Champions! Has a Nice Ring to It! Dodgers Celebrate Home Opening Weekend, Sweep Nationals


Enrique Medina / El Paisano Media

The Dodgers championship ring has many features including the LA logo crafted from 17 custom-cut genuine sapphires. The ring also includes the teams the Dodgers beat in the playoffs for their 2020 championship, and more.

After 32 years and one whole year without playing in front of fans, the Dodgers once again returned home. This time coming home as World Champions. The boys in blue had their Opening Day set for Friday the 9th and their home Opening Weekend Series this weekend against the Washington Nationals. 

The last time fans were at Chavez Ravine, the fans left home heartbroken after another postseason loss, which just so happened to be against the Washington Nationals in Game 5 of the 2019 NLDS. 

Championship Ring Ceremony and Championship Banner Raised

But, this time around, Opening Day in 2021 would be a time of celebration. The Dodgers were to celebrate their 2020 World Series win with the fans for the first time, with the team ring ceremony/championship banner presentation prior to Opening Day. 

During the ceremony, all players, coaches, and staff received their rings, with each player getting a message from their favorite player growing up. Ovations for all players alike, but especially for Clayton Kershaw, the future Hall of Famer, and longest-tenured Dodger, who waited 13 seasons to finally get his first ring. For Dodgers fans, it was also the first time they saw Mookie Betts at Dodger Stadium. The now Dodger for 12 more years saw his first glimpse of fans at Dodger Stadium after signing a contract extension with the team prior to last season after his trade to LA from Boston. 

After the ring ceremony, the team unveiled the 2020 Championship banner on top of the new 2020 decal along with the other team’s championship years down the right-field line.

Fans Finally With First Chance to See New-Look Stadium Renovations

One of the new features of Dodger Stadium is the new center field entrance. Other features include new restaurants like Shake Shack, a walkway around the stadium, and more. (Enrique Medina/El Paisano Media)

Throughout Opening Day and Opening Weekend at Dodger Stadium as well, it was the first time fans were able to see the new stadium renovations. The stadium renovations were completed back in 2020 for last season when no fans were able to attend. 

The renovations include a new stadium main entrance in center field, a boardwalk to travel around the stadiums, and displays showing parts of the 2020 World Series run and other parts of Dodgers history. 

Buehler Helps Dodgers Get Opening Day Game Victory

Even with the celebration during pregame, the team was still there to do their job: win a ballgame. 

On the hill for the opener was Walker Buehler for the Dodgers, opposed by Joe Ross of the Nationals. The game would be a pitcher’s duel from the get-go as the Dodgers ultimately pulled out a 1-0 win. This, thanks to a home run by third baseman Justin Turner in the bottom of the sixth. The Dodgers were backed by six innings by Buehler in the win. Meanwhile, new Dodgers reliever Corey Knebel came in to shut the door in the ninth. 

Taylor’s Homerun Propels Team to Game 2 Win

Dodger fans returned to Dodger Stadium for the first time since the end of the 2019 season. They were treated to a three-game sweep of Washington. One in which Dodger starters combined for 17.2 innings, only allowing three earned runs during the weekend. (Enrique Medina/El Paisano Media)

For game two, the team would put on another pre-game ceremony, this time for the late Tommy Lasorda. The Dodgers held a video tribute for Lasorda, highlighting his passion, and also his loving nature for the Dodgers. 

As for game two of the series, Julio Urias got the nod against Nationals starter Patrick Corbin. After a quick Nationals run in the first inning, the Dodger offense fired back with a five-run second off of Corbin. Rookie Zach McKinstry would come through with a two-run RBI hit and Chris Taylor would hit a three-run home run. 

Urias cruised from the first inning on, only allowing two more runs to score. The Dodgers would get more insurance thanks to a three-run double by A.J Pollock in what ultimately was a 9-5 win.

McKinstry, Kershaw Finish Off Three-Game Sweep

Game three would yet again honor another Dodger legend pregame. This time the Dodgers celebrated the 40th anniversary of Fernando Valenzuela’s debut. As for the game, it set Clayton Kershaw to pitch against another potential future hall of famer in the Nationals’ Max Scherzer. 

Game 3 would be similar to the Dodger Stadium opener: a pitcher’s duel. Kershaw put on a dominant outing, striking out six Nationals in six innings. As for the Dodgers offense, they only mustered one run against Scherzer, which ultimately was enough. 

That run came around on a McKinstry double who also hit a two-run home run later in the eighth. McKinstry would plate in all three runs in a 3-0 Dodgers win. 

The 3-0 Dodgers win puts the team at now 8-2 on the young season, the best record at the moment in the MLB. The Dodgers look to continue their winning ways as they play a three-game series with Colorado starting on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.