“Dodger Blue-Gets The Green”
There have been so many great players who have worn the Dodger Blue colors.
Close your eyes, and you think Jackie Robison..Gil Hodges..Duke Snider..Roy Campanella..Fernando Valenzuala..Orel Hirschiser..Hideo Nomo..Garvey-Cey-Lopes…Koufax-Drysdale…Kershaw and so many more.
Stars who played with stars in the spotlight in Hollywood. All got paid, all were honored.
Justin Turner is a different type of star wearing Dodgers Blue.
A self made man, now rewarded with what will be his final contract extension, this (2Y-34M) deal agreed to this weekend after months and months of talks, with not only LA but a wide variety of clubs.
The best part of the story is not the contract value, but how it was earned.
Somewhere along the way, a light bulb went on for Justin Turner. He became a self-made man. He became a leader. He became a big time hitter. He became a rock at 3rd base. And now he has become rich in the twilight of his career.
He was a Baltimore Oriole, and it is strange to think this guy was a sub 200-hitter. The Mets gave him a chance but guys hitting (.230-to-.250) do not take jobs away from people like David Wright.
He wound up in the Dodgers camp on a minor league invite contract to camp.
The rest is history. He’s hit (.305) in his storied career with LA. It encompasses (125-home runs). It is a (.295) career average in the post season. It is Gold Glove plays at 3rd base.
It is vocal leadership in the dugout and clubhouse. It is leading charity drives in his suburban Lakewood hometown.
It is the flaming red-beard and long red hair beneath that cap.
It is a guy taken out of the World Series last year by a Covid test, coming back for a team picture, drawing enormous criticism, but then issuing an apology for his flash-in the moment mistake wanting to rejoin his team.
More than anything, when you view the big picture, of who he is, what he became, how he acts, what he accomplished, you come to respect this guy, who is a different type of player and person in the galaxy of so many Dodgers stars over decades at Chavez Ravine.
Justin Turner…got it…earned it…the stats, the salary…the respect in baseball.