As the Los Angeles Dodgers have added to a rich franchise history during their current seven-year reign over the National League West, a World Series continues to evade them.
It wasn’t until 2017 that the Dodgers reached the Fall Classic, ending a 29-year drought. Yet all it marked the start of were consecutive losses in the World Series.
L.A. once again is considered a heavy favorite to return, and this weekend’s series with the New York Yankees offers a potential World Series preview.
Furthermore, the three games at Dodger Stadium also represent a bit of a homecoming for Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who starred at USC. Boone didn’t attend many Dodgers games, as his father was a fan of the Angels.
However, he went to Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, getting there in a creative manner, per Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News:
“I was 15 years old, let’s say I was a sophomore in high school,” Boone said with a laugh. “My brother is a sophomore at USC. We rode to the game from USC weaving in and out of traffic on my brother’s scooter that he used to go around campus.
“One of the cars we weaved in and out of on the way there was Mike Gillespie, the baseball coach at USC,” Boone said. “He was like ‘What are you doing?!?’ We wanted to see the game.”
Game 1 of the ’88 World Series is of course remembered for Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run. The moment lives in Dodgers franchise lore and the highlight is played on loop seemingly each October.
Though Boone was at Dodger Stadium, he reluctantly admitted to leaving before Gibson’s heroics:
“We were in the highest, furthest seats you can be in in the upper right deck,” Boone said of him and his brother, former major leaguer Brett Boone. “And I was at home in Villa Park, California at a friends gathering when the home run was hit.”
“We’d seen enough,” Boone said with a laugh. “I used to tell people I was at the Kirk Gibson game. I just didn’t say I left. We were there for five or six innings and then I had somewhere to go.”
Boone of course wasn’t alone, as the highlight of Gibson’s home run includes the taillights of cars in the parking lot. With the Dodgers trailing and vaunted Oakland Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley on the mound, droves of fans began to head for the exits.
With the Dodgers and Yankees boasting the top two records in baseball, Boone may soon find himself in position to add another layer to his experience with the Dodgers and the World Series.