To quote Stephen Nelson: if you know, you know, but it’s Bracket Season.
For the past six years, Dodger fan Makenna Martin has organized a one-woman campaign to answer an unanswerable question, but a burning one depending on one’s taste: who is the most attractive Dodger?
Many thought the 2023 Dodgers were headed for a rebuild year, but they came out as hot as ever (both on and off the field). Each year we must ask ourselves: Who do YOU think is the hottest?— makenna martin :) (@makenna_m19) September 29, 2023
Let the 6th Annual Hottest Dodger Bracket BEGIN! ⚾️
Tag posts with #bracketszn23 ! pic.twitter.com/T9I3oFN1in
I first stumbled upon this tradition last year, as I happened upon the Dodgers participating in Dress Up Day, causing a moderate feeding frenzy online when I stumbled upon Joey Gallo without his shirt. Ironically, this act was probably Gallo’s most lasting contribution to the 2022 Dodgers.
(Author’s Note: Yes, it is rather annoying that the photographs taken after the game are arguably what I am most known for in the community. Not the essays on the Gondola, not the One-Win team, not the analysis of the Bauer situation, not the Guide, not even the debacle of 2023’s Pride Night. If anything, Gallo made me realize I should probably start going to the gym.)
As you can see from the Bracket above, there’s some stiff competition this year — if you’re into that sort of thing. Personally, the Bracket feels wholly incomplete without Joe Davis as he is quite a handsome man.
I can understand the logic of limiting the selections to the players. After all, if one included Davis, the Bracket would be reduced to a battle for second place.
As an aside, Dodgers’ Dress Up Day should always be after a day game, as dressing up after a night game feels like a missed opportunity and a little silly. This feeling is especially prevalent if one is not going to go trick-or-treating afterward.
I am glad that the team does not resort to rookie hazing anymore. Plus, silly fun is best when shared. Photos of costumes going up late at night do not have the same punch as to the impact on the fans.
Getting back to Bracket Season, it is quite impressive how much the tradition has grown in the six years since its inception. From Justin Turner feigning confused ignorance to literal mentions of the bracket on the Dodgers’ telecast:
Stephen Nelson is a mensch. Seriously, I could just spend an essay gushing about him as in some respects it is as if a fan has crossed that line into being bonafide, while serving as a broadcaster. He could have stopped at just mentioning the Bracket, but he went that extra step and put his money where his mouth was.
Once again, the Bracket went live on September 29, raising money for Peace Over Violence, a non-profit based on building healthy relationships and working toward the goals of eliminating sexual and domestic violence. Last year, Ms. Martin’s Bracket Fundraiser raised $8,600 for the group.
This year, the community raised just shy of $8,800 with about a week to go in the campaign. If you wish to this worthy cause, you can click the included link to do so. With an entry of $10, one can enter a raffle for a series of Dodger-related prizes.
In some respects, Bracket season serves as a fun, PG-palette cleanser on the eve of the Postseason, but positive acts for good do feel like a needed act with Julio Urías’ recent arrest for domestic violence and resulting (likely) permanent exile from the Dodgers and the ongoing fiasco from another exiled and forgotten player over the past two years.
At this point, Ms. Martin has led efforts to raise about $22,000 (and counting) for a worthy cause. If you are so inclined to donate, with or without generating a bracket, I would encourage you to do so if you are able. A good cause plus the Dodgers; you could do far worse in combination.