After a wild, back-and-forth World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers erased a 32 year World Series Championship drought, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays four games to two, and winning Game 6 with a score of 3-1.
It was not the longest World Series drought in baseball history, but given the recent history of this team, it felt the heaviest. Having failed to win rings in their previous two trips, the Dodgers came into the 2020 season looking to do something they hadn’t done since 1988: win the last game of the season.
The Rays looked like they were poised to force a game seven, as Blake Snell was dealing. However, after an Austin Barnes single, Rays manager Kevin Cash pulled Snell in favor of relief pitcher Tim Anderson. A Mookie Betts double, followed by a Corey Seager fielder’s choice, gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead and would never look back.
Their biggest offseason acquisition scored the run that put them over the top and cemented their names in the baseball history books as World Series Champions. Betts would also give LA some insurance with a blast in the bottom of the 8th, sealing the Rays fate.
The previous two World Series appearances for the Dodgers didn’t pan out as they had hoped. Going the distance against the Astros in 2017, and then getting dominated by the Red Sox in 2018, the Dodgers were earning the reputation of being the best team in Modern Baseball history to never win a World Series. However, after some offseason scandals hit the front page of every sports section, those losses seemed less destined and more stolen.
And with 2020 putting our normal reality on its ear, the Dodgers put the pedal to the metal and pushed their way to a Fall Classic Banner.
The Los Angeles Dodgers made waves in the offseason, trading for the 2018 AL MVP in Betts, pushing their chips in on a 2020 World Series run. In 2020, the Dodgers paid more for the services of Betts and Clayton Kershaw, than the Rays organization paid their roster. This team is built on big-time players.
They have been the team to beat from the jump, and they proved themselves worthy of the title. However, this postseason wasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows.
The Atlanta Braves gave the Dodgers a lot to chew on in the NLCS. The Braves took a 3-1 lead in the series and seemed to have stopped the Dodgers from fulfilling their World Series destiny. But that’s the funny thing about destinies. They rarely care about what’s in their way.
But Dave Roberts‘ Dodgers fought back, taking the series in a decisive Game 7, as they found their swagger from earlier in the season.
Facing an even more potent Rays team, the Dodgers final hurdle seemed to test them in ways they hadn’t been tested before. At times, it seemed like the Dodgers were playing against themselves, against a familiar enemy.
This Dodger team felt like the hero at the end of their quest this entire World Series. After struggling, failing, and then learning and battling, all in the name of reaching their goal. This team feels familiar to the World Series squads from 2017 and 2018, and the postseason squad from 2019.
The difference between those teams and this one in 2020? The current squad has the jewelry to prove they climbed to the top of the mountain.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are World Series Champions for the first time in 32 years.
Go nuts, LA. You’ve earned it.
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