That ‘88 Feeling


“In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”

I was ten years old as the ball sailed into the seats in the right field pavilion.

I heard those words, and I knew that I had watched something magical. A few days later, as Hershiser jumped into Dempsey’s arms, I was about as elated as any ten year old can be. Call it that ‘88 feeling.

I would bleed blue from that day forward just as my Dad had since he was a boy.

A Dodgers satin jacket and World Series Champion hat arrived for Christmas.

Each year, we would travel to Philadelphia as the Dodgers came into town. Each game fueled a lifelong passion for the game and for the team from the City of Angels.

We watched every game we could, commiserating about the losses, and talking strategy that would push us back to that ‘88 feeling.

Years went by. Too many nights waiting to watch the late edition of SportsCenter to see the West Coast scores. Rookies of the Year. All Stars. MVPs. But couldn’t get back to that ‘88 feeling.

Players came and went. There were many times when we thought a particular player would push us back to that ‘88 feeling.

Karros. Piazza. (The trade that almost broke me.) Gagne. Green.

A return to the playoffs. Lima Time.

A return to that ‘88 feeling? No such luck.

My Dad and I flew to LA and visited Chavez Ravine for the first time on Father’s Day. That ‘88 feeling was back if just for a weekend. 

Manny almost brought the feeling in back to back years. And a young pitcher named Kershaw debuted in the postseason.

My Dad and I sat in the upper deck in Philadelphia and suffered through a miserable National League Championship Series. 

For eight years, we waited. Sometimes patiently and sometimes not so patiently. My Dad and I text during most games. My kids share in the heartbreak and successes now too. They had no idea what that ‘88 feeling was all about.

2017 broke our hearts. A year later, a little less so. I thought it would never happen.

This year, they were on the brink on several occasions. 

Tonight, we all came together and waited through five innings, never losing hope. I wanted to experience that ‘88 feeling again. I wanted my Dad to feel it again. I wanted my children to experience it for the first time.

“In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened.”

Finally, it happened.

That ‘88 feeling. All over again. 


Rich