By Cassandra Lane
The baseball park can hold close to 60,000 bodies, but it is eerily empty in the days after the Dodgers lose out on a chance to advance to the World Series race for the first time in 28 years. Another race is going on in the country — one of the bitterest presidential bids in U.S. history — yet none of that seems to matter in these parts. Chavez Ravine is a sleeping giant — no, not quite asleep; it is in a deep and sullen state, painfully aware that its soul is gone — the crowds, the roar, the hope — while its body is one great hull of a thing that must stay put until another season. It hibernates in the open, all blue and golden in its loneliness, picked on by laughing ravens and overlooked by helicopters flying over the open mouth of the stadium … to somewhere else.
And even the sun abandons us. Rain falls for the first time in months, after a desert-dry season. Babies do not have a word for this stuff that falls out of the sky and onto their faces. Toddlers have heard of it in their bedtime stories, but cannot be sure, in their short memories, if they’ve ever seen it. Even the grade-school children are awed.
“It’s pouring,” a fourth-grade boy yells at his mother as she drives him to school. She chuckles — she, being from the southern part of the country, Louisiana, where the pitter patter on her windshield would hardly be categorized as a downpour, where hurricanes and tornadoes and floods are as much a part of the family as Uncle Boo and Aunt Mae and Cousin Buck.
And maybe that is what this stadium needs: a little early Mardi Gras to wake it back up in these dormant months — purple and green and gold beads flying in the air, fluffy king cakes swelling the concession stands and dancing Zydeco feet sliding across the stadium’s green, making magic until it’s time for Dodger baseball once again.
Cassandra Lane is the Dodgers’ manager of community relations.