My first trip to Dodger Stadium is etched in my memory like...um...something etched (I'm horrible with similes). I was eight-ish and my dad picked me up at my grandparent's house where I had spent the morning, no doubt playing King Leonardo and watching the People's Court, because that's what we always did with Grandma. (Sometimes we laid shelf paper in the cupboards. But Grandparent Memories are for another post.) We drove out to the stadium and I remember passing by the murals on the 101, specifically the one with all those kids up on the wall (You know that kid holding the basketball has grown up to be a certified bunny killer). We met up with Dodger Dave, and I distinctly remember my dad saying under his breath, "Oh brother," when we saw that he was wearing his Dodger uniform. Dodger Dave has never been known for his subtly. I remember that we were up somewhere in the reserve seating and that it was sunny and warm but that's about all from the game. Do you remember in color? All of my memories are mostly of color. This memory is all green grass and yellow sun with a flash of blue and white from Dodger Dave. And it has solidified my notion that Dodger Stadium is the greatest place on earth. I don't have a single bad memory from there. Only perfect ones.
Mom, Dad and I went to the Dodger game last night and, as usual, it was great, even without making it on the Jumbo-tron. We won (wahoo!) and it was short (home by 10:30, although like all good Dodger fans we left in the middle of the 8th) and we were surrounded by non-obnoxious people. This is about all you can hope for when going to a sporting event - that the people sitting around you aren't no-neck hooligans who will eventually spill beer on you. Our neighbors were lovely and charming. The one behind us especially. I've named him the Baseball Sage. He was wearing a pink Oxford and was expounding on all sorts of things to his young companion (I wasn't sure what their relationship was. The Sage was clearly a professor and my guess is the kid was his TA or a student who wanted to suck up to get a better grade by indulging the guy. Although at one point he went up and bought the kid a rootbeer float. Hm.) He kept talking about the ideal of baseball and it's many complexities. Academics like that make me both roll my eyes and giggle at the same time because 1.) What a windbag and 2.) What a character. And you should have heard him sing Take Me out to the Ballgame. Two words: Gusto and Vim.
While at the game I made a few observations:
1.) In baseball there are the long pants and the short pants. But future Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux wears medium pants, or man-pris if you will. (And I will).
2.) Man-space is not just a theory.
It is a proven fact that if two male friends go anywhere and they are give the option to not sit next to each other they won't.
3.) I make it a habit to ask people how long they've worked at the stadium. I have never once heard anyone say anything fewer than 25 years. Case in point: Sid the Usher. I think he could be 119. I wonder if he's single.
4.) It's the old time stuff I love the most about Dodger Stadium. Vin Scully up in his box. Nancy Bea at the organ. Sometimes Tommy Lasorda will come out and watch a few innings. I even love that they reverted back to the old colors of the stadium. Certainly the Baseball Sage could go on for days about the traditions of baseball but I won't bore you. I'll just say that he would be right.
5.) All stadiums should be landscaped with palm trees.
6.) Baseball teams should not be allowed to change their colors just because they feel like it. I'm looking at you Padres. Dad pointed out that their uniforms are the same colors as our ushers'.
7.) Watching David Wells lumber around the bases after he hit a miraculous double makes me so happy that we don't have a DH in the National League.
8.) Baseball is awesome.
*Remind me to find that picture Camille sent me of Sid's old-man butt that she took last spring. Classic.