After 29 years of eliminations and disappointment, the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers have made it back to the World Series — a sentence this Latina Dodgers fan is giddy to get to write. It’s safe to say the Dodgers are one of the most celebrated MLB teams within the Latino community. It’s reported that of the 3.9 million fans in attendance at Dodger Stadium in 2016, 2.1 million were Latino; sixteen years ago, the Los Angeles Times reported that Latinos represented one-third of the Dodgers fan base. Of course, Doyers fans have stood by and rallied over the last nearly three decades since the team’s last Fall Classic appearance in 1988.
As of today, LA is tied 1-1 with the Houston Astros, and diehard Dodgers fans know that this is their best chance for a title in decades. They also know that, win or lose, they’ll bleed blue forever. Here are 7 other things that they know to be true, from Puig to the Rojo Chingon.
If your fandom leans more towards the Astros, we’ve got you covered as well.
Dia de Los Dodgers
The Dodgers understand that embracing the Latino culture of their fandom is an excellent idea; one way they do this is through special events at Dodger Stadium. The Dia de Los Dodgers event night celebrates Dia de Los Muertos every September, during the regular season. The special event package includes a ticket to that night’s game, along with an exclusive, very fashionable Dia de Los Dodgers t-shirt.
Perhaps no other baseball player on the Dodgers roster has caused as much buzz–positive and negative–in recent years as 26-year-old Cuban right fielder Yasiel Puig. Puig’s enthusiasm for the game, as demonstrated by bat flips and bat licks, have become a point of contention for boring baseball purists and haters in general — something that seems to rally most Dodger fans, but especially the Latino ones. They understand all too well the underlying, subtle racism that seems to accompany a lot of the criticism surrounding Puig. Whether it’s his swagger, his confidence, or his pure joy about the chance to play in the big leagues, Doyer fans have embraced Puig, and know the truth of the popular Twitter hashtag, #PuigYourFriend.
Not All Dodgers Fans
A 2011 Los Angeles Times article declared, “Thugs are speaking for L.A.” The article seemed to be an opinion piece on the brutal 2011 assault on Bryan Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan who was left paralyzed after Dodger fans resorted to unnecessary violence. It’s impossible to be a Dodgers fan without being aware of the “thug mentality” reputation that seems to come with bleeding blue. We’re aware that a handful of bad apples shouldn’t spoil the bunch, and how that is hardly ever the case. The diehards know that broad, sweeping generalizations of Latinos that call Los Angeles home, and the Dodgers their team, not only fan the flames of long-held baseball rivalries, but benefits exactly no one.
The Fernando Valenzuela-era of Dodgers baseball is a treasured and beloved time in the minds of Dodger fans. Often credited with making fans out of the Los Angeles Mexican community, Valenzuela drew in droves of Mexican baseball fans to Dodger Stadium in the 80s. The fandom surrounding Valenzuela, known to Mexican Dodger fans especially as “Fernandomania”, earned him the nickname “El Toro.” For Mexican Dodger fans, the Valenzuela-era not only marked the would-be nostalgia for the 1980s Dodgers, and last time the team won the World Series, but also for a time when arguably the most successful and popular pitcher in baseball was someone of Mexican descent.
"The Latino Vin Scully"
Known among the Latino Dodger fan community as the “Latino Vin Scully” and “the Spanish Voice of the Dodgers”, Jaime Jarrín was the first Spanish broadcaster and translator of Dodger games. Jarrín’s translations helped to bridge the language gap for non-english speaking Latino Dodger fans. For many of those fans, Jarrín’s legacy is a source of significant pride, and for good reason. The 2017 baseball season marked the 3rd season calling games with his son, Jorge, forming the only father/son broadcasting team in Spanish-language radio. No small feat for a man who hadn’t seen a baseball game until moving to the United States in 1955.
Buy Me Some Tacos and Micheladas
The Los Angeles food scene has long been dominated by Mexican cuisine, and the same can be said of Dodger Stadium. When it comes to the concession stand, Dodger fans know to expect to find a trove of Mexican food offerings. From taqueria fare, Mexican cerveza, to micheladas (named “Dodger Stadium’s Signature Spirit”), the concessions offered during baseball games reflect the Los Angeles food culture surrounding the stadium. Latino Dodger fans also know they have the support of I Love Micheladas and Guelaguetza in Los Angeles, both businesses offer regular Dodger special events at their locations.
El Rojo Chingon
The ginger-haired Dodgers’ third baseman, Justin Turner has had a stellar 2017 season that earned him a nickname among Latino fans as Rojo Chingon, roughly translated to “Red Badass.” According to Turner, “Red” had been a nickname since he was growing up, and Latino Dodger fans now have their own term of endearment for their powerful hitter.