While painting your face and holding up a sign might have passed for fan obsession in years past, there's a new level of fan in the stands today. Face paint comes off after the last whistle blows, but the ink on these fans is going to be there long after the season goes down the tubes.
Landon Heying Los Angeles Dodgers Fan, Owner, True Blue Tattoo, Los Angeles, CA
Do you give discounts to people who want Dodger tattoos?
We have something called Dodger Day once a month where we give away free Dodgers tattoos. One size is free, and you can get bigger Dodgers tattoos at huge discounts. We did 41 of them the last Dodger day.
How many Dodgers tattoos do you have?
I have eight. On each forearm, I have portraits of Tommy Lasorda and Jackie Robinson. I have the "smile now cry later" theater logo because fans are still complaining about the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn. The smiling face is wearing an L.A. hat and the crying face is wearing a Brooklyn hat.
Are you the world's biggest Dodger fan?
There are a lot of big fans, but I don't know anyone who's gone to the lengths that I've gone. I follow them on the road, and I've got tons of memorabilia. Plus, I can't even count up the money that I've given in discounts for tattoos.
What's the craziest Dodger tattoo you've ever given?
Well, I don't really think any of them qualify as "crazy," since I have a few myself. But I did a Dodger logo that stretched across the entire back from shoulder to shoulder. That usually gets most people's attention.
Do you see yourself as a sort of missionary, spreading the word of the Dodgers throughout the land?
Most definitely. I was joking with my girlfriend the other day that I've turned all the girls I've dated in the past into Dodgers fans. So in addition to the tattoos, I've helped build their fan base, one girl at a time.
True Blue is filled with Dodgers memorabilia, including jerseys, balls, bats, and more. Is your shop a Dodger church?
I look at the shop more as a YMCA because we've got some kids coming by who aren't even getting tattoos. They just come by to hang out and talk about the Dodgers and watch the games with us.
Have you ever tattooed a Dodger?
One of the coolest things I did was I got to tattoo Matt Kemp. He dropped in after a game, and I tattooed his mother's name in script on his wrist. He wants to get more ink, but he's going to have to wait until after the season. It's probably not a good idea to be sliding around when you've got a brand new sleeve. There's also a rumor Manny Ramirez might be coming in.
What would a tattoo of Manny being Manny look like?
The other day I, saw a shirt with a picture of Bob Marley superimposed with Manny's face, and it just said "Legend." I think that would work for Manny.
Are there any tattoos you would refuse to give anyone?
There are always things that I won't do. Like, if a kid with no tattoos wants something on his face or if someone wants a swastika. But as far as baseball tattoos go…if someone came in and asked for a [San Francisco] Giants logo, I would be like, "Look around you. Why are you coming in here?"