Kenley Jansen’s Wedding Proved Crucial For Justin Turner, Dodgers
Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

When Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner were seated for their joint interview following Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, they each donned a t-shirt of a teammate. It was the perfect embodiment of the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers.

Jansen wore a ‘#VoteJT’ shirt that were en vogue during the Dodgers’ campaign for their third baseman to earn a selection to the All-Star Game. Turner, moments removed from hitting a dramatic walk-off home run, was dressed in a blue shirt with the No. 66 on it.

With the Dodgers again two wins from reaching their first World Series since 1988, Jansen and Turner once more reflected on the offseason moment — Jansen’s wedding — that was pivotal to their re-signing.

“This team’s incredible. All season long it hasn’t been about one guy,” Turner said. “It’s a group of guys all showing up to the field and figuring out a way to win a ballgame one night at a time. We’ve been pretty good at that so far.”

Jansen and Turner were leaders on the 2016 team that pushed the Chicago Cubs to six games in the NLCS. Their roles and importance in the clubhouse grew this season, particularly with Jansen becoming more comfortable in leading the group of relievers.

“It started that night at my wedding. My wedding night, the day that me and J.T. were getting a haircut, we were talking about it,” Jansen explained. “From there we just made a decision. And we know what we’ve got here, and we know the group of guys that we have here.

“The fact that we see how close we got, and we know it’s unfinished business, and we have that goal. We’ve been talking about it since January. When we got to Spring Training we had that mindset.”

While Turner and several Dodgers descended upon Curacao for Jansen’s nuptials, baseball or free agency was not at the forefront of their minds. “It was just getting there, he was showing us around where he’s from. He took us out on his boat, and it was really relaxing and a good time,” Turner said.

“Baseball didn’t come up until that day in his room when we were getting our hair cut, for whatever reason. It wasn’t a sales pitch, because at the time I still didn’t know what I was doing. I was not sure yet. We just talked about what it meant to be a Dodger and how good all the people are in this organization, how good they’ve treated us.”

Turner reached an agreement with the Dodgers the night of Jansen’s wedding. He informed the closer on the dance floor, and let it simmer. Turner departed for Aruba the following morning, and later learned Jansen was also set to return.

“I was sitting on the beach when it came up on Twitter,” Turner said. “So I found out just like you guys. That was a good mai tai on the beach.”

A week prior, Rich Hill had agreed to re-sign with the Dodgers. The trio has since been instrumental in leading the team in their pursuit of a World Series.