Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
More than 16 months after the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a blockbuster trade to acquire Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox, the two got to play in front of a capacity crowd at Dodger Stadium for the first time as home players.
With the state of California lifting most restrictions that had been in place since the early stages of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Dodgers arranged for “Reopening Day” to celebrate being approved for full capacity.
Betts dazzled in front of a sold-out crowd (52,078 announced attendance), with his go-ahead home run in the seventh inning and two-out RBI single in the eighth proving the difference in a 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
“Obviously it was a great feeling knowing that they’re finally cheering on my behalf. Just happy and thankful we finally got this day,” Betts said after the game.
“At the beginning I kind of took it all in since it was my first time being in front of all the fans here at Dodger Stadium. So the first couple innings I kind of took it in and after that I kind of tuned it out and got back to business. I’m used to playing in front of big crowds, so I got back to business. But I definitely soaked it all in while I could.”
Roberts: Betts home run sparked ‘jolt’
Betts’ home run sent Dodger Stadium into a frenzy, serving as a reminder of how electrifying a capacity crowd can be. “It was a jolt,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“Our fans, as far as full capacity, haven’t had a chance to watch him in person. I think you can say most fans haven’t had that chance. So for them to get here, you hope that your superstar player performs. Go-ahead homer, it was a big jolt. The dugout felt it, the fans felt it, and for us to finish it like that was good.
“First game with full capacity, sort of back to normal as far as bodies in the stands, a sold-out crowd, the energy, there’s Mookie Betts jerseys all over the ballpark. For him to go deep and have a big night, it was great for the fans.”
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