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Dodgers: We Love Justin Turner

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 27: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after his out at second base starts a double play to end the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on May 27, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Leader On The Sheets, Leader In The Clubhouse.

Justin Turner grew up a Dodger fan. He’s a Long Beach boy, went to college just down the road at Cal State Fullerton. Everything about Justin Turner’s Dodger career just reads like a story book.

I originally wasn’t going to use any numbers in this piece, but you can’t really appreciate JT without appreciating his numbers.      

Those are his 2019 spring training numbers. He certainly has a hot spring training almost every year. We’ve been rightfully talking about how hot Kiké has been all spring. We’ve been talking about AJ Pollock finally turning it on. We’ve been talking about Stetson Allie and his hot fastball and hair. We’ve almost barely acknowledged JT has an OBP over .500 this spring and a 1.431 OPS. Obviously spring, and a small sample size, but that’s not the point.

The point is that we almost take this for granted. “JT gonna JT” is almost unfair to the guy, because if it was anybody else we’d be making a much bigger deal. For TWO straight seasons JT has posted a batting average above 300, and an OBP above 400. That isn’t Trout like–but it’s pretty close, and pretty impressive for a player with far less the star power. Every time the Dodgers need a clutch hit, it seems like JT is somewhere in the mix. Last year his defensive numbers went down a bit, but I really have to believe they’ll be better in 2019, even if he’s getting older.

Justin Turner Is A Community Man

Earlier this winter, LA City council announced “Justin Turner Day.” This happened because aside from from his postseason heroism, Justin Turner has always been a beacon of his community.

JT’s foundation supports homeless veterans, sick children and their families as they endure difficult hardships. Similarly, there was the time he reached out to an adorable young boy who was upset last year that JT was injured.

Justin Turner himself reached out to the family of this adorable boy and made good on his promise. The day of his season debut at Dodger Stadium, the family were given tickets and little Declan got to meet his hero.

Being an MLB player is a full time job and then some, and it’s often forgotten that putting in extra time for fans and causes during the season takes extra effort. Justin Turner seems to always make the extra effort. This story is by no means an outlier. You can do a quick search, and find countless stories of Justin Turner going out of his way to be kind or spend a minute with a fan.

October 15, 2017

One of the nights I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I was watching the end of game 2 of the NLCS. My wife (who ordinarily would have been asleep here on central time) stayed up to watch the end of the game with me. My daughter was asleep upstairs. It was a 1-0 count, and there were 2 runners on base. John Lackey threw a 92 mph sinker that landed middle away.

All those details are from memory.

My initial thought was that it would be a fly-out to end the inning. Dodger fans have grown used to humbled pessimism instead of cautious optimism. When I saw just how fast the Cubs center fielder was running to the wall. I knew just before it landed that it was gone. As I jumped off the couch, I couldn’t help but think of the fact that 29 years ago, my father was showing the same type of elation to Kirk Gibson’s walk off–probably also trying not to wake up his 3 and a half year old son.

There’s a serendipity in that generational line of events that I’ll never be able to put into words the way I want to. Take a look at the image here, it’s been my twitter background since that week and isn’t likely to change. My favorite Dodger article of clothing is my blue spring training Justin Turner jersey.

The greatest moment in Dodger history since Kirk’s walk off, and I could write an entire article about it. And yet there’s so much more to appreciate about Justin Turner than just this legendary moment.


More at Dodgers Nation


Dodgers Nation Loves Justin Turner

We asked on our various social media channels why Dodgers Nation loves Justin Turner. As a result, some of the replies were fantastic.

 

Instagram Gallery

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https://twitter.com/BlueCrewAZ/status/1110320845757440000

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Last Thought

There were an nice mix of reasons that people love JT, his kindness to people from all walks of life seems to stick out the most. Above all, how good of a hitter he is can even take a 2nd note when it compares to what a good man Justin Turner is.

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Written by AJ Gonzalez

AJ is a lifelong Dodgers fan who grew up in California. His whole family are also lifelong Dodgers fans. He lives in Tennessee with his wife, daughter, beagle, and strat.

3 Comments

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  1. So lucky to have this Met castoff! Great Human Being, Terrific ball player and great teammate. we should all thank Ned Colletti for Many things Kershaw, Turner, Urias and Seager being some of them…

    Plus Ned handled working for the insane mcCourt with professionaism.

  2. Big Red is the Face of the Dodgers, or, The Beard of the Dodgers. He can hit for power; he is a situation hitter; team leader; plays adequate defense; and the team coalesces around him. You could not have a better man wearing The Blue!!!! Go Big Red!!!! Go Blue!!!

  3. JT is the coolest ball player I ever had the pleasure of meeting.I met him at Camelback Ranch spring training in 2015 he even signed a baseball for my nephew. In my opinion he’s one Great Dodger glad he is on my team.

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