Well, it’s about time for the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series. The 86 years that separated the team’s first and last championships have finally come to an end. It would be fitting for this remarkable organization to cap their run with a championship in October. But there are a few things that should still worry fans of the silver and blue.
- They are among the oldest franchises in all of sports, and have the highest payroll in baseball. This inevitably leads to higher than expected ticket prices and fan discontent.
- Even when they were good, the Dodgers were never considered championship favorites. It always seemed like their time was just around the corner. Even in their glory days, nothing about their vibe suggested that they’d go on a championship run.
- There’s a reason why the team’s nickname is the “Dodgers.” It’s not because they’re from Los Angeles. The team originated back in Brooklyn in 1883. But they kept the “Dodgers” name when they moved to LA in 1913. It’s an abbreviation for their official name: The Brooklyn Dodgers. This is pretty indicative of the kind of organization they were. Never considered contenders, but always good enough to make the playoffs.
- Even though they didn’t win the World Series, the Dodgers managed to stay relevant throughout the entire 20th century – at least in the eyes of baseball fans. It seems like every year, the team was set to shock the baseball world and prove that it’s still possible for an expansion team to win the World Series. But they never quite managed to do that.
- When the team moved to LA, they kept their famous black cat as the team’s logo. The feline became known as ‘Mr. Miggins’ during the team’s early years in LA. As the story goes, a sportswriter mocked a player named Jack McGee for being “too cheap to buy a real live cat.” So, the cheap jack bought a caged tomcat and led the mascot’s name change from Jack McGee to ‘Mr. Miggins.’
- During the early years of their rivalry with the New York Yankees, the Dodgers were infamous for their ‘Bombers’ nickname. This is mostly due to the fact that many of their early players were veterans of WWI. So, when a group of high school kids from Brooklyn wanted to start a band, they decided to name themselves after this well-known nickname. The name stuck, and eventually became the unofficial name of the entire organization.
- Speaking of nicknames, when the team relocated to Los Angeles, they kept the ‘Dodgers’ moniker. But they also decided to give their uniforms an updated look, trading their black and white colors for royal blue and white. This new uniform marked the beginning of their ‘Royal Blitzkrieg’ look. It wasn’t long before people started referring to the team by its new nickname: The Royal Dodgers.
- The Royal Dodgers were among the first teams to switch to polyester. Back in the day, fabrics like polyester and acrylic were rare and expensive. They became popular because it was easier to maintain their color once the fabric was dry-cleaned. The jerseys also had a much higher profit margin than conventional materials. This is probably why the Dodgers used this type of uniform for the majority of their existence. We should also point out that the Royal Dodgers were one of the first teams to switch to sleeveless jerseys. Back in the day, players often wore long sleeves jerseys to protect themselves from sun and heat. However, the design of the uniform was such that the sleeves were no longer necessary. This was most likely done to make the players appear larger than they actually were.
- Speaking of appearances, Joe Hill, who was responsible for much of the design of the uniform, worked in tandem with a tailor to create what is now considered to be the perfect baseball uniform. It’s no wonder that Hill’s design was later used by several major league baseball teams. After World War II, the demand for custom tailored clothing soared. And it wasn’t just baseball that benefited from this new found interest in fashion. Football teams, hockey teams, and even basketball squads adopted the look as well, making it even more popular than when it first appeared. This is probably why the Dodgers decided to change their colors back to their traditional black and white look. They didn’t want to be associated with anything ‘fashionable’
- Prior to 1947, the players went by their last names in the standings. So, if you were going to score a goal in a men’s soccer game, you would have said “He scored! Gomez!” not “Gomez scored!” This changed in ‘47, when the team decided to forego their last names and go by their first names only. It was either that or revert back to monasticism, which is what the other teams threatened to do if the Dodgers refused to comply. Luckily for the fans of the silver and blue, their leaders decided to keep their last names and avoid any sort of religious strife. Well, mostly.
- The Dodgers were one of the first major league sports teams to institute a salary cap. When the players went on strike in 1994, the owners decided to give into the demands of the labor unrest. They then capped the players’ salaries at four times the league average. This was a move that helped ensure that the sport would never be the same. It wasn’t long before other sports followed suit and instituted their own salary caps. This was indeed a seminal moment in the history of professional sports.
- Although the Dodgers have only won four World Series titles in their 86 year history (and counting…), they have been to the playoffs an incredible 69 times. It’s safe to say that the fans always have good reason to celebrate whenever their team makes the playoffs. But the postseason doesn’t bring with it the same exhilaration as a World Series victory. Maybe it’s because the latter brings with it an expectation that the team will perform at a higher level. Or perhaps it’s because the World Series is a generational event, one that connects the fortunes of the teams to the struggles and triumphs of their players. Whatever the reason may be, the atmosphere surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers is almost never the same once the playoffs begin.
But enough about the past. It’s time for the good news. The Dodgers finally won the World Series.
The odds of them winning the World Series? Pretty good, actually. In fact, the Dodgers are one of just four teams – the New York Yankees, Toronto Raptors, and Leicester City – to have ever won the coveted title. And it’s not even close. Based on current markets, Vegas odds makers have the Dodgers as the overwhelming favorite to win the World Series. It would be fitting for them to bring the trophy back to Los Angeles, as the city has a rich history of supporting champions. The fans there are more than familiar with the joy that comes with victory, as the city has been experiencing an economic boom ever since the Dodgers won the World Series in 2018. This is a very positive development for the city and the entire region. It’s also great for the team itself, as they’ve been waiting 86 years for this moment. Finally, they’ve won the World Series, and the payoff for all that effort has been well worth it.
There are, however, a few things that could still go wrong. Even though the Dodgers are the favorite, they aren’t guaranteed to win the World Series. As with any other ‘sports’ team, the key to winning is in the details. In the case of the Dodgers, the key is avoiding a few major pitfalls. Here’s a short list:
- They will have to navigate some pretty high-stakes negotiations with the New York Yankees, who hold the rights to Darvish. The Yankees will not be particularly interested in trading a pitcher of this caliber, so the Dodgers will have to be creative in order to make this happen. Plus, the Yankees would much rather keep Darvish and beat the Dodgers in potential free agency cases. So this could take some time.
- The Toronto Raptors are coming off an incredibly successful season, winning the NBA Championship. They will not want to see a repeat of this performance, so they will do everything in their power to prevent this from happening. The best scenario for the Dodgers is if the Raptors decide to keep all their stars, and allow the younger players to mature, which is often the case. This way, even though the 2019-20 season is a ‘standstill,’ the potential for a Championship remains. In this scenario, the Raptors will almost certainly block any attempt by the Dodgers to sign Darvish.
- The price for Bryce Harper will be much higher than expected. The Washington Nationals reportedly are asking for three full years and $50 million for Harper. The Dodgers have enough money to offer three years and $37 million, which is more than halfway to the Nats’ asking price. The difference is that the Nationals are confident that they will retain Harper, while the Dodgers are not. If Harper ends up elsewhere, the price for Darvish will skyrocket (and rightfully so).