Warm Up For Baseball Season with Essential Dodgers Reading

Opening Day is Monday!

It’s the end of March—a glorious time of year for baseball lovers. Opening Day at Dodger Stadium is less than one week away, and with it the first regular-season home game of the year will bring Los Angeles renewed hope for a major league championship (and a yearning for cracker jacks, peanuts, and Dodger dogs). With players completing Spring Training, now’s a perfect time to warm up for baseball season. These four classic features from our archives would do the trick:


Ask the Manager

We talked with Don Mattingly in September of 2011 about his rookie season as a team manager. It was a trying time for the Dodgers both on and off the field. San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow had been beaten in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium on opening day, and then-team owner Frank McCourt was in the midst of a public divorce that overshadowed much of the roster’s talent and success. Asked what he considered to be a season highlight, Mattingly spoke about focusing on basics. “As a manager I have been given an opportunity to develop a culture of playing the game the right way,” he said. “I told the team when I took this job my goal was to win a championship, and every decision I make is designed to move us in that direction.” The Dodgers headed to the playoffs just two years later.

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Yasiel Puig

Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig’s Untold Journey to the Dodgers

When rookie Yasiel Puig began his breakout year with the Dodgers, public interest in the “diva” player’s past grew as sales figures for replicas of his team jersey climbed. Writer Jesse Katz got the story. His long-read feature details Puig’s terrifying experience of defecting from Cuba and also sheds new light on what all Cuban athletes endure in their quest to play for American teams.

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Vin Scully

“As Good As It Gets”: Vin Scully’s Ode To Summer

It’s no surprise that Vin Scully loves summer in Los Angeles. After all, it’s the time of year during which the baseball icon has announced Dodger games since 1958. In this transporting 2013 essay, Scully writes about spending the season at Dodger Stadium. “The sky over Dodger Stadium will change into cotton candy—all these different colors,” he writes. “That’s a marvelous thing, when you can sit and take all that in.”

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Fallen Angel

Staff writer Steve Oney profiled Los Angeles Angels star Robert “Bo” Belinsky, who threw California’s first major league no-hitter in 1962. For the left-handed pitcher, success was followed by struggles with drugs and alcohol, a shooting incident, a suicide attempt, and, ultimately, salvation.

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