Stadium #14.....Dodger Stadium and the Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodger Stadium is the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The stadium was started in 1959 and completed in 1962 with the first game being played on April 10, 1962. This makes is the 3rd oldest stadium in MLB behind Fenway Park (1912) and Wrigley Field (1914). Dodger stadium has the largest seating capacity in MLB.
The cost of the stadium was $23 million. After the team was unable to acquire land in Brooklyn to build a domed stadium, they then reached an agreement with Los Angeles to move there. The land that Dodger stadium sits on what was originally acquired through eminent domain to build a public housing project. Due to the local political climate change....new mayor...the project lost most of it's support. In 1958 LA voters approved "Taxpayers Committee for Yes on Baseball" referendum that enabled the Dodgers to acquire 352 acres of Chavez Ravine from the city. The city then forcefully evicted residents from their homes in this area. During this time of construction, the LA Dodgers that moved to LA in 1958, played in the LA Memorial Coliseum which had a seating capacity of 95,000.
The building of the stadium started on September 17, 1959 with groundbreaking. The tops of local ridges were removed and then the soil was used to fill in ravines to create a level surface for the stadium and parking lots. A local elementary school was simply buried rather than demolished, and sits underneath the parking lot on the third base side of the stadium. The stadium was originally designed to be expandable to 85,000 seat capacity with building additional seating by expanding the upper decks to above the outfield pavilions. Due to a conditional-use permit, Dodger stadium is limited to 56,000 seats. Whenever more seats were added to the lower levels, seating in the upper deck or pavilion were removed to keep within the 56,000 seat limit.
Due to dry summers in Southern California, the LA Dodgers have had very few rainouts in their history. The very first rainout was on April 21, 1967 which was 9 years after arriving in LA. The 2nd rainout was on April 12, 1976, then for the first and only time in Dodger history was there consecutive game rainouts when 3 consecutive games were rained out between April 19-21, 1988. After that rainout, there were no more for the next 11 years until April 11, 1999. The next was April 17, 2000 and currently there have been no rainouts since then creating the longest time between rain outs in MLB history.
Dodger Stadium has always been known as a "pitchers park". When first built, the power alleys were at 380 feet. In 1969, they move home plate 10 feet closer to center field. This move was done to generate more home runs, but this also expanded the foul area which was an acceptable trade off. After the 2004 season, the foul area was reduced as the dugouts were moved 20 feet closer to the field as new seating was put in the space that was now available down the foul lines, behind the dugouts, and between the dugouts behind home plate. The climate also plays a role in the home run ball. During the day with the dry air makes fly balls fly further, but then as the evening sun sets and the air cools due to the ocean climate and making the air more dense and that keeps the ball in play more. The stadium is 1 of only 4 stadium that have symmetrical outfield dimensions. Being a "pitchers park" there have been 13 no-hitters and 2 perfect games pitched in Dodger Stadium.
Some notable events that have occurred at Dodger Stadium:
- They have hosted numerous event including: boxing, a basketball game with the Harlem Globetrotters, a soccer game, 2014 NHL Stadium Series, Cricket, many concerts and a ski-jumping event. They have hosted competitions for the 1980 Summer Olympics and are slated to host games for the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.
- First game played April 10, 1962 with the Cincinnati Reds beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-3
- First hit was also the first batter with a double, Eddie Kasko of the Reds
- First Grand Slam, Brooks Robinson 5-6-1962. The Los Angeles Angels also used the stadium for the 1962 season.
- First Cycle Jim Fregosi July 28, 1964
- First Shutout Jim Katt April 22, 1962
- No-hitter Bo Belinsky May 5, 1962
- First Perfect Game Sandy Koufax Sept. 9, 1965. He also had the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th No-Hitters pitched there.
The stadium was phenomenal. The stadium is 5 levels and we were told that in previous years that you could only been on the level that you had a ticket for, but that was not the case this time. We were able to walk to every level. We went up to the top level "Top of the Park", where their main store is to get our baseball passport book stamp done and got a few great pictures from up there.
One issue that we had was that they do not allow any type of posters or signage to be displayed. So our poster that we make for to hold up in between innings was not allowed and we had to get rid of it.
The concourse area was wide enough for people to get through and with plenty of food stations around. Dodger stadium didn't have anything special in regards to food. Their main food item is the Dodger Dog, where they sell them in plenty of places. They have some Mexican food, Tenders, Extreme Loaded Dogs, BBQ on 1 level, and all the typical food items at a baseball game. There was just not a huge variety in food options available, basically disappoint in the options or lack of.
First Pitch with LA Dodger starting pitcher, Walker Buehler, facing the leadoff hitter of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cal Mitchell.
Both starting pitchers did not figure into the win or loss of the game. Pittsburgh got to Buehler early in the 2nd and 3rd innings getting 4 runs off of him all off home runs. Tucupita Marcano delivered a 3-run home run in the 2nd measured at 402 ft. to right center. The following inning Bryan Reynolds hit a solo home run to the same area of right center at 419 ft. Buehler was able to go another 3 innings without giving up any additional runs.
The Dodgers were able to get the lead after falling behind 4-0. In the 5th inning they got back-to-back home runs from Hanser Alberto and Mookie Betts. They both hit theirs to left field with Alberto hitting his 380 ft. and Betts at 391 ft. cutting the lead to 4-2. In the 6th inning the Dodgers got another run with a solo home run of 379 ft. to left by Edwin Rios. Then in the 8th they were able to get the lead with a lead off double by Trea Turner, who would eventually score with 2 outs and Justin Turner hitting a double to center. Still with 2 outs in the 8th, Chris Taylor hit a single to right center getting Turner in from 2nd to take the lead 5-4.
The Dodgers brought in Craig Kimbrel to pitch the 9th for a save. Castillo was able to get a walk with 1 out and then advance to 2nd on a wild pitch by Kimbrel. Michael Perez was then able to single to right and that brought in Castillo from 2nd to tie the game , Perez moved to 2nd on the throw to home. Dodger first baseman Freddie Freeman committed an error at first allowing the go ahead run to score. Kimbrel finished off the inning by striking out the next 2 hitters.
In the bottom of the 9th, the Dodgers were able to get 2 men on base with Betts hitting a double and Freeman walking. The next 2 hitters were not able to bring them in with 2 quick outs ending a possible Dodger rally and losing to the Pirates 6-5.
Dodger Stadium was really great with the exception of the lack of food options. The stadium had great sight lines and a tremendous vibe feel to the stadium. Overall I would give the Stadium a B grade just because of the lack of imagination on food. This stadium is 60 years old but it still beats out a lot of the newer stadiums.
Side note.....for all who know the Dodgers and Justin Turner, then you know he always has that pine tar mark on the back of his jersey after his first a bat of the game. Here is a video of how he gets that mark....