Amid a close run in the NHL, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired 12-time star Manny Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox in a three-team deal on deadline exchanges without derogation on July 31, 2008.
Ramirez made an immediate impact for the club reaching .396 / .489 / .743 with 14 doubles, 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 games en route to help LA win the division and its first playoff series in addition to two decades.
Ramirez quickly became a fan favorite and re-signed with the Dodgers to a two-year contract in the offseason that followed. The organization capitalized on its popularity by launching a “Mannywood” section in left field for the 2009 season.
LA also hosted a bobblehead night for Ramirez that year, which ended in a memorable way with him winning a grand slam for sure against the Cincinnati Reds.
Andre Ethier, who was only in his fourth season in MLB at the time, called “Mannywood Night” and Manny Ramirez’s bobblehead his favorite memory at Dodger Stadium, via the official Dodgers YouTube channel:
“I don’t know. It’s hard. I had so many good memories at Dodger Stadium. I think one of my favorites must be in , when we first had Manny Ramirez. He came in, got off to a good start and it was “Mannywood Night”. All these people were in those dreadlocks and bandanas, and he didn’t start this game but comes in for a nip, has a winning home run in the eighth inning or something.
âIt was’ Mannywood ‘bobblehead night or whatever. It was probably one of my favorites because it was my third year in the big leagues and it was like,’ Wow. I play with it. Manny Ramirez and I’m really in the big leagues now. It was my first moment of pinching myself in the big league. Obviously there was a lot going on before that, but it was like, “I really am. right here right now.”
Ramirez’s late-game heroism in the July 22, 2009 game against the Reds came to fruition after he was ruled out of the starting lineup with a contusion to his right hand resulting from an impact on a field the night before.
Ramirez produced .322 / .433 / .580 with 53 doubles, 44 homers and 156 RBIs in 223 games in three seasons with the Dodgers. His 555 career homers are ranked 15th in MLB history.
Ethier buys theater for families to watch Disney’s “Encanto”
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