Thanks to their home schedule, the team got the chance to collectively wear No. 42 and gather at the icon’s statue pregame, prepared to send a message.
After spinning through another turbulent week in this incomplete country, the Dodgers’ trio agreed to donate their game checks for Thursday’s contest to the Players Alliance, the organization of African-American baseball players that advocates for more representation in the game at all levels.
Roberts, Price and Betts announced their gesture prior to Thursday’s game, then took to the field in an attempt to vault the defending champion Dodgers to an unprecedented 11-2 start against the Colorado Rockies.
While Roberts and Betts stayed in the dugout, Price took the lonesome and unfamiliar jog out to the bullpen, where he would not be for all nine innings.
David Price got the save for the Dodgers after donating his game check on Jackie Robinson Day.
Like he’s seen so many times before, Roberts pushed the buttons and watched his Dodgers rally twice behind Justin Turner and Max Muncy’s power shows. Betts, still nursing a back issue, only appeared in this contest as a late defensive replacement/double-switch participant in right field.
Price, who’s sacrificed more than any other Dodger in maintaining this season’s momentum, entered in the ninth to nail down a 7-5 victory, eight innings later than he’s used to toeing the rubber. Relief experience? Sure, Price has it, if you consider his rookie postseason in 2008 sufficient. Even during the Red Sox 2018 playoff run, it was Chris Sale who went to the ‘pen to pick up for Price in Game 5, not the other way around.
This season, though, Price willingly patted Dustin May on the back and retreated to a relief role to both build up arm strength and help the team in the interim.
On a very special Thursday in which Price wrote a substantial check, he cashed it with his performance, allowing back-to-back singles to start off the ninth before retiring three straight to polish off the victory.
The fates certainly aligned for Price here, a dedicated winning ballplayer who uses his downtime to make sure the game serves future generations just as well.
Chalk all of Thursday’s activity up in the win column for the right side of history.