Throwback Thursday…Drei’s Ballpark Adventures… Petco Park, 2004-2014… A Holiday Tale From Kid N Drei… Holiday Beats From Kid Marly Marlz

 

From 1969 to 2004, the San Diego Padres would call Mission Valley their home, playing their games at Quallcom Stadium…

Drei n Chris_Quallcomm April, 2001, Quallcom Stadium, with my buddy and old roommate Chris. Someday Chris, I will pay you a visit to Louisville and we’ll catch a Louisville Bats game ( Reds AAA affiliate ) . We’ll even go to the Louisville Slugger museum.   

Of all the yards I’ve had a chance to pay a venture off on the road, Petco Park in San Diego is one i’ve had the chance to pay frequent visits to. Of course, most of those visits we’re when the Dodgers we’re in town. By now, i’m sure you are all very aware of a former Dodger outfielder who will be roaming the spacious outfield of PETCO come the 2015 season. We’ll go more into that later…

 Since it’s opening in 2004, I’ve averaged about 1 visit a year, with 2013 being my lone miss. I have seen other opponents there as well as the World Baseball Classic Championship game in 2006. In many way’s, Petco Park not only has been one of my favorite yards to visit, it’s also been a special place for me,  whether its taking the sibs down their on their first road trip with their big bro, doing the road trip thing with various friends, or even reuniting with old friends, as Drei here Throw’s Back Thursday for the final time in 2014, we’ll look back upon my visits in , let’s say, a pictorial timeline sort of way going back to Petco’s 1st season in 2004. Many of the pics will have captions, and many won’t. I’ll let the pics do most of the storytelling. You will notice a holiday theme along the way as well, given the time of year…

2004

2004_pap with sibs The lil’ sibs, Daniel and Sarah ( They’ll always be lil’ to me…), 8/1/2004, after the Dodgers knocked off the Padres in 12…

To this day, the lil’ sis, who will be delivering a future Dodger fan soon, still has not forgiven me for having us stand 12 innings…

2005

2005_Western Petco’s signature feature, the old Western Metal Supply building…

The Padres did a nice job of blending this old where house into the stadium. It is the only place in the stadium where you will find any bricks, as Petco has done a nice job to steer as far away from the retro theme that other parks post-Camden have modeled themselves after. Inside the old where house…

 

2005_view behind hp View behind home plate, and in the distance, a packed gathering at the Park at the Park, another one of Petco’s features located beyond the outfield, that features a grass knoll where fans can view the games with an obstructed view. You may notice later the changes to the skyline since 2005. Also, at the Park at the Park is a kid’s playground that also serves as a public park during non-event hours…

2005_Hoffman With former Padre closer and future HOFer Trevor Hoffman

2005_drei friar Having a good time with The Friar…

2005_playground A playground for the kids to let out some energy even during the game…

2005_lil friars field View of the lil’ Friars field also at the Park at the Park. The area to the left of the park today houses Stone Brewery Tap Room

2005_in game action from PAP View of the game from the grass hill 

2005_SRO Dodger fleece There we are in this over-pixelized shot, repping the Blue in the old standing room area, where $5 let you stand behind the outfielder. This area has since changed into a party area that charges anywhere from $100 and up for all you can eat hot dogs and beverages with bar stools and tables provided. It was on this afternoon that I gave a Padre store employee a little history lesson on Dodger baseball…

More Pics from 2005…

2006

Pics from the World Baseball Classic championship game. Japan would defeat Cuba 10-6

2006_DAVE ROBERTS With former Dodger and current Padres 1B coach Dave Roberts

2007

2007_MILITARY SUNDAY A longstanding tradition in San Diego, with the Marine Corps taking in the game in Petco’s upper reaches…

2007_Marine Hymn Saluting those who serve,  with the Marine Hymn…

2007_14th inning Extra innings, and a 2nd stretch…

2007_home 17th beat l.a. Beat L.A. ?

2007_victory line NOT ON THIS DAY !!!

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2008

2008_PETCO WITH DANIEL ON AMTRAK On the way to Petco with the lil’ bro on this mid-week June afternoon, which would turn out to be a long day for not only our teams but us as well…

2008_PETCO Moments after Jake Peavy would shut us out 9-0. Later that evening, the Lakers would blow a 24 point lead in Game 4 of the NBA Finals against Boston to lose in OT, and to cap it off, our train stalled on the way back and we, along with my buddies Chris and Josh, spent a good portion of our evening stuck in Santa Ana. Who knew it would take a good 8 hours to get from S.D. to L.A, right Chris ?

2009

Opening on the Road…

For many years I, like most of you, have made it a tradition to make it out to Opening Day. This time around, with the Blue opening down south, my longtime buddy Josh and I decided why not ? Let’s take our opening “act” on the road ( or rails…)

PETCO09_13DREI_JOSH Many road games travelled with Josh, many stories to tell…

 

 

Pregame…

PETCO09_11MANNY Manny Ramirez. Manny being Manny…

PETCO09_12KEMP_LONGTOSS Matt Kemp doin’ some long toss, a sight that will be frequent in Petco next season…

PETCO09_12KEMP_VICTORYLINE Opening Day ’09, and The Blue come out on top over Jake Peavy and the Friars 4-1, and Matt Kemp among others in that victory line. I wish you the best Bison, just not against us….

 

2011

Reunited and It Feels So Good…

PETCO2011_GROUP With Josh, of course, and 2 other of  my dear friends who I had not seen in 9 years, Victoria, in the Mariners hat minus The Mariner Moose ( More on that later…) and Deanna, another really close friend of mine from our high school days, 19 years back…

2012

Easter Weekend…

PETCO2012_DREI DOG This is the yard where the pets go, and well, Drei here got himself a new best friend… ( So he thinks…) . The Park at the Park beyond the outfield stands also serves as a public park during non-event hours and after day games as well…

PETCO2012_PLAYGROUND EMPTY All is so serene in the park, a park where kids of all ages love to play, and in a few moments, you will see what I mean when I say, ” Kids ” of all ages…

Stretch Time… 

How ’bout a tale about Christmas, and Little Saint Nick…

2014

Final Day of August

2005_view behind hp Petco Park 2005

PETCO_2012 UPPER VIEW Petco Park 2014

Some slight changes in the above before and after pics 9 years apart. One of the more noticeable changes is the addition of the Comerica Bank glass building beyond the outfield to the right. Also you might notice the outfield fences particularly in right field being brought in, as well as a lower right field wall as well. Next season, another change you will notice, aside from Matt Kemp roaming the outfield at PETCO pending possible other possible obstacles that may prevent this from happening will be a new video board among other renovations to PETCO .  Did I mention earlier that PETCO has a park where “kids” of all ages love to play…

PETCO2012_PLAYGROUND EMPTY

BUBBLES1

Hey look, it’s Kid Marly Marlz ! Some of you may remember Kid n Drei’s recent trip down I-5 ?  If not, well, just click on the following upcoming link to see what went down with Kid, Drei, and JJ on their most recent journey to PETCO…

wpid-20140831_163932.jpg Paying our respects  to Mr. Padre , Tony Gwynn, with Kid Marly Marlz and JJ. The statue of the Padre HOFer is located at The Park at the Park beyond the outfield stands should you want to pay your respects…

I hope you all enjoyed my pictorial and narrative flashbacks of past trips to PETCO, dating back to it’s opening 10 years ago. While there have been a few changes since it’s opening, with more changes to come as is the norm for most venues these days, PETCO still does an outstanding job of maintaining it’s charm while blending in real nicely with the surrounding neighborhood. With the Padres expecting to be in contention in 2015, perhaps crowds may even come in larger droves…

9th Inning… Kid n Drei’s Holiday Tale From The Park…

WE’RE BAAAAAAAAAAAAACK !!!!

MARLZ_MINION DAVE N CANDY Kid Marly Marlz, being, well… Kid Marly Marlz…

DREI_VICTORY BELL 2014 And Dodger Drei, ready to ring in the holiday season…

Kid Marly Marlz and Dodger Drei, aka KID N DREI, of our “infamous” feature Ballparks, Bytes and Bites , back at it one last time for 2014 ready to bring you a Holiday Tale…

2014 has been quite a year. The Kid and Drei had quite a time from May to September. Last time we saw The Kid around here, he was hibernating somewhere up in the hills of Chavez Ravine with a mascot buddy of his from Seattle whom he has become very attached to…

wpid-picsart_1417834344473.jpg Awe. Kid Marly Marlz is all snuggled up with The Mariner Moose, keeping him all nice and warm. The two really have become quite close this season. Hey Kid ! You may want to be careful some female Mariner fan from a few pics above doesn’t see you with The Moose….

Oh yeah, you may have noticed that a huge storm front has covered the hills of Chavez Ravine and will soon be heading south toward San Diego, where Kid Marly Marlz will be found playing a little Winter Ball at the lil’ kids park. After all, the Kid has no idea what an off-season is…

Winter Ball at The Park…

On this unusually snowy day in San Diego, The Kid finds himself playing some ball over at the Lil’ Friars yard with the other kids….

 

PETCO_HOLMARLZ4 Kid Marly Marlz doesn’t seem to like Dodger Drei’s, or, Santa Drei’s call at 3rd. Hey Kid, be careful now… You wouldn’t want Santa Drei to leave you a whole stocking full of coal would you ?

Believe it or not, Kid Marly Marlz has ACTUALLY been a good kid all year long ( Did Drei just say that ? ), leaving fans of all ages very happy, especially the little one’s, who had such a great time playing with Kid Marly Marlz this season with his very own foam bubbles

MDARIO_BUBBLES2 Kid at Heart…

It really was a fun and memorable season. Too bad all this fun couldn’t last deep into October like we all thought would happen. Perhaps 2015 will be our year ? What other off-season moves does the Dodgers front office have in store for us ? Just as Kid N Drei say, ain’t no thing as an off-season…

MARLZ_DOZING Kid Marly Marlz sure looks beat. A long season will do that to even the most hyper-active “kid”…

MARLZ_ DREI WAKING HIM UP Wake up Kid ! We still gotta get back to L.A. Hey Kid ! How ’bout some holiday beats ? Heck, Santa Drei will even let you play with your favorite mascot buddy from up north, The Mariner Moose, an appropriate mascot for this time of year given that Rudy the Red Nose Reindeer could use always use some help from his distant cousin…

Extra Innings…

MARLZ_DREI HOLIDAY CARD Hey, the snow finally cleared !  Happy Holidays !!!

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Throwback Thursday… Drei’s Ballpark Adventures… Safeco Field, 9/2/2009

Before we move forward Drei’s Throwback Thursday Ballpark Adventure’s, lets briefly look back on the moves the Dodgers have made in the last 24 hours that have sparked many discussions throughout L.A., acquiring Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick and pitcher Brandon McCarthy while in the process trading away Dan Haren and speedster Dee Gordon to the Marlins. 

Of course, the biggest of them all was the trade that sent Matt Kemp to the Padres a $30 million of his salary for catcher’s Yasmani Grandal, pitcher Joe Wieland and pitching prospect Zach Eflin. It is belived that the Dodgers are still in the running for one time Phillies ace Cole Hammels.

In briefly analyzing the trades, though his offensive numbers have declined in recent years, defensively Rollins provides a better glove than what Hanley Ramirez could.

The speed of Dee Gordon will be missed at the top of the lineup but Howie Kendrick, though not the speedster Dee is, provides a solid glove at the right side of the infield with better offensive numbers.

Then of course is the big trade of Matt Kemp. It was bound to happen. That’s baseball. That’s business. Players come and go. However to trade one of your biggest hitters who had a huge 2nd half and was finally starting to hit his stride again, to trade him to a division rival ? Let’s see how this plays out when our boys face the Friars 19 times in 2005. OK, that’s it for my brief analysis of the moves made in the last 24 hours. More from me later. 

BISON_DREI Thanks for the memories Matt…

Now, for Drei’s Throwback Thursday Ballpark Adventures, and today, we venture back to 2009, Safeco Field and the Emerald City…

Safeco Field, 9/2/2009

SEATTLE_POSTCARD

Prior to Safeco Field , the Seattle Mariners would call The King Dome home from 1977 to the middle of the 199 season. Not much excitement would occur in The King Dome during most of it’s history. That would change in the summer of ’95 , the summer which many in the Pacific Northwest believe saved the Mariners…

SEATTLE_KINGDOME98 Center Field view of The King Dome, November, 1998, during an auto convention. This “awe inspiring” view was taken at a spot  Ken Griffey Jr. stood during many summers in the 90s…

SEATTLE_SAFECOFIELDHPENTRANCE Home plate entrance

SAFECOFIELD_CHANDALIER BATS2 Inside the home plate entrance, rising above the fans entering the grand entrance, a chandelier in the display of swinging bats 

SAFECOFIELD_CHANDALIER BATS The chandelier up close

SAFECOFIELD View behind home plate. In the distance, Century Link Field, the site where the King Dome once stood…

Of the 4 MLB parks with retractable roofs, not counting the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Safeco Field ranks as my favorite. With a retractable roof to protect the fans from the elements, the roof acts more as an umbrella than anything else, making it possible for fans to experience a ballgame while allowing some of natures elements to breeze in, thus maintaining an outdoor feel. The roof is not really used much during the season as much of the rainy season is during the winter and spring.  It’s still is a good idea to bring a light sweater especially if attending an evening game

Safeco is viewed by many as a retro yard, a notion I totally disagree with, as with many of today’s post Camden Yards era parks. While many of today’s yards may have followed Camden Yards model to revive nostalgic features of ballpark cathedrals from years past, I just have a hard time viewing a yard with a retractable roof as retro, a term which really I feel is overused with much of today’s parks. The only feature in Safeco that I could say has a retro feel is the home plate entrance. Having said that, Safeco Field is still quite a yard to take in a game. I also like how Safeco blends in with the local surroundings, which at one time consisted of various warehouses. The area around Safeco Field is known by the locals as SoDo, South of Downtown. You may have heard of SoDo in the early 2000s from the M’s rally cry SoDo Mojo. 

SAFECOFIELD_UPPER LEVEL RF VIEW From the upper reaches in Right Field

SAFECOFIELD_LF SIGN AND SPACE NEEDLE Off to the distance is Seattle’s trademark landmark, The Space Needle

SAFECOFIELD_BULLPENPREGAME Pregame huddle over by the M’s bullpen. That chain link fence has since been removed…

SAFECOFIELD_DREI IN CF 2008 Kicking it out in the center field standing room area during a prior visit in ’08. If you don’t mind standing it’s a great place to watch the game up close in the outfield. You are practically there by the fence. Some of the most sociable and knowledgeable fans hang out there.  From what I’ve been told the SRO viewing area in CF is also a “Meet Market” especially during the weekends…

SAFECOFIELD_HISTORY OF BASEBALL EXHIBIT Some hardball history from the Pacific Northwest…

SAFECOFIELD_SEA PILOTS More Seattle baseball tributes

SAFECOFIELD_TRIBUTE TO JUNIOR Of course they pay tribute to Ken Griffey Jr. After all, he had a huge role in building Safeco…

SAFECOFIELD_TRIBUTE TO JUNIOR 2

SAFECOFIELD_9 2 2009 VS ANGELS King Felix get’s the start for the M’s…

SAFECOFIELD_LINESCORE The Halo’s would eventually be shut out on this day… This scoreboard has since been replaced with a huge video board…

SAFECOFIELD_FINALSCORE

SAFECOFIELD_POSTGAME WITH DREI Another yard off the list. Safeco was the last MLB park to open in the 90s, and to this day she’s holding up well…

SAFECOFIELD_HOLE IN THE GLOVE That must have been one screaming line drive…

SAFECOFIELD_DREI IN THE GLOVE Hey, let’s meet up by the Hole in the Glove …

SAFECOFIELD_95MURAL I wonder if this mural celebrating the ’95 NLDS triumph over the Yankees is still there…

SAFECOFIELD_NIGHTIME OUTSIDE LF ENTRANCE

SAFECOFIELD_LFENTRANCE 2

So those are my reflections on my trip to Safeco, August 2009. To any M’s fan who may be reading this, what’s changed since my last visit ?

Also worth a look…

SEATTLE_UNDER THE RETRACTABLE ROOF ON THE TRACKS The retractable roof, when opened, slides above these railroad tracks. King Street Station, where local commuter and Amtrak trains are serviced, is a stones throw away from the yard. So should you be arriving to The Emerald City by rail, chances are you will be arriving (or departing) beneath Safeco Field’s roof, perhaps during game action as well. Train conductor’s have been known to toot their horns during the game’s, adding to the charm of the game…

9th Inning, Around The Emerald City…

From Hops to Beans..

Former beer factory of Raineer Beer, now housing Tully's Coffee ( There's another coffee brew in Seattle ? )

Former beer factory of Raineer Beer, now housing Tully’s Coffee ( There’s another coffee brew in Seattle ? )

The onetime Raineer Brewery is now home to Tully's ( And from what I gather, some artsy lofts as well...)

The onetime Raineer Brewery is now home to Tully’s ( And from what I gather, some artsy lofts as well…)

Views from the tracks…

Pike Market and Beechers…

SoDo Art…

Last but not least…

Extra Innings…

Drei’s Holiday Tale, Featuring The Mariner Moose and Kid Marly Marlz

image
Given the time of year, Drei thought it’d be nice to pay a visit to his good pal up in the Pacific Northwest, the Mariner Moose ! You know Moose, Santa could always use another assistant to help Rudy lead Santa’s sleigh. Hey, how ’bout giving Drei  a ride back to L.A. ?
image

Upon arriving back to L.A., a heavy cold front with lots of unexpected snow would descend upon the hills of Chavez Ravine. Fortunately for The Moose, Kid Marly Marlz is here to keep him nice and warm. Awe, The Moose and The Kid are bonding once again. Perhaps The Moose can cheer you up after hearing the news of your favorite Dodger heading down I-5. The Kid and the Moose have really developed a deep bond for each other…. ( BTW Kid, don’t let you’re actual big bro know that I was at a Starbucks… )

Time to Walk Us off, Chuck…

Today’s Holiday Classic, from Chuck Berry…

 

 

December 8, 1980, The Monday Night When Howard Announced The Tragic News…

     “Remember this is just a football game, no matter who wins or loses. An unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City: John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City, the most famous perhaps, of all of The Beatles, shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, dead on arrival. Hard to go back to the game after that news flash, which, in duty bound, we have to take. Frank?”

The exact words Howard Cossell would announce to viewers 34 years ago this Monday evening, on December 8, 1980, as the New England Patriots would battle the Miami Dolphins in a huge game on Monday Night Football. It was during the waning moments of the 4th quarter as the Patriots we’re attempting a game winning field goal when Howard Cossell would do the uneviable task of announcing to the viewers that former Beatle John Lennon had been shot outside the Dakota Apartments in New York City as he was returning home from a recording session. Just six years prior, Cossell had interviewed John Lennon during halftime on Monday Night Football…

There are so many way’s to describe how the music of The Beatles and John Lennon has to this very day touched so many peoples lives. The influence that Beatlemania had was so huge and so rapid that The Beatles we’re the first rock n roll band to perform live concerts at Major League Baseball venues, performing at Shea Stadium in 1964 and evnetually performing their 2nd to last ever live performance at Dodger Stadium in August of 1966.

wpid-20140718_144630.jpg From August 2006, looking back on the 40th anniversary of The Beatles performance at Dodger Stadium

beatles_dodgerstadium The Fab Four performing at Dodger Stadium, August 28, 1966. ( Dodger Stadium’s appearance sure has passed the test of time…)

JOHNLENNON_LATIMES12081980 Front cover of the L.A. Times, December 9, 1980

Here is a 2010 clip from ESPN’s Outside The Lines reflecting upon the ill-fated night of December 8, 1980…

At the time Cossell announced to the viewers the untimely death of John Lennon on that ill-fated evening of December 8, 1980, it was not possible for people around the world to have known the news right away. There we’re only 3 major networks at the time, but most notably, in 1980, we didn’t have such things as ipads or droids among other electronical devices that we take for granted today. There was no way fans could have shared their feelings at that very moment with fellow family and friends as we do today with the ever so endless social media outlets available in our pockets.

So of course it was impossible for the 75,000 plus fans at the Orange Bowl to have been aware of what happened to the famed Beatle. I can only imagine that if an event of this magnitude had taken place today during a huge sporting event, be it MNF or the World Series, what the mood would be like inside the venues. Would many of us be on a emotional roller coaster of excitement of being at a huge sporting event while hiding the somberness on our minds, knowing that someone who had a profound impact on us has passed on ? I’m sure many of us would be paying instant tributes throughout the world of social media.

I’ve heard many people talk about the night John Lennon was assassinated, putting it in the same sentence of the tragic assassinations of King and Kennedy. To many, the night John Lennon was killed marked the end of an era . I was not around when King and Kennedy we’re shot, and I was only 6, in the beginning stages of being a Dodger fan. ( I’m also trying to put some light into this folks…). I don’t really recall where I was the night John Lennon was shot, however I do remember various radio stations playing continuos music from The Beatles during the week as it was played in our house in Hollywood.

Do any of you recall where you we’re the night of December 8, 1980 ? Did you find out while watching MNF ? We’re you putting up a Christmas tree when the news was announced ?

 Happy Christmas…. Someday, War will be over….

 

Throwback Thursday, Drei’s Ballpark Adventures…Coors Field, 8/29-30 2006

 

In the 12 plus years I’ve had a chance to travel to various MLB and MILB yards, much has changed in regards to the way we view and share our experiences. When I first started my baseball stadium journey’s, not counting yards here in California, I would look at other ballpark travelers experiences online and see what they had to share. Of course, when I started all this in 2003, digital camera’s where still on the rise, I was still using 400 film, and we we’re trying to figure a way to share our experiences instantly (At least I was). After all, back then, most of us we’re still using flip phones. No twitter or facebook, no hashtagging, no droids ( What else wasn’t in our vocabulary when I started all this in 2003 ? ) I know I got excited when I got my first camera phone. Of course it came with an attachment. Oh how far we’ve come with technology since…

Coors Field, August 29-30, 2006

Today, I share with you some of my pics from my trip to Coors Field 8 years ago. My purpose of my off-season posts of various yards i’ve visited is to share my experiences at my time of visit. With constant changes that occur in our favorite yards, it is my hope that other’s will share their experiences at the time of their visit as well and see what has changed inside these various yards over time.

Coors Field is located in the LoDo district of Denver. Opened in 1995, at the time the capacity was just over 50,000. In spite of it’s large capacity, Coors Field felt surprisingly intimate. This past season, Coors Field did some renovations, decreasing the capacity by removing a vast number of upper deck right field seats and adding a rooftop viewing area for fans to roam around and socialize while taking in the action. It is one feature I would like to experience should I return to Coors anytime soon.  

COORSFIELD_HOMEPLATE ENTRANCE

Home plate entrance

COORSFIELD_VIEWFROMROCKPILE

View from the CF Rockpile seats. $4 day of game back in 2006…

COORSFIELD_ROCKPILE2

Coors Field’s signature feature out in centerfield, The Rockpile, with real rocks and trees that also has a water display in between innings. Hmm, some of those trees would make for some wonderful Christmas use this time of year. I wonder how many home runs have landed in the rockpile…

COORSFIELD_VISITORSBULLPEN

Visitors bullpen by The Rockpile. That’s got to be one of the most scenic bullpen settings in all of MLB. I’m guessing the visiting teams must enjoy this not only for it’s scenery but the fact that it’s distant from the stands, avoiding any potential hecklers…

Neon Artwork Outside of Coors…

More Artwork…

COORSFIELD_MURAL

Mural of construction workers getting Coors all ready for action. Trivial tidbit… the batter wearing 95, yup, 95 represents the year Coors Field opened. Is it really going to be 20 since Coors Field’s opening ? 

COORSFIELD_NEIGHBORHOOD

Down the street from Coors Field’s left field entrance. I love how Coors Field just blends in with the local architecture, as is the case with many ballparks built after 1992, the year Camden Yards opened…

On This Day, 8/30/2006

COORSFIELD_SCOREBOARD 8 300 TULO'S FIRST GAME

Troy Tulowitzky would make his MLB debut at shortstop for the Rockies. I just wonder what kind of future this former Dirtbag from Long Beach State would have…

9th Inning With Drei…

COORSFIELD_DREINDINGER

And they say dinosaurs no longer exist ! Drei kicking it with his new buddy Dinger !!!

So, for anyone reading, particularly any Rockies fans out there who may have “stumbled” across over here, what else has changed at Coors Field that Drei and other baseball fans should look forward to in their next visit to the Mile High City ? Oh yeah, Dodger fans and of course baseball fans can never plan out their ballpark adventures to early. Planning on visiting Coors next year ? Here’s a more detailed review of Coors Field from Stadium Journey magazine .  Be sure to check out Stadium Journey for all your sports themed road trips. 

Extra Innings…

I hope you’re all having a great holiday season so far. Speaking of the holiday’s, one could never go wrong with a classic Andy Williams . After all, what are the holiday’s without some Andy Williams tunes ?

 

Video Tribute to Jackie Robinson

Over the weekend, amiss all the hoopla surrounding the SC-UCLA game, it was announced that Jackie Robinson’s alma mater, UCLA would be retiring his number 42 throughout it’s entire athletic programs in honor of his 75th anniversary of his arrival to the Westwood campus.  Here is a video tribute to Jackie… 

JACKIE

 

A Night To Honor 42

During last night’s UCLA-USC game at the Rose Bowl, where UCLA for the 3rd straight season came out victorious 38-20, before the start of the 2nd quarter, Dodger and UCLA legend Jackie Robinson was honored with a ceremony celebrating the 75th anniversary of his arrival to the Westwood campus .  Although Jackie would wear number 28 in his days as a Bruin, the number 42 has been retired throughout all UCLA athletics and his number will be prominently displayed throughout each athletic venue .  3 current UCLA athletes will continue to wear the number 42 until they graduate, just as Mariano Rivera did for the Yankees until his recent retirement.  DREI_SKIP

Me with former UCLA running back Skip Hicks, who donned the number 42 in his day…

With the number 42 now permanently retired throughout all UCLA athletics, the number 42 jersey I have displayed with Skip Hicks certainly means that much more to me now, as from this point forward, I can now say that I have a piece of history that not only has a permanent fixture throughout all athletic departments and throughout UCLA, but a piece of history that celebrates the many accomplishments not only on the field but beyond as well. 

MURAL

In front of his mural, located in Jackie Robinson Stadium, where the UCLA baseball team plays it’s home games

dre42

Proudly displaying 42 for both the Dodger Blue and the UCLA Blue and Gold…

Who Runs L.A. ?

Last night’s dominant display the UCLA over USC would have definitely made Jackie proud.  With UCLA’s 38-20 victory over USC , it is obvious right now that at this moment, UCLA currently runs L.A.

WHO RUNS L.A.

And to make it official, we crown The Victory Bell with a touch of Dodger Blue.  Oh would Jackie be so proud…. 

A very happy day for both of Jackie’s one time affiliations….

DREI_JACKIE STATUE

And on one final note, many thank to all of you who have read and followed my posts throughout the entire year. Drei here would like to wish all of you a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving. 

 

Sights and Sounds From Westwood to DTLA

Happy Friday everyone !  As we all get ready for the one event that divide’s all of us Dodgers fans, the SC-UCLA game, Drei here brings you some sight’s, rants, and sounds from Westwood to DTLA, all in one night, Thursday, 11/20/2014.  But first, some big Dodgers/UCLA related news..

The Legacy of 42 Continues…

As many of you know, Jackie Robinson was not only one of the greatest ballplayers who donned the Dodger Blue, but was also an outstanding humanitarian. Perhaps many of you are aware that Jackie Robinson was a 4 sport athlete at UCLA .  Today, it was announced the UCLA will be naming 22 of it’s athletic facilities after the Dodger/UCLA legend.  The number 42 will also be painted into the Rose Bowl field at the 25 yard line for tomorrow night’s clash.  

jackie

JACKIE_STATUE

From Westwood to DTLA

Here L.A., we can never have enough entertainment options.  Sporting events are no different.  So on this Thursday evening, I made the attempt to pull double dip, finding myself at what should have been the BEAT SC Bonfire ( more on that later ) and the Kings game at Staples Center.  Here it is, starting from Westwood…

ROYCE HALL

Greetings from the Hills of Westwood…

VICTORY BELL 1120

Oh the sight of The Victory Bell in it’s rightful blue color never get’s old…

VICTORY BELL_HUGO

My buddy Hugo also getting in on the action.  He was one happy camper last night with his Raiders FINALLY winning a game…

PREBONFIRE

Waiting for the rally to get started.  Drei couldn’t stay for the whole rally as Drei had a hockey game to go to thanks to some free tickets.  Drei would find out later that the rally would be without the bonfire.  Why ?  Because 50 student protesters decided to put a halt to the bonfire in protest to the recent UC tuition fee hikes.  While I do wholeheartedly agree with the cause, I also do feel there is a time and place for civil protests, having participated in one myself recently.  Putting a halt to an event that is meant to celebrate an annual rivalry as well as unify students even as an escape from reality for  2 hours , well, may have just left a bad taste among the other . I understand the concerns of rising tuition costs and support the students in their concern, but to put a halt to a long standing tradition that has nothing to do with the current tuition hikes ?  I hope this does not cloud the thoughts of the other student’s who we’re most certainly looking forward to the bonfire.  I actually don’t think it will in the long run because once the dust settles from this weekends game, the majority of the students, all throughout the UC system as well, will still all be unified as one against these tuition hikes.  OK, that’s my rant for this week.  As for the bonfire being put to a halt, Jim Mora…

Before we head toward the Staples Center…

BRUIN STATUE

Gotta make sure our Bruin Bear is well protected from such the evil sources of Troy…

Mid-City Beats

As we make our way toward Staples Center, here’s some beats from Mid City’s resident DJ, once again… Reno Sparks.  Yo Reno, What It Be ? What It Do ?

Staples Center, Kings vs Hurricane

KINGSGAME

My view from up in 305.  Arrived just in time to see Tanner Pearson end his scoring drought with the game winning goal in the 2nd period as the Kings would come out victorious 3-2 over Carolina.  Hopefully, I’ll have more to bring you from Staples Center as the hockey season goes along.  For a venue now entering it’s 16th season, Staples Center sure doesn’t feel like it’s age .  

And that, folks, is your typical Thursday evening in L.A, from Westwood to DTLA.  Hey, enjoy the game this weekend.  Regardless of your allegiance, it should be a great game.  Drei here is sticking with his pick earlier this week, UCLA 34 USC 24.  Your prediction ?

Ah, the sweet sound of VICTORY to ring in the weekend !!!  If all goes well, the Victory Bell will remain in it’s rightful color, BLUE !!!

Rivalry Week… USC vs. UCLA, Drei’s Favorite UCLA Moments

When talking about rivalries here we talk about the Dodgers and Giants. Ah, but this week, we focus on the one thing that divides Dodgers fans ( And Angels fans too ) .  The annual SC-UCLA football game, taking place this Saturday afternoon at The Rose Bowl. With Oregon State’s recent upset win over Arizona State, the Bruins now find themselves in the drivers seat to win the Pac 12 South.  Win their final 2 games of the season against USC and Stanford, and they will be playing Oregon in Levi Stadium on December 5th for the Pac 12 Championship.  Of course, there are these other tie breaking scenarios that could also happen in the wild and crazy Pac 12 South.  OK, before we move on, how about some Dodger trivial facts tied into this weeks rivalry…

Dodgers who played at USC

Ron Fairly

Len Gabrielson

Mark McGwire ( Coach )

J.P. Howell

Dodgers who played at UCLA

Tim Leary

Ron Roenicke

Todd Zeile

Eric Karros

Dave Roberts

and of course…

JACKIE_STATUE

Jackie Robinson…

JACKIE_MURAL

This statue and mural of Jackie Robinson are located along the first base concourse over at Jackie Robinson Stadium where the UCLA baseball team plays it’s home games.

USC-UCLA Fun Facts…

USC leads the rivalry 44-30-7

USC has won 12 of the last 14 meetings since 1999

UCLA has won the last two meetings

UCLA owns the longest winning streak in this series with 8 consecutive wins from 1991-98

UCLA is 9-7 against USC at The Rose Bowl since moving their home games to Pasadena in 1982

Puig_VictoryBell

The Victory Bell It’s what both these schools play for each year.  The winning school not only is the recipient of this prized possession, but also get’s to paint the bell in it’s main school color.  Here, our Mini Puig seems to enjoy his place next to The Victory Bell, which has been in the hands of UCLA the last two seasons.  ( Mini Puig look’s like he want’s to start an 8 Clap…)

VICTORYBELL

Oh the joy of ringing that Victory Bell, um, that Bruin Blue Victory Bell !!! ( I’m sure by now you have figured out where my allegiance in this rivalry stands…)

DREI_BELL

Posing with The Victory Bell and displaying one of the greatest to wear both the Bruin and Dodger Blue, Jackie Robinson…

In the spirit of Rivalry Week, Drei here now brings you his Fave 5 USC-UCLA games attended over the years….

5. 11/17/2012 UCLA 38 USC 28

One year removed from the 50-0 debacle at The Coliseum, with 1st year coach Jim Mora taking over the head coaching reigns and redshirt QB phenom Brett Hundly under center, the Bruins would storm out to a quick 24-0 lead in the 1st half.  SC would later close the gap to 3 points in the 4th quarter, however, the Bruins would counter on a Jonathan Franklin touchdown run late in the 4th and a huge sack of Matt Barkley from Anthony Barr would seal the deal for The Sons of Westwood.  Prior to this game, SC had won 11 of 12 in this series.  UCLA has now won the last two, with Hundley sporting a perfect 2-0 record against the Spirit of Troy.

HUNDLEY_EVANS

Brett Hundley and Bruin Wide Receiver Shaq Evans celebrating a 3rd quarter TD in the 2012 game.  ( Yup, I was that close folks…)

SHAQ_DREI

Shaq Evans and I proudly displaying my pic of him and Hundly celebrating.  Shaq is currently in the IR with the New York Jets.

4. 12/2/2006 UCLA 13 USC 9

A USC win would not only put USC back in the National Title game for the 3rd straight season, but also tie the rivalry record for most consecutive wins by either school at 8.  With USC driving for a possible game winning touchdown late in the 4th quarter, Eric McNeal picks off a John David Booty pass deep in UCLA territory.  The interception would be huge as UCLA would prevent USC from playing in the National Championship game as well as preserve the longest winning streak in the series at 8.

POSTGAME 2006 Postgame celebration. I’m the one holding the dreaded horse hanging on it’s noose…

3. 11/20/1993 UCLA 27  USC 21

With a Pac-10 title and a Rose Bowl berth on the line for both schools, UCLA would race out to a 17-0 lead, a lead they would carry into halftime.  However, USC would mount a comeback and late in the 4th quarter USC QB Rob Johnson would drive his team all the way to the UCLA 2 inside a minute to play, trailing UCLA 27-21.  But on 3rd and Goal, Marvin Goodwin stepped in front of SC tight end Tyler Cashman to intercept what may have been the game winning TD for USC.  The win not only sent UCLA to it’s first Rose Bowl in 8 years, but also ended a streak of 10 games which USC had won with a Rose Bowl berth on the line.

2. 11/21/1992 UCLA 38 USC 37 

Due to a string of injuries to UCLA QB’s, John Barnes, who did not even have a spot on the spring roster, John Barnes, a walk-on only because his previous school UC Santa Barbara, dropped their football program, would be called upon to guide the Bruins in the biggest game of the season.  A tall task to ask of a 6th string QB huh ?  It seemed that way heading into the 4th quarter with UCLA trailing 31-17.  Ah, but this is where the legend of John Barnes was born.  UCLA would score 3 TD’s in the 4th quarter, two of them to J.J. Stokes, who would have a huge 4th quarter himself and etch his name into the hearts of every Bruin fan as well.  The 3rd of the 3 4th quarter TD’s would be a 90 hookup, Barnes to Stokes ( Still a popular phrase among the Bruin faithful who witnessed that magical evening in ’92… Barnes to Stokes ) to give UCLA a 38-31 lead.  SC would not go away as Rob Johnson would hookup with Johnny Morton on a huge 4th down conversion inside the UCLA 10 with less than a minute to play.  2 years prior, Johnny Morton would break the hearts of UCLA fans and nearly pulled off the same feat.  However, after a Rob Johnson TD, SC would decide to go for 2 rather than tie ( No OT in college football at the time ), and Rob Johnson’s pass would be knocked down by Nkosi Littleton, and UCLA would go on to upset SC 38-37.  John Barnes would finish with 385 passing yards, and  J.J. Stokes would finish with 6 catches, 263 yards receiving and 3 TD’s, including the game winning 90 yarder which many a Bruin looks back upon with these words… Barnes to Stokes .

And finally,  Drei’s all-time favorite SC-UCLA game ?  This will be no quick recap, I’ll warn you right now.  So enjoy folks… 

1. 11/23/1996 UCLA 48 USC 41, Double OT

It was the first season of the post Terry Donahue era.  UCLA came into this matchup with a mediocre at best 4-6 mark.   SC, who had high expectations heading into the season, was no better at 5-5.  UCLA had carried a 5 year winning streak heading into this contest, the longest streak in the rivalry at that time.  USC would storm to a 24-7 halftime lead, thanks in large part to 2 TD passes from Brad Otton to USC freshman phenom R.J. Soward.  Soward would finish the game with 6 recptions, 3 TD’s and 260 yards receiving, virtually the same stats J.J. Stokes had 3 years prior. 

The second half would be the most thrilling half I would ever have as a UCLA fan.  It would also be an emotional roller coaster ride as well.  The second half would start out strong for UCLA as UCLA QB sensation Cade McNown would connect with Danny Farmer on a long TD pass to close the gap to 24-14.  However, SC would answer back on a long drive of it’s own, brining the lead back up to 17. 

Before the kickoff, from my seat in the NE corner of the endzone, I take a quick glance at the Victory Bell and I see members of the UCLA Spirit Squad huddling around it, with two of the cheerleaders wraping their arms around it.  I knew what they we’re feeling.  The bell had been in UCLA’s possesion 5 years in a row and now the Bruins we’re in danger of surrendering the rivalry’s grand prize.  I was ready to step in front of the bell myself to be honest…

So on UCLA’s next possesion, after converting 3 huge 3rd down conversions, one of them a 3rd and 21, Cade McNown rushes for a TD to close the gap back to 10 heading into the 4th quarter. 

After both teams exchanged punts, with Matt Koffler now replacing an injured Brad Otton at QB for USC, Koffler would connect with R.J. Soward on a quick TD strike, giving SC what seemed to be an insurmountable 17 point lead .  That would be RJ Soward’s third TD reception of the game, 2 of them in which he would score in the NE corner of the endzone, yup, right in front of me.  In addition, SC safety Sammy Knight would also have a pick 6 finish, that’s right, in the NE corner of the enzone, uh-huh, right in front of me.  I was really having a great day to that point, wasn’t I ? 

So if UCLA had any thought’s of prolonging their winning streak to 6, they would need to mount a furious comeback.  After a Bjorn Merten field goal with just over 6 minutes left to play cut the deficit to 14, UCLA would get the ball back after keeping SC out of the enzone.  UCLA would score another TD to close the gap to 38-31 with under 3 minutes remaining.  SC would recover the onside kick and after a first down, all SC needed was one more first down and they would be able to run out the clock, and UCLA’s 5 year streak would be over.  Only a miracle would save UCLA…

Did I say a miracle would save UCLA ?  On a 2nd down run, SC running back LaValle Woods would have the ball stripped from him and Kusanti Abdul-Salam would recover for UCLA.  Here was UCLA’s chance.  One play after a huge 3rd down conversion from Cade McNown to little used Rodney Lee, UCLA running back Skip Hicks would bust up the middel 11 yards for the game tying score.  SC would have one last shot to win the game in regulation after a huge 3rd down reception by Chris Miller at the UCLA 23.  However, Adam Abram’s attempt at a 41 yard game winner would be blocked, and for the first and only time in the history of USC-UCLA, it was on to overtime.

In the first OT, both schools would exchange field goals.  On the first play of the second OT, Skip Hicks, running up the middle and seemingly stopped, would sneak out of nowhere and rush for  a go-ahead scoring TD to give UCLA it’s first lead of the game 48-41.  Where would Hicks’ TD run finish ?   You got it, the NE corner of the endzone, and beyond…

HICKS TD Here I am, in the blue hat with the gold rim, congratulating Skip Hicks on his 25 yard TD run that would be the eventual game winner.  Behind Hicks is Danny Farmer

Yup, there I was, the first to greet Hicks after one of the biggest and most memorable TD’s in the rivalry’s history…

SC was not finished.  On their next possesion, on 3rd and 3, Brad Otton would spot RJ Soward wide open after picking up UCLA’s blitz.  Soward had nothing but grass ahead of him.  Where would his potential game tying TD finish ?  Yup, right there in the NE corner of the endzone, right in front of me.  But it was not meant to be, as he would drop a sure TD and on 4th down, Koffler’s desperation pass would be intercepted in the endzone, and UCLA would win it’s 6th in a row over USC.  The streak would eventually reach 8, still the longest in the series. 

Though neither school would play in a bowl game that season, the ’96 game will always have a special place in my heart, of course for obvious reasons.  I mean, c’mon.  When you go to these games, you expect to talk about your favorite moments, but really, even though it’s 18 years later, does anyone really expect to also talk about their involvment with the players during one of the greatest moments that happended DURING the game ?  As one of my best friends Josh always says, ” You can’t make up stuff like this…”

DREI N SKIP 05 Chillin’ with Skip, 2005

Drei’s Prediction

Both schools come into the game with momentum on their sides.  UCLA come’s in with still a shot at the PAC-12 South title.  The key for UCLA to win once again will be Brett Hundley, as also acknowledged by USC.  SC’s defense has been known to wittle down in the 2nd half, and in the previous 2 meetings between these schools, Hundley’s mobility has proved to be SC’s achilles heel.  If UCLA can maintain that and keep SC’s defense chasing their running game, particularly in the 1st half, that can play huge later in the game.

UCLA 34  USC  24

HUNDLEY COOK Brett Hundley and Wayne Cook, past and present, a combined 4-0 against USC.  Hundley looks to make it 5-0 come Saturday…

DREI N BRETT Let’s make it 3 in a row over SC Brett !!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond The Ballpark…Tailgaiting With Drei, 11/1/2014 Arizona vs. UCLA

Before we go beyond the ballpark…

KERSHAW_CYYOUNG KERSHAW_MVP

A huge CONGRATULATIONS to Clayton Kershaw for becoming the 1st pitcher since 1968 to win both the NL Cy Young and MVP in the same season.   Also, not forgotten here in the southland…

TROUT_MVP

Congratulations to Angels outfield Mike Trout on his MVP season as well.  It was a huge season all-around for both teams here in the southland.  Though it ended prematurely for both teams, it does not take away from what these two accomplished during the regular season.  

KERSHAW_TROUT

Perhaps a deep run into October in 2015 ?  Never to early to look ahead…

Tailgating With Drei ( Trying to, Anyways…)

I’m sure by now many of you have turned your attention to the other major sports.  I’m also sure many of you are also huge fans of the pigskin, be it the NFL, college, or both.  I don’t even doubt that many of you enjoy a good tailgate prior to watching your favorite team do battle among the gridiron.  Many of you probably tailgate every game, while a good many of you may do it on occasion.  Many of you probably have traditional recipes  and gameday rituals as well, from dressing up your area with your favorite teams paraphernalia to preparing that day’s main dish based on that day’s opponent, for example, for an NFL game if the opponent we’re the Philadelphia Eagles, your spread could include anything with a bird or Philly Cheese Steaks, among many countless ideas . 

For my most recent tailgate this past Saturday at The Rose Bowl prior to the UCLA-Arizona game, with the U of  A Wildcats in town, I have decided to throw in a Southwest theme ( for Arizona ) along with an Asian influenced theme as well ( A nod to my Asian roots and the heavy Asian-American student population at UCLA….) .  For my Southwest theme, I have prepared a Sonoran Style Chorizo Burger.  Here are the preparation notes, which by the way, was prepped for two people, so the prep may vary.  It’s pretty simple really…

Drei’s Sonoran Style Chorizo Burger

Mix 1 pound of ground beef or pork with some chorizo meat

Add a half to 3/4 packet of chili powder.  I used the New Mexico Style chili powder

Store in your fridge and marinade overnight

Now my notes for my Asian themed bite

Drei’s Coconut Curry Chicken Thighs

For my chicken thighs…

1 can of coconut milk

Approximately 2 tbsps. of coconut vinegar

Curry powder

Coconut flakes

A touch or two of brown sugar

Store in fridge to marinade overnight.

Again, depending on how many are taking part of your tailgate, the amounts and preparations will vary. 

20141101_170513

Gettin’ our tailgate on.  Yeah, preferably we’d like a bigger grill, but hey, our miniature Weber would do just fine.  Hey, our Pet Minion Dave has joined us once again.  Minion Dave has sure got around with us this past year.  He wasn’t quite so mischievous this time around.  Perhaps it was because he wasn’t around his favorite mischievous Uncle Marly Marlz this time…

Marlz_Dave2 Dave and Marlz.  Two of the most mischievous characters you’ll ever encounter at a sporting event…

Lesson’s learned by Drei.  OK, who doesn’t love bacon with their burgers ?  If you must throw some bacon on the grill if cooking with charcoal,  you may want to put some aluminum foil on top of your grill .  When grilling your bacon, always monitor the progress .  You don’t want to cause a grease fire thus possibly burning anything else that may be on your grill.  Also, when grilling the burgers, before placing on the grill, I also discovered it be best to flatten the burgers out as much as possible if anything it not only  reduces cooking time but is also much easier to grill than grilling one big thick burger, per se. 

As for my Coconut Curried Chicken Thighs, they could not have come out any juicer than I could have imagined.  So, how’d the burger turn out ?

SONORA BURGER

Here it is.  My Sonoran Style Chorizo burger, topped with jack cheese, bacon, black fiesta beans, roasted Anaheim Chile, and guacamole.  After a couple of tries, this burger actually turned out allright.  Also , as a side, I added a raspberry blue-cheese spinach salad as well . 

DANIEL_TAILGATE

Getting one last chug in before the main course…

TAILGATE_MINION

Minion Dave sure loves all the scenery, highlighted by the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance… 

TAILGATE_POSTGAMEBROS

Kickin’ it with the lil’ bro Daniel after another UCLA win…

TAILGATE_MINIONPOSTGAME

Minion Dave all happy after UCLA’s 17-7 win over Arizona

POSTGAME_HUNDLEY

Next home game.  The one time of year Dodger fans throughout L.A. are divided…

TAILGATE_MINIONROSEBOWLSIGN

Our pet Minion Dave sure has gotten around this year…

So these are the highlights from Drei’s tailgate and the UCLA/UofA game.  To be honest, it wasn’t one of my best efforts and Drei could have done a few things different, but hey, I still enjoy a good tailgate . Ideally, you should have more than 2 people with you at a tailgate.  Even though you may not try to, with only 2 at a tailgate, you always end up having more than you really need.  Got any tailgate tips you’d like to share ?  Need any tailgate tips and recipes ?  You may want to check out this Pro Football Cookbook .  Planning on hitting the road to see your favorite team ?  Check us out at Stadium Journey for your travel needs, including those for UCLA and USC football.

Next up, the one thing that divides all Dodger fans this time of year. The annual football game between USC vs UCLA…

VICTORYBELL

The Victory Bell.  The prize the two schools play for each year.  The bell has been that nice shade of blue the last couple of years…

 

 

 

 

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