That’s Felicity Neher’s story. Don’t blame her—she was only 2 months and 22 days old at her first Dodger game.
Felicity rested comfortably on her mother Cheryl’s lap throughout Hideo Nomo’s three-hit gem, a 1-0 Los Angeles victory against the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves on April 8, 1996.“As a baby, she was a good sleeper. I’m sure she contentedly slept while we enjoyed the game,” said Bob Neher, Felicity’s father, about the 1996 opener.
Felicity, now 22, has been dubbed the “ Dodger Girl” by her customers at her beautician job at Great Clips in Agoura.
The Simi Valley resident will attend her 23rd straight Dodger home opener on March 29 when Los Angeles opens its season against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium.
There has been one constant in all her home openers: Her father has joined her for every one.
“He gets the tickets,” Felicity said. “So it’s my father and then whoever can go. I never bought a ticket. He spoiled me.”
Bob is a true blue, diehard Dodger fan, following in the footsteps of his own dad, who embraced the Brooklyn Dodgers. Cheryl grew up rooting for the Giants, but after marrying Bob she changed allegiance to the Dodgers.
“Before my father got married, he had a contract that said his wife had to be a Dodger fan,” Felicity joked.
Bob takes credit for “brainwashing” his daughters Felicity and Samantha into becoming passionate fans. Samantha attended 17 straight Dodger home openers at one point before college broke the streak. Bob will reach home opener No. 27 next week.
Dodger Girl picked up her nickname at work.
“That term came up when I started working at Great Clips a year and a half ago,” said Felicity, who attends about 20 Dodger games a year. “I always talk to my customers about the Dodgers, and they would come in and say, ‘I want the Dodger Girl to cut my hair.’
“They all came in the day after the World Series. They peeked in and didn’t want their hair cut. They just wanted to know how I was.”
Los Angeles reached the World Series for the first time since 1988 but lost Game 7 to the Houston Astros last year.
“I mean they had a good season,” she said, “but the World Series was very stressful. Honestly, I had a lot of good memories.”
Felicity’s attire makes it clear where her loyalties lie.
She is decked head to toe in Dodger gear; she recently bought a new Dodger hat. She dyed the bottom of her hair blue this offseason “cause I missed baseball.”
Felicity and Samantha attended the Dodgers’ first two spring training games last month in Arizona before driving home to return to work.
Felicity is looking forward to Opening Day—and keeping her streak intact. She will attend the game with her dad, sister and a family friend. The group will sit in the upper-level, reserve seats outside first base.
“It doesn’t matter where I sit,” Felicity said. “I just want to be there.”
She says her first favorite player was Shawn Green, an All- Star slugger who played with the team from 2000 to 2004.
“I used to really like Shawn Green,” Felicity said. “I was 4, 5 years old at the time. He was the first player I liked. I had other favorites, but then they traded them and I picked another.”
Dodger Girl didn’t hesitate naming her current favorite player, Chris Taylor.
Felicity Neher just can’t get enough of the Dodgers.
“I wouldn’t change my team for anyone,” she said. “If I married someone who was a Padre fan, I’d still be a Dodger fan. That wouldn’t change my mind.”
Will she ever miss a Dodger home opener?
“I’ll go to as many as I can . . . until I die,” she said.