After concluding a seven-game road trip Wednesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers will travel back to Southern California ahead of Friday’s home opener against the Washington Nationals.
Not only is the club going to celebrate their World Series title with a ring ceremony prior to first pitch, but fans will be in attendance at Dodger Stadium for the first time since Game 5 of the 2019 National League Division Series.
“It’s been marked on the calendar for a while now,” Clayton Kershaw said. “I’m excited. I’m excited that we’re going to have a few fans there, first of all. I think that will be really cool.
“It’s kind of the first time we’ve all been together with fans to get to celebrate last year, so I’m very excited about it. We don’t want to look too far into the past, obviously. We’ve got to play, we’ve got to win, but Friday is going to be really special for me for a lot of different reasons.
“Finally get to see that ring, it will be pretty special.”
Kershaw, now in his 14th season with the Dodgers, can finally say he is a World Series champion. Prior to last year, the only thing missing from his Hall of Fame résumé was a title.
Cody Bellinger and Julio Urias were among the teammates that recognized the importance of the achievement for the left-hander’s legacy. “I don’t know the right word. Humbling might not be the right word, but it’s just a grateful feeling to know so many people care about me in that way,” Kershaw said.
“They wanted me to win so bad. Maybe something I took for granted a little bit, not realizing how much it impacted the people around me. Especially my wife. I think she’s going to be pretty excited too.
“Just seeing teammates, get to celebrate with them, get to see the rings, get to do all those things, it’s going to be a special day, for sure.”
Kershaw saw honor in starting Opening Day and Dodgers’ home opener
When Dodgers manager Dave Roberts named Kershaw the club’s Opening Day starter last month, it ruled out any possibility of him pitching in the home opener against the Nationals.
Kershaw, however, didn’t have a preference of which game to start. “Opening Day is a special thing, obviously. Whoever gets to do that, it’s obviously an honor,” he said prior to the Dodgers announcing their decision.
“I think the home opener in and of itself this year is very special. First time at Dodger Stadium with fans in one year, after winning the World Series after 32 years. Regardless if there’s 10 fans or 2,500, whatever it is, it’s going to be a special day for all of us.
“I don’t know how the rotation lines up or anything, but Opening Day, home opener, they’re both going to be pretty special this year.”
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