All Aboard The Midway…On the Way To The Classic

petco_wbc-2006 World Baseball Classic, Championship Game, Pregame Ceremony, March 2006

The World Baseball Classic will be making it’s way toward the southland with 2nd round games taking place at Petco Park from Tuesday March 14th to Saturday March 18th and if necessary Sunday March 19th. The Championship round will take place at Dodger Stadium from Monday March 20th to Wednesday the 22nd. 

uss-midway-profile-pic

If you’re heading south to San Diego, you will want to check out The USS Midway. If this is your first time aboard The USS Midway, you will want to allow yourself at least 3 hours on board. Most visitors usually stay for 4 hours.

There is plenty to take in aboard the USS Midway, so much so that you couldn’t be blamed if you don’t have a chance to do everything. (Like yours truly…)Docents are active throughout the entire ship to share stories, most of whom actually served on the USS Midway at one point. 

Lots of carriers are also on display, some that allow for guests of all ages to hop aboard and experience sitting in the same cockpits that our veterans once operated. 

One of the highlights aboard The Midway is the guided tour of the bridge high in the island over the flight deck.

If you have a chance, you will also want to “Explore a City at Sea”. Inside this exhibit you’ll  explore among other things the crew’s sleeping quarters, a post office, and even a nice intimate cathedral where service crew of all faiths would once congregate. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond The Yard: A British Invasion

”  The one MLB venue The Fab Four performed at that is still in use and will be the only one standing after this year. Yup, you guessed it….”

beatles_dodgerstadium(The Beatles, Dodger Stadium, 8/28/1966)

50 YEARS AGO TODAY, FOUR LADS FROM BRITAIN INVADE AMERICA, 2/7/2014.

53 years ago this week The Beatles would arrive to America, setting off a British Invasion of sorts. They would later perform on The Ed Sullivan Show.

originalmarquee

 

During their touring years of 1964-66, The Fab Four would perform at 9 various MLB ballparks. Of the 9, of course, Dodger Stadium is the lone one standing. On August 28, 1966, as the Dodgers we’re battling the hated ones in a battle for first place at Candlestick Park, The Beatles would perform their 2nd to last ever concert at The Ravine on August 28, 1966. 

The Beatles would perform their final concert ever the next evening at Candlestick Park. That would be The ‘Stick’s most impressive event of 1966, as our Boys in Blue would win the NL pennant by 1.5 games over the hated ones…

Of course, we can never get enough of Beatlemania, or Vinny. We’ll just let Vin tell a tale of A Hard Days Night at The Ravine on August 28, 1966. The Beatles and Vin…

 

 

 

Beyond The Yard: The Magic of Science and Animation

csc_drei_buzz-lightyearDre gettin’ my Buzz on…It’s Always A, Well, You Know By Now…

I recently had a chance to visit The Science Behind Pixar at the California Science Center in Expo Park. From Toy Story to Inside Out, The Science Behind Pixar is a 12,000 square feet interactive exhibit that features the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) behind your favorite Pixar animations. 

Though the technical aspects behind the making of such Pixar favorites may be a bit advanced for some of the lil’ ones, the interactive displays, divided into eight different themes, “Modeling, Rigging, Surfaces, Sets & Camera, Animation, Simulation, Lighting and Rendering”, provide everyone of all ages the chance to experience the intricacies that behind these Pixar films. Though your young one’s may not know it, they too are taking in the scientific magic behind their favorite animated characters, be it Buzz Lightyear, Dory, Mike and Sulley or WALL-E. 

csc_pixar_modeling

If you do plan to go it’s highly recommended you  purchase your tickets online especially if you do plan on taking the family on a weekend as it can get extremely busy and tickets have been known to sell out. The Science Behind Pixar will be on display until April 16th.

csc_pixar_mike-n-sully Sully and Mike !!!

20170114_160844Space Shuttle Endeavour

In addition, your ticket from The Science Behind Pixar exhibit also get’s you admission to Space Shuttle Endeavour without having to acquire another timed ticket. 

A visit to the CSC makes for a great visit prior to catching a nearby sporting event, be it the Lakers, Clippers or Kings at Staples Center or hoops at the nearby Galen Center or other USC sporting events. 

Here’s how Drei spent his Good Dre on his Stadium Journey from Expo Park to The Galen Center…

 

12 Years a Dodger…Dre

“Dre has gone through it all in the Dodger Blue. 7 playoff appearances, the most of any L.A. Dodger, 6 division championships, the uncertainty of when and where he will play. He’s gone from looking up to…To being looked up to. We’ve all gone through the highs and lows with him…”

“Dre is now The Dean of The Blue. Deep down, we all know that this could be Dre’s last opportunity in a Dodger Blue uniform to win that big prize that has eluded him.”

Win For Dre, October 17, 2016. 

ethier (Universal Citiwalk, February 2008)

Andre will be entering his 12th season wearing the Dodger Blue. Ethier joined Dodger Talk this week to discuss what these opportunities to give back to the community mean to him. He also goes on to elaborate on what it’s been like to remain with the Dodgers for so long.

From the Diamond to The Court

UCLA basketball has had an exciting season so far. Though currently struggling coming of a two game losing streak to Arizona and their upset loss to USC, their record stands at 19-3. I had a chance to go One on One with former Laker assistant as well as former Bruin and current UCLA radio commentator Tracy Murray, discussing UCLA’s defensive struggles on the court all the way to the toughest Trojan he faced in his days lacing them up at Pauley…

 

Throwing Back Thursday…Paying Tribute to Mary Tyler Moore

 

mary-tyler-moore-statueMinneapolis, MN, June 2008. A statue of Mary Tyler Moore doing her signature hat toss on the very spot she opened her show. R.I.P. Mary Tyler Moore

“Nick at Nighters, here’s a statue of Mary Tyler Moore doing her trademark toss of the tam o’shanter cap in front of the Nicolette Mall on the corner of 7th and Nicolette Mall. Go ahead, act the part of the tourist !!! You know you’ll have this intro on your mind…”

From my post Cruising The Twin Cities, June 2008. You may remember The Mary Tyler Moore show taking place in the Twin Cities, and of course it’s classic opening theme

Prior to throwing out the first pitch during a Twins game in 2002, MTM would perform her signature toss…

R.I.P. Mary Tyler Moore…

 

A Bolt to L.A.

15965475_1406978506000129_1533434314677888270_nNo folks. That is not a revamped version of our classic L.A. logo. 

As many of you know by now, the Chargers have formally announced that they will be moving here to Los Angeles, joining the Rams and thus giving L.A 2 NFL teams for the first time since 1982-1994, when the Raiders we’re calling the Coliseum home and the Rams we’re in Anaheim. 

Much has been made the last 48 hours about the Chargers announcement to relocate here to L.A, especially their updated logo, which many a Dodger fan has already had a field day with…

Even our Single A folks had to take a dig into this…

Not much fanfare has been made either since their announcement to move here. Not everyone has been so been so receptive to their move here either, most notably Mr. Bill Plaschke. Even our very own Dave Roberts, a San Diego native, isn’t so thrilled with the idea of the Chargers calling L.A. home

The Chargers are expected to move into the new Inglewood stadium with the Rams in 2019. In the meantime, they have announced plans to play at The Stubhub Center. Even if it’s only a temporary home, the fact that the Chargers will be playing in a venue with only 30,000 seats should already indicate their lack of confidence in making a first impression.

Sure, hosting 2 NFL teams along with USC may  have been difficult for The Coliseum. Sure, the Rose Bowl has made it clear they don’t want to deal with the NFL. But if Dean Spanos really wanted to start things off with a bang, wouldn’t he, as well as the NFL have found a way to fit 8-10 Chargers games at The Rose Bowl for the next 2 years? Sure it would have involved wrestling with the city of Pasadena and the Rose Bowl’s nearby residents. It’s not as if Dean Spanos hasn’t ruffled a “few” feathers already. But if not The Coliseum, why not The Rose Bowl? With over 88,000 seats wouldn’t this be a grand opportunity for the Chargers to endear themselves to the local fanbase? You know, get as many fans to come out and support your product in spite of last season’s performance?

This isn’t the first time a professional franchise from San Diego has joined our city that already had a franchise of it’s own.You may remember the Clippers took up residence at The Sports Arena in 1984. In spite of their recent and now expected success, they are still a long post pattern away from even posing a serious threat to Laker fandom. 

That’s not to say the Chargers can’t win away fans from the Rams. Of course, the Rams are just one season removed from calling The Coliseum home. Though the Rams return initially conjured up excitement for fans starving for NFL football, fan interest drastically decreased as witnessed by the large portions of empty seats at The Coliseum late in the season.(Don’t be fooled by the attendance figures. It’s based on tickets sold, many that we’re sold prior to the season during the so-called “Honeymoon Period”). The Chargers, coming off a 5-11 campaign, don’t exactly arrive with the glitz and glamour that attracts L.A. fans to the games.

L.A. fans hate losers. There’s really no other way to put it. Win, and win with bling, the fans will come. Yes, there has to be that bling attached. Remember, this is L.A., where people are attracted to glitz and glamour. The Clippers, while they have attracted more fans during their recent playoff run, again, are still a long post pattern away from ever overtaking the Lakers in this town in terms of popularity. Yes, the Lakers are still in serious rebuild mode. You can even “accuse” Lakers fans of living in the past. But those 11 “blings” they’ve brought to the City of Lights have forever forged a loyalty that even during a rebuild mode, the glitz and glamour at Lakers home games is still evident. As for the Lakers past, as distant as it may be, it’s still enough to make the Staples Center’s 3rd tenant want to cover it up during their home games. (I’ll spare you the selfie jokes…)

It’s going to take awhile for the Chargers to win over this city. Can it happen? Maybe. (I’m not exactly giving a strong vote of confidence am I ? ) Will it take as long as the Clippers to finally win over a fanbase? Only time will tell. L.A. fans had their “honeymoon period” with the Rams. It lasted all but 2 months, if that. The Chargers won’t have such a luxury. 

L.A. is a big enough market that the Chargers can certainly win over the fans who haven’t quite latched on to the Rams. L.A. is also the type of market that can be occupied with other more attractive entertainment options as well. L.A fans can also be fickle. 

It took over 20 years for NFL football to return here. It took less than 2 months for that so-called honeymoon period to wear off. So far, the Chargers have yet to make a favorable first impression.  Last but not least, did I already mention that L.A. hates losers? Only time will tell when fans here really go sour on both the Rams and Chargers, especially when that one Sunday comes when we lose out on TV on a more attractive game. 

Overtime…

15978030_10154330671208129_5702350853721251835_n

Have we had enough yet ?

 

 

 

 

Rivalry Week…Congrats Skip !…Drei’s Favorite SC-UCLA Moment, A Skip Toward 6

Leading Off…

15055773_10155525312833508_4801129311766333020_n

Congratulations to our 2016 Manager of the Year, Dave Roberts ! In spite of the many injuries particularly to the starting rotation, the rookie manager led the Dodgers to their 4th straight NL West title. Like the starter rotation, Roberts alma mater, UCLA, will have to overcome some huge obstacles if they are to beat S.C. this Saturday…

Divided We Are…

The only thing that can divide Dodger fans, aside from recent elections, is the annual SC-UCLA game. Over the years USC has had the decided edge not only in wins but in conference and national championships

Prior to last season UCLA had won 3 straight from the Men of Troy. UCLA also owns the longest winning streak in the series, having won 8 straight from 1991 to 1998. 

After a 1-3 start that included an embarrassing loss to Alabama, USC has recovered remarkably, winning 6 straight including last weeks impressive win over the Washington Huskies. 

USC  is a heavy favorite over UCLA. Deservedly so. 

As we all know, when these two meet, all records are thrown out…

20 Years Ago…1996…A Skip Toward 6

” Skip Hicks holds the UCLA school record for touchdowns in a season and in a career, but most people seem to only remember two of them.

Hicks was an All-American running back his senior season with the Bruins and went on to play five seasons in the NFL, but it seems Bruins fans only remember his performance in one game: UCLA’s improbable comeback victory over USC in 1996.

“Hey, at least they remember me,” Hicks said.

It would be difficult for Bruins fans to forget. “

Peter Yoon, ESPNLosAngeles.com, Nov 30,2010

As for this Bruin fan, those 2 TD’s and that exhilarating Saturday afternoon will be ever so hard to forget…150 years down the road.

The afternoon would not start off so great for the UCLA faithful. USC would jump out to a 17-0 en route to a 24-7 halftime lead, thanks in large part to a pick six by Sammy Knight and a 67 yard TD reception by R.J. Soward. Both TD’s would finish in the NE corner of The Rose Bowl endzone…Right in front of me…Nothing but grass separating my vision of those two and their path…

The second half would start off with a bang as UCLA QB Cade McNown would find Danny Farmer on a post down the middle to draw UCLA within 10. SC would strike back though with a long drive of their own to bring the deficit back to 17 late in the 3rd…

Puig_VictoryBell

The Victory Bell…The prize that both schools play for…Currently in that “Other” schools possession in that “awful” shade of red…

With UCLA trailing by 17 once again, prior to SC kicking off, I couldn’t help but to take a glance at the Victory Bell…Painted a glorious Blue 5 years in a row…Possibly on the verge of being surrendered…A fact not lost among the UCLA cheerleaders, huddled around the bell as two of them had their arms tightly wrapped around the frame…

If UCLA was to surrender The Bell they wouldn’t do it lying down…Certainly not UCLA QB Cade McNown…McNown and company would counter back with a long drive, capped off by his 9 yard TD scramble that would bring UCLA back within 10…

20160924_154638 Kicking it with Cade McNown, 9/24/2016 prior to the UCLA-Stanford game

With the Bruins back in the game heading to the 4th, both teams exchanged punts. With just over 10 minutes to go, SC QB Matt Koffler finds R.J. Soward streaking down the sideline with…Once again…Nothing but grass separating him from the endz one…The NE Corner no less…Yup, right in front of me (I sure was having a great day huh?)…Putting SC back up by 17. At that point, it seemed all hope was lost…

As UCLA was driving toward a “possible” miracle, I head over to visit a buddy of mine who was seated in the SE corner of the upper end zone. Bjorn Merten would draw UCLA back within 2 scores with just under 7 minutes left. The SC fans in the south end zone, confident their 5 year losing streak was over, we’re chanting something about UCLA to the SC Band’s tune of Tusk…

As I returned to my seat in the NE corner of the endzone, UCLA would get the ball back and score a quick TD to pull them within 7 with just under 3 minutes to go…Some hope is still left…If we can recover the onside kick…Too bad it would go out of bounds…

After an SC first down, now inside 2 minutes, hope was all but gone for UCLA. One more first down and the 5 year streak would be over…Just as R.J. Soward proclaimed after putting his Men of Troy up by 17 earlier in the 4th…

Only a miracle would save UCLA…

Did I say only a miracle would save UCLA? As USC was trying to run out the clock, Kusanti Abdul-Salam would recover a LaValle Woods fumble! The Bruins would have new life! 

Inside a minute to go and the ball now at the SC 11 thanks to a huge 3rd down conversion to seldom used WR Rodney Lee, after an incomplete pass, the armchair QB in me tells the fans “GET THE BALL TO HICKS, LET HIM TAKE IT UP THE MIDDLE…” …

On 2nd and 10…” Hicks, up the middle…TOUCHDOWN UCLA !!!”

The Rose Bowl is in a frenzy. UCLA, who trailed for most of the game by as much as 17 had now tied the game at 38, capped off by that 10 yard run by Skip Hicks…A proud bearer of the number 42…The run that…Your’s Truly…Sitting a hundred yards away…Called

That’s one of the two TD’s this…And many other Bruin Faithful remember from Skip Hicks…

With everyone at The Rose Bowl on their feet since about the halfway point in the 4th, SC, however, would threaten. The final seconds of regulation would come down to a last-second 41 yard FG attempt by Adam Abrams. As SC was getting set to end their 5 year skid, I, along with 80,000 souls in The Rose Bowl, was yelling perhaps the loudest I could ever. Adam Abrams attempt at glory…BLOCKED !!! OVERTIME WE GO !!!

1996 would be the first year college football would have an overtime. During the first OT neither team could do much, both exchanging field goals. So now, the second OT…

UCLA would get the ball first…On the first play form scrimmage, Skip Hicks would take the handoff from Cade McNown. For a moment, it seemed a USC defender had Hicks wrapped up. Somehow, Hicks broke loose…Break loose he did…Just like that, UCLA would have their first lead of the day…As for the Hicks TD, where would it finish?

HICKS TD

All the way back and beyond the NE corner of the end zone. The fan just above Hicks to his right in the blue and yellow hat? Yup, you guessed it ! (Thank You YouTube !!!)

Other players and fans joined in the celebration…A celebration that seemed like an eternity! Game over right? Uh, not yet…

SC would get their turn with the ball and on 3rd and 3, spotting a UCLA blitz, Koffler would find a wide open RJ Soward…Nothing but grass ahead of him en route toward, yet again, the NE corner of the end zone and a possible taunt fest with us Bruin Faithful…If only he caught the ball…

Soward, who would have a record setting day for USC…Soward, BOASTING the 5 year skid was over…Did what so many wide receivers tend to do…Turn up field before securing the football ( To today’s UCLA’s receivers, take note…)

Now 4th down, USC was now in a do or die situation. Convert and their still alive. Otherwise, the streak continues…And on what would be the final play of the game, Matt Koffler’s floating duck, and I DO mean floating, flailed into the waiting arms of Anthony Cobbs.

BALLGAME !!! UCLA 48 USC 41

After trailing for much of the game, UCLA would mount a furious comeback, capped off by that miracle run by Skip Hicks. 30 minutes after the final play, we the Bruin Faithful we’re still in a frenzy…

As for me, in my “youthful innocence”, as I was still caught up in the Blue and Gold frenzy along the venerable Rose Bowl concourse, I just could not help but bellow out my version of Tusk…Even yelling out U-C-L-A…Daring the defeated Trojan Nation to yell out what they yelled during the 6 minute mark in the 4th. Nothing doing…

I ain’t gonna lie. There are plenty of emotions involved in this game from all involved. Students, fans, lifetime alums. Do I still get worked up for this game? You bet I do. Would I still be able to act the fool that I did 20 years ago? Uh, not entirely. At 42, a popular number from Westwood to The Ravine, it doesn’t quite come off the same…

42_UCLA Quad

20160805_182030.jpg

I also remember yelling ” I’VE STILL NEVER LOSS TO SC, I DON’T EVER WANT TO KNOW THE FEELING OF LOSING TO SC !!!…”

Well, that feeling is long gone now, the experience being far too frequent now.

” Skip Hicks holds the UCLA school record for touchdowns in a season and in a career, but most people seem to only remember two of them.”

Oh yeah, as for that 2nd TD, while many Bruins fans will forever remember, this Bruin fan will forever have it etched in his heart…

DREI_SKIP Kickin’ it with Skip Hicks, 2005. Other than Skip Hicks, and current linebacker Kenny Young, who will be the last Bruin to wear 42, some other Bruin that wore 42 would eventually wear another shade of blue as a MLB player…I wonder how he turned out…

Drei’s Prediction…

Drei is going with his heart once again. SC is a 12 1/2 point favorite. They just may be playing the best football in the Pac 12 right now. UCLA has struggled this season. UCLA is going with a backup QB in Mike Fafaul. Does Mike duplicate what John Barnes did for the Sons of Westwood in 1992. Can UCLA’s D keep it close enough to give them a chance in the 4th quarter. As they say in these rivalry games, throw out the record books…Anything can happen… UCLA 24 USC 23

Overtime…

As for Drei’s favorite SC-UCLA moment…20 Years Ago…Here it is, in it’s entirety…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrei here,Southern California Correspondent for Stadium Journey Magazine and StadiumJourney.com, along with the broham, Marlon B, aka Kid Marley Marlz. We like to call ourselves, KID N DREI…2 crazed Dodger fans bringing Da Beatz and Da Talez or sometimes, both. Kid with Da Beats on SoundCloud at MDario GlutenFreeSonds, and Drei with Da Talez.

1970s Baseball

A Celebraton of the National Pastime's Greatest Decade

AMERICA ON COFFEE

Americans' daily coffee ritual.....

Sports Meets Life

When sports meets the real world

The World According to Keitho

Just another WordPress.com weblog

SoCal Sports Annals

What's happening in the Southern California sports scene

A Baseball Road Trip

Thirty Major League Baseball Stadiums. Sixty Stadium Dogs. One Season.