Win or Lose, Los Doyers are ‘Familia’

During Game 6 of this year’s World Series, a man held up a sign. On top, it read, “1988: Father and son at World Series.” On the bottom, “2017: Father, son and grandson at World Series.”

I could relate. I was there with my big brother David, our respective spouses, and David’s son — my nephew (and godson) Justin. We had brought Justin to his first game — Opening Day 1995 — when he was only five months old.

I’m sure our family story will resonate with others who see the Dodgers as part of their family history. But as a Latina who grew up in Echo Park, home to Dodger Stadium, there are other dimensions to my family’s story and our love of the Dodgers, or as we called them, Los Doyers.

My father is from Cananea in Sonora, Mexico, but let’s start with my maternal grandmother, Natalia Barraza, from the town of Acaponeta in the state of Nayarit. She opened the Nayarit restaurant on Sunset Boulevard, one mile from Dodger Stadium, in 1951. Throughout the ’60s and early ’70s (when my mom sold it), the Dodgers, as well as Latino players from visiting teams, like Juan Marichal and the Aloú brothers, would come to the restaurant.

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love the Dodgers. EVERYONE in my neighborhood was a fan and the stadium was accessible, geographically and economically. You could actually watch the Dodgers on TV then — unlike now, due to a four-year impasse between SportsNet LA and cable and satellite providers — so we never missed a game.

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