TBtB: Los Angeles Dodgers

Another older gem. Even before I made my maiden visit two weeks ago, it was a ballpark I could identify immediately the moment the game was turned on, even absent any Dodger blue or the guy in the Ecuadorian* straw hat who used to stand behind home plate with the JUGS Gun.

The layout, once more commonplace, now looks singular given the construction similarities inherent in the new wave of parks. And the mountains beyond have not been blocked out by a monstrous concession to football, such as what happened a few hundred miles to the north. But the teevee doesn’t truly do the stadium’s unique in-the-hills locale justice. There really is nothing else like it, as least that I’ve seen.

As for the name? Ah screw it. The optimal choice is already familiar. The only way Chavez Ravine could be a better name for Dodgers Stadium is if Vin Scully’s middle name was Chavez. Or Ravine.

But, we’ve got to go through the motions…

*Sorry, Mariano, Rod and Maverick, it’s origins are not Panamanian.

Ballpark History

Built:  1962

Capacity:  56,000

Name:  Dodger Stadium 1962-present.

Other ballparks used by club in its current city:  Memorial Coliseum (1957-61).

Distinctive Features:  Until two years ago, the home to the best voice in baseball history; low walls in right and left fields; hills and mountains on all sides of the ballpark; dining options centered around various ways to prepare the Dodger Dog.

Ballpark Highlights:

For the second time in the series, Sandy Koufax outpointed fellow southpaw Whitey Ford to cement a four-game World Series sweep of the Yanks, the only time the Dodgers clinched a Fall Classic in any of their home parks.

In September 1965, Koufax made his fourth no-hitter his best one, retiring all 27 Cubs hitters to record the sport’s retroactively assigned sixth perfect game.

In 1976, Cubs outfielder Rick Monday rescued an American flag from a couple of hippie protesters trying to light it on fire in the Dodger outfield. You can read about it from time to time today on social media.

1985, Lane Myer completed his tumultuous courtship of the lovely French foreign exchange student Monique Junet with a home-plate embrace.

In 1988, Kirk Gibson hobbled up to the plate and hit baseball’s premier Hollywood-certified home run, taking the game’s premier closer, Dennis Eckersley, deep in Game 1 of the World Series. The homer propelled the Dodgers to a 4-1 Fall Classic waltz over the heavily favored A’s.

In 2009, Ichiro’s two-run single with two outs in the top of the 10th propelled Japan to its second straight World Baseball Classic title with a 5-3 victory over Korea.

In 2014, the LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks played a January hockey game as part of the NHL Stadium Series. It wasn’t the first time Dodger Stadium dabbled in winter sports, as the 1963 photo below demonstrates.

 

dodgerstadiumskijump

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