June 16, 2009 — Chandler Lord’s dream season came to a dream conclusion Tuesday night when his team, the Dodgers, won the third and final game to claim the championship of the 2009 Vine Ingle Major League Tournament.
Chandler, who was named just 10 days earlier as the winner of the 2009 Mike Weaver Award, got at least two hits, but his biggest contribution came in the 5th and 6th innings.
The Dodgers were playing the Giants in the best-of-3 playoff series for the league tournament trophy. The Giants won Game 1 on Saturday, but the Dodgers came back to win Game 2 on Monday, setting up the deciding game Tuesday night.
The Dodgers jumped out to an early lead and were ahead 11-3 going into the 5th. But the Dodger starting pitcher began to tire and the Giants started to tee off. They scored four times and had runners on first and third when the Dodgers manager lifted the pitcher for second baseman Chandler.
He retired the next three batters without allowing a run on a strikeout, a ground ball and a popup. That sent the Dodgers, the visiting team, into the top of the 6th hoping to score more runs. Chandler came up with runners on first and second and two outs. He lined a single to center, but the runner on second was held at third to load the bases. The threat ended, however, with no runs scoring, so the Dodgers headed to the bottom of the 6th with Chandler on the mound, needing only three outs.
The first Giant reached first base on a grounder, but the second man up struck out. The third man flied out to center field for the second out. Chandler bore down and got the next man to hit a grounder to short, and the shortstop fielded the ball and stepped on second to end the game.
The Dodgers swarmed Chandler as he headed toward the dugout, the manager was doused with a shower of ice and water from the cooler and the celebration was on.
It was a wonderful ending to a wonderful week for Chandler. And we must admit we were gratified to hear so many people say so many nice things about Chandler, as well as to his parents, about the honor of winning the Mike Weaver Award.