In an era where player celebrations and overt demonstrations of personality and flare are more encouraged, Justin Turner largely continues to go about his business in a professional manner as one of the anchors in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup.
Sure, Turner will celebrate a home run swing by holding his follow through for an extra beat or two. And it may include a small bat flip or toss at the end.
Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress witnessed as much after allowing a home run to Turner in Game 2 of the 2018 National League Championship Series. The signature swing was then used for the model of a bobblehead giveaway.
But this past week, Turner took a moment to recognize a special presence in the stands. He and his wife Kourtney hosted Luke Lang and his family as the Dodgers wrapped up the Freeway Series at Dodger Stadium.
After hitting a home run to cut the Dodgers’ deficit in half, Turner pointed to the loge section as he crossed home plate and jogged back to the dugout. “It was pretty cool,” Lang told DodgerBlue.com of the acknowledgement.
A prior show of appreciation recently had Kourtney feeling adored.
I’ve waited 8 seasons for @redturn2 to point at me after a homerun… *swoon*
— Kourtney Turner (@court_with_a_K) May 9, 2019
Now 12 years old, Lang was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March 2013. On the first day he was medically cleared to leave home, Lang attended a New York Mets game at Citi Field that September.
It was during that visit Lang met Turner, marking the start of an everlasting friendship. Lang was the recipient of the Justin Turner Foundation Perseverance Award during the foundation’s annual golf classic in 2017.
The Langs have made multiple visits to Los Angeles since Turner signed with the Dodgers. “It’s fun. It’s different,” Lang said of attending games at Dodger Stadium. “And a good experience.”
He’s met multiple players and along with Turner, taking a liking to Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernandez as well.
Though the Langs’ trips to Southern California often entail watching the Dodgers, they have also enjoyed time with the Turners out of the spotlight. “We go out to Dave and Buster’s,” Lang said.