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. Our second installment in the series is one of the most decorated and polarizing Dodgers of all-time, the Wild Horse Yasiel Puig.
Puig is your friend. Yasiel Puig was aptly nicknamed ‘The Wild Horse’ during his rookie season of 2013. His arrival coincided with a meteoric rise by the club during that season. He was called up for his debut on June 3rd of that season – the Dodgers were 24-32 – a long 7.5 games back in the division.
From the first time we saw him, he made sure that he was going to make a dent on our minds. Puig would do something that night to end his first big league ballgame that would ensure that Dodgers fans everywhere love him forever.
It was an age in baseball before seemingly every young star who got called up did record setting things. Notably, Puig was hitting .407 after his first 34 games played. Looking back, it almost seems hard to believe. However, it happened. Puig had a record setting first month in baseball, and was the catalyst driving force behind the Dodgers making the NLCS in 2013.
Puig will likely finish the month of June with 44 H. The 2nd most all-time by a player in their first-career calendar month (DiMaggio, 48).
— Dodgers PR (@DodgersPR) June 30, 2013
Since then, there have been many ups and downs. There have been trade rumors, demotions, benchings, rumors of helicopter rides, and everything in between. Such is life with this player. Through it all – he’s remained a true Dodger. The tides have turned with Puig so many times that it feels like he is a cat with nine lives. Like your first love, those special feelings will always remain in there somewhere a little bit. No matter what.
Why We Love Yasiel Puig
- He licks bats.
- The tongue wag in the playoffs.
- Puig plays the game hard – win or lose he plays aggressive baseball the only way he knows how – like there is no tomorrow.
- He’s almost a 17 bWAR player in his career.
- Clayton Kershaw realized that Puig is your friend.
- Puig has the respect of his teammates.
- His incredible throwing arm and the way he plays right field.
- He made bat-flips a thing again in baseball. He’s fun and entertaining to watch.
- Puig is almost sure to try to take the extra base – you don’t want to get up from your seat when he’s on base or in the box.
- He kept the number 66, because Puig.
- No player in baseball kisses or flicks their hitting coach’s ears like Puig does.
- When you watch Puig play, you remember it’s a kid’s game. He plays the game like a big kid.
- His redemption season in 2017.
- Puig is by all accounts; good to fans.
- He uses fluorescent tape on his bat.
- My favorite Puig moment: he promised us a World Series game seven, and he was right.
Why You Love Yasiel Puig
His first week as a Dodger hitting those bombs (with Vin Scully narration) was AMAZING and I was lucky to be at some of those games…enough said. https://t.co/pLCrQp4ORN
— ? ????? ?????'? #? ???? (@morasee) May 23, 2018
I love Puig because he is spontaneous, unpredictable but at the same time willing to follow the guidance of his teammates & coaches. Just plain a blast to watch! Go Puig! Help the Blue bring it home!
— Michele Taplin (@TaplinMichele) May 24, 2018
Puig has such a genuine love for the game. He's fun and electric. Witnessing his debut and 1st HR in person is something that I will never forget. Puig will always have a special place in my heart. #PUIGYOURFRIEND
— C ?? (@tinasol21) May 24, 2018
He makes baseball fun again. pic.twitter.com/RlJAo3pDRe
— Stacie Wheeler (@StacieMWheeler) May 24, 2018
Two words, bat flip
— Steven (@Dodger_Fan84) May 24, 2018
It was so amazing being at the game he hit his first grand slam. The electricity in the air was enough to power LA for a monthhttps://t.co/xnUgwaggF9
— ??Jay (@lajay87) May 23, 2018
Oh, and the cannon that he calls an arm. pic.twitter.com/ITG5lrxYjQ
— Chowow (@ChowMein7) May 23, 2018
I love Yasiel Puig because he has such a passion for the game. #PUIGYOURFRIEND
— Rosemary Burns (@RoeBu926) May 23, 2018
Always fun to watch, wears his heart on his sleeve, game changer, you just never know what he is going to do
— SteelMohawk (@SteelMohawk) May 23, 2018
He is exciting to watch, loves playing the game, makes me laugh, awesome throwing arm, great hitter#puig my friend
— Judy Metcalf (@tillielynn51) May 23, 2018
In his age-27 season, you have to ask yourself are you appreciating Yasiel Puig? In a number of other big league cities, mountains would be moved for a fan base to have a player who entertains on a nightly basis like Puig. Nevertheless, I’m not sure that there is a city more perfectly suited to showcase him than The City of Angels. Something about Puig rounding the bases with reckless abandon – late in the night after all other games have gone final – seems like the correct synthesis within the baseball world.
He’s all ours, and he’s your friend. If you missed your chance, tell us why you love The Wild Horse in the comments.
[button color=”yellow” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/why-dodgers-fans-love-justin-turner-ce1110/2018/05/22/”]Why We Love Justin Turner[/button]