For over a quarter of the Dodgers’ home games this regular season, former Valencia softball standout Amy Moore was perched along the foul lines at Dodger Stadium, serving as one of the team’s ballgirls.
But on Oct. 7, Game 2 of the National League Division Series between the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks, the team asked her to take a day off.
Moore, along with fellow ballgirl Christina Zambrana, were among the thousands of people at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, where 59 people were killed and over 400 injured in the deadliest mass shooting in modern United States history.
Having been less than a week since the shooting, the Dodgers were unsure how the two would handle things like fireworks and a sellout crowd. So, instead, the team had the two attend the game as spectators to feel things out.
“I was frustrated at first,” said Moore on being unable to work. “But when we got there I was definitely a little bit on edge. I think that was the best decision the Dodgers could’ve made.”
The Dodgers then made another decision.
They let Moore, 26, and Zambrana, 27, resume their posts for Sunday’s Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs, in time to be on the field for Justin Turner’s walk-off three-run homer to give the Dodgers a 2-0 series lead.
“I pretty much got shivers all over when I saw that ball clear the fence, said Moore, who was down the third-base line at the time of the home run. “Just getting back to work and having that normalcy and day-to-day routine has been the biggest healer for me.”
When Moore and Zambrana returned to work Sunday, it was as if two players on the team’s 25-man roster had just been reinstated.
“(Dodgers manager) Dave Roberts came over to us before the game and wrapped us in a big hug,” Moore said. “It was the kind of hug your mom gives you when she drops you off for college. You could tell how sincere it was.”
Turner, Sunday’s hero, made contact with a mutual friend of Moore and Zambrana’s to ensure both were safe following the shooting. Yasiel Puig reigned in both of their phone numbers through the team’s front office to check on them as well.
“The support from the Dodgers has been overwhelming in such a positive way,” Moore said. “There were days right after the (shooting) where I didn’t want to leave the house and wasn’t in a good mental place.
“ … They didn’t have to go out of their way to check in on us like that but it meant the world to me.”
Moore, a lifelong Dodgers fan, coincidentally wears No. 88 on her Dodgers uniform, as 1988 was the last time the team played in — and won — a World Series. That fact was pointed out to her by Dodgers broadcaster and former pitcher Orel Hershiser, who was the MVP of that World Series.
A few weeks removed from one of the most traumatic experiences of her life, Moore may be on the field when the World Series makes its possible return to Dodger Stadium, with the team holding a 3-0 lead over the Cubs in the best-of-seven series.
“Dreams are becoming reality,” Moore said. “The team has been huge for me in the healing process. No matter what happens, I’ll always be thankful for that.”