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Dodgers: Please Come Home, Justin Turner

This fan isn’t ready to continue her journey as a Dodgers fan without the Red Dream just yet



In the aftermath of the greatest moment I’ve experienced as a baseball fan – a rare moment of pure joy – there existed a subtle nagging, something not quite right. My beloved Los Angeles Dodgers had just won the ultimate crown. They captured that elusive World Series title… but Justin Turner wasn’t on the field.

We now know why, but the only thing that didn’t make the early morning hours of October 28, 2020, absolutely perfect (reminder, I’m in Canada) was the fact that the man who came to this team seven seasons ago as a utility player – and quickly evolved into its heart and soul – didn’t get to experience the ultimate high of celebrating on the field with his teammates.

At least not in the way he deserved.

Related: Justin Turner Issues Statement Regarding World Series Actions

It occurs to me sometime afterward that a celebration without him was so jarring to me because I had never known the Dodgers without Justin Turner. We both started with the Dodgers in the same season, Justin and I. Back in late 2013, unbeknownst to this lifelong fan of his at the time, then Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach had a conversation with the player who would come to be known as “JT” at a Cal State Fullerton alumni event which eventually led to his being invited to Dodgers Spring Training the following February.

And the rest, as they say, is good times.

As a lifelong baseball fan, I’m well aware that nothing in the sport is designed to ever stay the same – nothing gold can stay, as the saying goes. No MLB team has ever brought the same 40 men back year after year. That’s just the way the game works. But one of the reasons this World Series was so special – a sentiment echoed by many members of this very core – is that it was won by largely the same core who had had the 2017 crown stolen from them, who had managed to get back to the World Series and lose again in 2018, and had had their hearts ripped out of their chests in the 2019 NLDS… and so not keeping the leader of this band together with that very core as long as it exists just wouldn’t feel right.

It occurs to me as I watched a replay of Josh Beckett’s May 2014 no-hitter last weekend, a game in which JT hit only his second home run in a Dodgers uniform, batting low in the order, that so much can change in seven years.

Since that first season with the club, he has evolved into a clubhouse leader and in all likelihood would have been wearing a C on his jersey many years ago if baseball did such a thing. Over these seven years, he got married, started a charitable foundation, even had a day (January 22) named after him in Los Angeles.

And on the field, well, he was outstanding. After a few seasons, I argue that we as fans may have started taking him for granted as a player, but the numbers alone speak for themselves. And the playoffs are a story all on their own.

Some may never know what they have until it’s gone, but as fans, we know what we have in JT, and we don’t want to lose him.

It’s no secret that Clayton Kershaw has been and will always be “it” for me as a baseball fan, but I also recognize that the Dodgers as I know them simply wouldn’t be the Dodgers – and most certainly wouldn’t be World Champions – without Justin Turner. Moreover, I believe that he has earned the honour of finishing his playing career in a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform.

So please don’t leave us just yet, Justin. It’s been a thrilling seven years of victories, defeats, ups, downs, exciting hellos and sad farewells, but you and I have both come a long way during this time, and our story is far from over. As the brilliant Neil Young once wrote, there are “trunks of memories still to come”…both on and off the field.

So come back, JT, please.

We’re not done just yet.

NEXT: New Dodger Tommy Kahnle Thinks Los Angeles is Going Back-to-Back in 2021

Written by Gail Johnson

Biggest Dodgers fan north of the border, living about 3,500 miles from my beloved Boys In Blue, in Moncton, NB, Canada. I think Dodger Stadium is the happiest place on Earth. I'll catch up on my sleep in the off-season.

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  1. Your sentiments are echoed by this fan as well. I remember early 2014 and we were looking for a solid utility type player and a reader on one of our blogs, possibly this one , I don’t remember, mentioned Justin. I looked up his stats and thought, yeah, he might be OK. Boy was I wrong. He has been one tough hombre. Thankful for his All Star level performance with us, sure would like him to finish his career with us.

  2. So I would like to proclaim Justin Turner as the New Mr. Dodger replacing Tommy! Andrew, you need to break it down and get Justin signed up for life! Fours years as a player and lifetime as an assistant to you! Justin is so loved by the city of Los Angeles and by fans all over the USA… It’s time to get the deal done!

    Los Angeles it’s time !

    • oh man that is blasphemy. I grew up with Tommy as the skipper. I learned not only how the game should be played but how to string together curse words I never knew existed. 🙂 I loved him and cursed him on a semi daily bases for his pitching changes. I even got to talk to him, had him trapped in the dessert line at the buffet in the stadium club he was right in front of me. Of course I was totally tongue tied and I had already enountered John Amos one of my all time fav actors for many resons. But Tommy was amazing, even insisting I call him Tommy rather than Mr Lasorda. This was just a few years ago and he was as alert an up on the players as I could imagine he ever was…I shared that at a game in Candlestone back about 1982ish I lucked into free tickets directly behind homeplate about three seats to the left….FERNANDO was the starter. My GF was a big Dodger fan except she was a Padre fan when Dravecky was pitching…but Fernando went out to start teh 10th! and my GF went bat crap on Tommy. Hahaha, of course Fernando got rocked for a run or two and the Dodgers lost and wow did she not stop about sending a guy who already threw like 300 pitches out for the 10th after he tossed a 1-run game through 9…It was fun to see Tommy’s eyes light up and him recall everything abouty that single inning from that game. Really he did and I just stood there in awe. So much as JT is THE Dodger for all of use real Dodger fans, he is not the new Tommy. Now if he every become manager, wow, that would be beyond hoping.

      And YES he needs to come back…3-yrs with a 4th option and all the usual clauses and outs. But given his career saving move to the Dodgers an the clear and obvious work he put in to change his swing and approach at the plate, he deserves to be a forever Dodger.

  3. Well said Gail….much better than I could ever say it, but I will put in my two cents worth. I have been a Dodger fan for so long. Since Campy was behind the plate and Pee Wee was at short. I have seen and loved all the great Dodgers since the 50’s, and one thing they all had in common. Oh sure, they could all hit and run and catch etc, but more importantly the one thing that all the greats had, the one thing that made them stand out, was heart. The same thing that makes J.T. what he is. You judge a man the same way you judge a good horse….by his heart. Justin, please stay. We have games to win and young players to help and we can do those things best with you in Dodger Blue. Come Home.

  4. As much as JT means so much to the Dodgers, the Dodgers mean so much to him. I know that LA wants him back, but a 4-year deal is not a responsible thing for them to do. At the same time, JT would like the 4-year deal to give him the security and extra money he is seeking. It seems so simple that they agree to a 3-year deal with an option for a 4th year–based on performance. While he still hits for average, his power seems to be a bit down and his defense is not what it was. In a year or two, he may be forced into a utility role. Paying him a lot of money will mean less to spend on someone younger and better who can man third base into the future.

    • Yes JT, You need to stay here in LA. After all, what is the best color for a ginger? BLUE of course, Dodger blue.
      Note to Dodgers organization: As you can see, JT is loved by Dodger fans everywhere. The team all want him to stay. Mookie loves him! So what’s it going to be?

  5. I am a lifelong Dodgers fan born in San Diego raised in LA . I attended my 1st baseball game in 68 La vs. PHL. Dodgers had a triple play on defense. I bleed blue along with my identical twin brother Joe. God Bless Tommy L. GO BLUE.

  6. I first saw “JT” when he first came to The Blue Crew as a utility player. Loved him from the start and saw the potential and each year it got better and better. The first year of the “Player’s Weekend” in August-2016 I think, I bought two shirts-Yasiel’s “Wild Horse” and Justin’s “Red Turn Two”. I wear both proudly. What else I love about him are his long flowing red locks and beard-reminds me of “Animal” from the Muppet’s. He plays like an “Animal” too. Please, Please, Please stay with us and YES, move to coaching and then to the dream job of “Skipper” in years to come!

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