The Green in Dodger Blue

Been busy as of late, but I had a chance to head up to Chavez Ravine this past week to write a Dodgers feature for the Washington Post. It's about the talented youngsters who have put the Blue into first place (at least for the time being).

An excerpt:

LOS ANGELES -- The names appear one after another on Hollywood stars the size of automobiles, filling the screen of the DiamondVision in a pregame hype-fest: Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela, the luminaries of the franchise.

After all, this is Chavez Ravine, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and this year's squad, front-runners in the National League West (73-63), boasts memorable names of its own: Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent, Derek Lowe and Greg Maddux, a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.

But over the course of a miraculous August in which Los Angeles won 21 games, tying the team's all-time record for the month, the difference makers have been a group of young players, most of them rookies, whom almost no one has heard of.

"I don't know their names," said Gary Tustin, a middle-aged, life-long Dodgers fan from Moorpark, Calif. "But I think it's great. I'm happy to see it."

Remember them: left fielder Andre Ethier, catcher Russell Martin, reliever Jonathan Broxton and pitcher Chad Billingsley. They're not just the talented future of Los Angeles; they're making themselves known in the present.

September 5, 2006 1:00 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

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