Sunday, May 23, 2010

Top Five Memorable Moments at Dodger Stadium

D and I have seen a lot of amazing games. Many of these moments happened on the road. In 2002, on our honeymoon tour, we watched Dodger pitcher Odalis Perez throw 6 1/3 perfect innings in New York against the Mets. In Milwaukee, we saw a walk-off hit from young Prince Fielder. But we've witnessed some remarkable baseball moments in our home ballpark. Here are my top five.

5. Chan Ho Park giving up two grand slam home runs in the same inning to Fernando Tatis. Not a proud one, but I still remember sitting in the stands saying, "Two grand slams in one inning, that has to be some kind of record."

4. The end of Eric Gagne's consecutive saves streak. I was there with D and my sister and niece who were in town from Oregon. Dodgers ended up winning but as we left the ballpark I had a hard time explaining to my niece why D and I were so sad.

3. It was a warm September evening in 2001. I don't remember who the Dodgers played or if we won or lost. I do remember the American flag stretched across the outfield by members of the LAPD and LA Fire Department. Airspace remained closed so the sky was still as Vin Scully asked all gathered in Chavez Ravine to take a moment of silence. In the quiet of Dodger Stadium, we started healing.

2. One of Nomar's many walk-off hits, but it wasn't a homer, it was a little squib up the first-base line that stayed fair. Then he ran and put on a poncho to kick off Los Doyer's Cinco de Mayo celebration.

1. Four consecutive home runs in the bottom of the ninth and a Nomar walk-off in the bottom of the tenth to beat the Padres. It was fleece blanket night but most of the fair-weather LA crowd left with the Dodgers down four in the ninth. Those of us who stayed belted out "I Love LA" and gave high fives to strangers because we were there to see that game.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Best Way to Watch a Duck Game

It's been a tough off-season for the Ducks. After that Rose Bowl loss, (please, can Oregon show up to PLAY at the Rose Bowl?) the Jeremiah Masoli's suspension, and LaMichael James harassing his ex, I was feeling no bueno about los patos. So when I heard that ESPN was airing the Duck spring game, I wasn't even sure I wanted to watch, but I'm so glad I did. When the offense scored, awesome. Go Ducks! When the defense made a stop, yes! Way to go D! White prevailed over Green, and a qb controversy was made but more importantly, I saw that even without Masoli, we are going to be okay. I'm looking forward to football season already 'cause I love my Ducks!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Welcome to Dodger Stadium

There are so many great things about going to the ballpark and this past week I got to spend two consecutive nights in Chavez Ravine at Dodger Stadium. It's early is the season but the Dodgers are off to a rough start. They've lost every road series and head back to LA after dropping 2 of 3 to the Nationals and being swept by the Mets.

They're happy to be home and I'm happy to be driving to the Stadium for the first time this season. I sit with students, families and colleagues from the Emerson Sports Academy high above left field as the wind whips through the stadium. The Dodgers, however, continue to play like they're still on the road. The Pirates score 2 on a Matt Kemp error in the first and neither team scores for the rest of the night. All of those zeros lined up on the scoreboard depress me but for many of my middle school students, this is their first Dodger game and even though the home team loses 0-2, being there is enough.

The next night a friend hooks us up with field level seats just behind the dugout club. It's UCLA night at the stadium so I get to look over Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's shoulder at the Dodgers warming up in the on-deck circle. The wind dies down and before the sun sets the Dodgers score two and don't trail for the rest of the night.

I'm off to the Ravine for another game tonight and the great thing about baseball is that anything can happen. You never know what might happen on any given night, on any given pitch. It's what keeps me watching even when my team hovers below .500. You never know what you're going to see so you better pay attention or you just might miss something amazing.