Dodger Stadium

Major League Baseball Park #4 out of 39

 

 

Monday, August 23, 1993

 

Los Angeles Dodgers 6, Pittsburgh 1

 

W Orel Hershiser

L Zane Smith

 

Attendance 38,739

Tuesday, August 24, 1993

 

L.A. Dodgers 13, Pittsburgh 4

 

W Kevin Gross

L Mark Petkovsek

 

Attendance 36,133

Wednesday, August 25, 1993

 

Pittsburgh 2, L. A. Dodgers 1 (12)

 

W Denny Neagle

L Mike Gott

 

Attendance 33,914

 

Friday, August 29, 1997

 

L. A. Dodgers 5, Oakland 4 (10)

 

W Antonio Osuna

L T. J. Mathews

 

Attendance 43,630

Saturday, August 30, 1997

 

Los Angeles Dodgers 11, Seattle 2

 

W Ramon Martinez

L Bob Wolcott

 

Attendance 53,638

Sunday, August 31, 1997

 

Seattle 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 1

 

W Mike Timlin

L Todd Worrell

 

Attendance 54,213


 

            So many contradictions, so little time. Outdoor baseball stadium with a huge parking lot. Cool. Parking lot large enough to have its own gas station. Not so cool. Sitting in the right-field bleachers with a great view of the field. Cool. Being able to see all of the illuminated fast-food-restaurant-concession stands on each level of the stands behind home plate. Not so cool. Organ music instead of recorded rock or dance music. Cool. Dodger fans complaining on the pregame show (1997) about their closer, Todd Worrell -- who had "only" 33 saves by the time of our games -- while the Mariners were in the middle of a half-decade bullpen meltdown. You get the idea.

            Dodger Stadium was completed in 1962 to house a team that bolted from Brooklyn to bask in sunny southern California. I used to work with a woman who wanted a souvenir from my first trip, but only if I could find something that didn't say "Los Angeles" on it. 37 years later, she still holds a grudge against then-owner Walter O'Malley. Chavez Ravine was also the home of the Los Angeles Angels before Anaheim Stadium was finished.

            Dodger Stadium might be the only outdoor baseball park with only its bleachers covered. The only changes made to the building since its opening were made three years ago when field-level seats and suites on the club level were added. It was also the first privately financed ballpark since Yankee Stadium was built in 1923.

            Brian Waller and I had so much fun during our first visit in 1993 that we stopped by the ticket window to buy tickets for the next two games -- even though the third game was scheduled to be played on the same day as our San Diego game. Good thing the San Diego game started at 1 and the Dodger game was at 7. I don't recall anything about the first game, but the second game was much more interesting. The Dodger starter Kevin Gross had plunked a Pirate early in the game and when the Pirates starter did the same thing a few innings later, the home umpire ejected him. Sure, that kind of thing happens a lot, but while then-Pittsburgh manager Jim Leyland walked to the mound -- to talk things over with his infield before the next pitcher came in -- he exchanged words with Kevin Gross (who had passed him near the mound after going to the dugout to get his warmup jacket) and the next thing we knew, Leyland charged Gross and that started a bench-clearing brawl. Ten years later, I still haven't seen anything like that.

            As for the rest of the 1993 series, I recall feeling a profound sense of loss when the third game (and that homestand) ended and we had to move on to San Diego. A good three-game series, good food (do they still have Cool-A-Coos?), and large crowds. I almost wanted to hit the road with the Dodgers. It didn't matter where they were going.

            1997 was the first year for interleague play and my wife had never seen Dodger Stadium, so we made (for me, anyway) another trip down to southern California to watch the Mariners on the road. We ran through Disneyland (seven or eight rides in about 2 1/2 hours) before arriving late at the Dodgers/A's game. The Saturday game wasn't much fun, though, as Bob Wolcott continued his downward spiral. By the following season, he would be out of baseball. Not at all what those of us who watched him thought he would become when he won Game 1 of the 1995 ALCS against Cleveland. The third game had a happier outcome (Moyer got a base hit and the M's bullpen actually saved a game), but even that was tempered by the news that Princess Diana had died in a car crash. Ex-Washington Huskies football coach Don James shocked almost everyone by retiring during my 1993 trip. I know, not nearly the same deal on any scale, but I wonder what else could go wrong if/when I decide to go back to Dodger Stadium. I did read recently that there is a possibility of a new stadium down there for the Dodgers, but we'll see.

           On my scale of 1 to 10, I give this park an 8. It would rate higher if it wasn't in Los Angeles.

           

 

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