Since today is an off (travel) day for the NLCS, thought I'd write about two of the biggest Los Angeles Dodgers fans I know -- My Gramma K (for Kathaline) & one of my best friends Evito (for Evan)
My Gramma has been called "K" by everyone she knows ever since I was old enough to start remembering things, and I've been calling my buddy, Evan, Evito, for almost 10 years because it rhymes with burrito.
Another reason why they call her "K" is because my Grandmother used to be an incredible pitcher, that used to strike everyone out, and was once considered the female Bob Feller.
I recall when I was 7 years old, I asked my Gramma if she could show me her fastball, and bet her she couldn't strike me out.
Due to major rotator-cuff surgery, she claimed to had "lost her fastball...but could still throw a nasty forkball."
In compete shock I said "forkball?" And with a convincing gleam in her eye, she said, "yes, honey, a forkball."
I said, "nooo waaay...I don't believe you, Gramma...lemme see it."
She got up from her chair then confidentially responded, "you want Gramma to show you her forkball...follow me."
Then she grabbed my whiffle-ball, led the way into the kitchen...picked up a big ole' roasting fork, stuck it inside the holes of my plastic ball, smiled and said "here's my forkball."
OK, I just made that up...but it was pretty funny, huh?
But what I'm not making up is my grandmother & my best friend Evan, really are the biggest Dodger fans I know...and the two together would probably make a much better reality TV show than half that shit they show on TV.
Can't you picture it? An 87 year old Jewish Grandmother, living in a retirement home, that goes by the name of Gramma K & a married 37 year old Physical Education teacher, that 100s of kids call, Coach, talking & telling stories about their love hate relationship with the Dodgers.
Since my Grandfather (Papa) died 10 years ago, my Gramma K has missed only a handful of the Dodgers broadcasts (which amounts to about 50-60 games a year) Once I even felt that her & Vin Scully were having an affair because ever since my Papa passed away, she can't get enough of Vinny (actually, she had an affair with Paul LoDuca back in 2004 -- why do you think they traded him? To spilt them up. And boy was Gramma pissed...and still is)
I know deep down inside though, the other reason why my Gramma K hardly ever misses a Dodger game is because it brings back my late Papa, and keeps her warm at night while listening to Vin Scully's classic Hall of Fame announcing.
One of the funniest things Gramma K ever said to me was last year, when I called her one night to say "hi" & to find out what she thought about the Dodger game. The first thing she said to me was, "something's wrong with Ishii." I started laughing to myself because it sounded so funny coming from a then, 86 year old Jewish Grandmother with a crackle in her voice say, "something's wrong with Ishii."
Holding in my laughter, I said, "what do you mean, Gramma?" And then she said, "he just doesn't look right to me...and he's not throwing any strikes." I replied, "OK, but...you know he walks a lot of people & gets wild at times - he's fine, Gramma."
Then in a subtle yet slightly forceful tone she chimed, "NO, THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH - HE JUST DOESN'T LOOK RIGHT."
The only thing I could think of saying was, "oh well Gramma...you probably know better than I do because you've seen him pitch more this year than I have...what does Vinny think?"
Then she said, "Vin Scully hasn't mentioned anything...but I know there's something wrong with him."
Well, two days later Kaz Ishii was put on the 14 day disabled list with an injury. Then in the begining of this year's season, the Dodgers traded him to New York Mets, and he hasn't been the same ever since. (this I did not make up)
One of the funniest things Evito ever said to me was one night years ago while at a Dodgers game together.
Evan, normally not a very big eater (unless it's Sushi) usually gets one Grilled Dodger Dog when the game starts, then one more in the 5th inning.
Well, one night he got up in the 8th inning & asked me if I wanted anything because he was going to get another Dodger Dog. I said, "you're kidding me, another one?"
Then with a smile on his face he said, Yep..it's looking like a "Three Dog Night."
(OK, I guess you had to be there)
I could go on & on with more Dodger Blues Baseball Banter & the reality of Gramma K & Evito -- especially considering how poorly the Dodgers performed & played this past season.
But what it really boils down to is...here's two people from completely different generations & cultures, that don't really have anything else in common other than the fact that they both know me, and are both true diehard Dodgers Fans.
Yet no matter what ever seems to happen to their beloved Dodgers...their enormously large passionate hearts always bleed Dodger Blue together.
(for my Papa)