With the cost of World Series tickets outpricing many fans, a hoard of Dodgers faithful packed Schooners in Santa Clarita to watch the team battle the Astros in the first World Series Game 7 in Dodger Stadium history.
The venue was buzzing with pregame excitement, as Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series against the A’s, which was the last time the team won a title, was a hot topic of discussion.
Two men wearing their orange work uniforms constituted the closest thing to an Astros fan in the area.
While Dodgers were understandably dejected after the Dodgers fell 5-1 to the Astros, an aura of pride served as a common denominator as people slowly filed out and headed home.
“We’re just so thankful we had a chance to watch them on this kind of stage,” said Christina Navarro of Valencia. “A lot of teams and their fans would’ve loved to have been in a position to root for their team in a Game 7.”
Henry Sosa, the owner of the Santa Clarita Schooners, knew things were likely coming to an end with the Dodgers down to their final three outs of the night. He shared a similar sentiment to Navarro.
“What a ride,” said Sosa, who has a tattoo of Dodger Stadium on his left forearm. “I think a lot of us are thankful we were able to get to his point. It had been a while.”
It had been 29 years to be exact.
The anticipation for the team’s return to the World Series was portrayed in the gear. Most fans didn’t miss the opportunity to buy jerseys and hats donning the customized World Series patches both teams sported on their official uniforms.
For Ed and Julie Edmonds of Valencia, they even shelled out the thousands of dollars to get a seat for Game 2 at Dodger Stadium.
“You couldn’t ask for a better experience as a fan; a bucket list kind of evening,” Julie Edmonds said of being at Game 2, “To get to watch your team play for a World Series — nothing beats that.”
When George Springer belted a two-run homer in the second inning off Yu Darvish, giving the Astros a 5-0 lead, Sosa quickly reached for the volume knob on his speakers to blare Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” as patrons sang along.
With a World Series that featured an unprecedented amount of lead changes, pitching changes and record-breaking offensive stats, there was certainly reason for belief.
“I haven’t been able to sleep this whole series, honestly,” said Santa Clarita resident Anthony Isaguirre. “This has been the best series of baseball I’ve ever seen.”
The series came to an end when Charlie Morton got Corey Seager to ground out to the right side, providing the Astros with their first World Series title in franchise history.
A young, talented Dodgers team had fans hopeful for a return to the main stage in the not-too-distant future. But given the team’s track record of appearing in the Fall Classic of late, fans knew all too well to savor the moment.
“If it takes them another 30 years I’ll be 85, who knows if I’ll be around,” Ed Edmonds said. “If you’re a true fan, you know this as good of baseball as you’ll ever see.”