One of the biggest trades in Los Angeles Dodgers history was a waiver deal on Aug. 25, 2012, when the team acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from the Boston Red Sox.
The Dodgers had some solid players at the time, but that trade turned them into a perennial National League West favorite as they have gone on to win eight straight division championships beginning the following season in 2013.
Gonzalez was the headliner of the deal, becoming one of the Dodgers’ best hitters and faces of the franchise until he departed at the end of the 2017 season.
In a recent interview on the “Roggin and Rodney Show” on AM 570 L.A. Sports, Gonzalez described his first feeling when he found out about the trade, as well as the first day which included a cross-country flight and him hitting a three-run home run in his first at-bat with the Dodgers that same night:
“Definitely an incredible day for all of us. I’ve expressed how much I enjoyed being with the Red Sox, but being able to come home to Southern California, to play in front of a Mexican-American and L.A.-based crowd that I loved playing in front of when I was a Padre. The process, I had gotten word the night before that this trade could happen. There was no guarantee but they said the details were being ironed out. So kind of prepared a little bit for it and the morning of, got the final call saying it had gone through. So it was just going to the ballpark, gathering all the baseball equipment and making our way to the airport.
“Had to jump on the plane with the teammates who were also heading to L.A. We took a picture and uploaded that to Twitter — I don’t think Instagram was around yet. We made our way to L.A., landed and took us about an hour from Burbank airport to get to Dodger Stadium. It was right around the time when all the fans were going into Dodger Stadium, so there was a good amount of traffic.
“I think we got into the stadium right around 4:30, and the game was at 6. Said hi to Magic and the ownership group, made our way to the clubhouse, say hi to anybody we could along the way, got our uniforms and all our equipment. Made my way to the batting cage and I stretched at the same time. I was kind of trying to get loose. And before you knew it, it was 5:55. I made my way to the dugout, said hi to a few other folks and then we took the field. It was really, really hectic. It was crazy. We were doing multiple things at once, so by the time we came back to the dugout to hit, everything was surreal. It was more of an out-of-body experience than anything. To be able to hit a home run in the first at-bat was another one of those moments that was surreal and all adrenaline.”
Gonzalez was beloved during his time with the Dodgers, and that remains to this day even though he is retired.
The additions of him and other veterans like Crawford, Beckett, Punto and Justin Turner in 2014 were a big reason for the culture change in the Dodgers’ clubhouse that remains in place to this day, and also a big reason why the organization has had so much success over the last decade.
Gonzalez: playing for Dodgers is special
After his time with the Dodgers came to an end, Gonzalez raved about the experience and noted being part of the organization is different than any other.
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