Dodgers’ Kobe Bryant tribute on anniversary of tragedy was amazing
The Dodgers’ Kobe Bryant tribute, on the first anniversary of his tragic passing, will take your breath away.
Of all the exceptionally depressing realities that were brought forth by completing a season without fans in 2020 — a championship season, no less — perhaps the most galling one was our inability to mourn together.
One year ago, the city of Los Angeles lost among the most impactful figures of the past two decades when Kobe Bryant, along with his daughter Gianna and seven other victims, perished in a helicopter accident. It was a moment none of us had foreseen, and Angelinos — as is their wont — came together to comfort one another.
But when it came time for the Dodgers to pay proper respects to the Bryant family and the other losses, they were woefully unable to. The team never donned No. 24 en masse in front of an adoring crowd. Mookie Betts never gave a speech to a packed Dodger Stadium, absorbing the responsibility of carrying the torch to the next generation of Southern Californian success. When play resumed, it was six months later, and there was not a soul in the house to see it.
Hopefully in 2021, we can begin to make strides toward restoring this great absence, and house a series of cathartic celebrations and tributes at Dodger Stadium, paying penance to the number of legends we’ve lost on the road to capturing another trophy. The Dodgers organization took the first step on Tuesday, the anniversary of the tragic accident, with one stamped-in gesture on the mound.
24, it’s your pitch. Tommy’ll pat you on the back, then it’s go time.
When the gates open back up, we can guarantee proper, full-throated tributes to Bryant, Tommy Lasorda, and Sandi Scully will soon follow.
Though Dodgers fans were not allowed to gather in the public square to watch their team prior to the bubbled NLDS in Texas, there were quite a few moments throughout the run where it seemed like Bryant’s spectral presence was hanging over the team.
Both Cody Bellinger and Kiké Hernández drilled their game-tying and (ultimately) game-winning homers in Game 7 of the NLCS on the eighth pitches they faced; both men were also photographed wearing Bryant replica No. 8 jerseys throughout the summer.
Cue the footage of Bryant, clad in his No. 8 Dodgers gear, watching Yasiel Puig homer off Eduardo Rodriguez during the 2018 World Series, and you have a pretty good approximation of what that moment might’ve looked like upstairs.
Hope we can see you all at the ballpark soon, Dodgers fans. This reminder of Kobe Bryant’s legacy will likely be awaiting you.