The city of Los Angeles has yet again seen a professional team bring home a championship tro-phy this year. On Oct. 20, just over a week after the Los Angeles Lakers hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy for the 17th time in fran-chise history, the World Series be-gan between the National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the American League Cham-pion Tampa Bay Rays.
This series was a race to see which city would be the home to two trophies, as the Tampa Bay Lightning had taken home the Stanley Cup the previous month.
On Oct. 27 the Dodgers emerged victorious, defeating the Rays 3-1 in the final game and winning the best-of-7 series 4-2 to raise the Commissioner’s Trophy for the first time since 1988.
The competition throughout the MLB playoffs was fierce. It went from a best-of-3 in the wild card series to best-of-5 in the divi-sional series, before going to best-of-7 in the league championship and the World Series itself.
The Dodgers were the favored team to win, this being their third World Series appearance in the past four years. In most recent years they lost to the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox, while losing in the first round to the Washington Nationals in 2019.
This year, they ended the run of the Milwaukee Brewers in the Wild Card Series 2-0, swept the San Diego Padres in the Division-al Series 3-0 and came back from a 3-0 series deficit to eliminate the Atlanta Braves 4-3 in the National League Championship Series.
The Rays were a strong adver-sary for the Dodgers this year. The first and last time they were in the World Series was in 2008 as they looked to secure their first ever World Series win.
This year the Rays immediately vanquished the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0, prevailed over the New York Yankees in the Divisional Series 3-2 and overcame the defending American League Champion-ships, the Astros, in the American League Championship Series 4-3.
The Dodgers had an impressive run this year, especially consid-ering that the season was signifi-cantly shortened from the usual 162 games to just 60. They had a .717 winning percentage, which is the second-highest all-time for any World Series champion team. In fact, the only team to beat the Dodgers in any series this year was the Colorado Rockies, winning two out of three games at Dodger Stadium in early September.
The Dodgers had some key players who performed to bring home the Series. Cody Bellinger joined his father, Clay, as a World Series champion. Clay won titles with the 1999 and 2000 Yankees and 2002 Los Angeles Angels, making the Bellingers the eighth father-son duo to win at least one title apiece.
Mookie Betts became the first MVP Award winner to win a World Series title with multiple franchises, having also won with the 2018 Red Sox.
Even with the World Series loss, the Rays still had a tremendous season. Rookie Randy Arozarena has claimed the team’s record for the most home runs in the post-season. In Game 6 of the World Series, Blake Snell gave up just two hits, walked none and struck out nine before being pulled with just one out in the sixth inning, a move viewed controversial by many Rays fans. Overall, the Rays finished their postseason scor-ing 67.1 percent of their runs via homers, breaking the record of the 1998 Cleveland Indians.
Despite the challenges the pandemic handed to both teams, the World Series put on some well-played games.
The Dodgers hoisted the trophy for the 7th time and the Rays made a post-season run that fans and rivals alike won’t soon forget.