Saturday, March 25, 2017

Open House for Bloggers at Dodger Stadium - and Yours Truly was There!

Aloha, everybody, 

The following was originally posted in my Dodgers blog, LA Dodgers Report. I'm reprinting here with the thought a few of you might be interested in my very cool experience at Chavez Ravine. In honor of Sir Night Owl, who's never been to Dodger Stadium, I'm including some bonus photos that weren't in the original article...


About two weeks ago, the invitations arrived in Dodgers blogger’s email boxes across the Southland. The Dodgers were going to have a luncheon, with a VIP tour afterward, and as loyal fans/writers/opinion makers/P.R. allies, we were all invited to attend. I may have missed the USA v Japan semi-final, but wild horses couldn’t drag me away from this event!
I was so excited to be there today, I arrived at the stadium gate 45 minutes early. The no-nonsense guard told me to turn my car around and return in a half hour, a scant 15 minutes before the scheduled noon start time.
Fast forward to 11:50 a.m. and my first 2017 view of that magnificent structure in Chavez Ravine.

They checked us in, handed everyone a complimentary Dodgers baseball cap, and we gathered in the Baseline Club.



We heard a presentation about all the fun theme nights and promotional giveaways coming up this season. Did you know that over 60 of the Dodgers 80 home games have a theme or a giveaway? With 40,000 fans receiving gifts at those special games, the Dodgers top all the other baseball clubs in giving back to the fans who come out to the stadium.
The special night that generated the most buzz in the room was April 15, Jackie Robinson Night. On that evening the Dodgers will unveil their first stadium statue, none other than ol’ Number 42. They also mentioned the giveaway – to 40,000 fans – will be a replica of that statue. “Wow”s and “Ooooh”s broke out all around the room.
While details about the statue were scarce, we bloggers pushed and here are the extra tidbits we were able to garner:

The statue will be larger than life, and made from bronze. It will rest on a granite base with inscribed quotes from Jackie.

It will be positioned on the Reserved Level, and set with the Downtown LA cityscape in mind.

The Robinson family was consulted and gave input on the pose, the features, and the inscriptions.

(Remember you read it here first...I'm predicting the pose will be Jackie stealing home.)


Then the Dodgers introduced their new Executive Chef, Ryan Evans. He told us all about the new foods that he’s created for this season.

Check out those bloggers’ hungry faces. They heard lunch was being served, not displayed.




This Tuna poke was my favorite. That said, I didn't have a chance to sample much of anything. More on that later.


Above is an extreme bacon wrapped dog and some type of extreme burger with hot dog and tater tots all included in the mix. The burger is infused – or something – with Budweiser.
I don’t want to tell Chef Evans how to do his job (he doesn’t tell me how to write), but for the love of Lasorda, with so many excellent local craft breweries surrounding Dodger Stadium, was Budweiser really the best beer to go with on that one?
We finally got to sample the food, but the problem was, they took so long with presentations, there was only about 10 minutes for us to eat before the tour left. I wish we’d had time for dessert, because I really wanted to taste that Dodgers funnel cake.
The tour was the best part of the day for me. We began at field level. 

Two amazing views from the batter's perspective.




The dugouts still bear the WBC markings.



I looked down at the spike marks on the bench and I wondered how far back they went. Could these be scuffs  from Koufax’s spikes? Gibby’s? They’re at least the marks from WBC Champions, Team USA, and that was awesome enough for me.

Below is the view from the dugout down toward the clubhouse. To be honest, it looked a little dingier than I expected. It looks unchanged from the night Kirk Gibson stood on those very stairs and told Tommy Lasorda he was ready to bat in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. 



Some views from the dugout giving the player's perspective.



We passed into the bowels of the stadium and through halls lined with memorabilia, retired jerseys and awards.

Here's one for GCRL...





An almost endless display of Golden Gloves. Below is Fernando's GG (actually, these are replicas, as the originals go home with the players). 




The World Series Trophy case. These are the real deals, not replicas. 




Here’s the view from the Vin Scully Press Box

Below is the last home plate ever used at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, NY, USA 


Shown above is Vin Scully’s headset, last scorecard and notes. I kid you not, I felt a tear welling up as I looked at this.
There’s something special about this place, this stadium. Its walls are saturated with legendary baseball feats, lazy, sunny Sunday games, and deeply personal history.
Thank you very much, Los Angeles Dodgers, for inviting us out to a very special day.
The next time I’m at the stadium, the Dodgers will be taking the field, and we’ll all – all of us – be starting this wild and crazy, wonderful and frustrating, nail-biting ride that is much more than just a game.

Aloha! 

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It was the best. Really glad I had the chance.

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  2. I haven't been to Dodger Stadium yet, but it's definitely on the list. I can't believe there isn't a player statue out there yet. Wow. Having Jackie Robinson as the first is really cool though.
    Looks like you had a great time!

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    1. I'm also amazed we're just now getting our first statue.
      I'm planning to be there that night and get my own Jackie statue.

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  3. thanks for posting all of these pics, oscar! i've got to do the dodger stadium tour someday...

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    1. You're welcome, buddy. I'm really glad I have this platform to share the experience with folks who can't be there.

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  4. Wow.. looks like a lot of fun!

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    1. It was a blast. One of those days you don't want to end.

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  5. Replies
    1. The tour was great. Best part was out tour guide was really knowledgeable and he didn't hurry any part of it. We got to hang out as long as we wanted in all the stops.

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  6. I'd love to take a tour like that...plus (most of) the food looked really good!

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    1. Yeah. the food was good. I wanted to try the extreme dog, but not enough time!

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  7. Awesome post/pictures! Can't wait to catch a few games at the ravine!

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    1. Thanks for the compliment. Yup, can't wait also. I'll be there for Game 2 of the season.

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