View from the Pavilion (LA speak for bleachers) in 2001.
In 2008 former Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe was the starter for the Dodgers. When he came up to bat (National league, no DH) they played the hook of “Low” by Flo Rida.
Lowe delivers the first pitch on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. In typical LA fashion, most fans didn’t show up until the 3rd inning.
Our seats were in Row 7 a little way beyond first base. The stands have no rise at all at that point, but the seats are padded and there was a two-level shelf in front of you.
Legroom is probably triple what Fenway is in the grandstand.
The Dodgers’ shortstop, batting 8th, was a guy named Chin Lung Hu. He has to be the only major league player ever with two names that are body parts. Personally, I thought that instead of playing Hu at short they should put him at 1st. He might have a sister name Cindy Lu, but I’m not positive. Every time he came to bat they’d play “Who Let the Dogs Out (Who, Who)?” by the Baja Men.
Mark Laurence took this picture of me at Opening Day in 2001.
Romeo from Kiss 108 took this shot of me with Amanda Giles at the Dodgers-Cubs game in 2008.
The first time I was there, 1991, I bought a $5 ticket to a future game – just to do it. I wasn’t even going to be in LA for the game.
My tickets for Opening Day 2001 never arrived, so they issued this replacement.
First visit: September 1991. Stopped in LA on the way to NAB in SF. The Dodgers were out of town, but I bought a ticket to the upcoming Friday game against the Braves. I wasn’t going to be there for it, but I wanted the ticket stub. I walked around the ballpark and sat in several seats. I stood in center field. Thought about winding up on the mound but feared getting arrested.
Second visit: April 1st, 2001. I was in LA for a Stevie Nicks artist showcase on Saturday night. Met Stevie, saw Sheryl Crow and David Spade at the cocktail reception. On Sunday afternoon I went to Dodger Stadium and saw a Rockies-Dodgers exhibition game. Had a Dodger Dog. It really wasn’t any better than a Fenway Frank, but it was warmer. I sat in excellent box seats, which are nowhere near as close to the action as Fenway box seats. The next day, April 2nd, was Opening Day. Dodgers v. Brewers. It was the sixth place I had seen the Brewers play. I had a pair of bleacher seats I bought on the Internet for $12. The tickets never showed up in the mail, but I got replacements at the Will Call window. Mark Laurence and I went and we got into a major LA traffic jam getting there. When we finally arrived the place was packed and had the usual Opening Day buzz. I got an Opening Day towel. Gary Sheffield homered for the only run of the game. Dodgers won, 1-0. We had to leave early and rush – REALLY RUSH – to get to airport on time. I made it – barely.
Third visit: June 7, 2008. I was in LA for a promotional junket for the TBS TV show “My Boys.” They took us to a Dodgers-Cubs game including entry to the Baseline Club. Dodger Stadium was decked out with signs celebrating 50 years of Dodger baseball in LA.
The Dodger Dogs – winners of the best ballpark hot dog award in the book “Dodger Dogs to Fenway Franks” (the book that inspired my ballpark tour) were only okay. Nowadays you can find much better at many ballparks. There are no special musical segments – they do “Day O” and the typical Reveille and Charge. There was a pretty decent wave in the 8th inning when the Dodgers didn’t need it. I’m putting it at #2 on my all-time Best Wave countdown – Fenway easily leading the pack, with Safeco a distant third. During the 7th inning stretch, following “…So it’s root, root, root for the…”, there was an impressive number of fans yelling out “Cu-bbies!” Lowe was the winning pitcher as the Dodgers beat the Cubs, 7-3. 2008 is the 100th anniversary of the Cubs last World Series win, but I was rooting for the Dodgers because I believe in rooting for the home team – unless it’s a Red Sox away game.