The Los Angeles Dodgers have a great core of players, and a talented roster. That’s why Dodgers Nation has decided to run a ‘Why We Love’ series, featuring some of your favorite Dodgers players. We lead off the series with our first installment, Justin Turner.
Justin Turner is an easy player to love. I know the Dodgers have the obvious superstars like Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, and Kenley Jansen. These players were dominant since their debut – and were highly touted in league circles since their days in the minor leagues.
However – Turner didn’t follow this path – even if he’s renowned as a superstar in the game today. He was drafted a New York Yankee in the 29th round of the 2005 draft. Obviously, most players selected in the 29th round are destined for baseball obscurity.
Yet, there’s Justin Turner. Turner grinded like a madman to improve his craft in short stints as a Baltimore Oriole to begin his career. He was steady as a New York Met, but still hardly on anyone’s baseball radar. Taking a look at his baseball reference page up until 2013 shows nothing remarkable.
And then – Justin Turner became a Dodger. Since then, he’s hit .303 with an .880 OPS and has been graded as a plus-defender at third base. The California boy never forgot his roots or work ethic; and perhaps that is what makes him the most lovable of all Dodgers.
Why We Love Justin Turner
- He’s a humanitarian and good person, and uses twitter to make young fans’ dreams come true.
- He makes frequent visits to hospitals to bring hope to those who are ill. Like here. And here as well. Just Google ‘Justin Turner hospital visit’ and you will be amazed at the number of different things that pop up. You never hear about these things enough.
- The 2017 NLCS walk-off home run against the Cubs. It came on the anniversary of Kirk Gibson’s World Series homer. Coincidence? We think not. That home run set the tone for the entire series. Turner was not going to let a Justin Turner team fall short of reaching the grandest stage.
- Turner always plays the game with a smile and has fun.
- No moment seems too big for him.
- He had the opportunity to leave the Dodgers before the 2017 season. Instead of taking the highest dollar he could elsewhere, he signed a fair contract to remain a Dodger.
- Turner is a player who understands the importance of getting on base, and he’s cut down on his strikeouts. His 59 walks to 56 strikeouts in 2017 is evidence of mastery; and gets little mention.
- He hits three-hole commonly in a star-studded lineup, but has the humility of a player who hits eighth.
- A high-school hitting coach (Doug Latta) worked with him five days a week to fix his swing.
- He embodies everything that being a Dodger should be: Turner never shows anyone up, and never makes a negative headline or points fingers.
- We almost forgot, and how could we forget? The beard.
Why You Love Justin Turner
Because he gave us that walkoff against the Cubs in the NLCS. ???
— ? ????? ?????'? #? ???? (@morasee) May 19, 2018
He's the heart and soul! He clearly enjoys every facet of the game. He's professional about his play but also makes it look so fun. He treats fans well, he shows beautiful respect for military. He's such a great player, but not ego driven. Always celebrating his teammates! ?
— Laura Perry (@LauraGlorybelle) May 19, 2018
Because he’s a hard worker, team player, a winner and a SoCal dude!
— Jeff Davis (@jdsocal) May 19, 2018
— #Kersh&Keto #42 (@DodgersVida22) May 19, 2018
Because he's the heart and soul of this team, finally found a 3rd baseman after Adrian beltre.
— Tony (@Toneloke93) May 20, 2018
Because he plays his heart out and is such a humble guy and no matter how big of a star he is he still does a lot for the fans and the community
— Juanito Ramos (@juanziggyramos) May 19, 2018
JT represents drive, discipline, leadership and consistency on and off the field. He is #TheMan!! When he isn't playing it's just not the same..??
— ?? #ITFDB ??? (@123KOWSKI) May 19, 2018
Because moonshine min pin, his wife is a badass and so is he. He is just an all round decent guy in addition to him scorching hits down the third baseline.
— Wendy Ramallo (@1MamaRama) May 19, 2018
He’s a team player and seems to really care about our community and his fellow humans !!!!!??????
— tc223 (@tc22356) May 19, 2018
When other teams turned their back on him, Dodgers gave him an opportunity and he flourished. He doesn't take no for an answer!
— 87Jay (@jacobobrowno) May 19, 2018
Because he constantly looks the way we would if were suddenly playing major league baseball for the Dodgers. He always looks like he’s having a blast.
— Greg Sands (@bigblaster22) May 19, 2018
I loved that one – couldn’t put it better.
Something subtle , At every home game when the dodgers honor a military member , they pass the dugout and Justin Turner is always there to give them a ball and a handshake , always thought that was cool
— Edgar Thomas III (@Keepitez23) May 19, 2018
Your Turn to Tell Us Why You Love ‘RedTurn’
If there’s anything our followers or we left out, now is your chance. Baseball can be frustrating – and then you remember that you have a guy like Turner on your roster to watch every night. More time should be spent on appreciating players like him for the people they are, and what they do for the community. Win or lose, the Los Angeles Dodgers are so fortunate to have Justin Turner. Leave your reason for why you love Turner in the comments.
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