It's Dodgers Opening Day this week, which means the city will be bursting with blue. We're on the lookout to find SoCal's biggest, most dedicated, major-league excited Dodgers fans — people with generations of Dodgers memories, encyclopedic knowledge of the team's history, baseball tattoos, pets named after players. Here are some of the contenders we've found so far:
Whitney Harrison, Pasadena
Harrison went to a whopping 24 Dodger games last season, not including the spring training games she went to this year. She has traveled from Atlanta to Houston to San Francisco and San Diego to watch the team play, and the boot for her broken foot was adorned with a Dodgers sticker.
"A wall in my apartment is plastered with Dodger images and my desk at work is decorated with Dodger Bobble Heads. I am taking an art class at the Pasadena Armory Center and each piece I make is Dodger inspired. The first phrase I taught my niece to say was 'Go Dodgers!" I got all of my coworkers to wear Dodger gear on the first day of the [National League Division Series], even ones who aren't real fans."
Barbara Nicholson, Long Beach
Watching the Dodgers has always been a family affair for Nicholson. Her dad and his co-workers have shared season tickets for years, and they still go to games together to this day. Nicholson still has her dad's score book from the 1956 World Series game 5 that he attended in New York, where Larsen pitched the perfect game.
Fast forward to 1988 World Series, we are watching at home, Orel Hershiser is pitching, and the Dodgers fans are chanting his first name. My then 7-month daughter, Katy, speaks her first word, "Orel". At 9 years old, my granddaughter, Skylar, was chosen to announce the start of the game ("It's time for DODGER baseball!"). The Dodgers have been and continue to be a major part of my family."
Arlene Karno, Venice
Karno is no fairweather fan. She sticks with her team through the wins and losses, and she even cried in her car listening to an interview with first baseman Adrián González, who was ruled out from playing in the post-season this year.
During the team's slump this year, she said, "I spent my entire paycheck, and two hours, on getting my nails painted with all things Dodger."
"Many a rabid baseball fan feel, as I do that baseball is life, one of the most perfect metaphors for being human and hurling, limping or swinging toward our individual home plates. I love the Dodgers more than the Beatles and my shoes (and I have a lot of 'em)."
Elizabeth Medina, Long Beach
Medina says she bleeds blue, but her pride comes from being able to connect with her family.
“As a rebel teen without direction being raised by my Dad, I felt isolated and abandoned until I started watching Dodger games with my dad and brother. I finally was able to bond with them using stats and Orel Hershiser (my favorite pitcher) as a buffer. I watched the 1988 World Series piled in front of a small tv on top of our bigger broken one and that's when I started bleeding blue... Flash forward 29-35 years and now my own family will be piled in front of the tv. My dad will be with us in spirit and I will finally get to wear my signed Oral Hershiser jacket in October."
And there are plenty more hardcore fans around SoCal — like one man with a giant Vin Scully tattoo on his torso, or the family of five generations that gathered together to watch the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series. If you think you belong on this list, let us know on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments: What makes you SoCal's biggest Dodger fan?
This post has been updated. Responses have been edited for clarity.