Thursday night at Chavez Ravine, a crowd of 52, 569 crazed cheerleaders came to celebrate something that had already happened five hours earlier. With the loss of the Arizona Diamondbacks to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Dodgers were automatically the winners of the Western Division and heading into the post season for the second time in three years. Apparently nobody bothered to tell Padres pitcher Jake Peavy, the legendary Dodger-killer who led his team to a 7-5 meaningless victory over the newly crowned champs.
Dodgers pre-game ceremony announcing they've won division.
Dodgers use biggest font they own to spread the word.
As the game ended and the pitiful Padres congratulated themselves for not losing 100 games this season, the youth-laden Dodgers quickly retreated to their well-stocked clubhouse for fun and festivities. The Dodger Stadium Jumbotron allowed the three thousand or so remaining hardcore fans to watch what was going on just below them in the Dodger locker room.
Dodger pitcher Chan Ho Park on dugout roof with champagne.
Suddenly, Dodger all-star catcher Russell Martin, emerged from the mayhem of the inner sanctum back onto the field with a magnum of Moet and proceeded to shower every fan along the third base rail. The drenched crowd went nuts. This led to relief pitcher Chan Ho Park, goggles in place, climbing onto the roof of the Dodger dugout and pouring Moet into the mouths of those below him. Shortstop Angel Berroa, wearing a full snorkel mask soon joined him topside and the debauchery dance was on.
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Park pours a champagne cocktail.
I got home around 11:30 p.m., drenched in champagne, having witnessed a spectacle I hope repeats itself following a Dodger victory in this years’ World Series. The Dodgers open their best of five National League Division Series on Wednesday, October 1st in Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs. Go Blue!
Words and photographs by Mark Groubert