- Sunday, February 12, 2012 2:35 PM
- Written By: Dodgers Diaries
I'm still glowing (or maybe it's just the sun and windburn) from the day we spent Saturday at Big League Dreams for the first Dodger blogger softball tournament. The day was a hit from start to finish; even the weather co-operated by raining only just enough for a massive rainbow that filled the sky. Only a pot of gold and a leprechaun at the other end could have improved this day.
Our morning started early, with an 8 a.m. faceoff against Sons of Steve Garvey in Dodger Stadium. We followed up a 17-3 win with tighter 13-9 victory over Fansmanship.com, a team that had traveled all the way from San Luis Obispo for the event, and had the misfortune of drawing the eventual tournament champion and runner up in its first two games. We made it a perfect 3-0 with a win over Dodger Bobbleheads, a team we would defeat a second time in the playoffs to reach the final. There, we ran into the buzzsaw known as the LFP, the blog that sponsored the tournament and came from behind with a 13-run fourth inning to win the whole thing.
The wins and losses, however, were almost beside the point. The replica fields at Big League Dreams turn a normal softball game into something out of the ordinary. You know you're not actually at Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park or Tiger Stadium, but you can convince yourself that it's the real thing. And as we celebrated the day afterward in the parking lot, you’d be hard pressed to say you weren't looking up at the real pavilion in Dodger Stadium.
Frank Irving led off four of the five games by reaching base safely, and played a stellar shortstop.
Bobby Bakhtiari made just two outs all day, one a sac fly, and made several superb catches in the outfield—not to mention the contributions of his “stick.”
Alan Cruz delivered the biggest hit of the day: a grand slam over the Fenway wall.
Myles Reed set the tone for the day by going middle in his very first at-bat (LOL).
Tony Carpowich is due for a bunch of Tuesday night bloops, as one hard hit ball after another found its way off his bat into a glove, the box, or the stands.
Ron Passaro delivered a big homer in Game 3 to propel us into the playoffs.
Marty Butterick played lockdown second base and was constantly on base.
JP Ahn got big hits with each of the 10 bats he brought. He even went oppo on more than one occasion.
Ylana de la Rosa was a mighty mite, smacking singles over heads and between fielders. Our women were the difference-makers in every game.
Jeff Outcalt was our one-man pitching rotation, throwing more innings in a day than Clayton Kershaw does in a month, and peppering the third base line with hit after hit.
Kellie Urdang stopped laughing only long enough to drive in key runs that gave us the lead.
Johnny Flores woke up in time to arrive by the second game, and his bat woke up by Game 3.
And I mostly stood around while opposing pitchers feared to throw me anything over the plate. It's amazing how you can develop a batter’s eye when the reward for walking is runners on first and second.
We met fellow Dodger fans from across the blogosphere, and it was a treat to put faces to names we've been reading for years. The aches and pains -- and hangover -- are starting to fade already, but I’ll hold onto the memories for a long while.
-- JOHN ROSENTHAL