Tag Archives: Dodgers

Cruising The N.L. West, San Diego 5/5

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Just four days after cruising The Bay we head down south to San Diego for this Sunday afternoon Cinco De Mayo matchup against the Padres. With the Dodgers holding the top spot in the NL West and the Padres also off to a good start all three games at Petco Park would sell out. After winning the first two the Dodgers would come into the series finale with a chance at a sweep. 

Of the five NL West venues aside from Dodger Stadium, Petco Park is my most ventured. With San Diego being 2 hours south of L.A., a trip to America’s Finest City always makes for a great Sunday day trip, especially when traveling by rail. 

20190505_095855San Clemente

20190505_102129Almost there…

20190505_113740We’re Heeeeeere !!!

Petco Park, opened in 2004 is now in it’s 15th season of operation. As for the Padres, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of their MLB existance…

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In their 50 years as an MLB franchise in San Diego the  Friars have won five NL West crowns and 2 pennants, their first coming in 1984…

20190505_123127Steve Garvey’s bat from Game Four of the 1984 NLCS. Of course it would take a Dodger to lead the Friars to their first World Series appearance…

Steve Garvey would be the first Padre to have his number retired, a topic that has some Friars followers divided

20190505_133000Today’s ballpark eat’s…Single Bacon Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

The Friars would jump out to a 4-0 lead. However the Dodgers would rally for five runs on the strength of a 3-run jack by Max Muncy and a 2-run shot be Chris Taylor to give The Blue a 5-4 lead heading to the home ninth. 

With the bases loaded and two-out. Two strikes from a series sweep, Hunter Renfroe would come off the bench for the Friars and deliver a game-winning Grand Slam for the Friars. That would be the second two-out walk-off I would witness in less than a week. Ugh !!!

20190505_1546432 2-out walk-off losses. Ugh ! Hopefully I’ll bring better luck to Colorado come late June…

2019050595164509.jpgThe Blue needs to retire the Garv’s number already…

Time to head over to Basic Bar for a blood orange IPA or two and a Mashed/4-Maggio pie…

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After my previous experience with potato on a pizza I was a little hesitant to want to try the Mashed, the side with the basil. I’m happy to tell you this time my experience was much better, with the mash being a perfect compliment to the mozzarella and bacon. 

The area around Petco Park has really developed over the years with more dining options popping up around the ballpark. 

OK, time to head back to L.A. But before we do…

20190505_195458.jpgPaying respects to two Padres HOF’ers, Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman…

20190519_160250.jpgCruising the Gaslamp with Josh…

Extra Innings…Petco Blue Out

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Cruising The N.L. West, San Francisco 5/1

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Throughout this 2019 season it is my goal to catch our Boys in Blue in every NL West venue. Though I’ve have been to each venue and have seen my share of Dodgers games in San Diego and San Francisco, it’s been awhile since i’ve been to either Chase or Coors Field. When I last set foot inside Chase Field, it was known than as Bank One Ballpark, or simply , The BOB. I’ve made two trips there, in ’99 and in ’03 to see the Dodgers do battle with the ‘Snakes as Hideo Nomo would pitch a masterpiece with Eric Gagne collecting one of his saves during his record breaking streak. 

I would venture to Coors Field in August of ’06 on my ballpark journey to see the Rockies take on the Mets for a couple of games. It was during the second game a Long Beach State Dirtbag, some guy named Troy Tulowitzky would make his MLB debut. 

But of all the NL West yards, I’ve yet to see my Boys In Blue in the Mile High City. And for that matter, it’s been 16 years since I’ve seen The Blue in Downtown Phoenix. While it’s still my goal to venture to all 30 MLB parks, my goal for this year is to catch the Blue in every NL West yard in the same season. 

As of now, I’ve been to and seen games at 16 current yards, 7 past and set foot inside one other former yard and passed by another relic.  Of the total 9 former yards, two are still  standing and one is still in use. If all goes well for me, my count of current yards will be 17 come September. 

So as I venture my way through each NL West city and venue all Dodger Blue, I’ll also be sharing other ventures as well.  

As I have mostly done with my trips up north, I’ve been as economical as possible by using the Flixbus. On this occasion I have decided to red-eye it both ways, leaving L.A. on Tuesday evening on the last day of April…

20190501_020436Rest stop, Avenal, CA

Though we would arrive to The City about 30 minutes late, I would still have enough time to catch the Golden Gate Transit to San Rafael to catch a connecting train to Petaluma. With a whole day ahead of me I decide to venture outside The City…

20190501_060422Wednesday Morning, May 1, 2019. In the distance, you can see the light towers from AT&T, ahem, Oracle Park

After arriving in Petaluma shortly after 8:30, I would venture into this Hallie’s Diner. I would start my day with their fried plantain rum souffle. 

 

 

The diner is very intimate and gives you that classic Americana vibe. Though my breakfast was anything but American, the plantains are just the way I remember dining on many Filipino and Latin dishes. I really wanted to get an omelette with my souffle and had I known the omelette’s served we’re not so big I may have ordered one. Oh well. Perhaps the next time I find myself around these parts I can double my pleasure. Oh, speaking of that classic American vibe… 

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Cruisin’ through 1962. Before Star Wars, George Lucas had American Graffiti. One of my favorite movies because of the music and the classic car culture of the early 60s. I decided to take a stroll through some of the spots where AG was filmed. Above is the corner where Toad’s accident occurred during his failed street race…

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It was at this corner where Carol, after getting splashed by a water balloon, gets her revenge with the help of badass John Milner…

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As for that building…

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More American Graffiti and sights of Petaluma soon…

Moving on, I now hop back aboard the SMART Train  on my way to Santa Rosa for another venture before The Blue’s Wednesday evening battle against the hated one’s. This time, my venture takes me to the Charles Schulz Museum. Many of you may be familiar with that name as he is the creator of all those classic Peanuts cartoons. 

20190501_145251HEY CHUCK !!!

The Charles Schulz Museum is a small 2-story museum which features many of his work with a special feature on the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, for whom best bud would be named after

20190501_144508Something really needs to be done about this…

20190501_162643STOP!!! CHUCK DON’T DO IT !!!

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Just a couple of us “Blockheads”… To this day, like Chuck, I still have a hard time comprehending what certain people who call themselves adults say. It’s as if all I hear coming out of their mouth’s is “WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH…”

SAN FRANCISCO OPEN YOUR GOLDEN GATE…

20190501_165856Gotta give The Bay’s most famous landmark a Touch of Blue…

Of course this isn’t the first time Drei has done this…

20170913_135712.jpgFLASHBACK, SEPT ’18…KID N DREI !!! 

Even local legend Karl The Fog provided for a nice backdrop…

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Oracle Park. Now under it’s FOURTH NAME in just it’s 20th season !!! Hey, that female Dodger fan just gave me an idea…

20190501_180043Ready to bring my Blue in enemy territory…

Since opening in 2000 I’ve ventured inside 18 times. The Blue came out victorious 10 of those 18 times so I guess I can say my presence has helped…

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Tonight’s eats…The 40 clove chicken garlic sandwich and garlic fries. Yes, the mints we’re included (I get a feeling I won’t be heckled tonight…). In spite of the early 6:45 PM start time, I would still have enough time to down my meal. As for the 6:45 first pitch, it’s something the Giants are doing for Monday-Thursday evening games, something that would never work in L.A….

Because i’ve taken so many trips here over the years I didn’t bother taking many pics tonight…(OK, my battery ran low from all the pics taken earlier in the day…)

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Oracle Park’s new board. Come October these two will be neighbors. It’s funny how both these team’s fanbase has expanded throughout the Bay since 2010…Some of these folks don’t recall baseball played at Candlestick and some of these folks think Run TMC is that famous rap trio from the 80’s…

A lot of teams partner up with another local team or school during these theme nights. The Dodgers have done so with all the pro and several local colleges as well. Across the bay the A’s have done their theme nights, even having a Cal-Stanford night. The A’s though never seem to have an A’s-Raiders night…Hmmmm….

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Triples Alley. This is where home runs and long fly’s come to die. There’s been recent talk about possibly moving in the fences sometime in the future and maybe relocating the bullpensA couple fans I spoke with said they like the deep dimensions. I also understand the concern for moving the bullpens to the outfield as well as i’ve never cared for bullpens being in the field of play. 

The game would be a classic pitchers duel between Hyun-Jin Ryu and longtime nemesis Madison Bumgarner. The game would remain tied at one until the home ninth, when with two outs Buster Posey would deliver a 2-out walk-off single off Pedro Baez to give the Giants a 2-1 win over The Blue…

20190501_215438Postgame…A Flock of Seagull’s. Time for the locals to run so far away…

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Yard One of my Blue Journey through the NL West is complete. Where will my next journey be?

Extra Innings…Oracle Blue Out

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OK. Time to catch that red-eye Flixbus back to L.A. But before Drei leaves The Bay, there’s something Drei need’s to do to repay Kid back for this pic he sent from that “HIPSTER FEST” called Coachella… 

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Because Drei know’s how much  you love IHeart Radio, Kid…

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Two can play this game…

Here’s some past pics from AT&T Park from April 2018

‘Til the next episode…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s From Disneyland

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Hey everyone. I’ve been busy this weekend doing some house cleaning. But not as busy as Richard Kraft of Sherman Oaks. This past weekend Kraft has been auctioning off much of his Disneyland nostalgic collection, ranging from posters to attraction props and even actual ride vehicles. Prior to this weekends auction Kraft set up a free pop-up gallery in Sherman Oaks, some who even dressed and acted the part of their favorite Disney characters. 

Kraft plans to use the money raised through the auction to make donations to two charities that benefit children with special needs.

Here’s my collection of pictures, no particular order, that I was able to snap during my visit on August 12th…

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20180812_115935.jpg The man himself, Richard Kraft, greeting many an eager fan and capturing the moment before the gallery opens

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Of course I had to bring DodgerMickey…Lead the chorus…LETS GO DODGERS !!!

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20180812_123906.jpgShe seems very attracted to you DodgerMickey…

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He’s greeted many a guest entering one of these People Movers. Hey, how ’bout bringing back some of these and using them from Union Station to The Ravine. We found the Blue and Yellow ones. Now to find the Orange and Teal

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20180812_133454.jpg“It’s a World of Laughter a world of tears…It’s a Small World after all…”

20180812_134105.jpgDumbo playing with his favorite mouse, uh, second favorite mouse behind Timothy Q… Dumbo ain’t afraid of this mouse…

20180812_132719.jpgOf course…We can never separate these two…

I actually had several people come up to me as I was taking my pictures of my DodgerMickey statue. Of course they wanted to know if I bought it at the gift shop by the entrance. I’ve had the DodgerMickey since 2010 and of course being among Disney and Dodgers fans it was only natural that folks would want one of their own DodgerMickey as well…I guess it would only be natural that two of our favorite’s would make such magic together…Now if only that magic can continue on through October…

 

 

A Kid N Drei Mid-Summer Tale

With the Bucs coming to town and Drei finally crossing paths with Kid for the first time in 2018, we came up with this Kid N Drei tale, as told by Drei. Later on, Kid provides the beatz. We may not do this as often as we used, but when we do, not much has changed, you know, Kid with Da Beatz, Drei with Da Talez… As Kid once told Drei…”We Make Magic Together…”

First tale of ’18…

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It took awhile, but finally, the first Kid N Drei Tale of 2018…

Back to The Yard…Drei’s Thoughts

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It was a big Sunday at the yard for Matt Kemp as he would drive in 4 runs, including the go-ahead solo shot in the home 8th to put The Blue ahead to stay as they would stave off a three game sweep, taking down the Rockies 6-4. Prior to Sunday the Dodgers had lost three in a row and came in tied for second in the NL West with the San Francisco Giants. Kemp, whose been huge for The Blue to this point, was mired in his first big slump of 2018. His numbers compared to last year at this time are close to similar and with 14 home runs and 51 RBI’s to date, barring a major second half swoon, Kemp would be on pace for 28 home runs and 102 RBI’s. 

The recent slide brought Kemp’s average down to .302. Sunday’s performance lifted his average back to .310. His current slash line, .310 AVG/14HR/51RBI is about what you can expect from Kemp to this point as past years performances have shown. Many of us thought with his defense on the decline the Dodgers would have dealt him to a team in the Junior Circuit where he would have been more productive as a DH at this point in his career but even his defensive play, while not the Matt Kemp of 2011, has been above decent. 

Would it be too much for Kemp to carry The Blue as we head into baseball’s second half of the season? 

Baseball is a long season and every player is due for a slump at some point so I’m not really concerned that the best we’ll see of Kemp in 2018 is behind him. 

If there is any pressure on Matt Kemp to maintain his current numbers, it should be minimal at best. Other than a lighter Matt Kemp, this time around unlike 2015-17 he has a deeper lineup around him particularly in the outfield. My main concern is Kemp staying healthy down the stretch drive. 

Could Sunday’s game be the end of Kemp’s current slump? That remains to be seen. As for now, Kemp has done more than what anyone could have asked. Now it’s time to surround Kemp with some key pieces if The Blue is to make a run deep into October. 

At 43-38, the Dodgers are on pace to win 86 games. However, as we all know, baseball is full of streaks and slumps. One sustained streak and the Dodgers could find themselves over the 90 win plateau for the sixth straight season.

Extra Innings…Walk Us Off With Your Beatz, Kid !

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Gratitude is Everything…Featuring Kid’s Bro, RENO SPARKZ

 

 

 

 

 

On Deck With Steve Garvey

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Steve Garvey enjoyed 14 of his 19 big league seasons in the Dodger Blue. A two-time NLCS MVP, a 10-time All-Star and a two-time MVP of the All-Star game and the 1974 National League MVP.  These days, Garvey does about 45-50 motivational speeches a year through Garvey Media Group working with clients in stadium advertising. At Dodger Stadium he helps with the Kings Hawaiian Grill stand, introducing and marketing new BBQ sauces. 

I had a chance recently to speak with Garvey prior to the Dodgers alumni game on May 12th…

GDWKND: You we’re part of the longest running infield from 1973-81. What was the key in maintaining the infield for as long as you all did?

Garvey: I think the key was staying healthy. We continued to grow as players and understand our roles and performances. We started to work together, the team started to do well and Al Campannis signed us to long-term contracts. When it was all said and done that recipe was a great recipe of success during what I call the Golden Era from 1973-82.

GDWKND: When you we’re being groomed in Albuquerque you had Tommy Lasorda as your manager. When you came up to The Blue you we’re under the guidance of Walter Alston. How was the transition like from Lasorda in Albuquerque, to Alston and then eventually back to Lasorda?

Garvey: It was night and day, it was a 180. Walter Alston was very stoic and quiet, very strong man, Hall of Fame quality. Tommy was gregarious, outgoing, became really the heart and soul of Los Angeles Dodger Baseball by the way he talked about the team and got the fans involved. There’s more than one way to manage success. I was blessed to have Walter Alston to teach me certain things and Tommy Lasorda to teach me the rest. 

After the 1982 season, Garvey would head south and finish his career with the San Diego Padres. Though he wouldn’t put up the same numbers wearing the Padre Brown, Garvey would nonetheless have an impact on the Padres, highlighted by the city’s number one sports moment in 1984 with his walk-off home run in Game 4 of the NLCS off Lee Smith of the Cubs, forcing a decisive 5th game which the Padres would win en route to the organizations first World Series appearance. 

GDWKND: You played for three storied managers, Alston, Lasorda and Dick Williams, three HOF managers. How was it like playing for all three?

Garvey: Dick was tough, very demanding. Dick had won a couple of World Series with Oakland in the 70s, he had some strict rules that he expected you to adhere to. He was a veterans manager. He let the veterans do a lot of the leadership within the team. A very good X’s and O’s in game manager so he ended up in the HOF one way, Tommy one way and Walt one way. There’s no one way to be a leader to produce success. It takes the ability to communicate as the one common ingredient. 

GDWKND: You had an impact not only here but in San Diego as well during your 5 year stint from 1983-87. You will always be remembered for the home run you hit in Game Four of the 1984 NLCS. Do you do any work with the Padres as well?

Garvey: From time to time I get a call from the Padres to do things. I always look forward to it. I always say once I go south of Camp Pendleton I’m a Padre down there. I’m a favorite son and we had some great moments during my five year run capped off by our World Series. It’s like a second home in San Diego, 15 years in L.A and 5 in San Diego, a very blessed career and friendships on both sides. 

As Garvey would be a huge catalyst for the Padres first World Series appearance, they would run into a buzz-saw of a Detroit Tiger team that started off the ’84 season 35-5 en route to 104 wins, breezing through the ALCS in a three game sweep of the Kansas City Royals. In Game Five of the ’84 World Series, some future Dodger named Kirk would hit a huge home run in the 8th inning of a one-run game that all but ended the Padres faint hopes. It would be Kirk Gibson’s biggest home run of his career…To that point…

GDWKND: You had a chance to face Kirk Gibson when he was with the Detroit Tigers in the 1984 World Series. Kirk had that huge home run off Goose Gossage in Game Five that for all intents and purposes closed out the series. What was your thought of seeing Gibby in Dodger Blue in 1988, one year after your final season in baseball?

Garvey: That home run in ’84 had to be a prelude to the ’88 World Series. The irony of Gibson’s home run in ’88 was people thought it was Game Seven when it was actually Game One, he never made another World Series appearance again but it was so momentous a hit that it kick-started the momentum and along with Orel Hersheser’s fabulous pitching performances and a great team of executioners and it turned out a World Championship. 

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Drei’s memories of The Garv…I started watching Dodger Baseball in 1980 at six years of age. My first ever Dodger game at Dodger Stadium would be on my eighth birthday in 1982, one year after baseball’s longest running infield broke up. I would get to see 3/4th’s of the longest running infield twice. Then Garvey and Cey would leave Dodger Blue after the ’82 season. 

I may not have seen much of Garvey in Dodger Blue. I do remember he was one of the more popular Dodgers. Every kid in school wanted to be like Garvey. He was, in the eyes of manyMr. Clean (That’s a topic for another discussion…). 

Most of my childhood life as a baseball fan was at the end of his prime. This eight year old kid can remember the night he made his first appearance in that Padre Brown on April 15, 1983. He was given a thunderous standing ovation that seemed to last an eternity. 

To this day, the Dodgers have yet to retire number 6. They have this unwritten policy of only retiring players enshrined in Cooperstown, Jim Gilliam being the exception. It’s a debatable discussion, much like Garvey’s number 6 being retired in San Diego

You could debate that the standards for retiring a number are much higher within the walls of Chavez Ravine. The Dodgers already had a rich history prior to Garvey’s arrival in 1969. The Padres we’re still looking for a baseball identity. One swing of Garvey’s bat in 1984 gave them that. 

When talking of Garvey, baseball fans talk of him in the Dodger Blue, a fact that the most ardent Friar fan will admit. It’s been said down south, ” It took a Dodger to put your team on the map” Ouch. 

I have no problem with Garvey’s number 6 being retired down south. It’s already been done. Without Garvey’s blast in ’84, the Padres may still be looking for a baseball identity. 

How much longer until the Dodger brass retires number 6. Only time will tell. 

This is the first of hopefully more detailed interviews I’ll conduct with former Dodgers as they celebrate 60 years here in L.A. 

I also had a chance to briefly catch up with other former Dodgers during Alumni Weekend. Check it out and other sports news and stadium reviews on Stadium Journey at StadiumJourney.com

20160522_131045.jpg (Just retire Number 6 already !!!)

Drei’s Photo Blog…The 2018 Dodgers Alumni Game

Sights from the 2018 Alumni game, 5/12 2018

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BP with the Heavy Hitters, Reggie Smith and Shawn Green. Smith would be among the quartet of 30 plus home run hitters in 1977 along Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Dusty Baker. Shawn Green would set the single season L.A. Dodger home run record by smashing 49 dingers in 2001.

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Saxie! Steve Sax would play eight season with The Blue from ’81-88, winning Rookie of the Year in ’82. Saxie looks like he can still shag some grounders…

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Reuniting with The Bulldog. Members of the ’88 team, Ricky Horton, Jay Howell, John Tudor and Tim Belcher reunite with Orel Hershiser…

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AM 570’s David Vassegh catching up with Mike Davis. Davis would hit a huge home run in Game Five of the deciding game of the ’88 World Series…

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Half of the longest running infield, Garvey and Russell

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Bulldog showing he still has it…

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Time to take the field! Leading off, at second base, Steve Sax !!!

The rest of the Dodger alumni…

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Saxie stepping to the plate to face Fernando. Shawn Green on deck. Hey, how ’bout cuing Greenie’s old walk up song? 

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Saxie and Fernie. The 80s are back !

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Past glory meet present day. Kirk Gibson and Joc Pederson…

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Gibby giving JP some batting tips…(Hey kid, don’t be worrying too much about launch angles…LOL)

20180512_162544.jpgThanks for all the hitting tips Kirk! 

Time to Make Some Fans Happy…

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Tim Belcher, Dodger starting pitcher 1987-91…

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Closer Jay Howell. After surrendering Mark McGwire’s walk-off in Game Three of the ’88 World Series, Howell would come back the next evening with a huge save, setting the stage for Game Five…

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Outfielders Ken Landreaux and Derrel Thomas…

Back to The Future…

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Joc Pederson making a fan’s dream from Make a Wish come true…

 

Drei’s Photo Blog…A Day In The Park, Lets Play 2…San Francisco Open Your Golden Gate

Here are some sights from the Dodgers recent twin-bill with the Giants at AT&T Park, 4/28/2018…

Early Morning. Strolling Mays to McCovey

Just a bit past 8:30 AM. A few scattered clouds, but not enough of a threat to rain on this day…

Arriving at The Yard…

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That happy feeling you get when your all alone at the yard…

The Calm Before The Storm…

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The morning groundscrew…

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Dragging the dirt…

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Good Morning Joe ! Joe will be located next to the Dodger dugout today…

Some Giants history. That crab looks very tasty…

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Good Morning David. David will be one of your many friendly Guest Service employees happy to help you today…

It’s almost time for the yard to open…

Just past 11 AM, and the fans arrive, entering through Willie Mays Plaza…

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Pregame briefing with Dave Roberts…

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No BP today. Just some light longtoss…

Time to water down the infield…

Game 1

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First pitch, Game 1, 1:05 PM…

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Kayakers at McCovey Cove waiting for a splash hit…

Hungry? Charlie is more than happy to carve you a sandwich…

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View from upper right field. Gotta love that view of the bay and the Bay Bridge…

View from the Cable Car. Only in SF, a “San Francisco Treat”…

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Seats from old Candlestick…

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Looking up from the bottom of the bottle…Oh yeah, that’s quite a BIG glove…

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Quite an offensive output by The Blue in Game 1…Panda would eventually take the hill in the 9th…

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Crew setting up for Game 2 giveaway during the 8th inning…

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After 3 hours and 58 minutes, a win for The Blue…

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Can we bring some of that to Game 2 ?

With the first game ending 2 minutes short of 5 and gates scheduled to open in a little over an hour, not much time is left for the in stadium crew to prepare for the second game…

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Groundscrew back at it…

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Invasion of the seagulls…

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Taking a break inside the pressbox…

Custodial crew working at a frantic pace. About 30 minutes until gates open for Game 2…

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Fans lining up in for Game 2. The line would back up as far back to the portwalk out to the Lefty O’Doul Bridge…

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Tonight’s Game 2 giveaway, a Brandon Crawford Gold Glove garden gnome. The gates have opened on time, 6:05 PM…

Game 2…

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First pitch, 7:15 PM. Crowd still settling in but many are settled in…

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My seat for Game 2. With the Marin Independent Journal not present on this evening, this would be my view. It’s actually very common for reporters of local circulations to miss a game every now and then.

After a lot of walking around before and during Game 1, I could use a seat. The view isn’t so bad either…

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Evening view from upper right field, Bay Bridge all lit up…

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What’s Up Ashley ! Like all other stadium staff, Ashley has been hard at work throughout the day. It’s the 6th inning of the second game, and she still maintains her energy, happy to serve fans over 21 their favorite adult beverage. That has to be one of the best views any of the in-game vendors can have…

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9th inning. Bison getting ready to pinch hit…

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Game 2, this one goes to the home team…

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Groundscrew doing back at it again. This seems like a ’round the clock operation. Gotta get that field ready for the next day’s 2:05 PM first pitch…

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The biggest winner of the night…Keep up the good fight, Kid !

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Wrapping things up from the pressbox. It’s been a long but fun day at the yard…

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Late Night stroll through Willie Mays Plaza…

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So what was it like to spend a whole day, over 12 hours at the ballpark for a day-night doubleheader? Check out my story, A Day In The Park, The Park By The Bay, Let’s Play Two, on StadiumJourney.com