Stacie Wheeler reflects back on 1,000 posts written for Lasorda's Lair and why she loves the Dodgers.

1,000 Posts and Counting

Time flies when you’re having fun. This post will be number 1,000 since I became co-editor here at Lasorda’s Lair in October of 2011. My very first post was about Sue Falsone’s historic appointment as the Dodgers’ head athletic trainer before the 2012 season. Sue has since moved on from the Dodgers, but I still remain dedicated to writing about our Boys in Blue every day.

In fact, I have written well over 1,000 posts about the Dodgers since my days over at our original blog Dodger Blue Forever. Things were a bit different back then and on a much smaller scale, but our love for the Dodgers has never waned and in fact grown stronger on each and every Clayton Kershaw pitch. Scott was the one who roped me in to writing, and I never thought it would turn into something which encompasses so much of my life. Writing every day about our beloved baseball team sometimes from the Dodger Stadium pressbox, sometimes from the stands, for the first time from Camelback Ranch, from the minor league side and mostly from my living room has become a huge part of my life.

How did my love for the Dodgers come about? I was born into Blue, like they say. My grandfather and my uncle were huge Dodger

Stacie and I with Mike Scioscia Circa-1990 Photo: Scott Andes & Stacie Wheeler

Stacie and I with Mike Scioscia Circa-1990 Photo: Scott Andes & Stacie Wheeler

fans, and I was lucky enough to attend many games as a child with my Uncle Mark and my brother. Some of my best memories were of driving to Chavez Ravine, the three of us, and listening to stories of Sandy Koufax as told by my uncle who witnessed his perfection in person. My uncle was always willing to wait outside the players’ parking lot in order to get autographs after the game. Even into the wee hours of the morning after an extra inning game, my uncle would reach over the tall fence to hand our favorite player a pen in which to sign our autograph book. I still giggle to myself when I think about the one time the pen fell into the eye of Raul Mondesi. Oops!

As children, Scott and I would take score while watching Dodger games. Albeit it was a rough version with pencil in our small notebooks, we thought it was very important to document the games. Perhaps those “scorecards” were the prototypes of our modern game recaps which we write today. We collected baseball cards, and we played catch outside like most children did during those Southern California summers.

I was never any good at softball, and I often collected the dreaded Golden Sombrero while playing for my team Crystal Blue Persuasion. At least we were blue, right? I was good at one thing- stealing. I was a virtual Dee Gordon on the base path. I remember one game I bunted for an infield single, and then I stole second and third base. Playing mostly right field, I was not destined to play on any bigger stage, yet it humbled me and taught me just how hard this game truly is.

Mike Scioscia was my idol. While my brother loved Orel Hershiser and later Mike Piazza, there was something about Scioscia’s epic plate blocking skills that drew me into my appreciation for the catcher. Sure, I love me some Yasiel Puig bat flips and Matt Kemp Bison Blasts, but the catcher is still my favorite position. My childhood dream came true when I had the opportunity to meet Mike Scioscia and sit in the Dodger dugout for the first time. As a child, I already had a knack for writing. It’s a skill passed down from my mother. I wrote a letter to the Dodgers’ PR department in response to a magazine article which told of Scioscia’s involvement in charity work.

My brother, who has a rare disease, has always been my true hero. I felt the need to write to the Dodgers about his childhood journey and our shared love of the storied franchise including my personal favorite Scioscia. I never thought it would amount to anything, but soon after we were stepping upon that emerald green grass and meeting Mike Scioscia at Dodger Stadium.

Of course my love for the Dodgers only grew exponentially after that. Scott and I shared many memories at Dodger Stadium including getting Mike Sharperson‘s autograph, meeting John Goodman at a game, and later attending my first playoff game together.

While in college, I had less time to attend games, but my love for the Dodgers still had a huge place in my heart. USC football games were always fun, but there still was nothing that brought me more joy than watching the Dodgers play.

Eventually I gained a wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters. Even between the sleepless nights with newborns and the early morning school drop-offs and karate lessons, I still find time to write about the Dodgers every day. A big part of my ability to have the time to write on a daily basis is because of my supportive husband, Cory. Without his help, none of this is possible. He takes over when I have to go out to Dodger Stadium and don’t return until after midnight. He doles out the baths and the bedtime stories when I’m busy writing about the Dodgers’ latest 14-inning marathon Josh Beckett start. He gets the M.V.P. award in my eyes.

Now I have the precious opportunity to instill the love of the Dodgers into the lives of my daughters. While attending games as a child with my family was meaningful, there is not a better feeling in the world than watching my daughters dance around at Dodger games and cheer on their favorite players which happen to be “Hammy” and Yasiel Puig. Explaining the rules of the game to a seven-year old isn’t easy at times, but she’s already been broken in with her first blown save by Brian Wilson this season. “He’s just going to blow it again, isn’t he?” Kaila quipped at a subsequent game Wilson pitched in this season. Ah, she already knows the weaknesses of the Dodger bullpen. I’m so proud.

With a month to go in the regular 2014 season, I’m exhausted yet excited. The Dodgers are on their way to clinching their second consecutive division title, and I have been there along with you the entire rollercoaster of a ride. I have met some amazing Dodger fans both online and in person, and that is perhaps my favorite part of doing what I’m doing. Sharing my love for the Dodgers with all of you has been extremely rewarding. Even though everyone always doesn’t agree (hey I still like Chad Billingsley), the one thing we can all agree upon is our undying love for this team and for the beautiful game of baseball itself.

As long as I feel the motivation to write, I will continue to do so. Will you continue this Blue journey with me? I hope to see you at the parade this fall.

-Stacie

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