For nearly three decades now the date Oct. 15, 1988, has been etched in Los Angeles Dodgers franchise lore. Some 29 years later, Justin Turner provided another reason to remember the date.
Turner’s three-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead over the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series. Beyond giving his team a stranglehold in the series, the home run carries extra meaning for Turner.
“One of my earliest baseball memories was being at my grandma’s house and watching that game and watching Gibby hit that homer,” Turner said postgame.
“I can’t even put it into words right now. It’s incredible. The most important thing was, obviously, helping us get another win. But that’s something down the road, hopefully many, many years from now I’ll get to tell stories about.”
Now being tied to the Oct. 15 date is particularly special for Turner, who was born and raised in Southern California. His ties to the area have served as further motivation to help end the Dodgers’ World Series drought.
“Every day we get to step out on the field and play this game that we all love and we’ve all put our entire lives into,” Turner said.
“It’s something that I don’t think any of us take for granted. You go out there and you prepare and you work as hard as you can, and you leave it all out there. At the end of the day, you hope you get a good result for it.”
The Dodgers are two wins from the World Series for a second time in as many years, but the feeling is much different in 2017. Led by Turner’s hot bat, Los Angeles seemingly holds plenty of momentum as the NLCS shifts to Wrigley Field for Games 3 and 4, and if necessary, a Game 5.