One of the most memorable moments of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ championship 2020 season came during a highly anticipated matchup against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
It was the first meeting between the teams since the Astros were found guilty of electronically stealing signs en route to defeating the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series, and tensions understandably were high.
Fireworks sparked in the series opener when Joe Kelly sailed a fastball over Alex Bregman’s head. The right-hander then backed up both Yuli Gurriel and Carlos Correa with breaking balls before striking out the latter to end the inning.
The two exchanged glares, and while walking off the mound, Kelly made a pouty face toward the Astros dugout. The facial expression went viral and has since been turned into a meme.
ESPN recently named Kelly’s pouty face the best sports meme of 2020, beating out the likes of Tom Brady, Tyler Herro and Michael Jordan:
2020 has brought us countless memes, but only one can be the best of the year.
— ESPN (@espn) December 21, 2020
Kelly was one of the more outspoken Dodgers players about the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, criticizing members of the organization and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred for not dishing out a harsher punishment.
Kelly was not part of the 2017 Dodgers team that lost to the Astros in the World Series, but he was a member of the Red Sox that year, who were defeated by Houston in the American League Division Series.
While nothing more came of the incident between Kelly and Correa, the league handed Kelly an eight-game ban. It was ultimately reduced to five games after an appeal, which he finished serving in September.
Kelly visits pouty face mural at Floyd’s in L.A.
Kelly’s pouty face instantly became a hit with Dodgers fans, prompting artist Jonas Never to capture the expression in a mural on the side of Floyd’s Barbershop in Silverlake.
Kelly, alongside his wife and children, posed for a photo next to the mural in September.
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