Ah, yes… The time of the season where everyone gets together, enjoys some home cooking and gathers around the television to relax and reflect on life is here. With the season already in the books and winter plans commencing, the Dodgers have given us some moments to look back and be thankful for.
Here’s the top 10 moments of the 2016 season that brought some anxiety, joy, gratitude, admiration, patience, excitement and maybe even a tear.
No. 10: Comeback win sprinkled with rivalry tension
In the game that spawn the #dontlookatme shirts, the Dodgers had a narrow comeback win when Adrián González hit a game winning RBI. The game highlighted a pitching battle between two of the best pitchers in the National League, Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw. Bumgarner had a shutout going into the bottom of the 9th when Justin Turner tied the game with a single, scoring Andrew Toles. The game also included some good old fashioned rivalry moments when Yasiel Puig was called out at first base and Bumgarner gave him long starring look which dawned #dontlookme. A win against the Giants would make any top 10 list in my opinion.
No. 9: Utley Returns to Philadelphia
Chase Utley returned to Citizens Bank Park for the first time after being traded in August 2015. The Philly fans showed a classy gesture when Utley took the field, posting signs displaying their appreciation. In the top of the 5th, however, Utley would homer to right field to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. The hitting wouldn’t stop there for Utley, at least, when he belted a grand slam in the top of the 7th propelling the Philly fans to give him his second curtain call of the night. Classy move, Philly fans and for that we are thankful.
No. 8: Dodgers ruin Greinke’s return to Dodger Stadium
There was certainly no welcoming ovation for the former Dodgers pitcher, Zach Greinke, making it his first start at Dodger Stadium since he signed with Diamondbacks after the 2015 season. González, Pederson, Seager, Turner and Grandal all homered in a game that exhibited the hitting power of this Dodgers ballclub. Dodgers fans are always thankful for big a home run night like this one.
No. 7: Kershaw Returns from Injury
In what would be a bittersweet return for Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers would fall to the Marlins 4-1. September 9 was Kershaw’s first game since June 26 and being out with a back injury. Kershaw’s injury had many Dodgers fans questioning whether he would return this season, however, Manager Dave Roberts and his pitching staff proved that the depth of the bullpen would carry the Dodgers past the Giants for first place in the Division. The game also featured recently passed and young star pitcher, Jose Fernandez.
No. 6: Toles Powers Dodgers with a Grand Slam
It’s bottom of the 7th inning and the Rockies lead the Dodgers 8 to 2. In what is considered one of the greatest comebacks in Dodgers history, the Dodgers would come back to score 8 unanswered runs at Coors field after Andrew Toles hit a grand slam for the game winning runs. Dodgers fans have seen something similar when the Dodgers beat the Padres on September 18, 2006 hitting 4 straight home runs for the come back win.
No. 5: Pantone 294 & Dodgers Fans at Yankee Stadium
Pantone 294 led Dodgers fans into Yankee Stadium on this night. The forever classic match up between the Dodgers and Yankees traces far back over 50 years after the Dodgers officially moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn. The Dodgers would win this series 2-1 making it their first time returning to Yankee Stadium since 2013. You can read more about Pantone 294 here.
No. 4: Save #162
In the words of Vin Scully, “the great saver in Dodgers franchise history.” As top priority on the Dodgers agenda this winter, Kenley Jansen recorded save number 162 passing former record holder Eric Gagne. Gagne honored Jansen for his achievement the next night before the Dodgers faced the Nationals. We are certainly thankful for this man, would be even more thankful seeing him in a Dodgers uniform come April 2017.
No. 3: Kershaw Closes the door on Nationals
In a rare sighting, Kershaw warmed up in the bullpen at the end of Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals. Coming off 6 inning just less than days before Game 5, Kershaw was called by Manage Dave Roberts to seal the deal. Ironically, Kershaw came in for the save opportunity after closer Kenley Jansen threw 51 pitches. The last time Kershaw earned a save was in 2006 when his catcher was Kenley Jansen.
No. 2: Division Clinching Homer
Moment No. 2 on the list serves as a moment Dodgers fans will be talking about for many years to come. In what culminated to a perfectly timed moment, Charlie Culberson hit his 6th career home run to clinch the National League Division Title with a solo home run in the bottom of the 10th on Vin Scully’s last home game broadcast. Where were you when this happened? Vin Scully with the call.
No. 1: Vin Scully’s Final Farewell
Dear friends… pic.twitter.com/akgzIU1UdW
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 2, 2016
So, as we take the time to break away from your daily work and spend time with family and friends, we are also thankful for the emotions the Dodgers gave us this season. While the season ended in disappointment, it’s certainly one that shouldn’t be forgotten so easily. These Top 10 are certainly not exclusive. There are many more Dodgers moments this season that gave us an opportunity to show our appreciation. Share yours, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.