America’s Greatest Pastime

By Forrest Hunt

Posted on November 8, 2017 at 7:10 PM

Photo courtesy of Forrest Hunt

Photo courtesy of Forrest Hunt

I want you to close your eyes and think about your favorite smell. Got it? A lot of people will say that their favorite smell is popcorn or barbeque or even their significant other’s perfume. Have you ever smelled fresh cut grass or a brand new leather baseball or a new glove? That’s my favorite smell in the world.

Now I want you to think of your favorite sound. It could be birds chirping, waves crashing, or the sound of cars on the freeway. Have you ever heard the popping noise of a 90 mile per hour fastball hitting the catcher's mitt? That’s my favorite sound.

Now, one last thing. I want you to think of something that makes you so excited that it gives you goosebumps. You know, that feeling you get when your adrenaline is pumping and you’re so excited that you could float up into the air with joy. We all have something that makes us feel so elated that we can’t even see straight.

For me it was Game 1 of the 2017 World Series. For the first time since 1988 my Los Angeles Dodgers were back in the World Series. The last time they were playing in the Fall Classic I wasn’t even born yet. When I walked into Dodger Stadium on October 24, 2017 I could feel the energy. It felt like I had been struck by some sort of lightning and I wouldn't have rather been anywhere else but Chavez Ravine for Game 1.

You can smell the popcorn and the “Dodger Dogs,” hear the scuffling of the crowd, and the crack of the bat as the guys were taking batting practice. There I was, sitting in my seat, amazed. Now this wasn’t my first trip to Dodger Stadium, I’ve been multiple times. But to be there for one of the biggest games of the year was second to none.

Once the game started, and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took the hill, it was the greatest thing I have ever seen. My childhood idol, starting Game 1, just down below me. A quick inning went by as my hero retired each batter he faced. With the Dodgers coming up they hoped to gain some momentum for the greatest pitcher our generation has witnessed.

Chris Taylor was the leadoff hitter for the Dodgers as he had been most of the year. He was facing Astros ace Dallas Keuchel and the first pitch he saw, he deposited into the left field pavilion, 477 feet away from home plate. I sure thought Dodger Stadium was going to flip on its head as it sure could’ve, being the third oldest ballpark behind Fenway Park (1912), Wrigley Field (1914), and Dodgers Stadium (1962).

The Astros would later tie it on an Alex Bregman home run to left off of Kershaw in the 4th,but in the 6th Justin Turner would stroll to the plate. Chris Taylor reached on a walk in the inning and the Postseason heroics of Justin Turner will  live on as he parked a homer over the left field wall to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead in Game 1.

This time, the place did turn on its head. After Kershaw’s dominant 11 strikeout performance, the big man would come on, “Cue ‘California Love’,” Dodgers announcer Joe Davis would say; the song that closer Kenley Jansen runs out to from the bullpen. The Dodgers took Game 1 of what would be arguably the best World Series in history.

The fact that I was blessed enough to be able to be there to experience the World Series was like no other experience I’ve ever had. It was one of if not the most exciting days of my life and it will be hard to top. The only thing that comes to mind is if, one day, I get to announce the World Series on national television. Now that would be one of the greatest days of my life.