Yankees’ Aaron Judge & Aaron Boone Embraced Magnitude Of Series Against ‘Best Team In The National League’ Dodgers
Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees celebrate after a win against the Los Angeles Dodgers
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

When the Los Angeles Dodgers announced their 2019 MLB regular-season schedule, most eyes went to the Interleague matchup with the New York Yankees. While the three games in August would not match the World Series history between the storied franchises, there was palpable excitement.

That increased as the 2019 season got underway and both the Dodgers and Yankees separated themselves as arguably the top two teams in baseball. The Players Weekend matchup was billed by most as a potential — if not likely — World Series preview.

Though, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Walker Buehler were among those who downplayed any significance. Kenley Jansen, who worked out of a bases-loaded jam to get the Dodgers their only win during the series, had a different viewpoint of facing the American League-leading Yankees.

After his club won two of three at Dodger Stadium, Yankees manager Aaron Boone also admitted there was added intrigue with the games, per Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:

“Guys were excited to come and play here against a great team in a great venue,” Boone said. “I thought the guys really performed and delivered all weekend.” …

“We all, if we’re being honest, looked forward to this series,” Boone said. “We knew all the eyeballs [would be on us]. … Even though it’s regular season, it felt big.”

Aaron Judge, who hit a home run in each of the three games, echoed the sentiment and added he and the Yankees reveled in the atmosphere and spotlight:

“That was a fun series,” Yankees slugger Aaron Judge said. “You could tell from the crowd. The fans were loving it, we were loving it. A lot of emotion.” …

“That’s the best team in the National League,” he said. “This was a big matchup for us.”

Prior to this past weekend, the Dodgers and Yankees last met in September 2016. The Dodgers took two of three at Yankee Stadium, with one of the games marking Clayton Kershaw’s second start since returning from a herniated disc injury that sidelined him for 10 weeks.

While Boone and Roberts had expressed differing perspectives on the series, where they completely aligned was on disappointment it took place during Players Weekend. The Dodgers reportedly petitioned MLB for both teams to wear their traditional uniforms for one of the games, though to no avail.

Now it’s up to the Dodgers and Yankees to meet for a 12th time in the World Series, when their iconic jerseys would be on full display in what assuredly would be one of the most-anticipated matchups in recent memory.