Baseball rivalry has SSU student “Dodger blue”

The anthem finishes playing, the crowd begins to cheer and the players take the field. 

I was born and raised a die-hard Dodger fan and yes, here I am near the heart of San Francisco, home of the Giants. Being a Dodger’s fan at SSU last year was difficult; I had to listen to the Giants fans rub their World Series win in my face. Now that the Dodgers are in first place by 10 games, I enjoy returning the favor. It brings me great pride to be able to walk around representing Los Angeles. 

While I understand that I am in Giants territory, I know where my heart belongs. I will never forget the day that I met a variety of old, seasoned Dodger players. I was about six years old when Paul Loduca picked me up, wearing his royal blue Dodger hat and white Dodger uniform. It was a moment I would never really forget. Year after year, my mom took my older brother and me to Dodger games. At each game, I would stuff my face with an original Dodger Dog doused in ketchup and mustard. Occasionally, my mom would let me get a souvenir Dodger helmet that was filled up with ice cream. As a die-hard fan, I never actually wanted the ice cream, but only the Dodger helmet to put up in my room.

Years later, I was able to informally meet James Loney, as he was a family friend of a close friend of my own. He signed a baseball for me that said, “Dear Megan, best wishes.” That may not seem like much to others, but it meant the world to me. 

As one could see, I live, eat and speak Dodger baseball. So it’s unfortunate that sometimes I feel uncomfortable wearing anything that represents the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are so important to me, here at school. 

I do not want to get myself into a situation that could be potentially harmful for me. The rivalry between the Giants and the Dodgers is so deep-rooted that you can imagine how words can be abusive, so I have tried to avoid representing my beloved team around campus. 

Recently I have decided that this is wrong. With freedom of expression, I have the right to wear whatever makes me happy. I believe everyone is allowed to voice their opinion and as a society, people need to respect that.

As everyone knows, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants have always had a rivalry. Is it truly a friendly rivalry, or is it more than that? The passion and animosity between the fans is so strong that it is somewhat reminiscent of rivalry between gangs. 

It would not be the smartest thing for me to walk around in San Francisco wearing my royal blue Dodger tank top.  The rivalry is definitely a two-way street, however. If a Giants fan wears orange and black to Dodger stadium chances are that person will be heavily ridiculed and may even need to watch their back. Actually, this is a fact considering recent history. 

There have been occasions where fans have simply taken things too far. For example, when a couple Dodger fans brutally beat San Francisco fan Bryan Stow back in 2011 at Dodger Stadium I, along with many other Dodger fans, recognized how truly awful this was. 

That violence was an act of stupidity from someone who had no right to be wearing LA on his shirt. It was wrong, but that cannot be held against the Dodger organization as a whole. We are not all abusive and belligerent. Some of us truly just love the game. 

That incident has no doubt only made the rivalry between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers grow. One would assume that a fan being ostracized and beat up would make a statement that things need to change. 

As mentioned earlier, there is nothing wrong with having a friendly rivalry. That’s what baseball is about: sportsmanship. Maybe we should all take a step back and realize that it is just a game. We all have different opinions.

The fans of both the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants must learn to coexist and realize that they share a common ground; after all, fans are so passionate because of their love for the sport.