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Reader Poll Results
2003-04-19 09:38
by Jon Weisman

The overwhelming winner of the past week's reader poll, asking for your favorite Dodger memory since November 1988, was October 3, 1993, when the Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants, 12-1, to eliminate the Giants from playoff contention on the final day of the season.

As a "favorite memory," it is a bittersweet one of course, because the Dodgers themselves finished 81-81 that season, 23 games behind division champion Atlanta. As one respondent wrote, "I'd say it's pretty sad that my favorite Dodger moment since Gibby's home run has more to do with the Giants' failure than it does with the Dodgers' success. Sigh."

Still, besides knocking out the Giants, that game simply featured the Dodgers at their best. The Dodgers led, 3-1, going into the bottom of the fifth, then broke the game open when soon-to-be Rookie of the Year Mike Piazza hit the first of two home runs. Pre-rookie Raul Mondesi also homered. Ten different Dodgers in all had hits, none made errors, and Kevin Gross pitched a complete game. And after 162 games, the Dodgers left the field feeling great - and had every reason to be optimistic about the future.

Oh yeah, and Barry Bonds went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and no walks.

As for my favorite moment, believe it or not, Dodger fortunes were at an even lower ebb. It came on July 3, 1992, with the team was thick in the middle of its worse season in eight decades, as a fly ball from the bat of Philadelphia shortstop Mariano Duncan rose through the air.

On the mound, Dodger pitcher Pedro Astacio, about to complete a three-hit, 10-strikeout, 2-0 shutout in his major league debut, began jumping up and down like he was about to win the World Series. As it was, he was winning a meaningless game for a last place team. To this day, however, it remains the purest piece of exuberance I have ever seen on a baseball field, and reminded me that even in down times, wonderful things can happen.

Something to keep in mind these days, to be sure.

Thanks to all who participated in the poll.

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