Thursday, June 19, 2008

Some Notes on Dodger Stadium

Two Thursdays ago I went with my friends Bryan and Brendan to the Cubs game at Dodger Stadium. We had seats in the third deck with a fine view of the entire field. (One of the many things I like about Dodger Stadium is that all of the seats are pretty good.) It was a fantastic game with the first-place Cubs taking an early lead, blowing that lead, and then coming from behind to win by one. It was also Takashi Saito bobble head night.

There are two things that occur at Dodger Stadium that any self-respecting Cubs fan loathes. The first is the wave. The second is the overabundance of beach balls bouncing around the park. Apparently, Dodger baseball isn’t entertaining enough in its own right; fans have to bring activities. Brendan takes the proactive approach and annihilates any of the beach balls that come his way, usually to a chorus of boos and crying children. On that Thursday, Brendan wasn’t even going out of his way to grab the floating distractions, but the two balls that bounced in our area landed on the empty seat right next to him. He had no choice. In the ninth inning Saito came into pitch, and Brendan held up his Takashi bobble head and ceremoniously decapitated it in front of the entire section. He was pelted with food from angry fans. The good news was that the curse worked, and the Cubs scored the winning run that inning. The bad news was that I was hit by a cup of ice thrown at Brendan by an angry fan who had as good of aim as Saito did that night.

On Saturday, I was still recovering from Thursday’s dinner of two dodger dogs and tray of garlic fries. Camille and I had great seats thanks to my Dad, who sent me tickets as a graduation gift. We were eight rows off the field on the third base side in screaming line drive, foul ball territory. The day was hot, and for some reason I thought that being at a ball game made me immune to sunburn. After the game, I looked like an embarrassed lobster.

The Cubs lost badly that day, and so did Big Brown. The good news was that I only lost a few dollars more on the Belmont Stakes than I did paying $15 for parking outside Dodger Stadium. Getting out after the game took a good 50 minutes. For those of you not familiar with Dodger Stadium, all of the parking is in the ravine where Dodger Stadium is located. There are three or four roads out. Everyone drives, and the exits bottleneck as the game ends. This is why Dodger fans leave the game in the seventh inning, to beat traffic. That day I managed to find the worst of the parking lots, which was a level down from the main parking area. We had to wait for most of the main lot to empty before we could even move.

But for those who haven’t been, Dodger stadium is a great old ballpark. (It’s now one of the oldest and my favorite in California.) The best time to be there is sunset when an orange glow is cast over the hills and palm trees behind the outfield bleachers. And when the Cubs win.