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What If the Dodgers Won the 2017 World Series? A Sneak Peek Into This Alternate Universe

11:03 AM PST on February 17, 2020

[dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]t’s November 1, 2017. 

On a perfect sunny Wednesday in Los Angeles, street vendors are out early setting up shop along Sunset Boulevard and every single freeway entrance in L.A. They’re selling their World Series Dodgers gear. 

Angelenos across the counties and Valleys are wearing their Dodger blue to work; their cars adorned with fluttering Dodger flags. Rush hour feels like a breeze today. Kids with “LA” hats are on the verge of reliving their parents’ childhood memories when they last saw the Dodgers win their last World Series in 1988. 

No one thought the series would go to a game 7 but no one has a doubt in their mind that they won’t clinch the series on home turf. All the local news stations are bracing themselves for the celebration that will be held in East and Southeast L.A. After ll, this championship is decades overdue.

Game 7 arrived and it was everything Angelenos anticipated. Yu Darvish who has been solid at home all season and in the playoffs continues his consistency and pitches solid 7 innings and only allows 1 run. Clayton Kershaw gets the call to close the 8th and 9th, giving him another chance to solidify his career and reverse his playoff stigma that has plagued him his entire career. 

Every single seat at Chavez Ravine is filled, some spent a small part of their retirement fund to attend but it is worth every penny. There are millions of Angelenos away from home watching at home and abroad to see one of the greatest pitchers of all-time strike out the side and celebrate. In a tied 1-1 game against the Astros, Kershaw pitches and is painstakingly getting it done, one nail-biter at a time.

A team that’s been battling accusations all year about cheating by stealing signs is also on the verge of winning their first-ever World Series. At this time,  the city of Houston is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey that damaged many working-class communities. So, the Astros are not only fighting for a World Series Championship but also to give the people of Houston something to be happy about. Sports have long played a role in society as an escape from reality. Something to cheer for as they struggle to survive in this world.     

As the Dodgers celebrate their championship on the field, the Astros starting Shortstop keeps his ring in his pocket as he now has to figure out another opportune time to propose to his fiancé. 

In dramatic fashion, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts calls on Andre Ethier to pinch-hit in the bottom of the 9th. Ethier, at the time, is 34 years old, one of the only tenured Dodger players on the roster. Andre has been battling injuries for the last few years and was just recently activated on the roster on September 1, 2017. This call by Dave Roberts gives millennials and generation Y fans flashbacks of Dodger legend Tommy Lasorda’s call in 1988 to have Kirk Gibson pinch-hit in the bottom of the 9th against (at the time) the best closer in baseball, Dennis Eckersley. 

Andre, just like Gibson in 1988 was also battling injuries that didn’t allow him to play much of the playoffs or World Series that year. Both in their early/mid 30’s at the time of their pinch-hit magic. For both players, it was known that their prime is something of the past, but this moment couldn’t get any bigger for them. Andre, on a 2-2 fastball count cements his Dodger legacy by hitting a game-winning home run. Chavez Ravine erupts in joy as they witness their beloved Dodgers win their seventh World Series title and their first since 1988! Twenty-nine years in the making. As the Dodgers celebrate their championship on the field, the Astros starting Shortstop keeps his ring in his pocket as he now has to figure out another opportune time to propose to his fiancé. 

The perfect ending to a perfect season and playoff run. Clayton Kershaw reverses and overcomes his playoff reputation and wins the World Series MVP. Kershaw becomes one of a small list of players to earn a league MVP and Cy Young in 2014 and now adds his World Series MVP to his trophy case. Dave Roberts is added to a small list of people who have won a World Series as both a player and a manager now. Andre Ethier becomes the Kirk Gibson of this generation of fans. Yu Darvish becomes an L.A. hero and now the stadium chants ‘Yuuuuu’ whenever he plays, as if they are powering up. 

In 1988, an estimated 70,000 people attended the Dodgers parade. In 2000, an estimated 550,000 people attended the Los Angeles Lakers championship parade which was their first championship in decades. In 2017, you can use your imagination what a 29 year in making championship run can generate in the streets of Los Angeles. Experts estimate that over 2 million people took it to the streets to celebrate their home team. 

Every tattoo parlor shop from East Los to Highland Park was filled with Angelenos getting “LA” tattooed somewhere on them. The local hospitals notice an uptick in baby boys getting named Clayton. 

Parade floats and lowriders lead the way hitting switches idling as they slowly make their way through fans in downtown. Propelled on top of the championship bus is the one and only Vince Scully leading the way, waving at fans in the blistering heat. Hundreds of LA street hot dog stands posted all over the city. The smell of bacon and asada filled the streets. Workplaces were empty but bars and taco stands were filled with people in pure joy watching their Dodgers stroll down Sunset. Every tattoo parlor shop from East Los to Highland Park was filled with Angelenos getting “LA” tattooed somewhere on them. The local hospitals notice an uptick in baby boys getting named Clayton. 

As this championship high continues, it is later revealed that the Houston Astros were in fact cheating in the 2017 season going into the playoffs and the World Series. Resulting in not only the Astros losing the World Series, but losing while cheating in the game of baseball. Fans in Houston are upset and boycott the team and start a campaign to get their money back from ticket sales and World Series merchandise. Astros owner Jim Crane is forced to step down and sell the team in an attempt to save the league and the franchise from the cheating scandal. 

The scandal doesn’t help baseball, which is already a declining sport. The league is fortunate that the cheating team didn’t win the World Series, giving the “good guys always win at the end” storyline to the press. Undoubtedly, the situation gives inspiration to screenwriters for many future Hollywood adaptations of sports in film. What is more Hollywood than this cheating scandal that no one saw coming? The 2017 Houston Astros become the second team in the last decade to add an asterisk to their success, the last being the 2009 New York Yankee team that was later reported of players using performance-enhancing substances in that championship season.   

But now back to reality: Angelenos are hurt by the truth of the cheating scandal that allowed the Houston Astros to win the World Series in 2017. We can’t help but imagine all the glory that would’ve come with a World Series Championship in 2017 in Los Angeles. Kershaw’s legacy, Darvish career, and Andre Ethier’s career. Dodger murals across counties to commemorate the 2017 World Series Champions. Portraits of Kershaw across the city as the Dodger king.   

Not seeing Vince Scully riding the championship bus at the parade still stings a lot of us. It could have been the perfect ending to Scully’s lifetime career as a Dodger.

What we do know is that the Dodger players gave it their all. Leaving it all on the field, and we can be proud of that. In the end, we all know who deserves that championship.   

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