We were seated next to a voluble but harmless group of Cubs fans, and behind a Konerko-jerseyed White Sox fan who naturally was rooting for the Dodgers—er, against the Cubs ("If you win today, I'll forgive you for 1959").
After reading how Phillies fans treat the enemy, I steeled myself for some ugly behavior, but was pleasantly surprised to discover Dodger fans' verbal abuse ranging from witless ("Cubs suck! Cubs suck!") to mildly witless ("A hundred more years! A hundred more years!"). Cubs fans walking up and down the aisle received nothing more lacerating than boos and jeers.
In fact, Dodger fans stayed classy all night. We didn't see any fights. We exchanged whoops and high-fives with strangers we wouldn't ordinarily glance at. In front of us, a young father took off his shirt, revealing his tattoos. His ten-year-old son followed suit, revealing red boxers pulled high above sagging pants.
A giddy Latino fan yelled "Kuroda!" to a passing Asian fan—and they exchanged a high-five. Fans danced in the aisles, some with rhythm and some less so:
Fans lingered to soak in the boozy post-game vibe for nearly an hour afterward, until ushers started shooing them toward the exits. It felt like the wee hours of an especially raucous wedding:
Russell Martin, Matt Kemp and James Loney were among the Dodgers who returned to the field to mingle with fans:
In fact, Martin and Kemp made a dash to the corner of the Left Field Pavilion, climbing up onto the platform in front of Section 301:
Let's hope they didn't tweak any ankles jumping back down to the ground.
Delwyn Young serenaded the crowd with a sweep-worthy broom:
The cheeky monkey.
Joe Torre, Manny Ramirez, Rafael Furcal, Loney and even Hiroki Kuroda all said a few words to the crowd over the Dodger Stadium P.A. system. But only Tommy Lasorda said more than a few words:
After the Dodgers disappeared into the clubhouse, front office personnel and the groundskeeping crew celebrated on the field and took group photos. This was their victory too.
THE PARKING LOT
I've never seen so much goodwill in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium:
THE BONUS CAPTION
Earlier: Part 1
group celebration and Kemp hug photos by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
Loney photo by Robert Gauthier/LA Times
Kemp/Martin #2: AP photo
Young #2 photo by Jill Weisleder/Dodgers
all other photos by Orel/SoSG