Hey all, It’s Ash. (tongue in cheek)
With the Dodgers being as dominant as they are right now, starting their cruise into what pretty much looks to be their 7th consecutive NL West title, it’s been on my mind just how excited I am for this upcoming Postseason. And how much it reminds me of how I felt during the 2017 season. Although this years’ team is definitely better all around. But with that reminder, it’s bringing to mind one memory I truly can’t ever forget and sometimes still wonder if it really happened. I’ve told this story to some, but in the spirit of me hopefully attending my 3rd consecutive World Series, let me tell you how I got to the first one.
It all started with a tweet.
October 17, 2017. We were up 3 games to none vs the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS. One win away! I couldn’t believe it, this was something I’d never seen before in my years as a fan. We’d gotten to the CS before but never had the odds stacked in our favor like this! It felt inevitable. We just needed one more win. So I went to Twitter, like I did for the season, though I wasn’t a huge part of Dodgers Twitter yet. But I sent the tweet, “One win away from something I’ve been waiting 29 years to see! Hell, 30.5 years since I don’t remember the ’88 win (I was 1)…MY BOYS IN THE WORLD SERIES! 1 more win & the pennant in ours! # ThisTeam” It’s been my pinned tweet on my account since then.
Didn’t think anything of it. Send tweet. Moved on with my night. Two games later, my dream came true and I celebrated a 3-homerun night for Kiké Hernandez and a NL pennant winning Dodgers team at my favorite sports bar, calling my dad with a huge smile on my face as he told me how happy he was for me that I got to experience this.
The World Series seemed like a mountain I could never climb up to and experience in person. I’d barely attended my first playoff game a few weeks prior, Game 1 of the NLDS. Even that was a milestone of epic proportions. Tickets for this upcoming series were climbing higher and higher away from anything I could afford and trying to win tickets off the radio seemed impossible. I would just have to settle for watching on TV.
When I woke up on the morning of Game 1, I nearly thought I was still dreaming when I saw I’d received a reply to the tweet from nearly a week prior that I thought nothing would come out of. Yes, sitting there in my comments was a tweet from the official Budweiser twitter account, telling me they wanted to send me to the World Series that night.
I’d missed the tweet by 45 minutes but I scrambled my fingers to DM them back to tell them that I of course wanted to go! Was this real life?? Was I being Punk’d? The blue checkmark assured me the account was real. Oh my God. This was happening! They needed my email to send the tickets and confirmation to use my tweet on their channels. That’s fine, that’s fine. Uh oh, but I was informed they’d just given away the tickets for Game 1 (I was too late) but they wanted to give me Game 2 tickets if that was still okay. YES JUST GIVE ME THE TICKETS!
A lot of things went through my head that morning while I was on a definite high from the excitement. 1) I never won anything. Especially of this magnitude. 2) There was no official contest from Budweiser. Nothing on their Twitter or Facebook saying they would be sending people to the Series. 3) I didn’t even follow them! How did they find my tweet specifically? I didn’t tag them or anything. How?! Were the Baseball Gods just looking down on me? Another “explanation” floated through my head. I’m not especially religious. I don’t remember the last time I went to church or even properly prayed. But I knew that this was bigger than luck. Than chance. Childhood memories of my Grandpa Ben’s house came to mind. He was a big Bud drinker and fan, as well as one of the biggest Dodger fans I knew, was the only thing I could fathom. My Grandpa died of cancer when I was 13. But I thought of him a ton throughout the Postseason because I’d wished he could see his team make a legit run to the Fall Classic one more time. So it made me comforted to believe that he was the one that made this happen for me. He wanted me to go experience this. Because he knew it would make me so happy and that’s all Gramps wanted for me when he was alive. I was his first granddaughter. Believe it or don’t, but it’s what I needed to believe because otherwise none of it made sense as to why me.
All day I was in agony playing the waiting game. I probably refreshed my email about 100 times before noon. I was talking about it on Twitter and I posted the DM screenshots on snapchat, but otherwise I wasn’t talking about it with my family. Not til I had the tickets. I remember my back had been killing me the day before so I went to my chiropractor, who was a huge Dodger fan as well. We talked baseball every appointment. So I told him and he couldn’t believe it. He thought it wasn’t real so I fibbed and said I got the tickets. Game 1 started that night and I’d wished so much I had been there for that masterpiece. We just needed 3 more wins!
I woke up the morning of Game 2 and still no email. What. The. Heck. Budweiser?! The vision I had in my head was starting to fade but I desperately tried to hold onto it for as long as I could. When I told my stepdad what I’d won, he didn’t believe me. There was no contest, why would they just give away tickets randomly? His doubt was like a black cloud hanging over my head. No, I would not give up hope! So there was just the last decision of who I would take. I thought of my dad, but he was hundreds of miles away in Bullhead City, AZ. So it would be my brother, who that whole season was my Dodger game buddy and also went with me to the Division Series game weeks prior. I called him, and casually asked if he wanted to go to the game. “Wait…to the game tonight?!” he confirmed. “Yes, I won tickets, get here asap! I wanna leave by 1pm.” Mind you, I still had no email. I’d been bugging the DM of Budweiser all morning, whatever intern in charge that day probably wishing he had another job, and they kept assuring me they were going to send them soon. I called out of work of course. I had a lot riding on this. Back of my mind still wondering if this was some sort of cosmic prank.
Finally, after my brother arrived at the house, did I receive the email I’d been so desperate for since the previous day. It was real, it was happening. I was going to the WORLD SERIES. After a minor issue with opening the tickets, we were on our way to the stadium. Parked at Union Station, took the Express, and boom. There we were. Another game I never expected to be at. We entered at the RF Field Level entrance because the good people at Budweiser graced us with two tickets in section FD12, second to last row. Never in my life did I have seats this close. Never. And I got them handed to me. How was this real life?
We took photos, we basked in all the World Series glory. The completely packed stadium. I was too awestruck to even get up to get food or a beer. Got to see Vin Scully during the pregame. What a magical night. Absolutely magical. I won’t go into detail about the game. You all know what happened, how it ended. I can tell you that until that point, I’d never been that emotional at a baseball game. The excitement when Seager hit his home run. The agony when Jansen gave up the runs so close to the end. The extra inning back & forth. We lost the game, but I had such an electrified charge running through me that I knew wouldn’t go away for hours. I’d only wished I had taken more photos, more video. The star power of the night made me forget to cherish it.
It was a game I’ll never forget, an experience I’ll carry with me no matter how many other WS games I’ll attend or championships I’ll see won. People kept telling me how happy they were for me that night, how I deserved it. If they only knew just how much that night meant to me, if they only knew…