Even though we are already a couple of days into 2015, I have been reminiscing about the past year. Even though last season ended abruptly for the Dodgers when they were knocked out of the playoffs for the second year in a row by the St. Louis Cardinals, there is still a lot to look back on with fond thoughts. Let’s take a look at my top 10 Dodger moments of 2014.
You can also check out Oscar’s Top Ten Moments of 2014 here.
- Dodgers open the season down under. Saturday, March, 22, 2014. It seems like forever ago that the Dodgers were opening the 2014 season in Sydney, Australia. I enjoyed watching the game at the SportsNet LA studio until the wee hours of the morning, and I had the honor of watching Clayton Kershaw open the season while chatting with Orel Hershiser.
It was definitely one of my highlights of the season on a personal level, but the Dodgers also began the season with a 3-1 win over the Arizona D-backs at Sydney Cricket Ground. Scott Van Slyke crushed the first homerun in the MLB for the season off Wade Miley, and Clayton Kershaw notched his first victory of the season en route to his second Cy Young Award.
Sunday, May 25, 2014. Even though Dodger fans had two no-hitters to enjoy during 2014, Josh Beckett’s no-no against the Phillies in May was truly special. After coming back to pitch for the Dodgers after thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, Beckett pitched a very inspirational season for the Dodgers before succumbing to a later injury in the season after which he ended up hanging up his cleats and retiring.
Josh Beckett pitches no-hitter. Photoshop by Stacie Wheeler
128 pitches of pure determination. New Dodger, and then Phillie, Jimmy Rollins had this to say about Beckett’s performance:
"He was good,” Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins said about Beckett before leaving the clubhouse. “There’s no more to be said.”"
Rollins walked once against Beckett during the 6-0 no-hitter in Philly. I was watching every pitch with baited breathe as Beckett made history. It had been so long since we had seen a Dodger no-hitter, and Beckett’s beautiful game will forever be a favorite memory of mine.
- Yasiel Puig hits three triples. July, 25, 2014. The Wild Horse was a part of many of my favorite memories of 2014. His cannon arm and aggressive flair were always exciting to watch. I’m sure 2015 will bring many more Puig highlights, but one game in particular stood out to me as my favorite. During a 8-1 win over the rival Giants, Puig put on the afterburners and hit not one, but THREE triples! The Dodgers had a total of five triples during the game which set a new AT&T Park record. Puig became the first Dodger since Jimmy Sheckard in 1901 to hit three triples in one game. Three is my lucky number, and three triples can’t get any luckier.
- The bubble machine! Anything that Joe Torre doesn’t like is instantly a favorite of mine. The Dodgers bubble machine was cranking out gorgeous rainbow glistening bubbles after each Dodger homerun in 2014, and it brought a smile to Los Angeles. Innocent fun was almost banned by Torre and the MLB, but the bubble machine became a permanent fixture in the dugout during 2014. Hopefully there will be many more bubbles flowing in 2015 including World Series bubbles.
- Hyun-jin Ryu‘s hilarious ramen commercial. Once the season ended, Hyun-jin Ryu returned home to Korea and began his offseason in style. Ryu, a superstar in his home country, made a silly yet extraordinarily humorous ramen commercial which included cameos from some of his “teammates.” If I already didn’t love Hyun-jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig’s bromance during the season, then this bit of acting from the left-hander really cemented his place as one of my favorite current Dodgers.
- Dodgers beat the Giants 17-0. September 13, 2014. Let’s not talk about the travesty which happened in October, but let’s instead think back to a much happier moment when the Dodgers trounced the Giants 17-0 the month prior. Just look at the majesty…just look…
- Matt Kemp‘s eighth-inning tie breaking homerun in Game 2 of the NLDS. Saturday, October 4, 2014. It was my Top Dodger Homerun of 2014, and it was the last memory we’ll have of Matt Kemp in a Dodger uniform. Looking back now, it is very bittersweet. The final Bison Blast in Blue.
- The Dodgers clinch the N.L. West. Wednesday, September 24, 2014. Kershaw’s 21st win of the season gave the Dodgers their second consecutive National League West title. Champagne was flowing. Yasiel Puig was riding a bike around the clubhouse. Everything was perfect in that moment. A long journey deserved a celebration, and the Dodgers deserved the N.L. West crown. The 9-1 win was even sweeter, because it was against the Giants. Little did we know, that the Giants would end up going all the way to our dismay. Puig hit his 16th homerun and Kershaw even tripled. The night was perfect.
Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter.
Wednesday, June, 18, 2014. He’s simply amazing. Clayton Kershaw, the N.L. M.V.P., pitched a no-hitter which in my eyes was perfect. 15 strikeouts and 107 pitches. It was breathtaking. Kershaw’s 2014 Reign of Dominance crescendoed that night at Dodger Stadium. Ellen Kershaw’s reaction to her husband’s no-hitter was so endearing as well.
Clayton Kershaw has magical year. Photoshop by Stacie Wheeler
1. Vin Scully announces return for 2015! We love him, and we are so lucky he is returning to grace us with his beautiful voice in 2015.
Of course there were many other memorable moments in 2014. Andrew Friedman was hired, the Dodgers said goodbye to Derek Jeter, Dee Gordon stole 64 bases, A.J. Ellis continued to lend some comedic reprieve, Juan Uribe was manager, etc.
Let me know what was your favorite Dodger moment of 2014?