Saturday, April 02, 2011

"The Dodgers' 50th Year in this Ballpark"

Just another Saturday in Paradise. I got my morning LGBT Program Group meeting out of the way, went to the pet store, the dry cleaners and the bank and then got home to empty & load the dishwasher, keep the laundry moving and clean out the cat litter. (Yes, it was all on the "gay agenda!) And the Saturday Soundtrack for all that has been the Dodgers vs Giants -- Day Three of the 2011 MLB Season -- playing in the background. And a few minutes ago I heard one of the announcers note that this is "the Dodgers' 50th year in this ballpark." Wow.

Just like the seasons of the liturgical calendar have been part of my life as long as I can remember (anybody else grow up playing word games with "Septuagesima" in the pew during the sermon???) the rhythm of the baseball season has been right there alongside it.

My daddy was a Brooklyn Dodger fan ... and he counted it a sign of the favor of the universe that "his" Dodgers moved here to L.A. after he came out here in the 30's. In 1958 he took us to the Coliseum where we watched the first-ever L.A. Dodger game against the Giants. (We won that one ... unlike today where we're down 8-0 in the eighth!) I was four.

We spent the next years literally watching them build Dodger Stadium ... living in Eagle Rock we'd head over there every few months loaded up in the Rambler station wagon: "Let's go check on how the stadium's coming" my daddy would say. We were there on Opening Day in 1962 and didn't miss an Opening Day until the year he died: 1988.

We grew up with Koufax, Snider, Drysdale and Walter Alston ... the manager my daddy loved to hate. We were there the night Sandy Koufax pitched his perfect game/no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs. And I remember the year we were driving down to the stadium for Opening Day and got word on the pregame show that Tom Neidenfuer had put his back out and they were going to have to start a rookie. From Mexico. And everybody said, "Oh, NO! There goes the season!" And by the end of that year we had a new word in our vocabulary: Fernandomania.

Here's Jamie at about a year old with me and my dad. Actually, Jamie attended his first World Series a few months before he was born when I managed to wrangle tickets to see the Dodgers play the Yankees in the 1981 series. I was there again in '88 when Kirk Gibson came off the bench with his impossible dream pinch hit homerun in the bottom of the ninth -- and we never missed a "Diocesan Dodger Day"... a tradition instituted by Bishop Fred Borsch that still carries on.

50 years of Dodger Stadium, Dodger Dogs and boys of summer. Wow!

Anyway, thanks for joining me on this walk down baseball memory lane. The game is over now ... it ended up 10-0. (Ouch!) But tomorrow is another day ... and we're still 2-1 for the season so far and the Giants are 1-2 so it could be worse. And I'm still trying to figure out how 50 years could go by so fast ... from watching them build the stadium with my dad from the back of the Rambler station wagon to watching them get their clocks cleaned by the Giants this afternoon from my Altadena living room. Time flies when you're having a life, I guess. And how grateful am I today that baseball is part of mine!


JCF said...

Truly, I do enjoy your tales of baseball fandom, Susan.

You (nor your dad) just couldn't help it, to not grow up rooting for God's (and St. Francis's!) Own GIANTS (Now *today* was more like it! ;-D)

[But SRSLY: as you tell tales of your dad, I could do the same of my mom. Took my brother and I "to the Stick" in all the many, MANY years of Giants Futility. (As a term of endearment, she'd call them "the Petites" after Yet Another Loss). She passed away in 2007, having never seen the SF Giants win the World Series. But as I said to my brother 11/1/10---a day to live in Giants history!---I live in hope that "mom had the best seat in house"! Memory eternal...]

Now, one more time---


susankay said...

I think we moved to LA from Connecticut to follow the Dodgers, my mother's much loved team. But then I moved back to Boston to follow my team. So both you and TELP have my devotion.

SCG said...

Wonderful memories! Thanks for sharing and... go BoSox!