This post might turn out like my dinner tonight. I grilled a cheese sandwich with turkey, garden tomatoes and avocado. The sprouted bread fell apart, the crust became hard and the inside became mushy and cheesy. It tasted good, but I would not serve it to friends. While I rushed my dinner, I have spent several days trying to write this blog post.
I have yet to digest my emotions from last Saturday.
Before I attended Saturday’s bout between the Santa Cruz Derby Girls Bombshells and the Bay Area Derby Girls Team Gold, I planned a simple post that included galleries from two previous bouts. I would discuss the community based organizations that the roller derby teams supported at recent events and I would mention how my children love attending roller derby too.
Then I met Bryan Stow.
I am a Dodger fan. I have loved the Dodgers since I was a little kid and moved to Fresno from the San Fernando Valley. When I was a child, I would sit on the floor and listen to the radio at night. I studied baseball history. I knew what it meant to be a Dodger fan. The Dodgers were a family business built on principle. The Dodgers were Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. We were Kofaux on Yom Kippur. We were Vin Scully AND Jaime Jarrin. We are Hall of Fame in two languages. We were not superficial. We were not silicon. Dodger fans are the original losers who played for something greater. God, community, politics, family, team….
In 2010, when the Giants finally won a World Series in San Francisco, the Dodgers were a family business that was falling apart. It was a different family. I wonder if Giants’ fans realize that their championship was not the worst part of 2010 for many Dodger fans.
And then it got worse.
I have talked about Bryan Stow many times since he was attacked on Opening Day 2011. I have imagined talking to him. I have probably talked out loud while alone many times hoping that I would have the chance to share my feelings with him. When I saw him, I became nervous. If I had not prepared, I do not know if I would have been able to talk to him. I did not know how to start. I waited until I told him. “I am a Dodger fan.”
Eventually, I found my voice and I told him that I wish I had the authority to talk for all Dodger fans and apologize for what I think is “the darkest day in Dodger history.” I mean it. It still saddens me. We did not protect him. He was blamed for the attack. The franchise and fans denied responsibility. I heard all kinds of arguments. I did not hear the organization argue that we were the franchise of Robinson and Koufax. We became the organization that broke hearts and deflected responsibility.
And the Dodgers are an organization that celebrates atonement. Before I knew that Yom Kippur meant Day of Atonement, I knew what it meant to be a Dodger fan. We are not a franchise and fan base that celebrates excuses. We would rather lose than cheat. In 2011, we seemed to be losing at cheating.
The more that I consider the events, the more that I become frustrated. Look, I only lost my baseball team. I can just pretend that the Dodgers moved to St. Louis and start watching more hockey, but I miss baseball. I may never take my kids to watch a Major League Baseball game again. It hurts. Something is unresolved… and it will always be unresolved until the Dodgers fix it.
I take my kids to roller derby. At roller derby, my children watch strong women hit each other. After the teams compete, both sides often take a picture together. They make sure that everyone gets to their car safely. They take care of each other. On Saturday, Bryan Stow joined the two teams for the post-game photo. When will the Dodgers invite Stow to Chavez Ravine? When will he appear in the photo? When will the Giants and Dodgers create an organization that promotes fan safety? When will Major League Baseball hire Bryan Stow?
When will the Dodgers celebrate the 50th anniversary of Game 1 of the 1965 World Series?
See notes below next photo
So, when I mentioned that I had been writing for days on this post, I meant it. I have several other versions that may appear elsewhere. Some of the photos remain so that viewers can easily access photo galleries, but otherwise I have archived my different versions. I may create another post on my other blog at www.morethankids.com. If so, I will add a note here and recirculate the link.
After the next photo, I have included some of the other relevant links.