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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
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11) commenting under the obvious influence
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Let's Go, Cora!
2004-05-13 09:29
by Jon Weisman

But I think about the events of that day again and again. And somehow I know that Winnie does too, whenever some blowhard starts talking about the anonymity of the suburbs or the mindlessness of the TV generation, because we know that inside every one of those identical boxes, with its Dodge parked out front and its white bread on the table and its TV set glowing blue in the falling dusk, there are people with stories, there were families bound together in the pain and the struggle of love. There where moments that made us cry with laughter, and there were moments, like that one, of sorrow and wonder."

- The Wonder Years, pilot episode

To watch Alex Cora in the seventh inning Wednesday night was to witness the crescendo of a perfect game in a single at-bat - an ferocious privilege. I can touch my face and still feel the heat from the excitement that built up in me and around me. It was an at-bat of sufficient length to be shown as a half-hour special on ESPN Classic.

It left me with a wish, a wish that all fans from other parts of the country could have seen it.

About halfway into the streak of consecutive foul balls Cora hit, the Dodger Stadium crowd started to take notice. As he reached double digits, a roar started to come with each swing. The scoreboard operator, not at all imprisoned from spontaneity, threw a running tally of the foul balls onto the big screen. Around foul ball No. 11, the crowd was rising to its feet. A cheer of "Let's go, Cora!" sprung from somewhere and immediately swept the entire stadium.

Something epic was happening and everyone knew it. Everybody got it. Everybody got that they were witnessing something special, something spectacular, in a series of liners and ground balls to the right of first base.

Foul ball - roar. Foul ball - roar. Foul ball - ROAR.

Cora was going 15 rounds, the underdog in a fight with an Apollo Creed in the polished Matt Clement. And the Dodger fans were in ecstasy. They weren't playing with beach balls. They weren't leaving early. They were there. They were in the game.

And then, after 14 foul balls, on the 18th pitch of the at-bat, Alex Cora swung and drove a long, high fly to right field. Back went Sammy Sosa, back. At the wall. Gone!

The crowd went berserk. And they earned every bit of their insanity.

Folks, I grew up in the suburbs and I grew up a Dodger fan, and neither has a nationwide reputation for generating crackle or passion or heat. But it is not because we have nothing better to do or nothing else to care about that we go to games, 3 million strong each year.

To anyone who might be reading this from the outside, who has bought into the stereotype of the Dodger fan, who has mocked us, please try to understand. Just try.

Dodger fans are real.

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