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.