Dodgers’ biggest fan works at Bayside Elementary

With the calendar turning to November, many teachers are removing October decorations from their classroom doors and hallways.

With Game 7 of the World Series tonight, Bayside Elementary preschool teacher Mary Taylor is keeping up her decorations a little longer. Her colleagues Kristen Daugherty and Brooke Gadberry have been adding articles and photos of Taylor’s son, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder and Cox High School graduate Chris Taylor, to the classroom door throughout the postseason.

A large banner – large enough that adults have to duck to enter the room – with Chris’ jersey number was recently added to the door.

“It’s been really sweet – everybody and their support,” said Mary from her Bayside classroom six hours before the start of Game 7. “On Friday the school dressed in blue to support the Dodgers.”

That Friday, Mary and her husband Chris Sr., Chris’ father, were bound for Houston to see World Series Games 3, 4 and 5 in person. They ended up only seeing two of the three games.

“We got stuck in the Norfolk airport the entire day Friday, so we missed the game,” Mary said. “I was so upset but then we knew we’d be there Saturday and Sunday.”

They walked into their Houston hotel just in time to see the last at bat for the Houston Astros to win Game 3.

“It was good to see Chris [at the hotel] but everybody was kind of down because they had lost the game. It was nice on Saturday to see the win and to celebrate with some of the team afterward. It was so late and they were so tired – but excited.”

“Excited” is the word she used to describe her reaction to seeing her son, from her den in Virginia Beach, hit an RBI double to tie Game 6, a game the Dodgers won to even the series and force tonight’s Game 7.

“I was really nervous at the beginning of the game yesterday and then I thought to myself, you never know what’s going to happen in baseball and this is an amazing team. I just want to sit down and watch him play with this amazing team and just enjoy him being a part of this. That’s just the way I’m trying to look at it.”

That’s what she reminds Chris of on game days.

“I’ll text him, like today, I’ll tell him good luck and enjoy playing with this great team,” she said.

How is the Major League Baseball player’s mom feeling about the final game?

“I’m excited. It’s the last game. It’s a long season. He’s going to be home soon, so I’m excited. He comes home during the offseason and he promised me he would come to Bayside. He loves kids.”

And just like her students at Bayside, Mary loves that Chris is still learning.

“They have so many great leaders on the team,” she said. “Chris is learning from great leaders. I’m so proud of him. He’s so humble and just takes it all in stride.”

If there’s a Dodgers win in Game 7, Mary has no idea what her colleagues have in store for door decorations. She’s just focused on Game 7 – just like her son and his teammates.

“The ultimate goal was tonight. In their heads, they’re going to get it. Really, this team is so competitive and so good – both teams are. It will be interesting to see what happens.”


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2 thoughts on “Dodgers’ biggest fan works at Bayside Elementary

  1. I can remember when he first started playing but haven’t kept up since I retired. But my husband has, and watched all the games. I know you are proud of his accomplishments. Enjoy his time at home.

  2. I have known Chris Jr since he was 9 years old in the baseball and wrestling community. The Taylor family is filled with outstanding people and athletes, from grandpa Armon to dad Chris to Uncle Mike, Chris Jr comes with a strong pedigree. His efforts in MLB bring honor and a spotlight to his family, the VB baseball community, and to all those who played with and against him.
    We are all proud of Chris Jr and hope he enjoys a lengthy and enjoyable career living the dream!

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