Dodger Thoughts

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

Category: Dodger Stadium (Page 3 of 11)

1000 Vin Scully Avenue

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Ultimately, when the big moment came, it came in an instant.

By a 12-0 vote, the Los Angeles City Council approves a motion to change the name of Elysian Park Avenue to Vin Scully Avenue. 

Then, we are silent, because as we have been taught, there are times when it just makes the best sense to let the crowd speak for itself.


https://twitter.com/joeesha/status/693166923672981505

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

When we return, we simply hear these words.

“I am overwhelmed.  I was raised in the streets of New York, and to have a street named after me in Los Angeles is almost too much to comprehend.  I am eternally grateful to the Los Angeles City Council and especially councilman Gil Cedillo.  A path to Dodger Stadium is a pathway to my heart.  For 55 years, it has been an honor to walk that road to one of the greatest entertainment centers in the world, a place that has brought so much joy to all of us.  I thank God for this great honor.”

And like that, Vin Scully has touched home, just as he has touched our souls. Forever.

Within 30 days, given the expected blessing of local residents, the existing street signs will be lowered and new ones raised.

“How do you get to the game?” offered Cedillo, who introduced the motion. “Go up Sunset and turn on Vin Scully Avenue.”

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

I’ll say this much, and don’t misunderstand this as opposition to today’s events: I love the words “Elysian Park.” They’re a melody in four beats, and their long association with my home away from home evokes a Proustian sensation. It had to be something special, something transcendent, to justify replacing them as the address of Blue Heaven on Earth.

Vin Scully Avenue meets that standard. One small street for Vin, one giant drive for fankind.

No name could be more worthy, except perhaps, as one citizen (a fellow Fordham grad, he told us) argued during his opportunity at City Hall for public comment, Jackie Robinson. But the groundbreaking Dodger is getting Dodger Stadium’s inaugural statue — no small honor, that.

I don’t feel Robinson has been done a disservice, and I do think it was worth showing Scully how much he has meant to all of us.

“I’d be okay if we named the whole damn city after him,” councilman Paul Koretz exulted. And who could argue?

Gateway to Dodger Stadium: Vin Scully Avenue?

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

Matthew Mesa/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Who’s ready for Vin Scully Avenue?

That could soon be the name for the stretch of road leading from Sunset Boulevard to Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles city councilman Gil Cedillo is scheduled to make a motion for a vote during the Friday City Council meeting at City Hall to change the name of Elysian Park Avenue to Vin Scully Avenue, in honor of the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame broadcaster.

“There’s no better way to recognize such an iconic Dodger as Hall of Famer Vin Scully than naming a street after him,” Dodger president and CEO Stan Kasten said. “We appreciate Gil Cedillo and city officials bringing this to the forefront, and we look forward to the day when everyone can drive on Vin Scully Avenue when they enter Dodger Stadium.”

Many members of the Dodger organization will be present Friday at City Hall, as part of the Dodgers Love L.A. Tour (presented by Bank of America). Scheduled to attend are Dave Roberts, Clayton Kershaw, Yasiel Puig, Austin Barnes, Jharel Cotton, Carlos Frias, Yimi Garcia, Chris Hatcher, Pedro Baez, Yasmani Grandal, Micah Johnson, Zach Lee, Adam Liberatore, Frankie Montas, Josh Ravin, Scott Van Slyke, Trayce Thompson and Ross Stripling, along with Dodger alumni Tommy Lasorda, Orel Hershiser, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Eric Karros, Maury Wills and SportsNet LA broadcaster Alanna Rizzo.

Dodger Stadium to host MLB Groundskeepers event

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Willie3The 18th annual MLB Groundskeepers Conference is taking place Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. According to today’s press release, it’s an opportunity for baseball’s field marshals to …

  • share best practices
  • learn about the latest field maintenance equipment, materials and methods
  • discuss current topics, research and industry news
  • learn from industry experts, league representatives, managers and players
  • and, of course, tour the host ballpark.

[mlbvideo id=”540465683″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

More than 50 attendees (though not Groundskeeper Willie) are expected at this year’s event, which will also include a Field Maintenance Clinic with topics such as:

  • pitching mound repair
  • infield edge maintenance
  • infield skin maintenance
  • equipment maintenance
  • equipment demonstration
  • turf cultural practices
  • and (this one’s worth the price of admission, if there were admission) mowing patterns.

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FanFest autograph vouchers, VIP experiences on sale Friday at 12 noon

Yasmani Grandal signs for a fan at the 2015 FanFest. (Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Yasmani Grandal signs for a fan at the 2015 FanFest. (Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

FanFest logoBy Jon Weisman

The Dodgers have announced the autograph schedule and VIP experiences for the January 30 FanFest (presented by State Farm) at Dodger Stadium.

A limited number of vouchers for autograph and VIP sessions go on sale to the general public at 12 noon Friday at dodgers.com/fanfest. Season-ticket and premium seat holders will have a presale from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Remember: General admission to FanFest is free for all, but you must download your free tickets at dodgers.com/fanfest. (Click here for more information.) 

Vouchers ($25 each, with proceeds going to the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation) must be purchased in advance for each autograph or VIP experience session.

Click to enlarge the autograph schedule below. Note: Names subject to change.

Autograph schedule

Running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fanfest will take place rain or shine, although in case of inclement weather, some on-field activities may have to be curtailed.

More information follows:

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Download free admission ticket for FanFest

Mark Langill/Los Angeles Dodgers

Mark Langill/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

While FanFest (presented by State Farm) remains free to all attendees, the Dodgers are asking fans to download their free tickets for the January 30 event at dodgers.com/fanfest.

Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., FanFest will feature appearances and autographs from Dodger players, coaches and legends. Parking gates open at 9:30 a.m. (parking is also free), with the admission gates in the outfield plazas opening at 10.

Concerned about El Nino? FanFest will take place rain or shine, although in case of inclement weather, some on-field activities may have to be curtailed.

Autograph session tickets will go on sale soon, and an announcement will be made on the player schedule and the sale of these tickets. All autograph session ticket proceeds will benefit the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. Donations will support LADF programs and provide assistance to community organizations in the areas of education and literacy, health and wellness and sports and recreation.

VIP Experiences including player meet-and-greets and Q&As, batting and pitching lessons, and clubhouse and press box tours will also be available soon for advance purchase online.

FanFest will feature the following for all fans:

  • family-friendly activities, including interactive games and a run-the-bases experience
  • interviews with current and former Dodgers on FanFest’s main stage.
  • the @Dodgers social media lounge, with a charging station, photo area with oversized MLB.com Clubhouse stickers and RBI Baseball on XBox
  • photo opportunities inside the Dodger dugout and with the World Series trophy
  • the second-annual LADF Yard Sale, with one-of-a-kind Dodger items for budgets of all sizes, including jerseys, T-shirts and more
  • the LADF Mystery Bag Fundraiser, where fans can purchase an official Major League baseball autographed by a current or former Dodger for a $40 donation and autographed jerseys for an $80 donation (while supplies last)
  • Dodger merchandise on sale, along with food and beverages.

Fans will also be able to buy Opening Day mini plans and individual game tickets (excluding Opening Day) at FanFest. The best way to guarantee Opening Day tickets is to purchase a mini plan. (For more information, visit dodgers.com/miniplans).

Note: One day before FanFest, on January 29, the Dodgers’ exclusive online sale of tickets for all 2016 games — including a very limited number of Opening Day tickets — will be held beginning at 10 a.m. at dodgers.com.

Dodger partners State Farm, Budweiser, Chef Merito, Coca-Cola, Welk Resorts, Hi-Chew, Montejo, Sunrun, Blue Prints, Gazillion Bubbles, Los Angeles Times, Marika and broadcast partners SportsNet LA and AM570 LA Sports will partake in FanFest’s family-friendly activations and giveaways.

Don’t forget to download your free FanFest tickets today.

Jackie Robinson statue to grace Dodger Stadium

robinson_jackie2

By Jon Weisman

A statue of Jackie Robinson, approximately nine to ten feet tall, will be unveiled at Dodger Stadium in 2016 at a location to be determined.

California-based sculptor Branly Cadet will create the Robinson statue, which will be followed in the future by other such pieces, according to Dodger president and CEO Stan Kasten.

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Cirque du Soleil Kurios tent rising at Dodger Stadium

Cirque pic

By Jon Weisman

If you’re visiting Dodger Stadium and spy something colorfully unusual in Lot 1 near the Sunset Gate A entrance, that would be the big top for Cirque du Soleil Kurios, which runs from December 10-February 7.

Above is a photo taken before today’s tent-raising; below is a short video snippet of the process.

[wpvideo PgomqzSc]

Curious about Kurios? Here are some facts and figures, provided by Cirque du Soleil …

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Arrive early Thursday for NLDS Game 5

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

You know the drill, folks. National League Division Series Game 5 starts at 5 p.m. Thursday, but you should aim to arrive at Dodger Stadium as early as possible.

  • Auto gates open at 2 p.m. (Purchase parking in advance at dodgers.com/parking).
  • Stadium gates open at 2:30 p.m. Batting practice will be underway.
  • Dodger Stadium Express service from Union Station begins at 2:30 p.m.

For more information — including alternate transportation —
visit dodgers.com/transportation.

A special first pitch before NLDS Game 1

Ella

A really wonderful moment is going to take place before the start of the National League Division Series on Friday. From the Dodgers’ public relations department:

Four-year-old Ella Mason Annear, who has battled cancer for the past two years, and Hall of Fame Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda have been named to throw out the honorary first pitch for games one and two on the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets.

Annear, who also goes by “Ella The Great”, is the daughter of the Dodgers’ vice-president of merchandising and retail Allister Annear and his wife, Amanda.  She will do the honors on Friday night prior to the 6:45 p.m. game.

Ella was diagnosed with Heptoblastoma and a lung tumor seven months ago.  After surgery on April 20 and seven rounds of chemotherapy, the youngster was cleared of cancer and pronounced NED (no visible disease).  Ella has a website, where fans can check her journey–http://ella-the-great.tumblr.com.

Lasorda will get the call on Saturday prior to the 6:05 p.m. start of game two.  The Hall of Fame skipper, who is the special advisor to the chairman, is baseball’s greatest ambassador.  Lasorda is currently in his 66th season in the Dodger organization.  He managed the club for 20 seasons before retiring to the front office in 1996.  Lasorda won two world championships, four National League pennants and eight division titles.  He recently celebrated his 88th birthday.

— Jon Weisman

Arrive early for NLDS games — Friday and Saturday

IMG_2148

By Jon Weisman

You’re probably expecting rush-hour traffic to be challenging for Friday’s 6:45 p.m. National League Division Series opener. But don’t get lulled into thinking you can waltz to Dodger Stadium at the last minute for Saturday’s 6:07 p.m. game, either.

Because the CONCACAF Cup at the Rose Bowl between Mexico and the U.S. has the same starting time as NLDS Game 2, Los Angeles freeways figure to be jammed. That’s why the Dodgers once again urge fans to arrive as early as possible for both games — and also embrace carpooling and alternate transportation.

To that end, the Dodger Stadium Express, free for everyone with a game ticket, will begin service from Union Station at 4:15 p.m. Friday and 3:37 p.m. Saturday, two hours and 30 minutes before first pitch for each game. 

South Bay Dodger Stadium Express service will also begin earlier, two hours before each game.

Remember, the Dodger Stadium Express takes a dedicated lane along Sunset Boulevard up Elysian Park Avenue to the ballpark, with stops behind the outfield pavilions and at the top of the park.

If you are driving, be sure to purchase your parking in advance to save time and money. Auto gates open three hours before first pitch: 3:45 p.m. Friday and 3:07 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, check out our earlier blog post this week or visit dodgers.com/transportation.

By Jiminy, cricket coming to Dodger Stadium in November

CricketBy Jon Weisman

After the World Series and the 2015 MLB season have ended, anyone for cricket?

On November 14, Dodger Stadium will host its first-ever cricket match — as part of the inaugural Cricket All-Stars Series. Cricket icons Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne headline a stellar lineup of renowned cricket players from around the world.

The historic tour marks the first time these super stars have played in the U.S. Sachin and Shane will each captain a hand-picked team featuring some the best cricketers to ever play the game including Wasim Akram (Pakistan), Brian Lara (West Indies), Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Jonty Rhodes (South Africa) and Michael Vaughn (England), among others.

The format will be T20, a much shorter and boisterous form of cricket with the games taking around three hours instead of multiple days.

Tickets go on sale to the public Thursday at 10 a.m., but there are two presales: Tuesday beginning at 10 a.m. for anyone who wants to purchase with a Mastercard, and Wednesday for Dodger season-ticket holders (with any credit card).

Read more about the Cricket All-Star Series at ESPN.com, the Wall Street Journal or Time.  Visit dodgers.com/cricket for information or to purchase tickets when sales open.

NLDS game times and parking information

More than 100,000 fans took the Dodger Stadium Express to games this year. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

More than 100,000 fans have taken the Dodger Stadium Express to games this year. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Game times for the first two games of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium have been set.

Game 1 will begin at 6:45 p.m. Friday, and Game 2 will begin at 6:07 p.m. Saturday. TBS is televising the games.

Auto gates are scheduled to open three hours before the first pitch, with stadium entry gates to open 2 1/2 hours before first pitch.

What follows is more information about parking and alternative transportation for the NLDS …

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Nancy Bea Hefley announces retirement

IMG_2115
NBH

By Jon Weisman

After 28 years, beloved Dodger Stadium organist Nancy Bea Hefley is retiring at the conclusion of the 2015 season.

Hefley lives in Silver Springs, Nevada, and has been making the commute for each homestand, while renting a second home locally. She brought her family to Dodger Stadium tonight as she made her announcement.

“I have had a wonderful time playing for the Dodgers and their fans,” she said. “My husband and I felt that this was the right time to settle down in our home in Silver Springs and eliminate all the travel.  The Dodgers have told me I can come back and make guest appearances and I greatly appreciate this gesture.  I hope to get back to Dodger Stadium on occasion.”

It’s the end of an era similar to the one the Dodgers enjoyed from 1954-1996 with managers Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda. In the 45 seasons since 1971, the Dodgers have had two stadium organists: Helen Dell and Hefley, who came aboard before the 1988 season. Bob Mitchell, Don Beamsley and Donna Parker (a high school student when she was hired) preceded Dell and Hefley at the organ in Los Angeles.

Hefley played for more than 55 years at Bellflower Baptist Church, where she met her husband Bill. She was a substitute organist for the Angels before auditioning for the Dodger job on Valentine’s Day 1988, at an exhibition game between the Dodgers and USC.

“Nancy Bea has been a very dedicated Dodger employee, who has entertained our fans for many years, and we are most appreciative of her contributions each and every night,” Dodger executive vice president and chief marketing officer Lon Rosen said “We wish Nancy Bea and Bill well in their plans for retirement, and we’re looking forward to her coming back for special performances at Dodger Stadium.”

Our fondest best wishes and thanks to Nancy Bea.

Dodger Stadium field on track for post-AC/DC play

IMG_2094

By Jon Weisman

With Monday’s AC/DC concert at Dodger Stadium behind us, I went down just now to speak with Dodger groundskeeping guru Eric Hansen, who said that the Dodger Stadium field would be “more than playable” when the Dodgers return Friday for their final three regular-season home games.

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Dodger Stadium of yore: Name the game

Name the Game

Here’s a rustic photo from Dodger Stadium’s history. Click to enlarge the picture above or the scoreboard portion below — and for you Internet sleuths, see if you can figure out the date of the game.  I tested it on Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A., and he solved it in under seven minutes.

— Jon Weisman

Name the Game partial

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