The last time the L.A. Dodgers faced the S.F. Giants it was September 17, 2010. After a grueling game the Dodgers walked away with their heads tucked and a looming scoreboard of Giants 10-2. It was a bitter evening for the Dodgers. And one likely not forgotten as Dodgers Opening Day 2011 finally arrives. What a way to launch a new season! The Dodgers will once again take on century-old rivals and ever-so-hated San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium today at 5:00 pm. Broadcast by ESPN, each year Los Angeles Dodgers fans are clambering for their seats, planning their tickets months in advance. As a salty tradition continues, a glimpse into the history behind the rivalry makes the stakes seem that much higher.
The feud between the L.A. Dodgers vs.the S.F Giants is set back once upon a time when both teams were playing out of New York City. The Dodgers were then the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Giants were then the Manhattan Giants. The dispute was bitter as the Giants looked on their Brooklyn counterparts with disdain and disgust. And financially it was almost impossible to support a team based in Brooklyn- fans simply weren’t as interested! So, in 1957, Dodgers owner and wealthy businessman Walter O’ Malley decided to relocate the Dodgers. He is also responsible for the implementation of Dodger Stadium. Somewhere along the line O’ Malley talked Giants owner Horace Stoneham to maintain the rivalry between the infamous New York baseball teams. He urged Stoneham to consider also taking his Giants to California. Though the idea seemed ludicrous at the time, it was a decision that has proven lucrative today. Therefore, it seemed only natural that Stoneham would take his boys to San Francisco. After all, Los Angeles and San Francisco have always had their own rivalry; economically, culturally, and politically the two cities have been neck-to-neck for who has more.
To date the Giants vs. Dodgers have maintained an even balance where one fan can’t say to another their team is bar none the best. Each team has eighteen National League Pennants, more than any other franchise in the MLB, as well as six World Series Titles. The Giants 2010 World Series was their first since moving to California. And the Dodgers have not tasted such a victory since 1988. So as today kicks off a new start for each team, it is highly symbolic to long-time fans of the rivalry.