The Los Angeles Dodgers finally captured that elusive World Series Championship, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in six games to bring home the trophy for the first time since 1988.
The foreshadowing for this Dodgers championship was present as earlier in the month, when the L.A. Lakers won the NBA title. The Lakers also won it all in 1988, so the city of L.A. has had multiple reasons to celebrate each of the last two times the Dodgers won the World Series.
That 1988 Dodgers season was special, of course, as they weren’t even favorites to make it to the World Series but were able to upset both the New York Mets and Oakland Athletics to win it all.
Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run in Game 1 of the World Series was one of the all-time great moments not only in Dodgers history, but in all of baseball.
The Lakers, on the other hand, were coming off a championship in 1987 and had the best record in the league in 1988 en route to defeating the Detroit Pistons in seven games in the NBA Finals to clinch another championship. James Worthy was the MVP of that series, which also featured Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson.
While an underdog story like the 1988 Dodgers is always great, the 2020 versions of both the Dodgers and Lakers were a lot more similar to the 1988 Lakers.
Both the Dodgers and Lakers had the best records in their respective conference/league this year before winning it all. The Lakers essentially cruised to their championship, never being taken beyond six games in the postseason.
The Dodgers did face some adversity against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series and Rays in the World Series, but they were able to overcome it to capture the trophy that has eluded them in recent years despite winning eight consecutive division titles.
Pandemic makes championships unique
Something else that was unique about both the Dodgers and Lakers’ championships this year is that they came during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Both seasons were postponed for a significant period of time, but the Dodgers and Lakers players remained focused on the task at hand and ultimately came away victorious.
Both will now head into 2021 as favorites to repeat as championships, so L.A. could have even more to celebrate in the coming future.
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