The Los Angeles Dodgers are back in the World Series and their many fans on the Central Coast couldn’t be happier.
“Our team is solid,” said Mary Bigelow of Orcutt. “I think this is our year, stay strong, make it happen. come on boys, bring it home.”
With Game 1 of the World Series in Boston just hours away, Bigelow was like many other fans checking out official merchandise at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Santa Maria.
All day long, customers came in to snap up everything from shirts to hats to pennants to other playoff collectibles.
“Last year my wife and I didn’t get any of this stuff, but this year was different,” said Mike Metro, while visiting the area from Santa Clarita. “(The NLCS) was so exciting. It went to Game 7 and they won. It was a great game and here we are doing something we don’t usually do and that’s buying Dodger gear.”
It’s been 30 years since the Dodgers last won the World Series. Three decades ago, Los Angeles beat the Oakland A’s in the memorable 1988 World Series that featured Kirk Gibson’s iconic game-winning home run in Game 1.
For many local Dodgers fans like 18-year-old Humberto Nunez of Santa Maria, the Dodgers last title came long before he was even born.
“That’s the big prize,” said Nunez. “It’s like winning the Super Bowl. Every kid’s dream is to see their team win.”
To win the championship this year, the Dodgers will need to get by the favored Boston Red Sox.
Like the Dodgers last season, the Red Sox enter the Fall Classic having put together the best record in Major League Baseball during the regular season.
Many fans are highly anticipating a great series between two of baseball’s most storied franchises.
In fact, it’s been 102 years since they last met in the World Series, long before the Dodgers relocated to Los Angeles from Brooklyn.
“This is going to be a classic,” said Bill Orr of Orcutt, who was once season ticket holder many years old. “I think it really, two old teams, good rivalry. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Dodgers supporters say the team’s success and drive towards a possible championship is something that is a rallying point for many people in the surrounding area.
“I feel like it builds a sense of community,” said Bigelow “You see other people wearing the Dodger gear and you know that you’ve found someone who feels the same way that you do and it just brings the community together and I think sports do that.”
The Dodgers came us just short last season, falling to Houston in Game 7 at home.
Fans are optimistic they’ll get the job done this time and finally bring home a long-awaited World Series title for their long-suffering fans to enjoy.
“It would mean everything,” said Bigelow. “I think all Californians should feel the same way. I know there are Giants fans somewhere, but for us down here in Southern California, it would mean a lot. It’s time.”
“This is neat,” said Metro. “Not just they made the World Series this time. It’s a follow-up to last year and we’re hoping that we’re going to have a better outcome this year than last.”
The World Series can be watched on KKFX FOX 11.
A special FOX 11 newscast will follow each game throughout the series.
Mike Klan, Dave Alley and Joe Buttitta will provide live coverage from Games 3, 4 and 5 in Los Angeles immediately after each broadcast.