The postseason is finally here and the Dodgers are locked and loaded for a deep run into October. Well, they’re locked and loaded once again. Several times over the span of this eight-year division title run, LA has often been one big bat or one key hit away from finally hoisting that elusive World Series for the first time in more than 32 years.
This year the big addition is, of course, NL MVP hopeful Mookie Betts, but the key to a Dodgers championship may still rest on the shoulders of LA’s own Mr. October. All-Star third baseman Justin Turner has been nothing short of phenomenal in the postseason as a Dodger. Over 11 playoff series with the boys in blue, Turner has a .931 OPS with 23 extra base hits and 35 RBIs in 54 games.
Ahead of the first Wild Card game on Wednesday, JT was asked about how his playoff prowess came to be.
I think growing up, I played in travel ball tournaments and Mickey Mantle World Series and Connie Mack World Series and the College World Series and postseason and Minor League Baseball… so I’ve been in a lot of, I guess, big important games. But if there is one person that I’d give a lot of credit to on trying to mentally hone in and be present, that would be Ken Ravizza.
Dr. Ravizza was a sports psychologist at Justin’s alma mater Cal State Fullerton where he spent nearly 40 years on campus. JT continued on that relationship.
I worked with him for many, many years. Took a couple of his classes and he just really talked about the mental side of baseball and life. So he was huge for my career and being present and being able to let go of the bad stuff and move on and get back to the next pitch.
If you’re in a discussion about baseball players who have an ability to lock in for each and every at-bat, Turner’s name absolutely should be at or near the top of the list. As Dave Roberts often says, JT offers you a professional at-bat every time he walks to the plate.
Unfortunately, we lost Ravizza in 2018, but in Turner, his legacy lives on.