LOS ANGELES-After failing to make the playoffs season last year, the Dodgers are doing everything in their power to gain trust back from their die-hard, bleed-blue fans. With offseason pickups of pitchers Zack Greinke and South Korean left-hander Hyun-jin-Ryu, it looks like they are on the right path. On Saturday afternoon more than 20,000 fans attended the team’s FanFest to show their beloved support for the boys in blue.
Despite the rain, fans mingled around, woofing down Dodger Dogs, standing in line to purchase tickets for the upcoming season, and shopped for Dodger souvenirs with a 20 percent discount. It was a bright day for LA fans.
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly hit the stage to rally fans. Matt Kemp also got on stage to energize the crowd, yelling in the microphone and getting them amped up. It’s always a good sight to see the players interacting with the fans and showing appreciation. According to MLB.com, Dodgers left fielder Andre Ethier was perplexed when he entered the stadium- and saw a bulk of fans waiting in line for the festivities to begin.
“When it comes to the expectations of this team, all you have to do is look around,” Ethier said. “When I turned and saw the line to get in going all the way to the gate, I thought that was where the FanFest was. I couldn’t even believe it.”
There were multiple Dodger players on deck to help the fans celebrate the upcoming season. Nick Punto, Mark Ellis, Luis Cruz, A.J. Ellis, and Kenley Jansen were some of the players on hand for the all-day affair. As part of the festivities, players signed autographs of fans. Seeking players’ autographs came at the expense of some fans’ willingness to stand in line for a period of time before they got the signature from the player(s) they wanted. Some fans reportedly began lining up for autographs as early as four in the morning.
In case some people were wondering if the Dodgers’ fan base might be slipping, think again. The Dodgers still have a strong group of very loyal fans.
All of the FanFest action took place in the parking lot and no one was able to enter the stadium. Another big surprise for dodger fans will be a newly renovated stadium. Construction workers didn’t let the ruckus interfere with their work. They were all over the place working hard to upgrade Chavez Ravine.
Dodger fans will have a lot to be jovial about when the season starts. The only thing they’ll need to complete in 2013 is a postseason run and posting some victories against their rivals-the San Francisco Giants, Get ready Dodger fans -I’m predicting this season to be one of the best seasons ever.
Tamara is a graduate of Cal State Los Angeles where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. Tamara is passionate about covering sports. She has covered the NBA and Major League Baseball routinely for the past several years. A Southern California native, Tamara developed her skills as a sports journalist while working for various Los Angeles-based news publications.