Baseball is back! The first games are being played today, and my Angels and the Rockies open on Friday night. The Rockies opponent this season is the Los Angeles Dodgers. Thus I decided to share a post about the actual team located in Los Angeles. Living in Southern California for many years, we have been to many games at Dodgers Stadium. I think one of the highlights was when I was at Dodgers Stadium when Ramón Martínez pitched a no-hitter on July 14, 1995. It is still the only no-hitter I’ve seen in person. It was quite exciting. Now for some history about the Dodgers organization.
Dodger Stadium, aka Chavez Ravine, is the home field of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Opened 55 years ago on April 10, 1962, it was constructed in less than three years at a cost of $23 million, financed by private sources. It is currently the oldest ballpark in MLB west of the Mississippi River, and third-oldest overall, after Fenway Park in Boston (1912) and Wrigley Field in Chicago (1914) and is the largest MLB stadium by seat capacity.
Through the years, Dodger Stadium has seen legendary moments, such as Sandy Koufax’s perfect game in 1965, the rise of Fernandomania in 1981, Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, the 1980 All-Star Game, the 1984 Olympic Games baseball competition, the 2009 World Baseball Classic Final and events such as a Mass conducted by Pope John Paul II.
Originally in Brooklyn, President Walter O’Malley lobbied for a new stadium to be built for his Brooklyn club, but when a deal could not be reached, the Dodgers made the unprecedented move to California. While Dodger Stadium was being built, the Dodgers played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum through 1961, before the true Opening Day- April 10, 1962 Dodger Stadium has seen improvements in the past from the addition of suites to new scoreboards and a renovation of the field level. Now in its 52nd season, Dodger Stadium is undergoing its most ambitious improvements to date including both visible changes and behind the scenes upgrades to the aging infrastructure. Dodger Stadium continues to be a major part of the history and tradition of the Dodgers. It is the home of one of baseball’s most storied franchises, a destination for a worldwide fan base and a monument for a bustling, multicultural city. For 51 years, Dodger Stadium has been a home for a team and a community.
The Dodgers have been know by many names, including the Brooklyn Dodgers, Trolley Dodgers, Daffiness Dodgers, Atlantics, Grays, Grooms, Bridegrooms, Superbas, Robins, Brooklyn Base Ball Club and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Regardless of the name, here are some of the highlights o their history.
- First baseball team to win championships in different leagues in consecutive years (1889–1890)
- First television broadcast (1939)
- First use of batting helmets (1941)
- First MLB team to have numbers on the front of their uniforms (1952)
- First West Coast team (1958) – along with the San Francisco Giants
- First MLB team to allow a female sports journalist into a locker room (Anita Martini, 1974)
- Largest home-opener attendance: 78,672 (1958) (since broken by the Colorado Rockies in 1993)
- Largest single game attendance: 93,103 (1959) and 115,300 (2008) *World Record
- First MLB team to open an office in Asia (1998)
- Longest MLB record for home start going 13–0 (2009)
- North American record for the buying of a sports team ($2 billion, 2012)
- First MLB team to employ a female lead trainer (Sue Falsone, 2012)
Through the years there have been quite a few amazing players and personalities in the Dodgers organization. I couldn’t start any place better than the historical breaking of the color line with the signing of Jackie Robinson. On April 15, 1947 28-year-old Jackie Robinson made his Major League Baseball debut with the Dodgers, against the Boston Braves, in front of more than 25,000 spectators at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York. Here a are a few other notable Dodgers players and personalities:
- Sandy Koufax
- Fernando Valenzuela
- Hideo Nomo
- Don Sutton
- Tom Lasorda
- Vince Scully
- 1 Pee Wee Reese
- 2 Tommy Lasorda
- 4 Duke Snider
- 19 Jim Gilliam
- 20 Don Sutton
- 24 Walter Alston
- 32 Sandy Koufax
- 34 Fernando Valenzuela
- 39 Roy Campanella
- 53 Don Drysdale
- 42 Jackie Robinson (Retired through all of MLB)
Hope you enjoyed learning a little about the Dodgers and Dodgers Stadium. If you would like more information, or want to buy tickets, here is a link to their website. Enjoy the baseball season. Go Teams.
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