fridays during the season they have Friday Night Fireworks. Where fans could go onto the field to watch fireworks.
I GOT TO GO ON THE FIELD.
At one point I just kind of stood there in complete shock.
I only wished my dad was there with me.
But I know that one day, we’ll get to experience it together.
This October was an emotional roller coaster to say the least.
I jumped up and down as hard as I could when Justin Turner hit a walk off home run in the bottom of the 9th against the Cubs to win the game.
And the absolute joy that I felt when we made it to the World Series.
To complete silence when we lost.
I got harassed a little here and there, but it didn’t bug me.
I was just sad.
It took quite a bit to get over it honestly, like a bad breakup.
That brings us to today.
168 days until I get to see them play again.
My whole family will be going up to Seattle to see them play the Mariners.
Which doesn’t happen often.
I’m so incredibly excited.
Maybe Clayton will start?
Who knows, but the possibility excites me.
Since 2009 I have become such a huge baseball fan.
I have Clayton Kershaw, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and my dad to thank for that.
I’ve made it my life goal to see a game at every one of the 30 MLB stadiums.
So far I’ve been to Safeco Field to watch the mariners, the Oakland Alameda Coliseum to see the A’s, Dodger Stadium to watch my boys in blue, and Yankee Stadium.
That one was special.
To see a night game in New York against the Red Sox’s.
I loved every minute of it.
As you can see, my love for baseball has grown throughout the years.
From the 16 year girl who was in awe of Dodger Stadium.
To the girl who will find any way possible to listen to her game while running around at a cross country meet.
To say that I love it is an understatement.