Friday, May 17, 2013

My Los Angeles Sports Odyssey Part 2-Dodger Stadium

On Friday, May 10th, I finally got to live out a dream. I was going to watch a game at historical Dodger Stadium. It's a ball park I have wanted to visit ever since I watched the 1977 World Series as a kid. My strongest memories of that series (Reggie Jackson bombs aside) was how sunny and warm it looked on the screen. I can remember seeing a palm tree or two as well. I am all about the warmth and baseball, so I was there already in my 6 year old mind.

Well, it took me 36 years, but I finally made it. Gina and I were hitting Dodgertown. I commemorated the occasion by wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers Matt Kemp T-shirt. Gina had bought me a Jackie Robinson Dodgers player T, but  went with the Brooklyn throwback as I wanted to bring a bit of their history with me and hey, I am from NY.

I wanted to get to the stadium early as we were going to meet up with Josh from the DodgerBobble blog and try to graph a bit. Before going, Gina and I enjoyed some delicious french dipped sandwiches at Philippe's and wandered around Olvera Street looking at the Lucha Masks (for more on my non sports activities, look at the Sexy Geek's House Of Swag sometime this weekend.) before heading over to Dodger Stadium.

When we got there, the gates were still closed and there was a few cars already lined up to get in. I was not aware that there would be any gates, but we waited until the gates to open at 5pm.

Seems like we weren't the only ones lined up to get in. Hey, you guys ever wonder if you ever wound up in any tourist pictures? Well these people not only wound up in my picture, but they wound up in my blog. Congratulations, you accomplished something.

A little after 5, the gates finally opened and we were able to park. We decided to park close to the exit so we can get out quicker after the game. Once I got out of the car, I could see the stadium just up a head of me.

It was more gorgeous than I imagined. I found myself walking a bit quicker than I realized, so I slowed down to a more normal trot. We tried getting inside the stadium through the right field lower level, but was told by security that we would have to enter through the loge level as that's where we were sitting. I thought this to be odd as every other ball park I have been to allowed you to enter in whatever gate you wanted. But, I was in a different place than I was used to, so we went up the stairs to the loge level.

But not before taking a quick picture of this awesome pig.

Once we got upstairs, we saw an LA logo and I had to take a picture with that.

After, we got on line and waited...and waited... and waited some more. I was really confused as I thought the gates were opening at 5pm. I texted Josh, who was already down in the field level seats what was going on. Finally, at 5:45pm, the gates opened and we were allowed to walk inside.

The first thing we did was look for the stairs to the field level. Once we found them, we started heading down to meet Josh who was waiting for us...not so fast. Security asked us where we were off to, I mentioned I was meeting a friend and was told we needed lower level tickets to go downstairs. I was astonished. The only other stadium that was like that was old Shea during it's final seasons. There was always an older usher who used to take pride in bouncing the scum of the upper deck from the box seats during batting practice. I texted Josh what happened and he said he would be up as soon as he could.

Oh well, I decided to take some pictures instead.

Josh finally made his way upstairs with a friend of his. Josh chatted with Gina and I and we went downstairs to the field level. Gina decided to stay upstairs to rest a bit while we went and did some "right before the game started" graphing by the bullpen (chronicled a couple of posts ago). I got to snap a couple of pictures from the left field seats before the players signed.

After, we went up to the club level where I took some more pictures. We bumped into Steve Lyons, but I didn't have anything for him to sign, not even an index card. I probably should have asked to take a picture with him. I'm kicking myself for not doing so, even after Josh offered to snap the picture.

There's Josh checking out some baseballs.

This old bullpen car was the coolest thing I seen.

After, I went back to Gina. I stopped off for Dodger Dogs, pop for Gina and a Blue Moon for me and sat to watch the game and snap another picture or 2

The view from our seats.

I tried to get a picture of Donnie Baseball from my seats.

And the most beautiful thing at Dodger Stadium. No, not me. My Gina.

After the 7th inning stretch, Josh returned to take me upstairs and show me the life sized bobbleheads that was installed upstairs in the top deck.

Josh thought it would be appropriate for 2 bobblehead collectors to take a picture next to this sweet vintage looking Dodgers bobble and I couldn't agree more.

After, we said our goodbye and promised to keep in touch (wasn't the last time I ran into Josh that night, but you read that blog post, so you know what happened, right?). I went back to Gina and we watched the Marlins put the finishing touches on a 5-4 win over the Dodgers. After, we headed back to the car while the Friday Night Fireworks went off in the black of night. A perfect way to end a perfect day.

Here's the Dodger swag I took home from Dodger Stadium.

Again, I kept it simple. I picked up a Dodger program, a pin and shot glass. I wanted a shot glass that said Dodger Stadium, but they didn't have any. I also grabbed a couple of pocket schedules and got a free mini program when we parked.

I want to thank Josh for taking the time out to show me around this awesome ballpark. Just being there was enough, but Josh went above and beyond showing me things I wouldn't have been able to see without him. Thanks so much Josh.

And I want to thank Gina for taking me to Dodger Stadium and living out the dream with me. I also want to thank her for not judging me when I geeked out just because I was at historic Dodger Stadium. Your one in a million, baby.

I have to say I loved Southern California. I loved the weather, the food, the atmosphere, the people were pretty awesome and the sports scene. I will definitely be going back very soon. I would like to do the tour of Dodger Stadium next time and take in a ballgame at Angels Stadium. The trip was fantastic and I can't wait to return.

Going back to Cali, Cali...

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