Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Category: Dodger Stadium (Page 1 of 11)

Dodger Stadium waits for spring

By Jon Weisman

If we had somehow forgotten, Wednesday’s World Series finale between the Cubs and Indians, an instant classic that will be revisited for generations to come, reminded us of why we invest in a team not only over the course of a season, but of seasons.

Today, on the first day of the rest of our offseason, Dodger Stadium killed us with its kindness, with its beauty, with its perfect backdrop for one day more of baseball, if baseball could only just oblige.

For now, our days and nights turn to other things. So the ballpark waits, patiently, for next year to arrive.

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Dodger Stadium settles in for winter

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

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.

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Vin Scully’s Dodger Stadium farewell is a lovefest

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By Jon Weisman

High above the champagne party in the Dodger clubhouse, the booth sits empty now. And yet it feels so full.

Vin Scully clocked in at Dodger Stadium for the final time today, a day that encapsulated so much of what made him baseball’s premier voice.

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Vin Scully sings at seventh-inning stretch

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Vin Scully had a surprise for Dodger fans — his own personal rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at the seventh-inning stretch. This one’s a keeper.

— Jon Weisman

Dodgers All-Access returns September 1

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

The third-annual Dodgers All-Access event will take place September 1 at Dodger Stadium, beginning at 5 p.m.

The evening features panel discussions with current and former Dodger players, coaches and executives. Guests will also have the opportunity to take batting practice in the Dodger batting cages, pitch in the Dodger bullpen, tour Dodger Stadium, call play-by-play action on historic Dodger moments, take photos throughout the stadium with Dodger alumni and enjoy a dinner on the infield.

Among those scheduled to take part in the panel discussions are Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Turner, Joc Pederson, Dave Roberts, Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi. Others set to participate in the event include Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Mickey Hatcher, Orel Hershiser, Eric Karros, Tommy Lasorda, Bill Russell, Reggie Smith and Steve Yeager.

Proceeds from the event will be split between the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Council, which partners with the City of Los Angeles to bring such major sporting and entertainment events to Los Angeles as NBA All-Star Weekend, the Grammys and more.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.

Rank Vin Scully’s Top 20 calls in Dodger history

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By Jon Weisman

In honor of Vin Scully’s 67th and final year announcing the team’s games, the Dodgers have nominated Scully’s Top 20 calls of all-time. Now, it’s up to you to rank them.

Go to dodgers.com/vin, where you can play videos to hear all 20 calls — and then drag and drop them in order of your preference. Voting takes place through August 12.

The Dodgers will begin revealing the order of the Top 20 on August 13, starting a countdown that will end with the announcement of the fans’ choices for his top two greatest Dodger calls on Vin Scully Appreciation Night, September 23.

A landslide of emotion for Vin Scully at LADF gala

By Jon Weisman

Stevie Nicks said she was backstage Thursday during the Los Angeles Dodger Foundation’s Blue Diamond Gala when she began to think about time. Nicks started performing with Mick Fleetwood nearly 50 years ago, and the years were something to contemplate.

And then her thoughts turned to Vin Scully, the night’s honoree whom the members of Fleetwood Mac met before their performance began, and his 67 seasons of service to the Dodgers, and she was blown away.

Nicks then dedicated the ballad “Landslide” to the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame announcer.

Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’
‘Cause I built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I’m getting older too

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In case you missed it: A moment of reflection

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Trayce Thompson, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

I didn’t want to let the weekend go by without passing along the words Vin Scully recited to the Dodger Stadium crowd before Friday’s game, near the end of an incredibly difficult week in this country.

Ladies and gentlemen. At this time, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the tragic events that have occurred across our country over the past few days. As a community and a nation, we mourn the tragic loss of lives and injuries, and our deepest sympathies go out to all who have been directly impacted by those events and to their families and friends. As United States attorney general Loretta Lynch said today, “This has been a week of profound grief and heartbreaking loss, but as she also reminded us, “Today and every day we are one nation, we are one people and we stand together.

Therefore, we commend the heroic actions and courage of our first responders, volunteers, citizens and government officials, and we gratefully acknowledge the sacrifice that so many have made on behalf of those people. And as the organization that took a historic stance against racism, the Los Angeles Dodgers will continue to stand firm against all forms of hatred, violence and discrimination. At this time, we ask that you please stand silently for a moment of reflection and respect.

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

A few other items from recent days …

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What else, but ‘The eagle has landed’

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National attention fell on the apparently rogue eagle that preceded Yasiel Puig’s second-inning fly ball over the center-field fence at Dodger Stadium on Independence Day, but rest assured, Chinook is safe at home.

— Jon Weisman

In case you missed it: That post-Puig, post-sweep glow

Los Angeles Dodgers against the Washington Nationals

By Jon Weisman

Still feels like there’s a buzz in the air over how very #Puignotlate the ending was to Wednesday’s game. Let’s provide some epilogues to that, as well as catching up on some other recent Dodger ephemera.

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Los Angeles Dodgers against the Washington Nationals

  • Puig’s dash around the bases was 15.2 seconds, which is tied for the fastest home-to-home run in baseball this year, as seen in the video above.
  • What was going through Puig’s mind? “I was ready for the hit, and nobody thought that the ball would go through,” Puig said through an interpreter, according to Doug Padilla of ESPN.com. “So when I did see the ball go through, I had to talk to my hamstring so I can figure out how far I could go on the bases. … I didn’t see [the stop sign]. I was listening to my hamstring and I was trying to figure out how far it could go. If it exploded there, that’s what was going to happen, but I was able to make it home.”
  • The big finish called to mind 1988’s Kirk Gibson scoring from second base on a wild pitch, as Phil Gurnee writes at his new blog, Dodgers, Yesterday and Today.

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Turner, Dodgers have got that bounce

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By Jon Weisman

Justin Turner’s weekend of heroics continued.

Turner’s third home run in two nights brought the Dodgers’ roaring back from a 5-2 deficit in the third inning, putting them on their way to a 10-6 victory over Milwaukee.

The biggest of the 14 Dodger hits that also included homers by Howie Kendrick and Joc Pederson, Turner’s blast — his sixth homer in his past 12 starts — marked the halfway point in the Dodgers’ six-run inning, their biggest of 2016. And it salvaged a night in which starting pitcher Mike Bolsinger couldn’t make it out of the third inning.

In fact, Bolsinger and Milwaukee’s Chase Anderson, childhood friends who were best men at each other’s weddings, each threw exactly 29 balls and 44 strikes in 2 1/3 innings tonight. Anderson took the loss, while Chris Hatcher, who threw 2 1/3 shutout innings, was the Dodgers’ winning pitcher.

Hatcher, who made his MLB debut as a catcher in 2010 but went 0 for 6, also picked up his first career hit, an RBI single in the third.

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Scully, Dodgers remember victims of Orlando tragedy

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By Jon Weisman

Flags flew at half staff Thursday at Dodger Stadium in tribute to the victims of the mass murder early Sunday morning in Orlando. Before Thursday’s game, Vin Scully led those in attendance at Dodger Stadium into a moment of silence. Here is the text of what he said:

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DodgerVisionaries: Scoreboard operations have gone light years beyond runs, hits and errors

The DodgerVision crew, consisting of nearly three dozen people, delivers the pregame and in-game entertainment at Dodger Stadium at least 81 games per year. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

The DodgerVision crew, consisting of nearly three dozen people, delivers the pregame and in-game entertainment at Dodger Stadium. (Photos: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Cary Osborne

There’s a picture on a bulletin board inside DodgerVision — the command center for game entertainment at Dodger Stadium. There are 11 men in the photo with a giant scoreboard rising from the Left Field Pavilion. Judging by the fashion displayed by the men in the photo, it was taken in the mid-1990s. It represents almost the entire game entertainment crew for the Dodgers at the time.

Dan Valdivia is one of two people from the photo who still remain working in DodgerVision. He has worked his way up to the position of director. Back then, he said, one of his jobs was slotting Betamax video cassettes into a playback machine that would then relay videos, like bloopers or highlights from a recent episode of “This Week in Baseball,” onto the giant screen hovering over the pavilion.

“I don’t think we did as much fan-interaction stuff,” Valdivia said, “because we literally had three cameras, so we were limited in what we could show.”

If that picture were recreated today, there would be nearly three dozen men and women in it. The DodgerVision crew would include producers and directors, camera operators, scoreboard and LED operators, engineers, a public-address announcer, a DJ and an organist.

They’d be standing in front of one of two high-definition scoreboard/video screens that deliver statistics (including in 2016 for the first time, exit velocity), pre-produced videos and games (created by a team of videographers and editors — led by Dodgers director of production Greg Taylor — and graphic artists — led by Dodgers director of graphic design Ross Yoshida), instant replay and live videos.

Times have changed.

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Under the caps: The inner workings of the Hat Shuffle

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By Kevin Cook

Besides an Adrian Gonzalez home run or the mere mention of Vin Scully, what else gets Dodger fans excited when they visit Dodger Stadium? The Hat Shuffle, of course.

Maybe I’m biased. I’m the senior motion graphics designer for the Dodgers, and I’ve designed the Hat Shuffle for the past seven seasons. I also might just be the Hat Shuffle’s biggest fan.

It didn’t start out that way. When I first joined the Dodgers in August 2009, I didn’t quite get the allure of the game, I think mainly because most Hat Shuffle games I’d seen at other sports stadiums were either too easy or impossibly difficult.

But done right, the Hat Shuffle is a really fun game, and when you visit Dodger Stadium, you should expect to have fun regardless of the score. Realizing that fun is the main priority of what we do here was a good first lesson in my new job and one that I haven’t forgotten.

So I didn’t just want to do the same old Hat Shuffle that I’d seen elsewhere. Our in-house creative team here is constantly pushing itself to do something different every season and better than the previous season. That same effort goes into the Hat Shuffle. There’s been an evolution of complexity to the game every season, and that isn’t by coincidence.

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Farewell, Alan Young — and remembering ‘Mr. Ed’ at Dodger Stadium

Today, we remember Alan Young, the “Mr. Ed” actor who passed away Thursday at age 96. Young and his horse companion made a memorable visit to Dodger Stadium for the 1963 season premiere, highlighted above. Sandy Koufax, Willie Davis, Leo Durocher, Johnny Roseboro and more appear.

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