Thursday at Chavez Ravine was the last home game for the 2011 season. Fittingly so, given that the season was doomed from Opening Day when the Dodgers took on their heated rivals from the Bay. Like most fans, excluding baseball’s hardcore following, I can’t remember if the Dodgers won or lost that day. What I do remember from the 2011 season can be narrowed down to six things, two of which serve as bookends on a crazy season:
- The horrific beating of Giants’ fan Brian Stow in the parking lot on opening day. Stow suffered serious brain damage and will likely never resume the life he had prior to that April day.
- Frank McCourt, owner of one of baseball’s most storied franchises, taking the club in bankruptcy and acting like a victim throughout it all. Classless.
- Clayton Kershaw performing like a shoe-in for the Cy Young Award.
- Matt Kemp playing like a shoe-in for National League MVP (remember the base running gaffe’s of years past?)
- Receiving an assignment from Sports Illustrated (see slideshow above) to document a August day at Chavez Ravine. No action shots needed, just get a feel for the fan support. I was SHOCKED at the emptiness and utter lack of energy from a place that only two years ago was buzzing with a possible World Series run. What happened? See the second item above.
- Brian Stow spoke for the first time this week, stating his name, his children’s names and telling his sister he loved her.
Let me just say that #6 above makes McCourt, Kershaw, Kemp and an empty stadium seem trivial in comparison.