With the Los Angeles Dodgers taking on the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, Southern California residents got caught up with "baseball fever" over the past week. The Bryant family was among this group, and Natalia Bryant cheered on the team with an important series of photos. She posted images on Instagram that showed her late father, Kobe Bryant, cheering on the Dodgers.
Bryant's photo showed members of the family taking in a Dodgers game. Kobe had on an LA hat and a Dodgers jersey while his wife, Vanessa, wore a Dodgers jacket. Bryant also posted another photo of the Los Angeles Lakers star, who died in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash. Kobe wore a Dodgers hat and held one of his daughters while waving to the crowd.
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The Cruz Show also posted a video that showed Kobe at the Dodgers game. He was on his feet, as Natalia's photo showed, while wearing a No. 8 Manny Machado jersey. Kobe reacted to Yasiel Puig hitting a 3-run home run by jumping up and down while pumping his fist in excitement. He turned and gave high fives to other attendees as he continued the celebration.
Kobe was a longtime Dodgers fan and made his impact felt by throwing out the first pitch in 2015 and announcing the Game 4 lineup during the 2018 World Series. He also provided some words of inspiration to the team before his death. Kobe said that the Dodgers needed to move on after MLB confirmed that the Houston Astros had cheated during the 2017 World Series.
"You can't change things that were, you can't change the outcome," Kobe said. "What you can do is control what you can control, which is your performance, how well you hit the ball, how well you pitch the ball, how well you defend. I think it's important to focus on that and try to bring a World Series back to Los Angeles."
The Dodgers held a 3-2 lead over the Rays ahead of the Game 6 matchup on Tuesday night and had the opportunity to lock up the first championship since 1988. The team proceeded to take the matchup 3-1, prompting celebrations in Los Angeles. The Dodgers also put the finishing touches on a dominant season in which the organization achieved a 43-17 regular-season record and set up the run through the postseason.
The Dodgers followed Bryant's advice and dominantly won the 2020 World Series. The organization also became the second LA-based team to spark excitement in fans. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat early in October to win the NBA championship.